Description of Miss Mary King

Miss Mary King

Physical Appearance:

Austen doesn't explicitly describe Miss King's looks, leaving room for personal imagination. We know she's not considered a beauty like Jane or Elizabeth, but might possess other charms or distinctive features.

Character Description and Analysis:

  • Friend to Charlotte Lucas: Their friendship suggests shared social standing and interests. Perhaps Mary is more practical and reserved compared to Charlotte's outgoing nature.
  • Inherits a fortune: Receiving ten thousand pounds suddenly elevates her social position and attracts unwanted attention, especially from fortune hunters like Mr. Wickham.
  • Object of gossip and speculation: Her sudden wealth generates rumors and whispers among the Meryton community, highlighting societal judgments and the allure of money.
  • Ultimately protected: Her uncle whisks her away from Meryton, showcasing the potential dangers faced by young women with newfound wealth and lack of experience.

Character Mentions:

  • Introduced at a Meryton assembly where she dances with Mr. Bingley.
  • Briefly mentioned again after inheriting her fortune, sparking gossip and Wickham's pursuit.
  • Her departure with her uncle marks the end of her presence in the narrative.


  • "Miss King was in the habit of saying that she had lost all ambition, but had her ball-dress made much fuller than usual on that night" (Austen subtly hinting at Mary's social aspirations despite claiming indifference)
  • "Mr. Wickham was the chief of all, whenever she was by; and if he was not by, she looked for him" (Lydia Bennet observing Wickham's interest in Mary's newfound wealth)
  • "Her uncle left Longbourn on Monday in great triumph, conveying his niece Mary to town in his own carriage" (Mary's departure, marking the conclusion of her storyline)

Additional Background:

  • Miss King represents the transformative power of sudden wealth and its impact on social dynamics.
  • Her limited presence raises questions about female agency and vulnerability in Regency society.
  • Despite not being central to the plot, she adds a layer of social commentary and complexity to the narrative.

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