Ep 2: A Defence of Colonel Brandon from Sense and Sensibility
Updated: Apr 8, 2022
Welcome to the second episode of the What the Austen? podcast! I'm your host Izzy, and I am joined by my friend and fellow Janeite Caily Bridgeland from @half_agony_half_hope. In this episode, we discuss Jane Austen's novel Sense and Sensibility and focus on the character of Colonel Brandon. Brandon is often underrated as a hero, and we will be discussing why we think this is. We will explore the misconceptions about his age and personality, and how the film adaptations exacerbate these misconceptions. We will address how our opinions on Brandon have altered with time, and after listening to this episode, we hope you will join us in reconsidering Brandon as a desirable hero.
This podcast is about Janeites coming together, discussing Jane Austen's work, and having a few laughs along the way.
Listen to Episode 2 here: https://whattheaustenpodcast.buzzsprout.com/
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Transcript of the episode:
Isabelle Meakin 0:18
Welcome to the second episode of the what the Austen podcast I'm joined by Caily. So hi Caily.
Hi, Izzy. I'm so excited to be here and talk, Sense and Sensibility.
Isabelle Meakin 0:29
So this is the first time I meet him in person, but it's still virtual. But we kind of met through Instagram. And we were saying about a year ago now, which is just crazy. And your Instagram account is half the half hope.
Yes. And I just remember we started our accounts around the same time and just immediately bonded over that and became friends. And yeah.
Isabelle Meakin 0:50
So do you want to just see like a short bit about like how you got into Austen originally? Yeah, yes.
So actually, my grandfather always loved all forms of literature. And his two favourite authors are Shakespeare and Austin. And so at a pretty young age, he gave me my first copy of Pride and Prejudice. And I also grew up with a bunch of different Jane Austen adaptations, then the first one that I ever watched was the 1980 version of Sense and Sensibility. And Sense and Sensibility is actually my favourite Austin. So I'm really excited to talk about this particular novel today,
Isabelle Meakin 1:30
Yes I was going to say that is fitting because today we will be focusing on Sense and sensibility. And Brandon is a character and how he is... draw drawn the short straw is what we've been saying. We're hoping this podcast is going to be in defence of him. So relationally we're going to go with the misconceptions first. And then we're gonna try and build his character back up, I think. Thats are plan.
Yeah, we want to make you all a brand and lovers by the end of this.
Isabelle Meakin 1:55
Right, absolutely. So on that point, I'm going to I'm going to see like what my when I think about Brandon what I originally think before I kind of planned this podcast before the reread it. So I genuinely just thought of weirdness like this old guy who's super boring and not very attractive. And just to be able to see I thought he was forgettable. Like, I just do that. Like, Brandon. No, he's not even on like my top five. And yeah, I totally just brush them aside. And I actually, the reason that I kind of came about doing this podcast is when I was on Instagram, I was chatting to, like Disney Princess lessons, so Ann from from that account. And she was like saying to me like, it's so unfair how like Brandon's being cast in adaptations, etc. And I've rewread Sense and sensibility recently, and I totally changed my mind about him and so that's what kind of drew me to be like, maybe I should reconsider Brandon is a hero. So yeah, it looks to me like what your preconceptions of Brandon was misconceptions, maybe? Like, what are your first instincts?
Absolutely. What stands out is I remember when Marianne talks about how he complained of a rheumatism. I thought, I also thought, Oh, he's this old man. I remember he's described as silent grave, just kind of depressed down in the dumps, and, frankly, boring. And I really, I really thought of him as this, just this old man. And I think the adaptations don't help with that, because they cast him as so much older looking than he actually is. But when you read the book, he's not that old. So yeah, exactly. First impression.
Isabelle Meakin 3:39
No. So the point is that running is actually 35, which nowadays is not old at all, like you're still pretty younger 35. But throughout the book is just considered as being like this ancient guy, which is just crazy. So I was saying to you earlier that actually, I did a bit of digging. And Brandon is actually only seven years older than Darcy. So, I mean, Darcy is like the hero, right?
Totally, and the way they're portrayed in the movies, you would think that there was a 20 year age difference. So that's just the Yeah, that's amazing to think about, because, you know, we all think of Darcy as this young, handsome hero, and then, um, you know, Brandon, really, a lot of people consider an old man.
