"I am not romantic, you know. I never was. I ask only a comfortable home; and considering Mr. Collins’s character, connections, and situation in life, I am convinced that my chance of happiness with him is as fair as most people can boast on entering the marriage state."
Charlotte Lucas reminds me of several of my friends. Solid people. If there is one word to describe her, it is...practical. She is often eclipsed by her best friend, the bubbly, passionate Elizabeth Bennett. A lot has been written about Charlotte's choice of a husband and maybe that perhaps there was nothing to choose. But I don't agree with most.
Of course Charlotte isn't reckless and she isn't adventurous. But what is wonderful about her is that she doesn't miss the romance. None of that adventurer-wannabe business for her. She knows herself.
When I first read Pride and Prejudice as a teenager, I was appalled that someone could agree to the marriage proposal put forth by the absurdly pompous, the ever so boring and almost servile Mr. Collins, that too so soon after he was rejected by the colorful Elizabeth. Certainly Charlotte ought to have her head examined! The man who had propositioned her was a plain chappie spewing volumes and volumes of words at every occasion and buttering up Lady Catherine, the severe, starched up patron of Mr. Collins.
Charlotte saw beyond all that pomp and show and saw the steady nature of Mr.Collins. He was well settled and life would be fine. She looked deeper than the skin. Very mature.
Often it's easy to misjudge Charlotte, after all her personality is juxtaposed against that of her best friend, strong and romantic Elizabeth Bennett. Charlotte knows the situation she is in, More importantly she knows who she is. Which I believe is the most important virtue in a mature person. I have known many girls like that. Girls who are pragmatic to the core. Most of those girls are happy and content and by the way, still married after years.
But it took me several years to appreciate who Charlotte is. For me, she stood for all the girls in the world who are normal, who have their heads on their shoulders and feet planted firmly on the ground. I'm sure her description that she was plain and not pretty was Victorian. I have yet to meet a normal girl who isn't pretty.
There is a nice treatise on her here which I know you'll enjoy. I shall, in the meantime get back to Pride and Prejudice for the nth time. A book worthy of a cold spring night and a large cup of cocoa. Lady Catherine is going to get it from Elizabeth. I love this part. Both are very unlike Charlotte. And both, (Lady Catherine in her own haughty way) like Charlotte.