Mrs. Bennet, Basic Character Information

Mrs. Bennet is the matriarch of the Bennet family, having no sons she is obsessed with marrying off her daughters as means of providing support for herself and them following her husband’s death.

Basic Information:

Given Name: Unknown, however the 1995 Pride and Prejudice miniseries gave her the first name of Fanny, which is now used quite frequently in the fandom. There is also an argument that her first name could be Jane as Jane Austen frequently named eldest daughters after their mothers.

Maiden Name: Gardiner, presumably as this is her brother’s last name. A writer who wanted or needed Mrs. Bennet to have a different maiden name for some reason could make Mr. Gardiner a half or step brother however.

Age: Unknown, at the beginning of the novel she is old enough to have been married 23 years. I think that her excitement at having her youngest married at 16 indicates she was probably older than that when she married, but not much older as her youth was one of the things that attracted Mr. Bennet to her once upon a time.

Spouse: Mr. Bennet
Children: Jane, Elizabeth, Mary, Kitty, and Lydia
Other Family: Edward Gardiner (brother), Mrs. Phillips (sister), the four young Gardiners (nieces and nephews)

Residence: Longbourn,

Physical Characteristics:
Was quite beautiful in her youth and possibly still is as in Volume 1 Chapter 1 Mr. Bennet says she is as beautiful as any of her daughters. While Mr. Bennet is teasing her in the exchange, I think the comment seems unlikely if she had not retained at least some of her looks.

Personality Characteristics:
It would be kind to say that Mrs. Bennet is lacking in intelligence, she is described as being “a woman of mean understanding, little information, and uncertain temper” who fancies herself nervous when she is discontented. During the novel the main focus in her life is getting her daughters married though her lack of intelligence does sometimes undermine her efforts.

Updated: October 9, 2015

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Richard Briggs

    I've heard the argument that her given name would be Jane, and I think that there was some sort of tradition of naming one of the children after the mother or father depending on sex. For example her sister is older than her and shared the same name as their mother. So seemingly it could be quite possible for Mrs Bennet to be Jane. Although I suppose with the new craze for publishing, prequels or sequels its hard to decide which is canon, although I feel Jane maybe closer to the truth in regards to apparent traditions, however wouldn't like to say it was wholly accurate. 🙂

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