Posted by Kathy F. on September 28, 1997 at 21:15:03:
In response to Someone to receive letters?, written by Arnessa on September 27, 1997 at 21:16:10
] 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.
I read somewhere that S&S was originally titled "Elinor and Marianne" and that it was epistolary. I think they even said that it was (just?) letters between the two sisters--which, after reading the book, I couldn't imagine all that went on as being fodder for letters--I mean, Elinor just didn't say anything about Edward and Lucy, so how would the "gentle reader" find out? I guess JA could have radically altered her nature, in that way, though.
But I don't think that Elinor was "cold, unfeeling, and
unsympathetic." She was reticent, surely, about her own feelings, but she made no move to check Marianne's overflowing feelings, except when she was almost killing herself with grief, or when she was in danger of exposing herself to the world and its ridicule for her unbridled words.
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