A Room with a View

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Mr. Beebe Character Analysis

A reverend from Lucy’s hometown who happens to be in Florence at the same time as her. He is a kind, if somewhat reserved, person, who helps Lucy throughout the novel. He dislikes Cecil, and so is relieved when Lucy breaks off her engagement to him. Together with Charlotte, he helps convince Mrs. Honeychurch to let Lucy go to Greece with the Alans. However, Mr. Beebe does not approve when Lucy runs off with George.

Mr. Beebe Quotes in A Room with a View

The A Room with a View quotes below are all either spoken by Mr. Beebe or refer to Mr. Beebe. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Society, Manners, and Changing Social Norms Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Penguin Classics edition of A Room with a View published in 2000.
Chapter 1 Quotes

I think he would not take advantage of your acceptance, nor expect you to show gratitude. He has the merit—if it is one—of saying exactly what he means. He has rooms he does not value, and he thinks you would value them. He no more thought of putting you under an obligation than he thought of being polite. It is so difficult—at least, I find it difficult—to understand people who speak the truth.

Related Characters: Mr. Beebe (speaker), Lucy Honeychurch, Charlotte Bartlett, Mr. Emerson
Related Symbols: Indoors, Outdoors and Views
Page Number: 8
Explanation and Analysis:

In this passage, the Emerson family--George and Mr. Emerson--has offered to do a favor for the far wealthier and more well-to-do group of Lucy and Charlotte. The Emersons overhear Lucy and Charlotte moaning about how their rooms don't have a nice view; they offer to exchange rooms with the two women, an offer that's appalling to both Lucy and Charlotte. Neither woman wants to be in a lower-class man's debt. But as Mr. Beebe, a friendly reverend, explains, the Emersons aren't trying to gain a favor for themselves--they're just trying to be nice.

Lucy and Charlotte are so sheltered and "well-mannered" that they look a gift-horse in the mouth--they wonder why on earth two strangers are offering them anything, and conclude that the strangers must have poor intentions. Beebe has to explain what, from a 21st reader's perspective, seems perfectly clear: the Emersons are just trying to be friendly. Manners and customs act like a veil between Lucy and the Emersons, obscuring the natural goodness of all the characters.

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Chapter 3 Quotes

All his life he had loved to study maiden ladies; they were his specialty, and his profession had provided him with ample opportunities for the work. Girls like Lucy were charming to look at, but Mr. Beebe was, from rather profound reasons, somewhat chilly in his attitude towards the other sex, and preferred to be interested rather than enthralled.

Related Characters: Lucy Honeychurch, Mr. Beebe
Page Number: 31
Explanation and Analysis:

Mr. Beebe is a shy, religious man, who takes a great liking to Lucy and her friends. Beebe seems to be very proper in his manners, and yet here, it's suggested that he has no real desire for the opposite sex: he can take an interest in their souls, and he can form friendships with them, but he can't love them. One could argue that Beebe's relative disinterest in women is a manifestation of his condescending priestly attitude, or of a virtuous adherence to his priestly vows. But it's also been suggested that Mr. Beebe, at least in this passage, is something of a self-portrait by Forster himself (who was homosexual).

"Mr. Beebe—old Mr. Emerson, is he nice or not nice? I do so want to know."

Mr. Beebe laughed and suggested that she should settle the question for herself.

Related Characters: Lucy Honeychurch (speaker), Mr. Emerson, Mr. Beebe
Page Number: 34
Explanation and Analysis:

In this passage, Lucy asks Mr. Beebe for his opinion of the Emerson family. Lucy is interested in the Emersons, especially after spending time with them in the churches of Italy. And yet she's not really confident enough in her own opinion to conclude that the Emersons are either "nice or not nice" (additionally, the fact that she divides all of humanity into two vacuous categories, nice and not nice, suggests her emotional immaturity).

Mr. Beebe has already claimed that he doesn't like the Emersons because of their socialist views: Beebe is a more traditional English figure, a friendly reverend who has duties to his congregation--as a result, he distrusts political radicals. But Beebe is also friendly and open-minded to encourage Lucy to figure things out for herself: he wants her to grow into a mature woman, rather than relying on authority figures.

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Mr. Beebe Character Timeline in A Room with a View

