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Pride and Prejudice: Jane Austen
In Chapter 29 (Vol II, Ch VI), Elizabeth visits Rosings and meets Lady Catherine de
Bourgh for the first time.
When the ladies returned to the drawing room, there was little to be done but to hear
Lady Catherine talk, which she did without any intermission till coffee came in, delivering
her opinion on every subject in so decisive a manner as proved that she was not used
to have her judgement controverted. She enquired into Charlotte’s domestic concerns
familiarly and minutely, and gave her a great deal of advice, as to the management
of them all; told her how everything ought to be regulated in so small a family as
her’s, and instructed her as to the care of her cows and her poultry. Elizabeth found
that nothing was beneath this great Lady’s attention, which could furnish her with an
occasion of dictating to others. In the intervals of her discourse with Mrs. Collins, she
addressed a variety of questions to Maria and Elizabeth, but especially to the latter, of
whose connections she knew the least, and who she observed to Mrs. Collins, was a very
genteel, pretty kind of girl. She asked her at different times, how many sisters she had,
whether they were older or younger than herself, whether any of them were likely to be
married, whether they were handsome, where they had been educated, what carriage
her father kept, and what had been her mother’s maiden name? – Elizabeth felt all the
impertinence of her questions, but answered them very composedly. – Lady Catherine
“Your father’s estate is entailed on Mr. Collins, I think. For your sake,” turning to Charlotte,
“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,
“Oh! then – some time 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?”
“One of them does.”
“Why did you not all learn? – You ought all to have learned. The Miss Webbs all play, and
their father has not so good an income as your’s. – Do you draw?”
“No, not at all.”
“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.”
“My mother would have had no objection, but my father hates London.”
“Has your governess left you?”
“We never had any governess.”
“No governess! How was that possible? Five daughters brought up at home without
a governess! – I never heard of such a thing.”
Question 5 – Pride and Prejudice
5 (a) Explore how Austen presents Lady Catherine de Bourgh in this extract.
Give examples from the extract to support your ideas.
(b) In this extract, Lady Catherine de Bourgh has strong opinions.
Explain how strong opinions are explored elsewhere in the novel.
In your answer, you must consider:
• who has strong views or opinions
• the reasons for these strong opinions.
(Total for Question 5 = 40 marks)