gilbertevans asked: Do you think Lavinia or Carlisle knew that Matthew had once proposed to Mary?
Oooh interesting! I don’t think Carlisle knew. I don’t see why I would, and I certainly can’t imagine Mary telling him - I can see no reason at all why she’d think that would be a good idea!!
Lavinia, I’m not sure about. Matthew’s the kind of person who’s so open that he’d tell her… I can imagine it coming out in their early aquaintance, as she was learning about his family and before he was seriously considering romancing her it might have cropped up… On the other hand, by the time they met (only ‘the last time he was in England’ according to Isobel) he may have buried all his hurt and feelings for Mary so deeply that he just wouldn’t refer to it. But… Lavinia says Matthew’s told her so much about her - good things! - so… I’m not sure. I think he’d have mentioned something, maybe not even so far as to say he’d proposed but that they’d been close.
Now, part of me thinks that if Lavinia had have known he’d actually proposed, she would have suspected where Matthew’s heart lay a lot sooner than she appears to.