Dawlish, I ask you? I nearly lost it when I read that.
Though I am no great reader of Jane Austen, having only read Pride & Prejudice before today, I would venture to say that I can understand both the positive and negative criticisms of her writing. On the one hand, Pride & Prejudice is a work well worth reading. I will not go so far as to say it was the first work of its kind, but it certainly has set the standard for a lot of romantic writings and even some not so romantic (do I detect a small amount of Mr. Darcy in Snape?)
Unlike Pride & Prejudice, there is no about face of Edward or Colonel Brandon’s characters. They are exactly what they seem to be. No, the real revelations in the story have to do with Edward’s engagement, Willoughby’s character, and the change in Marianne’s disposition.
Austen, it seems, didn’t much care for real passion. It clouds the judgement, she seems to say. We have Lydia in Pride & Prejudice – though she was silly to be sure. In this novel Marianne is the passionate one, and she is slighted by Willoughby. Perhaps what she is trying to say though is that it is better to be sensible – advice that I think is too often laid aside – especially today.