Description of Jane Bennet

Jane Bennet:
Apart from being renowned as the prettiest of the Bennet sisters, being described as an angel ("as to Miss Bennet, he could not conceive an angel more beautiful"-Charles Bingley), there is not much else to go on. According to JA Story and History the painted portrait to the left is of Mrs. Quentin by Jean Fran├žois-Marie Huet-Villiers and has been attributed as a likeness of Jane: going out of the novel's text, we can find that on May 24, 1813 Jane Austen wrote that she had recently attended a portrait exhibition where she had seen Mrs. Bingley's picture and that "there never was a greater likeness."

A more in-depth excerpt of this letter:
Mrs. Bingley's is exactly herself--size, shaped face, features, and sweetness; there never was a greater likeness. She is dressed in a white gown,with green ornaments, which convinces me of what I had always supposed, that green was a favourite colour with her.  I dare say Mrs. D. will be in yellow.
This letter can be read in it's entirety here.

Physical Appearance:
Jane is consistently described as the most beautiful of the Bennet sisters. Here are some key details:
  • "Lovely complexion, handsome features, and fine eyes" (Chapter 5): This general description emphasizes her natural beauty and elegance.
  • "Tall and graceful" (Chapter 3): Jane's height adds to her commanding presence and poise.
  • "Long, dark eyelashes" (Chapter 18): Austen often uses specific details like this to highlight a character's allure.
  • "Sparkling eyes" (Chapter 5): These suggest not just attractiveness but also intelligence and warmth.
  • "Curly blonde hair" (Chapter 3): This detail was considered particularly desirable in Regency England and further contributes to Jane's conventional beauty.
Character Description and Analysis:
Jane is known for her:
  • Beauty and gentleness: She is widely admired for her physical appearance but also for her kind and amiable nature.
  • Optimism and good nature: Jane tends to see the best in people, even when faced with negativity. This can sometimes make her appear naive, but it also contributes to her overall charm.
  • Quiet intelligence and wit: Although not as quick-witted as Elizabeth, Jane has a depth of character and understanding that often goes unnoticed. Her observations and opinions are often insightful, particularly when it comes to matters of the heart.
  • Strong sense of morality and propriety: Jane adheres to the social norms of her time and avoids gossip or scandal.
  • Devoted sister and friend: She is a pillar of support for Elizabeth and a confidante to many others.
Character Mentions in the Novel:
Jane is mentioned throughout the novel by various characters, reflecting her popularity and social standing. Here are some examples:
  • Mrs. Bennet: "My dear Jane, you are worth all the rest of your sisters put together" (Chapter 3).
  • Mr. Bingley: "Miss Bennet is the most beautiful creature I ever beheld in my life" (Chapter 3).
  • Elizabeth: "Jane makes everything look lovely. The mere presence of such a gentle, amiable disposition must diffuse a soothing influence" (Chapter 15).
  • Caroline Bingley: "Miss Bennet is charming. I admire her greatly" (Chapter 13).
Top Quotations:
  • "I am glad you are come, for there is no enjoyment like reading when one has no better employment." (Chapter 4)
  • "Oh! it is too much. I cannot be grateful to the person who has spoken ill of me, or my brother." (Chapter 18)
  • "Do not pretend to regret what you may have felt for me. Believe me, it will only make me happy if you tell me the whole truth." (Chapter 58)
  • "The world is certainly in a most wicked mood this morning. If I had half your sense of humour, I should laugh at it." (Chapter 25)
Additional Notes:
  • Jane's beauty and kind nature serve as a foil to Elizabeth's wit and independent spirit.
  • Her relationship with Mr. Bingley is one of the novel's main romantic storylines.
  • Jane's character growth is more subtle than Elizabeth's, but she ultimately finds happiness and security.

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