Top Ten Tuesday: Austen’s Antagonists Who Need a Purse Whomping

Posted October 23, 2018 by meezcarrie in historical, Jane Austen, romance, Top Ten Tuesday / 21 Comments

Or would that be ‘reticule whomping’ in Jane Austen’s case? 😉

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday theme is all about villains, and there were any number of ways I could have gone with this post. But I knew whatever I did it needed a purse whomping angle to it! Not that I have ever actually purse whomped anyone…nor do I condone violence. But my sassy side needs a verbal outlet at times, since I don’t curse, so ‘purse whomping’ threats are all I’ve got haha!

Austen writes some great heroes and some great heroines, but she also writes a bunch of antagonists that rile up my purse whomping urge. They aren’t always the obvious ‘villains’ in the story either…

Fanny Dashwood from Sense & Sensibility is one of those characters that grates on my last nerve. So self-focused, greedy, and manipulative. So much heartache could have been avoided if her husband had more of a backbone. So maybe I should purse whomp him instead? hmm…

There is no doubt that Wickham needed a good purse whomping – more than once – in Pride & Prejudice. His way of dealing with disappointment was to try seducing a different Bennet sister on three different occasions – and succeeding on the third try, with poor flighty Lydia.

I have a feeling that many a reticule-owner has wanted to whomp poor Willoughby for his treatment of our dear Marianne in Sense & Sensibility. People may have tried to make him a sympathetic character if his feelings for Marianne were in fact genuine but I never see any redemption in him (unlike with Wickham).

Jealous women are never attractive. Snooty jealous women even less so. Caroline Bingley is the epitome of proud and prejudiced, and her manipulations and not-so-veiled cut-downs leave my purse a little twitchy.

Goodness, Sense & Sensibility has a lot of purse-whompable characters! Lucy Steele is a chip off of Fanny’s shoulder, despite there not being any blood relationship between them. That smirk on her face as she shatters Elinor’s dreams? Purse. Whomp.

Obnoxious. Arrogant. Dull. John Thorpe from Northanger Abbey is clearly not the sharpest knife in the kitchen and doesn’t even do ‘villain’ all that well. But what earns him a purse whomping is the fact he will not shut up about his awesome horses and awesome carriage – none of which are awesome.

The quickest way to end up on my purse whomping list is to a) be obnoxious and b) trifle with hearts for the fun of it. Such is the case with Henry Crawford of Mansfield Park. Although he does end up getting a purse whomping of sorts when his plan to get Fanny Price to fall for him rather gloriously backfires on him.

In Persuasion, William Elliot is the reason I love Captain Wentworth so much. Wentworth shines a light on all of Elliot’s shortcomings, particularly as Elliot pursues Anne for the sake of social and economic advancement. Grrr….

Knightley is my fave Austen hero, but Emma is my least favorite heroine. Yes, she’s not technically an antagonist – although I could argue that she’s her own antagonist. And yes, she grows on me by the end of her eponymous novel but goodness, girlfriend could have used at least a couple of purse whompings before she got there. So many wince-worthy moments.

Oooo I know I’m risking some rotten tomatoes being lobbed my way with this one, but honestly y’all. The later half of the book notwithstanding, Mr. Darcy was in serious need of some serious purse whompings before he got around to redeeming himself. Which is why he is my least favorite of Austen’s heroes. And why I gladly consider him a purse-whomp worthy antagonist… until he becomes a hero. Lol.

What about you? Which of Austen’s characters (antagonists or otherwise) would you like to purse whomp?

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21 responses to “Top Ten Tuesday: Austen’s Antagonists Who Need a Purse Whomping

  1. DeAnna Dodson

    I enjoyed this list, but I don’t at all see Wickham moving toward redemption. I see him basically bought by Darcy to save Lizzie’s family from scandal as much as possible, but I don’t see him changed or even slightly wanting to change. The family accept him so Lydia won’t be ruined, but I can’t see him being a faithful (or even very long-lasting) husband. He “makes love to them all,” as Mr. Bennett says, because it’s easier than working for a living. I thought that shot of him and Lydia in the Colin Firth version (during the wedding scene at the end)where she is trying to be cute and flirty with him and he is sitting there drinking and looking heartily bored is the perfect visual of what their marriage is like. Could he reform? Of course. I just don’t see any sign of it.

    Ugh. Emma. She’s very fortunate to have someone like the perfectly named Knightly to love her.

    I love Mr. Darcy, though he obviously needed some lessons in diplomacy and perhaps not saying everything he was thinking. 😉

    • Carrie

      perhaps 😉 LOL

      And that’s a very good point about Wickham. Maybe the romantic in me just wants him to change – wishful thinking <3

  2. Andi

    Loved this! Your graphics are darling! I had oh Henry on mine but then changed my mind. I’m not sure I’d whomp Mr. Darcy … especially Colin Firth…. he definitely needed a good stern talking to! Putting the tomatoes back in the fridge. ??

  3. Melony Teague

    GASP~! Not Darcy! Okay I admit, he starts off seeming like a jerk, but how much of that is Elizabeth’s prejudice? Hmmmm. But I agree that the way he proposed the first time (spoiler alert) does need a thorough purse whomping. Like a travel case size purse! LOL

  4. Paula Shreckhise

    Flitty, flighty Mrs Dashwood. She is annoying. I love the way her husband handles her. Like the scene when Eleanor bemones to her father. And she seemingly has to choose who to please, her mother or her father!

  5. Augusta Elton from Emma would make my list. But her adventures in the old west in Mrs. Elton in America by Diana Birchall mellowed her. If you haven’t read this Austen variation you need to. Mr. Elton has an unfortunate experience with a Native American. Great list by the way!!

  6. Rachael

    Mrs. Bennett could use a womping. Honestly. The ultimate embarrassing mother–not cool embarrassing, not loving embarrassing, just ignorant and foolish embarrassing. Not to mention holding Lydia in esteem over the other girls after Lydia’s supreme foolishness. . ..

    I do think Darcy would have improved more quickly if someone had whacked him with a purse–the shock might have knocked him back into better manners.

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