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|Chapter 1: We meet the Dashwoods, part 1
Written by kathleen (elder)
(9/5/2009 6:43 a.m.)
Our opening paragraph tells us that the Dashwoods were a Sussex family, and had been so for many generations. Perhaps Sussex (& Norland Park, the Dashwood estate) will be the general locale of the novel.
The Dashwood family were very respectable and had "the general good opinion of their surrounding acquaintance." No black sheep, no wild daughters, no skeletons in the closet, evidently, to liven up the family history. Dull? Not necessarily, but we will need some interesting people in the family to keep our attention.
"The late owner of this estate was a single man, who lived to a very advanced age, and who for many years of his life had a constant companion and housekeeper in his sister." Our first set of siblings. No description of their relationship, except that they lived together for "many years," and she was his "constant companion"; I trust that this means that they got along well enough so that their relationship was not upsetting to either of them. :-) The novel doesn't seem to be about them, however, since the sister died ten years before this Mr Dashwood, and he is described as the "late owner" of Norland Park.
After his sister died, Mr Dashwood "invited and received into his house the family of his nephew, Mr. Henry Dashwood ... . In the society of his nephew and niece, and their children, the old gentleman's days were comfortably spent." Aha, here is our family, then, about whom we will surely learn more. And the family is a good one: Mr & Mrs Dashwood have "goodness of heart," and the children are cheerful.
All this in just the first paragraph!
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