Originally Posted by fantasyfan
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:
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 didnít mind Autumn/May relationships. But really, Edmund wouldnít 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 Edmundís sudden shift from a sibling love to a romantic relationship with Fanny just doesnít 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.
Ah, my mistake!
Originally Posted by Bookpossum
I'm really enjoying these continuing discussions too.
I do agree with you, sunsurfer, about Sir Thomas' lack of consciousness of what was going on in terms of the awful Mrs Norris and Fanny. But then I think he was busy with his life and really quite remote from the day to day goings on. I certainly had the impression that he didn't have much to do with the children at all (but then, parents of that class didn't in those times I suppose) and Fanny was rather afraid of him and would have kept out of his way.
Lady Bertram was oblivious to everything that wasn't to do with her and her comfort and certainly just let things happen because she couldn't be bothered. But she did seem to be kind to Fanny in a vague way, and Fanny loved her.
At the same time, if you took Mrs Norris out of the story completely, you would lose the irritation that, as it were, makes the pearl - Fanny is strengthened by having to cope with her. It would all be rather wishy-washy I think.
You make good points about Sir Thomas and Lady Bertram, but I still can't help feeling it came off as their being a bit too oblivious, a bit forced to open the avenue for Mrs Norris' torments.
And oh, I never meant Mrs Norris should be out of the story! Responding to you and issybird, I like the character as well! She's a great villain, and her actions made me laugh quite a few times, and even though I thought she was in danger of caricature at some points, Austen does have a talent for creating characters on the verge of one-dimensional and then subtly rounding them out here and there, which she did with Mrs Norris. In my former post, I was only saying about Miss Norris that I was happy for her getting a bad ending for herself even though I thought it didn't quite fit that she would voluntarily take such a bad ending for herself.