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|Highly unlikely to be premeditated!
Written by Barbara
(10/1/2009 1:31 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Willoughby and Eliza: More questions than answers..., penned by Jeffrey
Why would Willoughby plot to do such a thing? Colonel Brandon is a respectable man who socializes in the neighbourhood where his elderly cousin/aunt Mrs. Smith lives. What motivation could he possibly have to track down Colonel Brandon's ward and do this to her? And why, when he didn't even give Eliza his address or want to be found by her, would he choose someone who could quite easily locate him if she came home to her guardian?
Willoughby is extremely charming and exceptionally good-looking. He would not need to go to such lengths in order to make a conquest of some poor, unsuspecting young girl.
Where and how Willoughby met Eliza is not a mystery. Colonel Brandon let her go to Bath with a friend. The friend's father was there for his health and too invalid to keep tabs on them, so they were 'ranging over the town and making what acquaintance they chose;' There were always parties, balls and assemblies in Bath at that time of the year, and they could easily have met at some event of that kind. Perhaps Willoughby danced with her and paid her a lot of attention (as he did with Marianne) and it progressed from there.
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