Lit Crit was re More Than You Ever Wanted to Know and re Answers form Diana see the writings on the walls etc

Ven ven at
Thu Jun 7 19:25:57 EDT 2001

Taliking about my opinion of Mary's illness Hallie wrote

> I can actually relate to this quite well, because I spent a fairly 
> sizable chunk of my adolescence feeling that I should have lived in 
> Regency times - a JA novel, to be precise.  The understanding that, 
> suffering from very frequent headaches, extreme near-sightedness, and 
> bad teeth, I probably wouldn't have been a very happy character in 
> said novel sat quite uneasily with this desire. :)  (I *have* 
> outgrown this desire, btw.)

It's a minor hobby horse of mine that quite a lot of the Victorians 
whose illnesses appeared to their contempories as hysteria, 
hypochondria or malingering were genuinely suffering from medical 
conditions that Victorian Doctors couldn't or wouldn't identify. Look 
at Florence Nightingale, taking to her bed for decades -- obviously 
the lingering results of some nasty illness she picked up in the 
Crimea, it could even be ME or post viral fatigue syndrome even. 

> Although there's probably no point even arguing the bit about the 
> "duty visits", I can't quite let it go - maybe because I'd hate to be 
> associated with this unempathic, etc viewpoint.  :)  Mary thrives on 
> visits to Charles' parents (especially, of course, when there's extra 
> company, like Cap. W.).I've just reread this scene to be sure about 
> the details I'd remembered, and it is specifically his aunt whose 
> house she refuses to enter, choosing to sit on a rock in sight of the 
> house instead, solely because she feels these relations are beneath 
> her.  If there was any doubt as to her motivation, she tells Captain 
> W. that it is very unpleasant having such connections, and assures 
> him that she's never been in the house more than twice in her life.
> It's more flagrant snobbery than I can stomach.
Oops I've only really started remembering this scene since you and 
Becca mentioned it (no fair, you got me with a pincer movement) 
so I can't really comment. Seem to remember Melissa came up 
with an appropiate  defense for Mary so I'll hide behind her.


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