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|Family Lefroy legend
Written by helena6
(2/23/2003 4:37 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, M.T.Jane 's lovers-Tom and Sam, penned by Caroline
] 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?
Perhaps it is the feeling rather than the man that inspired it. I don't think Austen continued to love Tom Lefroy. Though she may have pleased herself that like Willoughby he always prefered her to his wife. :) And really any social life has to be pretty boring after having Jane Austen for a friend.
I wonder if this is not more Lefroy family myth than anything else. Sure Tom Lefroy went on to be Cheif Justice (of Ireland?, but Jane Austen ended up far more famous. I am told if you go on a tour of the Lefroy family estate, they will say Darcy was modeled on him. I highly doubt that. The two men don't sound much alike from Austen's description of them. But I enjoy the family hubirus. (or am I too cynical)
If anything I think the hero, Tom Lefroy most resembles is Henry Tilney. But even then it is not a clear connection. I think Austen wasn't the type to put her own life in her novels.
But I don't see Austen as the romantic type. I think she had to have a bit of the pragmatist in her - afterall she did write Charlotte Lucas. She may have regretted it at times, but I imagine at others she looked back and laughed at herself for even thinking he would want to marry a penniless girl. Even Elizabeth doesn't allow herself to fall in love with Wickham. Perhaps Jane wasn't as wise as ELizabeth Bennet, but I imagine she got over it.
She had her own children to create.
Perhaps being older and ill, she allowed herself to indulge in a little sentimentality with Persuasion. I find it to be the most sentimental of her novels (and a sentimental Austen novel is not that sentimental)
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