Category Archives: Popularity

The charms of Miss Bates

Why is it everyone likes Miss Bates so much?

“Her daughter [Miss Bates] enjoyed a most uncommon degree of popularity for a woman neither young, handsome, rich, nor married. Miss Bates stood in the very worst predicament in the world for having much of the public favour; and she had no intellectual superiority to make atonement to herself or frighten those who might hate her into outward respect.  She had never boasted either beauty or cleverness.  Her youth had passed without distinction, and her middle of life was devoted to the care of a failing mother and the endeavor to make a small income go as far as possible.  And yet she was a happy woman, a woman whom no one named without goodwill.  It was her own universal goodwill and contented temper which worked such wonders.  She loved everybody, was interested in everybody’s happiness, quick-sighted to everybody’s merits; thought herself a most fortunate creature, and surrounded with blessings in such an excellent mother and so many good neighbors and friends and a home that wanted for nothing.  The simplicity and cheerfulness of her nature, her contented and grateful spirit, were a recommendation to everybody and a mine of felicity to herself.”

Emma, volume 1, chapter 3

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Filed under Beauty, Character description, Contentment (or not), Emma, Happiness, Miss Bates, Money, Popularity, Poverty

The measure of a man?

“’Brandon is just the kind of man,’ said Willoughby one day when they were talking of him together, ‘whom everybody speaks well of, and nobody cares about; whom all are delighted to see, and nobody remembers to talk to.’”

Sense & Sensibility, volume 1, chapter 10

Then again, Willoughby is the kind of boy who gets girls pregnant and leaves them to fend for themselves, disgraced and alone in the world.

David Morissey as Colonel Brandon.  ©BBC 2007 for Masterpiece™


Filed under Col. Brandon, Men, Popularity, Sense and Sensibility, Willoughby

He’s just not that into you…

“I do not think I was very much in request–.People were rather apt not to ask me till they could not help it;–One’s consequence you know varies so much at times without any particular reason–.  There was one Gentleman, an officer of the Cheshire, a very good looking young Man, who I was told wanted very much to be introduced to me;–but as he did not want it quite enough to take much trouble in effecting it, We never could bring it about.”

letter to Cassandra, about a ball of the previous evening
January 9, 1799 [17], emphasis mine

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Filed under Balls, Letters, Men, Popularity