(& scroll down to read my literary sleuthing posts)
Thanks! -- Arnie Perlstein, Portland, OR

Friday, December 30, 2016

Delvings in and beneath Gaskell’s North & South

I’m so glad Tracy Marks recently began an interesting thread in Austen-L about the striking, very thinly veiled allusion by Elizabeth Gaskell in North and South to Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice. 

The more I read about it, and also read in North and South itself, the more significant I find it.

First here are a few highlights from Janine Barchas’s 2008 article setting out the broad strokes of Gaskell’s allusion:

“Mrs. Gaskell's North and South (1854-55) has all the makings of a deftly refashioned P&P. Here the relationship between Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy is replayed when Margaret Hale's prejudice against the North and so-called "shoppy people" prompts her hasty misjudgment of John Thornton, the Milton manufacturer . Like all clever adaptations, Gaskell's has a twist, as it inverts our gendered expectations of the main protagonists: it is the "queenly" Margaret, not Thornton, who intimidates with a proud bearing and a "straight, fearless, dignified presence habitual to her". In Gaskell, Margaret plays the proud Darcy, as it were. Originally published as a serial in Household Words in 1854 with Charles Dickens's editorial assistance, N&S may be the first full-length reworking of P&P… N&S masked any debt to Austen. That is to say, Gaskell never acknowledged an influence outright, and, as a result, historians of the novel have never observed more than a vague family resemblance between her fictions and Austen's…
Gaskell's heroine navigates a pattern of marriage proposals strikingly similar to that traced in P&P. The first "wrong" proposal comes at the novel's start: Gaskell's version of the sexless Mr. Collins is a respectable, albeit dull, London barrister named Henry Lennox. The second proposal, ill-worded and ill-timed, comes from the opinionated Thornton for whom the heroine has already declared her utter disregard. Yet even after his rejection, Thornton proves his virtue and devotion with actions
intent upon saving the heroine's reputation (Margaret is in jeopardy of being associated with a nighttime brawl at a train station). As if on cue the novel closes with the expected proposal do-over in which dislike, it proves, has turned to love. Throughout it all, Margaret's false romanticization of life in the South, and her extreme prejudice against manufacturing people of the North are adjusted--just like Darcy's
‘fastidious’ dislike of rustic entertainments and his snobbery that uncles in Cheapside will "'very materially lessen'" a girl's chance "'of marrying men of any consideration'"--during the course of the story.

Just from my own brief delvings the past 24 hours, I can already see that Gaskell was a very sly, playful literary elf who learned much from JA’s subtle, subversive art of fiction. How so?  I’ll give you one beautiful example, which is exactly in the vein of Austen’s witty, allusively sophisticated wordplay.

First, read this passage from Chapter 50 of N&S, only a few chapters before the romantic climax at the end. Mr. Thornton, the “Mr. Darcy” of the novel, reflects on his career as a self-made industrialist, and his “pride” therein:

“But the truth was, Mr. Thornton was hard pressed. He felt it acutely in his vulnerable point—his pride in the commercial character which he had established for himself. Architect of his own fortunes, he attributed this to no special merit or qualities of his own, but to the power, which he believed that commerce gave to every brave, honest, and persevering man, to raise himself to a level from which he might see and read the great game of worldly success, and honestly, by such far-sightedness, command more power and influence than in any other mode of life. Far away, in the East and in the West, where his person would never be known, his name was to be regarded, and his wishes to be fulfilled, and his word pass like gold. That was the idea of merchant-life with which Mr. Thornton had started. 'Her merchants be like princes,' said his mother, reading the text aloud, as if it were a trumpet-call to invite her boy to the struggle. He was but like many others-men, women, and children-alive to distant, and dead to near things. He sought to possess the influence of a name in foreign countries and far-away seas,—to become the head of a firm that should be known for generations; and it had taken him long silent years to come even to a glimmering of what he might be now, to-day, here in his own town, his own factory, among his own people. He and they had led parallel lives—very close, but never touching—till the accident (or so it seemed) of his acquaintance with Higgins. Once brought face to face, man to man, with an individual of the masses around him, and (take notice) out of the character of master and workman, in the first instance, they had each begun to recognise that 'we have all of us one human heart.' [quote from Wordsworth’s “The Cumberland Beggar”] It was the fine point of the wedge; and until now, when the apprehension of losing his connection with two or three of the workmen whom he had so lately begun to know as men,—of having a plan or two, which were EXPERIMENTS lying very close to his heart, roughly nipped off without trial,—gave a new poignancy to the subtle fear that came over him from time to time; until now, he had never recognised how much and how deep was the interest he had grown of late to feel in his position as manufacturer, simply because it led him into such close contact, and gave him the opportunity of so much power, among a race of people strange, shrewd, ignorant; but, above all, full of character and strong human feeling.”

So, where’s the sly game played by Gaskell? I suggest to you that in this passage, Gaskell was paying an homage to one particular self-made English manufacturer, who did indeed “become the head of a firm that should be known for generations” via “experiments lying very close to his heart”. Indeed, his firm is still as well known today as it was to Gaskell’s generation. Who? Josiah Wedgwood, that’s who! ---as you read here:

“Wedgwood was an innovative designer, a manufacturer of high-quality pottery and a campaigner for social reform. Josiah Wedgwood was born into a family of potters on 12 July 1730, at Burslem, Staffordshire. His father's death in 1739 led him to an early start working as a 'thrower' in the pottery of his eldest brother, Thomas, to whom he was later apprenticed. An attack of smallpox seriously weakened Josiah, and in 1768 he had to have his right leg amputated. This meant he was forced to abandon throwing but he subsequently gained a wider insight into the potter's craft - for example the work of the 'modeller' - and this encouraged his love of experimentation.
Thomas refused Josiah a partnership in the business, so the younger man moved first to a small pottery run by John Harrison, then more happily to the firm of Thomas Wheildon of Fenton. From there, he opened works of his own, first at his cousin's Ivy House and later at the Brick House factory. At these works, Wedgwood made many models himself, and also prepared clay mixes. In June 1769, he opened a new factory at Etruria, near Stoke-on-Trent, in partnership with Thomas Bentley. Attached to the factory was a village where Wedgwood's workmen and their families could live in decent surroundings.
Wedgwood greatly improved the clumsy ordinary crockery of the day, introducing durable, simple and regular wares. His cream coloured earthenware was christened 'Queen's Ware' after Queen Charlotte, who appointed him queen's potter in 1762. Other eminent patrons included Empress Catherine II of Russia, who ordered 952 such pieces in 1774.
Wedgwood experimented with barium sulphate (caulk), and from it produced jasper, in 1773. Jasperware, which is used for a whole host of ornaments, blends metallic oxides, often blue, with separately moulded reliefs, generally white. Some such reliefs were designed for Wedgwood by John Flaxman. Other wares included black basaltes, frequently enhanced by 'encaustic' colours like red, to imitate Greek vases.
Wedgwood was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1783, primarily for inventing the pyrometer to measure oven temperatures. He took a keen interest, too, in efficient factory organisation, and in improving the transport of raw materials and finished wares by canals, such as the Grand Trunk Canal, and by road.
In 1780, when Wedgwood's long-term business partner died, he asked his friend Erasmus Darwin for help. Darwin's son would later marry Wedgwood's daughter, and they were the parents of Charles Darwin, the naturalist who formulated the theory of evolution. Charles would himself, in turn, marry a Wedgwood. When Wedgwood died on 3rd January 1795 he left a thriving business and a fortune to his children.”

