Mr Darcy's Marriage, and Pride and Prejudice Question 15
Of course yesterday's question is in the realm of speculation, and as such there can't be any wrong or right answer because we don't know enough. By and large, most of you discarded Anne, though of course, as kt says, family wishes and duty may have prevailed, given the fact that he was very concerned with family connections when he proposed initially to Elizabeth. He certainly was not happy to have fallen in love and gone against them! He gave no sign of favoring Anne. Yet at the same time, he and his cousin Col. Fitzwilliam did make it a habit of going and staying with her for extended periods of time. As some of you have pointed out, it took Elizabeth to give him a different perspective on things. Clearly, he's embarrassed at the way Lady Catherine talks to Elizabeth, and it's a novelty for him to realize that he, too, has something to be ashamed of in his relations. As Sarah-Wynne points out, Elizabeth opened his eyes to a lot of things. Certainly the old Darcy might have been capable of putting family pride first.
As for his relationship to Caroline, it is very puzzling. I've wrote about it elsewhere on my blog tour, since obviously I've been giving it a lot of though. The fact is, he spends a great deal of time with the Bingleys. He comes and stays with them in Netherfield for weeks on end. Later, after he has been rejected by Elizabeth, he invites them for a long stay in Pemberley. Why does he enjoy their company so much? Enough to want Caroline and Mrs Hurst to spend time with Georgiana? I would have thought that their background in trade, as jnaj notes, would have prevented him from wanting to associate too closely with them. But clearly, as Tracygrrrl says, he regards them as equals in that first Meryton assembly, and refuses to dance with anyone else, and in the early days, before he has fallen in love, he seems to enjoy gossiping with Caroline. I just love the way Jane Austen shows us how he starts to disagree with and move away from the people that he somehow took for granted earlier. Still, even though he now looks at Caroline differently, he does not try to get rid of her. Is it loyalty? Is it habit? Why is Caroline at Pemberley? He could easily have invited Charles without his sisters. I can only conclude that there must have been something positive in them.
But I've gone on long enough (far longer than anyone yet). So time for the next question. Since it's the middle of the contest, and we haven't given people a chance to talk about the actors yet, my next question is:
Pride and Prejudice 15 Hurray! It's the middle of the Contest!