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|Some random musings from week 4
Written by Art
(2/8/2004 4:00 a.m.)
1) I'm wondering about the use of "down" in relation to geography. In Chapter 39, Lydia says that Mary King "is gone down to her uncle at Liverpool". And in chapter 43, Mrs. Reynolds says that "Miss Darcy is always down for the summer months" -- from London, presumably.
Liverpool is north of Hertfordshire, right? And Derbyshire is north of London. So shouldn't they be saying "up" instead of "down"? Was this a common Regency-era idiom?
2) In chapter 39, Lydia says something that I would never expect her to say: "Oh! Mary ... I wish you had gone with us, for we had such fun!" Then almost immediately after, the narrator says Lydia "never attended to Mary at all" -- which is what I had always thought. So where did that "wish you had gone with us" come from? I don't think Lydia would notice whether Mary was there or not, and Mary would certainly not partake of any of Lydia's "fun".
3) In chapter 42, the narrator says "Kitty might in time regain her natural degree of sense ..." So Kitty is by nature sensible, and she used to have sense, but lost it? Did anyone else find this to be quite the opposite of what they had thought of Kitty before?
4) Also in chapter 42, Mrs. Gardiner "had lately learned that some acquaintances still remained" in Lambton. How did Mrs. Gardiner learn this? She doesn't keep in touch with anyone in Derbyshire, if Chapter 25 is any indication. If she was the one making travel arrangements, I suppose she could have learned about them while arranging the trip; but I would think Mr. Gardiner would handle that sort of thing instead.
Which leads me off on another tangent: how was travel arranged back in Regency times? Was it strictly a do-it-yourself task, or did they have travel agents or something similar?
5) One more from chapter 42: "Mrs. Gardiner expressed an inclination to see the place [Pemberley] again." An interesting detail, that "again". I'm assuming her previous visit was when she was living in Lambton before. But I had thought that visiting great houses was a tourist sort of thing, not something a local resident would do. Have I been rightly informed?
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