Now, some of you will no doubt reasonably respond that while it sounds possible that I am correct about Gaskell’s homage, why should it be Wedgwood in particular, from among several English manufacturers whose careers also fit those same general parameters Thornton listed in his speech? Well, how about this for starters (and finishers): Elizabeth Gaskell was herself the niece of Josiah Wedgwood’s niece!:

Mrs. Gaskell: Haunts Homes and Stories by Esther Alice Chadwick (1913):  “Mrs. Gaskell’s aunt…was a niece of Josiah Wedgwood, her mother being sister to the famous inventor of the pottery which bears his name. Another sister of Josiah Wedgwood was the mother of the well known naturalist, Charles Darwin”

And that brings me to one other, very specific hint that Gaskell hid in plain sight in the above quoted passage from N&S, which I say was deliberately pointed by her like a laser beam at her collateral ancestor Josiah Wedgwood:

“It was the fine point of the wedge”

“wedge”, as in Wedgwood!! That’s exactly the sort of significant name-game that Jane Austen played a hundred times in her fiction, and here we see Gaskell playing it in a big way! As far as I can tell, nobody else has previously spotted this, but that’s only a reflection, I suggest, that nobody ever took the time to look at the speech and think about it in relation to Gaskell’s biography, which is all it took on my part.

So, this tells me that it would be profitable to spend some more time delving into the text of North and South, to see what fresh Austenian allusions, beyond those already identified by other scholars, might pop up under the lens of my Austenian “shadow story” spectacles. In particular, I am intrigued by the parallel circumstances which lead to Margaret Hale achieving a shocking elevation in financial status at the end of the story, just as Elizabeth Bennet does.

Before I close, let me also draw your attention to another detail with Austenian significance-- about Gaskell being a Wedgwood cousin of both Charles Darwin and his wife Emma. Gaskell was 2 years younger than Charles, who was 1/2 Wedgwood (on his mother’s side), while his wife Emma’s paternal grandfather was Josiah himself. So both Charles and his wife Emma were cousins of Elizabeth Gaskell of about the same age.

This suggests to me the strong possibility that when they were all young, Elizabeth Gaskell spent time around the Darwin family matriarch, Mrs. Pole (that very same lady I’ve recently written about again, who rendered the very favorable opinion about Jane Austen having been “experimentally acquainted” with the snobbish class of people she skewered in Mansfield Park). If so, perhaps her first taste of Jane Austen came at the suggestion of her great-cousin Mrs. Pole? In that regard, I’ve just been reading a very interesting article about the possible allusion to Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution in North and South:  “Gaskell, Darwin, and North and South by Carol A. Martin in Studies in the Novel, Vol. 15, No. 2 (summer 1983), pp. 91-107.

And finally, Gaskell’s apparent strong Janeism in 1855 when she wrote N&S also opens up very interesting questions about her communications with the supposed Austen-depreciator (as to which I violently disagree) Charlotte Bronte. Despite achieving fame sooner, Bronte was 6 years younger than Gaskell, and we know that after publication of Jane Eyre, Gaskell reached out to Charlotte. And of course Gaskell eventually wrote the first biography of Charlotte Bronte.

In that regard, then, is it relevant that the benefactor of the heroine in N&S is named “Mr. Bell” as in Currer Bell!)? I believe so, and I also suspect that the back and forth between Gaskell and Bronte  included some discussion of Jane Austen’s fiction!

Cheers, ARNIE

@JaneAustenCode on Twitter

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Shakespeare’s Henry VI envisions a world without war

The other day, I happened to read closely, for the first time, the following memorable speech spoken by King Henry VI in Act 2, Scene 5 of Shakespeare’s Henry VI, Part 3, a scene introduced by “Alarum. Enter KING HENRY VI ALONE”, during which the King is observing one of the major battles of the War of the Roses, at Towton, at which enormous casualties were suffered by both sides.

I invite you all to do the same -- please read it through, slowly, savoring the Shakespearean language; and then at the end of the quotation I have two questions for you. Answering them will require NO prior Shakespearean expertise, just (in the case of Question #1) a knowledge of modern popular culture which we all have, unless you’ve been living in a cave. ;)   I promise I’ll deliver a very interesting and surprising payoff at the end of this whole exercise, when I reveal my answers in a followup post on New Year’s Day, along with a summary of any answers I receive from all of you, as well.

But first, Henry VI speaks from the heart, so please listen:

This battle fares like to the morning's war,
When dying clouds contend with growing light,
What time the shepherd, blowing of his nails,
Can neither call it perfect day nor night.
Now sways it this way, like a mighty sea
Forced by the tide to combat with the wind;
Now sways it that way, like the selfsame sea
Forced to retire by fury of the wind:
Sometime the flood prevails, and then the wind;
Now one the better, then another best;
Both tugging to be victors, breast to breast,
Yet neither conqueror nor conquered:
So is the equal of this fell war.

Here on this molehill will I sit me down.
To whom God will, there be the victory!
For Margaret my queen, and Clifford too,
Have chid me from the battle; swearing both
They prosper best of all when I am thence.
Would I were dead! if God's good will were so;
For what is in this world but grief and woe?

O God! methinks it were a happy life,
To be no better than a homely swain;
To sit upon a hill, as I do now,
To carve out dials quaintly, point by point,
Thereby to see the minutes how they run,
How many make the hour full complete;
How many hours bring about the day;
How many days will finish up the year;
How many years a mortal man may live.
When this is known, then to divide the times:
So many hours must I tend my flock;
So many hours must I take my rest;
So many hours must I contemplate;
So many hours must I sport myself;
So many days my ewes have been with young;
So many weeks ere the poor fools will yean:  [i.e., wean]
So many years ere I shall shear the fleece:
So minutes, hours, days, months, and years,
Pass'd over to the end they were created,
Would bring white hairs unto a quiet grave.

Ah, what a life were this! how sweet! how lovely!
Gives not the hawthorn-bush a sweeter shade
To shepherds looking on their silly sheep,
Than doth a rich embroider'd canopy
To kings that fear their subjects' treachery?
O, yes, it doth; a thousand-fold it doth.
And to conclude, the shepherd's homely curds,
His cold thin drink out of his leather bottle.
His wonted sleep under a fresh tree's shade,
All which secure and sweetly he enjoys,
Is far beyond a prince's delicates,
His viands sparkling in a golden cup,
His body couched in a curious bed,
When care, mistrust, and treason waits on him.  END QUOTE

At that point in this same short scene, a father and a son (both unnamed, and obviously unrelated to one another) enter and each tells, in alternation, a brief, Oedipally tragic tale of having unwittingly slain his son and father, respectively, in the battle of Towton. In each case, the King mourns these tragic losses, and then the scene ends with Henry being abruptly whisked away from danger by his wife (the queen), his son, and his courtier Exeter.

Okay now for my two questions, the answers to which I request that you respond to me privately by sending me an email at  prior to this Saturday, Dec. 31, at Midnight PST – I will then post my followup post on Sunday, and summarize any answers I received, without naming names of my respondents. You can then chime in to any followup discussion as you wish.

