Monday, June 20, 2011

Austen Pairings - Giveaway

The Complete Novels of Jane Austen
For the giveaway, I asked for people to suggest Austen pairings. Here are the wonderful comments contributed by my readers.

Margay: I think Colonel Brandon deserves a stronger and more dedicated woman than the flighty Marianne, so I would probably put him with Elinor or perhaps with Fanny Price. On the flipside, I don't think Bertram was strong enough for her.

I agree that Colonel Brandon and Marianne Dashwood are mismatched. Although the colonel has many fine character traits, I still don’t like how Marianne reminds him of his former love. Temperamentally, I think the colonel is much better suited to Elinor.

Luthien: How about Margaret Dashwood with Captain Benwick? They both can read poetry together, and Margaret's gaiety can make Benwick forget about his deceased fiancé.

Other than the difference in their ages, I think this is a good pairing. Hopefully, Margaret can convince James Benwick to read less maudlin poetry—something more uplifting--a greater selection of prose.

Jewel: I would pair Charlotte Lucas with William Price. I always felt that Charlotte was underrated and they suit. I also like Mary Elliot and Wickham. She is just as vain as he is. They would make each other miserable after a month.

You think it would take as long as a month for Mary and Wickham to make each other miserable?

Bonnie Carlson: I would pair William Collins with Miss Bates. I would love to see Lady Catherine's reaction to those two! I also always felt that Mr. Knightley deserved better than Emma. But I can't quite decide who would be good enough for him! And Col. Fitzwilliam deserves someone very vivacious, witty, and wealthy like Emma Woodhouse.

When you mentioned Lady Catherine’s reaction, I thought of the red queen in Alice in Wonderland: “Off with her head!”

Cynthia: I would enjoy the long hard suffering journey if Wentworth and Elizabeth Bennet were paired!!! Their 'non-courtship' could last a thousand lifetimes!!!!

Elizabeth Bennet deserves a man of character and resolve, and they would make a good couple.

Roxane: Pair Caroline Bingley with--ooh, I can't decide--Mr. Collins or Mr. Wickham. If the latter, they should find out about lack of real money/connections after the marriage!

I like the idea of Caroline and Wickham. They deserve each other.

Jenny: Mary Crawford and Mr. Willoughby; Henry Tilney and Elizabeth Bennet; Miss Bates and Mr. Collins; Lady Catherine de Bourgh and Sir Walter Elliot

I could go along with any of your suggestions. I can just see Miss Bates and Mr. Collins talking over each other. And Lady Catherine and Sir Walter: the clash of titanic egos!

Anna: I'd love to pair Mr. Elliot from Persuasion with Miss Bingley from P&P or Henry Crawford from Mansfield Park with Elizabeth Elliot from Persuasion.

Caroline and Mr. Elliot are two intolerant people who deserve each other. I think Henry and Elizabeth would also be a good match. Since they think only of themselves, I wonder what they would talk about?

Angie: Mary Bennet & John Willoughby. I really think he would rock her world, and he'd be up for the challenge!

There is no doubt that Willoughby would rock Mary’s world. But then that poor girl needs a major shakeup, and such a liaison will give her something to write in her diary.

Lieder Madchen: I would pair Fanny Price with Mr. Knightley. I always thought Fanny deserved someone better than Edmund Bertram.

Fanny does deserve someone better than Edmund. I always got the feeling that he turned to Fanny as a last resort, but I may have been influenced by the film adaptations.

Billie: I think the pairing of Jane Bennet and Col. Fitzwilliam would be very loving and exciting. Col. Fitzwilliam's wit and fun-loving attitude paired with Jane's sweet and tender ways would open up a world of possibilities. Fire and ice could turn into fire and more fire!

That is an excellent pairing, and I like your reasoning. Your sweetness is coming through.

Candy: I've never really thought Col Brandon and Marianne were right for each other...maybe Col. Fitzwilliam?

I’m with you on this one. This might be the perfect match for Marianne. I can see her growing into her role as the wife of an officer.

