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|Good Conversation has long been one of the hallmarks of
Written by Cathy Allen
(6/8/2007 12:39 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, The importance of conversation, penned by Line
polite society. From what I have read so far in "Jane Austen, a Biography" by Elizabeth Jenkins, (my first JA biography, but it will certainly not be my last, as I have just bought 2 more recommended by JulieW!) the whole Austen family was intelligent, educated, lively, well-read, and all the things that make for good conversationalists. In any age before the invention of radio, movies, and all the other means of entertainment we now have at our command, we can imagine that conversation was pretty important. (Much as I like to talk [and write!], I think I'd have enjoyed it... but then, I consider all the other stuff I'd NOT enjoy...!)
I quite agree with you about Wickham's conversational skill being one of the reasons he was able to fool people so easily. I also feel that Mr. Darcy's lack therof was the biggest reason people took him for arrogant and "above his company." As Elizabeth said to him from the piano at Rosings, it is very curious "why a man of sense and education, who has lived in the world" should be so lacking in conversation. The Colonel's answer was quite telling here. I also attribute it, in his dealings with Elizabeth, to his being tongue-tied in the presence of the woman he is so attracted to. And I wish I had an Aunt and Uncle Gardiner!
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