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Share via Email Jane Austen … 'Of all great writers she is the most difficult to catch in the act of greatness. It is a brilliant insight. The apparent modesty of Austen's dramas is only apparent; the minuteness of design is a bravura achievement. But it cannot be shown by some grand scene or speech.
Accuracy is her genius. Noticing minutiae will lead you to the wonderful interconnectedness of her novels, where a small detail of wording or motivation in one place will flare with the recollection of something that happened much earlier.
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This is one of the reasons they bear such rereading. Every quirk you notice leads you to a design. If you ask very specific questions about what goes on in her novels, you reveal their cleverness. The closer you look, the more you see. Try these 10 questions. Who marries a man younger than herself? Age matters very much to characters in Austen's novels: The age of a young woman but also a man determines her or his marriage prospects.
In Pride and PrejudiceCharlotte Lucas is 27 when she snares Mr Collins, her age spurring her to waste no time when he heaves into view. She is, however, an absurd year-old: Lady Russell in Persuasion thinks that Charles Musgrove would not have been good enough for Anne Elliot when she was 19, but once she is 22 and still unmarried, he becomes quite a catch, so quickly does a young woman's bloom fade.
Yet Lady Russell is usually wrong about things, and at the ripe age of 27 that number again Anne gets the man she loves. Charlotte Lucas feels all that age pressure. In hooking her husband she becomes the only woman in all Austen's fiction to marry a man younger than herself.
For Mr Collins is introduced to us as a "tall, heavy-looking young man of five-and-twenty". Many admirers of Pride and Prejudice think of Mr Collins as middle-aged. In the Hollywood film the role was taken by British character actor Melville Cooper, then aged The trend was set.
In the film, the role was taken by a slightly more youthful Tom Hollanderthen aged Adaptors miss the point by getting his age wrong. His solemnity and sententiousness are much better, much funnier, coming from someone so "young". Middle-aged is what he would like to sound, rather than what he is.
His youth emphasises Charlotte's achievement, with little money and no beauty to assist her. It has to be a bad person, for anyone who professes not to care about cash must be lying. It is Isabella Thorpe in Northanger Abbeya youthful but accomplished hypocrite, who announces her antipathy to lucre.
A few chapters later she tells Catherine Moreland, in preparation for dumping James Moreland in favour of Frederick Tilney, "after all that romancers may say, there is no doing without money". Lucy is ruthless about money, a fact nicely illustrated by her stealing all her sister's petty cash from her before eloping with Robert Ferrars.
We should not forget that idealistic Marianne Dashwood shares this supposed scorn of wealth with these two calculating girls. When Elinor and Marianne debate the importance of money in the company of Edward, Marianne reacts indignantly to Elinor's declaration that happiness has much to do with "wealth": Beyond a competence, it can afford no real satisfaction, as far as mere self is concerned.
All it needs is to be "newly fitted up — a couple of hundred pounds, Willoughby says, would make it one of the pleasantest summer-rooms in England". The casual extravagance of this — all the worse as it is the imagining of wealth that will come only when Willoughby's aunt dies — should stop us short. The two lovers have been thinking of spending twice Miss and Mrs Bates's joint annual income in Emma on soft furnishings for one room.
Austen's attentive first readers would surely have come close to despising Marianne when they heard her saying this. It is further proof that those who declare themselves above caring about money are those who are most governed by it.
What is Mrs Bennet's Christian name? Nor do we know the forenames of other Austen ladies: A few husbands call their wives by their first names. In Emma, Mr Elton flaunts his use of his wife's Christian name. It is almost ostentatious. He called her 'Augusta.
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Her exclamation indicates that the Eltons are behaving in an unusual, perhaps modish, manner. Mr Elton's flourishing of "Augusta" is made the more repellent by Mrs Elton's mock-coy revelation that he wrote an acrostic on her name while courting her in Bath.
Yet it is not simply "wrong" to use your wife's Christian name. In Persuasion Admiral Croft addresses his wife as "Sophy". This is at one with his breezy good-heartedness, and a sign of the couple's closeness.
