To Annoy or Not to Annoy, That is the Question… — 10 Comments

  1. I would have to say Lydia Bennet. She is totally self centred and determined to get her own way and she doesn’t care who she hurts in the process.

  2. When I was in my twenties (I am now in my sixties), I tried reading Emma. I disliked her so intensely that I put the book down and did not finish it. I’d read Pride and Prejudice as a child and it was my favorite.
    My dearest friend was an Emma fan (she bred collies, and one was Emma), and we had our share of gentle arguments about the difference of opinion.

    I saw Vicki for the first time in a few years this summer, and in conversation she spoke of “sitting under a tree and reading Persuasion for the thousandth time.”

    “Not Emma?”

    “I prefer Persuasion now.”

    “So do I.”

    We laughed, cried, and hugged each other. And yes, we both still cannot stomach Mr. Collins.

  3. OK. Annoying characters to add to the list::
    1) Mr. Hurst because he does nothing but eat, drink and sleep and does nothing to control his wife.
    2) Mr Bingley. He’s just too wishy/washy. He does nothing, absolutely nothing to control his sister.

    But, the top most annoying character is Mr. Collins. I cannot stomach him either.

  4. Emma. Definitely Emma. I can’t stand her. Not only is she annoying and deserving of a spot on my list, but she ranks at the TOP of my list. I’ll take Mrs. Bennet and Mr. Collins together in the same room before I’d take Emma by herself. Mr. Knightley is simply a saint…and perhaps a glutton for punishment. My least favorite Austen book by far.

  5. I’d like to add to annoying – Wickham, Caroline Bingley, and Lydia Bennet to your Pride and Prejudice annoying group. Interesting read.

  6. My least favorite book is Mansfield Park. All of Fanny’s “new” family are annoying and self-centered. The Thorpe from Northanger Abbey are not high on my list either.

    I can deal with most of the others on your list.

  7. I think another characteristic of a truly annoying character is that they will likely never redeem themselves. So I think you missed one of the most annoying characters and his daughter – Sir Walter Elliot and Elizabeth Elliot! They’re completely vain and self-absorbed and totally dismissive of everyone they feel is beneath them… which is nearly everyone.

    I recently re-read Emma and didn’t find her nearly as annoying as I did when I first read the book (years and years ago). Her personality is officious but I found her generally well-meaning if immature. I imagine that she was able to eventually improve her personality!

  8. Would it be possible to link to the 2011 Jack Caldwell post so we can see the list of “villians”. I am agreeing with your depictions from P&P and S&S (I haven’t read Emma or NA yet) and while am halfway through MP I have to admit that I would find the Lady Bertram’s self-centredness annoying, esp. as it allows Mrs. Norris to run the show (as I suspect thata she would be less annoying without the influence of Mrs Norris).

    I would be interesting see a similar post about which characters are good ‘allies’ or well-meaning but make things worse.

  9. While this is an older post I just want to second most of the nominees for most annoying but would add those mentioned by other, i.e., Lydia, Wickham, Caroline, the Elliots and Mary Musgrove.. And did no one mention Lady Catwitch? I would have to find a way to leave the room or my mind would be wandering off and I would give the wrong answers to any inquiries she made of me or directions on how to polish my furniture.

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