Description of Mrs. Long

Mrs. Long

Physical Appearance:

Austen never explicitly describes Mrs. Long's looks, leaving us to imagine her based on clues. We know she lives near the Bennets and attends social gatherings, suggesting she occupies a similar social standing. This, along with her position as the wife of a lawyer, might lead us to picture her as a respectable and well-dressed woman.

Character Description and Analysis:

  • Socially Active: Mrs. Long frequently attends local events like assemblies and dinners, enjoying the gossip and social interactions. This suggests a certain outgoing personality and interest in community affairs.
  • Village Gossip: Mrs. Long readily shares news and rumors, acting as a conduit for information within the Meryton community. This can make her seem intrusive or meddling, but also contributes to the novel's social commentary and sense of small-town dynamics.
  • Ally to Mrs. Bennet: Mrs. Long offers comfort and support to Mrs. Bennet, particularly during the crisis surrounding Lydia's elopement. This hints at a friendly relationship and shared concerns between the two women.
  • Catalyst for Plot Development: Mrs. Long's gossip plays a vital role in moving the plot forward. For example, she informs Mrs. Bennet about Mr. Bingley's arrival at Netherfield, sparking Elizabeth's initial interest.

Character Mentions:

  • Introduced early in the novel, attending Meryton's social gatherings and interacting with various characters.
  • Frequently appears alongside Mrs. Bennet, engaging in conversations and sharing news.
  • Plays a minor but crucial role in informing the Bennets about key events and contributing to the narrative flow.
  • Fades from the story as the focus shifts to the main plotlines.


  • "Have you any news for me, Mr. Gardiner? Are all your family well?" (Mrs. Long's eagerness for gossip and information)
  • "My dear Mrs. Bennet, how can you be so calm about it? To be sure, you must feel it most dreadfully." (Mrs. Long offering sympathy and commiserating with Mrs. Bennet during Lydia's elopement)
  • "There was Mrs. Long, and the Gouldings, and Lady Lucas and her daughters, besides half the Meryton assembly" (Mrs. Long's presence at social gatherings, illustrating her active role in the community)

Additional Background:

  • Mrs. Long adds a touch of humor and realism to the novel by representing the social chatter and gossip prevalent in small communities.
  • Her role as a source of information highlights the importance of communication and networks within Regency society.
  • While not central to the main plot, Mrs. Long contributes to the narrative's richness and provides intriguing insights into the social landscape of Meryton

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