Lady Catherine de Bourgh

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Lady Catherine De Bourgh
Lady Catherine de Bourg.jpg
Gender Female
Primary residence Rosings, in Kent
Family
Spouse Sir Lewis de Bourgh (deceased)
Children Anne de Bourgh
Sibling(s) Lady Anne Darcy (deceased)
Earl of ----[clarification needed]

Lady Catherine de Bourgh née Fitzwilliam is a character in the 1813 novel Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. According to Janet Tood, Lady Catherine de Bourgh can be seen as a foil to the novel's protagonist Elizabeth Bennet as Elizabeth is seen as wild while Lady Catherine is seen as strict to the rules of society and Elizabeth seems to contradict in her actions many of the ideals that Lady Catherine presents.[1]

Lady Catherine and Elizabeth by C. E. Brock, 1895

Family[edit]

Lady Catherine is the widow of Sir Lewis de Bourgh.[2] The two had a single daughter, Anne de Bourgh.[3] Lady Catherine was the sister of Lady Anne Darcy, mother of Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy and Georgiana Darcy. Both Lady Catherine and Lady Anne were the daughters of an earl and their brother is now the sitting earl during the events of the novel. At the end of the novel, Lady Catherine becomes the aunt-in-law of Elizabeth Bennet after Elizabeth marries Mr. Darcy.[4] This relation she was not happy at the beginning due to how Lady Catherine wished to marry her own daughter Anne to Mr. Darcy as well as wishes not to see Mr. Darcy to marry someone so much below him. In the end she had come to terms with the relation.

Lady Catherine is the daughter of an earl, thus she and her sister are always styled as Lady Catherine and Lady Anne, regardless of marriage. If she were not noble, she would be styled as Lady de Bourgh.

Rosings[edit]

Rosings is the home of Catherine de Bourgh. It is noted many times within the novel as being a luxurious house with many fine fittings. One such feature is a fireplace with glazing worth over five hundred pounds. The elegance and correctness of Rosings underline the side of Mr. Darcy's background that impresses Elizabeth, although she refuses to be overawed by it.

Quotes from Lady Catherine[edit]

Quote by Mr Collins recounting Lady Catherine "Mr. Collins, you must marry. A clergyman like you must marry. Choose properly, choose a gentlewoman for my sake; and for you own, let her be an active, useful sort of person, not brought up high, but able to make a small income go a good way. This is my advice. Find such a woman as soon as you can, bring her to Hunsford, and I will visit her." [5]

To Elizabeth:

"Your father’s estate is entailed on Mr. Collins, I think. For your sake, I am glad of it; but otherwise I see no occasion for entailing estates from the female line. It was not thought necessary in Sir Lewis de Bourgh’s family."

"Do you play and sing, Miss Bennet? Oh! Then sometime or other we shall be happy to hear you. Our instrument is a capital one, probably superior to ---- you shall try it some day. Do your sisters play and sing?"

"Why did not you all learn? You ought all to have learned. The Miss Webbs all play, and their father has not so good an income as yours."

"Do you draw? What, none of you? That is very strange. But I suppose you had no opportunity. Your mother should have taken you to town every spring for the benefit of masters."

"Has your governess left you?... No governess! How was that possible? Five daughters brought up at home without a governess! I never heard of such a thing. Your mother must have been quite a slave to your education."

"Then, who taught you? Who attended to you? Without a governess you must have been neglected. Aye, no doubt; but that is what governess will prevent, and if I had known your mother, I should have advised her most strenuously to engage one. I always say that nothing is to be done in education without steady and regular instruction, and nobody but a governess can give it. It is wonderful how many families I have been the means of supplying in that way. I am always glad to get a young person well placed out. Four nieces of Mrs. Jenkinson are most delightfully situated through my means; and it was but the other day, that I recommended another person, who was merely accidentally mentioned to me, and the family are quite delighted with her. Mrs. Collins, did I tell you of Lady Metcalfe’s calling yesterday to thank me? She finds Miss Pope a treasure: “Lady Catherine,” she said, “you have given me a treasure.”

"Are any of your younger sisters out, Miss Bennet? All! What, all five out at once? Very odd! And you only the second. The younger ones out before the elder are married! Your younger sisters must be very young."

