Persuasion 200: Wentworth Seeks His Sister’s Advice — 27 Comments

  1. I really enjoyed this post. Eavesdropping by the butler; beautiful! Yes, I would’ve made the same choice. The Crofts are far superior as people to the 2 Elliott’s. And please and thank you are so nice, even though not necessarily in use for servants or even today in everyday life. It’s so nice he thinks fondly of Anne. I like his thought on Lady Russel, “He could only guess it must have been something Lady Russell had said. She fancied herself taking the role of Miss Anne’s mother in such matters. Finch did not approve. Lady Elliot and Lady Russell may have been great friends, but there was no comparison between them. Lady Elliot was superior in understanding in every way”. Excellent insight.

    Sophia definitely sees little to recommend the Musgrove sisters. Too immature and shallow. They hang on his every word, but that will not make a good forever match. But, Wentworth wants the opposite of Anne, or so he thinks….He’s being directed towards Anne…..and now will be even more determined to prove he doesn’t need Anne. Poor self-delusioned man.

    Absolutely wonderful writing, Susan. Wentworth has me shaking my head at his obtuseness and self-denial. His sister, Sophia, and the butler, Finch, have me smiling. When Wentworth finally comes to his senses imagine the party. I wonder if Finch will let his oh, so proper, guard down then. Thank youu for a wonderful early morning read with a cup of coffee.

    • Thanks, Deborah. Since this scene does not take place in the book – although it’s certainly possible that it did – I was free to imagine what might have happened. It seemed much more interesting to get a new perspective so I chose Finch. I looked back to Mary Simonsen’s scenes which mentioned Molly the kitchen maid and Tom, the junior butler, who were *interested* in each other. It was fun to tie them in here.

  2. Finch is a very decerning gentleman…even though he is the butler. The fact that he recognized Lady Russell was a factor in separating Anne and Fredrick 8 years ago proves his understanding. I enjoyed Finch very much. Sophie’s insight regarding the Musgrove girls is right on. She also handled her brother very well, leading him but not letting him know it. She can’t help that he is still hiding behind the hurt and resentment. I so look forward to reading all of the chapters ….makes the morning “break” more fun. Thank you!

  3. Good morning everyone, I please read a new scene, I like the butler to eavesdropping to hear the new master talk about Captain Wentworth have conversation with his sister about Anne, sometime the sister have more sense than the brother, but she is standing outside view then inside view about other’s behavior, this is only my thought or my point of view, thank you for the new book.

  4. You’ve provided us with a very nice chapter to enjoy with our morning coffee! As you said, it didn’t happen in the book but could have. I, too, like Finch. I like his assessment of Lady Russell. It’s unfortunate Anne doesn’t share his insight into her character. She is not as pretentious as Sir Walter, but she does hold herself (and Anne) to be higher than others. As far as Finch goes, I imagine, in the day, eavesdropping was the only way servants had of finding out what was going on in the family considering his position with the tight-lipped, propriety must be observed at all times masters like Sir Walter and Miss Elizabeth. I can envision this converstion with Sophie ultimately prompting Frederick, in the chapters yet to come, to take a furtive second look at Anne…especially after assuring himself that Sophie was indeed correct – the Musgrove girls are too immature to consider.

    • I had this thought that Sophie might suggest Anne not because she has any hint of what had happened before, but because she can see what a good wife Anne would be for him. Ironic, right? Thanks, Linda, for reading!

  5. Great scene! I love how you used the butler, Finch, to develop this perspective. He loves gossip and he loves Miss Anne. How wise that he feels it was Lady Russell who influenced Anne to break the engagement. I can just picture him trying to look busy while eavesdropping. Captain Wentworth knows the Musgrove girls are too young and immature for him. He just does not want to make the decision himself and is looking for a way to shift the decision to someone else. He knows he wouldn’t be happy with anyone but Anne but just can’t get past his pride…yet.

