Sir Walter Would NOT Approve

How could I forget such an auspicious occasion? March 1 was Persuasion’s Sir Walter’s birthday. Had he survived old age and decrepitude, he’d be 278! I think that’s the oxygen birthday. Yes, gallows humor all around!

In honor of the old boy, he’s a little retrospective of several of the men who have played him in adaptations:


Basil Dignam’s portrayal was the closest to the Sir Walter Austen wrote. He wasn’t overly foolish, and not so sharp-tongued as other performances. Unfortunately, the 1971 adaptation, while faithful to the book, is hampered by polyester and zippers. LOTS of polyester and zippers.



Corin Regrave gave a great performance of Sir Walter. The guy is so foolish as to think that giving up an estate for a townhouse in Bath is a step-up in the world. This humorous portrayal gave the character a lot of undeserved sympathy, but it was fun to watch.





Anthony Head’s performance was, in my opinion, what men with an overweening sense of importance are really like. He was harsh and intractable when countered, and when his mind is made up, all boats will be floating or all are going down with his ship. And with Walter at the tiller, man the lifeboats.



So, here’s to Sir Walter, the man who retrenched and thought it a good thing.

Happy 278th.




3 thoughts on “Sir Walter Would NOT Approve

  1. Laura Hile

    Dear Sir Walter, our favorite snob. Oh, to have been born a day earlier during a Leap Year! Then he would have been so much younger than everyone else — and so much more unsufferable.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Robin Helm

    Anthony Head is my favorite. He’s handsome, and in my humble opinion, the other two men aren’t. I guess I’m big on appearances. Head is the perfect aging, handsome man who knows the value of packaging.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Susan Kaye Post author

      I’ve been watching a comedy, Girlfriends, in which he’s a magazine editor and ex love interest of one of the “girls.” He’s gotten doughy in the 11 years since Persuasion. But, haven’t we all?

      I’m still a big fan of Corin Redgrave’s portrayal. He has that patrician look and the deer-in-the-headlights expression that makes him likeable.



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