To think Marianne shouldn't have married Colonel Brandon?

(441 Posts)
squoosh Wed 21-Aug-13 23:45:32

Okay Willoughby was a cad and a bounder and took himself out of the running, but I do think that Brandon swooped in to take advantage of her rain induced fever which had left her a bit dazed and compliant.

It's a bit creepy that he falls in love with her because she reminds him of his long lost, 'fallen', dead love. Plus he's a bit intense, the laughs wouldn't be forthcoming and I'll warrant he expected her to do all kinds of dark shit in the bedroom.

Ideally she'd have had another couple of seasons in London and met lots of nice suitors or maybe even nipped across to Pride and Prejudice and married that nice Colonel Fitzwilliam.

AphraBehn Thu 22-Aug-13 00:31:04

Onthebottom I know someone exactly like Isabella Thorpe from Northanger Abbey. Jane Austen observed these types well!

Sophita Thu 22-Aug-13 00:31:11

I do think it's really interesting how your view of a book changes as you get older with it - I've just been going back to 'Persuasion' and this time it has really hit close to home because I'm now the same age as poor, lost-her-bloom, on-the-shelf Anne... no sign of my own Captain Wentworth yet, worse luck!

squoosh Thu 22-Aug-13 00:34:53

Oh how I love Persuasion. I do wince a bit at the 'lost bloom' references then frantically check my reflection and praise the lord for the Gods named Clarins, Nars and Chanel.

Sparklysilversequins Thu 22-Aug-13 00:38:52

Didn't anyone see the TV version with David Morrissey as Brandon? He was utterly scrumptious and Marianne should have thanked her lucky stars that he was into her!

Sophita Thu 22-Aug-13 00:42:23

squoosh - ha, that's true - we do have some 21st century advantages (can you imagine how much Anne's dad would have spent on crème de la mer if he'd had the chance smile )

curlew Thu 22-Aug-13 00:42:36

Merely Gowlands, my dear Squoosh, surely?

squoosh Thu 22-Aug-13 01:20:27

I wouldn't have stood a chance as a Georgian lady, only some terrifying lotion that probably melted ten layers from your face and some twigs and dust to clean my teeth.

Oh I'd have made a good match with some lucky, elderly toothless vicar!

Dominodonkey Thu 22-Aug-13 03:25:04

Totally agree about David morrissey- it was much more convincing with him as a sexy older man- especially as dough faced Dominic cooper played willoughby.

I played marianne a few years ago and my Brandon was rather old, short and lacking in looks. When I accepted his proposal on stage I actually heard someone in the audience say 'oh no! What a shame'

If 'tis a question of bint from Titanic + baddie from Die Hard, it is all right, or rather, there is an imbalance in the other direction.

Otherwise it's a horrible match for the ardent young woman, but I always thought that was Austen's point.

hackmum Thu 22-Aug-13 07:27:32

YANBU. It's always bothered me too. Colonel Brandon is much too old. And I never felt really happy about Emma marrying Mr Knightley.

Yeah, I hate the bit where Knightley says he's had his eye on he since she was thirteen.

I do like Austen's women, but her men...

LurcioLovesFrankie Thu 22-Aug-13 07:48:24

But aren't you making the mistake of assuming that Jane Austen is nothing more than a romantic novelist? My edition of P&P has a v. good foreword which points out that she's actually interested in investigating marriage in all its forms from the good to the very bad (Charlotte and Mr. collins, for instance) against a backdrop of a society where marriage is a woman's only career option, and her choices for even that limited option are almost completely constrained by her family's social standing, income and looks. Of course Marianne settles - but so would most women, and they'd have counted themselves lucky to get a Col. Brandon rather than a Mr. Collins. I know the pinkification and chick-lit-iffication of her as an author has been a recent fashion, but there's a bloody good reason she's counted as a great novelist and writers of chick list aren't

pianodoodle Thu 22-Aug-13 07:54:27

It's ages since I read the book so I can only picture Alan Rickman now (not always a bad thing)

The film makes it seem like she falls for him in the end but I don't know if the book does.

I love Dawn French's impression of Emma Thompson in The Vicar of Dibley grin

RooRooTaToot Thu 22-Aug-13 08:09:15

IMO you are not meant to feel entirely satisfied with Brandon and Marianne. The way she had carried on with Willoughby in public, combined with her poverty, meant that she couldn't be rewarded for it.

