Who is the most beloved Jane Austen couple of all time? Darcy and Elizabeth, of course, are the big crowd favorite. Why wouldn’t they be? Their personalities complement each other beautifully, and as their story develops it’s easy to discover, along with Elizabeth, what a perfect match they make. But I thought that in today’s blog entry, we might try pairing Elizabeth with someone who isn’t Darcy. What if Elizabeth ended up with one of Jane Austen’s *other* leading men?
Why would we do something like this, you want to know? What’s the point in this exercise? By imagining Elizabeth with one of these other men, we discover again why Darcy and Elizabeth are absolutely perfect for each other. See what you think of these other possible pairings and tell me if you agree! I’ve put them in order from what I think is least likely to most likely. Your rankings, of course, may vary. 🙂
- Elizabeth and Edward Ferrars I could be wrong, but I don’t think Edward would appeal to Elizabeth. He’s too quiet, too passive, and too resigned to his fate. He has a strong sense of honor, which Elizabeth would appreciate, but I think she would also be frustrated that he didn’t try to fight back more against an unhappy engagement. She would probably pity him rather than admire him. I see this couple as a no-go from the get-go.
- Elizabeth and Edmund Bertram. Could Elizabeth be a clergyman’s wife? Possibly; but not this clergyman. Sweet, kind, compassionate, and utterly focused on his calling to the ministry, Edmund strikes me as one of those people who are “so heavenly minded that they are no earthly good.” (Sorry, all of you Edmund fans!) Edmund would always be married to his pulpit first and to his wife second, and I don’t see Elizabeth enjoying that.
- Elizabeth and Henry Tilney If Elizabeth and Tilney met in “real” life I could see them hitting it off. He’s intelligent and observant of human nature, much like Elizabeth herself. He also has a good sense of humor. But for some reason I don’t feel like their personalities would “spark.” He seems to enjoy the more naive and inoocent Catherine. I think he and Elizabeth would make very good friends, and they might even turn to each other for advice from time to time. But I don’t see them as romantic partners.
- Elizabeth and Frederick Wentworth Would they work as a couple? I think maybe they could! Wentworth earned enough of a fortune at sea to satisfy even Mrs. Bennet, and Elizabeth wouldn’t care that he’s not actually a gentleman. She would enjoy learning from someone who has seen so much of the world, and Frederick would enjoy having someone to come home to at the end of a long trip. But there could be one problem with this match: Elizabeth doesn’t share Anne’s patient nature, so she might not want to wait at home, alone, for months at a time. But that might be offset by the opportunity to travel with her husband from time to time.
- Elizabeth and George Knightley He’s handsome, rich, and intelligent enough to give Elizabeth a run for her money. Plus he has the kind of upright character she admires. And he knows how to deal with difficult family members! Of all of Austen’s leading men, I think Knightley is the one Elizabeth is most likely to fall in love with, after Darcy himself.
I’m curious to know what you think of these pairings, plus a few other possibilities: Colonel Brandon, James Benwick, Mr. Elton, and William Price. Would any of them be a good match for Elizabeth? Would you read or write a story that involved any of these unlikely pairings? Give your answers below and be prepared to defend your decision!