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|Lydia & Eliza
Written by Robbin
(10/7/2009 11:00 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, more and less seducible girls, penned by Heather Leigh
There are similarities between Lydia and Eliza’s stories. I agree with Reeba that Lydia eloped to be married not to have an elicit affair; her letter to Harriet confirms this in P&P, Ch. 47. Instead of taking her to Gretna Green as agreed Wickham took her to London and seduced her. I am sure it was an easy seduction but Lydia’s initial intent was honorable marriage and I think he did take advantage of her stupidity and naivety.
Like Lydia, Eliza may have believed she and Willoughby were to be married. In addition to Marianne’s belief she was engaged to Willoughby (Ch. 29) according to the conversation Col Brandon overheard (Ch. 30) the engagement between Miss Grey and Willoughby was at first secret as well. It appears Willoughby was very good at leading multiple ladies down the same primrose path and sometimes simultaneously.
There is evidence galore of Lydia’s man-craziness, flirtatiousness and vulgar manners in the text of P&P but we do not have that kind of evidence with which to color Eliza similarly in the text of S&S. What evidence is there Brandon inaccurately paints Eliza as a pathetic victim because he is angry and feels guilty? When has he has been dishonest or unfair to anyone? What has Brandon done to provoke suspicion? (:D)
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