Jane Austen’s Leading Women

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I dedicated a post to Fanny when I was done with Mansfield Park earlier this year so I won’t write too much more but she is still last in the ranks after my full reread.

Emma is next. I find the novel entertaining and Emma interesting. But I always struggle to like her. She can be a brat.

Fourth rank is taken by Elinor and Marianne from Sense and Sensibility. I admire them a little. Elinor keeps a lot to herself. She has so much control. Marianne is passionate and confident. Unfortunately they do get a little burned and their relationship as sisters suffers with communication issues.

Then it’s Catherine from Northanger Abbey. I find her funny and earnest. But her assumptions about Tilney’s family were a little out there (entertaining though).

Anne from Persuasion is a really close second place. She is calm and sensible in a crisis. The most capable heroine on the list. She knows how to run a household, including finances, also how to take care of children. I also feel bad for her. Her father and sisters are not the best family ever. I also can’t fault her for rejecting Wentworth at first. She loved him but she also needed to listen to her mother’s friend. They both suffer for it but that makes their reunion and eventual marriage that much more potent.

My favorite is Elizabeth from Pride and Prejudice. She does need to change a little because she was overconfident in her ability to judge; however, she knows who she is. Elizabeth has solid self-worth and esteem. She is also independent and witty. Plus her rejections of Mr. Collins and Darcy are epic.

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