- Dec 2018
fortnight (noun): a period of two weeks; 14 days.
remained equally useless.
Mr. and Mrs. Parker's relationship, though amiable, finds its main flaw in that there is no challenge of each other's shortcomings. There is a recurring theme in Austen's novels (like Pride and Prejudice & Persuasion) in which the couple must realize something/ learn a lesson. But to truly achieve that happy ending, instead of simply recognizing these faults, the couple must encourage one another to better themselves by working to overcome their personal weaknesses. In this case, Mr. Parker's weakness is his that his sense of reality is lacking, whereas Mrs. Parker's flaw is mainly derived from her inability to inhibit/ discourage this quality in him.
Clara Brereton bares a striking resemblance to Jane Fairfax from Emma. This similarity is exhibited through their mutual reserve as well as their current situations. Both Clara and Jane are dependent on family members and may become governesses if they are not married. Additionally, they also have similar love stories in that both their love interests publicly show affection for the other prominent female character in the novel despite their own clandestine relationship.
Chapter three introduces some of the novel’s main characters, yet these introductions are executed primarily from Mr. Parker’s perspective. Many of Sanditon’s characters mirror characters from Austen’s other novels; consequently, identifying and analyzing these differences allow us to predict the paths their respective narratives may take based on Austen’s treatment of similar characters in past novels.
Austen begins this chapter with Mr. Parker’s unnecessarily comprehensive introduction of Lady Denham. Mr. Parker incessantly lauds Lady Denham for myriad favorable qualities (Lady Denham was indeed a great lady beyond the common wants of society,” “with a spirit truly admirable”), therefore Charlotte anticipates meeting such a woman. The same can be said about Mr. Parker’s detailing of Sir Edward’s person, describing him as “a warm friend to Sanditon,” whose “hand would be as liberal as his heart.”
However, upon further interaction with both Lady Denham and Sir Edward, Charlotte decides otherwise. The disparity between Mr. Parker’s description and Charlotte’s own impressions resurrects the theme of first impressions. This theme is most notably found in Pride and Prejudice, in which the characters assiduously travail to either confirm or dispell their initial impressions of others. Therefore, in Sanditon it is likely that characters like Charlotte will tackle a similar task and spend a large portion of the novel crafting and refining these impressions, ultimately recognizing those who are “good” or “bad.”
Returning to the characters, Lady Denham most similarly resembles Lady Catherine de Bourgh from Pride and Prejudice in that they are both wealthy widows with attachments to dependent young women in the marriage market (Clara Brereton and Anne de Bourgh). In Pride and Prejudice, Catherine de Bourgh works to secure her daughter’s engagement to Darcy; in taking Clara under her wing, it is appropriate to suppose that Lady Denham intends to also affix an advantageous marriage providing Clara both a husband and a fortune.
Sir Edward seems to be a combination of Frank Churchill from Emma and Mr. Eliot from Persuasion. Later in the novel his self-important nature is revealed, causing our heroine to shift her initial impressions about him as well. Sir Edward’s resemblance to Frank Churchill is primarily derived from his clandestine relationship with Clara Brereton, who bears a conspicuous resemblance to Emma’s Jane Fairfax. Like Frank, Sir Edward flirts not with his eventual partner, but rather with the other prominent female character in the novel. Consequently, it would be appropriate to assume Sir Edward would continue these advances, yet Sanditon would differ from Emma’s narrative because Charlotte would be cognizant of Sir Edward’s intentions. Additionally, it would be suitable to presume Sir Edward would end up with Clara based on the trajectory of Jane’s and Frank’s relationship. Mr. Parker brings up an interesting point in supposing a potential rivalry between Sir Edward and Clara for the inheritance. This is ~kinda~ reminiscent of Persuasion in the way that Mr. Elliot travails to secure Kellynch/ the fortune by marrying one of the Elliot daughters.
Clara’s resemblance to Jane Fairfax from Emma is one of the most noticeable similarities. The similarities between Clara and Jane surpass their comparable reserve and amiability. Both Clara and Jane found themselves in dependent positions, under Lady Denham and Miss Bates respectively. As I have said earlier, it is likely Clara’s conclusion would parallel Jane’s in that she marries her secret suitor.
Lastly, though Charlotte was introduced in preceding chapters, her significance remains present. Her character’s early narrative parallel’s Catherine Morland’s in Northanger Abbey as her parents allow her to leave with a family they barely know. Yet, unlike Catherine, Charlotte is more of a realist; she doesn’t subscribe to the Gothic’s drama and spectacle like Catherine. Charlotte is also compared to Emma Woodhouse in Emma because of Clara’s striking resemblance to Jane Fairfax and because of the relationship between them. However, when Charlotte first learns of Clara, unlike Emma, she isn’t so ready to hate her. In fact, she is compelled by Mr. Parker’s warm introduction of Clara and looks forward to making her acquaintance, which is why it would be irresponsible to strictly label Charlotte’s and Clara’s relationship as an Emma-Jane dynamic. Yet, it would also be unfitting to claim that it is an Emma-Harriet relation as Clara’s “poor” financial status doesn’t necessitate the mentorship Harriet received as a result of her ambiguous origins. Additionally, Charlotte’s rationality and perceptivity are incongruous with Emma’s inability to discern the clandestine affair between Jane and Frank. Because of this, throughout the remainder of Sanditon, Charlotte might be more attentive to Clara’s and Sir Edward’s relationship and would most likely be able to reveal their arrangement herself rather than finding out from someone else.
Cottage ornée or decorated cottage, dates back to a movement of "rustic" stylised cottages of the late 18th and early 19th century during the Romantic movement, when some sought to discover a more "natural" way of living as opposed to the formality of the preceding baroque and neo-classical architectural styles. via https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cottage_orn%C3%A9
For more on the origins of the cottage ornée (in the Regency era in particular): https://regencyredingote.wordpress.com/2012/03/16/cottage-orn-style/
(noun): a bishop appointed to assist a diocesan bishop, and often also designated as his successor.
A diocesan bishop, within various religious denominations, is a bishop (or archbishop) in pastoral charge of a(n arch)diocese, as opposed to a titular bishop or archbishop, whose see is only nominal, not pastoral. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diocesan_bishop