"Upon my word. You give your opinion very decidedly for so young a person. Pray, what is your age?"[6]

To Colonel Fitzwilliam, then Darcy:

What is that you are saying, Fitzwilliam? What is it you are talking of? What are you telling Miss Bennet? Let me hear what it is. Of music! Then pray speak aloud. It is of all subjects my delight. I must have my share in the conversation, if you are speaking of music. There are few people in England, I suppose, who have more true enjoyment of music than myself, or a better natural taste. If I had ever learnt, I should have been a great proficient. And so would Anne, if her health had allowed her to apply. I am confident that she would have performed delightfully. How does Georgiana get on, Darcy? I am very glad to hear such a good account of her. And pray tell her from me that she cannot expect to excel, if she does not practise a great deal. So much the better. It cannot be done too much; and when I next write to her, I shall charge her not to neglect it on any account. I often tell young ladies, that no excellence in music is to be acquired, without constant practice. I have told Miss Bennet several times, that she will never play really well, unless she practises more; and though Mrs. Collins has no instrument, she is very welcome, as I have often told her, to come to Rosings every day, and play on the pianoforte in Mrs. Jenkinson’s room. She would be in nobody’s way, you know, in that part of the house.[7]

To Elizabeth: Miss Bennet would not play at all amiss, if she practiced more, and could have the advantage of a London master, She has a very good notion of fingering, though her taste is not equal to Anne’s. Anne would have been a delightful performer, had her health allowed her to learn.[8]

Quotes about Lady Catherine[edit]

Mr. Collins:

I have been so fortunate as to be distinguished by the patronage of the Right and Honourable Lady Catherine de Bourgh, widow of Sir Lewis de Bourgh, whose bounty and beneficence has preferred me to the valuable rectory of this parish, where it shall be my earnest endeavour to demean myself with grateful respect towards her Ladyship[9]

about Mr. Collins:

A fortunate chance had recommended him to Lady Catherine de Bourgh when the living of Hunsford was vacant; and the respect which he felt for her high rank and his veneration for her as his patroness mingling with a very good opinion of himself, of his authority as a clergyman, and his rights as a rector, made him altogether a mixture of pride and obsequiousness, self-importance and humility [10]

about Mr. Collins:

he [Mr. Collins] protested that except Lady Catherine and her daugheter, he had never seen a more elegant woman [Mr. Bennet] Mr. Collins was at leisure to look around him and admire, and he was so much struck with the size and furniture of the apartment, that he declared he might almost have supposed himself in the mall summer breakfast parlour at Rosings; a comparison that did not at first convey much gratification; but when Mrs. Philips understood from him what Rosings was, and who was its proprietor, when she listened to the description of only one of Lady Catherine’s drawing-rooms, and found that the chimney-piece alone had cost eight hundred pounds, she felt all the force of the compliment, and would hardy have senteda a comparison with the housekeeper’s room.in describing to her all the grandeur of Lady Catherine and her mansion, with occasion digressions in praise of his humble abode [11]

Mr. Collins:

There are undoubltedly many who could not say the same, but thanks to Lady Catherine de Bourgh, I am removed far beyond the necessity of regarding little matters.[12]

Mr. Wickham:

You know of course that Lady Catherine de Bourgh and Lady Anne Darcy were sisters ; consequently that she is aunt to the present Mr. Darcy……Her daughter, Miss de Bourgh, will have a very large fortune, and it is believed that he and her cousin wil unite the two estates.”[12]

Mr. Collins:

Allow me, by the way to observe, my fair cousin, that I do not reckon the notice and kindness of Lady Catherine de Bourgh as among the least of the advantages in my power to offer. You will find her manners beyond anything that I can describe; and your wit and vivacity I think must be acceptable to her, especially with tempered with the silence and respect which her rank will inevitably excite [13]

Mr. Bennet to Mr. Collins:

But is there no danger of Lady Catherine's disapprobation here, my good sir? –You had better neglect your relations, than run the risk of offending your patroness.[13]

Mr. Collins to Elizabeth:

She [Lady Catherine] is all affability and condescension, and I doubt not but you will be honoured with some portion of her notice when service is over. I have scarcely any hesitation in saying that she will include you and my sister Maria in every invitation with which she honours us during your stay here. Her behaviour to my dear Charlotte is charming. We dine at Rosings twice every week, and are never allowed to walk home. Her ladyship’s carriage is regularly ordered for us. I should say, one of her ladyship’s carriages, for she has several. ... Very true, my dear, that is exactly what I say. She is the sort of woman whom one cannot regard with too much deference.[14]

