Reply To: Lesson 3 The Role of External Challenges, Escalation

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Thanks for your comments. I have called fear Daniel’s flaw for two reasons. First is a reference to the enneagram classification for his type. I don’t rely on it a lot, but together with my other thinking it seemed spot on to call fear his “vice.”

The other is that fear is has motivated Daniel in many ways. He didn’t return to London after the first disaster because he feared humiliation and being viewed as unworthy because of his limp and his parents’ mixed marriage. The event seriously wounded him.

Fear was one factor in his gradual abandoning aspects of his Jewish observance when he was at public school.

Fear of being exiled, unable to own land he can call his own motivates him almost, but not quite as much as his craving for his father’s love and approval. (We’re looking at a play on Jacob/Esau here. Daniel being the Jacob figure, favored by his mother. Andrew the red-haired Esau figure, favored by his father. In a twist on this paradigm, the prologue will inform the readers that Daniel was actually born first, Andrew clutching at his heel.)

Daniel and his father: The novel begins with Baronet Scott preparing to change his will to make Daniel his heir. Daniel is conflicted. His brother, the heir never should have gone to war. Daniel, the “second son” should have. But Daniel’s twisted foot made that impossible. He feels some guilt, even though it’s not his fault. And he has envied his brother. Getting something he wanted as a result of his brother’s terrible suffering means he can’t just be happy. When the solicitor reveals that Daniel cannot inherit because he’s not baptized, he’s shocked and leaves the meeting. His father and Mary Bennington’s brother, Henry convince him that he should agree to convert because he owes it to his brother who is too disabled to inherit. When his Jewish grandmother, tells him her heart won’t be broken and she will not disown him, he agrees.

The conflict arises over Baronet Scott’s insistence that Daniel wed Mary Bennington, taking the place of his brother. (There’s Biblical authority for this. Henry, about to be ordained with his own reasons to have his sister married off, uses this in his talks with Daniel.) Daniel is attracted to Mary’s beauty and practiced charms. He agrees to court her. She agrees because she wants to marry into the Scott family. Most of Daniels conflict regarding the marriage is internal. This intensifies when he begins to develop feelings for Rebecca.

I agree that the kaddish at Bevis Marks would be hard to pull off, so I’ve decided it will be offstage. Regency Romance novels are not written in deep point of view. Telling with some dialog with Miriam who will accompany Daniel to London will do the trick. And yes, he will have a dark moment, in fact several when he returns. While he was gone Rebecca agreed to escape  with another French POW. Daniel’s last minute arrival and rescue (on horseback) is all that prevents her from being caught and imprisoned under terrible conditions. He confesses his feelings for her. Mary seeing the two together, publicizes her non-existent engagement to Daniel. (This is a device in some Regency novels). As a result he must marry her or disgrace his family.

Daniel confronts his father. His father, remembering how much he loved Daniel’s mother, reassures Daniel that he loves him and gives him permission to follow his heart. (My favorite line, I hope I don’t have to kill it: “How could I not love you, Danny? You have your mother’s eyes.”) Rebecca has told Daniel she cannot agree to marry him until he is free from his obligation to wed Mary and only with the Baronet’s blessing. She does not want to be responsible for alienated Daniel from his father and honoring parents is a primary Jewish value.

Daniel confronts marry and asks her to “cry off,” i.e. break the engagement. She refuses. When he tells her he will go against the conventions of society and refuse to be married, she tells him that it’s too late. She has convinced Rebecca to make another escape attempt. This is a trap. Authorities were waiting and Rebecca has been taken away to a prison hulk or dungeon (both actually used during this period for French prisoners). Daniel returns home devastated. He goes to the pagoda like structure where he confessed his love in despair.

Rebecca appears. She turned back from the arranged meeting. She could not bear to leave him, even if he were to wed Mary, she could not leave him and the family that has become her family. So Daniel has his HEA. I think he’s earned it. Let me know how you feel. You comments are very helpful.

  • This reply was modified 5 days, 4 hours ago by Ruchama.

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