September 22, 2011

sister friend

No. 9: Jane Bennet from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Beauty, kindness and class, Elizabeth Bennet's sister and BFF Jane has it all. Those traits earns her a place on the list.

Besides, I named one of my cats after Jane Bennet. That automatically scores the girl points for this list. (For those who don't know, my other kitten's name is Mr. Bingley.)


Jane Bennet Chapman, my gorgeous kitten. Sadly, she matches the real Miss
Bennet in looks alone. (I love her to bits, but she's not very nice. I often wish
we would have called her Caroline Bingley, but it's too late, now.)


The history
Jane is the oldest of the five Bennet sisters. She also has the most patience, beauty and kindest disposition. Given the craziness that is her family, maintaining her composure and dignity can be quite the feat.

Her goodness is rewarded when she lands the man of her dreams and marries him despite interference from others.

Favorite scenes

The book begins with the Bennet family wildly excited, because a single, hot bachelor (with money and digs) is coming to town. Jane quickly takes a fancy for Mr. Bingley — and it seems he might reciprocate — and his sisters quickly befriend her.

After catching a cold, and having to crash at Netherfield Park, a.k.a. the Bingley casa, Jane must stay there until well. Elizabeth walks across town to stay with her sister, which shows the close bond between the sisters. This particular moment is especially nice, because you see the lengths each would go to for the other.

In the end, when Jane becomes engaged the super hunky and dashing Mr. Bingley, the sisters steal a moment to celebrate and dish together. While recalling the history of how this came to be, Jane stops in her merriment to wish equal happiness for her sister (see quotes below).

That's the true mark of a best friend. A good BFF is someone who, despite the fact that she can brag about her own happiness, only wants the same for you. Jane is minus any cattiness or pretension in wishing the best for her sister.

Here is my wonderful Mr. Bingley (playing with my shoes).
He is Jane's match both in the story and among my pets.
I could hardly include a picture of her without one of him.
Favorite lines

"Now if every man in the room does not end the evening in love with you then I am no judge of beauty."

(What girl doesn't love a best friend who says something like that about how you look?)

"My dear Lizzy, do not give way to such feelings as these. They will ruin your happiness. You do not make allowance enough for difference of situation and temper."

(Jane calms down her sister with straight facts. The best besties always know when to talk you down and set you straight. It's a bonus if they do it nicely.)

"I am certainly the most fortunate creature that ever existed... Oh! Lizzy, why am I this singled out from my family, and blessed above them all! If I could but see you so happy!"

(Proving a true BFF wants happiness for her friend.)

Why I love her

Jane and Elizabeth Bennet have a close-knit relationship I am certain any set of sisters would like to have. I'm blessed to call my own sister my best friend, and I can assure you how wonderful it is.

Both sisters are willing to go to extreme lengths to ensure the other's happiness. They enjoy each other's company. They can swap secrets or laugh; talk about men or life. It's great.

After each sister marries, it appears their close relationship continues. (Definitely a perk of one pair of BFFs marrying another.)

Another mark for Jane is that I imagine she is the inspiration for the fabulous character Tom in the Bridget Jones series. Does anyone know if this is true? I've never heard for sure, but upon reading both thoroughly, that is where I see the greatest similarity in characters.

Check on Tuesday to see who will come in at No. 8. You can also read more about the series by visiting the "Projects" page, posted on the bar at the top of the page.

Please feel free to leave a comment or shoot me a message on Twitter. Follow me @lmchap. Click here to read more about PBFF.

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