A Room with a View

Cecil Vyse Character Analysis

A family friend of the Honeychurches, with whom Lucy and Charlotte stay in Rome. Cecil proposes to Lucy twice unsuccessfully in Italy, and then proposes a third time at Windy Corner, where Lucy finally accepts. Lucy gradually convinces herself that she loves Cecil, despite his snobbery and rude attitude toward Lucy’s family and the country society around her home. Cecil is intelligent but doesn’t have the same sensibility for beauty that George and Lucy share. He is somewhat of a chauvinist and takes a patronizing attitude toward Lucy and other women, as George complains to Lucy and as Lucy herself tells Cecil when she leaves him. When Lucy leaves Cecil and explains the reasons why, he seems at first astonished and then accepting, and seems at least slightly changed.

Cecil Vyse Quotes in A Room with a View

The A Room with a View quotes below are all either spoken by Cecil Vyse or refer to Cecil Vyse. 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 9 Quotes

No, Lucy, he stands for all that is bad in country life. In London he would keep his place. He would belong to a brainless club, and his wife would give brainless dinner parties. But down here he acts the little god with his gentility, and his patronage, and his sham aesthetics, and every one—even your mother—is taken in.

Related Characters: Cecil Vyse (speaker), Lucy Honeychurch, Sir Harry Otway
Page Number: 98
Explanation and Analysis:

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"I had got an idea—I dare say wrongly—that you feel more at home with me in a room."
"A room?" she echoed, hopelessly bewildered.
"Yes. Or, at the most, in a garden, or on a road. Never in the real country like this."
"Oh, Cecil, whatever do you mean? I have never felt anything of the sort. You talk as if I was a kind of poetess sort of person."
"I don't know that you aren't. I connect you with a view—a certain type of view. Why shouldn't you connect me with a room?"
She reflected a moment, and then said, laughing:
"Do you know that you're right? I do. I must be a poetess after all. When I think of you it's always as in a room. How funny!"
To her surprise, he seemed annoyed.
"A drawing-room, pray? With no view?"
"Yes, with no view, I fancy. Why not?"
"I'd rather," he said reproachfully, "that connected me with the open air."

Related Characters: Lucy Honeychurch (speaker), Cecil Vyse (speaker)
Related Symbols: Indoors, Outdoors and Views
Page Number: 99
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 14 Quotes

It is obvious enough for the reader to conclude, "She loves young Emerson." A reader in Lucy's place would not find it obvious. Life is easy to chronicle, but bewildering to practice, and we welcome "nerves" or any other shibboleth that will cloak our personal desire. She loved Cecil; George made her nervous; will the reader explain to her that the phrases should have been reversed?

Related Characters: Lucy Honeychurch, George Emerson, Cecil Vyse
Page Number: 132
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 16 Quotes

The scales fell from Lucy's eyes. How had she stood Cecil for a moment? He was absolutely intolerable, and the same evening she broke off her engagement.

Related Characters: Lucy Honeychurch, Cecil Vyse
Page Number: 157
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 19 Quotes

But I cannot see why you didn't tell your friends about Cecil and be done with it. There all the time we had to sit fencing, and almost telling lies, and be seen through, too, I dare say, which is most unpleasant.

Related Characters: Mrs. Honeychurch (speaker), Lucy Honeychurch, Cecil Vyse
Page Number: 179
Explanation and Analysis:

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Cecil Vyse Character Timeline in A Room with a View

