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Persuasion 200: Wentworth Applies to Sir Walter — 36 Comments

  1. Nice job, Kara! Your rendition of the snooty, vain, ungracious Sir Walter was spot on. Captain Wentworth showed admirable restraint not busting the man in the chops for the way he insulted Anne.

  2. I am not sure ‘enjoyed’ is the right word, as you suggest! However, it was a great scene and gels perfectly with what we know from the book whereby consent was grudgingly given with it made clear nothing would be done for the couple!

    You have captured Sir Walter in all his vain shallowness perfectly!

    Poor Wentworth, having to listen to Sir Walter’s dissing of his beloved Anne! I even found my own throat tightening whilst reading!!

    And Anne, bless her – she has no idea how tough the next few days will be! 🙁

    Thank you for a beautifully written scene, Kara!

    • Thanks, Cassandra! No, I don’t think enjoyed is quite the right word. 🙂 Sir Walter is so irritatingly vain!

  3. How humiliating for dear Wentworth and how insulting to Anne!! I’ve always disliked Sir Walter but this clinches it for me.
    Great scene, Kara!!

  4. I’m on Wentworth’s side and I feel sorry for him. But Wentworth is intelligent and know how to get what he wants though he has to hear Sir Walter’s disparaging remarks and dismal marriage prospect about Anne. If only Anne were more courageous and listen to her heart instead of agreeing to what her godmother has to say, then they wouldn’t have to endure many years of separation.

    • So true, Luthien, but then we wouldn’t have the great story of Persuasion. At least we know they’ll eventually get back together. 🙂

  5. This does fit perfectly with what we know and surmise of Sir Walter. I honestly can’t imagine a better rendition of this scene. Anne was the toss away daughter, and even in talking of her, he treated her with contempt. She was always dutiful and tried to do the right thing by everyone, which is what will lead her to withdrawing her consent to poor Frederick. In trying to do the right thing, she will do the wrong thing. What a pity she had none of the selfishness of her father or sisters! She thought more of others than of herself, but in this case, she tried to please the wrong people. Even worse I can imagine her father and snotty sister laughing behind her back at the sacrifice. Now I really will hate Lady Russell more than ever!

    • Thanks, Mari! Anne was so selfless – it’s amazing how she was so different from her father and sisters. I think she took after her mother, and then had Lady Russell’s advice to guide her. Of course that advice will not only be for Anne’s pure interests.

      • As a teacher and parent I find that what the experts say is true: half is genetics and half is environment. I find (as do others) that my children’s personalities were evident from very young. So Anne does reflect the influence of Lady Russell and her mother but she was also blessed with this personality.

  6. Wonderful excerpt. Sir Walter is, as Cassandra said vain & shallow as well as so self-centered. And how he does nothing but disparage Anne, whom he truly does not appreciate. Awful. Glad Wentworth held his temper. I am wondering what Lady Russell says to convince Anne not to marry him. Can’t say I am eagerly looking forward to the next but do want to see how you authors make the next part happen. Sir Walter aggravated, but he was supposed to. I dislike him more than before. Thank you for a wonderfully written chapter.

    • Thanks, Deborah! And tomorrow we’ll get a glimpse into Wentworth’s conversation with Anne immediately following. Stay tuned for that! 🙂

  7. Wentworth’s suggestion of taking Anne off of Sir Walter’s hands so that Sir W could concentrate on Elizabeth was a great strategy. Well done, Captain, and well done, Kara Louise!

  8. Thanks, Leslie! Wentworth knew how to appeal to what was important to Sir Walter. Obviously Anne was nothing to him.

  9. Thanks for explaining about why Wentworth is sometimes referred to as Commander and sometimes as Captain. I loved how patient Wentworth was with Sir Walter and how he built his arguments for gaining her father’s consent. I saw you couldn’t resist making a reference to Sir Walter and the mirror. LOL!

