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The Fortune Hunter
Mingling historical fact with imaginative fiction, Goodwin writes with...
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What do you think of Bay Middleton, and what fate do you think he deserves?

Created: 05/07/15

Replies: 18

Posted May. 07, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1358

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What do you think of Bay Middleton, and what fate do you think he deserves?

The fortune hunter of the title, of course, is Bay Middleton. What do you think of his character, and what fate do you think he deserves?


Posted May. 18, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
cynthiaa

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 77

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RE: What do you think of Bay Middleton, and what fate do you think he deserves?

I liked Bay Middleton and I think he deserves a happy life. He reminds me of JOHNNY in DIRTY DANCING. He was very good looking. And he was an expert horseman. Johnny was very good looking and an expert dancer. People used both of them.


Posted May. 18, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
juliep

Join Date: 04/07/12

Posts: 70

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RE: What do you think of Bay Middleton, and what fate do you think he deserves?

Part of me really didn't like him, but the other part of me did like him and also wanted things to work out between the him and Charlotte. My guess is he was bewitched by the Empress - by her royalty, her beauty, her sexuality, and her freedom to live apart from her husband and take on lovers. Not something that Charlotte could do.


Posted May. 18, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joyces

Join Date: 06/16/11

Posts: 397

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RE: What do you think of Bay Middleton, and what fate do you think he deserves?

I initially liked and admired him for his independence and general kindness and respect for others. After he was more or less forced by his superior officer to become closely associated with Sisi and fell under her powerful and sexy thrall I was pretty disgusted with him. Later when he chose to get away from her to follow his own desires I liked him better. Hopefully he lives to deserve Charlotte and if he treats her well I think he might earned my respect despite his lapse.


Posted May. 18, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
normar

Join Date: 05/15/11

Posts: 21

RE: What do you think of Bay Middleton, and what fate do you think he deserves?

I think he was a fortune hunter. He cared for Charlotte but was very concerned about status


Posted May. 19, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dorothyl

Join Date: 04/15/12

Posts: 89

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RE: What do you think of Bay Middleton, and what fate do you think he deserves?

I think others thought him solely a fortune hunter and he was encouraged by his superiors to marry well. But romantic that I am, I do believe in the end he truly cared for Charlotte and that they could be happy together. Symbolically I think that their departure for America, the new world, was also a new beginning for them away from the constraints of European and English society.


Posted May. 19, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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patriciag

Join Date: 07/11/14

Posts: 13

RE: What do you think of Bay Middleton, and what fate do you think he deserves?

He has that Clark gable/gone with the wind/Rhett butler rakishness. Even when he's being bad, he's good. He is obviously no angel right from the beginning having fathered the child of a married woman, but yet we want to excuse him because he shows hints of gallantry and tenderness. We also want to believe he can be reformed--but I doubt that he can ever be the matinee hero we would like. There's a fatal flaw there somewhere.


patricia gurnak
Posted May. 20, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
cynthiaa

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 77

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RE: What do you think of Bay Middleton, and what fate do you think he deserves?

I so enjoy the different perspectives. I should probably read the book twice, or read it at the table with a highlighter in hand, like I did with texts books because I forget things. I forgot that he fathered the child of a married woman. If I read like that, I would not enjoy reading lol.


Posted May. 20, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jeannew

Join Date: 04/23/11

Posts: 91

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RE: What do you think of Bay Middleton, and what fate do you think he deserves?

Overall I like Bay quite a bit, because he was a basically kind and good person. I think he was presented as a real person, with good traits and character flaws. In many ways I think he was as trapped as Charlotte and Sisi. Not being high-born or wealthy he wasn't able to go his own way and make decisions based on his own wants and needs. He was necessarily dependent on the good will of high society to maintain his way of life and to make a living. Originally he didn't want to be Sisi's pilot, seeing it as a more menial position that would diminish his ability to participate in and enjoy the hunts. But because he felt beholden to Earl Spencer, he felt forced to agree to the job.

I think, like many of us, Bay struggled with his good self and his bad self. Clearly becoming Sisi's lover was a bad choice for him and he knew going in that there could never be a happy ending there. But it was hard to resist her allure. I think his attraction to Charlotte came from his good side; I think he saw her kind of as salvation, not just because of the money, but because she was real and different and he felt she could save him from the bad part of himself.

I think he made the right choice and I hope he lives "happily ever after."


Posted May. 21, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lindah

Join Date: 04/17/14

Posts: 90

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RE: What do you think of Bay Middleton, and what fate do you think he deserves?

