Monday, April 16, 2012

Woman in White 2: The Whitening

Surely it was singularly considerate and unselfish of him to think of Anne Catherick on the eve of his marriage, and to go all the way to Todd's Corner to make inquiries about her, when he might have passed the time so much more agreeably in Laura's society?

(2) I tell you what, I've seen a lot of things coming in this book but I did not see Spider-Marian coming. She thinks she got away with it, but then she also didn't think there was anything weird about Count Fosco having his hand in the mailbag. So we'll see.

(3) I liked this bit:
None of her letters had prepared me for a personal change in her. On the contrary, they had led me to expect that her marriage had left her, in appearance at least, quite unaltered.
Dear Marian, I'm doing well but I must say I'm not nearly as pretty as I used to be. I've lost that freshness, that ever-remaining tenderness of beauty you used to enjoy about me. Maybe it's because I have to keep listening to people address me as "Lady Glyde" like I was some sort of dollar-store sexual aid. Or maybe it's my abusive asshole husband. Anyway, I'll be as ugly as you are soon, lolz.

(4) Do you like how Anne Catherick talks about Sir Percival's Secret with a capital 'S'? I do.

What could it beeeeeee??

(5) At some point as I was reading this, I thought, "Man, Jane Austen would be dead of laughter if she were reading this." The people in this book seem to go out of their way to be or make others miserable. Just as an example, take the issue of Marian going with her sister on her honeymoon. I grant that it's not normal now, but I was under the impression that it wasn't unheard of in the nineteenth century for the bride to bring a sister with her. Right? Am I making this up? It just didn't quite make sense that it would be treated as totally unrealistic, even if Sir Percival or Marian wanted to make the case that it wasn't appropriate under the circumstances, or even that it was now out of date, or something. Also: Hartright has joined a dangerous expedition into the heart of the jungle in order to forget his lady love. Hard. Core.

"I beg you on my knees to say no more, Miss Halcombe—I am truly shocked that you should have thought it necessary to say so much." With that polite speech he took my hand—oh, how I despise myself! oh, how little comfort there is even in knowing that I submitted to it for Laura's sake!—he took my hand and put it to his poisonous lips. Never did I know all my horror of him till then. That innocent familiarity turned my blood as if it had been the vilest insult that a man could offer me. Yet I hid my disgust from him—I tried to smile—I, who once mercilessly despised deceit in other women, was as false as the worst of them, as false as the Judas whose lips had touched my hand.
Oh, get over yourself Marian.

(7) I'm trying to think of a seventh thing to write.

(8) And failing.

(9) See you next week.


  1. I DO so enjoy everything you have to say on the subject of anything.

    About the honeymoon, you raise a good point. If it was considered fairly run-of-the-mill for a married woman to have her own bedroom and sitting room where her husband wasn't allowed to go, then what's so improper about inviting her sister on the honeymoon? And I don't imagine there was any consummating after that marriage anyway. (No "Lady Glyde" required, if you know what I mean. *nudge nudge* *wink wink*)

  2. Marian is such a ninja. At most I would have expected her to listen at a keyhole or something. I did not expect her sneaking around on the roof to eavesdrop.

  3. Omg. I laughed so much. SO MUCH. Your letter is my favorite thing. And I read Doug the 'get over yourself, Marian' section.


  4. *applauds* This is the best ever thing! I love love love 'The Secret' (cue dramatic music) and and I only just this moment got the 'Lady Glyde' thing, to which I say *schoolgirl giggle* Eeeeexcellent!

  5. Awwww, you guys are so nice.

    I think the honeymoon thing I'm thinking of is Mansfield Park -- doesn't Maria Rushworth bring Julia Bertram with her? Which, sure, is because it's a terrible loveless marriage, and it's a generation or two previously, but still.