Suspense & Sensibility (Or First Impressions Revisited)

Suspense and Sensibility (Or First Impressions Revisited) [Mr. and Mrs Darcy Mystery #2] by Carrie Bebris

So a while back I reviewed a Jane Austen mystery, Pride and Prescience (Or a Truth Universally Acknowledged).  I enjoyed  the first book, although I did solve the mystery quickly, but it was very well written and worth reading.

So while the first book focused only on Pride & Prejudice characters (and ones she made up) this one combines P&P with Sense and Sensibility.

A mashup

Sense and Sensibility actually takes place in the 1790s, twenty years before Pride and Prejudice. All the characters have been aged accordingly so they match up with the Pride and Prejudice ones. It can be a bit confusing when the characters are no longer how they were in their book.  To make it less confusing, I will give a brief reminder of the plot of Sense & Sensibility.

So the Dashwood family:

The estate of Norland belongs to Old Mr. Dashwood. When he was sick he was visited by his family and found young Henry Dashwood, John’s son, to be just so adorable that he entailed it to the men in his family. After he died Mr. Henry Dashwood, the elder, ended up dying and the estate passed over his second wife and daughters going to his son John, (which would ultimately go to his son, young Henry.)

John promised his father to help his sisters, but with an ambitious wife; that quickly ended.

John’s wife is horrible, just evil. Fanny, the demon wife, convinces John to give no money to the sisters as they really “are not his siblings”. She then rearranges the whole household and makes life unbearable for all.

John also has an incredibly bratty son, Henry:

When Fanny’s brother visits, she sees that he and Elinor like each other, but as Elinor is too poor for her soon to be wealthy brother Edward, she ends that immediately. The second Dashwood family all move from their home to renting out Barton’s Cottage, owned by Sir John Middleton, Mrs. Dashwood’s cousin.

They spend a lot of time with Sir John, as he constantly invites them over so that they can eat well, as money is extremely tight. Eventually after all kinds of twists and turns, the two eldest girls marry the men of their dreams and the story ends happily. If you haven’t read it you should.

**Spoilers**

So Mr. Darcy, Elizabeth, Georgiana, and Kitty are all heading to London for a “London Season” as they are husband hunting for Kitty. They are invited to Sir John’s where they meet him and his wife (sadly I think Mrs. Jennings the mother-in-law has passed on) and their now adult children. Also there is the young Mr. Henry Dashwood, who is now no longer a boy, but a young man in his twenties. He meets Kitty and immediately finds her to be a fantastic partner, good conversationalist, and all around enjoys her company.

Only one problem, he thought she was Georgiana Darcy.

The next day it seems as if all the men were only interested in Georgiana, not Kitty, as she is going to bring an extremely large dowry.

Except for Mr. Henry Dashwood. After he discovered his blunder, he still spent the night with Kitty and fell for her. That works perfectly with Kitty as she has fallen head over heels for him.

While everyone finds him agreeable, and Elizabeth definitely thinks that he will be a good match for Kitty; Mr. Darcy thinks of him as a fop and a dandy wanting Kitty with someone who has more brains.

He goes to talk to Henry, and discovers that his lack of business isn’t from him not caring, but from not being instructed on how to run an estate. It turns out that his parents sent him away to school immediately and he has spent hardly any time with family or at Norland. However, he is eager to learn and Darcy soon takes him under his wing.

Henry has won over the whole family, but soon Fanny arrives to meet Kitty.

Here I am!

Fanny does not like Kitty as she is too poor and would rather spear Georgiana with her impressive dowry. But Henry will not be deterred, as he invites them to his 21st birthday and proposes to Kitty.

Everything seems to be going well, until Henry finds an old strange mirror and a painting of his notorious great-great uncle Sir Francis Dashwood. Soon after Henry starts acting completely different-gambling nonstop, drinking, carousing with all women (married and single of every class). What could have happened to him to make him so much worse than his nefarious relation? Could he be possessed?

So what did I think? Did I like it?

No

I thought this book ran into a few problems and wasn’t as good as the first one.

1) Henry Dashwod was too likable.

So when you read Sense and Sensibility, you don’t like Henry. He is a total brat and completely annoying.

But in this book they made him tooo likable. This caused problems as that reading about his possession made it sad because you knew it wasn’t him, and this poor guy has lost everything.

Secondly, because he is so likable, you know that he isn’t the one doing all these horrible things and that something has caused him to have a personality shift. It wasn’t a real mystery, like in the first novel, as you weren’t sure if Caroline was hypnotized or going insane.

