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Written by Stephanie
(2/4/2013 5:22 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Never thought about it., penned by Anushka
Author Austen is considered one of the earliest masters of the style, which appears frequently in her novels. She sometimes puts the phrases attributable to the character's point of view (as opposed to the narrator's) in quotes, and sometimes not.
She may have eventually turned that passage you ask about into a true quotation, or dropped the quotation marks, had she lived to further revise the novel. We may never know -- I would guess that, had she always intended to leave them, it was to make it clear that this was Frederick Wentworth's attitude, not merely Anne's interpretation of it.
|Wikipedia on Free Indirect Speech|
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