Tag Archives: Captain Wentworth

Tuesday’s tip-o-the-hand


This is supposed to be terrible. Original clip art: Flickr

It’s been a lousy spring around here. A bit of good news was that my mom doesn’t have to have chemo after colon surgery. Yay for that. Other than this, all is rattling on as before. That being said, the best I can do for a post, (hoping to get back into the swing of things. Again.), I have a bit of writing from a new project.

I referenced this new story back on March 6th. Time flies don’t it? I showed how a piece of writing changes as you discover things about the story itself and the characters. Even the title is up for grabs.

The first title of the piece was “Though I Had A Son.” Then it was changed to, “Anne Elliot’s Most Degrading Alliance.” Now, it’s “In Favor of His Constancy.” You, the reader, aren’t supposed to see any of this, but what the heck, this is sausage making, people, watch and be amazed!

The following is not a rewrite, but was fun to write. I hope you enjoy it.

In this story, “In Favor of His Constancy,” Lady Elliot (Anne Elliot’s mother) is alive. This scene takes place after she finds out that her dear friend, Lady Russell, was instrumental in breaking off Anne’s engagement to Captain Frederick Wentworth.

“Elizabeth, see reason. The man is handsome and a force to be sure, but even you must see that he is not Anne’s equal in rank or refinement. It would ever be a wedge between them.”

Elizabeth paused, then faced her. “Rank and refinement. Those are words you are happy to use when speaking of marriage. Admit it, you did not think me refined enough for the Baronet of Kellynch Hall.”

Lady Russell now paused. Her right brow raised, and her lips tightened.

“In every way, the Stevenson money was superior to his rank. Even if it was earned in trade and farming. I was besotted enough with a pretty face to accept a proposal. But when reason, in the form of dark doubts loomed, you stood me and them with a bright light of reason to convince me that I must keep my word.” Her hands were trembling, and she could feel a flush overtaking her. She took a seat at her dressing table.

“And I was right to do so. You had an obligation to fulfil. Your reputation was at stake and you were prepared to ruin it. As your dear friend, I could not allow that to happen.”

“I could have broken it off with little damage to my reputation.” Lady Elliot turned to her friend. “When, after a few years, you comprehended the deep unhappiness that my choice had brought me, did it give you pause?”

“It did.” Lady Russell pinched seam of the thumb of her right glove. Poorly made. “But when I realised you would have children from the match, no matter your feelings about him.”

It was deep grief she felt for her friend. There were no children with Sir Henry Russell. Whose fault it was, was immaterial. Elizabeth’s children were lavished with gifts and praise from Jane. Her particular favourite was Anne. This might account for her friend’s razor-sharp dislike for Captain Wentworth. She did not wish her daughter to suffer her fate. And yet.


“He is still beautiful, even at his age, but his looks are so negated by his deficiencies.” Lady Russell says nothing, and Lady Elliot looks at her and realizes something. “So that is it. You are still smitten.”

Jane fidgets uncharacteristically.

“You are still in awe of that pretty face.” Lady Elliot rises and approaches Lady Russell. “Though, I see you are not so besotted as to do something stupid if I am called out of this life.” The revelation was not surprising but was more a relief. It cleared the air and would allow them to have an honest friendship now, and not one couched in suspicion. Her hands still trembled, and she would have to call for Trotter to help her change into a fresh dress for dinner. Jane still said nothing. “And that is because you can admire him from the comfort of Henry’s good management.” She took her seat once more. “You are far smarter than me. Better to view some beauties from a distance. And in this case, not have to live with the consequences of his vices.”

Yep, POV problems, notes to myself about the scene rather than the scene itself, and a sentence that makes no sense whatsoever! Again, this is sausage. I’ll work on this and post the rewrite next week.

Oh, and I’m still not in love with the title. Stay tuned.



Men are a little bit blind

“I was six weeks with Edward,” he said, “and saw him happy. I could have no other pleasure. I deserved none. He enquired after you very particularly; asked even if you were personally altered, little suspecting that to my eyes you could never alter.”  Chapter 23, Persuasion

Just after meeting up with Anne Elliot again, Wentworth said that she was so altered he would not have known her. But we also know that guys say a lot of things they don’t mean. Whether to stay out of trouble or make themselves look better, who knows. Women are prone to this as well, but usually for more complicated reasons. Men also have the ability to overlook a lot. They can walk around the same plate and glass on an end table for weeks if no one mentions them. I think this offhand comment was in the same vein as Darcy’s in P&P, said to look clever but never meant to be heard by the object.

The other day I was reading a blog post about many men not noticing when their wives change a lot over time. The example was of a man who married a beauty queen and she lost her looks over the course of their 40 plus-year marriage. He said he only noticed the change in her face and body when he saw how others looked at her. But when they were home, alone, she was his lovely beauty queen.  The author of the blog is newly widowed and he said it was the same for him, and that he was pretty certain that his memories of his late wife will be ever green.

