Arcadia

A modern-day Coverly sibling, along with Chloe and Gus. Valentine studies mathematics at Oxford and spends the play trying to find an algorithm that describes patterns in the Sidley Park grouse population. He is therefore uniquely suited to understand Thomasina’s attempts to represent nature through iteration, and helps Hannah work out the significance of Thomasina’s explorations.

Valentine Quotes in Arcadia

The Arcadia quotes below are all either spoken by Valentine or refer to Valentine. 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:
Mathematics, Nature, and Fate Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Farrar, Strauss and Giroux edition of Arcadia published in 1994.
Act 1, Scene 4 Quotes

When your Thomasina was doing maths it had been the same maths for a couple of thousand years. Classical. And for a century after Thomasina. Then maths left the real world behind, just like modern art, really. Nature was classical, maths was suddenly Picassos. But now nature is having the last laugh. The freaky stuff is turning out to be the mathematics of the natural world.

Related Characters: Valentine (speaker), Thomasina Coverly
Page Number: 49
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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The unpredictable and the predetermined unfold together to make everything the way it is. It’s how nature creates itself, on every scale, the snowflake and the snowstorm. It makes me so happy.

Related Characters: Valentine (speaker)
Page Number: 51
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Act 2, Scene 7 Quotes

Comparing what we’re looking for misses the point. It’s wanting to know that makes us matter. Otherwise we’re going out the way we came in.

Related Characters: Hannah Jarvis (speaker), Valentine
Page Number: 80
Explanation and Analysis:
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat LoremLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna Lorem iLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

…There’s an order things can’t happen in. You can’t open a door till there’s a house.

Related Characters: Valentine (speaker)
Page Number: 83
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Valentine Character Timeline in Arcadia

The timeline below shows where the character Valentine appears in Arcadia. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1, Scene 2
Academia and Education Theme Icon
...daughter of the current Lord of the estate, and Bernard Nightingale, another scholar, enter, and Valentine briefly enters and exits. Chloë tells Bernard about Hannah’s project—she’s writing a history of the... (full context)
Mathematics, Nature, and Fate Theme Icon
Romantic Conceptions of Beauty Theme Icon
Academia and Education Theme Icon
Valentine, another Coverly sibling, comes back in, searching for game books, but everything in the house... (full context)
Sex and Love Theme Icon
Academia and Education Theme Icon
Hannah and Bernard banter about Valentine, who’s studying something at Oxford related to math, computers, and grouse. Valentine likes to call... (full context)
Sex and Love Theme Icon
...be happy at her lack of feelings for Bernard. Hannah thinks Chloë is referring to Valentine, but then Gus enters, and offers Hannah an apple—it’s Gus, not Valentine, who may have... (full context)
Act 1, Scene 4
Mathematics, Nature, and Fate Theme Icon
Academia and Education Theme Icon
Back in the present day, Hannah and Valentine are looking at Thomasina’s old math textbook. Hannah reads Thomasina’s note about how she’s discovered... (full context)
Mathematics, Nature, and Fate Theme Icon
Academia and Education Theme Icon
Valentine explains Thomasina’s meaning, looking at both the textbook and Thomasina’s notebook, where she’s written more... (full context)
Mathematics, Nature, and Fate Theme Icon
Academia and Education Theme Icon
Hannah asks for more details about how Valentine’s work relates to Thomasina’s. Valentine explains that he’s trying to find the mathematical algorithm that... (full context)
Mathematics, Nature, and Fate Theme Icon
Academia and Education Theme Icon
Hannah asks if Valentine might be able to draw the apple leaf using iteration. Valentine explains that iteration could... (full context)
Mathematics, Nature, and Fate Theme Icon
Valentine cuts in to mention that he knows that Byron stayed at Sidley Park in 1809... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 5
Romantic Conceptions of Beauty Theme Icon
Academia and Education Theme Icon
The argument escalates, and Bernard calls Caroline Lamb, beloved subject of Hannah’s bestseller, talentless. Valentine mentions that statistical analyses of the Piccadilly review didn’t convincingly connect it to Byron’s other... (full context)
Sex and Love Theme Icon
Academia and Education Theme Icon
Valentine leaves, almost crying, declaring that he’s giving up on his grouse project. Chloë follows. Bernard... (full context)
Sex and Love Theme Icon
Academia and Education Theme Icon
...a tortoise named Plautus. (We, though not Hannah, know that Septimus’s tortoise was called Plautus.) Valentine returns and Bernard leaves for his taxi. (full context)
Mathematics, Nature, and Fate Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
Hannah reads Valentine a little from the new source about the hermit. The article, from 1832, describes the... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 7
Mathematics, Nature, and Fate Theme Icon
Sex and Love Theme Icon
Chloë, Valentine and Gus lounge around the table, wearing Regency period clothing (ie, from the early 19th... (full context)
Sex and Love Theme Icon
Academia and Education Theme Icon
...has even made the tabloids, but she still thinks it’s silly. Chloë and Gus exit. Valentine hopes that Chloë isn’t too blinded by her feelings for Bernard. Hannah and Valentine banter... (full context)
Academia and Education Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
Valentine continues work on his grouse project. Hannah in a stirring monologue about the necessity of... (full context)
Mathematics, Nature, and Fate Theme Icon
Academia and Education Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
Hannah looks at Valentine’s work. He shows her how he’s iterated Thomasina’s equation millions of times, producing a beautiful... (full context)
Academia and Education Theme Icon
As Hannah and Valentine continue, silently, to do work at the table, the two time periods begin to overlap,... (full context)
Mathematics, Nature, and Fate Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
...it’s an iteration—“It eats its own progeny.” Septimus looks back at the book. Hannah and Valentine talk about whether the math demonstrates the end of the world, while Septimus begins to... (full context)
Romantic Conceptions of Beauty Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
...piano to Gus. Lady Croom complains about the pump noise to Thomasina, while Chloë and Valentine exit to have their photo taken (they’re still wearing Regency-period clothing). Lady Croom touches the... (full context)
Mathematics, Nature, and Fate Theme Icon
Sex and Love Theme Icon
Academia and Education Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
...things” to him. They leave to take a walk, Augustus carrying Thomasina’s drawing, as Bernard, Valentine, and Hannah enter. Hannah carries the garden book of Lady Croom. Bernard is in a... (full context)
Academia and Education Theme Icon
...out his flaw, and Hannah indicates that she’ll publish a letter right away. Chloë and Valentine quickly give Bernard a Regency costume for the photograph of the family that will appear... (full context)
Sex and Love Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
Hannah and Valentine enter. Valentine goes to the table to find Thomasina’s diagram. Septimus also finds Thomasina’s diagram.... (full context)
Sex and Love Theme Icon
...in the hermitage. Bernard apologizes to everyone, but tells Chloë, “It was wonderful.” Chloë and Valentine exit. Bernard gives his best wishes to Hannah for her book. She says she thinks... (full context)