Dear Peter,
I agree with all you say and imply. I think we are to believe she does come to realize she loves him. And he too does mellow and realize his own pride. But the "rational" also comes through in her recognition of the meaning of being "mistress of Pemberley."
And yes, Mr. Bennett, who is decent and intelligent and witty, finds himself married to a fool. Wickham, I think, is depicted as getting what he deserved; he is a cad.  But the difference remains that had either not married, and had Wickham had any principles or propriety, neither would have been without a way to live. Working-class men--who do not figure in Austen--may well have ended up as distressed, married or not. But gentlemen did not have to be governesses or "maiden" uncles, and no man was "fallen." Younger sons might have problems. Trollope is more harsh on those issues.

>>> Peter Dillane <[log in to unmask]>08/14/13 1:41 AM >>>
Thanks Nancy,
do you think Mr Bennett and Wickham have found themselves in a similar situation to the women? 
And while I grant you Elizabeth does have the good works of Darcy to justify her changed response to him I wonder how much she is " lucky or the right sort" and how much is more active than that.
Austen represents her as a robust intellect with a strong sense of propriety but Elizabeth quite astutely notes that to be mistress of Pemberley would be quite a thing at a point when Darcy is still morally repugnant to her.
----- Original Message -----
From: [log in to unmask] href="mailto:[log in to unmask]">Nancy Gish
To: [log in to unmask] href="mailto:[log in to unmask]">[log in to unmask]
Sent: Wednesday, August 14, 2013 12:11 PM
Subject: Re: OT Pride and Prejudice

Dear Pete,
But Charlotte did marry, even if she married a fool. The "universal" fact is really conditioned by the female need--in that society
--to find a husband or be doomed to various forms of misery: maiden aunt, governess, fallen woman. I think it is really an ironic remark about the assumptions of all marriageable young women that any available bachelor with enough to provide has to be made to do his duty and support a wife. So the sad lot is what is available, and Elizabeth is one of those women who either get lucky or are the right sort. Charlotte is quite happy to evade as much of her husband as she can because she has a proper place and role in society, and she makes the very best of it, given that she is neither beautiful nor rich nor socially clever in Elizabeth's way, and so cannot expect a romantic choice. It is a strangely sad and yet understandable and even rational choice. And "rational" is what Austen goes for even when her lucky heroines can have both.

>>> Peter Dillane <[log in to unmask]> 08/13/13 8:39 PM >>>
Thanks for the interesting reflection Carrol which I enjoyed. They are a sad
lot the men in this book. I wonder why more of the women don't take up
Charlotte Lucas' observation that she bears the solitude quite well

Cheers Pete

-----Original Message-----
From: T. S. Eliot Discussion forum. [mailto:[log in to unmask]]

On Behalf Of Carrol Cox

Sent: Wednesday, 14 August 2013 9:11 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: prose poetry--new topic

Darcy admits that he can only, really, _be_ Darcy as the husband of
Elizabeth. To
be himself, he had to be completed: he was indeed in want of a wife, a
particular one