Isabelle Meakin 4:30
Right? Absolutely. And then also are saying that Wentworth is actually also in his 30s. And we don't think about Wentworth as being like old and decrepit. So to start off with, we just need to re evaluate his age because he's not that old.
100% and I think, I think to a lot of people just have prejudice against him because he's interested in Marianne and she's 16. I think it's also the fact that many And so young, like if we think about Darcy being 25, and Lizzie Bennet being 21, they're very close in age, but the fact that Brandon is 35 and Marianne 16, a lot of people automatically will write him off because they'll go, Oh, that's perverted. Because in this day and age, we can't do that. But we do have to remember that the times were different than like back then you could marry your cousin. If anyone did that. Now, we'd be like, what's wrong with you? But in that day and age, it was more acceptable to marry someone who's a little bit older. So I think that's another reason why people just automatically write him off. But we have to make sure to remember what the time was and adapt accordingly. Right?
Isabelle Meakin 5:45
Absolutely. Because like most women, were already in the marriage market at that point, like 16, like, boom, you're like, out and about looking for a husband. So sometimes younger, but you know, most of the time it is around like 16, that you're out there. And, you know, on the prowl, as it were. So I thought we could kind of get into what I think adds to the misconceptions about Brandon and I think that's how he's described at the start of the novel. So I've got like a couple of quotes here. So we could go through. The first is, his apperance however not pleasing in spite of being in the opinion of Mariana Margaret's absolute old bachelor, but he was on the wrong side of five and 30.
laughing so hard, because I wrote down the exact same quotes. I have absolute old bachelor, wrong side of five and 30. Neither very young, nor very gay, silent and grave.
Isabelle Meakin 6:48
I've got advanced state of life.
I mean, that's how I would describe someone in their 80s. You know? Yeah. So I think I think the reason all this is happening is this is how Marion is viewing him. And so it's all very exaggerated. But no wonder we think he's older than he is.
Isabelle Meakin 7:15
Right? And then there's even like a part later where she's, she's saying, it's a laugh at the fact that people are thinking about them being together because she can't even imagine what somebody of Brandon's age would even be doing, looking for a wife.
I know I wrote down, that Marianne says he might have outlived all acuteness of feeling like he's so old, he couldn't possibly love anyone anymore. That's way in his past. So everything was just really set against him at the beginning.
Isabelle Meakin 7:46
it really is. And I think when you start reading that you'll actually just like, okay, let's just brush Brandon aside, because he just sounds awful. Also, at the time, you all kind of rooting for Edward farrars to turn up because that's already like, you know, that's budding between him and Eleanor. And so I feel like, once you've got that kind of good vibe between Edward and Elinor, then you're like, looking at Brandon. And you're like, Okay, well, both Brandon doing here. He's just like, not appealing, hero.
Totally. And I think that's such a good point that you bring Edward up because Edward and Eleanor have such a similar disposition. So they just seem like such a good match. They're both, you know, sensible, calm. And so then when you see Colonel Brandon and Marianne, you're like, Oh, my gosh, their ages are different. Their temperaments are different. There's no way that these two could connect. Let's just get them out of here. Right. And he she makes the point. She's like, Oh, he's not interested in music. He's not and she's got no spirit. Like he's just, he's like, really dull.
Isabelle Meakin 8:43
Obviously, Marianne is a character is like really bubbly and, you know, loves music. And it's very opinionated, but in like a naive kind of way.
100% And actually, what's so interesting is even though she said he says all this stuff at the beginning, calling him the absolute old bachelor, silent in grave all of all of these negative things. One of her first experiences with Brandon Marianne actually respects him. I really I took note of the scene where she's singing for everyone like she's singing for john and Lady Middleton and Mrs. Jennings and they're all asking her to sing, but then talking over her and not listening. And she, Marian, it says that Colonel Brandon paid her only the compliment of attention. And she felt a respect for him on the occasion. And she basically she she appreciated his pleasure in music, though it amounted not to the ecstatic delight. And I think because Marianne thinks that any feeling you have should be this exaggerated emotion. She doesn't respect Brandon, even though from the start. He does appreciate music. He's the one who's paying attention to her and being respectful to her. While everyone else is being a jerk, and I appreciated her music,
Isabelle Meakin 10:06
right, he's so attentive to her. I mean, it can it can be creept that he's always like references staring at her and like looking at her and Mrs. Jennings is always like, she saw him again, staring at Marianne across the room because he was in love with her. I was like, oh, Christ, things have escalated quickly.
