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|Such excellent posts on the merits of Mrs. Jennings...
Written by Jeffrey
(10/7/2009 10:30 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Heart of Gold, penned by Robbin
Mrs. Jennings would be the sort of woman I'd love to have a glass of "sack" with. Yes, her weakness is gossip but out of that gossip comes one of her great strengths: being of benevolant use to someone in need. Gossip for her is a source of amusement and entertainment but I think she also "mines" the gossip to help her family, friends, and associates. Because of this group-read, we are uncovering what a central figure Mrs. Jennings is to the entire underpinnings of Miss Austens's wonderful story. I also love the way Miss Austen uses Mrs. Jennings to elevate the status and character of Col Brandon before the Miss Dashwoods. Her kind generosity in taking care of Elinor and Marianne in London gives her the opportunity to reveal to them the gallant and great-hearted nature of Col Brandon little-by-little. In an era where formality was often more important than substance, Mrs. Jennings shines forth as a woman of substance foremost who often just doesn't care what's formal and what is not. Even on my first frenetic reading of S&S I liked Mrs. Jennings and I love her all the more now!
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