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Jane in January and You – Who are your favorite Jane Austen couples? — 67 Comments

  1. From among the protagonist couples, I, too, would pick Anne and Frederick as favourite non-D&E couple. They are both mature, gone through their mistakes and turned a new leaf. I also like Elinor and Edward, although Edward seems to me less mature than Elinor, but his commitment to the right in the face of opposition (even though, or perhaps because it isn’t powered by the force of love for the heroine) shows him to be a strong enough character for her. I don’t think the movie does him justice in this regard, and JA doesn’t show us much of them together, but I sense that this is also a good couple. From among secondary couples, I like Catherine Morland’s parents, especially as they are shown to be good parents and nurturing a good, harmonious family of many kids. It is rare in JA1s novels to see good parents. The Gardiners deserve a mention here, but much of what I feel about them is because JAFF loves to draw them as ideal.

    • Agnes you’ve brought up two great ones I hadn’t thought of! I agree with you completely about the Gardiners and I’d have to add that I do think JA intended them to be the sort of ideal couple — a foil to the Bennets themselves!
      Thank you!

      • Melanie, Maria Grace has recently written a book called “A Less Agreeable Man” about Mary Bennet and Colonel Fitzwilliam. Then there’s Victoria Kincaid’s “When Mary Met the Colonel” from a year or two ago.

  2. Well obviously my favourites are Darcy and Elizabeth. I love that his abiding love for her causes him to change his behaviour and even deal with his nemesis just to improve her life even when he doesn’t know she will ever love him back.
    What’s that? I have to pick some other couple? Oh my! Well I suppose I will go for Anne and Captain Wentworth, mainly for his letter! Or, like Agnes, I do like the Gardiners for their help and support for Jane and Elizabeth.

    • I know right, D&E are clearly #1! Me too!
      I can’t believe I didn’t even think of the Gardiners when I made my little collage up there! I love them too!
      Thank you Glynis!

  3. I love Anne and Wentworth, as I feel that romance is earned, and that they do take the time to fall in love all over again throughout the book. He realizes her worth by degrees again, and she knows his worth, and it’s all the better for when they get together at the end. But, I also love Catherine and Henry Tilney – I think they are the cute, puppydog style of love that makes you watch Hallmark movies – it’s sweet, it’s lovely, it’s that butterfly in the stomach feeling.

  4. I love and admire the Gardiners and would wish them as my friends and neighbors. But Mr and Mrs Bennet win a vote as the couple most likely to amuse me at a block party (or assembly). 😉

  5. I do have a crush for the Anne e Captain Wentworth, Persuasion is my Jane Austen’s favourite.

    But Mr. and Mrs Bennet are something of a guilty pleasure, she’s totally unaware of his sarcasm and he is not able to understand her train of thought (yes, perhaps is a steam train, but the lady has her concerns and she’s totally convinced of their value). I always smile when they happen to interact, their dialogues are very cleverly written. They are very well portrayed and has a couple there are many Mr and Mrs Bennet out there

    • So glad to see Mr and Mrs Bennet getting a little recognition! Sure we might not want to be IN that marriage but they do have some redeeming features!
      Thanks Carla!

  6. Fanfic? Maria Grace’s Jane and Colonel Fitzwilliam. From the books? Anne and Captain Wentworth is my favorite. From the Films? Lizzy and Darcy from the Lizzy Bennet Diaries. 😉

  7. Anne and Wentworth for sure. I love the Gardiners too because they are such a role model for Lizzie and Jane.

    If I take the question though and turn it into couples I like to read because I find them amusing and/or interesting character studies, Mr and Mrs Bennet come to mind as a couple later in life who have drifted apart ( a lesson for us all). Lydia and Wickham because their story will most likely be sad especially as Wickham feels trapped and cheated.
    I have higher hopes for Marianne and Brandon than Elinor and Edward if only because Elinor seems stronger and wiser and I fear Edward will eventually prove not to be a weak partner during times of struggles. I don’t see his best intentions being enough for long term happiness foe them. Brandon knows exactly what he is getting with Marianne and her baggage of Willoboughy and as Marianne matures I see them happy.