Oh, my gosh, wait. So yeah, that's exactly what I was thinking to. I was like, why are people not really on board with Brandon? And when we were thinking about the misconceptions, I think one of the biggest turnoff is it throughout the novels, he doesn't really communicate with Marrianne that much. He's always just sort of observing her staring at her. Like it is a little it can be a little creepy. He talks to Eleanor about her. And I think it's sort of out of this respect for all the trauma that Marianne is going through. But you can understand why people would be like, dude, just talk to her, you know, Why are you staring at her? Right?
Isabelle Meakin 11:01
Literally, he always communicates for people as well. It's so creepy. I hear a phrase because he's like, Marrianne would never be interested in me. In fact, like, I knew Marriane has got that kind of the weird thing about like, she doesn't like people he's been in past relationships or something like she she's like, the kind of used goods now. She's got like, kind of, like thought process. And so I don't know if it's that he's like, I'm unworthy to even like, converse with him. Maybe it's a bit strange. I will be kind of creeped out if Someone kept staring at me that much. But you've got to give it to him that he shows us so much attention. Regardless of what he gets in return, like she doesn't communicate with him, but he doesn't care. He's still you know, he just wants to be in a company I think.
100% and you know, that's one of my favourite things about him is I think he he sees Marianne at her worst like he sees her basically so sick. It's almost like she's on her deathbed. He sees her when she's behaving really poorly and rudely to everyone because she's so self absorbed and like focused, tunnel vision on will it be? He sees her at her worst, and he still loves her and appreciates her amiable qualities. And I love how steadfast and loyal he is, and, and his appreciation for her.
Isabelle Meakin 12:19
Yeah, I love that. So it's funny that you should say about the way that she behaves, will it be because I think that often, Marion's made her point of what she thinks about kind of Brandon's age. This is only embedded more when she's with Willoughby. And literally, I'm trying to think which chapter it was not Earth chapter 10 is literally just Marianne, and Willoughby ripping into Brandon? I see. Even to the point that Elinor pities him, because they're so prejudiced against him. But they say he's neither lively nor young. And they say that it really be says, this particular line, oh my gosh, Brandon is just the kind of man who everybody speaks well off, and nobody cares about you. They're delighted to see and nobody remembers to talk to. I'm just like, Oh my God, that's just like, so brutal. Like he's only met him a couple of times, right? in putting aside all of the other were connections that they're going to have later on. Because considering he like, impregnates, his ward. I just like, How can you be so rude? And you just keep saying, Oh, well, I respect him. But oh, this but and it's like, stop with the buts. Willougby stop taring into this guy. Marianne just jumps right on in there. She's like, he has to have a genius tasteful spirit. And he has understanding has new brilliancy. And his voice has no expression. I mean, which
Yeah, that part is so mean spirited. I keep thinking, how could they both be so mean? And it's so interesting, because when Marianne agrees with Willoughby being like he has no genius, taste or spirit. That's contradicting what she thought about her earlier because it says earlier that she actually respected his attentiveness to her and interest in music. So that just goes to show she's just trying to agree with everything that we'll be saying. But I do find it so interesting, too, that Eleanor picks up on the fact that will it be is immediately threatened by Brandon, even though will it be you know, is described, I wrote down he has this influence of youth beauty, elegance. He's very idealised in his description. Opposite isn't a of Brandon, manly beauty more than common gracefulness. There's a lot of emphasis emphasis on Willougby being lively while Brandon is being grave. But despite all of that, will have he has this intuitive sense of being threatened by Brandon. And I think it's the same chapter that Eleanor kind of calls him on it and ask them why are you so predispose to dislike Brandon and will it be basically responds I can dislike him if I want to.
Isabelle Meakin 15:13
I feel like Elena is always to the defensive of brandon she's like, why is this so like important to you guys to be so awful about this man who has not done anything to you he's not like got any bad intentions to you in she just couldn't understand it she literally says she could not understand why he would want to undervalue his merits pretty much like it's it's pretty bizarre and it's so extreme. And yeah, it made me feel kind of uncomfortable to be honest with you like I didn't originally because originally I was like, yeah, Brandon, this old guy who's like boring. But now when I read it, I'm like, actually, this is awful to me. I don't know if that's like, as I've grown up like the when you read Austen, when you're younger, maybe you do just kind of agree with Marianne because you're in the same kind of mindset. You're like, actually had a fight. if I was reading it when I was 15 or 17 and a 35 year old guy likes you - that would be pretty creepy, do you know what I mean? now I am in my 20s I'm like, He sounds like a respectable kind of guy.
