As first described in Sense and Sensibility: “Edward Ferrars was not recommended to their good opinion by any peculiar graces of person or address. He was not handsome, and his manners required intimacy to make them pleasing. He was too diffident to do justice to himself; but when his natural shyness was overcome, his behaviour gave every indication of an open, affectionate heart. His understanding was good, and his education had given it solid improvement. But he was neither fitted by abilities nor disposition to answer the wishes of his mother and sister, who longed to see him distinguished—as—they hardly knew what.”
His personality, while it lacks the flash of Marianne Dashwood's romantic interest Willoughby, indicates more fortitude. Despite the good common sense that links him to Elinor, he is able to attach himself to other people and form bonds of friendship and love with ease. He exemplifies great loyalty when he sacrifices his potential happiness with Elinor to honor a promise he made to another girl when he was younger. He and Marianne's future husband Colonel Brandon are both models of great character under unimpressive exteriors. This simplicity makes them rather less three-dimensional than Pride and Prejudice′s Fitzwilliam Darcy and Emma′s Mr. Knightley.