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Written by Cheryl
(10/2/2011 10:47 p.m.)
I had my first, big "AHA!" moment with my new Annotated Persuasion this week over the black mourning ribbons. The text reads:
"Yet so miserably had he conducted himself, that though she was at this present time (the summer of 1814) wearing black ribbons for his wife, she could not admit him to be worth thinking of again." (ch. 1)
This sounds like Elizabeth is wearing black mourning ribbons for Mr. Elliot's wife. But a note in my book contends that the word "she" is a typo and it should be "he." It changes the whole complexion of the passage:
" that though he was at this present time (the summer of 1814) wearing black ribbons for his wife, she could not admit him to be worth thinking of again."
The note contends that, if Elizabeth was wearing black ribbons, would not Anne and Sir Walter as well? But there is no indication of this. And, hadn't they written off Mr. Elliot? He who was so contemptuous "of the very blood he belonged to?" Why would they observe such strict mourning for his wife, a person of such "inferior birth?" Read this way, Mr. Elliot is in mourning, meaning that he is free to marry again, but Elizabeth doesn't think him "to be worth thinking of again."
It's an interesting argument, and one with merit, I think. What do you think? Who is wearing the black ribbons - Elizabeth or Mr. Elliot?
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