Posted by Caroline on August 28, 1997 at 22:22:26:
In reply to Thanks, Caroline! posted by Traci on August 28, 1997 at 07:40:03
] I think I imagined that Anne could not do it because I recall reading in "What Dickens Knew and Austen Ate" that a woman never introduces a man to another man. Then again, other people have pointed out that this book has some inaccuracies in it.
My main objection to the book isn't its inaccuracy,(most of it seems to be accurate, within a narrow context) but his over-generous use of words like "never" and "always".Whenever I see it written "never" my mind rebels, and like the chorus questioning the Captain of the Pinafore, I mutter under my breath "What! NEVER????" .I don't remember reading what Mr Pool says about introductions, but I can visualise it being as you describe it, with no qualification. So my reaction, immediately, is something like "What? What if the woman is the only one available to do the job? And why the heck can't a woman do it?"(because that would make her superior to the men, I suppose.)
BUt let us suppose Mr Pool is right here, and see where that gets us.
] You are right. Anne was the only one who could have done it and she's too dazed to do so.
Or maybe, she hesitates because, as a rule, women do not introduce two men to each other, and she is waiting for one of them to ask for an introduction.Which means that Mr Elliott, being "family" should be aware of her dilemma, and should have helped her out of it.Captain Wentworth, as a mere acquaintance, would not have the right, or the obligation, to ask who the other man is. So Mr E is still in the wrong!
] Just goes to show that in some cases, manners go flying out the, er, tea shop window!
What is interesting is that in the book, the scene is slightly different. Captain Wentworth is not alone, he is with a "large party" and walks over to talk to Anne several times. Anne is not alone either. As Mr Elliot sorts out the carriage, Elizabeth, still in the shop, pointedly ignores the Captain. Mr E scoops up Anne, and ushers her out quickly, so she barely has time to throw a shy goodbye accross the room to the Captain as she leaves. The question of introductions does not come up, and Mr E certainly is not rude. But Elizabeth is!!!
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