Description of Colonel Forster

Colonel Forster

Physical Appearance:

While Austen doesn't give us explicit details, we can imagine him as a distinguished and imposing figure. Commanding officers of the time typically held themselves with confidence and wore uniforms reflecting their rank, so picture him well-dressed and authoritative in appearance.

Character Description and Analysis:

  • Sociable and Engaging: Colonel Forster readily participates in social gatherings and is described as "gay" and "talkative," easily connecting with the Bennets and other townspeople.
  • Military Man: His profession dictates a certain level of discipline and leadership, but Austen doesn't dwell on his military aspects beyond his social interactions.
  • Fond of Elizabeth: He demonstrates genuine interest in Elizabeth, teasing her playfully and finding her wit and intelligence to his liking. This adds a touch of lightheartedness to their interactions.
  • Catalyst for Darcy's Development: Although not directly involved, Colonel Forster's teasing of Elizabeth about dancing prompts Darcy to step in and engage with her, ultimately setting in motion their evolving relationship.

Character Mentions:

  • Introduced at a dinner party hosted by the Lucas family.
  • Appears sporadically throughout the early chapters, attending social gatherings and interacting with various characters.
  • Plays a minor but interesting role in sparking some early tension between Elizabeth and Darcy.
  • His presence fades after the militia leaves Meryton, leaving him as a somewhat memorable yet undeveloped figure.


  • "She is the youngest, and therefore, I suppose, must necessarily be more lively than the others." (Colonel Forster playfully teasing Elizabeth about her age)
  • "Upon my word, Miss Eliza, I must give you one more shake." (Colonel Forster attempting to dance with Elizabeth, prompting Darcy's intervention)
  • "They are all gone away - gone back to their quarters in town; the Miss Bennets all gone, all but Miss Elizabeth." (Colonel Forster commenting on the Bennets' departure, providing a final mention of his interactions with Elizabeth)

Additional Background:

  • Colonel Forster represents the social life and entertainment brought by the militia's presence in Meryton.
  • His role is primarily to add a touch of humor and lightheartedness to the narrative, especially in his interactions with Elizabeth.
  • While not a central character, he serves as a catalyst for Darcy's initial engagement with Elizabeth, contributing to the development of their relationship.

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