Charlotte to Elizabeth:

Lady Catherine is a very respectable sensible woman indeed...and a most attentive neighbour.[14]

Elizabeth to Maria:

I expected at least that the pigs were got into the garden, and here is nothing but Lady Catherine and Her daughter! [15]

Mr. Collins to Elizabeth:

I confess that I should not have been at all surprised by her Ladyship’s asking us on Sunday to drink tea and spend the evening at Rosings. I rather expected, from my knowledge of her affability, that it would happen. … Do not make yourself uneasy, my dear cousin, about your apparel. Lady Catherine is far from requiring that elegance of dress in us, which becomes herself and daughter. … Lady Catherine will not think the worse of you fro being simply dressed. She likes to have the distinction of rank preserved.[16]

She [Elizabeth] had heard nothing of Lady Catherine that spoke her awful from any extraordinary talents or miraculous virtue, and the mere stateliness of money and rank, she thought she could witness without trepidation.[17]

Lady Catherine was a tall, large woman, with strongly-marked features, which might once have been handsome. Her air was not conciliating, nor was her manner of receiving them, such as to make her visitors forget their inferior rank. She was not rendered formidable by silence; but whatever she said, was spoken in so authoritative a tone, as marked her self-importance and brought Mr. Wickham immediately to Elizabeth’s mind; and from the observation of the day altogether she believed Lady Catherine to be exactly what he had represented.[18]

Lady Catherine seemed gratified by their excessive admiration, and gave most gracious smiles, especially when any dish on the table proved a novelty to them.[19]

Lady Catherine seemed quite astonished at not receiving a direct answer[20]

Mr. Collins was employed in agreeing to everything her Ladyship said, thanking her for every fish he won and apologizing if he thought he won too many. …When Lady Catherine and her daugheter had plaed as long as they chose, the tables were broke up…he [Mr. Collins] was very soon obliged to take her Ladyship’s praise into his own hands.[20]

She [Elizabeth] might be amused in seeing how hopeless Miss Bingley’s designs on him were, by his behaviour to his cousin, for whom he was evidently destined by Lady Catherine[21]

Her ladyship received them civilly, but it was plain that their company was by no means so acceptable as when she could get nobody else; and she was, in fact almost engrossed by her nephews, speaking to them, especially to Darcy, much more than to any other person in the room.[22]

Lady Catherine listened to half a song, and then talked, as before to her other nephew; till the latter walked away from her[23]

Lady Catherine continued her remarks on Elizabeth’s performance, mixing with them many instructions on execution and taste. Elizabeth received them with all the forbearance of civility; and at the request of the gentlemen remained at the instrument till her Ladyship’s carriage was ready to take them all home.[24]

Darcy to Elizabeth:

This seems a very comfortable house. Lady Catherine, I believe, did a great deal to it when Mr. Collins first came to Hunsford[25]

But Mr. Collins could not conceal his apprehension of Lady Catherin’s being rather displeased by her staying at home.[26]

Film[edit]

Year Actress Role Film
2011 Cynthia Sharp Mrs. De Bourgh A Modern Pride and Prejudice
2005 Judi Dench Lady Catherine De Bourg Pride and Prejudice
2004 Marsha Mason Catherine Darcy Bride and Prejudice
1940 Edna May Oliver Catherine De Bourgh Pride and Prejudice

Television[edit]

Year Actress Role Film
2013 Penelope Keith Lady Catherine de Bourgh Death Comes to Pemberley
2008 Lindsay Duncan Catherine De Bourgh Lost in Austen
1995 Barbara Leigh-Hunt Lady Catherine De Bourg Pride and Prejudice
1980 Judy Parfitt Lady Catherine De Bourg Pride and Prejudice
1967 Sylvia Coleridge Catherine De Bourgh Pride and Prejudice
1961 Loudi Nijhoff Lady Catherine De Bourg De vier dochters Bennet
1958 Phyllis Neilson-Terry Lady Catherine De Bourg Pride and Prejudice
1952 Helen Haye Lady Catherine De Bourg Pride and Prejudice
1938 Dorothy Green Lady Catherine De Bourg Pride and Prejudice

