Pride and Prejudice's Popularity, and question 30

We have one additional contender so far for Mr Darcy: Eric Dane. What do you think? I picked an image where he could well be Darcy at his most arrogant.

I hope people will continue to post some other ideas for either Elizabeth or Mr Darcy so I can put up the photos.

Meanwhile, there was some great answers as to why more people tend to gravitate towards Pride and Prejudice rather than Jane Austen's other works: the timeless and archetypal love story which is at its centre, the witty remarks, Mr Darcy as a hero who drives the plot, the multiple themes of the novel, Elizabeth as a strong heroine, amount of exposure, its youthful energy and vibrancy, its realistic events.

At the same time, in answer to the original question as to whether sequels to other novels could be successful, a number of people said that they would be very happy to read sequels to other Jane Austen novels.

We're down to one more question after this one. I will be announcing our 5 winners on Sunday 1st November. If there are people out there who have been following the discussions (I know there are quite a few of you) but haven't pitched in, you're running out of time.

Pride and Prejudice Question 30

We haven't talked at all about Jane and her relationship with Bingley on the novel, though we touched upon it briefly. Was Charlotte Lucas right when she said Jane should show her affection more openly? What do you make of the fact that Bingley is so willing to listen to Darcy?

Do you agree with Mr Bennet's assessment: "You are each of you so complying, that nothing will ever be resolved on; so easy, that every servant will cheat you; and so generous, that you will always exceed your income"? How do you think Jane Austen meant us to see this couple?


  1. I think Jane Austen meant us to see this couple as two very compatable people with similar personalities. They are both very nice, and sometimes being too nice can have its disadvantaes (such as being taken advantage of by servants).

    I think I agree with Charlotte Lucas to some extent. I think Bingley was able to believe Darcy because of two things: the fact that Jane had not shown her affections more and also that he was removed from her at the time. This is the only reason I think Jane perhaps should have shown a little more feeling. Mostly I think she was in the right as she is a quiet girl and was not acting in any way different than her personality. We certainly don't want her to be a Lydia!

  2. I always thought Charlotte was right. Like Laura pointed out, Austen obviously didn't mean for her to go to Lydia's extreme, but to be SO buttoned up isn't good, either. It's always about the happy medium with Jane Austen! Jane's reserve coupled with Mrs. Bennet's nattering on about Bingley's 50,000 pounds a year (or whatever the amount was) probably made it easy for a pliable soul like Bingley to listen to Darcy. But I don't blame Jane entirely--she was very loving to her family in the book, in a quiet way, but it was still obvious. I'm sure she would have been just as loving to Bingley, and he should have had the backbone to believe in that. I do agree with Mr. Bennet's quote--they are so similar in their generosity and willingness to believe the best of everyone, that they do seem likely to be taken advantage of!

  3. I think Jane and Bingley were shown as a counterpoint to everyone else in the book. Where Darcy was proud and haughty, Bingley was affable and agreeable. Elizabeth was judgemental and prejudiced, while Jane saw the good in everyone, even when it put her opinions in direct conflict. The remaining Bennett women were loud and off-putting; Jane was demure. Caroline was a social climber and Bingley deferred to his superior (Darcy). Jane and Bingley showed the reader two nice, gentle and loving people. They suffered at the hands of others but were rewarded with a happy life together.

    As for Jane being more forward or Bingley being less easily persuaded, this would have been totally out of character. Jane Austen sets the basic "character" for all of the characters in her books. Most of the time, no one deviates from their basic character traits. They change their opinions and attitudes, but they remain true to who they are, whether they are very nice, like Jane and Bingley, or not, like Henry Crawford or Willoughby.

    I am sorry to see this little contest come to an end. I have just gotten used to having to really think on Friday mornings! :) Thank you, Monica and all of the other posters!

  4. I think that once Jane and Bingley got out from under their families and friends influences, they both came into their own. Each was naturally shy and unsure of themselves so they stayed in the background and observed. Once married I always imagined that they blossomed together and made a very happy life. No more second guessing their feelings and letting others sway them.

    Monica, thank you for this "contest"; it's been great fun reading all the posts.

  5. I was pondering in the car taking the boys in for their flu shots about who would make a good "young" Darcy and Elizabeth that were more age appropriate. I thought why not Kristin Stewart and Robert Pattinson? Pattinson is a little young for Darcy, but if the two made a new P&P right now at the height of their popularity, it would perhaps inspire some teens to check out P&P for the first time.


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