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|Was she right?
Written by Rae
(10/9/2008 6:53 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Persuading Anne – was Lady Russell right? (long), penned by Rachel G
I think she was right, and would like to offer a contemporary example I found in a book called Frigate Commander (Tom Wareham, 2004) which is based on the private journal of Graham Moore, who was a frigate captain from 1793 - 1804.
Moore was in love with a young woman, someone he had known as a friend, but hesitated for a long time about asking her to marry him because, as he wrote in his journal:
"I would marry her tomorrow, if she chose and if we had enough money, but, as I have none and she has not enough for two, I have avoided endeavouring to engage her affections...I cannot help indulging a hope of what is very improbable, that circumstances may so change as to make it a fair thing for me to address her..."
Moore, although he had no private money, had much better prospects than Wentworth. His family was well connected (his brother was General John Moore) and he had patrons within the Admiralty. Yet his reluctance to address the woman unless and until he could afford to marry her, throws into contrast Wentworth's willingness to do so and his assumption that he would make his fortune and all would be well. It shows up his audacity (or 'reckless impetuosity' as Lady Russell saw it). It is sometimes hard for us to really understand what was going on when Wentworth first proposed to Anne - how against the norm the engagement was - and easy for those who counselled her against it to seem monstruous. What my example shows is how a contemporary viewed a similar situation.
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