References[edit]

  1. ^ Todd, Janet (2006). The Cambridge introduction to Jane Austen. Cambridge (UK): Cambridge University Press. pp. 67–68. ISBN 0-521-85806-2. 
  2. ^ Austen, Jane (1965). Pride and prejudice (3rd ed.). London: Oxford University Press. p. 62. ISBN 0-19-254702-X. 
  3. ^ Austen, Jane (1965). Pride and prejudice (3rd ed.). London: Oxford University Press. p. 87. ISBN 0-19-254702-X. 
  4. ^ Austen, Jane (1965). Pride and prejudice (3rd ed.). London: Oxford University Press. p. 388. ISBN 0-19-254702-X. 
  5. ^ Austen, Jane (1965). Pride and prejudice (3rd ed.). London: Oxford University Press. p. 105. ISBN 0-19-254702-X. 
  6. ^ Austen, Jane (1965). Pride and prejudice (3rd ed.). London: Oxford University Press. pp. 164–166. ISBN 0-19-254702-X. 
  7. ^ Austen, Jane (1965). Pride and prejudice (3rd ed.). London: Oxford University Press. p. 173. ISBN 0-19-254702-X. 
  8. ^ Austen, Jane (1965). Pride and prejudice (3rd ed.). London: Oxford University Press. p. 176. ISBN 0-19-254702-X. 
  9. ^ Austen, Jane (1965). Pride and prejudice (3rd ed.). London: Oxford University Press. pp. 62–63. ISBN 0-19-254702-X. 
  10. ^ Austen, Jane (1965). Pride and prejudice (3rd ed.). London: Oxford University Press. p. 70. ISBN 0-19-254702-X. 
  11. ^ Austen, Jane (1965). Pride and prejudice (3rd ed.). London: Oxford University Press. p. 74. ISBN 0-19-254702-X. 
  12. ^ a b Austen, Jane (1965). Pride and prejudice (3rd ed.). London: Oxford University Press. p. 83. ISBN 0-19-254702-X. 
  13. ^ a b Austen, Jane (1965). Pride and prejudice (3rd ed.). London: Oxford University Press. p. 106. ISBN 0-19-254702-X. 
  14. ^ a b Austen, Jane (1965). Pride and prejudice (3rd ed.). London: Oxford University Press. p. 157. ISBN 0-19-254702-X. 
  15. ^ Austen, Jane (1965). Pride and prejudice (3rd ed.). London: Oxford University Press. p. 158. ISBN 0-19-254702-X. 
  16. ^ Austen, Jane (1965). Pride and prejudice (3rd ed.). London: Oxford University Press. p. 15. ISBN 0-19-254702-X. 
  17. ^ Austen, Jane (1965). Pride and prejudice (3rd ed.). London: Oxford University Press. p. 161. ISBN 0-19-254702-X. 
  18. ^ Austen, Jane (1965). Pride and prejudice (3rd ed.). London: Oxford University Press. p. 162. ISBN 0-19-254702-X. 
  19. ^ Austen, Jane (1965). Pride and prejudice (3rd ed.). London: Oxford University Press. p. 163. ISBN 0-19-254702-X. 
  20. ^ a b Austen, Jane (1965). Pride and prejudice (3rd ed.). London: Oxford University Press. p. 166. ISBN 0-19-254702-X. 
  21. ^ Austen, Jane (1965). Pride and prejudice (3rd ed.). London: Oxford University Press. p. 170. ISBN 0-19-254702-X. 
  22. ^ Austen, Jane (1965). Pride and prejudice (3rd ed.). London: Oxford University Press. p. 172. ISBN 0-19-254702-X. 
  23. ^ Austen, Jane (1965). Pride and prejudice (3rd ed.). London: Oxford University Press. p. 174. ISBN 0-19-254702-X. 
  24. ^ Todd, Janet (2006). The Cambridge introduction to Jane Austen. Cambridge (UK): Cambridge University Press. p. 174. ISBN 0-521-85806-2. 
  25. ^ Austen, Jane (1965). Pride and prejudice (3rd ed.). London: Oxford University Press. p. 178. ISBN 0-19-254702-X. 
  26. ^ Austen, Jane (1965). Pride and prejudice (3rd ed.). London: Oxford University Press. p. 187. ISBN 0-19-254702-X.