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|Distances in Persuasion
Written by Line
(9/28/2005 9:48 p.m.)
We are told more than once that Uppercross is three miles from Kellynch Hall, and it struck me that this is the distance between Longbourn and Netherfield, which Elizabeth Bennet walks to see Jane. From the description, it sounds like the two houses are so far apart that they are practically in separate universes, and that Anne would never think of walking there herself, but must rely on someone to convey her.
Now, I am *not* a great walker, but I have often walked three miles in my life without too much fuss. When I start getting smug and self-righteous about this (as I tend to do ;-), I have to remind myself that a pedestrian at the time would not be walking along nice smooth sidewalks, or even a paved or otherwise well-tended road, but probably along a poorly-kept dirt road that would turn to mud as soon as it rained. (I leave out the "well-bred lady walking alone" aspect, although Elizabeth B. obviously does it.) Also, if it was starting to get dark, there would be no street lights to light the way.
In ch.5 we are told that the Great House and the younger Musgrove's cottage are about a quarter-mile apart, yet in ch.7, the residents of the Great House have to take the coach to spend the evening there. (Yes, I know, it's mid(?)-fall, and they're probably in their dressy clothes, but still...) However, in ch.7 the distance is suddenly half a mile, so I guess that's some excuse! Can anyone give me any more reasons to feel less superiour about this? ;-)
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