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|Lady Russell: Ch 1
Written by Cheryl
(9/18/2005 9:18 p.m.)
My focus topic is Lady Russell. Every time I read Persuasion, I feel differently about her. I think Jane Austen would get a kick out of that, but I want to study her actions more closely and try to get a handle on her, in my own mind, at least!
I can find nothing to complain of in Jane Austen's description of Lady Russell and her actions in this chapter. She is described as "a sensible, deserving woman … extremely well provided for … of steady age and character" - I wonder what age that would be? ;-)
She moved to Kellynch in order to near her best friend, Lady Elliot - this is something that I hadn't noticed before, in all the times I've read this book. I love that there are still things to be discovered - so she is a good and loyal friend. "…had been brought, by strong attachment to herself, to settle close by her, in the village of Kellynch."
She did not marry Sir Walter, despite the neighbors' assumptions that she would - which shows more of her sensible nature, for I'm sure she must have seen and heard enough from her friend, and her own judgment to know better than to do something so foolish!
And most importantly, she loves Anne, who "was nobody," whose "word had no weight," who "was only Anne." To Lady Russell, indeed, she was a most dear and highly valued god-daughter, favourite, and friend. I don't think that I had really noticed either that Lady Russell was Anne's godmother.
My only niggle in this opening chapter is this line; "it was only in Anne that she could fancy the mother to revive again." Lady Russell sees her best friend in Anne - how much does she see, how much of that is true, and how much is wishfullness or projection on her part?
But, the picture I'm getting of Lady Russell from this chapter is that of a kind, no nonsense, independent woman who loves deeply. What is your first impression of Lady Russell?
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