Question 1: Is there a famous work of 20th/21st Century art (as to which I’m being deliberately vague --- it could be a novel, a movie, a painting, a play, a song, or a poem, or some combination thereof) which you’re specifically reminded of by Henry’s long soliloquy – in particular the specific imagery that Henry VI uses? Once you think of the work of art that popped into my head while reading Henry’s speech, you will know it’s the one I had in mind, the parallels are that strong, so that when you then reread the speech, it will, I believe, be obvious to you. But I want to know if others have the same reaction.

Question 2: What do you think Shakespeare wished his readers/audience to infer about Henry’s state of mind at the precise moment when he delivers this speech? The answer to that question popped into my head after I realized the answer to Question 1, and I started thinking about the whole thing. It was only then that I found out that my answer to Question 2 fit like a glove with both history and Shakespeare.

To assist you in answering the second question, I give you three additional hints:

ONE: “Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.” –soliloquy by King Henry V (i.e., Henry VI’s father) in Henry IV Part 2, Act 3, Scene 1; a play written by Shakespeare out of historical order, i.e., he wrote it after he wrote the Henry VI trilogy.

TWO: “Henry the 6th: I cannot say much for this Monarch's sense.”—Jane Austen, age 15, in her brief, satirical take on Henry VI in her The History of England.

THREE: Watch the following YouTube clip of David Warner, as King Henry VI, delivering that very same speech in the BBC 1965 production

If you put these three hints together, and really think about them in tandem, I’m hoping that the answers to my two questions will eventually pop into your heads, too! If not, no worries, I will reveal all on Sunday in any event!

Happy thinking, and happy new year!

Cheers, ARNIE
@JaneAustenCode on Twitter

Monday, December 26, 2016

“Like something out of a Jane Austen novel”: Dorothy Margaret Salisbury Davis closet Janeite!

I just became aware this evening of the writing career of Dorothy Margaret Salisbury Davis (1916 − 2014) who was an American crime fiction writer of no small repute, as she was the author of 17 crime novels, as well as 3 historical novels, and numerous short stories, and served as President of the Mystery Writers of America.

I mention all this because Google just made me aware that three of those seventeen mystery novels comprised what she called the “Mrs. Norris Series”, which I naturally found very intriguing. Was that title just random, or was it smoke suggesting a bit of Austenian subtextual fire?

I was quickly led by Google to the second of the three, entitled A Gentleman Called, which had the following blurb on the back cover:
“In Grand Master of Crime Fiction DSD’s second Mrs. Norris novel, the crime-solving Scottish housekeeper helps crack the case of a serial lady-killer”
“As housekeeper to James Jarvis’s recently deceased father, a retired major general of the US Army, Mrs. Norris has raised Jimmie since boyhood. Now the Wall Street lawyer faces a challenging case. The son of one of the firm’s old blue-blood clients has been slapped with a paternity suit. But Teddy Adkins swears he never slept with the woman.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Norris is miffed when her gentleman friend Jasper Tully, the widowed chief investigator for the Manhattan DA’s office, cancels one dinner date after another because a real estate magnate has been found strangled in the bedroom of her Upper East Side apartment. Jewelry was stolen, but there are no signs of a break-in. Tully’s investigation turns up a trail  of strangulations that extends all the way to the Midwest. As Mrs. Norris pursues her own unorthodox investigation, she uncovers a shocking link between the cases that threatens her very life.”

So, Mrs. Norris is the protagonist, but does this mean that Davis, like a Fifties Stephanie Barron, has grafted Jane Austen into her lauded crime fiction?

That’s when a search engine came to my aid one more time. If you’ll allow me to build a little suspense first, let me take you to a scene well into the second half of the novel, when Mrs. Norris finds herself being caught off guard and charmed against her will (rather like the way Fanny Price finds herself being charmed against her will by Henry Crawford’s reading of Shakespeare’s Henry VIII) by the cocky, pushy wooing of Mr. Adkins --- apparently the very same fellow who was slapped with a paternity suit, and, I also guess, perhaps someone whom Mrs. Norris will at some point suspect of being the serial killer---when the following exchange occurs:

“Do I understand, Mr. Adkins,” she said with quiet self-containment when he paused, “you are proposing that we go off to Scotland together and live another fifty-five years on my money?”
Mr. Adkins looked at her as though he were offended by so profane an interruption. “Are you so fond of money?”
“I’m fairly close with my own,” she said, “and I can count it all by nickels, let alone by dimes, and while it won’t have to do me till I’m a hundred and twenty-two—which is the age I’d be doubled—I don’t intend to have to get by on the half of it, whatever the years left me.”
“Ah, now,” Mr. Adkins said, laughing, “how well you knew yourself to say you were a prickly bundle. Bless you, my dear, I have no intention of sharing your money. Rather I intend to match it, dollar for dollar, no more, no less. I’m an investment broker, woman. I’m bonded to at least twice your worth. That’s why I offered my services to you the other day. I could advise your investment of money to return you a safe average of six percent. Are you making that now?”
“Three and a quarter,” she admitted.
“The Bowery bank,” he said with knowing deprecation. “What I should like to suggest—we match our small fortunes, mine to equal yours, and manage upon the income. Would you like to see my bond?”
“Your bond?”
“A certification of my right to invest—my brokerage license.”
“I might,” she said, “if I was going to consider your proposal.”
“All I ask tonight,” Mr. Adkins said, “and I beg it of you: do not insist upon answering my proposal now.”
“Mr. Adkins, I don’t like toting up a relationship this way.”
“I could not agree with you more!” he cried, and bounded to her side. “But I know you to be a practical woman and I wanted you satisfied therein before I bespoke the night’s true message. The night, as the song says, was made for love.” And before she could take cognizance of his intentions, he had plastered a wet kiss on her cheek.
She started up from the chair with such a bounce, she toppled her short-legged Romeo to the floor. He picked himself up with the most of a very little grace…..”

Okay, so far, do you sense any Austen echoes lurking in the background? Mrs. Norris is a woman past the usual age of courtship, as with Jane Austen’s Mrs. Norris, and she certainly knows the value of a buck, also like Jane Austen’s stingy domestic management guru. But then, she is subjected to a romantic advance that catches her offguard, very much the way Fanny Price feels after being cornered by Henry Crawford at Mansfield Park (before he changes his M.O. in Portsmouth and tries the soft cell approach). Or even, when you broaden your Austen lens, the way Darcy surprises Elizabeth with his first proposal.

Okay, I’ll stop playing games, and just give you the rest of that chapter, and then you’ll realize why I am certain the name “Mrs. Norris” was not a coincidence, not one bit:

…“I feel like something out of a Jane Austen novel,” he said, “and I have never admitted the only roles in that to which I was suited. You have hurt me deeply, Mrs. Norris. I am a sensitive man for all that I play the clown. There was something about you that seemed refreshing after my horrid experience with that, that wretch. You have disillusioned me terribly.”
“I have hurt your pride,” she said, “and what is pride to a man who has a sense of humor?”
His moment’s contemplation of that seemed to mollify him.
“Yes,” he said, “I am too sensitive, and I know I take myself too seriously. My dear, your wisdom is the perfect balance to my wit.”
He could persuade a bird, Mrs. Norris thought, to nest on a scramble egg. “I’m going to put on the kettle,” she said, “and we’ll have a nice cup of tea.”

