Unsung Austen Men: Mr. Weston

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Mr. Weston is shown in the Emma films, but kind of passed over to be only a minor character. We see him as the one who takes Miss Taylor away, as she becomes Mrs. Weston, an act that encourages Emma to believe she can control others lives and make them fall in love.

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We see him again as the father of Frank, encouraging him to visit and (pair up with Emma), but that’s really all.

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Not Important

However, Jane Austen never goes halfway on a project and devoted much more time and a whole chapter on his sad back story. Mr. Weston is an incredibly dear man, who’s story is actually pretty heartbreaking. So grab your tissues and get ready for it.

Noo!

So Mr Weston was born into a pretty well off family, that with every generation rose higher in respectability and gentility. He received a good education, and instead of pursuing business like his brothers, he decided to join the military.

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As Captain Weston he was invited into many homes, meeting a wealthy, beautiful woman, Miss Churchill.

It was love at first sight. Everyone approved except Mrs. Churchill (mother) and Mr. Churchill (brother). You see the Churchills were of a higher stock and thought that marrying into military was so far below them.

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It didn’t matter to Miss Churchill and she refused to listen to her relatives, only having eyes for Mr. Weston. She married Mr. Weston anyways, and because she disobeyed her family (and wasn’t in total control of her wealth) her relatives disowned her and refused to give her a single penny.

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Even though Mr. Weston was an incredibly kind and sweet man, the marriage was unhappy. Now as Mrs. Weston, she found herself unhappy as they couldn’t afford the lifestyle she was used to. They lived beyond there income and nothing was as great as when she was Miss Churchill.

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Three years after they were married, Mrs. Weston died leaving Mr. Weston in great debt and with a baby to take care of.

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So this is the extreme low point for Mr. Weston. He has done everything in his power to take care of his wife and make her happy, but nothing is good enough. Then she becomes sick and dies and now he has incredible debt, horrible grief, and a baby to take care of.

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He is completely unsure of what to do, when Mr. and Mrs. Churchill come snaking in and ask for the child. Poor Mr. Weston, how he must have felt being asked to give up his child. But he does as he knows it is the best thing for him. The Churchills (his late wife’s brother’s family) have no children of their own and are quite wealthy. They could give his son Frank everything, stability, two parents, education, toys, horses, etc. So he does it. It makes sense, but it still breaks his heart.

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This always reminds me of Vanity Fair, by William Makepeace Thackery, when widowed Amelia holds onto her son as long as she can, but when she realizes that she won’t be able to truly care for his needs she gives him to his rich relatives to rear instead. It is such a heartbreaking scene.

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Mr. Weston decides to start over, moving to Highbury and working with his brothers. He begans to build everything up again, but he doesn’t send for his child as he knows the other family is more stable and he wants Frank to grow up with every advantage.

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Meanwhile as Frank is reared by his uncle and is set to inherit everything, he wants to be adopted by him and go by Churchill instead of Weston. How much that must of hurt to not only lost your son’s childhood, but adulthood as well to another person.

Sadface Batman

Mr. Weston does see his son every year, and the two have a relationship. But poor Mr. Weston, to lose the role of father, and instead be more of an uncle.

But even with all these hardships, Mr. Weston has such a positive outlook on life and believes that he will build his life up, and marry again one day.

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And so his tale does have a happy ending, as this poor, broken, lonely man is able to find true love once again; in Miss Taylor. A woman who doesn’t need fancy trappings or riches, but just a home and Mr. Weston.

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For more on Emma, go to Credit Where Credit is Due

Credit Where Credit is Due

Have you ever taken credit for something you didn’t do or was out of your hands to create?

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It’s not to say that you were trying to steal someone else’s thoughts, creation, or work. It’s just you are trying to take full credit for something you really had no true control over.

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Well then you are just like Emma when she believes she is the one who brought Miss Taylor and Mr. Weston together.

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Now a lot of people laugh at how conceited Emma is in this scene, but this is actually something a lot of people fall into.

Say What

For all you sports fans, think about the last game you saw in which your team won because “you wore a special shirt or socks”. Or how about the fact you won a prize because you chose your “lucky number”? Or the time you won a game because you “blew luck into the dice”? Or getting a certain space in Monopoly because you “claimed” it? Or the time you passed a test because you wore a “lucky” piece of clothing? Yep, we humans love to claim that some act we did caused a realignment in the cosmos and brought about something we desired.

