Patrick O'Brian Discussion Forum

Re: Was Diana at all to blame in Canning's behavior?

Don Seltzer

On Thu Nov 1, The Last of the True French Short Bastards wrote
>>I have always just assumed that Canning was a brute, but there's no evidence that he ever hit Diana, so far as I know. She said something about "these perpetual God-damned scenes," suggesting that they fought a lot and probably on account of Canning's jealousy.

>But O'Brian is so ambiguous about things at times! We KNOW Diana was unreliable at the very least, and possibly an actual shag bandit. Is there any reason to think that she was playing around on Canning, and his jealousy was justified? The other women hated her, but other men were clearly fond of her.

It would have been exceptionally difficult to keep such a secret in the small English community in Bombay, particularly with the spies that Canning had in his household.  Diana would know the extreme risks; she was not his wife and without his protection and money she would be in a perilous situation.

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