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|M.T.Jane 's lovers-Tom and Sam
Written by Caroline
(2/23/2003 3:13 p.m.)
There seems to be no doubt that Jane Austen got swept up in "whirlwind romance" with TL, and biographers seem to agree that the Lefroys (or maybe just Mrs Lefroy) were sufficiently alarmed by the prospect of the two penniless young people getting too fond of each other to send Tom packing. There are hints that they disapproved of Tom's raising of impossible hopes, and that he suffered a little because of this. Did he break her heart, do you think?
From reading over the letters, my impression is that that though she really enjoyed the experience, she was not broken-hearted- rather, in her responses to Cassandra, she seems to be enjoying being at the centre of all the drama.
However, it does seem that Mrs Lefroy refrained from talking of him after that- perhaps in deference to Jane's feelings. And she certainly seems to have found alternative "suitable young men" for Jane, such as Samuel Blackall. Jane describes him as a "picture of perfection- noisy perfection!" ..and we all know what pictures of perfection did to her....
Several people have been tempted to find Persuasion parallels here- Anne with JA, Madam Lefroy with Lady Russell, and perhaps Rev. Blackall. with Mr Elliot. But Tom is no Wentworth, that's for sure. How far couls one go in this direction? Is Persuasion a retelling of JA's own story, do you think?
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