Saturday, May 12, 2012

Jane Austen Mothers Throwdown!

With Mother's Day fast approaching I thought it might be interesting to talk about mothers from classic literature.
Among the amazing characters Jane Austen created are mothers and mother figures that are a very important part of the heroines lives. Some mothers are silly, some are sensible, some give good advice and some give bad, but whatever the circumstance these mothers love the heroines in their own special way.   

Take a look at what Jane Austen says about these mothers and vote for your favorite!

Jane & Elizabeth Bennet's mother: "Mr. Bennet was so odd a mixture of quick parts, sarcastic humour, reserve, and caprice, that the experience of three-and-twenty years had been insufficient to make his wife understand his character. Her mind was less difficult to develope. She was a woman of mean understanding, little information, and uncertain temper. When she was discontented she fancied herself nervous. The business of her life was to get her daughters married; its solace was visiting and news." - Pride and Prejudice

Elinor & Marianne Dashwood's mother: "Elinor saw, with concern, the excess of her sister's sensibility; but by Mrs. Dashwood it was valued and cherished. They encouraged each other now in the violence of their affliction. The agony of grief which overpowered them at first, was voluntarily renewed, was sought for, was created again and again. They gave themselves up wholly to their sorrow, seeking increase of wretchedness in every reflection that could afford it, and resolved against ever admitting consolation in future." - Sense and Sensibility

Fanny Price's mother & Lady Bertram: "Mrs. Price seemed rather surprised that a girl should be fixed on, when she had so many fine boys, but accepted the offer most thankfully, assuring them of her daughter’s being a very well–disposed, good–humoured girl, and trusting they would never have cause to throw her off. She spoke of her farther as somewhat delicate and puny, but was sanguine in the hope of her being materially better for change of air. Poor woman! she probably thought change of air might agree with many of her children."
"Lady Bertram did not go into public with her daughters. She was too indolent even to accept a mother’s gratification in witnessing their success and enjoyment at the expense of any personal trouble, and the charge was made over to her sister... Fanny had no share in the festivities of the season; but she enjoyed being avowedly useful as her aunt’s companion when they called away the rest of the family...she naturally became everything to Lady Bertram during the night of a ball or a party. She talked to her, listened to her, read to her; and the tranquillity of such evenings, her perfect security in such a tete–a–tete from any sound of unkindness, was unspeakably welcome to a mind which had seldom known a pause in its alarms or embarrassments." - Mansfield Park

Anne Elliot's mother and Lady Russell: "Lady Elliot had been an excellent woman, sensible and amiable; whose judgment and conduct, if they might be pardoned the youthful infatuation which made her Lady Elliot, had never required indulgence afterwards. ...and though not the very happiest being in the world herself, had found enough in her duties, her friends, and her children, to attach her to life, and make it no matter of indifference to her when she was called on to quit them. Three girls, the two eldest sixteen and fourteen, was an awful legacy for a mother to bequeath, an awful charge rather, to confide to the authority and guidance of a conceited, silly father. She had, however, one very intimate friend -- a sensible, deserving woman -- who had been brought, by strong attachment to herself, to settle close by her, in the village of Kellynch; and on her kindness and advice Lady Elliot mainly relied for the best help and maintenance of the good principles and instruction which she had been anxiously giving her daughters."
"To Lady Russell, indeed, she [Anne] was a most dear and highly valued god-daughter, favourite, and friend. Lady Russell loved them all, but it was only in Anne that she could fancy the mother to revive again." - Persuasion

Catherine Morland's mother: "Her mother was a woman of useful plain sense, with a good temper, and, what is more remarkable, with a good constitution. She had three sons before Catherine was born; and instead of dying in bringing the latter into the world, as anybody might expect, she still lived on — lived to have six children more — to see them growing up around her, and to enjoy excellent health herself. A family of ten children will be always called a fine family, where there are heads and arms and legs enough for the number..." - Northanger Abbey

Emma Woodhouse's mother & Mrs. Weston: "Her mother had died too long ago for her to have more than an indistinct remembrance of her caresses, and her place had been supplied by an excellent woman as governess, who had fallen little short of a mother in affection.  Sixteen years had Miss Taylor been in Mr. Woodhouse's family, less as a governess than a friend, very fond of both daughters, but particularly of Emma. Between them it was more the intimacy of sisters. Even before Miss Taylor had ceased to hold the nominal office of governess, the mildness of her temper had hardly allowed her to impose any restraint; and the shadow of authority being now long passed away, they had been living together as friend and friend very mutually attached, and Emma doing just what she liked; highly esteeming Miss Taylor's judgment, but directed chiefly by her own." - Emma

So yes, this weeks game is a Throwdown! I'll be out of town this weekend so I'm leaving the comments open for ya'll to discuss your favorite Austen mothers!

Which Jane Austen mother did you vote for? Why is she your favorite?


Net Movie Blogger said...

I tried to vote for Mrs Bennet - however it told me I had already voted. Oh well - just a computer glich I'm sure - for noone would have it in for Mrs. Bennet, would they?

Anyway, I can't help from liking her - she's just so interesting!

However, I must say... she is nothing like my Precious Momma - in which I'm very glad!

Maria Grazia said...

I. Wouldn't want any of them as my mum but Mrs Bennet is an incredible character. Brilliantly written.

Marissa said...

I shall vote for Mrs Dashwood for she is such a sweet and loving mother. I almost voted for Mrs Bennet because shes SO Interesting as Net Movie Blogger said. Ha Ha. Have a great day. And GOD BLESS

Marissa Kathryn

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