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|The rumour mill
Written by Barbara
(9/24/2005 12:07 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Certainly not "Just my Bill", penned by Chris DS
The rumour mill works both ways, I would imagine. If both Sir Walter and Mr. Elliot frequent places like Tattersal's and the House of Commons, I would think those places are both rife with gossip of all kinds.
If Mr. Elliot had been determined to make a 'mercenary' marriage, as it seems he was, he could probably have easily determined that Sir Walter's daughter was not worth pursuing in a financial sense. For all the show they put on, I doubt that the financial situation of Kellynch hall was really that much of a secret. That, plus the off-putting manners of Sir Walter and Elizabeth would have been enough to keep him away. For a man looking for a fortune, it's one thing to marry a woman you don't care much about, or even dislike (as Willoughby did in S&S), but it's out of the question if there is no financial inducement.
I'm not altogether convinced that Sir Walter never met his heir until after Lady Elliot's death because she kept it from happening to promote her husband's continued respectability.
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