Such is his uxoriousness that, as he struggles to remember Louisa Musgrove's frothy name, he frankly wishes that all women were called Sophy. Meanwhile his wife addresses him as "my dear admiral".
Ten questions on Jane Austen
The mere use of a person's Christian name is electric. In Sense and Sensibility Elinor overhears Willoughby discussing the gift of a horse with her sister and saying, "Marianne, the horse is still yours. But it is even rarer for a woman to call a man by his first name. Mr Knightley asks Emma to call him George, but she won't.
The plot of Emma turns on Frank Churchill's "blunder" in mentioning the likelihood of Mr Perry, the local apothecary, "setting up his carriage". Frank knows because of his secret correspondence with Jane Fairfax, and is therefore in difficulties when asked by Mrs Weston how he found out.
The news is telling. Mr Perry is evidently making so much money from the hypochondriacs of Highbury that he can accede to his wife's desire for a carriage. The Austens themselves owned a carriage for a year or two in the late s but then had to give it up. Mr Perry can use his carriage to make his lucrative house calls. The "intelligent, gentlemanlike" practitioner is a kind of therapist, whose business is humouring his clucking patients.
He is first seen tactfully failing to contradict Mr Woodhouse's absurd opinion that wedding cake is harmful. He agrees that it "might certainly disagree with many — perhaps with most people, unless taken moderately". Though "all the little Perrys" are soon seen "with a slice of Mrs Weston's wedding-cake in their hands".
Their father is a man who makes his handsome living from echoing the prejudices of his clients. Frank Churchill later tries a joke about Mr Perry's earnings, suggesting that if a ball were to be held at the Crown instead of at Randalls there would be less danger of anyone catching a cold.
Who is wearing mourning? When Frank meets Emma after the announcement of his engagement, he is smiling and laughing on this "most happy day", but suited, we should realise, all in black.
We are not told this: Austen's first readers would have "seen" this garb, and registered the clash of official sorrow and private happiness. The deaths of close kin required a period of full or "deep" mourning — in which clothes were predominantly black — followed by an equal period of "second" or "slight" mourning.
Austen's own letters to her sister are full of chat about adapting clothing to mark the death of this or that relative. On hearing of Mrs Churchill's death, Mr Weston shakes his head solemnly while thinking — Austen cannot resist telling us — "that his mourning should be as handsome as possible".
Their mourning is not grief. We take it that, even in their black clothes, they are delighted to be rid of an irksome impediment to their sisterly friendship. Austen likes us to notice how official mourners fail to grieve. In Persuasion, Captain Benwick is "in mourning" for Fanny Harville's loss, which means not just that he is sad, but that he is actually wearing black, as the Harvilles are likely to be. Anne learns the story of their shared tragedy, but then their clothes would already have made her curious.
If we do not see these clothes we lose something, for Captain Benwick must either eschew his mourning dress while paying his attentions to Louisa Musgrove, or court her while wearing it. Either possibility gives special force to Captain Harville's later exclamation to Anne: Where does Wickham have a tryst with Georgiana Darcy?
By the seaside — where else? Leaving the two men alone, Eleanor goes into her room. Jasper asks for a picture with Andy; while they are taking the picture, Jasper knocks Andy out.
Then, Jasper texts Eleanor the picture of him knocking Andy out, which leads her to open the door to her room. When Eleanor goes out to the hallway, she asks Jasper if he killed him, which Jasper responds with "Maybe". Towards the end of the episode, Eleanor is on her bed checking social media. Jasper then appears in the room, takes his jacket off, and says; "Not going to have a day like we did today, because if we do, I'm releasing the video.
Don't make false threats, Jasper, it makes it less interesting.
However, she is left disappointed when Ophelia responds that she knows nothing about him. While Eleanor is texting OpheliaJasper is getting dressed and informs her that he knows she is texting Ophelia. Jasper tells Eleanor he is from Nevada and worked as a security guard in the casinos in Las Vegas, but his parents were disappointed and decided to disown him and he lived in an orphanage -however, none of this is true. While they were waiting outside a room, Jasper tells Eleanor he likes purple on her, but he thinks black looks sexier.
