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|More on Austen's mastery
Written by Frances G
(5/11/2010 11:56 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, she could see it and write of it LONG, penned by Stephanie
I want to add to the analysis of JA's mastery by looking at how deftly she shows us Pemberley when we first see it. The beginning pages of Chapter 43 show us how Elizabeth's feelings toward Darcy evolve as she understands his environment better. Amidst all of that detailed psychology, JA gives us enough information on the surroundings that she might almost be writing a screen play (even though moving pictures were still a century away). She tells us:
The park was very large, and contained great variety of ground.
[Pemberley House] was a large, handsome stone building, standing well on rising ground, and backed by a ridge of high woody hills; and in front a stream of some natural importance was swelled into greater, but without any artificial appearance.
The housekeeper came; a respectable-looking elderly woman, much less fine, and more civil, than she had any notion of finding her. They followed her into the dining-parlour. It was a large, well-proportioned room, handsomely fitted up.
The rooms were lofty and handsome, and their furniture suitable to the fortune of their proprietor; but Elizabeth saw, with admiration of his taste, that it was neither gaudy nor uselessly fine; with less of splendor, and more real elegance, than the furniture of Rosings.
In fact, speaking of screenplays, the writers of P&P1 turned this brief phrase into dialog: her uncle and aunt stopped also: and while the former was conjecturing as to the date of the building ... Everything they needed to build the scene was already there.
I think this skill makes many people feel that they KNOW the places and the environment that JA writes about. She effortlessly provides us with enough detail for us to SEE her world without ever getting bogged down.
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