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|Mrs Clay & Mr Elliot - a creaky plot?
Written by Rachel G
(10/29/2011 8:46 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Mrs Clay and Mr Elliot, penned by Cheryl
I agree with your assessment and think Penelope Cay has been extraordinarily and uncharacteristically stupid. Mr Elliot is much too calculating and self-interested to marry his mistress, IMO.
The plot development between Mrs Clay and Mr Elliot seems rather creaky to me. In the opening paragraph of her Calendar for Persuasion (linked below). Ellen Moody suggests that JA originally had a longer and more complicated back-story in mind for this pair. I'm not sure what Mood's evidence is for that assertion - doubtless there are scholarly articles on the subject, if I knew where to find them.
I have always assumed that JA published Persuasion in a somewhat unpolished state because she was suffering from her final illness. It would be interesting to know what she originally had in mind for the novel, but I don't think it suffers from not having a lot of extra layers and diversions into the stories of secondary characters. As it stands, I think Persuasion is very effective in the way it keeps the reader tethered to Anne's consciousness through most of the text, so that we share the ride with her through the ups and downs of the narrative. Too many additions might have distracted from that.
|Ellen Moody's Calendar for Persuasion.|
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