An epistolary novel.....would S&S have been better this way?
Posted by Lynne on September 28, 1997 at 01:26:09:
In response to Someone to receive letters?, written by Arnessa on September 27, 1997 at 21:16:10
] ] Perhaps Jane tried to do too much in the first novel, and realised fairly early on that she couldn't deal with everything in one go. But if that's the case, why not leave her out altogether?
] You're right, I think. Margaret is a remnant of some earlier version of S&S. On Austen-L a year or so ago, there was some discussion that S&S could have been an epistolary novel at one time. (Some people say that Jane's relatives said P&P was the epistolary one.... but that's a whole nother debate) Anyway, it was agreed that if S&S were an epistolary, that would give some reason for Margaret's existence. To whom would Marianne write of all her passion for Willoughby? Not to a cold, unfeeling, unsympathetic Elinor, of course. Maybe to a Margaret conveniently tucked about at boarding school.
S&S might have lent itself very nicely to this method: so much letter writing was done anyway: Lucy to Edward, Marianne to Willoughby....and there were several secrets going on, too....would S&S been a better book if this were the case? Hard to imagine P&P as just a collection of letters, though.....
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