Click here to enter my other blog: Jane Austen's World.

Tuesday, May 29

Who is your favorite older female character in a Jane Austen novel?

Next month the Janeites on the James, a small group a friend and I formed, will meet again to discuss Jane Austen's novels. In our short association we have run out of new novels to discuss. We are purists, and while we appreciate the Jane Austen spin-offs, they do not figure in our discussions. For this reason, we have had to be creative in choosing our topics.

We are to come prepared to discuss our favorite older female supporting character. Mrs. Bennett immediately springs to mind, of course. And who can forget Lady Catherine de Bourgh? However, I am presently settling on the meddling and mean-spirited Aunt Norris from Mansfield Park (first photo). Miss Taylor, Emma's former governess, is too wishy washy for my tastes, although the generous (albeit vulgar) Mrs. Jennings in Sense and Sensibility (above) intrigues me, as does the ever proper but milquetoast Mrs. Dashwood (below).

As I search for a character to discuss with my group, I wonder: Do you know who your favorite older female character in a Jane Austen novel is, and why? I would love to bring your comments to the group.

The incomparable Judy Dench as haughty Lady Catherine de Bourgh.

9 comments:

eric3000 said...

It's hard not to love a power bitch. Yeah, I guess it has to be Catherine de Bourgh.

eric3000 said...

Does Mrs. Croft in Persuasion count as an older character? She was pretty fabulous.

Ms. Place said...

Yes, indeed, Eric, and thank you for reminding me of that character. I'll definitely use her for discussion.

BTW, you asked about some books I had purchased. The Jane Austen, A Companion by Josephine Ross is excellent. I'll let you know about the Annotated Pride and Prejudice as soon as I receive it. I wound up purchasing all my books via Amazon.

eric3000 said...

Oh good! Mrs. Croft is the only Austen character I can think of who actually serves as a role model for the heroine of the story. I don't know if that's the case but she's the only one I can think of.

Lois said...

Alas, I have only read two JA books so far, P&P and NA. I don't remember any older female characters in Northanger Abbey, (been a while, and I'm waiting to see the movie that I have until I can reread it first), but I sure know P&P, and Lady Catherine is number one on my list! :)

Lois

Stephanie J. said...

A simply adore Mrs. Croft. She is not only a role model, as Eric said, but also an example of a woman happily married for love.

Icha said...

Mine is Mrs. Jennings (of course!) and Lady Catherine de Bourgh. Can't beat Judy Dench! And the lady who played Mrs. Jennings, she was very warm and loving.

By the way, thanks for putting the site I manage (Becoming Jane Fansite) in the sister link. I've put yours beforehand, not thinking to ask you to do that before I establish ours, but it's a lovely thing to see it there. And I did say that I love this site so much, but I don't know where my comment went to...

Anonymous said...

I personally love Lizzy's Aunt Gardiner. She is like a second mother to her (or a first considering her real mother). She is someone you could see yourself liking a loving if you knew her.

Peg Kerr said...

I, too, admire Mrs. Croft. But let us not forget Lady Russell, also of Persuasion. She tries to give Anne Elliot the guidance of a mother, and although she advised Anne wrongly about Captain Wentworth, she was shrewd enough to try to guide the Baronet into retrenching (advice which, alas, he didn't follow strictly enough). And she did accept Captain Wentworth in the end.