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|ranging over town
Written by Bridget D
(10/7/2009 7:13 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, There's the rub, penned by Barb JA
sorry I think that I put things badly.... I am wrong I think in saying categorically that they were making "unrespectable" acquaitances, but still I think it is clear that they were NOT being chaperoned or looked after properly....Somebody quoted the example of Cath Morland adn Isabella, I haven't read NA for some years but I dont think that they were so much "out on the town" as Eliza and her friend appear to have been. I do think that since her friend's father wasn't taking care of them they were problably taking advantage of this and spending more time out and about, mixing rather too freely with people whom their parents might not approve of. I agree that a lot of blame attaches to the father of the friend....even if Catherine and Isabella went out soemetimes alone I assume that they mostly appeared in public with Mrs Allen and more ot the point, neither of them was seduced! So while Im not trying to excuse Willoughby, I think that soem blame attaches ot Eliza adn to her freind as well.. She wasn't "just a victim" she was IMHO complicit to some degree. She must have been told over and again that a girl had to keep her virtue.. and probably she'd been told that in her particular awkward social position she must be extra careful to behave well.. but since there is no evidence that W raped her, she must have agreed to become his mistress. Then she must have agreed to go away with him and her friend refused to tell her family and Brandon what had become of her... which seems to me to show that Eliza's friend was far from well behaved....
And I do think that in that time, "ranging over town" with virtually no chaperonage, all the time as they seem to have been doing WAS sending out a message that they were not respectable girls....and even If you think it is unfair that Willoughby made this assumption and tried to seduce her, she didn't have to say yes! She could have said no and stayed home more often.. or written to Brandon to take her away from Bath or insisted on bringing a maid with her when she went out...
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