This bit of mental magic is alive and well in my own marriage. I’m considerably heavier than I was when Bill and I married 38 years ago. That doesn’t matter to him, he’s never said anything that can be construed as disappointment. And that’s why we’re heading for No 39 in a few weeks.

I like to think that Frederick was telling Edward the truth while his comment early on was just palaver you say to fill the time when you meet new people. We all get a little precious when we are trying to make a good impression. Maybe I’m all wet. I hope not. I like having a bit of a fairy tale world to retreat to these days.

Take care.


Wentworth Wednesday

Chapter 11
“Captain Harville, though not equalling Captain Wentworth in manners, was a perfect gentleman, unaffected, warm, and obliging. Mrs Harville, a degree less polished than her husband, seemed, however, to have the same good feelings; and nothing could be more pleasant than their desire of considering the whole party as friends of their own, because
the friends of Captain Wentworth, or more kindly hospitable than their entreaties for their all promising to dine with them.”


In Chapter 7, Austen’s omniscience takes over and she lets us hear a little Frederick’s mind and heart when it comes to what he wants in a woman.

“’That is the woman I want,” said he. “Something a little inferior I shall of course put up with, but it must not be much. If I am a fool, I shall be a fool indeed, for I have thought on the subject more than most men.’”

He wants what Harville has.

The description of the Harvilles is nearly word-for-word what we have in Frederick’s declaration of what he wants in a wife. When people are looking around, it’s not unusual to want to model the happy marriages they admire. Some look at their grandparents, or parents, or friends. They watch the interaction and want the happiness they see. Or to avoid what they see. The marriage of Pride and Prejudice’s Mr. And Mrs. Bennett come to mind. Austen was very good at giving us good bad examples.

In this chapter we also get the cautionary tale of waiting too long. Benwick loses Fanny Harville because they wait to be secure. Frederick can highly identify with this. Lack of security was just the leverage Lady Russell used to put fear into Anne and persuade her to break the engagement.

It’s not a bad thing to be prudent and wait until some of your ducks are in a row. But the one thing I know after 37 years of marriage is that security is temporary at best. You may have enough money in the bank, but there will be a problem with health, children, extended family relationships, aging parents, the shifting sands of world events, or just plain boredom.

In the case of Anne and Frederick, another of the wedges used to separate them, the exalted position of the Elliot family, is now crumbling. Another proof that prudence is good but nothing lasts forever and if you find someone who wants to go into the vast dark unknown of the future with you, think hard about turning them down or putting it off too long.

For those of you celebrating holidays in the next days and week: merry, happy, and joyous days.

Take care—Susan Kaye

Wentworth Wednesday

Chapter 5 is void of Frederick references. Anne goes to stay with Mary and is reintroduced into Uppercross society. This section is from Chapter 4, elaborating on Anne’s feeling about the break-up.

But in this case, Anne had left nothing for advice to do; and though Lady Russell, as satisfied as ever with her own discretion, never wished the past undone, she began now to have the anxiety which borders on hopelessness for Anne’s being tempted, by some man of talents and independence, to enter a state for which she held her to be peculiarly fitted by her warm affections and domestic habits.

They knew not each other’s opinion, either its constancy or its change, on the one leading point of Anne’s conduct, for the subject was never alluded to; but Anne, at seven-and-twenty, thought very differently from what she had been made to think at nineteen. She did not blame Lady Russell, she did not blame herself for having been guided by her; but she felt that were any young person, in similar circumstances, to apply to her for counsel, they would never receive any of such certain immediate wretchedness, such uncertain future good. She was persuaded that under every disadvantage of disapprobation at home, and every anxiety attending his profession, all their probable fears, delays, and disappointments, she should yet have been a happier woman in maintaining the engagement, than she had been in the sacrifice of it; and this, she fully believed, had the usual share, had even more than the usual share of all such solicitudes and suspense been theirs, without reference to the actual results of their case, which, as it happened, would have bestowed earlier prosperity than could be reasonably calculated on. All his sanguine expectations, all his confidence had been justified. His genius and ardour had seemed to foresee and to command his prosperous path. He had, very soon after their engagement ceased, got employ: and all that he had told her would follow, had taken place. He had distinguished himself, and early gained the other step in rank, and must now, by successive captures, have made a handsome fortune. She had only navy lists and newspapers for her authority, but she could not doubt his being rich; and, in
favour of his constancy, she had no reason to believe him married.

How eloquent could Anne Elliot have been! how eloquent, at least, were her wishes on the side of early warm attachment, and a cheerful confidence in futurity, against that over-anxious caution which seems to insult exertion and distrust Providence! She had been forced into prudence in her youth, she learned romance as she grew older: the natural sequel of an unnatural beginning.

She had been forced into prudence in her youth ...