100% I felt the same way when I was younger, especially watching the adaptations when I was a little girl. I always idealised Marianne and I was like, She's so pure and truthful, and she feels all her emotions deeply. And then as I've grown up, I'm like, Oh, my gosh, that's so self absorbed to do that. And I actually admire Eleanor more. And I feel like I used to also idealise Willoughby. And now I'm appreciating Brandon more. Because I just think that there's this emphasis on Marianne appreciating people who are lively, exaggerated with their emotions. And she keeps saying, an openness and frankness and she describes will it be that way? But ironically, will it be is not open with Marianne about one of the most important things. And also there's this really interesting scene where there's always an emphasis on how similar Marianne and Willoughby are and how they have all the same interests, but actually will be kind of goes along with whatever Maryann's interests are. So I thought this was really interesting at the beginning, at the beginning of when they're first getting to know each other, her favourite authors were brought forward and dwelt upon with so rapturous a delay, that any young man of five and 20 must have been insensible indeed, not to become an immediate convert to the excellent of such works, however disregarded before their taste was strikingly alike. So I just feel like that shows that he didn't actually appreciate all the authors that Marianne did. He just, he wanted to go along with whatever would make her excited about him. Not fully authentic, the way Brandon is authentic, he's just more understated about it.
Isabelle Meakin 16:44
No, I totally get that. And that's actually confirmed later on. Obviously, when he goes back to Eleanor and confessed everything he says to start with, I was literally just doing anything that I could to make Marianne like me and fall in love with me, even though I wasn't willing to reciprocate that obviously, he does end up having feelings for it. But the point was, he intentionally went out there to make her fall in love with it. And so it was like a chameleon. It was like, I'm exactly the person you want. I think there's an actual quote that even says, He was exactly engaged for Maryann's heart. And it's like that was so intentional, though that isn't just because he's like, just so happens that he's her soul needs. It's like he's made himself that way.
That's exactly right. And I think that's again, in such contrast to Colonel Brandon, who does remain the same throughout the novel, his seem steadfast self, which at the beginning is not so glamorous, but then you just grow he's kind of a slow burn character that you really appreciate because he is himself from the beginning to the end of the novel.
Isabelle Meakin 19:11
Right? Absolutely. And that being said, I feel like it'd be good to go through a couple of points that really emphasise that Brandon is, is the guy you should root for. Because I must say that I have been guilty in the past to root for willoughby, even after everything that he's done. I know some people like desperately hate Willoughby, but I've always struggled to desperately hate him because I've always thought of what he would have been so much better for Marianne will have been. And I felt that way until this point. And I think this is maybe a good age to reread some sensibility so that I could take that other like viewpoint and think Actually, no, it's actually not, not a good match for anyone, let alone Marianne. So I do agree if you felt the same way. It's any point that you were like rooting for Willoughby.
Oh, 100% I think even this is a whole nother conversation for another time. But I think there's often who's the worst villain will be or Wickham. And I actually tend to root for Wickham because I think Wiccan is 100%. calculated, whereas will be was calculated, but because we'll be actually did fall for Marianne, I do think there was a genuine, authentic connection between Marianne and will it be at some point. And circumstantially a lot of things got in the way, including things of his own doing, but it does make me it does make it hard for me to fully hate will it be, but I completely agree with you as I reread it. I do think Brandon is the better match for Marianne. Yeah, absolutely.
