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|Wading through Udolpho (with early spoilers)
Written by Barbara
(3/30/2003 10:48 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, GR: Udolpho and obsessive reading, penned by Cheryl
I'm only five chapters into it, but enthralling--no. Like Emmeline, I find there are a lot of descriptions, especially of scenery, which is something Jane Austen almost never does. And the characters seem to tear up at the very sight of beautiful scenery about once per page.
Also, it's hard to be frightened or surprised when things are so heavily foreshadowed. Poor Emily St. Aubert's mother meets her early demise within the first two chapters, but it is heavily foreshadowed a number of times. For example, as the family gazes upon (yet more) beautiful scenery, they get (yet again) all teary-eyed and then the narrator informs us that Madame St. Aubert had no idea she was gazing upon this for the last time.
But, these gothic heroines are nearly always motherless (like Evelina, Belinda, even Sophia Western) so it had to be. This is another aspect in which Catherine with her very sensible and healthy parents and numerous brothers and sisters does not seem 'born to be an heroine'.
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