2) No Mystery

In the first book, Caroline starts acting weird after she was married. This makes us wonder is someone making her act this way like in Gaslight or is she actually going crazy?

Crazy eyes

Secondly, there are a multitude of suspects:

  1. Mr. Kendall– He could be trying to kill the Bingleys because of the money he feels that he has been cheated out of. He also could be trying to get rid of Caroline because of his daughter being thrown over. Remember, his daughter was with Caroline when her horse bolted.
  2. Mr. Hurst– If his debts are as extremely high as Elizabeth suspects, he might be trying to kill his relations off for money.
  3. Professor Randolph– Professor Randolph has been drifting from place to place as most don’t feel his studies are legitimate. Now that Caroline is crazy, he has room and board as the prime caretaker for Caroline. Maybe he is making her seem crazy, and could even be trying to make it look as if she set the fire, to only further cement Mr. Parrish’s need of him.
  4.  Mr. Parrish- He only married Caroline for her money and is trying to remove her from the picture. He is supposed to be extremely wealthy, but for some people what they have is never enough. Besides, he could be lying about how wealthy he is, or have hidden debt that they don’t know about.

In this however, we immediately know that Henry is being possessed as the writer gives it away in the beginning introduction and the back of the novel. Instead we are just waiting for events to unfold.

Yeah, I don’t like those kind of mysteries. That’s how Death Comes to Pemberley was (the book, not the TV miniseries. The miniseries is better.)

3) Hardly Any Elinor, Marianne, Colonel Brandon, or Edward In It

I’m sorry but I don’t know why they were missing so much in this novel. We LOVE this characters so if we are reading something to so with Sense and Sensibility we want to have then in the book. It was a crime to not have very much of them.

4) Supernatural Seems Like an Afterthought

This is a supernatural mystery (not Supernatural) but it takes a long time for the characters to reach that point and even evoke in anything. Professor Randolph is there for a second, and then the weirdest thing-the ever staunchly “realistic” Darcy decides to do battle with the demon mirror? I don’t know, it just seemed hastily thrown in, instead of carefully worked like in the previous book.

So we will see what the next book holds. Will it get better? Or worse?

There is one question though that this book presented that I think is worth mulling over. Who should Georgiana marry?

So I started thinking, out of all the non-attached Austen men, who would be the best match for Georgiana (yes I know the author might just make a new character like P.D. James did, but forget that lets focus on what Austen made.)? I narrowed it down to three characters who I think might work.

3) Colonel Fitzwilliam from Pride & Prejudice

Pros: Known Georgiana a long time, is kind, caring, funny, amiable, etc.

Cons: Is like a brother to Georgiana, she might not be able to see past that. She might also think he is too old (which he isn’t).

For more on Colonel Fitzwilliam, go to A Murder Has Been Committed on Your Property: Death Comes to Pemberley, Episode One (2013)

2) James Morland from Northanger Abbey

Pros: James is a kind, compassionate, caring, and hardworking guy. He has studied constantly and will soon be taking his orders to become a minister. He is a kind older brother and has many traits, in that respect, shared with her brother. Educated, well read, etc.

Cons: Not from a wealthy family, but still does alright; naive, and like Bingley, more easily persuaded.

1) Lieutenant William Price from Mansfield Park

This is actually my top pick, I think they would be good for each other. I just see them as being a great couple, him so sweet and gentle with fragile temperaments. Georgiana needing someone who can be kind and caring.

Pros: Kind, caring, compassionate, honest, and hardworking.

Cons: While his mother came from a high class family, she married down (although that wouldn’t really matter to Georgiana.) He is in the navy a peon, but he does get a great commission through Fanny’s connection to Henry Crawford.

For more on Lt. William Price, go to Let’s Hear it For the Boys

For more by Carrie Bebris, go to Pride & Prescience (Or a Truth Universally Acknowledged)

For more on Pride & Prejudice, go to Too Pretty

For more on Sense and Sensibility, go to What Would Jane Do?: Quips and Wisdom from Jane Austen

For more Pride & Prejudice variations, go to Whether Presentable or Not, I Love Spending Time With You: Episode Four, Pride and Prejudice (1995)

For more Sense and Sensibility variations, go to Baby Jane Austen

For more Jane Austen mysteries, go to Midnight in Austenland

For more books based on Jane Austen, go to Pride & Prejudice & Zombies

Whether Presentable or Not, I Love Spending Time With You: Episode Four, Pride and Prejudice (1995)

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Well we have reached the end of another Valentine’s Day countdown. Hopefully you all have enjoyed it as much as I have.