She had been forced into prudence in her youth …

How eloquent she could have been, if only she had tried. Though Anne is an honest woman, it’s interesting that when she and Frederick talk at the end of Persuasion, she dodges admitting her true feelings. She doesn’t tell him that she thinks no matter what, they would have been happier had they remained engaged. And that could have been done. Her father did not say they couldn’t marry, just that he would do nothing for them.

What Anne does say is that while she might not advise anyone in their same circumstance to break up, she thinks that she was true to her convictions and that obedience in a woman is not a bad thing. WTHeck?

Frederick has written the letter. He has apologized on the Gravel Walk talk. He has now brought up that he thinks there is someone maybe more guilty than even Lady Russell in keeping them apart. Him. And Anne, dear, thoughtful, elegant-minded Anne Elliot plays coy. Ego, thy name is Anne.

Honorable Men

In two or three weeks I will finish the third book (Forever Yours) in my second series (Yours by Design), and I’m already contemplating my next project. That line of thought led me to two questions: What makes a man honorable? Are there any honorable men today?

Two weeks ago, I mentioned Urban Meyer – not a perfect man, but an honorable one. He made a conscious decision to put his family above his career. He decided that his wife and children were more important than football. He was right, though his decision could have cost him his job. In actuality, his choice made him a better coach. It balanced the areas of his life. He’ll probably live longer as well.

I think men who are true to their beliefs (religious or not), regardless of what it might cost them, are honorable. Jane Austen was the queen of the flawed, but honorable, man.

Darcy Actors

Darcy Actors

Fitzwilliam Darcy certainly fits the bill. He recognized his pride and conceit through the humiliation of his rejected proposal, and he changed – even though he would possibly suffer in society and still not win Elizabeth.

Frederick Wentworth was another such man. The spurned Wentworth returned from the sea determined to think of Anne no more. When he raised the expectations of the Musgroves with his pronounced attentions to Louisa, he would have married her, though he realized he still loved Anne. Fortunately, Louisa fell in love with Benwick.

Wentworth Actors

Wentworth Actors

Edward Actors

Edward Actors

Another Austen hero, Edward Ferrars, held to an engagement he made when he was very young, though he did not love Lucy Steele, and he passionately loved Elinor Dashwood. Austen rewarded him for his steadfastness by having the scheming Lucy marry Robert – the man she truly deserved.

Colonel Brandon did not damage the reputation of his rival, John Willoughby, though he had both the proof and the right to do so. Once Willoughby’s true character was revealed, Brandon won the affections of Marianne, who had finally learned to appreciate a man of impeccable character more than a rogue with a handsome face.

Colonel Brandon Actors

Colonel Brandon Actors

Today’s honorable men would be found mainly in the unheralded ranks. We all can name some husbands, brothers, friends, and sons who are honorable, but who in the limelight today deserves that accolade?

More Trouble for Our Austen Men?

So dashing in his regimentals!

I am dedicating this post to our favorite Austen military men. Let’s hope they haven’t followed the military tradition that my daughter has.

I had the impression from watching television police shows that cameras everywhere capture faces which can be fed through facial recognition software. Actually, according to Terrance Boult, those images are so fuzzy that the software rarely finds a match in a photo database.

I love a red coat!

Boult is a computer science professor at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, and the co-founder of the security startup Securics Inc. His team of researchers is developing a computer program that instead identifies suspects by – watch out! – their tattoos. The captain, the colonels, and my daughter are all at risk, and they had better behave. On the other hand, this could be a great way to track Wickham!

Let him be your man. He’ll jilt you creditably.

The program hasn’t yet been able to identify a specific person solely by their tattoos, but it can use the image to find matches to similar tattoos on databases or on social media sites. If the criminal is stupid enough to put a pic of his tattoo on Facebook, and most of them are, and if he is in a gang, the tattoo could potentially trace this lead to gang members who might know the suspect’s identity and whereabouts.

I must away.

The program has also been designed to match tattoos with descriptions from eyewitnesses with those in a database. Fortunately, my daughter’s tattoo of Hawaii on her foot looks like she spilled blue Kool Aid and forgot to wash it off. If she holds up a 7-Eleven barefooted, the eyewitness will never remember the blobs as our fiftieth state.

I have rarely seen such air in Bath.

Recognition based on skin markings is not a new concept, but Boult’s team has designed a program that can be used with lower-quality photographs or even images captured while the subject is in motion, as he should be if he has half a brain.

There is nothing worth my staying for.

In other “tattoo” news, Nokia has devised a way to use magnetic vibrating tattoos to send cell phone alerts directly to a person’s skin. Can’t wait for that one. Now, church services, funerals, weddings, classrooms, and boardrooms can be disturbed by people vibrating rather than just the annoying buzz of a cell phone. The patent application says that the app would fit on your arm, abdomen, or fingernail. Where do you want to vibrate, people? I wish I hadn’t asked that, and I certainly will not posit that query to our Austen men.