Sanditon Character Review: Young Stringer

The schedule for the Character Review posts will be changing to Friday (or Saturday at the latest from now on).

I apologize for not posting last week. I had other writing that had to be done.

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the book and the television show Sanditon. Read at your own risk if you have not watched the show. There is something to be said about a well-written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front of us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

We all have dreams. What happens when those dreams clash with what our parents want for us? In Sanditon, Young Stringer (whose legal name is James) (Leo Suter) wants to be an architect. He and his widower father, known as Old Stringer (Rob Jarvis) work for Tom Parker. While he dreams, Young Stringer knows that it will take work and drive to get to where he wants to be. He also comes home to a father who would prefer that his son set his sights a little lower.

Encouraged by Charlotte Heywood (Rose Williams), Young Stringer sees a professional future outside of Sanditon, even with the stringent class structure that could hold him back. He also develops feelings for Charlotte, who is equally ambitious and not afraid to get her hands dirty. But she leaves him in the friend zone.

After an accident disables Old Stringer and then a fire kills him, Young Stringer decides to stay in Sanditon, even after being offered an apprenticeship that could open doors for him.

To sum it up: Young Stringer is a young man with heart, enthusiasm, and a bright future. The question is, where does that future lie? In making that decision, he proves that success on one’s own terms is possible, even with the obstacles in his way.

Which is why he is a memorable character.

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Sanditon Character Review: Lord Babington

The schedule for the Character Review posts will be changing to Friday (or Saturday at the latest from now on).

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the book and the television show Sanditon. Read at your own risk if you have not watched the show. There is something to be said about a well-written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front of us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

Love is a complicated thing. We can hope and pray that the one we love returns our affection. But that is not always the case. As painful as it is, the only choice is to walk away. But what if we can’t? In Sanditon, when Lord Babington (Mark Stanley) meets Esther Denham (Charlotte Spencer), he is immediately smitten. Esther, on the other hand, is not impressed.

Encouraged by her aunt, Lady Denham (Anne Reid), he continues his suit. But Esther keeps pushing him away. She only has eyes for her stepbrother, Sir Edward Denham (Jack Fox). A less determined man might walk away and put his hopes on another woman who is not continuously putting roadblocks in his way. But not Babington. It is Esther or no one.

Babbington finally gets his chance after Edward and Clara Brereton’s (Lily Sacofsky) plan to locate their aunt’s will is revealed. Declared to be persona non grata by Lady Denham, Esther is now her aunt’s heir. Seeing her stepbrother for what she is, Esther is able to look at Babington with new eyes. When proposes, she says yes. When we last see him, he is happily married and in the thrall of newlywed bliss.

From a modern feminist perspective, Babington could be seen as a problematic character. He does not seem to understand that Esther keeps saying no. Instead of heeding her words, he keeps coming back to her. But, from a romantic perspective, he is a man in love. A man in love will do crazy things to secure the person he wants the most.

Which is why he is a memorable character.

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Sanditon Character Review: Diana Parker

The schedule for the Character Review posts will be changing to Friday (or Saturday at the latest from now on).

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the book and the television show Sanditon. Read at your own risk if you have not watched the show. There is something to be said about a well-written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front of us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

Determination is a wonderful thing. It allows us to pursue our goals when all seems lost. But, at the same time, it can create blinders to being open to change. In Sanditon, Diana Parker (Alexandra Roach) is the only daughter of the Parker family. With three brothers, Arthur (Turlough Convery), Sidney (Theo James), and Tom (Kris Marshall), and a comfortable inheritance, she does not have a care in the world. Or so one would think.

Diana is hypocondriac. Any sort of perceived malady or over-exertion sends her down a wormhole of anxiety. Joining her down this wormhole is Arthur. Though she can be perceived as a concerned older sister, she can also be seen as enabling him to lead a sedentary life. Rarely seen without Arthur, they can best be described as co-dependent. That does not mean, however, that she is not in bed all day.

Like all of the Parkers, she is active in supporting the town and Tom’s dream of creating a seaside resort. Unlike Tom, she is not married and has yet to consider the prospect. her 30’s, she would prefer to watch other people dance at balls rather than step onto the dance floor herself. Upon seeing Arthur pair up with Georgiana Lambe (Crystal Clarke) at a local dance, she becomes concerned that he has matrimonial designs on the heiress. But at the end of the day, he returns to her side.

Starts at 1:15

To sum it up: Diana is an interesting character. She (and Arthur by extension) provides comedic relief, creating a balance with the drama. While we laugh at her, we can see her love for her family and the stubbornness that exists in all of the Parker siblings.

Which is why she is a memorable character.

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Sanditon Character Review: Sidney Parker

The schedule for the Character Review posts will be changing to Friday (or Saturday at the latest from now on).

