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Saturday, August 18, 2012

RivkaBelle's Top 5 LEAST Favorite Austen Characters!

Today I've got RivkaBelle from A Word's Worth here to give us her Top 5 LEAST favorite characters...Maybe I should  say "bottom" 5?
Let us know your LEAST faves in the comments!!

#5: Kitty Bennet
Nothing personal against Kitty, but she's quite frankly boring. As Jane presents her, she apparently follows blindly where Lydia leads. And she coughs a lot, getting on her mother's poor nerves. But mainly she just doesn't feel very fleshed out, and I've never been able to form an attachment to her - as Jane has written her. (Now Kitty in Austenesque literature often has much more appeal).

#4: Mr. Elliott
Not the elder Mr. Elliott, but the younger - Mr. William Elliott. He's the smarmy cousin trying to marry into the family's good graces (and supposed fortune), but unlike Mr. Collins, Mr. Elliott is a creeper. He's ridiculous, but also sleezy. Slimy. A weasel. He doesn't have the redeeming qualities of Mr. Collins, and mores the shame.

#3: Willoughby
I know, I know. I'm the weird one - but I've yet to fall under the spell of handsome, charming Willoughby. While Wickham had me hoodwinked a little at the beginning, I've always distrusted Willoughby. He's too good. Too pretty. Too charming. Too perfect. It's gotta be an act, you know? Nope, definitely not a fan of Willoughby.

#2: Anne Elliott
Please - let me list my reasoning before you stone me! (And I didn't make her my #1 least favorite! This is an improvement!) Anne gets on my last nerve. She's too passive and quiet. Where other quiet, model heroines - say, Jane Bennet - have hidden spunk, and know their own minds, Anne is so easily swayed. She just takes life however it's dictated by those around her, and doesn't ever question their reasoning. She never fights back, never even thinks "Huh, maybe this is stupid." It's frustrating. But not nearly as frustrating as the character who ranks #1 ...

#1: Fanny Price
Oh. My. Word. I thought I disliked Anne, but at least Anne had some semblance of a life! In comparison to Fanny Price, Anne Elliott is a Belle of Society! And maybe even an outspoken scandal. Sheesh, Fanny, you definitely take the cake when it comes to "heroines" who just lay down and play dead, responding to every beck and call and accepting whatever junk is dished out. And don't forget the whole "big cousin who ignores me, but I love him blindly because he took the time to mold me when I was little and is super patronizing and condescending when he remembers me - so gracious, I'm so blessed to have Edmund." Sorry, but Fanny really annoyed me. She gives me the shivers.

Click here to be taken to the Austen in August Main Page! Fab button artwork c/o Antique Fashionista!


  1. First let me say I totally disagree in that I find Fanny and Anne to have a strong sense of moral character and for that I don't find them weak in any way. Least favs: Catherine Morland's supposed friend (why can't i think of the baggage's name? you know with the brother who's a lying weasel) General Tilney since he treats Catherine so horribly - he's just overbearingly rude. Mr. Collins because even tho' he's necessary to the plot he's just a brown nosing weiner. Frank Churchill just because. Lucy Steele because she's good at causing emotional distress.

  2. Sorry RivkaBelle, I gots (yeah, I meant to say it that way) to disagree with you about Anne Elliot.

    Lady Russell was horrified by Wentworth's wit and that's what put him on her hit list. What godmother dearest doesn't' realize is that her sweet Anne, image of her friend Elizabeth, is cut from the same bolt of cloth as "that sailor." (They say opposites attract, but I say snark-attracts-snark.)

    What Wentworth would say aloud and get a laugh with, Anne thinks. Anne may be sitting down passively on the outside, but she's usually standing up in her mind and heart.

    Anne's problem is she can't put her own interests forward because she's not pretty and doesn't get a pass like Elizabeth. Anyone whose been the dependable and responsible one at work, who gets yelled out for the least little thing while others are running amok, know this. And that person is Anne Elliot. Everyone knows she's smart and the glue keeping the clattery machine together, but she's also the one who better tow the line or else.

    I used to dislike her, now I find we have a lot in common. I just try to be Anne post Lyme who steps forward in public and says, "Hey, Frederick, what's shakin'?"

  3. I also I say, I love William Elliot, but as a writer, not a reader.

    William Walter Elliot is one of Jane's characters who translates so well to the modern age. He and Wentworth both are perfect in the Regency, but also go have the chops to play in the 21st century and beyond.

