— But you will be ready to say, what was your hope in doing this? — What did you look forward to? — To any thing, every thing — to time, chance, circumstances, slow effects, sudden bursts, perserverance and weariness ... Every possibility of good was before me, and the first of blessings secured ... — from Emma, by Jane Austen (1775-1817)
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September 6, 2012

Only connect: Edith Wharton and Middlemarch

      As for Middlemarch, we must return to it & continue our discussion. I always have a sweet faiblesse for Rosamond which I suppose notes a sympathetic flaw in my own moral structure.
      As for Dorothea, what most jars upon me is her want of artistic feeling, -- a wonderful touch of character drawing, but so well drawn that it continually jars [sic] provokes me. There was no aestheric side to her nature. And indeed your enthusiasts are all narrow-minded. Will Ladislaw is charming, but somehow although a great deal is said of the passion between him & Dorothea one fails all through to feel its power. When it was so dangerous to love at all, they ought to have loved a great deal more! A continual desire on my part to throttle Mr. Brooke, Mrs. Cadwallader & Cecilia & Sir James only shows how wonderfully life-like they all are. Well goodbye to literature for the present.

-- Edith Wharton, at 16, from My Dear Governess:
the Letters of Edith Wharton to Anna Bahlmann
edited by Irene Goldman-Price

Team Middlemarch is reading Middlemarch 140 years after it was first published; Edith and Anna were reading about 6 or 7 years after. {This wonderful photo, from the same book, was taken about a year earlier.}  As for us, we must return to it & continue our discussion on October 6, but we rather like Mrs. C.  :)

1 comment:

fleurfisher said...

That is wonderful. I'm still waiting for the Wharton letters to arrive at the library, but my copy of Middlemarch is at hand.

Thank you for visiting!

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