Isabelle Meakin 20:45
And little hint there for another podcast episode that will come later in the year. I'm ready for it. So I'm gonna start with one that is technically comes prior to the novel, but is only revealed later in the book. And that's kind of Brandon's tragic backstory. So the fact that he was like, in love with this woman who he wasn't allowed to be with, they where they were going to elope. And then she ends up being married off to his brother. Brandon joins the army to kind of escape kind of the heart ache, the fact that she's married to him, she has a terrible life, his brother's awful to her. And it ends up basically that she's in a poor house dying when he comes back into this country. And she goes, he goes searching for him finds her in this poor house with a child. And I mean, it's just pretty dire, isn't it? It's all around us. And yeah, and he just takes them both in and he kind of nurses her, obviously, she's, she unfortunately dies. And then he takes in the child as his own. And I just think that in itself, like, he's so selfless, I think as a character in it, and that kind of reminded me of Wentworth as well, because when he loves somebody he loves for a long time, this guy doesn't just like go off somewhere and forget somebody, you he came back and you search for this woman, when he finds out that she's in like, dire situation. And I just imagine it says a lot about his character. I don't know, if you you have the same thoughts or,
yes, he's such a nurturer. He is so generous. And what I got from that story to his he really just puts doing the right thing and prioritising the people that he cares about, over caring about his reputation. Like, it really struck me that he was okay with the fact that everyone assumed that Eliza was his natural daughter, which for that day and age, yes, it would have been way worse for a woman than a man. But that's still pretty scandalous that people would think that he had a child out of wedlock, and he was okay with that happening to ensure that he could take care of this girl, and in honour of the woman that he loved. So I just find that so redeemable and I think going along that with that, too. Brandon just really doesn't care what other people think. When it comes to doing the right thing with regard to giving Edward the living as well, he must have known that that would really upset people. And it kind of made it look like in other people's eyes that the reason that he was giving Edward the living was to ingratiate himself with Eleanor in some ways, like remember how everyone, not everyone but Mrs. Jennings and other people think that Brandon and Eleanor might get together?
Isabelle Meakin 23:42
And so he just doesn't, he doesn't care what other people think he just goes, I'm going to do the right thing. And the fact that Edward really is almost a complete stranger to him, but if he sees any wrongdoing, he jumps in and helps as best he can, while remaining remaining really humble, like Brandon is just a extremely humble character. And again, I think part of the reason he observes Marianne more than talking to her Is he really doesn't feel like he deserves her. And yeah, he's
Isabelle Meakin 24:16
right. To be able to go through life. Do you want to try and be authentic, you know, follow your own whatever path and not worry about what other people are saying about you or worry about the gossip, because I mean, Mrs. Jennings is like the gossip queen. And he's surrounded by people like that. But yeah, he just continues to go through life. Like, he doesn't even fret about it. He's like, I think Edwards a nice guy. I'm going to give him this this living of like, 200 He's like, you know, he's not gonna have enough to marry on yet but you know, I just want to help him out because his family have cut him off. Like, this is somebody who's not at all connected to me. It's not just, it's just outstanding Really? Isn't he just it was such like, there's no bells and whistles. He's literally just like, he doesn't even go and tell him himself. He's like Elinor, will you go and tell Edward I'm offering this great gesture to him like I don't want to take all the credit is fine. You know you do it. He doesn't tell everybody in a massive room. He literally only tells Eleanor and it's just, it's just a nice thing and then Elinor is telling me and he's like Colonel Brandon was just so nice, but very surprising.
That's such a good point you bring up about Brandon's lack of ego. let you know that he just Oh, he goes Oh, Eleanor, you tell Edward. He doesn't it's not about his own glory and oh, I'm gonna be a saviour to someone else. He's He's really not that way. And that's such a beautiful thing in comparison with how will it be behave sometimes, but also, Eleanor and Marriannes brother, john Dashwood, how much of an ego he has I I guess this is a slight segway for a second but just Brandon and Eleanor have to deal with such annoying characters in that book, as much as I love Sense and Sensibility this last reread. It really struck me how many stuck up selfish characters there are, whether it's Mrs. ferrars, the mother, Lucy Steele, john Dashwood, all of these different characters who are so thoughtless, even Mrs. Jennings, who I think at the end has a good heart? Just is out of it, because
Isabelle Meakin 26:23
yeah, all the teasing she does, I think is, I mean, I couldn't bear that that drives me up the wall. I feel so awkward all the time. actually makes me cringe when I'm reading it.
100% and I think Brandon really can recognise good quality people. And I think one particular scene where you really recognise how much he cares about Marianne and actually admires her qualities is when Eleanor and Marianne and Brandon's there to go to visit Edwards mother, Mrs. ferrars, and she's insulting Ellen Eleanor's artwork, because she's threatened by her and wants Eleanor to, you know, she wants Edward to marry Mrs. Morton, Miss Morton, and Colonel Marianne gets very affronted by this and basically goes, how dare you insult my sister.