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the book and the television show Sanditon. Read at your own risk if you have not watched the show. There is something to be said about a well-written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front of us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

It is easy to judge a book by its cover. It is harder to get to know them and understand the circumstances that made them into who they are. In Sanditon, Sidney Parker (Theo James) does not make a great first impression. Like his predecessor, Fitzwilliam Darcy, he comes off as rude, arrogant, and a snob.

One of four children (three boys and a girl), Sidney is the dark sheep of the family. Tom (Kris Marshall) is the dreamer. Arthur (Turlough Convery) is the layabout. Diana (Alexandra Roach) is the worrier. He has been away for many years and would rather be anywhere else than be in the company of his family.

When he meets Charlotte Heywood (Rose Williams), it is hate at first sight. Sidney perceives Charlotte to be a naive country girl. Charlotte thinks that he is a little too full of himself.

Things start to change when there is an accident in the town and Charlotte steps in to help. He begins to see her intelligence and her willingness to step in when necessary. They go back and forth for a while. It gets rocky when Charlotte does not understand the pressure that Sidney is under to keep his ward, Georgiana Lambe (Crystal Clarke) safe from golddiggers.

When they finally get together, it is a moment that has been a long time coming. It seems that Charlotte and Sidney’s future is all settled. But before Sidney can properly pop the question, he has to settle some business issues for Tom (again).

When he returns, he has bad news. The only way to save the family is to marry his ex, Eliza Campion (Ruth Kearney). Eliza is a wealthy widow who abandoned Sidney for her late husband. Upon previously encountering Charlotte, she promptly switched into Mean Girls mode, mocking her for her “low” upbringing.

Unfortunately, the next time we hear of Sidney, he is dead, leaving everyone around him heartbroken.

To sum it up: Sidney’s arc is one of opening up and learning to love. Not just romantic love, but the love of family. It is that love that forces him to make the decision to ultimately marry for money.

Which is why he is a memorable character.

Sanditon Character Review: Esther Denham

The schedule for the Character Review posts will be changing to Friday (or Saturday at the latest from now on).

I apologize for the time in between posts. Life (and other writing got in the way).

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the book and the television show Sanditon. Read at your own risk if you have not watched the show. There is something to be said about a well-written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front of us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

In a perfect world, the person we love would not just return that love. We would walk into the sunset with that person. But that is not always the case. In Sanditon, Esther Denham (Charlotte Spencer) has two sides to her personality. When she is at home with her stepbrother Sir Edward Denham (Jack Fox), she is like a lovelorn teenager, hanging on his every word. But in public, she is sharp-witted, honest to the point of almost being rude, and quick-tongued. They both live in genteel poverty, hoping to become heirs to their aunt, Lady Denham (Anne Reid) when she dies. The only person standing in their way is another relative, Clara Brereton (Lily Sacofsky).

Esther’s aunt keeps bringing up the fact that she is single and has to marry a man with a significant income. But Esther remains stalwart in her love for her brother. Every man who has previously attempted to court her has walked away empty-handed. But there is one man who finds her insults amusing: Lord Babington (Mark Stanley). Despite being told time and again that she is not interested, he keeps coming back for more.

Just because Esther loves Edward does not mean that he loves her back in the same manner. When he sees Lord Babington coming around with greater frequency, Edward starts to manipulate Esther, drawing her ever closer to him.

The war between the Denhams and Clara comes to head while their aunt is sick. Clara and Edward plan to find her will and change it. It backfires when they sleep together. When Lady Denham gets wind of this, Edward and Clara are disinherited. Esther becomes the heir and admits to her feelings for Lord Babbington. Freed from Edward’s constraints, she gives herself permission to be happy and feels truly loved.

When we next see Esther, there is one thing that would make her life complete: a child. After several miscarriages, she has been warned about trying again. With her husband off on a business trip, she is living with her aunt. The hurricane that Clara and Edward come back, wreaking havoc. Clara is pregnant with Edward’s child, and he is determined to ruin his sister’s life.

Mad with jealousy of Clara’s pregnancy and grieving over the lack of response from Lord Babbington (via the stolen letters taken by Edward), she starts to think that she is losing her mind. But once again, her brother’s objectives are foiled. He is sent away with the tail between his legs. Knowing that she is unable to care for her son properly, Clara gives him to Esther to raise.

To sum it up: Esther’s character arc, I think is one of the most interesting ones in the world of Austen’s fiction. She thinks that she knows love and what she wants. When that does not come to pass, she somehow finds the strength to open her heart and love again.

Which is why she is a memorable character.

P.S. As a fellow redhead, I love her costumes and would wear them in a heartbeat. The colors that the costume department chose are spot on.

Sanditon Character Review: Clara Brereton

The schedule for the Character Review posts will be changing to Friday (or Saturday at the latest from now on).

