Wednesday 6 April 2011

My Book Boyfriend: Captain Wentworth

My Book Boyfriend is a weekly meme hosted by The Unread Reader every Wednesday. It's all about fictional boys that make us swoon. This week, I'm swooning over Captain Frederick Wentworth from Jane Austen's Persuasion.

I was initially going to go with Mr Darcy (the obvious choice, I know), but when thinking about my fave fictional moments in response to The Perpetual Page-Turner's post on fictional men the other day, Captain Wentworth was the one who sprang to mind first, and stuck there...

About Wentworth
  • He falls in love with Anne Elliot at a young age. Austen describes him at that time as "a remarkably fine young man, with a great deal of intelligence, spirit and brilliancy." Eight years on, when the novel is set, "he was not altered, or not for the worse... [the years] had only given him a more glowing, manly, open look."
  • He starts out poor, but his confidence and ambition - and, er, broken heart - motivate him to move up the ranks in the navy, and he soon makes a fortune.
  • He's one hell of a letter-writer.
  • I first read Persuasion not long after my Ever After phase, so, inevitably, my Wentworth looked a lot Dougray Scott (and, come to think of it, my Anne looked pretty much like Drew Barrymore).

  • In all the adaptations, only one Wentworth has made me waiver from my original picture: Rupert Penry-Jones from the 2007 BBC version. He looks totally different, but he's totally gorgeous:

Swoon-worthy quote
Two words: the letter. If nothing else, Persuasion would be worth reading for the letter alone (though as a bonus there's a lot of other awesomeness). Here are my favourite parts - warning, spoilers ahead... but they're kinda worth it.
"You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own, than when you almost broke it eight years and a half ago... I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant. You alone have brought me to Bath. For you alone I think and plan... I can hardly write. I am every instant hearing something which overpowers me. You sink your voice, but I can distinguish the tones of that voice, when they would be lost on others. Too good, too excellent creature!"


  1. There is something about the gentlemen in classics! I haven't read Persuasion, i totally need to!! Though i do love Mr Darcy very much, and Colin Firth does an amazing job in his role!!

    Come by and meet my book boyfriend..

  2. Dougray Scott would have been perfect for Wentworth, I totally agree! That being said all the adaptations done in the BBC have been spot on in casting and each time I go "he's the best" and then the next time I go "he's the best"!

    Excellent Pick!

  3. Persuasion is actually my favorite Austen, and while I love Darcy, I don't think Wentworth gets enough attention. I love the part when he arranges for Anne to go with his sister and her husband and she thinks he's trying to get rid of her, but really he's just being considerate. I liked Ciaran Hinds as Wentworth.

  4. Belle,

    I can't tell you how happy I am because of this post! Captain Frederick Wentworth is my favorite Austen hero. That letter! Oh, that letter rocked my world.

    I loved the movie Ever After. Dougray Scott was so swoon in it.

    And Rupert Penry-Jones is just classically handsome. A perfect Wentworth for me.

  5. So that quote made me knees go all wobbly, men just don't talk like that anymore! I don't know what I'd do if my husband made a little eloquent speech like that, I'd probably have a heart attack:) And I'm with Missie, Dougray Scott in Ever After? Pure awesome:)

  6. I ALWAYS like when someone is chosen instead of Darcy. But mostly because that's - like - every girl's dream guy and I do don't get it. Nice choice.

  7. @Kiwi - you should definitely read Persuasion! It's one of my favourite books - a very CLOSE second after Pride and Prejudice.

    @Felicia - The BBC do do amazing adaptations. I'm a bit addicted to them!

    @Rubita - I love that bit too. So much misunderstanding in Persuasion! But that's what I love about it - especially when it's all cleared up!

    @Missie - Yay, so glad you enjoyed the post! The letter is amazing, isn't it? I remember the first time I read it, it literally took my breath away! It gets my heart racing every time.

    @Jenny - Yes, it's a bit sad that we don't hear things like that in real life, isn't it? But then I guess that's why we love books so much - they're a nice fantasy!

    @allstarme - Thanks! I do love Darcy, too, but Captain Wentworth is just about on par! He definitely doesn't get enough attention. :-)

  8. That last quote made me swoon! Great pick :)