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Sunday, April 5

Jane Austen Character Throwdown: Favorite Man of the Cloth

My Janeites on the James friends were convinced that Elizabeth Elliot would be the hands down winner of last weeks’s Jane Austen Character Throwdown, but once again you, the readers, surprised me, making this one of the closest contests in JA Throwdown history. Statistically the votes were 50/50,with Caroline Bingley and Elizabeth Elliot vieing for top spot as the most insufferable woman by only a few votes. Thank you for keeping me on my toes.

I now direct you to two men of the cloth. Oh, you’ve already told me that you found Mr. Collins less tolerable than Mr. Elton, but which of the following two men could possibly win a place in your heart? I have deliberately not included the charming Mr. Henry Tilney. After all, this should be a contest, not a runaway race. So, which of these two men of the cloth could win a place in your heart? Mr. Edward Ferrars or Mr. Edmund Bertram?

Favorite Man of the Cloth

Mr. Edward Ferrars, Sense and Sensibility

He’s not particularly handsome, according to Jane Austen. Shy, short, introverted, earnest, and kind, Edward falls in love with Elinor Dashwood while he is engaged to Lucy Steele. A man of his word, he honors his commitment to Lucy. When Miss Steele breaks off their engagement, Edward is finally free to pursue Elinor. As Deirdre Le Faye remarks in her book, Jane Austen: The World of Her Novels: “Poor Edward is so accustomed to being bullied and derided by his unpleasant family that very probably he will be quite happy to let Elinor run his life for him – though in a much kindlier way. “

Mr. Edmund Bertram, Mansfield Park

As a second son, Edmund Bertram will not become heir to Mansfield Park and is destined for a clergyman's position. Edmund is the only one of the Bertrams' children to show kindness to Fanny when she arrives as a child, and they become and remain close friends. He has a good heart and is loyal and kind, but his judgment is suspect when he falls hard for Mary Crawford. Like Edward Ferrars, he lacks a sense of humor and doesn’t know how to flirt. One senses that this serious young man is truly religious and that he is horrified by Mary’s suggestion that he give up his calling. free polls
Jane Austen Character Throwdown: Favorite Man of the Cloth
Edward Ferrars Edmund Bertram


Bostan natsuko said...

I don't know who to vote for i like them both. :)

Lynn said...

This is a really tough one...I will have to ponder before I commit myself on this one...I shall return when I have weighed all the pros and cons of each character !

becca said...

While I like Edward, I really adore Edmund's loyalty to Fanny. I also like that he's attracted to Mary, who is so different from him. Edward seems a little morose and a bit weak. Edmund seems steadier of character and more forceful. My vote is for Edmund.

Marilyn Brant said...

Oh, tough choice... Of the two, I think I'd have to say Edward Ferrars simply because he was definitely a man of his word and his poor decision--to become engaged to Lucy00happened in his youth. It's a bit easier to overlook.

(Although, it's also easier to see why a man--Edmund--would be charmed by Mary Crawford vs. Edward, who'd been attracted to the horrible Lucy Steele. :)

Charleybrown said...

Edward and Elinor are one of my favourite couples - the one I relate to the most so my vote goes to Edward! (imagining Hugh Grant though!)

nigel said...

Edmund Bertram would make a good mate(Australian meaning)! Edward Ferrars is a bit too shy and not assertive enough *smiles.*

Bertram learns assertiveness through his experience with the Crawfords. Plus he just appears to be fun company through his manner with Fanny (insert innocent look).

Lynn said...

After much pondering and weighing, I must finally name Edmund Bertram as my choice. He is the only person in his family who welcomes and loves Fanny as an equal when she comes to live with them. ( to the rest of the family, she is no more than a poor relation to be looked down on )

I just love his dismissal of Mary Crawford after he gets a full glimpse of her true motives and character and then finally realizes he is in love with Fanny.

BTW, another reason I chose Edmund is because I can't get that Hugh Grant out of my mind when I think of Edward ( I can't stand Hugh Grant no matter what he's in ! )

sweetly, lovely said...

I like both of these men of character. However, I absolutely adore Mr. Ferrars. I admire how he keeps his promise to Lucy knowing his deep admiration for the lovely Elinor Dashwood. Yes, Mr. Ferrars gets my vote.

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