Saturday, 2 April 2016
Mr. Yates in Jane Austen's 'Mansfield Park'
The Hon. John Yates is yet another wonderful Jane Austen creation. We have all met him at social gatherings: you laugh politely at his 'jokes' but sense that he is selfish, arrogant, shallow and dim. You would not want him as friend.
When you part, you casually mention that he ought to call if he is ever in your part of the country. You are certain he will never do so. After all, your home is about 200 miles away (north-east) and he is heading west to sponge on other hosts in Cornwall. So you know there is no danger he will ever take you up on the invitation.
Then, surprise, surprise, he appears on your doorstep… . He proceeds to install himself for a few days, guzzles all your chianti and keeps you up well beyond your preferred bedtime with mindless, dull 'conversation’.