Caroline and Darcy’s Joint Wishes

Caroline and Darcy

Caroline and Darcy

Caroline writes to Jane:

Mr. Darcy is impatient to see his sister, and to confess the truth, we are scarcely less eager to meet her again. I really do not think Georgiana Darcy has her equal for beauty, elegance, and accomplishments; and the affection she inspires in Louisa and myself is heightened into something still more interesting, from the hope we dare to entertain of her being hereafter our sister.

It’s funny that after mentioning that “[Georgiana’s] relations all wish the connection as much as [Bingley’s] own” she ends her letter with: “With all these circumstances to favour an attachment and nothing to prevent it, am I wrong, my dearest Jane, in indulging the hope of an event which will secure the happiness of so many?”

While Darcy’s POV during Lizzy’s visit at Pemberley focuses on the one circumstance that might prevent it, however, what I found interesting now is the use of words:

Not a syllable had ever reached [Caroline] of Miss Darcy’s meditated elopement. To no creature had it been revealed, where secrecy was possible, except to Elizabeth; and from all Bingley’s connections her brother was particularly anxious to conceal it, from that very wish which Elizabeth had long ago attributed to him, of their becoming hereafter her own. He had certainly formed such a plan, and without meaning that it should affect his endeavour to separate him from Miss Bennet, it is probable that it might add something to his lively concern for the welfare of his friend.

It seems that not only Caroline and Darcy where of one mind, but they had discussed it, since Caroline knows that he wishes for the marriage. The similar turn of phrase additionally emphasises their cooperation, and suggests that indeed all Bingley’s and Georgiana’s relations wished for it as strongly.

What I wonder about is how well acquainted Caroline and Darcy were prior to Netherfield. If they plotted behind Bingley’s back already then it’d mean they were very friendly indeed. However, it’s also possible that Bingley was in love with Georgiana at some point. Darcy wrote to Elizabeth that he had often seen Bingley in love before, and Caroline writes:

My brother admires her greatly already, he will have frequent opportunity now of seeing her on the most intimate footing …

The latter is likely a reason for Darcy’s bringing the Bingleys and Georgiana to Pemberley for summer. Elizabeth thinks that there’s no special regard on either side, but if Bingley was infatuated with Georgiana in the past it wouldn’t be unreasonable of Darcy to plan and promote the match, or mention to Caroline that he’d be glad if it happened.

sm-plusPosted by Sylwia
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3 thoughts on “Caroline and Darcy’s Joint Wishes

  1. Pingback: Bingley and Georgiana « Mending My Own Pen

  2. I know this is a while after you wrote this but I have just discovered your blog. I have to say I disagree slightly with the idea of Caroline and Darcy ‘plotting’ to marry Georgiana off to Bingley. From Caroline’s point of view, it must be remembered that her main goal in that letter to Jane is to tell the latter to keep her distance and not entertain any hopes of marriage. We cannot rely on the truth in this matter.Georgiana is probably a natural girl to use in this device, as Caroline has secret hopes of her own future relationship to her, and she is also frequenty cited by CAroline to Lizzie as the perfect young lady.
    From Darcy’s point of view, he is certainly most likely to have seriously considered the match. I would however suggest that far from arranging the match, he is more likely to be worried about the future of a little sister he loves. Remembering again Georgiana’s near elopement, he will be doubly anxious to see her happy and safe, and it is natural that his friend will spring to mind, especially someone has caring and sensitive as Bingley. I am quite sure however that Georgiana’s own views would be the first that he would take into account!
    I do not believe that Darcy and Caroline colluded as all evidence in P&P is that he had as little patience with her as with anyone. As to the summer holiday at Pemberley, surely having been invited to pass so long at Netherfield, the polite thing is to return the invitation? It was after all a common thing to pass the summer at various friends’ houses. And Georgiana would not have been ‘brought’ to Pemberley, it is her home.
    Sorry for such a long comment!

    • Thank you for your comment, Becca! I love long comments. 😀

      I won’t answer the majority of your points here, because some time after making this instalment I posted again with what I think is a better view on the situation. Here’s the link: Bingley and Georgiana. I hope you’ll tell me what you think.

      I certainly agree with you that Darcy wouldn’t force Georgiana to marry Bingley against her wishes. I do think though that he was creating opportunities for the two. Arranged marriages back then meant wishful thinking rather than any decisive action, like that one planned by Lady Anne and Lady Catherine between their children.

      Naturally the tone of Caroline’s letter is vindictive, but I learnt that none of P&P’s characters ever lies. Those are all opposing points of view. Since Caroline knows that Darcy wishes for the marriage, and we know that he does, then he must have told her. If Bingley is unaware of it, then it means they plotted behind his back. But I don’t think they did, I think that Bingley was interested in her at some point.

      Pemberley wasn’t Georgiana’s home until after Darcy’s marriage (that’s what the narrator says). Usually she spent summers there, but the previous year she was to spend it in Ramsgate, and only her near elopement brought her to Pemberley. Darcy also took her to the dinner at the Hursts’ while she’s not out yet, so she shouldn’t be visiting.

      Bingley spent the entire previous summer with Darcy, so when Darcy went to Netherfield Bingley returned him a favour for that. Now it’s Darcy who invites Bingley again.

      I’m very curious about your opinion on the other.

      P.S. I love the baby in your avatar.

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