Click here to enter my other blog: Jane Austen's World.

Tuesday, August 10

General Tilney: father

This week, I have been writing about the abbey in Northanger Abbey in honor of Friday the 13th, (in August... oh, horrid day!) and Fathers Day (August 9 in Brazil). I have discovered one facet about General Tilney that I hadn't noticed before.

In chapter 22 , General Tilney praises Woodston, Henry's property, to Catherine, who he thinks is an heiress and therefore a very good match for his younger son. Excited to share his idea he describes how he would have educated his sons:
[...] Perhaps it may seem odd, that with only two younger children, I should think any profession necessary for him; and certainly there are moments when we could all wish him disengaged from every tie of business. But though I may not exactly make converts of you young ladies, I am sure your father, Miss Morland, would agree with me in thinking it expedient to give every young man some employment. The money is nothing, it is not an object, but employment is the thing. Even Frederick, my eldest son, you see, who will perhaps inherit as considerable a landed property as any private man in the county, has his profession."
General Tilney was a stern, almost tyrannical, father, but he was right in this particular subject. Well, that is my opinion. What do you think?

Robert Hardy as General Tilney in Northanger Abbey, 1987
He portrayed Sir John Middleton in Sense and Sensibility, 1995

Posted by Raquel Sallaberry, Jane Austen em Português


Vic said...

I agree with General Tilney. Jane Austen shows in Sense and Sensibility how lack of employment will affect a young man. Mrs. Ferrars prohibited Edward, her eldest, from following his dreams. He had nothing to do, and so misinterpreted his crush on Lucy Steele for genuine love. In his own words, had he been able to work or study, he would have been too busy to dally with her, and would have soon forgotten her.

Southerner said...

Work!!! It is an integral part of the human condition, surely. Without work and effort we can't achieve or create anything.
Humans are not on this planet to do nothing.

The children of famous Hollywood film stars are a case in question. However having said that there are some prime examples of those who have thrown off the heavy weight of their parents fame and done something with their lives.
Charlie Chaplin's offspring, going back to the beginning and more recently the Douglas's. There are more examples.

I'm with general Tilney there. Probably his army upbringing. I wonder what military campaigns he took part in???? He must have had some great talent to reach the rank of general.

Raquel said...


Tom Bertram, too, is another young son whithout work and causing problems to his parents.

Raquel said...


I have thought about General Tilney career, but I know very litlle about English history...
Based on Northanger Abbey (date of writting) you could tell something to us! What do you and Vic think about? eh?!

Nonna Beach said...

I agree with the general premise but
HIS talk is cheap because his motives were to gain admiration. He got money without much effort and no love at all and now pontificates to others about work ?

Without work and service to others, life is a vain and vacant place to live !

Raquel said...

Nonna Beach

I agree with, the General's motive was vanity, though not lying.

I don't know how much were the income of the generals at that time.