  6. I don’t think the book does enough with Frederick’s internal struggle. There’s a lot to be explored there. Clearly, he’s still hurt by Anne’s rejection and wants to hate her, but he just can’t. That doesn’t mean he’s quite ready to forgive yet. Always nice to hear from you, Carole.

  7. My thought on why the butler stayed at Kellynch is that he probably had a better chance of getting paid working for the Admiral and his wife.

    And, Susan, you are right that we don’t read what is in Wentworth’s mind enough. I have rattling around in my head, “…foolish match, indeed”…if he “settled” for either Musgrove daughter. They are young and silly at this point, flitting from one entertainment to another. Anne would just be so much more peaceful to live with along with being more sensible in dealing with the every day details of life. Wentworth is struggling. But I, too, have always thought that if he sought his sister’s advice, Sophie would have observations on what a fine wife someone like Anne would make. She and the admiral just seemed to take to her more but maybe I am remembering scenes from the movie. (Although I did re-read this book when Persuasion 200 was first posted.)

    Thank you for the chapter – with my second cup of coffee.

    • I also recently reread the book and seem to remember that the Crofts really liked Anne. No where in the book or the movies, though, do they suggest Anne for Frederick. I always thought that would be a private conversation between brother and sister – and only after he’d asked. That’s what inspired this scene.

  8. I just wish there was some way to get Anne and Wentworth together by themselves so they could break through what happened 8 yrs. ago. He is letting his pride and hurt feelings hold him back so much. I suppose I don’t understand the time in which this is taking place, the manners that govern actions between unmarried men and women. grrr!

    • As always with Austen’s characters, it’s what they don’t say that’s important. Thank goodness they finally managed to communicate. I suspect now their relationship will be even stronger for the difficult road they took to find each other again.

      • I got a lot behind in reading Austen Variations & it seems way too late to make comments, but I can’t help mentioning that as a child (and I first read Austen at about age 12) I would get so frustrated by characters’ failures to talk to each other openly. Then I realized that a) most people don’t talk to other people openly or honestly about their feelings very often and b) there wouldn’t be much left to read if people in books simply said aloud what was in their heads and hearts. It isn’t just Austen’s characters who misunderstand each other either. In real life, if there’s a wrong conclusion possible, that’s what everyone will jump to. Thank you for this story!

  9. Great job, Susan! Ironic and sad (but not surprising) that Finch knows about the engagement when Frederick’s own sister doesn’t. When Sophie suggested Anne I could just feel Frederick’s heart stop. And then to hear that Anne cares nothing for differences in station. We know she really doesn’t, that she was persuaded by fear and family loyalty, but he’s gotta be like YEAH RIGHT!

    Tell Finch I said he should be ashamed gor eavesdropping! And also tell him thanks, we appreciate it! hehe

  10. Nice to see someone holds Anne in high regard…the servants saw and remembered Frederick’s time in Kellylynch. Always knew Sophie had a good head on her shoulders…love how she handles Frederick and her opinions of the ladies in the neighbourhood.
    Thanks for a great chapter..

  11. I like the added insight into Sophie and her relationship with her brother. We assume that they have a good relationship, but it’s nice to see it more fleshed out. Frederick is definitely “struggling” a bit – seems like since he was hurt before by making a choice against convention, he’s now approaching this marriage idea very logically. “There are some single ladies of the appropriate social standing, conveniently in the neighborhood, so I’ll just pick one!” Good for his sister to set him straight that he will have to actually talk to, and live with, the woman he marries!

  12. I like the relationship between Wentworth and his sister. We only have hints of it in the book but it’s easy for me to imagine as I have a younger brother with whom I’m very close. thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  13. Mrs Croft recommending Anne as her brother’s choice of wife… superb! I wonder how Wentworth will wiggle his way out of Sophia’s suggestion without giving away his former engagement to Anne.

    Well, the only thing I can’t comprehend is the maid carrying the tea. I could be wrong but shouldn’t the butler assign a footman to do the job? I got the idea from watching Downton Abbey.

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