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Persuasion 200: The Crofts Visit Kellynch — 24 Comments

  1. Delightful, Kara Louise! A lovely read.

    Your depiction of Sir W is priceless; what gems he came out with:

    “It appears they are both tall. I am grateful they are not short. That would not do at all!” and
    “He was of the opinion that their appearance – despite eventually being able to make out a little brown in Mrs. Croft’s face – would complement Kellynch suitably.” LOL

  2. I loved the humor in this chapter. Sir Walter is a mindless buffoon, and no matter what age he lives to be, will never see the people that he meets in terms of reality. Everyone is judged solely on appearance and what they can do for him. His vanity is absurd and overwhelming, because he measures the rest of the world by his own exacting standards. Standards which even he could not live up to, if he were honest with himself. As if that would ever happen! I imagine in a few more years, when the wrinkles and bags under his eyes have taken their toll, he will decide that he looks distinguished and more perfect than ever. The bit with the mirrors is priceless and totally in keeping with the Sir Walter we have all come to know and disdain. He is always good for a laugh because he is so vain and foolish, but at the same time, he is a walking tragedy. He does not value the real jewel in the family crown, Anne. He ignores his daughter Mary who is a hypochondriac of epic proportions, and selfish beyond comprehension, and dismisses her almost as much as he dismisses Anne. That he isn’t more cruel to her, is only because she is no longer at home. Poor Anne is always there to catch his mocking and disdain. He and Elizabeth are both foolish children in adult’s bodies. They are selfish and clueless, which is why they don’t care about Mary. Her constant litany of imaginary illnesses makes it difficult for them to focus on what is important to them: their overwhelming sense of self importance. By the same token, their selfish obsession with themselves prevents them from recognizing Mary as one of them, and vice versa. All three are emotional grifters who prey upon everyone else to rescue them from themselves.

    Anne Elliot and Elizabeth Bennet are always seen to best advantage because of the contrast with their foolish families, but they are people with kindness and common sense, and would be laudable even without their families for comparison. They are people who will always be valued for their good qualities, because they have a capacity to love and be loved. Their family members for the most part, love only themselves. Again this begs the question: how did they turn out to be exceptional considering their background was the same as their siblings? How did two women survive the foolishness and selfishness that surrounded them from day one? In Anne’s case, her mother, and later Lady Russell deflected some of it and gave her good solid principles and the love she did not get from her father and sisters. In Elizabeth’s case, her father saved her and helped to form her character. Neither he nor Lady Russell were perfect, and each had faults of their own, but they were able to prize and help raise exceptional women. Again, thank you for the relief that this chapter brought. It is always nice to get away from the serious aspects of the story, and just have fun with it.

    • Very true in all your thoughts – it would be interesting to see a story where Sir Walter has aged, and maybe he is abhorred by how he looks! And yes, Elizabeth and he are foolish and selfish. Not a good combination for any sort of respectable person. I often wonder if Jane based her characters on real people she knew.

  3. Thank you for your delightful chapter, Kara Louise! I have never been able to imagine how this visit of the Crofts to Kellynch would proceed, and this makes it all easy and so fun! I love the way you told about the mirrors, and that Sir Elliot would be taking many of them with him, and then the cute humor and warmth between the Crofts was so wonderfully illustrated! “The less I have to see of myself, the happier I am!” He turned to his wife. “Now, Sophie is much more pleasant to look at…” I loved that!

  4. I enjoyed reading this. There was such a comic aspect to this. But yet so true to the characters. Sir Walter’s vanity is laughable. Always looking at himself and taking half the mirrors. The Crofts have him figured out, ‘ ” Do you truly think we can manage with only half of the mirrors left on the walls?”

    Mrs. Croft smiled and patted her husband’s arm. “It shall be a small sacrifice to pay, but I believe I shall manage quite well.” ‘

    Anne is nowhere around, avoiding the Crofts. Is it possible she believes Wentworth’s sister would notice something or have heard of her through her brother?

    Sir Walter is such a shallow self-centered buffoon. Always and only worried about outward appearance, nothing else. I second Cassandra’s quote, “He was of the opinion that their appearance – despite eventually being able to make out a little brown in Mrs. Croft’s face – would complement Kellynch suitably.” And I agree with Mari that Sir Walter “does not value the real jewel in the family crown”.

    Thank you for such a fun read! Looking forward to more. 🙂

  5. Thanks for your thoughts, Deborah. I’m glad you enjoyed it! This one was fun to write, despite being a true picture of the foolishness of Sir Walter.

  6. What fun that must have been to write! I was chuckling throughout! Heaven forbid that Sir Walter should age! Hmmm…I wonder if he would start wearing make-up!

    • Thanks, Carole! I think a fun story would be him in his old age being shunned because he has aged quite intolerably!

  7. What a delightful chapter, Kara!!
    There were a few lines that made me laugh aloud, especially at the end when the Crofts were considering how well they’d manage living at Kellynch with only half the mirrors… 🙂

  8. An enjoyable chapter, always fun to laugh at Sir Walter and love the fleshing out of the Admiral and Sophie characters…two of my favourites..

  9. I really liked how the Crofts are above being offended by the ridiculous Elliots and can even joke about it. Sir Walter doesn’t deserve to be bailed out by having his home leased by a upstanding couple! But he will reap those benefits anyway – and the Crofts will really enjoy living in that home that they seem to like very much. Thank you!

  10. I loved the references to the mirrors! Very well done. You’ve also shown a great deal about the personalities of the Admiral and Mrs. Croft. They share a dry sense of humor and look on the foibles of others with amusement. I like them and would certainly like to make their acquaintance. Since I love sailing, I’d be thrilled to hear their stories of their days at sea.

  11. Thanks, Susan! It is fun to write a story with both foolish and astute characters – it’s fun seeing their actions and reactions! 🙂

  12. Ditto on comments about the mirrors and the sarcastic humor from the Crofts at the end was so perfect as I picture their characters. Sir Walter doesn’t get it…at all – we can do without half the mirrors! Really?

    Thank you for a perfect description of this visit/tour of the house.

  13. A great chapter, Kara. The Crofts certainly figure out Sir Walter’s character in a jiffy. He’s shallow and vain and they even managed to joke about it.

    Has Sir Walter formally invited Mrs Clay to Bath with him and Elizabeth? And Anne was not informed about it yet? I look forward to reading Anne and Lady Russell’s reactions.

  14. Pingback: Persuasion 200: Anne readies Kellynch for the Crofts - Random Bits of Fascination

  15. Pingback: Persuasion 200: Anne Reflects on the Crofts Arrival at Kellynch - Random Bits of Fascination

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