    • You raise really good points! I might be in the minority but S&S is one of my least favorites so I’l be first to admit I don’t *know* those couples as well!
      But I liked how you assessed this question… liking them as in not necessarily wanting that relationship for yourself but some sort of enjoyment or appreciation for what they are!

      Thanks Theresa!

  8. Personally, I like Emma and Mr. Knightley. They have a solid friendship before they become romantically involved, which seems to be a good foundation for marriage.

  9. I must admit that Mr and Mrs Bennet will always hold a special place in my heart. I love to eavesdrop on their conversations. I realise that they are probably not the most compatible of couples,I assume he regrets falling for a beautiful face while she,tunnel visioned in her legitimate fear of being cast to the hedgerows,is concerned with her brief in life,to marry off her daughters to rich men.

    Romantically speaking,I must concur with other commentators that Anne and Captain Wentworth are truly a couple to be admired,loved and cherished.
    I love to read variations of their love story,the basis for their initial misunderstandings and grievances, their next meeting after such a long time and their efforts to begin again. What isn’t to love?!

  10. In fanfic, I like Laura Hile’s, Elizabeth Elliott and her new beau Admiral Patrick McGillvary, although she calls him Mr. Gill. Miss Elliott is changing by the moment in Hile’s books.

    I must say, that Darcy and Elizabeth is still my favorite, although I am afraid that Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehlre (sp?) drive my idea of the two characters. The Gardiners are a solid favorite also.

  11. Well, Mr. Knightley is my favorite of JA’s men (followed by Col Brandon), so I have to pick Mr. Knightley and Emma first. I love that he is her friend and cares enough to help her be her best self even when she annoys the daylights out of him. I enjoy the Gardiners as several have mentioned. From canon, they are sensible enough that both Jane and Elizabeth willingly stay and travel with them extensively and also know Elizabeth well which speaks to their love and attention. From JAFF, they show J & E that a loving and communicative marriage is possible. 🙂

  12. Like many others, I like Anne and Wentworth, Emma and Knightley, the Gardiners… I think the Westons would be interesting to read about – since Mrs W was a governess, and both are older (though she is still young enough to bear a child), it’s probably a real love match (although theoretically she could have married him for security).

    • The Westons are an interesting couple! I like to think there’s affection there too, esp since she knew that Emma would have kept her with her forever if needed!

      Thanks Miriam!

  13. My favorite couple is Anne and Captain Wentworth. I love that they remained in love even after heartbreak and separation and that they are given a second chance.

  14. without reading other comments first, I’d say my favorite after D & E naturally, is the Gardiners. Both are astute, kind, and have a loving relationship the best we can tell. What’s more, they provide shelter for Jane and Lydia plus take Elizabeth with them to Pemberly. Now I shall read what others have written to see if the Gardiners received any other votes.

  15. Favorite couple, huh? Well, aside from the characteristics we assign to Darcy-brooding and blazing- he’d probably be considered a stick in the mud (or somewhere else for that matter). And Lizzy is mostly sassy with brains. So we’ll take them off the table, right?

    So which couple would we most like to eavesdrop on New Year’s Eve? Simple: Lydia and Wickham. Hell, these two warrant their own reality show. Bad behaviors aside for the moment, they both have redeeming qualities. Starting with Wickham, have you ever wondered how and why he survived those few days staying at Longbourn after the wedding? There was no monetary compensation coming from that quarter so why did he tolerate the visit? I’d like to suppose that he craved the family setting he’d never had; that Mrs. Bennet’s fawning and pride in her new son-in-law was completely novel for him. And maybe the idea of having sisters he didn’t feel obliged to hit on was also a welcome relief. Jane’s naturally kind personality must have felt welcoming as would Kitty’s adoration. So what if Lizzy and her father were snarky and distant: nothing new there really. And Mary … I could easily see Wickham entertaining himself and Lydia with a week long game of “Let’s make Mary crack a smile.”

    And then there’s Lydia, bold, brash, and without filters. Obnoxious, yes. But imagine she was your neighbor (not too close) or the girl whose nail appointment coincided with yours every two weeks. You can’t say you wouldn’t be entertained by the ongoing updates of that marriage! And it helps that underneath the questionable behavior and antics, she adores her husband.