Isn’t that wonderful? There we have Mr. Adkins as Henry Crawford, player of many roles. But more aptly, there is an unmistakable sly wink at Pride & Prejudice! Adkins, the cocky suitor whose pride is hurt by the sharp wit of the woman he is attracted to, and who must learn to develop his sense of humor. And then finally, again, Mrs. Norris perceives the Henry Crawford in Mr. Adkins, because Henry could indeed “persuade a bird to nest on a scramble egg”! And maybe that is a final wink to the four pheasant’s eggs which Mrs. Norris cadges from Mrs. Whitaker at Sotherton, or maybe Henry Crawford’s melancholy broken egg shells after Mansfield Park brunch with Fanny and William.

Whatever it all means, I’m sorry I did not realize all of the above a few years sooner, so that I might have been able to ask the author herself what it all meant.  ;)

But maybe one day I’ll be able to ask JK Rowling whether her choice of the name “Mrs. Norris” for a cat was in any way influenced by Davis’s name for her housekeeper/detective a half century earlier.

Cheers, ARNIE

@JaneAustenCode onTwitter

Sunday, December 25, 2016

A Study in real & imaginary Charlottes: Goethe, Smith, Austen, & Thackeray

This is in furtherance of our recent discussion in Janeites and Austen-L about Austen's allusive interest in Goethe: 

Ellen Moody wrote: “Perfectly true, Nancy, that Charlotte was becoming a more popular name, and I'll venture a guess that might come from the popularity of The Sorrows of Werther. It's after the publication of this book and wide readership, the name Charlotte begins to be found in the UK. Then when George III (a German-English king) married a German wife, Charlotte, the name begins to proliferate.”

Werther was published in 1774, but George III married Charlotte in 1761, so you have the chronology backwards -- but then, it doesn’t matter which came first, it was clearly a cumulative impact on the Georgian zeitgeist --- the name “Charlotte” resonated from both of those salient sources. But also, and even more significantly from an Austenian point of view, as I’ll now show, there are multiple connections to Charlotte Smith – connection that open up a study in Charlottes in every direction that even Sherlock Holmes would’ve enjoyed sleuthing out!

First, please note that in Volume the Second of Jane Austen’s Juvenilia, we have explicit references not only to Goethe’s Werter, but also to that most extreme example of male sensibility, Delamere, from Charlotte Smith’s Emmeline. And so, it closes the allusive circle to note the following passage in Chapter 56 of Emmeline, Smith’s first novel which, as I already demonstrated in my post a few days ago….    …. was a major source for both the overt and the shadow story of S&S:

"Farewell! most beloved Fitz-Edward! Ah! try if it be possible to be happy! Be assured I wish it; even though it be necessary for that end to drive from your memory, for ever, the lost Adelina Trelawny”
Emmeline, to whom this letter was sent open, could not but approve the sentiments it contained, while her heart bled for the pain it must have cost Lady Adelina, and for that which it must inflict on Fitz-Edward.
Having dispatched a note to his lodgings, appointing him to call upon her the next day, she entered into the drawing-room, where a large party were already assembled. To avoid any particular conversation with Lord Delamere, which he incessantly solicited, Emmeline placed herself near one of the card tables, and at a late hour in the evening Mrs. James Crofts was announced, and, dressed in the utmost exuberance of fashion, blazing in jewels and blooming in rouge, entered the apartment. She was followed by her two eldest daughters; one dressed in the character of Charlotte in the Sorrows of Werter; and the other as Emma, the nut-brown maid. Their air and manner were adapted, as they believed, to the figures of those characters as they appear in prints; and their excessive affectation, together with their mamma's gaudy appearance, nearly overcame the gravity of Emmeline and many others of the company….”

So, there, in the 1784 novel that was a huge influence on the character of Marianne Dashwood, we have Charlotte Smith writing a fictional character who in turn dresses in the fictional character of Goethe’s Charlotte! Talk about wheels within allusive wheels!

But the above is not even the only explicit connection of Charlotte Smith to Goethe’s Werther. As Ellen is surely well aware, Smith wrote not one but five Elegiac Sonnets a decade after Werther was published, all explicitly in the voice of Goethe’s Werther (I believe one of those sonnets is actually included in the text of Emmeline). These are five sonnets which JA undoubtedly read as a teenager, along with Emmeline and Werther –and JA was a sharp elf who didn’t need any further help in connecting these literary dots. So, for the young Jane Austen to link Charlotte Smith to Goethe’s Charlotte, and then to wink at both in ‘Lesley Castle’, would’ve been an obvious allusion for JA to make –in fact, it’s a perfect example of the kind of layered allusion that JA wove into the fabric of her fiction her entire career.

Ellen also wrote: “Nonetheless, at the time it was still not that common, and the pairing with this intensely comic pragmaticism -- the point is Austen goes out of her way to make fun of this practicality coupled with the name, and the use of Rousseau for the other heroine of Lesley Castle makes a case for seeing part of this unfinished juvenilia (it is a fragment and not consistent in its focus) as a parody on highly popular romantic texts, viz, Julie or La Nouvelle Heloise and The Sorrows of Werther….I've never seen any one bring in Lesley Castle the way I've just done.”

Actually, a little Googling has revealed to me that there’ve been two scholars who’ve noted it previously:

First, Lorraine Fletcher in Charlotte Smith: A Critical Biography (1998) at p. 307:  “…while ‘Love and Friendship’, a piece of similar length, remains parodic throughout, ‘Lesley Castle’ begins to evolve into a straight novel. The domestic, cooking, officious Charlotte Lutterell, who has been organizing her sister Eloisa’s wedding breakfast, has to break the news to her sister that her fiancĂ© has been injured in a riding accident and is unlikely to live. The name Eloisa comes from Rousseau’s La Nouvelle Eloise…But Eloisa is treated not parodically as one might expect from the name, but sympathetically, and Charlotte is the comic. After briefly condoling with her sister, [Charlotte Lutterall] goes on:
“Dear Eloisa (said I) there’s no occasion for your crying so much about such a trifle. (for I was willing to make light of it in order to comfort her) I beg you would not mind it. You see it does not vex me in the least; though perhaps I may suffer most from it after all; for I shall not only be obliged to eat up all the Victuals I have dressed already, but must if Henry should recover (which however is not very likely) dress as much for you again; or should he die (as I suppose he will) I shall still have to prepare a Dinner for you whenever you marry any one else. So you see that tho perhaps for the present it may afflict you to think of Henry’s sufferings, yet I dare say he’ll die soon and then his pain will be over and you will be easy, whereas my Trouble will last much longer for work as hard as I may, I am certain that the pantry cannot be cleared in less than a fortnight.”  
Unusually for the Juvenilia, sense rather than sensibility, heartlessness rather than the good heart, is the target of Austen’s satire here. ‘Lesley Castle’ was preparing the way for S&S, where Mr. and Mrs. John Dashwood’s sense is exposed early…” END QUOTE FROM FLETCHER

And then Anthony Mandal in Jane Austen and the Popular Novel (2007) at p. 49:  “What Austen is attacking in her depictions of sensibility are the effusiveness, vapidity, and generally rootless gestures of these novels. However, she does not confine herself simply to the sentimental model: Austen is an accurate observer of the novel market in general, and is able to demystify other fictional topoi. ‘Evelyn’ pokes fun at the emergent Gothic of the early Charlotte Smith, Mary Robinson, and Ann Radcliffe…In ‘Lesley Castle’, the overly sentimental Margaret Lesley is compared with the excessively practical (and appositely surnamed) Charlotte Lutterall. If Austen has attacked the ways in which sentimental effusiveness covers vapidity, she also demonstrates how a concern with the practicalities of life can mask shallow materialism. In this case, when her sister’s wedding is postponed owing to her fiance’s near fatal injury, Charlotte’s concern is that ‘I had the mortification of finding that I had been Roasting, Broiling and Stewing both the Meat and Myself to no purpose.’…” END QUOTE FROM MANDAL

I had to stop a minute to ask myself what Mandal thought was so obviously apposite about the surname “Lutterall” that he didn’t feel the need to explain-- and then I (think I) got the joke --- Goethe’s Charlotte loves to butter all the bread she can find, so Austen’s Charlotte, with her obsession with food preparations a parody of Goethe’s Charlotte and her butter, would have the rhyming name of Lutter-all!

