This painting was Duncan’s first to be exhibited at the Royal Academy in London. He chose a scene from Shakespeare’s ‘Merry Wives of Windsor’ (1602), presumably to appeal to an English audience. Anne Page is an eligible bride whom Slender has been persuaded to court by his cousin Shallow, although Slender is not in fact particularly interested in marrying her. Here, Anne dutifully invites Slender to join their group and dine on venison pie, but the shy and uncouth Slender tries to evade the awkward invitation. Duncan has twisted Slender’s figure, capturing his awkwardness and lack of sophistication compared to the charming relaxed figure of Anne. Her loyal dog, ignoring the huge pie behind him, senses Slender’s indifference towards his mistress, and blocks his passage into the house.