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Written by Rae
(9/21/2006 5:11 p.m.)
JA exercises her usual wit against the nuisance of young children, and the stupidity of mothers, in her descriptions of Lady Middleton. She is graceful, elegant, has behaved towards the Dashwoods with no malice or lack of civility, yet she is damningly described as reserved, cold, and [having] nothing to say for herself beyond the most common-place inquiry or remark.
I would like to put the case that what she is observing in Lady Middleton is a young woman in that overwhelming phase of early motherhood, when you have not a brain cell to spare, and, rightly and for good evolutionary reasons, your horizons have shrunk to make your children the centre and pivot of your universe. Perhaps some of her 'reserve' is also a reaction to having shared a home for most of her life with Mrs Jennings and Charlotte!
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