Make Me A Match, by Elaine Owen

Make Me A Match, by Elaine Owen

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.

Of course nobody, absolutely nobody, replaces this man as Elizabeth’s perfect match:

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! 

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Shana Jefferis
Shana Jefferis
October 10, 2021 9:38 AM

I have to give mention to Colonel Fitzwilliam as someone else already has in the earlier comments. Their meeting in Hunsford before Elizabeth knows of Darcy’s feelings is important. After Darcy’s proposal, I don’t think the colonel would have had a chance. But meeting him before the proposal, the reader can see what a cordial and even spicy friendship is developing!

Heather Dreith
Heather Dreith
October 10, 2021 9:19 AM

I love JAFF but for me, the one non-negotiable item is Darcy and Elizabeth. They must always get together in the end! I can’t and don’t want to imagine them not getting together. That being said, your post is an interesting exercise. For me, trying to imagine Elizabeth with anyone else just confirms how right she and Darcy are for one another.

October 8, 2021 3:45 PM

I agree with your rulings and would read a book with her paired with either Knightley or Wentworth but only if it was an AU where Mr Darcy didn’t exist.

Elaine Owen
Elaine Owen
October 8, 2021 7:32 PM
Reply to  DarcyBennett

It would be unbearable for her to pick anyone over Darcy!!!

Linda A.
Linda A.
October 7, 2021 2:57 PM

I agree with J.W. on the others. My opinion is Mr. Knightley would probably be the closest match to Mr. Darcy. They are not quite interchangeable, but they have some similar qualities.

Very interesting concept.

Last edited 8 months ago by Linda A.
October 7, 2021 12:48 PM

You forgot Reginald DeCourcy! Although I think Lizzie might like his charm and wit he is too easily taken in by deceit and in the end, like Tilney, preferred the more naive and innocent Frederica.

Amanda Brooks
Amanda Brooks
October 7, 2021 12:11 PM

I think your analysis is spot on!

Jennifer Redlarczyk
Jennifer Redlarczyk
October 7, 2021 10:20 AM

I would go for Wentworth, but what about Colonel Fitzwilliam???

J. W. Garrett
J. W. Garrett
October 7, 2021 10:14 AM

Oh, what fun. I love this post.

I agree completely with your observations on the various pairings of Elizabeth with Austen’s various men. Now, as to the others you mentioned:

Colonel Brandon: She’d like his estate, the walking trails, his library, and his love of music. He is an outdoorsman with his falcon [see the movie]. He’s strong, protective, a good conversationalist… but is he enough for Elizabeth? No. They’d be friends but not lovers.  

James Benwick: Their love of literature and poetry would make them friends enough to have interesting conversations… but Elizabeth would not tolerate a threesome with the ghost of his past. He would be too shallow in all the other areas that interested her. That would be a no-go for James Benwick.

Mr. Elton: another Mr. Collins… ‘nough said.

William Price: nope in all areas. Nice man to visit with and have a chat [his travels would be interesting] but lacking in all other areas that would interest her.

Elizabeth would be bored to tears in most cases [except with maybe Brandon]. No, Darcy is perfect for her and she for him. Heavy sigh. This was fun. I hope you look at the other side of this coin in another post where we look at the pairings for Mr. Darcy with Austen’s other women. It would still be the same but fun to examine. Blessings…

October 7, 2021 8:15 AM

OMG! I’m truly sorry but I can’t even imagine Elizabeth with anyone else but Darcy, even as an interesting thought!
I agree with your reasoning, mostly! Except for thinking that she might be happy with someone else! However you didn’t pair her with Wickham so I will forgive you for this post (wink wink!) 🙂

cindie snyder
cindie snyder
October 7, 2021 7:04 AM

I think she also makes a good match with Mr. Knightley. They are much the same and would make a good match! Some of the other matches would be fun and humorous to

Sue Barr
October 7, 2021 6:51 AM

Lovely post, Elaine.
My choice is Wentworth. He’s a quiet cauldron of passion, bubbling along and we see how much at the end when he penned his ‘half agony, half hope’ letter. He would do quite nicely. On the reverse side of that coin, I could see Ann Elliot with Darcy. She is patient enough to bring out Georgiana and be a wonderful wife and mother to his children.
Hmmm… I see plot bunnies escaping their pen.

Regina Jeffers
October 7, 2021 5:45 AM

I had Elizabeth and Wentworth strike up a relationship in “Elizabeth Bennet’s Excellent Adventure.” I thought them of equal intelligence and “bravery.” This would have been before Wentworth returned to Anne. Then, Darcy comes to fetch her. End of story.

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