Thackeray’s satirical poem, by the way, went like this:
“Sorrows of Werther”
Werther had a love for CHARLOTTE Such as words could never utter;
Would you know how first he met her? She was cutting bread and butter.
CHARLOTTE was a married lady, And a moral man was Werther,
And for all the wealth of Indies, Would do nothing for to hurt her.
So he sighed and pined and ogled, And his passion boiled and bubbled,
Till he blew his silly brains out, And no more was by it troubled.
CHARLOTTE, having seen his body Borne before her on a shutter,
Like a well-conducted person, Went on cutting bread and butter.

And finally, as if we needed it, there’s another Charlotte in the mix, based on what Richard Friedenthal in Goethe: His Life and Times (1963) at p. 113, writes about both of Goethe’s Charlottes –the one from his real life,  and the one he created in Werther:
“Lotte [Von Stein] is a pretty, healthy girl, a ‘desirable creature’, as Goethe calls her, one of those ‘who, even if they do not arouse violent passions, are intended to create a good general impression.’ Above all, she is already pledged, and this is an important safeguard for the young Goethe, as indeed it is for the older Goethe as well. He feels relaxed in her company. And how she [Werter’s Charlotte] mothers that army of children! She cuts their bread and butter for them, and Lotte cutting bread for the children is to become the most famous figure in the most famous novel of the day, celebrated in engravings, and dearer far to sentimental readers than Werther’s questionable end, with its pistols and suicide….”

So, what a wonderful matrix of Charlottes! But, alas, Diane, I can’t find any evidence that anyone in this matrix of allusion actually picked up on the old saying (per Wikipedia, it dates back to 16th century Italy) about “knowing which side one’s bread is buttered on” – although, I can’t think of a more perfect example of that sort of thinking than we find in Charlotte Lucas’s shrewd, pragmatic calculations:   “In her kind schemes for Elizabeth, she sometimes planned her marrying Colonel Fitzwilliam. He was beyond comparison the most pleasant man; he certainly admired her, and his situation in life was most eligible; but, to counterbalance these advantages, Mr. Darcy had considerable patronage in the church, and his cousin could have none at all.”

Diane Reynolds then replied to Ellen: “It's interesting too that Charlotte, George III's wife, was, if I remember correctly, partly black: a nice nod to multi-culturalism if the current royals named their daughter Charlotte for that reason.”

Yes indeed, that sounds quite plausible and commendable. And, if we go back two centuries from today’s royals, I also wonder whether JA herself might’ve had her Queen’s biraciality in mind as well – Charlotte Heywood is, after all, the heroine of the novel which has Austen’s one explicitly biracial character:

“Of these three [students], & indeed of all, Miss Lambe was beyond comparison the most important & precious, as she paid in proportion to her fortune. ‐ She was about 17, halfmulatto, chilly & tender, had a maid of her own, was to have the best room in the Lodgings, & was always of the first consequence in every plan of Mrs. Griffiths…”

And guess what! That connection led me to be the first to recognize the final Goethe allusion by Jane Austen. While we hear in passing about bread and butter twice in Austen’s completed novels (Miss Bates’s report of how little of it Jane ate, and Fanny’s disgust at its greasiness chez Price at Portsmouth), wouldn’t you know that the Sanditon fragment, with its heroine named Charlotte, just happens to also be the only Austen novel in which the buttering of bread actually takes center stage –it memorably occurs in a scene of exquisite “dry” comedy, observed with great amusement by Charlotte:

“[Arthur Parker] was evidently certainly very happy to turn the conversation on dry Toast, & hear no more from of his Sisters.
‘I hope you will eat some of this Toast’, said he, ‘I reckon myself a very good Toaster; I never burn my Toasts. I never put them too near the Fire at first; & yet, you see, there is not a Corner but what is well browned. I hope you like dry Toast.’
‘With a reasonable quantity of Butter spread over it, very much’ said Charlotte ‘but not otherwise.’
‘No more do I’ said he very much obliged exceedingly pleased. ‘We think quite alike upon that subject. there. So far from dry Toast being wholesome, I think it is a very bad thing for the Stomach. Without a little butter to soften it, it hurts the Coats of the Stomach.’
‘I am sure it does.’
‘I will have the pleasure of spreading some for you directly & afterwards I will spread some for myself. Very bad indeed for the Coats of the Stomach; but there is no convincing some people. It irritates & acts like a nutmeg grater.’
It was rather amusing to see. He could not get the command of the Butter Glass however, without a struggle; His Sisters accused accusing him of eating a great deal too much, & declaring he was not to be trusted; and he maintaining that he only eat enough to secure the Coats of his Stomach; & besides, he only wanted it now for Miss Heywood. Such a plea must prevail, he got the butter & spread away for her with an accuracy of Judgement which at least delighted himself; but when that her Toast was done, & he took his own Toast in hand, Charlotte could hardly contain himself herself as she saw him watching his Sisters, while he scrupulously scraped off almost as much butter as he put on, & then seize an odd moment for adding a great dab just before it went into his Mouth.”

I feel safe in saying that the above scene involving Charlotte Heywood’s amusement at being lectured about the proper manner to butter (toasted) bread, written by JA at the age of 41, is the bookend to Charlotte Lutterall whining about the wasted wedding food, written by JA at the age of about 15!

And with the parting observation that the hyper-sensibilious Sir Edward Denham in Sanditon is surely also a major Werther wannabe, I hope you'll agree that we now can see that Jane Austen's interest in Goethe never waned during the nearly 3 decades of her writing life!

Cheers, ARNIE

@JaneAustenCode on Twitter  

Friday, December 23, 2016

Mrs. Norris “is also very HARDY” herself”: Another clue as to why she “always kept a bed for a friend”!

This post is both a correction and an updating of my 04/17/14 post…
…on the topic of Mrs. Norris’s strong rejection of sister Lady Bertram’s suggestion that niece Fanny move in with Mrs. Norris. Specifically, in that post a few years ago, I wrote about the hidden, riddling, meaning behind Mrs. Norris’s repeated insistence on her need to always keep “a bed for a friend” at her snug new accommodations at the White House on the Mansfield Park estate, as an excuse for her not acceding to her sister Lady Bertram’s suggestion.

