I've just finished reading the last two chapters, within the around noon, and here are more thoughts:
- It occured to me, when I woke this morning, anticipating the final chapters, that the whole novel is structured just like a murder mystery. There's no murder, and no dectective, guiding you along in the search for clues. But when you get to the climatic scene, when the Truth is Finally Revealed, there's the same feeling you get from: "What do you mean it was the librarian?" And then you go back in your mind, and reexamine all the little clues that have been dropped along the way, and think: "Ah, yes! Now I see how it all fits!"
And then, as I was reading the final chapters, that feeling was confirmed to the level of trufax. Austen even includes the equivalent of the dectective calling everyone into the drawing room, and explaining how he'd solved the mystery.
- Words that made LOLs: "She had promised to be with the Musgroves from breakfast to dinner. Her faith was plighted, and Mr Elliot's character, like the Sultaness Scheherazade's head, must live another day."
- I loved how Austen wrote the scene in the Musgroves' apartment. It's a masterful use of the subjective viewpoint character, without resorting to the Omniscient Author Voice.
- I love how Anne is aware of how Captain Wentworth is watching her, and how they both overhear a key part of a key conversation at the same time, and their eyes meet. Pardon the overuse of the word "key," but: that's key. That's where they both recognize and acknowledge their history -- while they're in the same room.
- And, a bit later, Wentworth dropping his pen, revealing he's as much as eavesdropper as she is -- that was just shiny (especially since Anne correctly suspects the reason for the pen being dropped).
- For some reason, the screen adaptor,
Andrew DaviesSimon Burke (oops!), saw fit to cut this scene entirely, and almost does the same to Captain Wentworth's friendship with the Harvilles. And instead of this:
She had only time, however, to move closer to the table where he had been writing, when footsteps were heard returning; the door opened, it was himself. He begged their pardon, but he had forgotten his gloves, and instantly crossing the room to the writing table, he drew out a letter from under the scattered paper, placed it before Anne with eyes of glowing entreaty fixed on her for a time, and hastily collecting his gloves, was again out of the room, almost before Mrs Musgrove was aware of his being in it: the work of an instant!
The letter, with a direction hardly legible, to "Miss A. E.--," was evidently the one which he had been folding so hastily. While supposed to be writing only to Captain Benwick, he had been also addressing her! [...] Mrs Musgrove had little arrangements of her own at her own table; to their protection she must trust, and sinking into the chair which he had occupied, succeeding to the very spot where he had leaned and written, her eyes devoured the following words:
DaviesBurke saw fit to replace that entire party scene with the letter being handed to Anne by someone else (it may have been Harville, I honestly don't remember), as he hurries past on an appointment, in a rather rude way, with barely a "Good morning." And poor Anne is left to read the letter on the public street, standing on the sidewalk.
- No wonder I felt utterly confused and rushed by the ending of this TV version.
DaviesBurke somehow managed to cut out the majority the preceding scenes, brief as they were, where we we'd have had a chance to see Wentworth cast Miss Elliot a concerned or caring glance (especially in Lyme, after the accident, which is the moment Wentworth admits [in the novel] that he realizes his true feelings. That whole scene is focused soley on Anne, and is also cut short)-- so there were no actions in evidence to back up the words.
AndrewSimon and Russell T. brothers, by any chance (separated at birth, though some weird twist of fate)? Because rignt now, I'm thinking they're both utterly clueless when it comes to knowing which parts of the Original are Important, and Not to be Touched. ... Maybe it's a genetic deficiency, or something.
- And finally: A celebration of Grown-Up Love as being stronger and deeper than Young Love! Not just Anne and Frederick all grown up, compared to when they were young and easily swayed, but also the marriages of the Elder Musgroves, and of the Crofts, and the Harvilles. I'd like Hollywood to give us more of this, please, and also to pay a decent royalty to the writers for all their words.