The timeline below shows where the character Mr. Beebe appears in A Room with a View. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
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Education and Independence Theme Icon
...that they will find another place to stay, but just then a young clergyman named Mr. Beebe enters. He has worked in Lucy’s parish, and Lucy recognizes him excitedly and tells Charlotte... (full context)
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Charlotte and Lucy leave dinner and talk with Mr. Beebe in another room. Charlotte asks about the Emersons, and says that she could not put... (full context)
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Charlotte worries that she was rude in rejecting the Emersons’ offer and asked Mr. Beebe if she should apologize, but he says she doesn’t need to, and then leaves. Lucy... (full context)
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...are people who do things which are most indelicate, and yet at the same time—beautiful?” Mr. Beebe enters the room and informs Charlotte that he has spoken to Mr. Emerson and has... (full context)
Chapter 3
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...its concerns. One rainy afternoon at the Bertolini Pension, Lucy plays the piano. Looking on, Mr. Beebe recalls seeing her play before, in England, at “one of those entertainments where the upper... (full context)
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Upon meeting Lucy, Mr. Beebe had found her less interesting than her music playing would suggest. He made a comment... (full context)
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Mr. Beebe is puzzled by the surprising friendship between Charlotte and Miss Lavish. He wonders whether Italy... (full context)
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...unsuitable invitation.” Miss Lavish then went and spent time alone with Mr. Emerson. Lucy asks Mr. Beebe whether Mr. Emerson is “nice or not nice,” and he tells her to make up... (full context)
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...approaches, Lucy decides to go out on the town in a tram. Miss Alan and Mr. Beebe are alarmed at the prospect of her walking around alone, and Lucy decides not to... (full context)
Chapter 4
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Lucy is bored with the conversation she just had with Miss Alan and Mr. Beebe . She desires “something big,” and wants to ride the tram, but decides not to... (full context)
Chapter 5
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...surprised when Charlotte is not troubled by Lucy’s adventure in the piazza. The next morning, Mr. Beebe invites Lucy and Charlotte to accompany the Emersons and him on a day trip. Charlotte... (full context)
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...Nonetheless, she eagerly accepts the invitation, and is even more excited when she learns that Mr. Beebe will be coming along, as well. (full context)
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Charlotte realizes that Mr. Beebe is planning to take Miss Lavish with him on the ride and worries about who... (full context)
Chapter 6
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...woman. The narrator compares both of the Italians to mythological figures. In the carriage are Mr. Beebe , Mr. Eager, Miss Lavish, the Emersons, Lucy, and Charlotte. Mr. Beebe had invited the... (full context)
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...The party walks around the hills together for a bit, and then split into groups. Mr. Beebe and Mr. Eager go off together, the Emersons return to the carriage to talk to... (full context)
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...back to the carriage and, unable to speak Italian, tries to ask the driver where Mr. Beebe is. (full context)
Chapter 8
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...can’t quite figure out why. He says it might have something to do with something Mr. Beebe said, about Cecil being “detached.” (full context)
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Mr. Beebe arrives and tells Cecil that he has come “for tea and for gossip.” He shares... (full context)
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Mr. Beebe and Cecil talk about Lucy. Mr. Beebe says that he made a drawing in Florence,... (full context)
Chapter 9
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Cecil criticizes Mr. Beebe to Lucy, who then says that she dislikes a different clergyman, Mr. Eager. She says... (full context)
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...his patronage, and his sham aesthetics.” Cecil is sick of “gentlefolks.” With Cecil disliking both Mr. Beebe and Sir Harry, Lucy worries about what he will think of Freddy, or other people... (full context)
Chapter 10
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...Windy Corner, Lucy is playing a made-up game with some tennis balls with Freddy and Mr. Beebe ’s niece Minnie, while talking to Mr. Beebe. Mr. Beebe says that he has written... (full context)
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...says that these Emersons are probably not the same ones as were in Florence, and Mr. Beebe agrees. He calls the Florentine Emersons “the oddest people! The queerest people!” He says that... (full context)
Chapter 12
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On a “Saturday afternoon, gay and brilliant after abundant rains,” Mr. Beebe and Freddy pay the Emersons a visit. They go into the Emersons’ villa, looking for... (full context)
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Freddy tells Mr. Beebe that Cecil “is teaching Lucy Italian,” and that he is worried Lucy will become smarter... (full context)
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...calling card), and Mr. Emerson laughs at the old-fashioned custom, calling it “drawing-room twaddle.” But Mr. Beebe insists on the practice, and tells Mr. Emerson to return calls within a ten-day window.... (full context)
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On the way, Mr. Beebe comments on the coincidence of the Emersons meeting Lucy in Florence and then ending up... (full context)
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Mr. Beebe stays out of the water at first, but both George and Freddy tell him that... (full context)
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Suddenly, Mr. Beebe alerts George and Freddy that people are coming by. Mrs. Honeychurch, Cecil, and Lucy happen... (full context)
Chapter 14
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After the encounter near the Sacred Lake, Lucy had run into George again along with Mr. Beebe at the rectory. She feels that she managed the meeting well, and at the time... (full context)
Chapter 18
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The next day, Mr. Beebe comes to Windy Corner “with a piece of gossip,” unaware of what has happened with... (full context)
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When Mr. Beebe arrives at Windy Corner, he runs into Cecil, who is just leaving. He notices that... (full context)
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Mr. Beebe goes into the house and sees Lucy playing Mozart on the piano. He decides to... (full context)
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Mr. Beebe talks with Charlotte, who is worried about gossip spreading regarding Lucy and Cecil. She says... (full context)
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Mr. Beebe doesn’t “quite understand the situation,” but nonetheless feels compelled to help Lucy, and feels “spurred... (full context)
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...Greece. Lucy is glad, and continues to sing. Looking around at Lucy’s friends and family, Mr. Beebe is puzzled as to why she should want to leave home for Greece. Lucy keeps... (full context)
Chapter 19
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At the church, Charlotte wants to stay for a service, so Lucy waits in Mr. Beebe ’s study while Charlotte and Mrs. Honeychurch go into the church. There, Lucy is surprised... (full context)
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...Lucy evades the topic, and acts as if the engagement is still on. Just then, Mr. Beebe comes in, and before leaving makes a comment that makes it clear that Cecil is... (full context)
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...to forget about George, since “love is eternal.” Lucy is overwhelmed and starts to cry. Mr. Beebe re-enters the room and Mr. Emerson tells him that Lucy has deceived him and pretended... (full context)
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...that she cannot marry George, and she stammers, “I have misled you—I have misled myself.” Mr. Beebe tells Lucy to marry George, saying, “he will do admirably.” Lucy looks to Mr. Emerson... (full context)
Chapter 20
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...eloping with George. George reads an upset letter from Freddy, and wishes that Freddy and Mr. Beebe would forgive Lucy and him. He also comments that he wishes “Cecil had not turned... (full context)
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...grow old alone like her. She comments on how lucky she was to wait in Mr. Beebe ’s office when Charlotte wanted to attend the church service. (full context)