In that earlier post, I suggested that Mrs. Norris was a lesbian, who wasted no time, upon her husband Mr. Norris happening to “pop off” (to use Tom Bertram’s quaint –and ultimately prophetic--phrase about Dr. Grant’s likely short tenure as Mr. Norris’s successor), to move into Sir Thomas’s snug cottage, called “the White House”, in Mansfield’s nearby village, where she’d have privacy to pursue her preferred lifestyle.

And that interpretation was trebly interesting, because it directly connects to the lesbian interpretation first presented by Patricia Rozema in the controversial scene in her 1999 film adaptation of Mansfield Park when Mary Crawford welcomes the rain-drenched Fanny into the parsonage (scroll halfway through the video clip):  And, in turn, I and Aintzain Legaretta-Mentxaca have both extended Rozema’s implicit interpretation with our own, each presenting additional textual evidence --- see my 2013 post here  ---  that such lesbian subtext was fully intentional on Jane Austen’s part, reflecting that Mary was actually in love with Fanny all along, not with Edmund!

With that background, I wish to now acknowledge that in my above-linked April 2014 post, I was under  a mistaken belief that the following sexually suggestive exchange between Mrs. Norris and Lady Bertram had appeared in the 1814 first edition of Mansfield Park, but had then been deleted in the 1816 edition:

["Dear Lady Bertram! what am I fit for but solitude? Now and then I shall hope to have a friend in my little cottage (I shall always have a bed for a friend); but the most part of my future days will be spent in utter seclusion. If I can but make both ends meet, that's all I ask for."
"I hope, sister, things are not so very bad with you neither, considering Sir Thomas says you will have six hundred a-year." ]

In fact, the above exchange was not deleted in the 1816 edition --- nor, for that matter, was it deleted in any of the later 19th century editions of MP. It turns out that it was only deleted (apparently as a simple transcription error) in the modern Project Gutenberg version which I’ve been using for years because it’s so convenient for word searching during my research:   So, I retract my assertion in that earlier post that such passage was deleted in order to reduce the chance that a contemporary reader would notice Jane Austen’s broad hint at Mrs. Norris’s “unspeakable” alternative sexual preference. But I otherwise 100% stand by my interpretation as to JA’s intended covert meaning.

And….as it happens, by serendipity, today I’ve happened upon not one, not two, but three fresh textual clues in the text of MP, which do collectively support my claim that Mrs. Norris was a lesbian.

Lady Bertram’s and Mr. Rushworth’s parallel ‘considering’s’:

First, I learned about the following, at first seemingly trivial, emendation that did occur between the 1814 and 1816 editions of MP, in that very same scene in Chapter 3 which I was already focused on. Can you spot the difference between the two?:

1814 version:  "I hope, sister, things are not so very bad with you neither --- considering. Sir Thomas says you will have six hundred a-year."

1816 version: "I hope, sister, things are not so very bad with you neither, considering Sir Thomas says you will have six hundred a-year."

In the 1814 version, there are two sentences; in the 1816, they are combined into one. So what, you ask?

John Wiltshire, in his 2005 edition of MP, observed: “[T]hough the 1816 text does make sense, the 1814 reading is more probably correct. Later there is a parallel use by Mr Rushworth when he speaks of Crawford as 'gentleman-like, considering' [Chapter 19].”   However, Wiltshire expressed no opinion as to whether the 1816 emendation changed the meaning of Lady Bertram’s comment. I believe it did, most emphatically so, and I’ll now explain why I’m so sure.

First, here is that latter passage with a dangling “considering”, which I believe Wiltshire was spot-on in bringing forward as a parallel to aid in choosing between the 1814 and 1816 versions of Lady B’s “considering”:

“[Sir Thomas] tranquilly said, “Mr. and Miss Crawford were mentioned in my last letters from Mansfield. Do you find them agreeable acquaintance?”
Tom was the only one at all ready with an answer, but he being entirely without particular regard for either, without jealousy either in love or acting, could speak very handsomely of both. “Mr. Crawford was a most pleasant, gentleman-like man; his sister a sweet, pretty, elegant, lively girl.”
Mr. Rushworth could be silent no longer. “I do not say he is not gentleman-like, considering; but you should tell your father he is not above five feet eight, or he will be expecting a well-looking man.”
Sir Thomas did not quite understand this, and looked with some surprise at the speaker.”

What exactly does Mr. Rushworth mean when he blurts out, in apparent anger, the word “considering”? I suggest that it has nothing to do with Mr. Crawford’s height – that semicolon after “considering” is like the dash after “considering” in the 1814 version of Lady Bertram’s speech. It’s a pause, interrupting what he was going to blurt out, before he caught himself, and then quickly came up with a safe, plausible, but insincere alternative ---that Henry is too short to be “gentleman-like”.

But I suggest that what Mr. Rushworth was about to blurt out had everything to do with the way that Henry Crawford’s appearance is described by the sly narrator of MP when Henry makes his initial entrance into the action of the novel:

“[Mary’s] brother was not handsome: no, when they first saw him he was absolutely plain, black and plain; but still he was the gentleman, with a pleasing address. The second meeting proved him not so very plain: he was plain, to be sure, but then he had so much countenance, and his teeth were so good, and he was so well made, that one soon forgot he was plain; and after a third interview, after dining in company with him at the Parsonage, he was no longer allowed to be called so by anybody. He was, in fact, the most agreeable young man the sisters had ever known, and they were equally delighted with him.”

Several years ago, I first suggested that “black and plain” was not a reference to Henry’s having black hair or generally unpleasing feature-- no, it pointed instead to his very dark skin color and to his African features, such as, e.g., a broad nose. I.e., the negative initial appraisal of Henry’s looks by the collective of white eyes at Mansfield Park—the opulent English estate financed by a slave plantation in Antigua—was nothing less than a veiled racist slur on Henry’s no less than half African descent – Henry is a Creole, a group with which we know very well that Austen’s England was replete.

And so, if Mr. Rushworth’s “considering” was a racist innuendo, I believe Lady Bertram’s hanging “considering” was, analogously, homophobic. I.e., she’s broadly hinting to her sister that “considering” Mrs. Norris was not heterosexual, she ought to stop complaining about the expiration of a husband which also meant the expiration of Mrs. Norris’s noxious conjugal duties, and the simultaneous opening up of new, more desirable sexual vistas for her sister going forward! That’s rich satire, isn’t it? Black humor (so to speak) at its blackest!

And by the way, in passing, I will note that there are two other “considering” usages in MP which also tantalizingly point to undisclosed concerns, which warrant further exploration in future posts:

Edmund to Tom re putting on Lovers Vows in Sir Thomas’s absence:
“It would shew great want of feeling on my father’s account, absent as he is, and in some degree of constant danger; and it would be imprudent, I think, with regard to Maria, whose situation is a very delicate one, considering everything, extremely delicate.”
“Considering everything”?  Considering, e.g., not only that Maria is engaged to marry Mr. Rushworth, but also that Maria is, shall we say, in “a very, extremely DELICATE” physical condition? Hmmm…

Mrs. Norris to Edmund re Fanny’s initial refusal to act in Lovers Vows:
“I am not going to urge her,” replied Mrs. Norris sharply; “but I shall think her a very obstinate, ungrateful girl, if she does not do what her aunt and cousins wish her—very ungrateful, indeed, considering who and what she is.”
“considering who and what she is”? Is this about more than Fanny being a poor relation? I believe it is also about Fanny parentage, which may account for why she in particular was selected to be plucked from Portsmouth to Mansfield Park….