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the book and the television show Sanditon. Read at your own risk if you have not watched the show. There is something to be said about a well-written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front of us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

In a world in which class status, patriarchy, and money rule, an unmarried woman who lacks a steady income has a limited number of options. The first is to marry well and hope that her husband treats her right. The second is to rely on family for financial support. The third is to find employment that will allow her to enter genteel poverty. In Sanditon, Clara Brereton (Lily Sacofsky) is in this state.

One of three potential heirs to her wealthy aunt, Lady Denham (Anne Reid), Clara is in a state of survival. Forced to become two-faced, she is one way with her aunt and another way with her cousins. Sir Edward Denham (Jack Fox) and his step-sister, Esther (Charlotte Spencer) are also vying to inherit their aunt’s fortune upon her death. Knowing that her intellect may be the only thing that saves her, Clara knows how to play the game.

Each tries to one-up the other when it comes to their aunt. Like Clara, Edward and Esther play sweet to Lady Denham’s face, but snipe at her when they are alone. Though she tries to reason with Esther that the money can be split three ways, Esther will not hear of it. A survivor of sexual abuse, Clara decides to change tactics and fight for the whole kit and caboodle.

The game reaches its apex when Lady Denham is sick. Clara and Edward tear her library apart, looking for her will. They end up sleeping together. When this comes to light, both are disinherited and Esther is named as their aunt’s heir.

Cut to a while later. Clara lands on Lady Denham’s door, pregnant with Edward’s child. While Esther has wised up to her brother’s schemes, Clara has not. After their son is born, she believes what Edward tells her. After she finally sees the light, he is once more kicked out and she walks away, giving Esther her son to raise.

To sum it up: Clara is doing what she must do. In her world, she is disenfranchised and because she is, must play the hand that she is dealt. But that does not mean she is completely heartless. The birth of Clara’s son reveals her humanity and her ability to change.

Which is why she is a memorable character.

Sanditon Character Review: Lady Denham

The schedule for the Character Review posts will be changing to Friday (or Saturday at the latest from now on).

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the book and the television show Sanditon. Read at your own risk if you have not watched the show. There is something to be said about a well-written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front of us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

In a society in which rank and wealth rule, the belief by some in the upper classes is that their advantage also gives them the right to be a know it all. Whether or not others have this same perception depends on the individual. In Sanditon, Lady Denham (Anne Reid) is the town’s queen bee.

She is a woman of a certain age who has been widowed twice. As a result, her fortune is substantial. Lady Denham hangs her fortune over her neighbors and family like an anvil, threatening to take it away when she is displeased.

The largest investor in the town’s growth, she is not one to idly sit by and trust that her money is being put to good use. When Tom Parker‘s (Kris Marshall) plans are met with a few speed bumps, she is quick to threaten the withdrawal of her funds.

When it comes to marriage, she believes that it is a business arrangement and not based on love. She married both of her late husbands for their bank accounts. While one of her nieces, Esther Denham (Charlotte Spencer) marries Lord Babington for love (Mark Stanley) and becomes a wealthy woman in the process, her other relations are not so lucky.

Sir Edward Denham (Jack Fox) tries to court heiress Georgiana Lambe (Crystal Clarke) as per his aunt’s wishes, but it does not go well. When he and Clara Brereton (Lily Sacofsky) scheme to find a copy of her will while she is ill, they are found and disinherited. They also get pregnant and ultimately walk away from their son, giving him to Esther to raise.

In an interesting twist, Lady Denham seems to semi-understand that Charlotte Heywood (Rose Williams) has a different opinion when it comes to matrimony. Though she completely disagrees with Charlotte, she gets to the point at which she gives up. That, however, does make up for the racist questions directed at Georgiana.

To sum it up: Though Lady Denham is similar to other Austen villains who are wealthy and titled, she does show a streak of humanity every now and then. In doing so, she proves that she can be more than the dragon lady who lords over everyone.

Which is why she is a memorable character.

Sanditon Character Review: Sir Edward Denham

The schedule for the Character Review posts will be changing to Friday (or Saturday at the latest from now on).

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the book and the television show Sanditon. Read at your own risk if you have not watched the show. There is something to be said about a well-written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front of us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

Fans of Jane Austen know a bad boy when they see one. He says and does all of the right things. He appears to be sincere and in terms of courtship, what the heroine is looking for in a spouse. But underneath the smiles and niceties is an ulterior motive that will eventually be exposed.

In Sanditon, that bad boy is Sir Edward Denham (Jack Fox). He is not above lying, fudging the facts, or pretending to be something that he is not to get his way. Living in a rundown mansion with his step-sister, Esther (Charlotte Spencer) Edward believes that he is entitled to the good life and his aunt, Lady Denham’s (Anne Reid) fortune. He and Esther are competing with their cousin, Clara Brereton (Lily Sacofsky) as to whom will be their aunt’s heir.

