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|Naughty, naughty Henry!
Written by Kay S
(4/14/2003 9:42 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, GR: Further thoughts, penned by Cheryl
] I've been thinking about this some more, and could it be that Catherine has indeed learned to love, and it is Henry she has learned to love. She's embarrassed because she's not thinking about Eleanor and hyacinths and her instruction now, but Henry and his.
Hi, I’ve been lurking my way through this group read due to an unfortunate lack of time to post. I hope it’s not too late to join in the conversation! The hyacinths bit is one of my favorite Henry-Catherine exchanges.
My take on this conversation is that Henry is being quite mischievous here, almost a teensy bit mean! But of course he does it much too charmingly for us or Catherine to mind. :-) Well aware of Catherine’s florid imagination, Henry sets her expectations towards the romantic with talk of flowers and learning to love – COME ON, is there ANY other way a girl is going to hear this?! Then he pulls the rug out from under her – and our! - galloping sentiments by calmly requesting an evaluation of his SISTER’S teaching abilities. Ouch!
I think this exchange parallels Henry’s set-up of Catherine the day before, when he so hilariously described the Gothic horrors she could expect to encounter at Northanger, only to have poor Catherine endure a true heroine’s terror during the thunderstorm her first night at the Abbey.
I hope no one will deride me as anti-Henry for reading the hyacinth conversation this way. Far from it! I think one of the most loveable – if exasperating! – things about Henry Tilney is that he can be so naughty but do it in such an endearing way. I’m kindof glad I don’t know anyone in real life like that. Might be dangerous. ;-)
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