Isabelle Meakin 27:13
Yeah whos miss Morton to use! I love that line
It's just so amazing. But you can tell Eleanor is mortified by that side of Maryann. But Colonel Brandon admires it. And he thinks, Oh, this just shows how pure hearted Marianne is and how much Marianne loves her sister. So as much as Eleanor has a hard time with Marianne sensibility sometimes Colonel Brandon loves that about Marianne. And so it just really seems like he has this authentic, authentic respect for Marianne to
Isabelle Meakin 27:51
Yeah, no, absolutely. I think he even says at one point, because Ellen is like, wants Marianne to grow up and kind of grow out of those tendencies, and Brandon's like, no, don't wish that, don't wish those tendencies away, because once they're gone, they can't be returned. And there's like, there's true beauty in that, that Elinor may not, like see, because she's so different to Marianne, and obviously, she is the quieter one, but she's also very reflective, and she's more like Anne Elliot as a character. And like Marianne is very bubbly and says what she thinks and, and but he's like, don't, don't let her let go of that. Because that's what makes her who she is. And obviously, by the end of the novel, she does softened slightly in her views. I think, you know, the, the situation with Willoughby changes her, but I don't think it completely strips her of her true nature. I think it just softens that side of her. And so yeah, that was kind of my thoughts on that. But I was also thinking, because another point that you made, just that I picked up on is another great thing about Brandon is his friendship with Elinor, is that not just one of the best friendships? I honestly didn't appreciate that tillthis last reread. I was like, wow, yeah. That's like all the friendships. I was like, this is one that I've not appreciated, but it's actually so genuine. And that's so well I can understand to get to the point where people do assume that they're, like, courting because they're that close, and they're that in each of us confidence.
100% I love the fact that there can be this Platonic friendship that's founded on such a mutual respect. I also really appreciated reading, just reading about the friendship between Eleanor and Colonel Brandon this time around, I completely agree with you and you can just see him fitting in with their family. Mrs. Dashwood cares for Brandon so much he can open up to her. He can be best friends with Eleanor and then he just loves Marianne and going along with what you said before, which is Marianne is never going to lose the qualities of being very sensible, very emotional, but it's a little bit muted. After her illness and she matures, but she's always going to have those qualities, Brandon is always going to appreciate those qualities about her. And I just feel like they they're such a good balance for one another. It's it is sort of an opposite, opposites attract situation. And I was just thinking now that there's this wonderful quote, and I'm trying to remember which chapter it's in. But as even though they describe Brandon his grave at the beginning of the novel, there's a part where it says his gloominess is not a natural temperament. It's more his circumstances, what's happened to him. So I think as much as Marianne, who was too emotional at the beginning of the novel, balances out I think that Brandon being happy with Marianne will also raise his spirits. So they'll be on a similar level.
Isabelle Meakin 30:55
right, yeah, you can totally see that and you can tell by the end of the novel, like, how happy he was to be with her. And I think he deserves that after everything he's been through after being so selfless and so attentive to her. I just think well, actually coming onto that. Another thing that's like amazing about Brandon is when Marion's like, basically on her deathbed, which must be traumatic in itself, considering he's already have had a lover die. Now he's got another one. He's so sick of a fever and could potentially die. And he stays there and then he also goes and fetches Mrs. Dashwood, like he travels all that way. He says to Elena, like, I'll go and ride and I'll go and get her and I'll bring it back in my courage. And I'm just like, wow, that's like so you that's so nice that he appreciates that Marianne wants her mother there and he wants to fulfil that need. He's like, right, I will go and get her. Yeah, I just think that's that's such a moment where you're just like, Brandon, what a guy.
I completely agree. And if you even if you think about the five love languages, Brandon is all about acts of service. And I think that ends up meaning more to them in the end, whereas will it be was very much these flowery words of affirmation, but they didn't have that sustained weight. That
Isabelle Meakin 32:15
No, they didn't have any substance to them. And like you're saying they were very much like he'd made them specifically, to please the people around him like, is a little bit manipulative. I'm not gonna lie it a little bit creepy. Although on the feeling of creepy is a bit creepy that Brandon declares his love to Mrs. Dashwood in the carriage or not to Mrs. Dashwood about Marianne, which I think if somebody has declared their love for me, but told my mother, I think that would be really uncomfortable for me. Just be like, oh, but this does, this does change, Mrs. dashwoods. opinion, she says, like, he's not as handsome as Willougby, but he's much more genuine. And I think once he gets her on board, but it wasn't his intention, like he didn't tell it, because he's like, please set us up. He obviously just tells you because he's that concerned that she's going to die. And it was like in that moment, they could share in that worry, and their love for Marianne. And but but yeah, it's a little bit weird, but it just kind of worked out for him.
