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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Steyne Affair

Another Jewish character Becky encounters is Lord Steyne, a very rich member of the English aristocracy. He allegedly won his wife at a gaming table, and upon meeting Becky, encourages her to neglect little Rawdon. He lives in the appropriately named Gaunt House, a dilapidated edifice located in a neighborhood with "a dreary look" of "tall, dark houses" inhabited by "a few miserable governesses with wan-faced pupils."

Steyne's attention to Becky seems to be a secret to no one but Rawdon. Becky uses Steyne to obtain money and jewelry, though Rawdon has no idea where any of it is coming from. Upon finding Bey and Steyne alone, Rawdon realizes that Becky has been receiving gifs from Steyne and challenges the latter to a duel. He eventually backs down from the challenge and abandons Becky for good by taking the governorship of Coventry Island, a position obtained for him by Steyne. Steyne completely dismisses Becky and never talks to her again.

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