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Persuasion 200: Capt. Wentworth Visits with his Brother at Monkford by Mary Simonsen — 33 Comments

  1. Definitely, Anne is kind – and also faithful. I wonder if he will think her kind when she turns down his proposal. Thank you for the visit with the two brothers, Mary!

    • Don’t you think he recognizes every virtue in Anne from the moment he met her? How else can you explain his devotion to her for eight years! Thanks for stopping by. Always good to see you.

        • When he heard that Charles Musgrove had married an Elliot (from Richard Musgrove, Charles’s brother), I think he must have thought for a moment that it was Anne. I’m sure that hurt!

  2. I loved reading about Frederick’s experiences at sea, Mary-something Jane doesn’t flesh out. I really liked the way you have him showing what he’s looking for in a wife too!

    • Hi, Jane. In reading some background story for Persuasion, many scholars believe Austen didn’t flesh out a lot of things b/c she was too sick or there wasn’t any time left to her. I think if she had lived, we would have had a book in three volumes instead of two.

  3. “I am in no hurry. For the right woman, I am willing to wait for as long as necessary.”

    So, although he will be meeting Anne soon, little does he know that he will eventually have to wait eight years for her. At least you lovely writers are showing Captain Wentworth to be constant from the outset and the very opposite of Mr. Elliot.

    The re-telling of the Battle of Santo Domingo was very nicely done, Mary. It’s actually made me go and look up the details, as I assumed (rightly) that the Battle was real and not fictional. It sounds quite a complicated affair and the British must have had quite a bonfire from the hulls of the Impérial and Diomède.

    • Thanks, Anji. I do try to be as historically accurate as possible. I could never write a battle scene, but I hope I can give the impression of what a seat battle was like. Thank you for your comments.

  4. I did not know or I had forgotten that he was a Commander and had won prizes and accolades prior to his courtship of Anne. It makes me wonder at Mrs. Russell being so resolved to put a stop to it. At what age do you have him here, Mary?

    These prequels are terrific and are building a marvelous foundation to reread the original again. My sincerest thanks.

    • I’m thinking Frederick was in his twenties (say 23 or 24) at the time. According to the annotated Persuasion by David Shapard, “After major battles, especially victorious ones, each participating ship’s first lieutenant, the officer just below the captain, and Wentworth’s probable position, was usually promoted to commander. This enabled a man to command a small ship.” In Persuasion, Austen has Wentworth “spending freely,” and why shouldn’t he? He’s young, unattached, and has just acquitted himself in battle. But it means that he has no money in reserve, and everything depends on his taking future prize ships. Again, according to Shapard, “While the hierarchical nature of this society created opposition in general to social climbing, the high prestige of the navy meant that most people, unlike Sir Walter, would not object to someone whose distinguished service there had raised him higher than his origins.” In other words, even for the aristocracy, Sir Walter was a snob! Thanks for your comment and compliment. 🙂

  5. Enjoyed this prequel ,a little part history lesson and a little insight into Frederick’s mind.
    building the foundation for the story to come

  6. I, too, enjoy reading real history connected with our story. I didn’t realize that he had had success in winning prizes when he first met Anne…makes me wonder at Lady Russell and the family looking down on him so. I have to read the book again – have just started doing so.

  7. I enjoy the insights into the characters and how you authors help us to understand them better. Unfortunately, even though I’ve listened to the audiobook while commuting (driving), it isn’t the same as reading it. Not as easy to focus and remember. I agree with Sheila LM…this makes me wonder at the turned down noses of Lady Russel and Anne’s family. I also agree with Anji…what constancy to wait 8 years for her….Thank you for writing for us.

    • I think it’s almost impossible for people today to understand that type of constancy. Eight years! Yikes! And when you think of how young they both were, it’s even more amazing. But they both saw things in each other that they never saw again! They truly were meant for each other.

      • My husband and I had to wait over 4 years to get married (since we were too young and too poor when we met). Eight would have been pushing the limits of patience, though! Nice job on this, Mary.

        • Thanks, Shannon. I’m fortunate enough to be married to a guy who would wait for eight years for me, and I’d wait forever for him. 🙂 We’re lucky!!!

  8. I think Lady R would have objected to him based on his origins. It probably was a ruse when she turned Anne against FW using the excuse of his fast spending and lack of steady prospects.

    This project is so much fun to follow!

    • Hi, Leslie. I hope Lady Russell was well-intentioned. After all, Lady Elliot was her closest friend. Unfortunately, her snobbery cost Anne eight years of happiness.

  9. I’m loving these prequels! Love the details you have fleshed out for us and little does Frederick know how long he will eventually have to wait!

    • Hi, Carole. Yes, eight years! I think Frederick fared better. After all, he was always on the go, in the mix. While poor Anne was stuck at Kellynch with her selfish relations.

      • Anne (and, by default, Jane Austen herself) says as much in her conversation with Captain Harville whilst Captain Wentworth is penning that incredible love letter. “We live at home, quiet, confined, and our feelings prey upon us. You are forced on exertion. You always have a profession, pursuits, business of some sort or other, to take you back into the world immediatelt, and continual occupation and change soon weaken impressions.”

        That whole scene is one of my favourites in all of Jane Austen’s works.

  10. I really enjoyed this, and the insight into what a typical man of the day might want in a wife — looking for beauty, accomplishments, and dancing ability! But it’s more interesting that Capt. Wentworth singled out kindness and the ability to appreciate his career at sea. I will have to go back to re-read Persuasion since I can’t remember how or if Anne exhibited he understanding of the Royal Navy, but I’m sure she would have become interested and supportive for Frederick’s sake. Thank you!

  11. I’m really excited about this project and am looking forward to more Persuasion 200. However you might like to revisit this sentence: “Badly damaged from our cannons, we surrounded the flagship.” It sounds like the cannons were facing the wrong way and were aimed at friends, not foes.

  12. I like reading the historical aspects in any story on top of the romance that the hero and heroine will have. Mary, thanks for writing Wentworth’s battle experience. I can’t wait for more sailing adventures with one of my favourite heroes.

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