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(s) 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 Todd, 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 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] Lady Catherine desired to marry her own daughter Anne to Mr. Darcy. She also considers that Mr. Darcy is marrying someone much below him.

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, since her husband was a knight.

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.

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 Bourgh 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

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.