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I hope everyone had a great day whether you spend it with a spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, family, friend(s), a pet, or food.

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And if you didn’t enjoy it, there is always tomorrow when everything will be marked down really low.

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So let’s move on to our final pick:

Romantic Moment #14

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“Episode Four” from Pride and Prejudice (1995)

So what can I say about this?

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I LOVE this miniseries. It is one of the best versions of Pride & Prejudice; Colin Firth is tied with Pride & Prejudice (1940)’s Laurence Olivier in best Darcy.

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So I thought and thought about what I which moment I think would be a good one to choose, and I think I picked one that everyone will love.

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 So the story of Pride & Prejudice should be something you are familiar with if you are a fan of my blog. Even so, I’ll give a quick synopsis.

So Elizabeth Bennet is the second of five daughters in the Bennet family. This wouldn’t be too bad if the estate was not entailed making it harder for them to find husbands and forcing them to lose everything if Mr. Bennet dies. No one is really concerned with it except their mother who desperately wants them to all to secure a relationship.

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A Mr. Bingley rents a home in the area, thinking about purchasing, and brings his sisters and best friend Mr. Darcy. Mr. Darcy is more aloof, having many dislike him even though he is very wealthy. When Elizabeth overhears him saying she isn’t pretty enough for him, she becomes very upset and the one who dislikes him the most.

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A very handsome soldier, Mr. Wickham, comes into the picture and charms everyone along with giving more ammo on why we should all jump on the “I dislike Darcy train.” Also, the Bennet’s cousin who is set to inherit comes, Mr. Collins, and is extremely disliked by all.

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Bingley leaves suddenly and his sisters and Jane write to each other, with the sisters saying that Mr. Bingley is getting very close to asking Mr. Darcy’s sister for her hand in marriage. Mr. Collins also exits after he is rejected by Elizabeth, deferring his interests for her friend.

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Elizabeth visits Charlotte after she is married and meets Mr. Darcy’s insufferable aunt, Lady Catherine.

Those guys

She also finds out from Mr. Darcy’s cousin that Mr. Darcy was the one who convinced Bingley to leave and forget about her sister, being the one to blame for Jane’s broken heart.

Or an author

After this Mr. Darcy ends up proposing to Elizabeth! It turns out while her dislike was growing he was falling for her!

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She refuses him:

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Elizabeth thinks that is the end of it, but then Darcy gives her a letter with an extensive explanation. Will it be enough to forgive him or will she just forget him?

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Most Romantic Moment: Even Though I’m Not Presentable, I Don’t Care I Want to Spend Time With You

So the moment I have chosen occurs when Elizabeth travels to Pemberley. Here she looks upon Mr. Darcy’s home and hears how everyone talks about him. This coupled with what he revealed in his letter has her wondering if maybe she was wrong to refuse him.

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Now the only reason Elizabeth agreed to look upon the house was because she thought that Mr. Darcy wouldn’t be there, but unbeknownst to everyone, Mr. Darcy has decided to come home early. As he heads home, he decides to take a dip in the pond.

I just love how shocked yet excited he is to see her that he just wants to talk to her, yet at the same time doesn’t know what to say. It is so cute how he doesn’t even realize his wet clothes or tries to get away to change them.

And then after he realizes his attire, he races to dress and runs downstairs, still wet, in a hurry to not let her slip through his fingers. Even though she rejected him, he still cares deeply for her and wants to spend time with her to change her impressions. So cute!

So romantic!

So romantic!

And just a little extra to make your day special:

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

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To check out the rest of the romantic moments:

I Would Suffer Anything to Save You: Under Capricorn (1949)

I Would Go Through Anything for You: Sleeping Beauty (1959)

You’re My Wife and the Mother of My Children: Move Over Darling (1963)

I Will Face My Fears for You: Back to the Future (1985)

I Know You Can Do This: Working Girl (1988)

I Did It for You: Edward Scissorhands (1990)

Even Though You Are Only Using Me and Made Me Look Like a Jerk, I Only Care About Helping You: Picture Perfect (1997)

I’d Risk My Life to Save Yours: Earshot, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1999)

You Are a Horrible Cook, But I Will Eat What You Prepare Anyway: Bridget Jones’ Diary (2001)

I Always Knew and I Didn’t Care: Usual Suspects, Young Justice (2012)

I Only Care That You Succeed: How I Met Your Mullet, Raising Hope (2014)

I Want to Give You What You Love: Age of Adaline (2015)

I Don’t Care About Money or Class, I Love Her: Episode Three, Doctor Thorne (2016)

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For more Pride & Prejudice, go to Is Mr. Darcy Out There?