The timeline below shows where the character Cecil Vyse appears in A Room with a View. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 8
Education and Independence Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
...writing a letter in the drawing room. They are discussing Lucy and a man named Cecil Vyse, who is about to propose to Lucy for the third time. Mrs. Honeychurch is... (full context)
Society, Manners, and Changing Social Norms Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Mrs. Honeychurch is writing to Cecil’s mother—Mrs. Vyse, of the same family that Lucy visited in Rome—and comments on how she... (full context)
Society, Manners, and Changing Social Norms Theme Icon
Honesty Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Freddy tells his mother that when Cecil asked his permission for the proposal, he also asked Freddy if he thought the marriage... (full context)
Society, Manners, and Changing Social Norms Theme Icon
Freddy tries to discern what it is about Cecil that he dislikes, as Mrs. Honeychurch looks over her letter, in which she tells Mrs.... (full context)
Sexism and Women’s Roles Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Beauty Theme Icon
Cecil informs Mrs. Honeychurch (first in Italian, then in English) that Lucy has accepted his marriage... (full context)
Society, Manners, and Changing Social Norms Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Beauty Theme Icon
In Rome, Cecil hinted to Lucy that they should marry, and she declined. He proposed again “among the... (full context)
Society, Manners, and Changing Social Norms Theme Icon
Mr. Beebe arrives and tells Cecil that he has come “for tea and for gossip.” He shares the news that a... (full context)
Education and Independence Theme Icon
Mr. Beebe and Cecil talk about Lucy. Mr. Beebe says that he made a drawing in Florence, with Lucy... (full context)
Chapter 9
Society, Manners, and Changing Social Norms Theme Icon
A few days after the engagement, Mrs. Honeychurch takes Lucy and Cecil to a garden party, to show off the “presentable man” her daughter is marrying. At... (full context)
Society, Manners, and Changing Social Norms Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Cecil tells Lucy that he thinks of an engagement as a private matter, and hates how... (full context)
Society, Manners, and Changing Social Norms Theme Icon
Sexism and Women’s Roles Theme Icon
Honesty Theme Icon
Cecil criticizes Mr. Beebe to Lucy, who then says that she dislikes a different clergyman, Mr.... (full context)
Society, Manners, and Changing Social Norms Theme Icon
...old lady, so very vulgar” in one of the villas, who will not move out. Cecil suggests that he “turn her out,” and rent the place, but Sir Harry says that... (full context)
Sexism and Women’s Roles Theme Icon
Realizing that Cecil is playing with Sir Harry, Lucy suggests that he rent the place to some gentlewomen... (full context)
Society, Manners, and Changing Social Norms Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
After they leave Sir Harry behind, Cecil tells Lucy that he dislikes him. He says that Sir Harry “stands for all that... (full context)
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Sexism and Women’s Roles Theme Icon
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Beauty Theme Icon
Lucy and Cecil walk through a wooded area, and Cecil says that he thinks Lucy only imagines him... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Cecil tells Lucy that he wants to ask her something he has never asked her before,... (full context)
Chapter 10
Society, Manners, and Changing Social Norms Theme Icon
Sexism and Women’s Roles Theme Icon
The narrator describes “the society out of which Cecil proposed to rescue Lucy.” Lucy’s father had been “a prosperous local solicitor,” who built Windy... (full context)
Society, Manners, and Changing Social Norms Theme Icon
Sexism and Women’s Roles Theme Icon
Education and Independence Theme Icon
...“social barriers,” and that this could be a pleasant thing. Time in Italy had changed Cecil, as well, who now sees “local society” as narrow and insignificant. He seeks a better... (full context)
Sexism and Women’s Roles Theme Icon
...that he has heard someone else is moving into Sir Harry’s place. Freddy says that Cecil just recently told him that he has gotten someone by the name of Emerson to... (full context)
Society, Manners, and Changing Social Norms Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
...it’s affectation to pretend there isn’t.” Freddy says that the new tenants are friends of Cecil, and Lucy is annoyed that her own fiancé would ruin her plans to have the... (full context)
Society, Manners, and Changing Social Norms Theme Icon
Sexism and Women’s Roles Theme Icon
Honesty Theme Icon
Lucy goes inside to see Cecil, and chides him for ruining her plan about the Miss Alans. Cecil describes the Emersons... (full context)
Chapter 11
Love Theme Icon
Cecil’s plans for the Emersons to move into Sir Harry’s villa are successful. The Alans are... (full context)
Honesty Theme Icon
Education and Independence Theme Icon
...unsure whether the secret of George kissing her is “a great thing which would destroy Cecil’s life if he discovered it,” or a “little thing which he would laugh at.” She... (full context)
Society, Manners, and Changing Social Norms Theme Icon
Education and Independence Theme Icon
Beauty Theme Icon
...different from the atmosphere at Windy Corner. She plays some music on the piano, and Cecil requests to hear Beethoven, but she declines and plays only Schumann. After the party, Lucy... (full context)
Society, Manners, and Changing Social Norms Theme Icon
Education and Independence Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Mrs. Vyse tells Cecil, “Make Lucy one of us,” and enthusiastically says that Lucy is “purging off the Honeychurch... (full context)
Chapter 12
Love Theme Icon
Beauty Theme Icon
...enjoyed her stay in London, and Freddy says that Lucy is closer than ever to Cecil. (full context)
Society, Manners, and Changing Social Norms Theme Icon
Sexism and Women’s Roles Theme Icon
Education and Independence Theme Icon
Freddy tells Mr. Beebe that Cecil “is teaching Lucy Italian,” and that he is worried Lucy will become smarter than he... (full context)
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Sexism and Women’s Roles Theme Icon
Beauty Theme Icon
Suddenly, Mr. Beebe alerts George and Freddy that people are coming by. Mrs. Honeychurch, Cecil, and Lucy happen to be walking through the woods. They see the three men, who... (full context)
Chapter 13
Society, Manners, and Changing Social Norms Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Beauty Theme Icon
...on such on occasion, where he greeted her “with the shout of the morning star.” Cecil is bored with talking to Mrs. Butterworth, and behaves difficultly. Back at home, Mrs. Honeychurch... (full context)
Society, Manners, and Changing Social Norms Theme Icon
Lucy tries to defend Cecil’s haughtiness, but can’t find the right words. She feels that “two civilizations had clashed,” Cecil’s... (full context)
