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Jane Bennet

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Jane Bingley (née Bennet) is a main character in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. She is the eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet of Longbourn in Hertfordshire. She is the wife of Charles Bingley and sister to Elizabeth Bennet Darcy, Mary Bennet, Catherine Bennet, and Lydia Bennet Wickham. She is the sister-in-law of Fitzwilliam Darcy, George Wickham, Caroline Bingley, and Louisa Hurst. She is either twenty-two or twenty-three during the events of the novel. In the second week of May, Lydia remarks that Jane is "almost three and twenty."

Jane gets along with all her sisters, but is on the best terms (and confidante to) with Lizzy, the second eldest.

At the conclusion of the novel, she is married to Mr. Charles Bingley at some point between October and Christmas. Approximately one year after their marriage, the couple moved to an estate in a neighboring county of Derbyshire, within 30 miles of Pemberley.

Physical CharacteristicsEdit

Mrs. Quentin aka Jane Bingley

A portrait of Mrs. Quentin by Jean François-Marie Huet-Villiers thought to be the picture indentified by Austen in 1813 as a great likeness of Jane Bennet.

Jane is acknowledged to be the most beautiful of the five Bennet sisters as well as the most beautiful woman in the local Meryton neighborhood.

In May 24, 1813, Jane Austen wrote that she had recently attended a portrait exhibition where she had seen Mrs. Bingley's picture, and that "there never was a greater likeness".

Role in "Pride and Prejudice"Edit

Jane Bennet appears at the beginning of the book, when Mrs. Bennet informs her husband that Netherfield has been let by Charles Bingley. She later meets Mr. Bingley at a party in Meryton, and the two are quickly smitten. Soon after, she receives a letter from Bingley's sister Caroline inviting her to dine there with her and her sister Louisa. Jane accepts, but instead of taking the carriage (as Jane herself suggests), Mrs. Bennet pressures her into taking a horse to Netherfield in the pouring rain. Her rationale behind this is that her daughter will fall ill and have to stay the night at Netherfield, where she will be at Bingley's side until she recovers. Mrs. Bennet's scheme executes perfectly, and Bingley and Jane become even more attached than before. Their relationship progresses until Jane abruptly receives a letter from Caroline Bingley, saying that the Bingley family has left Netherfield for the winter to go to London, all the while dropping several hints that her brother has formed an attachment to Georgiana Darcy. Upon hearing of this letter, Jane's younger sister Elizabeth suggests that Jane follow Bingley to London when their town-dwelling uncle and aunt come to visit. When Mr. Gardiner and Mrs. Gardiner leave Longbourn, Jane goes with them to their house on Gracechurch Street. While there, she calls on Caroline and Louisa, and they promise to visit her in the next few days. Three weeks pass by, and finally Caroline arrives. She makes no effort to hide her disgust with Jane's family and connections, and soon leaves. Jane is unvisited by Charles Bingley, convincing her that he does not care for her after all. Jane concludes her report of this to Lizzy with this; "I am now convinced that Mr. Bingley no longer cares for me." It is later unveiled that Mr. Darcy orchestrated this separation of Bingley and Jane, purposely neglecting to tell Bingley that Jane was in London (this later becomes Lizzy's rationale for refusing Darcy's first proposal to her). A heartsick Miss Bennet fades out of the story for a while, until a letter of hers reaches Elizabeth while she is touring Derbyshire, informing her that their youngest sister Lydia had eloped with the deceptive George Wickham. She becomes secondarily involved in the process of saving Lydia's honour, doing about as much as Elizabeth does, which is waiting with baited breath for news of the situation. After all is righted (and Darcy has a change of heart), she and Bingley become engaged and marry.

PersonalityEdit

Jane is described by many as a "sweet girl." In contrast to her sister Lizzy, she is docile, soft-spoken and in every way lovely. She is considered the perfect woman by her society, and when her separation from Bingley begins, no one blames her in the least. She is unknowingly popular, and she is every bit as sensible as her sister Elizabeth (if not as clever, as Mr. Bennet believes). She is kind, considerate, intelligent, beautiful, good with children, and, apparently, each parent's second favorite. (Mr. bennet's because she has uncommon good sense, and her mother's due to her docility and beauty).

Jane sees the world through rose colored glasses. She sees the best in everybody and assumes that everyone is acting out of the best motives. Even after Wickham elopes with her youngest sister, she assumes that it was done out of love and with every intention of getting married. Although she feels things deeply, her manners are described as reserved.

Bennet FamilyEdit

GalleryEdit

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