That's a really great post, Sunsurfer. You make a load of fine points. Thanks very much for sharing them.
Regarding your concluding comment perhaps this will clarify it:
Originally Posted by sun surfer
fantasyfan, you say that Edmund and Fanny were an Autumn/May type romance?!? I was under the impression they were almost the same age, with Edmund only a few years older...
Perhaps I inadvertently gave that impression, but I did not intend to do so. I was actually responding to Issybird's comment about the age differential between Knightly and Emma in that novel. In the same book we see it in the Westons. The Autumn-May thing is also in Sense and Sensibility
. But while I mentioned the point, I wasn't referring to Fanny and Edmund. Here's what I actually said in that post:
"I think that the Edmund/Fanny relationship is OK. It seems that Austen didn’t mind Autumn/May relationships. But really, Edmund wouldn’t be all that much older than Fanny--certainly not as old as Knightly in Emma
. I think the problem lies in the fact that the Crawfords just provide more interesting partners for both of them--and Edmund’s sudden shift from a sibling love to a romantic relationship with Fanny just doesn’t seem convincing."
Crawford, too. wouldn't be much older than Fanny--he was Mrs Grant's brother and an eldest son. So there isn't any Autumn-May relationship in this novel--though there may be an age difference with the Grants.