He also tries to impress (under his aunt’s direction) Georgiana Lambe (Crystal Clarke). Edward is quickly shot down.

When Lord Babington (Mark Stanley) comes calling for Esther, she immediately turns him down. She can only see her stepbrother, who is a master of manipulation. But when Edward sleeps with Clara while their aunt is ill in a bid to find her will, his true character is revealed. Disinherited and without a penny to his name, Edward is forced out of Sanditon.

When he returns, he is out for revenge. Knowing that Esther is happily married to a now off-screen Lord Babington, he does everything in his power to ruin that happiness. Now an officer in the military, he has impregnated Clara and continues in his manipulations. He makes everyone believe that Esther (who has already had a couple of miscarriages) has lost her marbles and wants his and Clara’s son for her own.

But, like in the past, his schemes are revealed and he is once more sent away. Clara gives her son to Esther to raise, knowing that she will never be able to give him the home he needs.

To sum it up: He clearly is driven by his ego and insecurities. When one relies on these facets of themselves, their judgment and abilities to make decisions are hampered. Edward can only see to the end of his nose and his needs. What others want is unimportant.

Which is why he is a memorable character.

Sanditon Character Review: Arthur Parker

The schedule for the Character Review posts will be changing to Friday (or Saturday at the latest from now on).

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the book and the television show Sanditon. Read at your own risk if you have not watched the show. There is something to be said about a well-written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front of us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

We cannot grow if we sit, both figuratively and literally on our behinds. The only way to make change happen is to take a chance and see what happens. When we first meet Arthur Parker (Turlough Convery), he is a hypochondriac whose favorite activities include eating and drinking. Trying something new or even getting exercise is a rare event in his life. Tied at the hip to his older sister Diana (Alexandra Roach), she encourages his sedentary lifestyle.

The youngest of the Parker siblings, he is not married and has not even considered the subject. When his oldest brother Sidney (Theo James) passes away unexpectedly, Arthur becomes very close to Sidney’s ward, Georgiana Lambe (Crytal Clarke). Both are outsiders and understand what the other is going through. Despite his outward appearance, Arthur is sensible, observant, and emotionally open-hearted.

After Diana’s departure, Arthur starts to become more adventurous. When artist Alexander Lockhart (Alexander Vlahos) comes to town, he instantly becomes friends with Lockhart. Though it is not stated directly, it is implied that he is attracted to Lockhart. When we see him last, Arthur is comforting Georgiana in light of the unsettling revelations of who the artist really is.

To sum it up: Appearances can be deceiving. Though Arthur appears to be the typical plus-sized character who is nothing more than a comedic caricature, he is much more than that. In revealing the whole person, the audience is challenged to see beyond the physique and question if first impressions are accurate.

Which is why he is a memorable character.

Sanditon Character Review: Georgiana Lambe

The schedule for the Character Review posts will be changing to Friday (or Saturday at the latest from now on).

*I apologize for not posting last week. I had other writing priorities that came first.

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the book and the television show Sanditon. Read at your own risk if you have not watched the show. There is something to be said about a well-written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front of us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

It blows my mind, that in 2022, race is still an issue. Instead of being seen merely as skin color, it is used to judge one another. Back in Jane Austen‘s era, the very thought of probing this topic was revolutionary. Georgiana Lambe (Crystal Clarke) is Austen’s first and only character of color.

Georgiana is a biracial heiress from Antigua whose mere presence in the town ruffles feathers. Among those who are a bit too curious is Lady Denham (Anne Reid). Without any direct family to support or provide for her, she is under the legal guardianship of Sidney Parker (Theo James). Feeling constrained by her circumstances, Georgiana bristles against Sidney and her house mother, Mrs. Griffiths (Elizabeth Berrington). One of her few outlets is her friendship with Charlotte Heywood (Rose Williams).

When her past love, Otis Molyneux (Jyuddah Jaymes) arrives in town, both Georgiana and Charlotte play a game of subterfuge. Sidney does not approve of Otis because he believes that he only wants to marry her for her fortune. Later on, when Otis is up to his eyeballs in debt, he uses her name as collateral. This turns into a kidnapping which is only stopped by Sidney. As expected, Georgiana tells Otis where he can go.

When we see her again in the second season, her guardianship has been switched to Tom and Mary Parker (Kris Marshall and Kate Ashfield). Now that she is nearing her majority, it is even more important to ensure that she marries well. When Georgiana meets artist Charles Lockhart (Alexander Vlahos), she is initially skeptical of him. But over time, the skepticism turns into romance. That romance fizzles out when Lockhart reveals his true colors.

It would have been easy for her to crumble, given both her past and her present circumstances. But Georgiana has a backbone and is not afraid to speak her mind. What I personally like about her is her strength, knowing full well that a well-bred woman keeps her opinions to herself in that era.

Which is why she is a memorable character.

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