  10. Thanks, Susan! I think Sir Walter cannot go ten minutes without looking at his reflection! I think it bolsters him up! My guess is that he uses all these external things to make up for how he feels about himself on the inside.

  11. Pompous ASS = Sir Walter

    Two comments:
    1.) So glad that we have natural consequence – Elizabeth NEVER earns an offer!!!!
    2.) So heart breaking to hear how Wentworth fought for Anne and knowing what is to come to happen – no wonder he is still bitter 8 years later.

    • Sheila, I think Elizabeth and Sir Walter deserve what they got (each other’s company and nothing more!) Despite Wentworth’s bitterness, we can be grateful (in the end) love wins! Thanks for your comments!

  12. ARGH!!!! I’m sure Wentworth would have liked to have Sir Walter walk the plank!! What a popinjay! Well done Louisa! To hold his tongue and not defend his Anne but use it instead to manipulate Sir Walter was brilliant! I honestly feel that Sir Walter and Elizabeth do not want to lose Anne as she looks to their comforts!

  13. Grrr…… if only our dear couple had gotten married without Lady Russell’s interference! (pushes LR towards a steep slippery staircase….)

  14. I loved this Kara-every aspect covered-the conversation between Wentworth and Sir Walter rang so true-fantastic reading!

  15. I agree with the above comments about Captain Wentworth’s restraint in not hitting Sir Walter. I wanted to smack the pompous old fool! Love your comment about Sir Walter being “irritatingly vain” – very apt description! One non-pompous truism from Sir Walter though – his remark that Anne is of great use to him and not being able to do without her – Anne quietly runs the household behind the scenes. Doesn’t make up for his being such an unfeeling creep to the most worthy of his three daughters

    • I think we can all virtually ‘smack’ Sir Walter for a lot of things! Too bad Wentworth couldn’t snatch Anne away from him when he wanted to! Thanks, Megan!

  16. Oh how angry that man made me, what a pompous, conceited jerk. Poor Anne to have lived with him and Elizabeth, a shy sensitive girl wouldn’t stand a chance, no wonder she has such low self-esteem, and is so easily persuaded.
    Wentworth won a little more of my heart. He handled Sir Walter well, wish he could have had a chance to talk to Lady Russell first, he may have won her over or at least out maneuver ed her too.

    • That’s an interesting thought to ponder, Stephanie, how Wentworth would have handled Lady Russell. Would she have seen the excellent man he was for Anne? She may have met him already, so it wouldn’t have made a difference, but it would be interesting to conjecture how that would have gone. Thanks!

  17. So well written because we all hate Sir Walter even more than we did before we read this! And Sir Walter is a strong contender winning the “most-irritating-parent in an Austen novel” award. Definitely in a neck-and-neck competition with the likes of Lady Catherine and Mrs. Bennet. I seem to recall Mrs. Norris being a real pain as well but it’s been a while since I read Mansfield Park.

  18. Maybe we could run a ‘contest’ to see what people think. Sir Walter would not only be irritating, but cruel, selfish, unkind, foolish, reckless, etc. I could go on! Thanks, Kathy!

  19. I am very late getting to read this as life has entered a rather busy phase for the next few weeks. Here are some of the thoughts that passed through my head as I read your lovely chapter.

    I almost expect Sir Walter to start chanting “Mirror, mirror on the wall…” at some point. 🙂 Would it not be fun to stick him in a house of mirrors that distorted his reflection in a different way each time he turned about. It would be most discomfiting for him. 🙂

    I cannot read the word “inconceivable” without it sounding like that annoying little bald guy in The Princess Bride. 🙂 Funny how it is once again being spouted by an annoying little man.

    No wonder Captain Wentworth was so distinguished in his career. How clever to get Sir Walter to give his consent by exploiting his desires for his “more worthy” daughter–quite a good strategy.

  20. Glad you enjoyed it, Eileen! I do perceive Wentworth as clever; too bad he was not clever enough to persuade Anne to change her mind. It will be interesting to read that chapter!

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