Society, Manners, and Changing Social Norms Theme Icon
Education and Independence Theme Icon
...invite Charlotte, saying there is no room for her. She admits that both she and Cecil don’t like Charlotte, and calls her “tiresome.” Mrs. Honeychurch chides them both for not taking... (full context)
Chapter 14
Honesty Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
...to such a conclusion from an external perspective. As far as Lucy knows, she loves Cecil and is only made nervous by George. (full context)
Society, Manners, and Changing Social Norms Theme Icon
Education and Independence Theme Icon
...plans to keep her promise. Charlotte says that it would be even more dreadful if Cecil should find out about the incident from someone else. Lucy says that there is no... (full context)
Education and Independence Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
...look after herself. Charlotte calls George a cad (a bad man), and Lucy says that Cecil told her there are two kinds of cads—conscious and subconscious. She says that George “lost... (full context)
Chapter 15
Education and Independence Theme Icon
Beauty Theme Icon
...Honeychurch, Charlotte, and Minnie Beebe are all preparing to go to church. George, Freddy, and Cecil are not going. Lucy sees a book that Cecil has been reading, called “Under a... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
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After lunch, Lucy plays the piano. Cecil requests a particular song, but she stops playing instead. Then, George walks over, and she... (full context)
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After tennis, Cecil reads aloud to George and Lucy from the novel he is reading, which he finds... (full context)
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...straight over heads.” Lucy finds this fascinating and pays more attention to George than to Cecil, who becomes frustrated. Lucy tries to make it up to him by asking him to... (full context)
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Cecil flips to a passage from the novel, in which the heroine is sitting on a... (full context)
Chapter 16
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Education and Independence Theme Icon
Upset, Lucy now realizes why Charlotte encouraged her to tell Cecil about the kiss earlier and warned of Cecil finding out from someone else. Charlotte wonders... (full context)
Society, Manners, and Changing Social Norms Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
...George to leave Windy Corner immediately. George asks if she is really going to marry Cecil, and says that Cecil is fine with books, but doesn’t know how to handle people.... (full context)
Sexism and Women’s Roles Theme Icon
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George goes on to say that Cecil doesn’t treat women well. For example, when they encountered George near the Sacred Lake, George... (full context)
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Sexism and Women’s Roles Theme Icon
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Lucy retorts that George is criticizing Cecil for telling her what to think, when he is essentially doing the same thing now.... (full context)
Honesty Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
...another set of tennis. She says that George has had to leave, so Freddy asks Cecil to play. Cecil again declines, saying that he is not an athlete and is “no... (full context)
Chapter 17
Sexism and Women’s Roles Theme Icon
Honesty Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
When Lucy ends the engagement, Cecil is stunned. Lucy says they are simply too different, and Cecil says she is probably... (full context)
Sexism and Women’s Roles Theme Icon
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Beauty Theme Icon
Cecil is shocked and confused. For the first time in their relationship, he sees Lucy as... (full context)
Sexism and Women’s Roles Theme Icon
Education and Independence Theme Icon
...and right.” She angrily says that she doesn’t care about “a woman’s place,” and that Cecil tries to “wrap up” her like an art object. She says resolutely, “I won’t be... (full context)
Honesty Theme Icon
Education and Independence Theme Icon
Lucy thinks that Cecil is suggesting that she is leaving him for someone else, which upsets her. She says... (full context)
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Honesty Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Cecil says that the engagement couldn’t have worked, because he is “bound up in the old... (full context)
Chapter 18
Beauty Theme Icon
...Windy Corner “with a piece of gossip,” unaware of what has happened with Lucy and Cecil. Mr. Beebe’s gossip is that the Alans are planning a trip to Greece, and he... (full context)
Society, Manners, and Changing Social Norms Theme Icon
Education and Independence Theme Icon
When Mr. Beebe arrives at Windy Corner, he runs into Cecil, who is just leaving. He notices that Cecil seems kinder than usual. They discuss the... (full context)
Honesty Theme Icon
Mr. Beebe talks with Charlotte, who is worried about gossip spreading regarding Lucy and Cecil. She says that Freddy shouldn’t even have told him about the matter, and begs Mr.... (full context)
Sexism and Women’s Roles Theme Icon
Beauty Theme Icon
...the Alans. Mr. Beebe then sees Lucy playing the piano and singing a song that Cecil taught her. (full context)
Chapter 19
Honesty Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
...visit the Alans in London, in preparation for the Greece trip. The Alans think that Cecil and Lucy are still together, and Lucy doesn’t correct them. Afterwards, Mrs. Honeychurch says that... (full context)
Honesty Theme Icon
Education and Independence Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
...trust in love.” He is still under the impression that Lucy is going to marry Cecil, and Lucy does not correct him. (full context)
Honesty Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
...says that he must go to London to take care of George. He again mentions Cecil, and speaks as if Cecil and Lucy are still engaged. Lucy evades the topic, and... (full context)
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Honesty Theme Icon
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Lucy tries to explain to Mr. Emerson that she left Cecil for her own reasons, but he tells her that she is “in a muddle,” and... (full context)
Chapter 20
Society, Manners, and Changing Social Norms Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
...who had not meant to help,” but nevertheless did, like Miss Lavish, Charlotte, and even Cecil. (full context)
Sexism and Women’s Roles Theme Icon
Education and Independence Theme Icon
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...Freddy and Mr. Beebe would forgive Lucy and him. He also comments that he wishes “Cecil had not turned so cynical about women.” He asks, “why will men have theories about... (full context)