And there I’ll leave off considering the “considerings” of Mansfield Park, and move on to Clue #2.

“The first event of any importance”

In light of the previous section of this post, now we can read the opening sentence of that same Chapter 3 with new eyes, as a huge clue pointing toward Lady Bertram’s “considering”: 

“The first event of any importance in the family was the death of Mr. Norris, which happened when Fanny was about fifteen, and necessarily introduced alterations and novelties. Mrs. Norris on quitting the parsonage, removed first to the park, and afterwards to a small house of Sir Thomas's in the village, and consoled herself for the loss of her husband by, considering that she could do very well without him…”

Beneath the wittily comic absurdity of the narrator’s comment that no event of any importance occurred in the large Bertram family for the previous seven years, Jane Austen has actually hidden in plain sight the fact that Mr. Norris’s death was an earthshaking event in Mrs. Norris’s life, not because of any reduction in income, but because of the increase in the intangible quality of the remainder of her life, which can now be lived free of the burden of a marriage she never wished for, but had to endure.

And now, that brings me to the serendipity which led me to revisit all of the above, Clue #3.  

“Kiss me, Hardy”: Nelson’s rearly vice?

Yesterday, a Janeite Facebook Friend, Alison Streight, made a passing comment which directed me to an anecdote of Regency Era naval history I’d previously been unaware of, because I missed the mention of it in the closing plenary speech (entitled “ ‘Rears and Vices’: The Georgian Royal Navy”) at the 2014 JASNA AGM in Montreal, delivered by Patrick Stokes, the former chairman of the English Jane Austen Society. That anecdote is summarized here:

“Nelson, England's greatest naval hero, died at the Battle of Trafalgar, 21st October 1805. He was hit by a musket ball, fired from a French ship, at about 1.15pm and died below decks at about 4.30pm. His body was preserved in a barrel of brandy. The details are relevant in attempting to authenticate whether Nelson ever spoke those words. The best argument in support of it being authentic is the fact that the events surrounding Nelson's death were witnessed by several people at close quarters, all of whom would have had intense interest in it. There are at least three eye-witness accounts recording that Nelson asked Hardy to kiss him. The precise words said aren't recorded verbatim, but "kiss me Hardy" can't have differed in any material way from reality. The witnesses, William Beatty, Chaplain Alexander Scott and Walter Burke are shown in Arthur Devis's painting Death of Nelson. As a consequence of Nelson's importance as a historical and heroic figure, there are many Death of Nelson paintings. Devis had the advantage over other painters of being present on the Victory for the event though and we can be assured that his painting is an accurate representation of Nelson's death.
According to the contemporary accounts, Nelson last words were: "Take care of my dear Lady Hamilton, Hardy, take care of poor Lady Hamilton". He paused then said very faintly, "Kiss me, Hardy". This, Hardy did, on the cheek. Nelson then said, "Now I am satisfied. Thank God I have done my duty".
The later story that Nelson's last words were "Kismet [fate] Hardy", aren't supported by any contemporary evidence. In fact, 'kismet' isn't recorded as being in use in English to mean fate until as late as 1830, a quarter of a century after Nelson died.That euphemistic version of events is thought to be a later invention that attempted to avoid embarrassment by covering up the supposed homo-erotic imagery of men kissing. That was misguided in more ways than one, not least because platonic kisses between men at times of great emotion weren't viewed in the way in 19th century England.”

It turns out that “Sir Thomas” Hardy was a pretty well known fellow in JA’s day:,_1st_Baronet  And, given that Jane Austen was the creator of Mary Crawford who (in)famously punned on “rears and vices” (as to which I am steadfast in claiming that Mary was altruistically sending a coded warning of William being in danger from her uncle the Admiral, a message Fanny, alas, didn’t understand), it’s no stretch of the imagination to suspect that Jane Austen, sister of two sailors, was aware of that well-known, salty anecdote about the final moments of England’s greatest naval war hero.

Based on much prior experience, I suspected that if JA knew about Nelson’s request that Hardy kiss him, she’d somehow work it into Mansfield Park somewhere, in some punny way. And sure enough, when I searched the word “hardy”, it popped up only twice in all six novels combined, therefore very rarely: once in Emma, describing John Knightley’s aspirations for his sons; and the other (where else?) in Chapter 32 of Mansfield Park, in Sir Thomas’s rationalizations for why Mrs. Norris (who else?) never allowed Fanny to have a fire in winter in her attic:

 “Your aunt Norris has always been an advocate, and very judiciously, for young people’s being brought up without unnecessary indulgences; but there should be moderation in everything. She is also very HARDY herself, which of course will influence her in her opinion of the wants of others.” 

“She is also very HARDY herself”? I.e., Mrs. Norris is similar to Nelson’s Hardy? Given all that I’ve written about, above, I’d say that was a “considerable” probability, Sir Thomas!

Cheers, ARNIE

@JaneAustenCode on Twitter

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The surprising presence of Charlotte Smith’s Emmeline in the subtext of Austen’s Sense&Sensibility

Last week, in my latest quiz, I presented a series of quotes from a work of literature which I did not identify, but which I suggested were connected in a subtextual and significant manner to one of Austen’s novels in particular.

Today I’m back to give you the answer, which my Subject Line has already revealed – Charlotte Smith’s first novel, Emmeline, published in 1788 when Jane Austen was not quite 13 years old ---and the Austen novel which is rich in significant connection to Emmeline is Austen’s first, Sense & Sensibility, published 23 years after Smith’s debut, in 1811. In particular, certain characters and events in Emmeline shine a bright allusive light on certain events I previously determined had occurred in Sense & Sensibility.

Without further ado, here are the passages from Emmeline which I quoted, and, in each case, the detail on the allusive usage made thereof by Jane Austen:

#1: “Fitz-Edward, who was about five years older than Delamere, concealed, under the appearance of candour and nonchalance, the libertinism of his character. He had entered very young into the army; the younger son of an Irish peer; and had contracted his loose morals by being thrown too early into the world; for his heart was not originally bad. With a very handsome person, he had the most insinuating manners, and an address so truly that of a man of fashion, as immediately prejudiced in his favour those by whom he wished to be thought well of. Where he desired to please, he seldom failed of pleasing extremely; and his conversation was, in the general commerce of the world, elegant and attractive.”
#1 EXPLANATION: Fitz-Edward is a secondary source, along with his best bud, Delamere, for the pleasing, insinuating manners of Willoughby in S&S.

