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|Lady Russell's reputation
Written by Joan Ellen
(10/3/2005 8:58 p.m.)
In chapter 10, Louisa tells FW that they thought Lady Russell might have persuaded Anne not to marry Charles. Then in ch 12, Henrietta says "I have always heard of Lady Russell as a woman of the greatest influence with everybody! I always look upon her as able to persuade a person to anything!"
Now this really starts me wondering yet again about Lady Russell. The Musgroves obviously know nothing about LR having persuaded Anne to break off her engagement with FW, so why do they seem so convinced of her influence? Are we to infer from this that she is in the habit of persuading everybody in the neighborhood into all sorts of things? These quotes make her sound almost Lady-Catherinish (as in, "whenever any of the cottagers were disposed to be quarrelsome, discontented, or too poor, she sallied forth into the village to settle their differences, silence their complaints, and scold them into harmony and plenty.")
Just when I was beginning to have a friendlier feeling toward LR, I find JA has thrown in this monkey wrench! What think you all?
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