I mentioned the other day that I think Austen's strength -- and the enduringness? But you know, something that's actually a word -- lies in her characters, and that doesn't just apply to the main characters. Or even the more prominent side characters: your Bingleys, your Thorpes, your multitudinous Janes. . . No, right down to the day players, Austen's characters are nothing if not memorable.
So rather than sing the praises of characters we've talked about again and again (I still love you, Crawfords! I don't care what anyone else says!), today, I'm talking about the minor characters. Not the sidekicks, but the people who show up and make us love them, even if they don't get a ton of page time, or aren't the main plot line.
|It doesn't hurt to look like Joseph Morgan . . .|
1. William Lucas of Mansfield Park, who makes both my list and Sophia's. We really don't see William for very long at all, but he's never far from Fanny's thoughts, and it seems his sister is never far from his, either. In a book where the main character doesn't really have anywhere to turn, or much of anyone to turn to, William's comforting presence is a relief to both Fanny and the reader, and your left with an impression of a truly good, upstanding young man. I'm very sorry I had to kill him that one time; I don't know what I was thinking...
3. Sir William Lucas of Pride & Prejudice. Of course, Sir William, again, is a good-natured and happy person who seems to only want those around him to be happy, too. He may overstep, but it never seems to be done out of any malice or officiousness -- more like he's an over-excited little boy who wants to show everyone his new toy, but also wants them to play with it. He's silly, but he's sweet.
|source, because I couldn't resist sharing this.|
4. The Crofts. But also the Musgroves. Because I can. These two couples of Persuasion may have larger parts than the others, but being much older than the principals, they are, of course, relegated to the background. . . But what a stable, healthy background they make up! The Crofts and the Musgroves function as examples to Anne of marital happiness and strong, tight-knit family units, while ALSO showing that one doesn't have to be a pushover to maintain a happy atmosphere. They're an excellent example, but also just good people, and I love them.
5. Mr & Mrs Morland of Northanger Abbey. I mean, we really don't see much of the Morlands, but all of what we do see paints a picture of a sensible, rosy-cheeked and happy family. And the proof is in the pudding:
So there you have it! My 5 (sort of. Shut up.) favorite minor characters from all of Austen's novels, save Emma, 'cause we've talked about her plenty this year.
Let me know your fave characters and character-moments in the comments, whether main, side or minor!
|Click here to return to the Austen in August Main Page|