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Thanks! -- Arnie Perlstein, Portland, OR

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Quiz re the Textual Smoking Gun re Lady Catherine in P&P vis a vis Oliver AND Orlando in As You Like It

 This is going to be a very short but very sweet followup to my long post yesterday....

...about the complex allusion to As You Like It in Pride & Prejudice.

As my Subject Line suggests, in this little followup, I am zeroing in on the parts of that long post in which I made the case for Lady Catherine De Bourgh being represented by both Orlando and Oliver from As You Like It. In a nutshell, I argued that the allusion was centered on the confrontation between the two brothers in Act 1 Scene 1 of AYLI, and the failure of Oliver to provide a proper gentleman's education to Orlando.

I already considered the allusion to be ironclad, based on the argument I made, given the multiple points of thematic intersection between JA's novel and Shakespeare's play in this very laser-like allusion.

But it was only an hour ago that it dawned on me that Jane Austen had left a true smoking gun in the text of P&P, which (like Mrs. Elton inadvertently speaking the exact title of As You Like It during her "pastoral" speech) provides the giant wink from Jane Austen, which says, "Yes, THIS one is MUCH more likely to be seen by someone who has already realized the connection between Lady C and Shakespeare's two feuding brothers."

Now I will give you two big hints:

ONE: The clue in P&P actually appears exactly 39 times in the text of the novel, and it pertains to another clue in As You Like It that appears exactly 5 times in the text of the play.

TWO: The textual clues in both the novel and the play pertain to something that Lady Catherine very visibly has in common with both Oliver and Orlando.

If anyone guesses it, please just post your answer. You won't even need me to confirm it's correct, it's obvious.

If no one answers by tomorrow (Wednesday)at Noon EST, then I promise I will post the answer myself.

Good luck!

Cheers, ARNIE
@JaneAustenCode on Twitter

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