Carol: After reading the comments on Book Rat I think I would go for Colonel Fitzwilliam and Emma Woodhouse. It would seem a good match to me.

I agree. Because Emma has experience as being the mistress of a great house, I think she would make an excellent officer’s wife. And the colonel could certainly use the money.

Jakki: I would pair up Mary Musgrove with Mr. Collins. I would love to see their conversations and how they would be able to keep a marriage and to see how Lady Catherine interacts with his new hypochondriac of a wife!

I could see the fur flying when Mary and Lady Catherine meet. Of course, they would only meet the one time because Her Ladyship would banish Mary from Rosings.

Bonnie Carlson: I also think Frank Churchill and Mary Crawford would make quite a pair. And what say you to Col. Brandon and Jane Fairfax? They both love music, and he would be the perfect person to rescue this damsel in financial distress. I would also love to see Fanny Dashwood lured into a marriage with George Wickham! They truly deserve each other.What have you done, Mary? I can't stop! I feel like Emma Woodhouse, the quintessential matchmaker.

These types of exercises are addictive, aren't they? I like Colonel Brandon and Jane Fairfax—both steady characters. But shame on you for putting practically perfect Fanny, an enemy to fun, with the wicked Wickham! But I know why you did it. I confess: I never cared for Fanny either.

Rebecca: Henry Crawford and Caroline Bingley; Col. Brandon and Charlotte Lucas; Elinor and Mr. Knightley; Georgiana Darcy and Edmund Bertram

I like your twosomes. The first three couples all deserve each other. But I don’t know enough about Georgiana Darcy to know who would suit her. Edmund Bertram would be a safe bet, but I see Georgiana with a Henry Tilney type.

LisaS: Oh my! Oh my! Who to pair? As for the baddies, how about Mr Wickham and Lucy Steele? Yes! They are both awful and conniving and looking for money through marriage. I would love to see them both being tricked into marrying for non-existent money. As for the good guys, Colonel Fitzwilliam and Emma Woodhouse appeal. She brings him the money he wants and he might be a bit livelier/younger version of Knightley.

Lucy and Wickham—a match made in heaven. Well, maybe not heaven.

Colleen: I think Col Brandon could do better and should have been paired up with Elinor. Also Edward and Marianne would have possibly done well together. Charles Musgrove could have been paired well with Jane Bennet vs Mary Musgrove. Another one would be pairing Wickham with either Elizabeth Elliot or Caroline Bingley and giving them a dose of their own medicine.

I like the idea of Wickham and Elizabeth Elliot or Caroline Bingley. Like you said, they need a dose of their own medicine.

What terrific pairings! Every one of your suggestions gave me pause for thought. As for me:

Elinor Dashwood and Colonel Brandon
Jane Churchill and Mr. Knightley
Emma and Colonel Fitzwilliam
Henry Tilney and Georgiana Darcy
Fanny Ferrars and Mr. Collins
Jane Bennet and Colonel Fitzwilliam
Mr. Collins and Mrs. Elton
Marianne Dashwood and Henry Crawford
Captain Wentworth and Elinor Dashwood
Anne Elliot and Mr. Knightley

The winner of the giveaway will be announced tomorrow. Thank you for participating.


  1. Great pairings! I think you all made fine and in-character suggestions, even. I think my favourite couple from the bunch are Elinor Dashwood and Colonel Brandon. They would be perfect for each other.

  2. I had so much fun reading all the comments and reasons behind the pairings. Thanks Mary for thinking of this challenge, it helps stimulate the mind

  3. I like your pairing of Henry Tilney with Georgiana Darcy, I can really imagine the two of them happy together. :)

  4. I really like the Henry Tilney and Georgiana Darcy pair. Henry Tilney has been called the male version of Elizabeth Bennet and I could see a female version of F. Darcy (ie G Darcy) really doing well with him. Thank you!

  5. Thank you all for your comments. I enjoyed this.