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In reality, none of our little “lucky” things or claims did anything to affect it. It was out of our control the whole time, but we feel better having done “something”. It makes us feel in control.

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In Emma, Emma Woodhouse’s governess and best friend has just married the widower Mr. Weston. Emma is convinced that she is the one who made it all happen, as four years ago when everyone said Mr. Weston would never marry, she was determined to prove them all wrong.

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However, there is a huge problem with this thought. In thinking that she did everything, Emma is totally disregarding the feelings of her mentor and Mr. Weston. Because she was lucky in her guess, she believes she is the one who made all the decisions, a true puppet master.

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I don't think so

Sorry Emma, that’s not how it works. People are like cats, they don’t do something because you want them to. They do what they want to do.

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If they want to be together, they will try to get together. But if they don’t want to get together, then it’s not going to work out.

No thank you

As Mr. Knightley says it:

“I do not understand what you mean by ‘success’, said Mr Knightley. “Success supposes endeavor…But if, which I rather imagine, your making the match, as you call it, means only your planning it, your saying to yourself one idle day, ‘I think it would be a very good thing for Miss Taylor if Mr. Weston were to marry her,’ and saying it again to yourself every now and then afterwards, why do you talk of success? Where is your merit? You made a lucky guess; and that is all that can be said.”

Unfortunately, like most people, Emma won’t listen to him as she is adamant that her thoughts and suppositions had a true effect on the real world.

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And is now determined to set her sights on someone else, fixing them up and proving to Mr. Knightley that she is in control.

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And how will this turn out for Emma? Keep following to find out!

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For more on Emma, go to All By Myself

By George He’s Perfect

Mr. Knightly Emma

Just finished a reading Emma and Mr. Knightly is so awesome! He is kind, caring, and it is so romantic how he is willing to give up his only chance for true love and happiness because he thinks he isn’t right for Emma. He travels through any element to be by Emma’s side; he’s better than the post office.

Mr. Knightly is also wise, an excellent judge of character, and the best Austen detective. After all he is the one to figured out who sent the piano and what Frank Churchill was hiding.

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He is also the voice of reason, able to stop arguments, and calmly resolves any problematic situations. For example; when there is a fear of being snowed in at the Westons, the canceling of Box Hill, or how to be able to marry Emma but not take her away from her father.

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Mr. Knightly is also the perfect gentleman. He cares for Mr. Woodhouse (through both real and hypochondriac ailments), makes sure that Mr. Weston is protected from John Knightly’s vicious tongue; along with insuring that Mr. Woodhouse has plenty to occupy himself with during any party, so that Emma can have time to enjoy herself.

He is also willing to give up his home, routine, being head of the house, and move in with the Woodhouses; so that Mr. Woodhouse and Emma won’t have to be separated, nor Mr. Woodhouse’s routine be changed.

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He also uses his carriage to pick up Miss Bates and Jane so that they don’t have to walk in the cold. He is always thinking of others. How caring and sweet is that!

One of the things I really love about the Mr. Knightly and Emma relationship is how comfortable they are with each other. Since they were friends first, they can really talk to each other along with teasing. As most of the other novels show the romantic leads meeting for the first time near the beginning of the novel, they don’t have this same kind of closeness. And the books that have the same kind of history between their main leads, have other situations standing in the way of them having this type of relationship. 

And like all Austen men, besides a having a great personality, strong sense of character, and being kind to others; he is also handsome and has a “tall, firm, upright figure…”

And while he might not think so, he is also an amazing dancer. One of my favorite parts:

“Whom are you going to dance with?’
‘With you, if you will ask me.’
‘Will you?’
‘Indeed I will. you have shewn[sic] that you can dance, and you know we are not really so much brother and sister as to make it improper’
Brother and sister! no, indeed”

I agree when Emma says that he  is “superior..to every other being upon earth…” (Or at least any being in this novel 😊)

I simply LOVED the end of the novel! He gives such a great proposal!

“My dearest Emma…for dearest you will always be, whatever the event of this hour’s conversation, my dearest, most beloved Emma…”

“Within half an hour, he had passed from a thoroughly distressed state of mind, to something so like perfect happiness, that it could bear no other name.”

“She was his own Emma, by hand and word, when they returned into the house; and if he could have thought of Frank Churchill then, he might have deemed him a good sort of fellow.”

Before I read Emma, I had just seen the films and while I liked Mr. Knightley (I mean who wouldn’t); after reading the book I fell head over heels in love with him. Now he is one of my main Austen men.

Plenty for Everyone

Plenty for Everyone