Written by Therese
(4/16/2013 9:37 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Did Jane Austen...., penned by Jim Morris
"who would actually want such a mother-in-law?"
I don't know if Jane Austen knew a Mrs Bennet. I knew a Mr Bennet but his wife (now a widower unfortunately), though not very bright, is a very kind person. I suppose somebody she knew had some characteristics of Mrs Bennet, but she chiseled the character herself. It is a proof of her genius I think, to have made so "true" characters, as to make us doubt they can be the fruit of one's imagination. "Of course" it is Emma's Mr Knightley that struck me, how could she have fancied, two centuries earlier, a picture of my husband's? I am sure she knew nobody alike, otherwise she would have married him or died of broken heart. ;-)
Mrs Bennet is a perfection of a character, don't you think so? So purposedly stupid - yet cunning, shameless... all in the stochiometric proportions to allow those exhilarating speeches so well performed by Alison Steadman in P&P2.
And she was necessary for Mr Darcy's repulsion...
You find it hard to sympathise with her but it seems that after twenty years of shame, maybe contempt, Elizabeth felt some compassion for her, as a "victim" of Mr Bennet's witticisms, because she was feeling a bit alike with Mr Darcy. How frightful!