The Curate’s Brother: A Jane Austen Variation of Persuasion
by Wendy Van Camp
The Curate’s Brother is a novella about the relationship between the two Wentworth brothers as seen through the eyes of EDWARD WENTWORTH. It follows their romantic antics over one summer in 1806. This short story could be seen as a prequel to Jane Austen’s famous novel “Persuasion”.
Edward Wentworth lives a quiet, structured life as a curate in the regency era village of Monkford. He spends his days ministering to the sick and downhearted, which he considers his life’s calling. His comfortable life is shaken when his elder brother, COMMANDER FREDERICK WENTWORTH arrives on his doorstep for a visit. Frederick has returned to England after seeing action and commanding his first vessel, a prize ship won in the West Indies. He is awaiting orders and has the hope of commanding a ship of his own by the end of summer. His only goal is to pass the time with the only family he has left in England until his next assignment.
At first, Edward is glad to see his brother. They have not spent time with each other for years due to his brother’s naval service. They are opposites in many ways. Frederick is bold and likes to take risks. Edward is shy and over-aware of social implications. When his brother flirts with SALLY MARSHALL, an outgoing beauty that Edward is used to viewing as “a child”, the young curate becomes aware that his viewpoint of Sally is sorely outdated. His peaceful life is full of turmoil as he observes Sally flirting with men at public assemblies and realizes that he does not like it.
Meanwhile, Frederick finds himself a celebrity in Monkford. Word from the London papers paint him as “the Hero of San Domingo”, where he won a commendation for his quick thinking in action. The men want to hear the story of his exploits, but Frederick would rather dance with the ladies. The Commander takes an interest in shy wallflower, ANNE ELLIOT. He pays no heed to Edward’s warnings that the girl is the daughter of a baronet and well above his station. Edward fears that no good will come of a union between his brother and the girl due to her family connections.
At the end of summer, a letter and a package arrive that will change everything for the two brothers. Which way will prevail, the bold action of the commander or the quiet manners of the curate?
Wendy Van Camp writes science fiction, fantasy, memoir, Scifaiku poetry, and dabbles in regency romance. Her work has appeared in literary and science fiction magazines such as “Shadows Express”, “Quantum Visions”, “Serendipity”, “Luna Station Quarterly”, and “Far Horizons”. Her amazon ebook is a regency romance called “The Curate’s Brother: A Jane Austen Variation of Persuasion”. It is the first of a series. She is also at work on a science fiction steampunk series.
She collects fountain pens, inks and notebooks like other women collect shoes. She loves to ride all the great bicycle trails in Orange County, California and cruise Pacific Coast Highway with the moon roof open in her car on sunny summer days. She has been an artisan jeweler for the past 20 years and a certified gemologist since 2011.