though his name was Richard

Category: People | Type: Discussion | Title: Northanger Abbey (in Context) | Author: Jane Austen | Ch: Chapter 1

Austen plays with the name, which dooms the holder to ineptitude or worse.

A "Richard" appears in Persuasion, a dead scapegrace of a son. He had been mercifully forgotten, but through a common acquaintance his mother reinvents her son, who now occasions an effusion of maternal grief. Austen comments that in his case "the abbreviation of his name" to Dick is appropriate, since "he had never done any thing to entitle himself to more...living or dead."

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