    Place them a few years forward and lose the foreboding prospects by imagining they’re just another couple in a wide circle of acquaintances within the neighborhood. Yes Sir, I’m voting for Lydia and her Dear Wickham – and damn glad he’s hers, not mine.

    • Haha! Lydia and Wickham would be a hoot as long as you weren’t related to or responsible for either one of them! They’re the regency era Kardashians LOL

  16. I really like Fanny and Edmund Bertram even though he is rather clueless. His cluelessness seems to be more his own innate modesty rather than a matter of intelligence. He’s a good man with the best intentions as to his future (and his regard for Mary Crawford does not budge him to reconsider), and Fanny is as steady a young lady as he could wish for, a stellar wife for a man of the church.

    And of course Anne and her Captain are wonderful in every way, even though he tends to hold onto grudges a bit long. 😉

    A wonderful question!! I have so enjoyed perusing everyone’s answers, too. 😉

    Warmly,
    Susanne 🙂

    • Thanks Susanne! I’m with you, its been fun reading the answers! I think you’re the first vote for Fanny and Edmund but I think you’re quite right, he chose the ideal wife for him (and seriously Mary C, what was he thinking??)

  17. Seems I’m not alone in my love and admiration for Anne Elliot and Frederick Wentworth as my favourite non-P&P couple. They were young when they first fell in love, yet that love stood the tests of separation and time. And who wouldn’t admire and love a man who could write a letter like his, in which amongst other things he admits his faults.

    A minor character couple from canon that I don’t think have had a mention yet are Admiral and Mrs Croft. If I were to be adopted by any of Jane Austen’s older couples, it’d have to be them for me!

    • OMG yes! What I love about the Admiral and Mrs C is that they seem to have so much fun together! They seem to genuinely like one another and to truly enjoy life
      Thanks Anji!

  18. My favorite couples are 1st Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy
    Next Capt. Wentworth and Anne Eliot
    Aunt and Uncle Gardiner
    I also like the idea of Admiral and Mrs. Croft as they had traveled on ships together
    Fanny and Ed,imd Bertram though he looked in the wrong direction for a while
    Emma and Mr. Knightley
    For me Jane Bennet and Charles Bingley do not really swingit as a couple because he was too easily influenced by others and not foreceful enough

  19. As much as I love Elizabeth and Darcy, I think Anne and Captain Wentworth are character and relationship goals. Anne is a steady, smart, caring, and resourceful woman, and Captain Wentworth is a hardworking, ambitious, and loving man. Together, their mature love has proven itself to be true and long-lasting.

  20. Besides ODC the Darcy’s, I admire the Wentworths. But I also think the suggestuons of the Gardiners and the Crofts are top notch. These mature couples seem to have built a life that plays to both their strengths through the highs and lows of life. The respect they show for each other makes them admirable role models.

  21. I’m afraid I’m with the crowd as Anne and Frederick are also my favorites. But, when I think about finding out how Jane’s couples are doing after marriage I’d like to take a peek at Jane and Frank Churchill and Emma and George Knightley. I can predict that Anne and Frederick will be deliriously happy and their children well behaved and kind. But the Churchills and Knightleys are a bit more of an enigma. So while I have my favorites of Jane, there’s still other’s I’d like to see more of in fan fiction.

  22. I have to weigh in once more here….I have been intrigued with all the comments! Thank you all.

    Emma and Knightly have always been a couple which disturbs me. Knightly seems to much of a father figure. Her own father is a blubbering hypocondriac (sp?) and Knightly takes her to task and is the disciplinarian in her life. I just have trouble thinking there will be much passion and frankly I have always found the pairing rather creepy. There is also a huge age gap with Marianne and Brandon but with his past I guess I view him as more capable of a passionate love and willing to let Marianne be Marianne in her own time ….all while just loving her. Knightly pushes Emma into what he wants….

    I did forget about the Crofts…love them and their spirit for life! I guess they are to Anne and Frederick what I see the Gardiners to D & E.

