Posted by kathleen (elder) on April 30, 1997 at 13:20:07:
In reply to Re: Henry Crawford vs. Edmund posted by Ann on April 30, 1997 at 12:13:27
] I am left at the end with wondering how much Edmund does love Fanny. Austen does something a bit odd at the end. She does not tell us how long it took for Edmund to turn from Mary to Fanny, but says:
"I purposely abstain from dates on this occasion, that everyone may be at liberty to fix there own, aware that the cure of unconquerable passions, and the transfer of unchanging attachments, must vary much as to time in different people. I only entreat everybody to believe that exactly at the time when it was quite natural that it should be so, and not a week earlier, Edmund did cease to care about Miss Crawford, and become as anxious to marry Fanny as Fanny herself could desire."
] Maybe this is why it is hard to see Edmund's love for Fanny. If left to my own devices, I retain doubt.
I believe that you are far from alone in this view, Ann. But, certainly people do recover from "unconquerable passions" and "unchanging passions" [btw, I love Austen's irony here], and they move on with their lives and loves.
Edmund has cared for Fanny for a long time, and he does appreciate her good qualities -- becoming aware of her strong affection for him might also enhance her attractiveness to him. In short, I am willing to believe the author on this, and I can fix (in my mind) exactly how long it would take. :-)
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