 #2: “Fitz-Edward insisted on his being blooded and put to bed; and then went to the apothecary of the village near which the accident happened, and procuring a phial of laudanum, infused it into the wine and water which Delamere drank, and by that artifice obtained for him the repose he otherwise would not have been prevailed on to take. After having slept several hours, he desired to pursue his journey in a post chaise…”
 #2 EXPLANATION: Fitz-Edward’s strategic spiking of Delamere’s wine with laudanum, in order to put the latter out of commission for hours of deep sleep, points directly to Mrs. Jennings’s spiking of Elinor Dashwood’s wine that I described a few weeks ago here: “Wineglass full of SOMETHING: Mrs Jennings’ Constantia wine a roofie for Elinor in S&S”

#3: “Yet I had no intention of terrifying you, or of abruptly rushing into the presence of Adelina. It is true, that for some nights past I have walked under the window where she and my child sleep: for I could not sleep; and it was a sort of melancholy enjoyment to me to be near the spot which held all I have dear on earth. As I pass at the ale house where I lodge as a person hiding in this island from the pursuit of creditors, my desire of concealment did not appear extraordinary. I have often lingered among the rocks and copses, and seen Adelina and my child with you. Last night I came out in the dusk, and was approaching, to conceal myself near the house, in hopes, that as you love walking late, and alone, I might have found an opportunity of speaking to you, and of concerting with you the means of introducing myself to her without too great an alarm.”
#3 EXPLANATION: The above is Delamere’s explanation as to how he obsessively stalked Adelina, exactly the way I described Willoughby stalking Marianne a few weeks ago here: “Why Austen’s Willoughby stops at MARLBOROUGH on his way to CLEVELAND in S&S”

#4: “…my father, who had been in a declining state of health ever since his second marriage, appeared to grow worse as the period of separation approached. He seemed to have waited only for this beloved son to close his eyes; for a few days before he was again to take leave, my father found his end very rapidly approaching. Perfectly conscious of it, he settled all his affairs; and made a provision for me and my brother William out of the money of the present Lady Westhaven, which the marriage articles gave him a right to dispose of after her Ladyship's death if he left no children by her; and recommended us both to his eldest son.’
'"You will act nobly by our dear William," said he; "I have no doubt of it; but above all, remember my poor Adelina. Camilla is happily married. Tell her I die blessing her, and her children! But Adelina—my unfortunate Adelina is herself but a child, and her husband is very young and thoughtless. Watch over her honour and her repose, for the sake of your father and that dear woman she so much resembles, your sainted mother."
#4 EXPLANATION: Of course, that passage is echoed by the famous deathbed scene described at the start of S&S, as further explained here: “The 2 deathbed utterances of Austen’s Sense&Sensibility: Mssrs Dashwood…& Jennings?”

#5: “She felt a pensive pleasure in retracing the lonely rambles she used to take at the same season at Mowbray Castle; and memory bringing before her the events of the two years and an half which had elapsed since she left it, offered nothing that did not renew her regret". 
EXPLANATION #5: There we have Smith’s Emmeline as a source for Marianne Dashwood’s nostalgia about her lonely outdoor rambles. 

#6: Notwithstanding the steadiness Emmeline had hitherto shewn in rejecting the clandestine addresses of Delamere, he still hoped they would succeed. A degree of vanity, pardonable in a young man possessing so many advantages of person and fortune, made him trust to those advantages, and to his unwearied assiduity, to conquer her reluctance. He determined therefore to persevere; and did not imagine it was likely he could again lose sight of her by a stratagem, against which he was now on his guard. As he fancied Lord Montreville and his sister designed to carry her with them when they went, he kept a constant eye on their motions, and set his own servant, and Fitz-Edward's valet, to watch the servants of Lord Montreville. Fitz-Edward, who had been so near losing the confidence of both the father and son, found it expedient to observe a neutrality, which it required all his address to support; being constantly appealed to by them both.
#6 EXPLANATION: There is more of Delamere’s persistent stalking of Emmeline, which is echoed by Willoughby’s stalking of Marianne in S&S.

#7: Mrs. Ashwood seemed very much pleased with her guest; for there was in her countenance a passport to all hearts. Mrs. Ashwood, tho' not in the bloom of life, and tho' she never had been handsome, was so unconscious of her personal disadvantages, that she imagined herself the object of admiration of one sex and of the imitation of the other. With the most perfect reliance on the graces of a figure which never struck any other person as being at all remarkable, she dressed with an exuberance of expence; and kept all the company her neighbourhood afforded. Where her ruling passions, (the love of admiration and excessive vanity) did not interfere, she was sometimes generous and sometimes friendly. But her ideas of her own perfections, both of person and mind, far exceeding the truth, she had often the mortification to find that others by no means thought of them as she did; and then her good humour was far from invincible.
Though Emmeline soon found her conversation very inferior to what she had of late been accustomed to, she thought herself fortunate in having found an asylum, the mistress of which seemed desirous of making it agreeable; and to which she was introduced by the kindness of her beloved Mrs. Stafford.
#7 EXPLANATION: Of course Mrs. Ashwood sounds almost identical to Mrs. Dashwood – but the above description of her shows that Austen strongly echoed her character in Mrs. Jennings.

#8: But Emmeline no sooner appeared, than one of these gentlemen renewed his visits with more than his original assiduity. The extreme beauty of her person, and the naivetè of her manners, gave her, to him, the attractive charms of novelty; while the mystery there seemed to be about her, piqued his curiosity. It was known that she was related to a noble family; but Mrs. Ashwood had been so earnestly entreated to conceal as much as possible her real history, lest Delamere should hear of and discover her, that she only told it to a few friends, and it had not yet reached the knowledge of Mr. Rochely, who had become the attendant of Mrs. Ashwood's tea table from the first introduction of EmmelineMr. Rochely was nearer fifty than forty. His person, heavy and badly proportioned, was not relieved by his countenance, which was dull and ill-formed. His voice, monotonous and guttural, was fatiguing to the ear; and the singularity of his manners, as well as the oddness of his figure, often excited a degree of ridicule, which the respect his riches demanded could not always stifle.
With a person so ill calculated to inspire affection, he was very desirous of being a favourite with the ladies; and extremely sensible of their attractions. In the inferior ranks of life, his money had procured him many conquests, tho' he was by no means lavish of it; and much of the early part of his time had been passed in low amours; which did not, however, impede his progress to the great wealth he possessed. He had always intended to marry: but as he required many qualifications in a wife which are hardly ever united, he had hesitated till he had long been looked upon as an old bachelor. He was determined to chuse beauty, but expected also fortune. He desired to marry a woman of family, yet feared the expensive turn of those brought up in high life; and had a great veneration for wit and accomplishments, but dreaded, lest in marrying a woman who possessed them, he should be liable to be governed by superior abilities, or be despised for the mediocrity of his own understanding.
With such ideas, his relations saw him perpetually pursuing some matrimonial project; but so easily frightened from his pursuit, that they relied on his succession with the most perfect confidence. When first he beheld Emmeline, he was charmed with her person; her conversation, at once innocent and lively, impressed him with the most favourable ideas of her heart and understanding….”
#8 EXPLANATION: No Janeite can read the above passage without instantly thinking of Colonel Brandon’s instant attraction to Marianne.

What does this all mean? In a nutshell, it should come as no surprise to any Austen scholar that Emmeline was on Jane Austen’s radar screen in a big way– she famously explicitly alluded to Delamere at three points in her Juvenilia, two of them in her History of England, written by her only a few years after Emmeline was published. But I can tell you that there has been practically no prior scholarship that has identified Emmeline as a source for S&S, let alone a key source, that makes is echoed so many times in both the overt and the shadow story of S&S, as I have outlined, above.

Finally, and most important, I believe that the character Adelina in Emmeline, who undergoes a secret pregnancy and then gives her infant away to her close relation, is very much the literary “ancestor” of all of Jane Austen’s secondary heroines who undergo that same experience, especially Marianne Dashwood!

Cheers, ARNIE

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