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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Matchmaker, Matchmaker: a Janeite Conversation

At our last chat, we discussed how likely (or unlikely) certain Austen pairings were to have happy lives together. When I wrote the question, it got me thinking about which characters across books would make great pairings. If they could cross over, would some characters be fast friends or instant love matches? The idea has all the makings of some great Austenesque stories, so I'm hoping this one will prove fruitful to all the Austenesque writers out there.
(Ahem. wink wink nudge nudge.)

I asked . . .
And as a follow-up conversation toour last chat about (un)happily ever afters, if you could pair up any two characters from different Austen novels, whether romantically or otherwise, who do you think was just meant to meet and be together? Who wouldn't fail to hit it off or become fast friends? And who would be oil and water?

JOY: Oo, interesting. I'd think Anne Elliot and Colonel Brandon might be an interesting pair since they've both had heartbreak, but I know Brandon needs an outgoing Marianne-type, so maybe they'd be more friends, like Brandon and Elinor.
MISTY: I wonder how Brandon would fare with Lydia... *smiles a tad wickedly* Or for that matter, Wickham, after having to deal with the very similar Willoughby (just what is it with those Ws?).
ANNA: Willoughby and Emma might be all right, since he needs to marry a rich heiress and she does have a taste for bad boys!
MISTY: If I was drinking coffee, I would have just spat it all over my screen! I would pay to see that pairing unfold. Oh man.
JOY: I imagine Darcy would be incredibly annoyed by Henry Crawford and have no patience even for Emma Woodhouse.
ANNA: Emma and Lizzie would not be very good friends. Lizzie would find Emma’s nosiness a turnoff. Although the girls are about the same age, Lizzie is worldly beyond her years, leaving Emma behind.
MARIA: I am pretty sure Caroline Bingley and Emma would take an instant dislike to one another as would Emma and Elizabeth Elliot. 
MISTY: Poor Emma! Do we trust her to make any friends?


MARIA: I think Anne Elliot would have gotten along well with Charlotte Lucas. I think Elizabeth would have found Fanny Price dull, but Jane would have liked her.
MISTY: Bennet or Fairfax? 'Cause Bennet . . . I mean, she's constitutionally incapable of not-liking, and Fairfax . . . well, I can just see it now: 'An Evening with Fanny & Jane Fairfax' . . . *shudder*
MARIA: *shakes head at Misty* As for couples, I could have seen Marianne Dashwood with Mr. Knightly or Edward Ferrars with Fanny Prince—though his mother would have objected. Lady Catherine and Sir Walter would have been a very interesting couple indeed.
CECILIA: If I'm going to reimagine romantic entanglements I'll cast myself as the optional lead, thankyouverymuch.
MISTY: Cheater. (Why didn't I think of that?!)
CECILIA: As to the friendships…my entire series is based on the idea (fantasy???) that Austen's heroines become friends. While they might butt heads from time to time, I think they'd all love each other because they care deeply about their families and friends and they long so much to be valued as they deserved.
ALEXA: I'd like to form a philosophical society, of sorts, peopled by the Tilneys, the Darcys, the Knightleys, and Anne Wentworth (the Captain is not invited). Those would be superior conversations, but every heavenly imagining must have its reflection, and I can also envision a hellish gathering featuring General Tilney, Lady Catherine, Aunt Norris, Mrs. Ferrars, Lucy Steele, and the Eltons (cringe). Limbo would be an evening of cards with Mrs. Bennet, Miss Bates, Anne Steele, Mrs. Palmer, Mr. Collins, Mary Musgrove, Dr. Grant, and Sir Walter.
MISTY: Someone please rewrite The Divine Comedy as an Austen mash-up featuring these casts, please!

Let us know who you'd pair up — to watch the sparks OR the claws fly — in the comments!

And if you want more thoughts on interesting pairings, make sure to check out Danya's list of perfect pairings!

Special thanks to the authors:
Alexa Adams, author of the Tale of Less Pride and Prejudice series
Maria Grace, author of the Given Good Principles series and Remember the Past
Cecilia Gray, author of the Jane Austen Academy series
Joy Penny, author of A Love for the Pages
Anna Small, author of How to Marry a Rogue, In the Arms of an Earl and Back in His Arms Again

Click the button or HERE to return to the Austen in August main page!


  1. I had never considered Sir Walter Elliot and Lady C de B before, I can see them being very happy together and utterly hideous to spend time with! He gets an injection of money, and they can flatter each other and feel important, win/win.

    1. They really are perfect for each other. It's a match made in heaven (for them) and hell (for us). Makings of a great comedy, though...

  2. Henry Tilney might be amused by Lydia and Edmund Bertram with Marianne Dashwood has me wondering. I think Henry Crawford and Lizzy would amuse each other as friends. Oh wow! This is fun.

  3. So far, that all strikes me as really spot-on (including the comments!). I think the nail is hit on the head with that observation as the heroines being friends- they all do have a good heart, and are family-focused even when they're at their silliest. I can see Marianne Dashwood and Catherine Morland being thick as thieves, for sure!

  4. I could see Emma taking some of the less worldly/more naive girls under her wing, the way she does Harriet — like Catherine Morland, for example. Not sure that would quite qualify as "friends", and not sure she'd be an entirely good influence on Catherine (she'd probably encourage John Thorpe's suit...), but it's something I can imagine happening.

  5. Now that the Anne Elliot and Col Brandon idea has been put out there I can't stop thinking about it!!!!

  6. As mentioned in the comments, I've thought about Emma and Catherine Morland having a similar relationship to Emma/Harriet. I would actually love to see Anne meet Mr. Knightly. I think that could be a very interesting pairing. Also it would be nice to see Charles Musgrove with anyone except his wife. He needs someone more sensible.


Tell me all your thoughts.
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