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|I think it's pretty clear they would have been engaged
Written by Tracy W
(10/5/2005 5:43 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Would Anne and CW, penned by Kara M
I think it's pretty clear they would have been engaged until Captain Wentworth earned enough money for them to marry and not risk Anne being left a young poor widow with children to support. In Chapter 4, Lady Russell's thinks the following about the engagement:
And later in the same chapter, Anne thinks:
If they were planning to marry right away, rather than have a long engagement, I would expect the phrasing to be something like "a happier woman in being married ..." rather than "maintaining the engagement."
I also think we are meant to contrast Anne and Captain Wentworth in being separated against Captain Benwick and Fanny Harville in being so long engaged, and Captain Benwick suffering so greatly from her loss. (Though I doubt that the mere fact they weren't engaged would have stopped Captain Wentworth from grieving badly if Anne had died in those 8 years).
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