Bay Middleton was handsome, charismatic and had integrity. I don't believe he really was a fortune hunter as he truly came to love Charlotte and respected her choices. I wish them both well. He really was a charming rake. As others have commented, somewhat like that roue Rhett Butler who truly was a caring gentleman. I also believe he felt sorry for Empress Elizabeth, the tortured bird in a gilded cage. Bay had ethics and while prone to "romantic" entanglements had a sense of what was right. His horse winning the race and winning him a modicum of financial independence allowed him to choose to love Charlotte. Good story, well written.


Posted May. 21, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kimk

Join Date: 10/16/10

Posts: 285

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RE: What do you think of Bay Middleton, and what fate do you think he deserves?

You know, I don't believe he was a fortune hunter, but I do wonder about his attraction to the ladies. He did, after all, have a history of affairs before he ran into Charlotte and Sisi. But he seemed to have a good heart, so hopefully he's reformed.


Posted May. 22, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kathrynk

Join Date: 05/21/11

Posts: 40

RE: What do you think of Bay Middleton, and what fate do you think he deserves?

The title is always an important piece in presenting the story to the reader. Sometimes it's really difficult to make the connection! I don't know the author's intent but it seemed pretty obvious to me. And maybe that goes back to the question about the love triangle. Only Bay fits the role. With either Charlotte or Sisi, he comes out on top! (Oops! Well you know what I mean!). Sisi would have tired of him as she had with the others before him. And, I think as Charlotte may do as well, but for different reasons. Sadly, I do believe him to be a very charming, handsome fortune hunter. It was a great read!


Posted May. 23, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
terrio

Join Date: 08/16/11

Posts: 60

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RE: What do you think of Bay Middleton, and what fate do you think he deserves?

I liked Bay in the beginning but lost respect for him when he became entangled with Sisi. And even after he realized that he had made a mistake, he still danced to Sisi's tune for far too long. I did feel empathy for Sisi and the life she lead as a reluctant royal, but I don't think she really saw Bay as a human being in his own right. He existed to make her happy. Charlotte genuinely cared for him as a person and he betrayed her. Given his history of having affairs with married women, I don't have a lot of confidence that he would/could remain faithful to Charlotte after they were married.


Posted May. 25, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebajane

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 184

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RE: What do you think of Bay Middleton, and what fate do you think he deserves?

I agree with terrio. I have a difficult time seeing him as a good person. He said he cared about Charlotte but saw nothing wrong with having an affair. No one had to twist his arm, either! I also worry about his ability to stay faithful but I would certainly wish his life with Charlotte is a happy one


Posted May. 28, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
aleksandrae

Join Date: 02/25/14

Posts: 40

RE: What do you think of Bay Middleton, and what fate do you think he deserves?

I liked Bay very much. I found him to be charming and charismatic and of course the ultimately ladies man. I was a upset when he fell under Sisi's spell but frankly I think that was expected when royalty noticed you. Everything I've ever read about Sisi discusses how absolutely stunning she was and couple this with her power and their common interests...what would any single man do? I felt he was very confused and torn between the women and ultimately made the best choice for lasting happiness.


Posted May. 30, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
beckyc

Join Date: 05/30/15

Posts: 2

RE: What do you think of Bay Middleton, and what fate do you think he deserves?

My opinion of Bay switched back and forth the throughout the novel. He was a man easily influenced by beautiful women. I hope he eventually was able to have better self control after he was married.


Posted May. 31, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
carolea

Join Date: 10/06/12

Posts: 12

RE: What do you think of Bay Middleton, and what fate do you think he deserves?

Just as there were "Bays" in another century - there are 'Bays" now. They charm you with their good looks and personality while they alarm you with their behavior and questionable judgement. The men we love to dislike/ Bay adds excitement to and romance to the mix and was an enjoyable actor in the drama of this novel. Remenber - this is a novel.


Posted Jun. 03, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
pamelah

Join Date: 05/19/11

Posts: 24

RE: What do you think of Bay Middleton, and what fate do you think he deserves?

Bay seemed disarmingly charming to me. I loved the repartee between him and Charlotte, between him and Sisi, and between him and Chicken! He seemed human, yet stoic when it came to his injured shoulder. I was prepared for him to get thrown from Tipsy, and die, in the National, but was actually glad when he came through safely.


Posted Jun. 03, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
pamelaf

Join Date: 10/13/11

Posts: 9

RE: What do you think of Bay Middleton, and what fate do you think he deserves?

I think of Bay as weak of character. He has charm and wit, is handsome and accomplished, but he has no strength of character. If opportunities present themselves and he "feels like it" he goes after them. A person with character would not just fall into these things. He would think of the people he would be hurting and weigh the consequences of his actions instead of throwing caution to the wind. He would exercise his intellect and will over his passions.


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