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|Something of both, I'd say
Written by Laraine
(9/16/2006 8:53 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Edward the cipher, penned by Tina T
I think a solid argument can be made for the idea that keeping Edward more "off stage" in this early part of the novel allows us to spend more time developing the characters of the three females "stars" of the novel.
Also, I think this may well be a remnant of the epistolary beginnings of the novel--since Edward wouldn't have much of a "voice" in a novel of letters written (at least primarily) by women, the "leftover" is that he doesn't develop much in these early chapters. So some of it may be that the relatively "young novelist" Austen isn't seeing this weakness in the development of his character.
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