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|I wondered about that as well
Written by kathleen (elder)
(9/20/2009 7:32 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Are the Steeles really the Jennings' cousins?, penned by Barbara
An the timing also seems suspicious to me. Edward leaves Lucy at Longstaple (or elsewhere near Plymouth) and stays for a week at Barton. Lucy & Anne meet Mrs Jennings & Sir John in Exeter within a week or so after Edward left Barton, or within 2 weeks or so after Edward left Lucy. Did Lucy start planning this trip while Edward was visiting her? Did she suddenly remember friends/relatives** in Exeter whom she & Anne could visit?
Is Lucy's visit to Exeter the reason Edward could only stay at Barton for one week? Did he know she was coming, and then make sure he was out of the area before she arrived?
**The Steeles definitely seem to have friends/relations around with whom they can stay: people in Exeter, whose claims give way as soon as Sir John invites Lucy & Anne; in London, "relations who have been wanting us to visit them these several years!"; and now the Middletons as well. Perhaps Mr Steele is sending his daughters to various relatives/friends in order to get them married and off his hands. :-)
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