Austen was kind to her, but first Marianne had to 'die' and be reborn as a different kind of person to make her deserving of Brandon.

Marianne could have ended up like her other characters who were immodest - left living with Mrs Norris, so shackled to an irresponsible feckless husband who gambles, whores and looks at her eventually with indifference.

Brandon was given a chance to save her, the way he couldn't save his ward, in the only way that he could.

RooRooTaToot Thu 22-Aug-13 08:13:51

* or shackled, not 'so'

Mitzyme Thu 22-Aug-13 08:26:49

I'm re-reading works of JA on Kindle, not quite the same as a book, but that might just be me. Dam kids bought me one so I have to use it.
I agree JA's men leave somewhat to be desired but they didn't have to try did they. They had the money, lands, someone always matchmaking on their behalf.
Ah but Knightly. I'd do him. In a very JA kind of way of course.

I don't think Austen can claim to be a truly great novelist. She's not up there in depth and realism with, say, George Eliot- but then, who is? But I digress...

I agree that we are supposed to feel saddened at the marriage of Marianne and Brandon. Like Dobbin and Amelia in Thackeray's "Vanity Fair"... they are both worthy enough people, but it's not love's young dream. For Dobbin, it all came too late. Sigh.

19th century novels are the bestest.

I've read Emma Thompson's filming diary. She did worry she was too old.
Also the sobbing bit - she drew on what happened to her when her father died nd she had to go to the bank to sort stuff out and completely broke down. So if it looks 'real' - it is basically. Very Stanislavski.

hackmum Thu 22-Aug-13 08:53:58

Oh, Austen is undoubtedly a great novelist, imho. FR Leavis (and I know his opinion doesn't count for much these days) named her as one of the five great English language novelists. The really striking thing about her is that she is so very different from the novelists before her - she paved the way for people like Eliot. It still seems amazing to me that she achieved all that without any formal education, without mixing with other writers, without really having any support at all. She was a rare instance of someone who is just naturally brilliant.

GrandstandingBlueTit Thu 22-Aug-13 08:59:50

Austen is a great novelist.

Her use of the English language, and her dialogue, is incredible. Her characterisation is fabulous and her social observations are brilliant.

There's more than one way to be a great writer, but if you ask me, mastery of the language is right up there as a defining aspect.

RooRooTaToot Thu 22-Aug-13 09:03:39

I recommend Frances Burney's Evelina. She was one of Austen's influences. Wonderful epistle novel. There is even a cad called Willoughby and Lord Orville has a lot of Darcy qualities. You can see where Austen got some of her inspiration for Northanger Abbey as well.

biryani Thu 22-Aug-13 09:08:30

Agree Austen is very much not a romantic novelist. I think the point of her novels is not the great romantic ending, but the compromises women had to make in order to survive financially. So Marianne makes do with Brandon.

Austen's obervations are pointed and often cruel in her letters, although many were destroyed, perhaps by her relatives to preserve her reputation.

soverylucky Thu 22-Aug-13 09:10:55

I do get what you mean but I always feel that Marianne grew to love Col. Brandon - like she grew up and realised that true long lasting love is based on much more that what she had with Willoughby.

thebody Thu 22-Aug-13 09:25:52

love Austen but don't like her heroines. Marianne narcissistic, Eleanor dull, Emma smug, Anne Goody goody, Fanny mental to pass up sexy Henry for dull as ditch water Edmund and Elizabeth and Jane Bennett boring, and to good to be true.

I think other characters are more real, Lydia Bennett, Charlotte Lucas, Harriet Smith, Mary Crawford, Maria Lucas.

it's the sex though. as soon as the sexuals are done out of wedlock then its curtains and ruin which I suppose was pretty much right for the time.

my favourite is Charlotte Lucas who I think somehow murders Mr Collins and lives to a grand old age happy and content in not having to ever again please a man.

springytoofs Thu 22-Aug-13 09:46:15

Marianne narcissistic, my foot. She's young, headstrong and true, which is why her more cautious sister values her so dearly. But she, Marianne, has to be bitten by the realities of life to be truly 'proved' - and a bit more like her sensible sibling. Then she realises the important things in life eg someone also true, and good, ie C Brandon.

I should imagine JA sold all the young women up the swanny at the time, with all that marrying a good and true rich man. A bit like the Jackie mag of that day.

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