Persuasion 200: Epilogue: Sir Walter’s Cravat by Diana Birchall — 24 Comments

  1. I can envision the next scene already: in the street, Anne sees Sally with her bruised face and asks what happened. Anne offers to hire Sally and all of Sir Walter’s servants come over to beg for jobs, since Sir Walter has no funds to pay them. Anne hires them all and writes letters of reference when she and Wentworth finally get orders to leave, unless Sally wishes to go with them.

    But only *you* can write the scene in which Sir Walter and Elizabeth discover WHY Mrs Clay and Mr Elliot have not returned. Muahaha!! And then Elizabeth can write a “send money” letter to her youngest sister. Oh, the ignominy!

    Diana, you truly have a talent for writing these despicable two creatures. Brava!

  2. (Spellbound) You ought to write the one about the servants deserting Sir Walter and Elizabeth like rats off a sinking ship and going over to Anne, June! That’s brilliant! And I confess I am BURNING to write one about “The Discovery” – I’ll have to see if that might fit into the schedule!

  3. Perfect, Diana!! I loved the way you have Elizabeth reassuring Sir Walter and catering to his pride while Sir Walter insults her about her silver hairs. Classic! I do confess, though, I can’t help feeling a teesy weensy bit of sadness for them *using an umbrella to protect herself from rotten tomatoes*

  4. Thank you for your kind comment, Monica! Sir Walter and Elizabeth are a bit pathetic, aren’t they. I don’t recognize the rotten tomatoes quote, though!

  5. I loved this, Diana-they are so horrid!!! And I laughed out loud when Sir Walter mentioned her grey hair … Brilliantly done!

  6. This pair will never understand! What a problem when Elizabeth’s hair is all out of the bottle and Sir Walter’s neck is sagging and they have to apply to Anne and Wentworth for support and housing. It will be their due even then. Reminds me some of “Grey Gardens” and that very crazy mother and daughter. Great post as always Diana.

    • Thank you so much, Maggie. You made me laugh with the Grey Gardens reference. Still, I’m not sure Sir Walter and Elizabeth qualify as crazy. They are perfect embodiments of vanity and selfishness. In Jane Austen’s day I think they saw moral faults rather than mental illnesses. It’s an interestic subject to think about, isn’t it?

    • Oh, I’m dying to see if you really find a recipe, Maria Grace, I made up the “darkening lotion,” but you KNOW they must have had some “embrocation” to fend off gray hair back then, don’t you think? Even though powdered hair was fashionable. I wonder what they used. Please let us know if you find out!

  7. This is such an amusing snippet; they are so self-deluded. Who have they to blame but themselves, but of course, the blame goes everywhere else. I would have liked to have seen Lady Dalrymple (what a ridicukous name; Austen is pure genius!!) give them the cut. 😉

    And to moan about *only* having half a dozen servants! Yes, it’s nothing to what they had at Kellylynch Hall, but still…. And Anne was able to cajol the staff into better efficiency through kindness and consideration rather than screaming and slapping. I think that the scene mentioned in the comments above in which Anne comes across a bruised Sally would be classic!

    I’m hoping to see much more of “epilogue”-type posts; I’m not ready to let Persuasion go yet! 😉

    Thank you for a wonderfully amusing chapter, Diana!! Brilliant, as always. 🙂

    Susanne 🙂

    • Susanne, thank you, and you are not the only one who would like to see a few more “Epilogue” quotes. I’m going to start by writing one where Sir Walter and Elizabeth find out about Mrs. Clay and Mr. Elliot. And your idea of Lady Dalrymple and the Cut Direct is too good to let pass. These are wonderful ideas, so watch this space!

  8. An excellent and most enjoyable read, Diana. I hope there are still more chapters to come in Persuasion 200. I’m not ready to give it up yet! I like June’s idea for the next chapter in our saga. Some one should write it! Hint,,hint.

