Friday, 7 October 2016

Jane Austen's 'Persuasion': Quitting the Field

In Chapter 10 of Persuasion, Charles Hayter 'seemed to quit the field'. And 'Anne could only feel that Charles Hayter was wise.'

Why would Charles quit if he really wanted Henrietta? Is he 'playing hard to get'? Wouldn't this be a risky strategy? Is he just angrily jealous? And why does Anne think he is wise?

Would Jane Austen also think him wise?

This business of 'quitting the field' runs through the novel. It is what Anne herself is doing while she leaves Captain Wentworth to Louisa. It also foreshadows what Captain Wentworth does at the concert in Bath, when he thinks he has lost Anne to young Elliot.