Description of Mrs. Jenkinson

Mrs. Jenkinson
Mrs. Jenkinson is Miss Anne de Bough's companion and is featured in and around Rosings Park in the novel Pride and Prejudice.  No reference is made to Mr. Jenkinson, but we do know that Mrs. Jenkinson had a brother or a sister because Lady Catherine makes reference to Mrs. Jenkinson's four nieces.

Physical Appearance
There is no real physical description in Pride and Prejudice for Mrs. Jenkinson.  

Maria Lucas does refer to Mrs. Jenkinson as "the old Lady" when she first sees her in front of The Collins' parsonage with Miss de Bough, however, she is an unreliable witness as she is one of the youngest characters in the book and probably would have called anyone old.

After being observed by Elizabeth Bennet at Rosings Park, the only comment made as to what Mrs. Jenkinson looked like was "in whose appearance there was nothing remarkable". 

Character Description and Analysis
I might take a different view on Mrs. Jenkinson's character than other readers who may describe her as pampering or spoiling of Miss Anne de Bough.  I think having an employer like Lady Catherine would make taking care of a sickly girl like Miss de Bough very challenging.  Lady Catherine is involved in every minutiae of every aspect of everyone under her employ, in her neighborhood, and beyond.  She even tries multiple times to try to force her influence on Elizabeth and Maria.  So now think about how you would act with a boss like Lady Catherine when your sole job is to ensure her sickly daughter is comfortable and somewhat healthy?  You would be watching Miss de Bough's every move, seeing to her every need, and you would be particularly attentive.

I think Mrs. Jenkinson is a bit misunderstood in the novel.  I think she's just trying to get a job done and if she has to pamper or spoil her charge to do so, well then that is what she is going to do. 
Character Mentions

Mrs. Jenkinson is mentioned in the novel Pride and Prejudice 9 times.  She has no speaking lines in the dialogue and all references to her character are either for context or in other character's dialogue.


"My reasons for marrying are, first, that I think it a right thing for
every clergyman in easy circumstances (like myself) to set the example
of matrimony in his parish; secondly, that I am convinced that it will
add very greatly to my happiness; and thirdly--which perhaps I ought
to have mentioned earlier, that it is the particular advice and
recommendation of the very noble lady whom I have the honour of calling
patroness. Twice has she condescended to give me her opinion (unasked
too!) on this subject; and it was but the very Saturday night before I
left Hunsford--between our pools at quadrille, while Mrs. Jenkinson was
arranging Miss de Bourgh's footstool, that she said, 'Mr. Collins, you
must marry. A clergyman like you must marry...."


"La! my dear," said Maria, quite shocked at the mistake, "it is not
Lady Catherine. The old lady is Mrs. Jenkinson, who lives with them;
the other is Miss de Bourgh. Only look at her. She is quite a little
creature. Who would have thought that she could be so thin and small?"


From the entrance-hall, of which Mr. Collins pointed out, with a
rapturous air, the fine proportion and the finished ornaments, they
followed the servants through an ante-chamber, to the room where Lady
Catherine, her daughter, and Mrs. Jenkinson were sitting. Her ladyship,
with great condescension, arose to receive them; and as Mrs. Collins had
settled it with her husband that the office of introduction should
be hers, it was performed in a proper manner, without any of those
apologies and thanks which he would have thought necessary.


Miss de Bourgh was pale and sickly; her
features, though not plain, were insignificant; and she spoke very
little, except in a low voice, to Mrs. Jenkinson, in whose appearance
there was nothing remarkable, and who was entirely engaged in listening
to what she said, and placing a screen in the proper direction before
her eyes.


The party did not supply much conversation. Elizabeth
was ready to speak whenever there was an opening, but she was seated
between Charlotte and Miss de Bourgh--the former of whom was engaged in
listening to Lady Catherine, and the latter said not a word to her all
dinner-time. Mrs. Jenkinson was chiefly employed in watching how little
Miss de Bourgh ate, pressing her to try some other dish, and fearing
she was indisposed. Maria thought speaking out of the question, and the
gentlemen did nothing but eat and admire.


"Aye, no doubt; but that is what a governess will prevent, and if I had
known your mother, I should have advised her most strenuously to engage
one. I always say that nothing is to be done in education without steady
and regular instruction, and nobody but a governess can give it. It is
wonderful how many families I have been the means of supplying in that
way. I am always glad to get a young person well placed out. Four nieces
of Mrs. Jenkinson are most delightfully situated through my means; and
it was but the other day that I recommended another young person,
who was merely accidentally mentioned to me, and the family are quite
delighted with her. Mrs. Collins, did I tell you of Lady Metcalf's
calling yesterday to thank me? She finds Miss Pope a treasure. 'Lady
Catherine,' said she, 'you have given me a treasure.' Are any of your
younger sisters out, Miss Bennet?"


When the gentlemen had joined them, and tea was over, the card-tables
were placed. Lady Catherine, Sir William, and Mr. and Mrs. Collins sat
down to quadrille; and as Miss de Bourgh chose to play at cassino, the
two girls had the honour of assisting Mrs. Jenkinson to make up her
party. Their table was superlatively stupid. Scarcely a syllable was
uttered that did not relate to the game, except when Mrs. Jenkinson
expressed her fears of Miss de Bourgh's being too hot or too cold, or
having too much or too little light. A great deal more passed at the
other table. 


"So much the better. It cannot be done too much; and when I next write
to her, I shall charge her not to neglect it on any account. I often
tell young ladies that no excellence in music is to be acquired without
constant practice. I have told Miss Bennet several times, that she
will never play really well unless she practises more; and though Mrs.
Collins has no instrument, she is very welcome, as I have often told
her, to come to Rosings every day, and play on the pianoforte in Mrs.
Jenkinson's room. She would be in nobody's way, you know, in that part
of the house."

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