27 August 2012

The Moonstone, Part 3 - Paging Mr. Mesmer?

Well THAT was a surprise!

Let me back up a bit. First, Miss Clack grew decidedly more distasteful after last week's delightful Clack Tracts and the tossing-into-hansom-cabs thereof. She didn't attend Lady Verinder's funeral because she disapproved of the rector giving the service, then scorns Rachel for reaching out to her as a cousin and as a friend because Rachel should have been turning to God in her time of trouble.

I did chortle that Clack left Rachel - or will leave Rachel - one of those ridiculous books in her will.

And let's talk about Rachel, SHALL WE? Because somewhere between saying "yes" to Godforsaken Godfrey and coming back into the picture, girl grew a spine. It's a good look on her!

But again, I skip ahead. So the lawyer (Mr. Bruff? I'm on a train and my book is in my bag waaaay over therrrrrre and I am lazy!) has a narrative that basically says he took care of Rachel and Clack was annoying. Then Franklin comes back in - this time as a narrator - and he goes to Rachel's house and sees Betteredge who takes him to Limping Lucy, who despises Franklin because who should have had Rosanna Spearman's love? I think we all know!But Rosanna's letter leads Franklin to the box in the Shifting Sands - which, lest we forget, never gives up its secrets *except this one so maybe JUST ONE MORE because true love can never die LucyandRosanna4Ever* and the nightgown is there and it's FRANKLIN'S.

Here is where modern audiences are - for once - more shocked than Victorian ones, I think. Because what man wears a nightgown? Even drag queens probably wear shorts-and-shirts or at least a sweet Vicky's Secret sleeper to bed nowadays.

I hate that he looks better in this than I ever will. 
So hum. Franklin's nightgown, and Rosanna's secret is out and she is therefore absolved of any lingering guilt.

And then Rachel spills HER beans and reveals that it was Franklin the WHOLE TIME.

And ok, here's where we delve a little into the first time I read Wilkie, which was for a senior-level Brit Lit seminar in college. Our be-foreheaded patron author was, apparently, *way* into mesmerism. It shows up briefly in The Woman in White in the relationship between the fabulous FOSCO and his wife, although the word itself is never used. And here again in The Moonstone (no actual moonstones) we have a character acting completely out of character and to a higher degree even than Madame FOSCO ever did.

I'm not 100% sure about this, ladies, but I'm pretty sure that our dear Franklin wasn't acting under his own steam.