Description of Mrs Gardiner

Mrs. Gardiner:

Physical Appearance:

  • Not explicitly described in detail by Austen, but likely imagined as middle-aged and of comfortable build, reflecting her social status and domestic lifestyle.
  • Her attire would likely be practical and elegant, befitting her position as Mrs. Bennet's sister and wife to a successful lawyer.

Character Description and Analysis:

  • Intelligent and Kind: Mrs. Gardiner possesses sharp wit and keen observation skills, often offering sensible advice and emotional support to Elizabeth and Jane.
  • Practical and Level-headed: Unlike Mrs. Bennet's tendency towards impulsiveness and anxiety, Mrs. Gardiner embodies calmness and pragmatism, offering a grounding influence.
  • Supportive and Understanding: She's a trusted confidante and advocate for Elizabeth, particularly during her conflicts with Lydia and Mr. Collins.
  • Represents a Positive Marital Relationship: Her harmonious and loving union with Mr. Gardiner contrasts with some of the problematic marriages in the novel, highlighting the value of genuine partnership.
  • Social Connection: Her close ties to both the Bennet and Darcy families bridge the gap between different social circles, facilitating communication and understanding.

Character Mentions:

  • Introduced alongside Mr. Gardiner as Mrs. Bennet's brother and Lydia's aunt.
  • Frequently appears throughout the novel, visiting Longbourn, attending social gatherings, and offering Elizabeth guidance.
  • Plays a pivotal role in resolving the Lydia-Wickham elopement, utilizing her connections and level-headedness to manage the crisis.
  • Her presence at Pemberley reinforces Darcy's positive qualities and fosters Elizabeth's growing respect for him.


  • "My dear Lizzy, depend upon it, every woman of consequence in the town will call on you." (Highlighting her understanding of social dynamics)
  • "There is something very shocking in a bad marriage." (Expressing her values regarding marital harmony)
  • "It is not possible that anyone should be always so guarded as to give no real impression of their character." (Demonstrating her insightful observations)

Additional Background:

  • Mrs. Gardiner represents a stable and supportive presence in Elizabeth's life, offering an alternative to the anxieties and pressures of her immediate family.
  • Her character emphasizes the importance of reason, empathy, and positive role models in overcoming life's challenges.
  • While not a central character, she plays a crucial role in Elizabeth's journey of self-discovery and ultimately contributes to her happiness.

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