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|Love Lady Russell (long)
Written by LeeAnne
(10/28/2008 10:25 a.m.)
1- When Lady Elliot died, Lady R cared and loved the three Elliot daughters and looked after them the best she could, despite the fact that Elizabeth more or less ignored her attention.
2- LR made no attempt to ensnare Sir W and his money. Considering that she herself considers wealth, rank and stability to be so important, I think it's highly commendable that she never made a play for him.
3- She advised Anne against marrying Wentworth. We may agree that it was not very romantic or sympathetic of her to act in this way, but all I can say is I would not be happy if my child were going to marry someone who was unemployed and broke. Anne herself disagrees with LR's judgment, but there cannot be a doubt that LR simply wished the best for Anne.
4- She advised Anne to marry Charles Musgrove. Again, not at all romantic, but we know that Anne and Charles get along quite well. Surely they would at least have been comfortable and content together.
5- LR advised Sir W in how best to manage his financial difficulties. Clearly she was in the right. Going back to #3, why should we condemn her for her prudence with regard to Anne, but applaud it with regard to Sir W's finances?
6- She invited Anne to stay with her as much as possible at her own estate before bringing her to Bath. This is extremely kind, especially since we know she thinks it a mistaken prejudice for Anne to dislike Bath.
7- She waited on the Crofts on an early date. You can't fault her manners.
8- LR says that she has no wish of meeting Mr. Elliot but then when he is reconciled to the family, she completely turns around in her attitude. This one I can't defend, unless she really thinks a person can change so much as Mr. Elliot seemed to. In all fairness, Anne liked to be in his company too before she found out his true character. It seems like he deceived everyone.
9- She encourages Anne to consider marriage with Mr. Elliot. I have a little trouble here, too, because even if he truly did change from the thoughtless disrespectful person he was before he married the first time, it's risky to connect yourself to someone who is so changeable. And where is her famous judgment when it comes to his habits of Sunday traveling, and marrying a woman of inferior birth? I guess she was just charmed by the idea of Anne becoming Lady Elliot. One wonders if she had any voice in Anne's mother marrying Sir W?
10- She changes her mind about CW and WE, admits she was wrong and accepts CW as a son. It takes a big person to admit they're wrong, and it's more than most of us can do.
Like Anne, I do not say that she did not occasionally err, but I wish all my mistakes were as well-intentioned as hers were. I am inclined, despite the fact that even the ON seems to criticize her at times, to really love and appreciate LR.
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