  4. Fun post, RivkaBelle!

    I will defend Anne Elliot in a future Austen in August post, but enjoyed your other suggestions. Can I put in a word for John Dashwood? What a waste of space, dominated by his evil wife and a useless half-brother/step-son to the Dashwood ladies. Pah!

  5. I love Anne, she'd get nowhere if she was more assertive as her family are just not interested, she has a lot going on but she's not able to let it out. Characters I don't like are the Thorpes (or is it Thornes, can't remember off-hand) from Northanger Abbey. Also agree that the General is horrible. Lady C and Caroline Bingley are pretty horrid in P&P and Mr Collins always makes me feel nauseous, he's a fabulous creation but I'd hate to meet him in real life!

  6. Edmund Bertram, because I don't blame the victim. He's a shallow, vacillating idiot who, without Fanny to keep him right, would just wander into any type of trouble going. Indeed, he's so weak a character that his father, Sir Thomas, has to take on the protective, authoritative role common to Austen heroines. And he's horrible too--but much more engaging.

  7. I like Anne Elliot and Fanny Price! As for my least favorite characters (other than the villains), I'm not crazy about Catherine Morland, Edward Ferrars, or Edmund Bertram. I also used to hate Marianne Dashwood but she's grown on me.

  8. haha, I had a lot of fun writing this post, and knew (from previous discussions with other Janeites) that it'd provoke some discussion. I'm going to make reply-comments in no particular order, hehe...

    Doh! John Dashwood! He is a good one - but I always forget about him. It's like, he serves this Very Important Role, but is totally dominated on the page. He totally does not stick in my brain...

    Suzan, I LOVE your "Frank Churchill just because", hahahaha ... He reminds me of a lot of guys I know, and needs to be shaken until he wakes up ;o)

    Edmund is a special case too. I don't like, he's a creeper. I think I try to block him from my memory actually, ha...

    Caroline Bingley ... Yeah, she's a real B at times - but she does know her own mind. Fiendish as it may be ... Austen does a great job of creating people for us to not like ;o)

    As for Anne ... I think part of my dislike is because SO MANY PEOPLE talked her up SO MUCH: going on and on and on about how wonderful she is and how beautiful the story is and how its just perfect-absolutely-perfect and Anne is perfect-absolutely-perfect. And then I read it, and was like "Seriously? Are we reading the same book?" I dunno ... She just annoys me :o) hehe

  9. I agree one hundred percent with Fanny Price. She's the reason I can't stand Mansfield Park. Ugh. Of course, the cousin marrying and increased religious messages don't help.

    Anne definitely is not a favorite either. She is also too mild. I like my heroines spunkier. That keeps Persuasion from being a top favorite too.

  10. So as to not just be jumping on the "Oh no! Not Anne Elliot" bandwagon here, I will instead defend poor Fanny Price. The again, maybe not, because I'm kind of getting tired of explaining why I think everyone is way too harsh on her. I'll just throw this out: why not hate Edmund Bertram? Doesn't he deserve some of this Mansfield animosity? He is definitely on my top five list.

    I think my least favorite Austen character of all has to be John Thorpe. He skeeves me out.

  11. I DO hate Edmund Bertram. SO SO MUCH. I think that's part of why people hate Fanny, actually - that she would want Edmund and put up with him, and be GRATEFUL for him.

    And John Thorpe is so very skeeve-worthy. I'm surprised he didn't get more attention in the bad boys post, everyone sort of wrote him off.

  12. Thanks Ceri, it's the Thorpe girl. Is it Isabella? She makes me ill, well and the brother does too but that's for different reasons. I had forgotten John Dashwood. I'm so glad someone mentioned him. The lowlife to leave those poor women so defenseless. He should turn in his man card and get a big one that says even beyond henpecked.

  13. Oops forgot. I hated that movie version of Mansfield Park. Makes Fanny Price look like a dithering idiotic blond running about with no brains etc. Austen didn't make her main characters weak kneed and with no brains. Catherine Morland was close but I choose to think her young, inexperienced and yet inquisitive with an imagination from reading novels. I think it took tremendous courage for Fanny to refuse Mr. Crawford knowing the repercussions would come. She could have had everything and yet turned it down because she didn't trust him. And she was right. However that said as someone mentioned it would be kind of fun to see her accept him. smiles

  14. I have to agree with you about Mr. Elliott, he is pretty sleazy! Although I must say I'm not sure I see too many redeeming qualities in Mr. Collins either, LOL. And yes, of all Austen's heroines I think Fanny is probably my least favourite (and Mansfield Park itself one of my least favourite Austen books generally). Very interesting to read the reasons behind your picks!


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