and Anne Elliot is Lady Sybil, then we have to acknowledge that Matthew Crawley has an awful lot in common with Persuasion’s villain, William Elliot.
Both are lawyers. William Elliot was poor, struggling through by couch surfing with Mr. And Mrs. Charles Smith. We don’t know how difficult the study of the law was for Matthew Crawley, but is is middle class—GASP!—the son of a Manchester doctor. I assume he didn’t have to live hand-to-mouth.
Both Elliot and Crawley are the beneficiaries of a tightly written entail that cuts out the daughters of the current title-holder. Upon the death of their relative, both will be elevated to the status of gentleman and master of an estate.
As a bonus, in both cases, the plot twist can be solved by marrying a cousin. In Matthew’s case, he succeeded. At the end of Persuasion we have only Anne and Frederick happily wed. Miss Elliot and William Elliot were left dangling by their beloved authoress.
So how about it, are Matthew Crawley and William Elliot fictional brothers under the skin? Or are they not only ages apart but worlds apart in character as well?
Take care—Susan Kaye
Click HERE to read my comparison of the Elliot sisters of Persuasion to the Crawley sisters of Downton Abbey.