Friday, December 9, 2011

Captain Frederick Wentworth

Name: Frederick Wentworth
Nicknames/Aliases: Captain Wentworth
Novel: Persuasion by Jane Austen
Role: Hero
Age: 31
Occupation: Naval Captain
Talents/Hobbies: Experienced ship's captain, good story teller, dancing. 
Place of Residence: H.M.S. Lanonia (on sea), stays with his sister or brother when on land.
Virtures: Intelligence, spirit, brilliancy, confidence, wit, sanguine temper, fearless mind, gallant, faithful friend, constant in love.
Vices: Sometimes weak and resentful, headstrong.

Parents - deceased
Sophia Croft - Sister, age 38, born Sophia Wentworth. Captain Wentworth often calls her Sophy. Sophia is married to Admiral Croft, parents deceased, brothers Frederick and Edward.
Admiral Croft - Brother-in-law, married to Frederick's sister Sophia. It is Admiral Croft who rents Kellynch Hall thus throwing Captain Wentworth and Anne Elliot into company again.
Edward Wentworth - Brother, probably older than Frederick by younger than their sister Sophia. Eight years ago Edward had the curacy of Monkford near to Kellynch Hall. Frederick Wentworth, then a young Lieutenant, was staying with Edward when he first met Anne Elliot. Edward later marries and becomes vicar of a Parrish in Shropshire where Captain Wentworth visits after the incidents in Lyme.

Spouse: (future) Anne Elliot - Eight years before the story opens Frederick, then a young naval Lieutenant met and fell in love with sweet-tempered Anne Elliot. When he proposed to her she said yes but after meeting with discouragement from home she later refuses her. Hurt and resentful Frederick passes eight years in a glorious naval career. When he sees Anne again he finds that he still loves her and admires her more than any other. 

Captain Harville - A fellow Navy Captain and best friend. Captain Harville is married with several children and receives a wound to the leg that invalids him out of the Navy. Captain Wentworth and the Musgroves visit the Harvilles in Lyme.
Captain James Benwick - Captatin Wentworth's first mate and great friend. Captain Benwick was engaged to Captain Harville's sister Fanny but she dies while he is away at sea. It is Captain Wentworth who takes the heavy task of breaking the news to him. Captain Benwick lives with the Harvilles in Lyme and reads morbid poetry. He later rallies again and marries Louisa Mugrove. 
Charles Musgrove - Son and heir of the elder Charles Musgrove, married to Anne's sister Mary, father of Little Charles and Little Walter. Captain Wentworth meets Charles while visiting Uppercross with Admiral and Mrs. Croft and they have several days of good shooting and become quick friends. 

Mr. William Elliot – Anne Elliot's cousin and heir to her father Sir William Elliot. While still unknown to them by name, Captain Wentworth and the Musgrove party see Mr. Elliot at Lyme where he admires Anne in passing. Later Captain Wentworth hears rumors in Bath that Anne is to marry Mr. Elliot.
Lady Russell – Anne's godmother and mother figure, Captain Wentworth holds her chiefly responsible for persuading Anne to end their first engagement.

Portrayed by: Bryan Marshall (1971), Ciaran Hinds (1995), Rupert Penry-Jones (2007).


  • "Do women often come shooting, Charles?" - Persuasion (1995)
  • "Though I got here only yesterday, I've already armed myself for Bath. (He shows her a new umbrella)" - Persuasion (1995)
  • "I tried to forget you. I thought I had." - Persuasion (1995)
  • "...I am quite ready to make a foolish match with any woman between fifteen and thirty. A little beauty, a few smiles and a compliment to the navy and I shall be lost. After all, what right has a humble sailor to expect any better. But if I am to speak in earnest, what I desire above all in a wife is firmness of character - a woman who knows her own mind. I cannot abide timidity or feebleness of purpose. A weak spirit which is always open to persuasion, first one way and then the other, can never be relied upon." - Persuasion (2007)
  • "You have no idea Harry how I curse the folly of my own pride. Had I only the good sense to seize my happiness when I had the chance again none of this would have happened. ... I imagined myself indifferent to her when I was only angry and resentful. Too late...too late I began to understand myself and her. Never, never have I met her equal in good sense or sweetness of character. She's perfection itself. I have never loved any but her." - Persuasion (2007)
  • "Yes, here I am, Sophia, quite ready to make a foolish match. Anybody between fifteen and thirty may have me for asking. A little beauty, a few smiles, and a few compliments to the navy, and I am a lost man. Should not this be enough for a sailor, who has had no society among women to make him nice?" - (novel)
  • "A strong mind, with sweetness of manner," ... "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." - (novel)
  • "The Admiralty," he continued, "entertain themselves now and then, with sending a few hundred men to sea in a ship not fit to be employed. But they have a great many to provide for; and among the thousands that may just as well go to the bottom as not, it is impossible for them to distinguish the very set who may be least missed." - (novel)
  • "Now I have done," cried Captain Wentworth. "When once married people begin to attack me with - 'Oh! you will think very differently when you are married,' I can only say, 'No, I shall not'; and then they say again, 'Yes, you will,' and there is an end of it." - (novel)
  • "I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. 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. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved non but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant. You along have brought be to Bath. For you alone, I think and plan." - (novel, Captain Wentworth's letter)
  • "I have been used to the gratification of believing myself to earn every blessing that I enjoyed. I have valued myself on honourable toils and just rewards. Like other great men under reverses," he added, with a smile, "I must endeavour to subdue my mind to my fortune. I must learn to brook being happier than I deserve." - (novel)
  • "It is the worst evil of too yielding and indecisive a character, that no influence over it can be depended on. You are never sure of a good impression being durable; everybody may sway it. Let those who would be happy be firm." - (novel)

Biography: Frederick was a young Lieutenant on leave from the Navy and visiting his curate brother when he first met Anne Elliot. She was at that a very pretty girl of nineteen and in need of a friend. Frederick had little do in the country and plenty of time to become great friends with Anne. Their friendship quickly turned to devoted love and he soon asked Anne to marry him. Anne at first accepted his proposal, but, meeting with discouragement from her father and godmother, she later refused him. Feeling very hurt and ill-used he left the country soon.
Eight years passed in which Frederick became Captain of his own ship gaining both wealth and fame.
When Frederick next comes home he visits his sister and brother-in-law who are now renting Kellynch and is soon thrown into company with Anne. Although he finds that time has given her a care-worn look she is still the sweet-tempered woman he fell in love with. Although he tries to forget her by lavishing attention on the young Musgrove ladies Anne is still in his heart and he can't help being kind to her even though the pain is still there. Frederick is so busy trying to forget about Anne that he doesn't realize Louisa Musgrove and her family are starting to consider them as soon to be engaged. On a trip to Lyme to visit his friends Louisa has a great fall when she jumps from the high stone steps before he can catch her. Frederick greatly blames himself for her injuries and does his best to help her family in the weeks of recovery that follow.
In an effort to distance himself from being considered Louisa's beau, Frederick goes to visit his clergyman brother in Shropshire and comes back to find Louisa much recovered and engaged to his good friend Captain Benwick.
Free from any entanglement Frederick goes to Bath particularly to seek Anne out only to find her surrounded by rumors that she will marry her father's heir Mr. William Elliot. On a visit to Mrs. Musgrove, staying in Bath to buy wedding clothes for both of her daughters, Frederick overhears a conversation Anne has with Captain Harville. Finding that Anne seems to be still constant in her love for him, Frederick writes the most romantic letter renewing his proposal and leaves it for Anne to read. A few minutes later Anne and Frederick meet in the street and spend the afternoon walking and talking over their past and future.

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