I completely agree. I felt weird about it as well. But I forgive him because I think they were just both in such a state of feeling like Marianne was gonna die. And he wanted to get this off his chest. And just like you said, it's extra triggering for him, because he's already lost someone in his life that he loved very much that is very similar to Marianne. And I agree that is a bonding moment, even though it is slightly weird, a bonding moment between him and the mother. And it just reminds you that he gets along with all of the members of the family so well and really just will fit in. And again, what I was saying before about the Marianne and Colonel Brandon's spirits being kind of balanced out by the end of the novel, I found the quote that I was thinking about, and it says his manners, those serious were mild, and his reserve appeared rather the result of some oppression of spirits than of any natural gloominess of temper. So I think when he's described as dull, I think he's just really depressed. And that's not actually his natural disposition. So I can just, I can just imagine he and Marianne actually really being on a similar level when they're happily married. And it does say to at the end of the novel, that Marianne was just as passionate and just as excited about Brandon as she was about Willougby if not more by the end of the novel? So that was heartwarming.
Isabelle Meakin 34:56
No, absolutely. No, I think it is because Because Marianne is so in love with Willoughby, and it is it is quite unusual for an Austen novel, because usually it's like, the process of somebody falls in love with one person. And that's the person they end up with. Whereas Marianne falls in love with somebody. And it happens to be the wrong person. Like she actually deeply falls in love with the villain. Like, obviously, some people have like, mild feelings. But like Elizabeth and Wickham say, you know, she does like him. But he doesn't go to the extent that she feels for Darcy. But obviously, Marianne actually deeply falls for Willougby. And so I think she probably goes on a stronger journey than maybe even a lot of the other heroines, because she has to fall in love, then have a broken heart, and then come back out of it, to then appreciate a different man who's actually always been there, but she's not been able to appreciate because she's been so madly in love with the wrong person. And yeah, I think Anyway, what are your thoughts on that? I just think that's, it's pretty crazy. Really. You've got to give it to her. She She really goes on a on a journey.
I think that's such a good point about comparing Marian and William Willoughby's relationship to Lizzie and Wickham. Lizzie is just not affected by Wickham in the same way, whereas Marianne, yeah, deeply falls in love with Willoughby to the point where she almost dies because she's so depressed that she can't even take care of her body. And I think compounded with that she's she realises that her sister has been going through a similar heartbreak thinking that she's lost Edward for forever. And her sister has still, you know, made the effort to get along with everyone entertain, everyone, her sisters held in all of her emotions. So I think it's more than Marianne just losing Willoughby, she realises that her tunnel vision on Willoughby has made her so selfish and not being able to be there for her sister the way that Elinor has been there for Marianne.
Isabelle Meakin 36:54
Right? Absolutely. And I think that also feeds into how Elena and Brandon are similar because Brandon is so he is so attentive to Marianne without needing anything in return. Everything that he does, or he doesn't do it with the thought of this person's going to want me at the end of it, he does it regardless, like I was saying to you earlier, it's so strange how quickly Maryann and Brandon's relationships is wrapped up at the end. Like we have like a lot of Edward and Elinor like, and the last kind of two chapters, and then it's just like a passing comment at the end, like, oh, and Marianne and Brandon get married, and you know, they're all happy. It's like, okay, that's, you know, and you can kind of get it because it has been building up, but I feel like I would have appreciated more of seeing them. Marianne appreciate Brendon, as much as he appreciates her. Like, I know, it probably won't be to the same extent to later when they were married. But I think the adaptation does that quite well. Like it does start to show them kind of bonding. And like the scene with the birds, which adaptations that and
it's the 2008 BBC version, where he's holding the hawk.
Isabelle Meakin 38:06
That's a beautiful moment. And there's there's also a scene where she's just playing the piano and that one, and he walks in, and he's just smiling at her. And I do think that the adaptations do a beautiful job of supplementing their relationship and just adding some details that I think as readers, we frankly needed. I totally agree with you. I think they wrap up, Marianne and Brandon getting together too quickly, we needed another chapter from Jane to really see how Marianne starts appreciating Brandon. And so I do like some of the extra scenes in the adaptations that kind of happens in the books.