While they were following Prince Liam's car, Liam got into a car accident, Liam refused to leave the car because he was worried about Gemma, which caused Jasper to punch him in the face, which knocked him out. When Liam got called to see the King, Eleanor steps up for Jasper, and says to Liam to tell Simon the truth except the fact that Jasper punched him in the face.
Jasper comforting Eleanor When Liam leaves, Jasper has a smirk on his face and Eleanor says that the only reason why she did that was because she wanted to beat him fair and square. Later on in the episode, Eleanor is crying, because she just found outthat the Queen made the press write in the newspaper about how her fashion show was better.
He tells her that her fashion shoot was better. This causes Eleanor to feel a little better. In Sweet, Not LastingPrincess Eleanor has to do a tour to gain positive press and improve her image.
While she's on her first stop on the tour, she takes ectasy due to the fact she can't deal with elderly people. As Eleanor enters the elderly people's home, she's high, which then leaves Jasper to take care of her. He pulls her away from an elderly woman, because she was making her uncomfortable.
When leaving the elderly people's home, she puts her head on Jasper's shoulder. They pass the pharmacy, which causes Eleanor to run in to and ask for a bottle of morphine.
Jasper comes running to her saying to the clerk; "She's joking, obviously. She does it again, which causes Jasper to take her hands off and he lift her up. During the next stop on the tour, Jasper and Eleanor visit and open an animal shelter. Since she is still high, she takes the scissors and tell Jasper; "You seriously wouldn't believe how big these little scissors feel to me right now.
While they were leaving, Eleanor ends up taking a dog and decides to name it Prince Rufus. Jasper then takes the dog and returns in, which causes Eleanor to be upset. In the night time, she finally comes down from her high, and admits she regets taking ectasy because it makes her feel sick afterwards.
Jasper is sitting on the chair, looking at her while she talks about how depressing life is. She says to Jasper; "Is this where you take advantage of me, again? This leads her to be getting drunk.
While in the hospital, she talks about her hatred towards her mother, Helena. Eleanor asking Jasper to take advantage of her The destination of the last stop of the tour was one of Prince Robert's charities -a drug rehab center.
Eleanor notices this, and decides she is going to be sober and not do drugs to honor and remember her dead brother. While she is in the rehab center, she gets paired up with a troubled girl, which then leads to them having a conversation about getting high. Eleanor starts feeling sympathy for the girl. The last thing Eleanor says to her is; "How your mother treated you, it's not your fault, maybe once you make the choice to let go, it'll get easier. She calls at Jasper, saying; "Jasper!
Come in here and take advantage of me! He asks if that is what she wants and she nods. This shows that he is not forcing her anymore, she had the power to say no. Jasper then requests her to stand up and take off her dress. He asks her what changed her mind, to which she responds, that they all have choices to make. While talking, Eleanor pours tea for Jasper, but Ophelia thought it was for Ophelia.
After Prince Liam leaves Eleanor's room, Jas to have the night off, but Eleanor tells him he doesn't have the night off. While saying that, she looks at Jasper and says that she wanted to see him in a tuxedo. Eleanor takes a closer look at him and laughs when she sees the Jack Card as his cuff links, and says she still doesn't believe that he is from Vegas.
In the ball, Eleanor asks Jasper to dan no to and that he is still working.
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Then Eleanor puts a mask on Jasper's face and takes his hand, dancing with him. While they are dancing, she says; "I really worry about your ability to guard my body, Jasper. Jasper turns his head away before they could kiss. When the song ends, Eleanor whispers in Jasper's ear to come with her, and they both decide to leave the ball. Eleanor pushes Jasper in a tunnel and starts to kiss him, clearly in control, When things get too heated, Jasper stops Eleanor and informs her she doesn't control this and leaves her standing alone.
She then goes to confront Jasper, and he challenges Eleanor to tell the whole ball he is blackmailing her. She accepts the challenge, and goes up on the stage.
Eleanor looks directly at Jasper while thinking about what to say.