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Saturday, February 23, 2008

Drawing useless conclusions...

Okay. We all know I do that a lot but I was downloading the 'Scarlet Pimpernel' from Librivox.org {great place if you haven't been there yet} and I noticed the author's name [or should that be playwright's name since it actually started as a play before it was a novel?] and it reminded me of something:

The author in question is: Baroness Emma Orczy...she was a playwright in 1903

The thing that crossed my mind was 'Age of Innocence' by Edith Wharton. The 'antiheroine' is:
Countess Ellen Olensky written in 1920

Now on the surface it may seem as if the names are nothing alike...unless you grew up with an Eastern European surname as I did. People tend to change any name if they can't pronounce it at first glance to something close but they always end it with a -sky or -ski.

Nor would it be difficult to mix up a Baroness for a Countess, they are basically the same in most respects.

Emma was from Hungary....Ellen was married to a Polish Count. (Emma married an English Clergyman's son)

Differences:
Emma had a very long and happy marriage lasting nearly 50 yrs.
Ellen was in a very unhappy marriage and had even run away with another man before moving to America where she met Archer.

however, being that Wharton was writing a book which was exposing the less savory things about 'high society', as most of her novels do, especially when it comes to women....it is not surprising that she would set Ellen up in this circumstance.

Ellen is, without a doubt, a shadow of Wharton herself...

But I am wondering if there isn't also a lot, a lot, of Baroness Emma in her as well. I can not find anything to support this theory....but it sounds very likely to me.

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