Isabelle Meakin 38:50
Yeah, obviously, what we do like about the adaptations is that Brandon's cast so old, because I think that really affects the way that you perceive him. And I do remember is just to match the how Marianne proceeds to originally, but I yeah, I don't I'm not I'm not too sure about that. But um, there's a couple of other things that happened in the adaptations I thought it was just fun to discuss. And like we were saying, and the difference between how she becomes ill and the adaptations compared to the book. So I was pretty shocked to realise but her fever is brought on by walking in tall grass. As opposed to being out in like a horrific thunderstorm where she basically falls over on a hill because it's raining that much. And Brandon has to rescue her and pick her up and carrier in which is you know you for the adaptation. It's a really exciting scene and then you find out it's not even in the books that she's, she's just deteriorate from this walk in the long grass.
Totally. I mean, that's just such a romantic scene. And Especially in one of the adaptations where she's actually looking at Willoughby's house, and that's what it's that in combination with the rain that like triggers her fainting. And then it's so symbolic of Brandon being there to catch her the entire book when he actually physically carries her in.
The difference between how she becomes ill in the adaptations compared to the book. So I was pretty shocked to realise that her fever is brought on by walking in tall grass. as opposed to being out in a horrific thunderstorm where she basically falls over cause it is raining so much and Brandon has to rescue her and carry her in. Which for the adaption that is a really exiting scene and then you find out its not even in the book, she just deteriorates form this walk in the long grass.
Totally I mean that is such a romantic scene, especially in one of the adaptions where is a actually looking at Willougby's house. and that in combination wit the rain that triggers her fainting and the nits so symbolic of Brandon to be there and catch her throughout the whole book. and yes I was so disappointed when I went back and re-read and found it wasn't in the book. So there is a little bit more romanticisation in the adaptions but I like that, I dont hate it at all.
Isabelle Meakin 41:00
No absolutely not. Lets get a younger cast Brandon out there or at least someone who is of the age. So I have done a little browsing and Anne who I mentioned earlier she said she would like Dwight from Poldark. I dont know if you have seen that the character Dwight. He's so attractive. I would totally be on board for a Brandon like that. arm so he is actually 35. the point is as long as you have a pretty boy for Willoughby I think you can have an attractive man for Brandon I think its more their personality. because I think in the adaption is something that draws the eye, you disregard Brandon because Willoughby is so attractive. It should necessarily be that way but it is. but I think it should go more of their personalities and their appearance should be more balanced in the casting.
I completely agree with that, I think casting him as his age. it makes you not write Brandon, also I think it would make the movie funnier as it would show how ridiculous Marianne is being if there is a really attractive 35 year old in the role and Marianne is calling him an old bachelor. I think it would emphasises how naive Marianne is and would highlight what Jane Austen is doing in the book.
Isabelle Meakin 43:00
right absolutely. it is more prejudice than anything else its interesting that this wasn't called Pride and Prejudice. Prejudice and ageism. they have a serious issue with ti in this book.
maybe we can have a modern day adaption called Prejudice and ageism. I love that
oh my gosh one more scene from the adaption that I love is in one of the adaptions when Marianne see Willoughby with miss grey. after all that time of not seeing Willoughby she faints and colonel Brandon catches her and takes her home. and I know its so dramatic but I do love it and I also couldn't believe when I was rereading that it wasn't in the book. I like the theme of colonel brandon catching her.
Yes that such a great scene and miss greys face she's actually mortified. why are you speaking to my future husband and Willoughby is all awkward and then Brandon is just there like got you he just around. cause Brandon is just always around
you are right miss grey has such a stink eye, the look on her face like girl clam down
I would love to do a future episode on people like miss grey cause she is like really manipulative, like next level partaking in the writing of the letter. so do you have any final thoughts on Brandon
Yeah I think he is a character that you need to re-read the book twice and then you `appreciate him so much more.
right it is definitely a book that you need to read at different stages of your life to appreciate different characters.
and we love Brandon cause he is loyal, stedfast and honest.
Yeah he is a good guy, we hope we have convinced you of Brandon but I recommend rereading the book baring this stuff in mind. So where can people find you your instagram quotes I love it, and they are all hand written which is amazing
well Jane Austen was really what inspired it during the quarantine, Jane Austen always makes me feel at home. so Jane Austen quotes is where it started and now I have progressed but yeah come fine me. I would love to talk Austen.