Chapters 28 to 30 – Mrs. Collins
Mrs. Collins (Charlotte) and Collins, give a warm
welcome to Elizabeth, Sir William and Maria. They are keen to give them a conducted tour of the house and gardens.
Lady Catherine De Bourgh invites them to dine at her residence, Rosings.
All the party is in awe of Lady Catherine and her surroundings except Elizabeth, who is merely curious. Lady Catherine keeps herself abreast of the goings-on in her parish, and also the affairs of those she comes into contact with, and she prides herself in being able to give advice freely. She soon turns her attention to Elizabeth wishing to know the most personal details concerning her, but Elizabeth refuses to be too forthcoming, which affronts Lady Catherine.
Sir William returns home leaving Elizabeth to spend her time walking in the
picturesque countryside. They dine on a regular basis at Rosings.
The company is expanded by the arrival of Darcy and his cousin Colonel
Fitzwilliam. Elizabeth is impressed with Colonel Fitzwilliam, regarding him as a perfect gentleman. Darcy remains reserved.
Charlotte arrives home and notices Elizabeth and Darcy in close
conversation, and wonders if Darcy has affection for Elizabeth.
Elizabeth is forced to confess that her friend,
Charlotte, may not have been totally unwise in accepting Collins’ proposal. She seems to have settled well in her new home, and just as Mr. Bennett uses his library as a retreat, Charlotte does the same with
her sitting room. Collins is very respectful towards his wife, and allows her some space. It is clear there is no love between the couple, but the marriage itself clearly provides them both with certain
The reader is already aware of the nature of the Bennett’s’ marriage, and
Austen now illustrates a different type of marriage between Charlotte and Collins.
At present, Charlotte is very respectful of her husband unlike Mr. Bennett’s
treatment of his wife, but give it time, they have only been married a short while.