    Unfortunately I fear that if ever the Baronet or Elizabeth were to apply to Captain Wentworth (I seriously doubt they would ever approach Anne) for funds to pay their many past due bills, Wentworth – out of his innate goodness – would comply – if for no other reason that they are Anne’s family. The two of them will never understand why they are in the financial straits they are. Their problems will always be because of someone else. However you want to name it, they both are narcissistic/egocentric/selfish/sanctimonious/ haughty!!!

    • So glad you enjoyed it, Linda. Yes, I fear you are right, if Sir Walter and Elizabeth applied to Captain Wentworth, he’d probably see to it that they had a cottage or something, and didn’t starve. I can’t see him paying off their very large debts, though, if they continued to accumulate them. Also, do you remember how Lydia asked Elizabeth to ask Mr. Darcy for favors, adding “But don’t, if you had rather not,” and we were told “As it happened, Elizabeth had much rather not.” So maybe Sir Walter and Elizabeth would be more likely to apply to the gentle Anne, rather than Capt. Wentworth? It’s an interesting question.

    • Harris would be out of there faster than a hound out of hell, if he didn’t need the money – and also, he was quaking with fear at the prospect of being “dismissed without a character”! People really lived without social support back then, no wonder they swallowed indignities as poor Harris does. It was that or starve, and servants couldn’t expect much better.

  9. Thank you! Really, wickedly enjoyed the well-deserved drop in their fortunes and status. No two selfish people had it coming to them more! And it’s so awesome that they see Anne reveling in her new life as Mrs. Wentworth. Now I can’t decide whether it would be better for them to continue down this path of self-destruction (with a dose of an itchy, disfiguring rash for Sir Walter along the way), or if they should have some kind of recovery so they’re not a burden to the Anne. Why not latch on to Mary and Charles, I wonder?

    • Thanks, Kathy, so glad you enjoyed it! I personally do not believe Sir Walter is capable of reclamation. We see it all the time, people who can’t overcome their self-destructive traits and end up badly. And seldom has anyone had traits more impossible to erase than Sir Walter’s innate, ingrained vanity and entitlement. He’s GOT to end up in the gutter, methinks. Hah! He won’t get anything out of Mary and Charles. They aren’t rich (haven’t inherited the Musgrove estate yet) and would just whine about having to care for their own children. Anne is the most likely to help them, I’m thinking.

  10. Brilliant as always, Diana! However, I must make a note to myself not to read your vignettes when I have a cup of hot tea in my hand…the burns are an uncomfortable inconvenience and the snorting sound this view into the Elliots’ personal lives induced is sooooo unladylike…Sir Walter would have been highly offended with me! 🙂

  11. Loved this. It was so funny although poor Sally and the poor butler. The servants are so abused. Sir Walter comparing himself favorably against Captain Wentworth… hehehehe… utterly vain. Those 2 have never changed nor will they. Can’t wait to read the reactions when they find our what happened to Mrs. Clay & Mr. Elliott….. Abandoned by everyone…. they are still so blind…and still such spend thrifts. I wonder how long Lady Darymple will tolerate them…relations or not. Thanks for such a humorous, fun post Diana.

    • Deborah, thank you, and guess what: I AM going to write about their reactions when they find out that Mrs. Clay and Mr. Elliot are an Item! It’s a brilliant idea, and I’m grateful to you for it, because it’s going to be SO much fun to write! Stay tuned.

  12. Yes, I was thinking we might see a cut by Lady Dalrymple in this episode. And someone has to write about their discovery concerning Mrs. Clay and Mr. Elliot. I do believe Anne would help the servants with either a reference, an connection to another placement or hiring one or two temporarily until they sail. And can you imagine what happens when Captain and Mrs. Wentworth do sail and are out of reach?

    I like the idea of a rash. What about those age spots we all get as we grow older? Somehow the tables have to turn on Sir Walter as he so insults his own Elizabeth. White hairs – horrors!

    This was a perfect glimpse into what might have been “consequences”.

    • Thanks so much, Sheila, glad you enjoyed it! But age spots on Sir Walter! I believe he would die at the thought. I am definitely into filling in the Mrs. Clay gap, and giving us a bit more Dalrymple…

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