  23. I guess I’m the only one who loves Jane and Bingley. o.O But honestly, I don’t think I have a second favorite couple. I like Anne and the Captain, Jane and Frank Churchill, Fanny and Edmund, Henry and Catherine, and all of the older, supporting couples (Crofts, Westons, Gardiners, etc.) I’d like to peek in on the Hursts and see what their marriage is like behind closed doors. How on earth did he ever bestir himself to court a woman? But for entertainment, my top pick has to be the Palmers from Sense and Sensibility. I love the way she thinks his indifference and sarcasm are amusing. They are the perfect foil for the Bennets. Mrs. Bennet is vexed by her husband’s humor and neglect, and he delights in riling her up. Mrs. Palmer blissfully misinterprets her husband’s rudeness, and it seems he couldn’t provoke her to anger if he tried.

  24. I do love Anne and Captain Wentworth, but I have a very soft spot for Marianne and Colonel Brandon. Brandon appeals to me – I have a thing for his quiet and somewhat reserved manner that softens to reveal a vulnerable and loving man inside. Of course, it’s only someone like Marianne who could opening him up and bring that out.

  25. The Admiral and Mrs Croft seem like such a lovely couple! And I love The Gardiners – who wouldn’t want to have them as relatives! ❤️

  26. I have to agree with many of the above in selecting Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth as my favorite Jane Austen romantic couple. The character of each is nearly without fault making each of them very likeable and their reunion well-deserved! Emma Woodhouse and Mr. Knightley make an interesting couple, but her character is much more flawed than his so I prefer him to her. And while I read the comment above about Mr. Knightley being too much older than Emma, it never struck me that way. I’ll admit to being influenced by television and cinematic adaptations though as I see them as Jonny Lee Miller and Romola Garai. Colonel Brandon and Marianne as played by Alan Rickman and Kate Winslet did strike me that way though. And I think Mr. Knightley does help Emma by saving her from herself and her deepest flaws. This is the same point that Mr. Bennet makes to Elizabeth when asking why she has accepted Mr. Darcy. He knows how clever she is and believe that she needs someone with an even better understanding in order to be happy. Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy are another great favorite; I think their characters may be equally flawed (although we don’t want to seem to admit it on the part of Elizabeth.)
    And as mentioned by many others above, the Gardiners, the Crofts and the Westons all make great supporting romatic couples. Each pairing consists of good, kind individuals.
    Maybe the best pairings are those that consist of people of equal worth (moral, not financial) who have also suffered equally. I’ll stop now🙄!
    Looking forward to the publication of A Short Period of Exquisite Felicity!

    • Agree completely with your reasoning. Anne & Frederick are captivating. But if we move outside of JA’s novels and incorporate fan fiction, then my favorite is anyone who Col Fitzwilliam marries!

  27. My next favourite couple other than Darcy and Elizabeth, would be Anne and Captain Wentworth for each carrying a torch for the other despite the hurt they inflicted upon each other. Holding in their hearts the love that would not be and then meeting each other again after eight years just squeezes my own. I would also agree that Mr. & Mrs. Gardiner hold a special place for many for the strength of their love and marriage as better examples for Jane and Elizabeth. I will also give a shout out for Jane and Bingley. I do love them together despite Bingley not standing up for his love with Jane and letting others guide him. But his character and personality suited Jane and a hard lesson was learned by both. I think their love will be stronger for it.

    I am excited to see what your next book will be all about! Thank you for a chance to win it!

  28. Oh goodie! This is amusing. As much as the “butterflies-in-the-stomach, blush-cheeked, can’t-keep-my-hands-off-you” kind of love is thrilling and can lead to happy and passionate unions, I have such respect for the slow-brew loves. Or the unrequited suddenly requited connections. Such varying examples of these crockpot romances are: Edmund and Fanny, Captain Wentworth and Anne, and while not so much of a stew, Bingley and Jane took a while to get to the point. Their affability makes me want to pinch their cheeks and say something shocking just to make them squirm.

    Clearly I’m having too much fun with this. Night!

    P.s. Pick me! Pick me! (Picture eager kid on the side of the football pitch hopping up and down with arms raised high as teams are picked.) 😉

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