Marianne & Lydia
Posted by Deb on March 31, 1998 at 17:45:38:
In response to Pride and Prejudice, written by Cheryl on March 23, 1998 at 01:46:42
] IMHO I find that Tomalin does not really understand P&P at all. Her only good insight had to do with the 3 proposals. Otherwise, she is way off.
Tomalin is really taken by the more emotional young women in JA's novels - e.g., Lydia and Marianne - and seems to think that Jane's allegiances lay with them. But if they were, then JA wouldn't have relegated their stories (or at least parts of them) to side notes. That's why we get upset with Marianne and Col. Brandon's marriage - because we didn't get to see it develop - but by that time, JA seems to be through with the point she wanted to make which I see is something like we all make mistakes in love. Considering that a main part of her theme with S&S is second attachments, readers probably would have liked it better had she expanded on how they develop. I think Edward and Elinor's story is from that point of view as is Brandon's affection for Marianne.
With Lydia, there are just a few extra points to be made about her long term financial difficulties - but the story is ABOUT Elizabeth & Darcy. In my reading and rereading I never got the sense that she was jealous of Lydia. In fact, if anything, she probably pities her. Wickham past misdeeds were known to her and she had no reason to be disappointed. Elizabeth would have been disappointed in herself for having been so wrong in her assessment of him rather than jealous of Lydia.
As a first time reader of a Jane Austen biography I was somewhat disappointed with Tomalin's treatment. I am looking forward to seeing how others have approached her life and works.
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