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Thanks! -- Arnie Perlstein, now living in "Portlandia"!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Another Jane Austen Riddle --this one about a heretofore undetected but major allusive source for Persuasion



Another Jane Austen riddle for you today.

What is the single, famous, hidden allusive source which unites all of the following, seemingly mostly unrelated FIFTEEN story elements in Persuasion?:

In Chapter 15, the clock with its "silver sounds" which alerts that Cousin Elliot has been visiting a long while

Mr. Shepherd as advisor to Sir Walter

All the pens (Sir Walter’s, Wentworth’s and Anne’s)

David Lodge's character Morris Zipp and his famous opinion about Anne’s intense experience when Wentworth pulls the nephew from Anne’s back.

Louisa Musgrove’s near-death experience

Benwick’s extreme grief for Fanny Hargrove followed by his inconstant over-rapid shift of affection to Louisa

Benwick being called just the right one to fetch the surgeon for Louisa

Nurse Rooke, Mrs. Smith’s (imaginary) friend

The apothecary Mr. Robinson who treats Anne’s nephew’s shoulder

Mrs. Croft being a long while with the mantuamaker in the cancelled chapters, as a key part of Admiral Croft and Sophy acting as secret matchmakers for Anne and Wentworth

Anne’s family and Lady Russell discouraging her from marrying Wentworth 8 years earlier.

Anne’s secret pining for Wentworth not recognized by her family, feelings she tried to banish but failed when she saw him again

Harville’s and Anne’s debate re inconstancy in real life & as depicted in literature


The answer that unites the above 13 story points also reveals the more obscurely coded meaning in these two excerpts in Persuasion:

“…[Mary] was not easy till she had talked Charles into driving her over on an early day…”.

“This was the letter, directed to "Charles Smith, Esq. Tunbridge Wells," and dated from London, as far back as July, 1803…”

I will reveal the answer by tomorrow (Friday) morning EST, or sooner if anyone guesses the answer.

When you guess (or hear) it, you will say "Of course!", because this source shares with Persuasion a uniquely strong reputation as being intensely romantic.

Cheers, ARNIE
@JaneAustenCode on Twitter 

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