Lord Babington – a creation of the writers of Sanditon, the television series. He’s a good friend of the Prince Regent and a friend and acquaintance of Sidney Parker and Mr. Crowe. He’s an admirer of Esther Denham and an excellent catch as a husband. His love story with Esther gives us a taste of happily ever after at the end of the series. Let us hope even though Mark Stanley will not be returning to reprise his role that that storyline holds true. Otherwise, I think many fans may be sorely disappointed.
Since Babington is a new creation from the writers of the television series Sanditon and not Jane’s creation, I must admit that his presence in the show brought everyone a breath of fresh air. He is starkly different from Sidney and Crowe. Even though he drinks and gambles with the best of them, he doesn’t have that drunkenness of Crowe or the brooding countenance of Sidney. Esther thought he probably possessed a reputation beyond redemption, perhaps due to the company that he keeps. In truth, Babington is not “such a good-for-nothing” as some would think. He’s got a heart of gold.
He’s easy on the eyes, titled, and wealthy with a huge estate, exactly the type of hero that Jane Austen would pen. He’s probably met many aristocratic women in his social circles and had the pick of the ton. It makes you wonder why no one has succeeded in catching his eye. Perhaps they are all the same, dull, ladies who want to marry well and he’s not impressed. However, when he crosses the path of Esther Denham, he’s stopped in his tracks. Esther spurns him at every turn in word, look, and deed. It doesn’t deter Babington one bit. Instead, it makes him determined to pursue this strange and extraordinary creature of a woman that he has never encountered before.
Despite Esther’s continual discouragement, we find that Babington is indeed a man of not only riches but of deep emotional wealth. He is patient as he waits for Esther to come around. He never rebuffs her or shows anger, but smiles and laughs at her antics as she remains cold and aloof in response to his pursuit. Even when she accepts his proposal and hours later rejects it, Babington, like a total gentleman, accepts her decision without making a scene. He’s restrained, polite, and sees the worth in Esther that has been destroyed by Edward.
Like a knight in shining armor, he comes to her rescue after the fiasco with Edward. He knows the sordid details of the control her step-brother has had over her, and the secret affections she has held. Rather than judge her harshly, he still wants her.
Some of the most beautiful lines of acceptance are below:
Esther: Well, Babington? Now you know the truth, are you not disgusted? Afraid you’ll be tainted by my disgrace?
Babington: I don’t give a damn what anyone else thinks. My dear girl… don’t you know that I’m in love with you?
Esther: Then what is that to me? Since I do not love you.
Babington: I don’t care. It’s enough that you like me and that you trust me.
Esther: I don’t wish to be your property.
Babington: Good… because I have no wish to own you.
Esther: Why else would you have me as your wife?
Babington: Because I want to make you happy! I could never try to lead or constrain you, Esther. All I ask is to walk through life by your side.(inserts tears)
Yes, Babington is indeed a catch. He’s the perfect Austen-type hero, that I am sure that Jane would have approved of wholeheartedly. He is definitely the one who captures everyone’s heart by his kind, patient, understanding, and loving personality. I do hope that Esther did fall in love with him, and is merely visiting her aunt come Season 2. I don’t think fans could take this wonderful pair and eventual wedding falling apart to pieces.