Lady Catherine de Bourgh

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Lady Catherine de Bourgh
Jane Austen character
Lady Catherine de Bourg.jpg
In-universe information
GenderFemale
SpouseSir Lewis de Bourgh (deceased)
ChildrenAnne de Bourgh
Relatives
  • Unnamed Earl (brother)
  • Lady Anne Darcy (sister; deceased)
  • Colonel Fitzwilliam (nephew)
  • Fitzwilliam Darcy (nephew)
  • Georgiana Darcy (niece)
  • Old Mr Darcy (brother-in-law)
  • Elizabeth Bennet (niece-in-law)
HomeRosings Park, in the village of Rosings, town of Hunsford, Kent

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

Family[edit]

Lady Catherine was the sister of Lady Anne Darcy, mother of Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy and Georgiana Darcy. The sisters were the daughters of an earl and their brother is the sitting earl during the events of the novel. Thus she and her sister are always styled as Lady Catherine and Lady Anne, regardless of marriage.

Lady Catherine is the widow of Sir Lewis de Bourgh.[2] If she were not noble, she would be styled as Lady de Bourgh, since her husband was a knight. The couple had a single daughter, Anne de Bourgh.[3] Lady Catherine desired to marry her daughter to Mr. Darcy.

At the end of the novel, Lady Catherine becomes the aunt-in-law of Elizabeth Bennet after Elizabeth marries Mr. Darcy.[4] She considers that Mr. Darcy is marrying someone much below him.

Rosings Park[edit]

Lady Catherine and Elizabeth in the more simple Hertfordshire by C. E. Brock, 1895

Rosings is the residence of Lady Catherine de Bourgh as well as her daughter Anne de Bourgh. It is noted many times within the novel as being a luxurious house with many fine fittings. One such feature is a chimney piece in the second drawing room that is worth 8oo pounds as Mr.Collins so proudly states. The stateliness and grandeur of Rosings Park underline the side of Mr. Darcy's background that impresses Elizabeth, although she refuses to be overawed by it.

Depictions in film and television[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Actress Role Film
1940 Edna May Oliver Lady Catherine de Bourgh Pride and Prejudice
2004 Marsha Mason Catherine Darcy Bride and Prejudice
2005 Judi Dench Lady Catherine de Bourg Pride and Prejudice
2011 Cynthia Sharp Mrs. de Bourgh A Modern Pride and Prejudice
2016 Lena Headey Lady Catherine de Bourgh Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Television[edit]

Year Actress Role Film
1938 Dorothy Green Lady Catherine de Bourgh Pride and Prejudice
1952 Helen Haye Lady Catherine de Bourgh Pride and Prejudice
1958 Phyllis Neilson-Terry Lady Catherine de Bourgh Pride and Prejudice
1961 Loudi Nijhoff Lady Catherine de Bourgh De vier dochters Bennet
1967 Sylvia Coleridge Lady Catherine de Bourgh Pride and Prejudice
1980 Judy Parfitt Lady Catherine de Bourgh Pride and Prejudice
1995 Barbara Leigh-Hunt Lady Catherine de Bourgh Pride and Prejudice
2008 Lindsay Duncan Lady Catherine de Bourgh Lost in Austen
2013 Penelope Keith Lady Catherine de Bourgh Death Comes to Pemberley
2018 Natália do Vale Lady Margareth Orgulho e Paixão

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.