For more Mr. Darcy, go to Bridget Jones’ Diary (2001)

For more Colin Firth, go to When I Get Into a Novel

For more BBC miniseries, go to A Murder Has Been Committed on Your Property: Death Comes to Pemberley, Episode One (2013)

For more Nicholas Sparks, go to Growing Up Is Hard to Do

I Don’t Want You Far From Me: Sense and Sensibility (1995)

Most Romantic Moment #14

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So first things first!

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I hope you had a great day. Whether you spent it with someone you love:

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Friends:

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Or some yummy food:

Nachos

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So this year we are doing a return to form. We are ending our 14 days of romantic moments with a Jane Austen film. In 2013 we did Northanger Abbey, in 2014 Persuasion, and this year I decided to do Sense & Sensibility (in honor again for the late Alan Rickman). 

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So I have been reviewing the book Sense and Sensibility; piece by piece; but in case you haven’t been following me or don’t know the story I’ll do a brief recap.

The elder Dashwood sisters are nothing alike. Elinor is the eldest; reserved, quiet, thinking, sensible, and thoughtful. Marianne is the middle daughter; outspoken, feeling, emotional, impulsive, and doesn’t always think things through. They live with their mother and younger sister.

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Everything changes when their father dies and the estate passes to their half-brother. They are left with very little fortune and forced to move away. Before they leave they encounter Edward Ferrars, their brother-in-law, and Elinor falls for him, yet chooses not to act on her feelings.

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In their new home; their kindly but meddling neighbors try to marry off the girls. They set their sights on uniting one of the girls with Colonel Brandon. Colonel Brandon falls for Marianne, but the constant meddling has Marianne completely turned off.

Men

Ugh

Instead she falls for he handsome and dashing Mr. Willoughby; but is he everything that he seems?

Will the girls find their true paths? Is Mr. Willoughby really a romantic hero? What is better sense? Or sensibility?

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Most Romantic Moment: Please Don’t Stay Away Long

**Spoilers**

So my favorite romantic moment from Sense & Sensibility comes at the very end of the film. Willoughby has dumped Marianne without a word:

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And married another to keep his rich lifestyle. Marianne and Elinor left the city as soon as they discovered this, but Marianne was suffering from a broken heart.

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As they journey home, they take a quick stop at a friend’s place; which just so happens to not be too far away from Willoughby’s. Marianne tries to walk there in a rainstorm, being saved by Colonel Brandon.

Col. Brandon carrying Marianne

However, she is taken deathly ill and almost dies. She recovers and spends a lot of time with Colonel Brandon. He loves to read the same things as her, loves music, etc. As they spend more and more time together, Marianne realizes that she loves Colonel Brandon.

iLoveyou

So my favorite romantic moment comes after one of their reading events. Marianne wants to spend time together the next day, but Colonel Brandon has to go away. Marianne tells him:

Marianne: [to Colonel Brandon] You will not stay away long.

How romantic

How romantic

I know some may feel like really? But too me I love it and feel it is so romantic because it is only a few words, but in that Marianne is able to share her feelings and let Colonel Brandon know how much she loves him. And when Colonel Brabdon hears them and recognizes the sentiment behind the words, his whole face lights up.

ColonelBrandon

AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!

Sooooo cute! I just love it. 🙂

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So that ends Romance is in the Air: Part IV. I hope you enjoyed it. It was very different this year as I added in some TV episodes and reviewed a few films most wouldn’t consider romantic. But all in all I had a great time writing these and I hoped you enjoyed reading them.

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Romantic Moment #1: I Can’t Pretend, I Have to Be: Casual Sex? (1988)

Romantic Moment #2: I Don’t Care What You Think, She’s My Girl: A Trip to the Dentist, Veronica Mars (2005)

Romantic Moment #3: Business is Business, But Your Happiness is More Important: Borrowed Hearts (1997)

Romantic Moment #4: I Want to Be Your Ideal Man: Grease (1978)

Romantic Moment #5: You Don’t Have to Say the Words, I Already Know: Episode V, The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Romantic Moment #6: Even Though I’m Furious With You, I Still Love You: War Room (2015)

Romantic Moment #7: It’s Not What You Buy, But the Reason Why That Matters: Playing Heart to Get, Barbie Life in the Dreamhouse (2013)

