Pride and Prejudice is full of many other characters besides just Lizzie and Darcy, some delightful and some not so much. So remember when I gave you that handy Guide to the Minor Characters of Emma? Well it’s time to do the same for Pride and Prejudice!
Mr. Bennet: Elizabeth’s Father
Mr. Bennet was so odd a mixture of quick parts, sarcastic humour, reserve, and caprice, that the experience of three-and-twenty years had been insufficient to make his wife understand his character.
When reading about Mr. Bennet, it is easy to see where Lizzie gets her wit. He is a very clever man who longs for peace in a household that holds five daughters and a wife who doesn’t stop talking. He is not a perfect husband or father. He fell out of love with his wife shortly after their marriage and does little to reign in his daughters. He favors Lizzie above all his daughters. In the end he wants his daughters, specifically Lizzie, to be happy.
Mrs. Bennet: Elizabeth’s Mother
She was a woman of mean understanding, little information, and uncertain temper. When she was discontented she fancied herself nervous. The business of her life was to get her daughters married; its solace was visiting and news.
Mrs. Bennet wants nothing more than to marry off her daughters and does not ever stop talking. She does everything in her power to find them husbands, and is incredibly ridiculous.
Jane Bennet: Elizabeth’s Older Sister
‘Oh! you are a great too apt, you know, to like people in general. You never see a fault in anybody. All the world is good and agreeable in your eyes. I have never heard you speak ill of a human being in your life.’
Jane is the perfect child. She is sweet and the most beautiful of the Bennet daughters. She quickly attracts the attention of Mr. Bingley, though because of her shyness he is persuaded to think she does not care for him.
Mary Bennet: Elizabeth’s Sister
‘What say you, Mary. For you are a young lady of deep reflection, I know, and read great books and make extracts.’
Mary wished to say something very sensible, but knew not how.
Mary Bennet is incredibly proud. She prefers to sit by herself, read, play the piano, and think deeply about things. In case you missed it, here’s my summary of P&P told from Mary’s perspective.
Kitty Bennet: Elizabeth’s Other Sister
‘In this danger Kitty is also comprehended. She will follow wherever Lydia leads. Vain, ignorant, idle, and absolutely uncontrolled.’
Kitty is perhaps the most forgetten of the Bennet sisters. In fact, in several adaptations she is taken out of the story entirely. For most of the novel she follows Lydia around. Once Lydia elopes, Kitty grows more sensible and spends a lot more time with her two eldest sisters.
Lydia Bennet: Elizabeth’s Youngest Sister
‘If you my dear father will not take the trouble of checking her exuberant spirits, and of teaching her that her present pursuits are not the business of her life, she will soon be beyond the reach of amendment. Her character will be fixed, and she will at sixteen, be the most determined flirt that ever made herself or her family ridiculous…’
Lydia is the silliest of all the sisters. She flirts with everyone and eventually runs off with Mr. Wickman, putting the reputation of her entire family at risk.
Mr. Bingley: Jane’s Love Interest and Darcy’s Best Friend
‘He is just what a young man ought to be,” said she, ‘sensible, good-humoured, lively; and I never saw such happy manners!-so much ease with, with such perfect good breeding!’
Mr. Bingley is goodhearted and fun. He falls for Jane, the sweetest of the Bennet sisters and eventually marries her in the end. He also has 5,000 a year!
Caroline Bingley and Mrs. Hurst: Mr. Bingley’s Sisters
His sisters were fine women, with an air of decided fashion.
Caroline and her sister are both very aware of their social status and mock all below it. Caroline has her sights set on Darcy and the too spend a good deal of time teasing him about Elizabeth.
Mr. Collins: Elizabeth’s Cousin
Mr. Collins was not a sensible man, and the deficiency of nature had been but little assisted by education or society; the greatest part of his life having been spent under the guidance of an illiterate and miserly father, and though he belonged to one of the universities, he had merely kept the necessary terms, without forming at it any useful acquaintances.
Mr. Collins is a ridiculous man who is obsessed with not only the sound of his own voice, but also with his patron-Lady Catherine. He will inherit the Bennet’s house after Mr. Bennet dies. He comes to the Bennet household with the intention of finding a wife. When Lizzie refuses his proposal, he marries Charlotte Lucas.
Charlotte Lucas: Elizabeth’s Best Friend
The eldest of them a sensible, intelligent young woman, about twenty-seven, was Elizabeth’s intimate friend.
Charlotte is not romantic and is incredibly sensible. She correctly identifies that if Jane does not show her feelings, Bingley might be persuaded that she does not like him. She is unmarried at twenty-seven, so when Mr. Collins proposes, she accepts.
Lady Catherine: Darcy’s Aunt
Lady Catherine was a tall, large woman, with strongly marked features that, which might have once been handsome. Her air was not conciliating, nor was her manner of receiving such as to maker her visitors forget their inferior rank.
Lady Catherine looks down on everyone. She wants Darcy to marry her daughter and does everything in her power to keep Elizabeth from marrying him. She fails.
Georgiana Darcy: Darcy’s Sister
Miss Darcy was tall, and on a larger scale than Elizabeth; and, though little more than sixteen, her figure was formed, and her appearance womanly and graceful. She was less handsome than her brother; but there was sense and good humour in her face, and her manners were perfectly unassuming and gentle.
Georgiana is INCREDIBLE at piano. She is very sweet and is doted on by her brother. When she was fifteen she tried to elope with Wickham, but Darcy shut that down.
Colonel Fitzwilliam: Darcy’s Friend
Colonel Fitzwilliam’s manners were very much admired at the parsonage, and the ladies all felt that he must add considerably to the pleasure of their engagements at Rosings.
Fitzwilliam is a very friendly man who is good friends (and cousins) with Darcy. He is the one who revealed to Lizzie that Darcy was responsible for separating Jane and Bingley.
Mr. Wickham: Elizabeth’s Crush
Mr. Wickham was the happy man towards whom almost every female eye was turned, and Elizabeth was the happy woman by whom he finally seated himself; and the agreeable manner in which he immediately fell into conversation, though it was only on its being a wet night, and on the probability of a rainy season, made her feel that the commonest, dullest, most threadbare topic might be rendered interesting by the skill of the speaker.
Mr. Wickham is incredibly charismatic and attractive. He is initially the object of Lizzie’s affection but then it is revealed that he tried to get Georgiana Darcy to elope with him and wasted all the money Darcy gave him. He eventually elopes with Lydia and the two move off to Newcastle. Good riddance.