An aunty observation...

Have you ever noticed that, in many books, the annoying character is the aunt? Either the aunt or the great aunt- very often, very, very often the aunt or great aunt is annoying, bossy and strict. Often, they improve as the end draws near, of course, but have you not noticed that it's always the aunt?
Wooster: "My Aunt Agatha is sitting out there just waiting to pounce."
Let's take a look at those (great) aunts.
Aunt Polly
In 'Pollyanna', her aunt Polly is exactly suited to my description above. Annoying, bossy and strict. Aunt Polly is unkind and grim on top of that. And hardly ever smiles. I love it so much when Pollyanna tells her she loves her punishments. 'Oh, thank you, Aunt Polly! I love bread and milk!'
But in the end, Aunt Polly softens and becomes a much nicer person. But still, there you go, that was the first aunt.
Great-Aunt Josephine
I think Great-Aunt Josephine in 'Anne of Green Gables' changes rather too quickly. At first she's mean, menacing and threats to break all the golden promises she promised her niece, Diana, and then Anne comes (go, Anne) and she forgets all, becomes a bubbly, delightful thing and takes Diana and Anne on a sightseeing trip. Still, it's another Aunt who's got her less magnificent ways.
Lady Catherine the Bourgh
Even Jane Austen did it. We sometimes seem to forget that this is Mr Darcy's aunt. And what an annoying, picky, wacky one she is! This one is so stubborn, mean and proud she never changes. In fact, we see a shot of her, dully in her chair at home- face furious- when somewhere else Darcy and Elizabeth get married agaist her approval. Ha.
Aunt Shaw
I know her role is rather minor in North and South, but I had to add her. In my opinion, Aunt Shaw is dashingly annoying. I had to add her to my list.
Aunt Elizabeth
If you haven't read (or watched) 'Emily of the New Moon' you won't know how HORRID this aunt is. She's supposed to have a good heart, but seriously, I've read the books about five times and she only does like two good things in her life. She's horrible. When you read the books (and I definitely do recommend them, I love them to pieces) you'll notice you actually want Emily, her niece, to disobey her. She's that horrid and that strict.
'Emily of the New Moon' has many other strict aunts and uncles, including a monstrous great-aunt Nancy, who threatens to put Emily in a great clock if she's naughty... Lucy Maud Montgomery was really into that. But, I must say, isn't it fun to read! Same with all the aunts and uncles in her speldiforious book 'The Blue Castle'. Go, read it.
Aunt Pittipat
I don't know if you have the same feelings on Aunt Pittipat in Gone With the Wind as I do, but... well, yep I thought she was a dashed nuisance. Always fainting and yelling for those smelling salts of hers.
Aunt Agatha
This is how Wooster looks when he talks/thinks about her:
This is how Wooster looks when Aunt Agatha speaks to him:
That pretty much explains it, doesn't it?
I'm sure there are more annoying aunts in films and books, but for now, this is all. Do you know any more?


  1. Ahhhh aunts.

    I really like aunts named Agatha! You can just tell what they are like by their name!

    Aunt Polly! It's great how she falls in love again with that guy (he's a teacher in the most recent version I saw, but wasn't he a doctor in this one?) Oh and Hayley Mills is awesome!!!

    Yeah, you would think if Josephine is so mean and doesn't like Diana that much than a girl who talks A LOT would annoy her even more!!

    Lady Catherine is one of the reasons why Jane Austen is such a great writer!! She makes the reader so annoyed!!! You have to wonder if Mr. Collins would be different if Lady Catherine wasn't his patron or whatever he called her.

    I really, really want to read Emily of New Moon, Blue Castle, and the Story Girl series!!!

    Isn't there an Aunt Josephine in Little Women? The one that takes Amy to Europe?

  2. Ah yes, Aunt Josephine in Little Woman! I forgot all about her!

    Yes, I love the way Aunt Polly falls in love with Dr Chilton. Really, is he teacher in one version? I've always known him as a doctor. Actually, I haven't seen the version with Hayley Mills, I seen ANOTHER version made in.... 2003, I think. That version is really, really good.

    I agree with you on Great-Aunt Josephine, totally!

    Thanks for the comment, Ashley!

  3. In little women, isn't her name Aunt March? She is a crank, but she does leave Plumfield to Jo!!

  4. Oh, I love the 03' version of Pollyanna!
    Is not that Rosemond Pike at the bottom of the post? Do you know if the photo is from a movie? She is so pretty!
    Have a lovely day!


  5. Anonymous, you're right, she's is Aunt March. Maybe her first name is Josephine, and that's where we got mixed. I'm not sure... have to read the book again!

    Yes, that is Rosamund Pike, but I have no idea where it's from. I do think it's from a movie though. I just found it and thought it was pretty.
    Nice to have you commenting!


  6. I love aunts in books! But to be fair, I have a great aunt who I always thought was like this when I was younger. Now that I am older she is not so bad, but I used to think she was as bad as Aunt Elizabeth!
    I was pleased to see 'Emily of New Moon' on the list, I love that book! I did not know there was a film adaptation!
    A very entertaining post, glad to have you back! :)

  7. Cool post, Naomi! :-) Have you ever noticed that uncles in literature tend to be distasteful creatures also? Claudius from Hamlet, Andrew from The Magician's Nephew, Archibald Craven from The Secret Garden, Miraz from Prince Caspian . . . they're all either downright evil or just obnoxious. I wonder what it is about writers and uncles/aunts.


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