Romantic Moment #8: I’d Lay Down My Life for You: Pocahontas (1995)

Romantic Moment #9: You’re So Sad, I’m Making This Day Extra Special: The Bikini in the Soup, Bones (2011)

Romantic Moment #10: I’m Putting You First: How to Steal a Million (1966)

Romantic Moment #11: I Want to Understand You: North & South (2004)

Romantic Moment #12: You Were Right, Let’s Get Married: Psycho (1960)

Romantic Moment #13: I’m Okay With Waiting: Fateful, Awkward (2011)

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For more on Colonel Brandon, go to A Man of Great Worth and Respectability

For more on Marianne Dashwood, go to  Waiter, There’s Some Disney in My Jane Austen

For more on Sense and Sensibility, go to Clear Eyes. Full Hearts. Can’t Lose: Super Bowl 50

Promises Were Made to Be Broken

Now everyone knows that there are three things you should never break:

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But I guess not everyone got that memo. Especially one in particular, John Dashwood.

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But I am getting ahead of myself, let me back up just a bit.

So when we last left off on Sense and Sensibility, Mr. Henry Dashwood’s rich uncle had died and left his state entailed. That means the money and estate gets passed on only to the male heirs.  When Mr. Henry Dashwood dies everything goes to his son John, leaving his second wife and three daughters out in the cold. Yep, entailment sucks.

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But all is not yet lost. Mr. Henry Dashwood is not that old of a man. He is sure to live a long life and squirrel away enough money for his daughters. Everything is going to be just fine.

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I know, that’s what you think. Within a year of having the riches, Mr. Henry Dashwood fell gravely ill, and soon death was knocking on his door.

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As soon as Henry Dashwood discovers that he has no chance of surviving, he calls his son John for a meeting. He makes John promise to take care of his sisters. And John does promise.

“[John] promised to do every thing in his power to make them comfortable.”

Yeah right.

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So John isn’t a complete monster. In fact his biggest fault is that he tends to think of himself more than others. And this would have been easily fixed, if he had married a nice woman. The problem is, he married this.

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This horrible, horrible woman.

ThewomenBadnameBitch

So John decides to give them £1000 a piece. And that is perfectly generous (he could easily give more). After all, he has the rest of his mother’s fortune, and then he will be given £4000 a year. All is good. Only one problem:

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As soon as the body is in the ground, she comes to the house and starts cataloguing everything. And when she heard the plans John had she was like no way!

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She thinks that by removing £3000; their boy is going to the poorhouse. So she wheedles John into decreasing that amount.

“[Henry Dashwood] did not know what he was talking of, I dare say, ten to one he was light-headed…”

Unbelievable!

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So John  decides that he is giving too much and that he will instead give each sister £500. £1500 in all. It could be better, but at least it’s not nothing. But “Oh too much”, Fanny exclaims again, after all they are only half-siblings. It’s not like they are actually blood.

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Did you just say what I think you said?

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You girl are horrible and wrong. Half-siblings are real siblings! I know as I have one. It doesn’t change a thing. Fanny you make me so ANGRY!

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I feel better now.

Anyways, as I was saying, Fanny thinks the amount is still too much. So John decides again to knock the amount down. Now they get £100. £300! That’s all!?  Come on man. That’s horrid.

And still, this is far too much for Fanny.

“I am convinced within myself that your father had no idea of your giving them any money at all. The assistance he thought of, I dare say, was only such as might be reasonably expected of you; for instance, such as looking out for a comfortable small house for them, helping them move their things, and sending them presents of fish and game…I’ll lay my life he meant nothing farther; indeed, it would be very strange and unreasonable…”

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You know that is exactly what the dad wanted. Oh you, you are

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Now those girls have hardly anything to live off on. And they will be unable to get married. If you thought the Bennet situation was bad, this one is much, much, much, much, much worse. At least they had a chance to marry off one of their girls to Mr. Collins, but here they have nothing.

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Oh that Fanny! Curse You!

Replace Rothbart with  Fanny

Replace Rothbart with Fanny

And you know what, she doesn’t even need it. Not only does John have a ton of money from his mother and now the entailment; but she comes from money too. Her mom’s loaded. And still, she has to begrudge these girls a few dollars.

How rude

Just goes to show you:

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And that some people do not know how to keep their promises.

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For more on Sense and Sensibility, go to A Family Affair

For more on Beauty & the Beast, go to Heaven on Earth

For more great quotes, go to It’s Fantastico!