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Saturday, July 17

Jane Austen Character Throwdown: Unhappy Marriage

We contemplated the happiest Jane Austen couple last week and were not surprised that Anne Elliot and her handsome captain won top honors. This week we ask you to contemplate those couples who stand the least chance of success for happiness in their wedded state. In random order, and for no reason other than these characters immediately come to mind, please vote for your

Jane Austen Couple Least Like to Be Happy in Their Marriage

Mr and Mrs Elton, Emma
She's bossy and overbearing. He's a petty and spiteful man. A match made in heaven? Maybe not. Emma's happy union with Mr. Knightley will only rub salt in the wounded egos of this odd couple. How long will it take for her to stop calling him her 'cara sposo'?

Jane Fairfax and Frank Churchill, Emma
Jane Fairfax cannot be happy knowing how well her husband can lie to others or that he is capable of seriously flirting with a woman right under her nose. Jane comes with not a farthing to her name. How long will Frank be satisfied having married from his heart, not his pocketbook?

Lydia Bennet and Mr. Wickham, Pride and Prejudice
A mercenary spirit lurks behind Wickham's handsome visage and is disguised by a boat load of charm. What happens when both his looks and money are gone? Lydia stands to lose the most in this arrangement, but she does not know this yet. Silly girl, just like her mother. She'll descend into complaining and yapping about her unhappiness to anyone who will listen.

Robert Ferrars and Lucy Steele, Sense and Sensibility
Were there ever two less palatable characters created by Jane Austen? Robert and Lucy give me the creeps whenever I encounter them in print. One shudders to think what would happen when these two vapid and self-centered people start to turn on each other.

John Thorpe and Any Woman of His Choosing, Northanger Abbey
Granted Jane Austen did not marry him off in Northanger Abbey, but he must be included among this group. Mean, spiteful, and self-centered, with an ego bigger than his looks, talent, and pocketbook combined, this cretin is a total date turn off. Pity the girl he finally sets his eyes on and who is forced to marry him. What hope for future happiness is there?

John Willoughby and Miss Grey, Sense and Sensibility
Willoughby married for money despite being in love with Marianne, and created a little hell of his own making. How satisfied will his wife remain knowing that her husband regards her rival for his affections as the "ideal" woman?

Mr. Collins and Charlotte Lucas, Pride and Prejudice
One wonders about the long-term out look for happiness in this marriage once Lady Catherine de Bourgh cocks up her toes and meets her Maker. Mr. Collins will have no one to brag about to shore up his tiny ego. The closest woman in his sight will be Charlotte. Then what? After a decade of marriage, will Charlotte still be able to hide from him in her parlor and revel in her status as a married woman?

Jane Austen Couple Least Likely to Be Happy in their Marriage
Mr and Mrs Elton
Jane Fairfax and Frank Churchill
Lydia Bennet and Mr. Wickham
Robert Ferrars and Lucy Steele
John Thorpe and Any Woman of his Choosing
John Willoughby and Miss Grey
Mr. Collins and Charlotte Lucas free polls


Heather Carroll said...

Ugh, so many awful choices! Next week you should ask which one of these beaus us delicate readers would be least happy with *sideways glance at Mr. Thorpe*

stephpers said...

Lol! @ Thorpe and any woman of his choosing. The man truly frightened me in the book and in the mini series.

I voted for Lydia and Wickham. I see no good coming for either of them in their marriage.

Dana Huff said...

That one is tough. I think Lydia and Mr. Wickham, too, but I have to say I think Willoughby and Miss Grey and Robert Ferrars and Lucy Steele will be nearly as unhappy.

Gina said...

Personally, I think Willoughby got off much better than he deserved. He didn't get Marianne, but he didn't get nearly the punishment he should have got for getting a girl pregnant and then leaving her, which would have spelled utter disaster for the poor girl if not for Brandon. I feel sorry for his wife, though.

I voted for Lydia and Wickham.

Nonna Beach said...

I agree with Gina.

Jennifer Becton said...

I had to go with Charlotte and Mr. Collins. Having been Lizzie's intimate friend and a witty, intelligent woman, I think she would have quickly seen the error of her ways, but she would never do anything to dishonor herself or her husband. She would have been trapped, unlike, say, Lydia and Wickham. I think either one of them would have gone outside the marriage to find their happiness. So they at least would be united in their infidelity.

The First Words said...

I voted for Jane and Frank. I think it will be the most tragic marriage. He's such a self-centered, inconsiderate flirt who ought to have been so much better than he was. And I'm afraid she's too much of a push over to help him overcome his faults. I think he will disappoint Jane to no end.