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Friday, August 28, 2015

The Friday Five: My Fave Minor Characters

At the beginning of this week, Sophia shared some of her favorite non-main characters from Austens novels; today you'll be hearing about mine, as part of. . .

I mentioned the other day that I think Austen's strength -- and the enduringness? But you know, something that's actually a word -- lies in her characters, and that doesn't just apply to the main characters. Or even the more prominent side characters: your Bingleys, your Thorpes, your multitudinous Janes. . . No, right down to the day players, Austen's characters are nothing if not memorable.
So rather than sing the praises of characters we've talked about again and again (I still love you, Crawfords! I don't care what anyone else says!), today, I'm talking about the minor characters. Not the sidekicks, but the people who show up and make us love them, even if they don't get a ton of page time, or aren't the main plot line.
William Price, Joseph Morgan, Jane Austen, Mansfield Park
It doesn't hurt to look like Joseph Morgan . . .

1. William Lucas of Mansfield Park, who makes both my list and Sophia's. We really don't see William for very long at all, but he's never far from Fanny's thoughts, and it seems his sister is never far from his, either. In a book where the main character doesn't really have anywhere to turn, or much of anyone to turn to, William's comforting presence is a relief to both Fanny and the reader, and your left with an impression of a truly good, upstanding young man. I'm very sorry I had to kill him that one time; I don't know what I was thinking...

John Middleton, Sense & Sensibility, Jane Austen
2. Sir John Middleton of Sense & Sensibility, the second character to make both my list and Sophia's. I mean, when you're right, you're right, and we are right. Sir John is the type of guy you want in your corner: he's there for the Dashwoods without a moments hesitation (in fact, without even the appearance of having hesitated -- help was needed, and it wasn't even a question that he would provide it). He never once lords his position (of wealth and circumstance, or the position of power that comes when one is beholden to you), over the ladies, and he goes out of his way to make them feel invited and welcomed. He and his family may enjoy a good tease, of course, but a jovial and good-natured ribbing is a small price to pay for such instant and unquestioning kind-heartedness.

3. Sir William Lucas of Pride & Prejudice. Of course, Sir William, again, is a good-natured and happy person who seems to only want those around him to be happy, too. He may overstep, but it never seems to be done out of any malice or officiousness -- more like he's an over-excited little boy who wants to show everyone his new toy, but also wants them to play with it. He's silly, but he's sweet.
source, because I couldn't resist sharing this.

4.  The Crofts. But also the Musgroves. Because I can. These two couples of Persuasion may have larger parts than the others, but being much older than the principals, they are, of course, relegated to the background. . . But what a stable, healthy background they make up! The Crofts and the Musgroves function as examples to Anne of marital happiness and strong, tight-knit family units, while ALSO showing that one doesn't have to be a pushover to maintain a happy atmosphere. They're an excellent example, but also just good people, and I love them.

5. Mr & Mrs Morland of Northanger Abbey. I mean, we really don't see much of the Morlands, but all of what we do see paints a picture of a sensible, rosy-cheeked and happy family. And the proof is in the pudding:
Catherine is allowed to play and explore and venture out, she's loved and trusted, and in turn she becomes a vibrant, happy, playful and joyful young woman who is loving and trusting (erm, mostly) in turn -- if a little prone to flights of fancy. . .

So there you have it! My 5 (sort of. Shut up.) favorite minor characters from all of Austen's novels, save Emma, 'cause we've talked about her plenty this year.
Let me know your fave characters and character-moments in the comments, whether main, side or minor!

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  1. Absolutely! These are splendid choices (and not b/c we share a few). I really should have done a Top Ten list then I would have agonized less on who to include.

    Oh man! I remember that game when you killed off poor William Price. He's nice enough to forgive and gentleman enough to forget, I'm sure. :)

    1. Haha! Somehow, knowing that he'd forgive me makes me feel even worse!

  2. The Gardiners are my favorite pair. After all, they are the reason Lizzy and Jane turned out so well.

  3. The Gardiners are my favorite pair. After all, they are the reason Lizzy and Jane turned out so well.

  4. The Gardiners will always hold a special place in my heart,and not just because they were played by Joanna David and Tim Wylton!!

    I too love the Crofts,especially of them riding together,sharing 'steering' responsibility,in the gig!

    1. The Crofts are the best! Truly two people who were made for each other.


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