Who is Caroline Bingley and Why Would the Colonel Love Her?

Who is Caroline Bingley and Why Would the Colonel Love Her?

Into every story a little research must fall.

Where have you heard that before? 😀 Yes, I am going there again, but this time I am not looking at outside sources, although I could. I did look up information on Christmas in the Regency Era and the titles of a few different pieces of literature for my characters to read as well as some information on shopping while writing my upcoming release, but I don’t want to talk about any of that today. Today, I want to go back to the source — Pride and Prejudice. (Grab a cup of something and settle in, this one’s going to be on the longish side.)

Part of creating a Pride and Prejudice inspired story such as One Winter’s Eve is understanding both where you are going to deviate from canon and who the characters are.  Then you must decide what changes or variations you are going to make from the original.

So let’s begin by discussing where in Pride and Prejudice this story stops following Miss Austen’s plot and begins to follow Leenie’s plot.  

To answer this, you must know that One Winter’s Eve is the sequel to Two Days Before Christmas, so we must look at that story to find the information we seek.

“Mr. Bingley,” Georgiana said in greeting. “I do apologize that you must once again be satisfied with seeing only me, but my brother has just returned from the country and is washing away the remnants of his travel.” She motioned for him to be seated.

Bingley sat down heavily in a chair, his arms crossed and a scowl on his face. “I know Darcy has returned since my sisters have also returned. What I wish to know is why he has returned.”

Georgiana took a seat near him. “I would also like to know that,” she said as she smoothed her skirts and folded her hands in her lap.

“Did he not say?” Bingley asked in surprise.

Georgiana shook her head. “He seemed determined to avoid giving me any information at all.”

Two Days Before Christmas begins on the day Darcy and friends arrive back in town, which, by the way, does not sit well with Bingley or Georgiana. This information means that events of Two Days Before Christmas and subsequently those of One Winter’s Eve begin to deviate from the original pretty early in Miss Austen’s plot.  

So we have a set deviation point…shortly after the Netherfield Ball.

Now, let’s move on to the main characters I used for this story.  If you read the title to this post, you know of which two characters I speak — Caroline Bingley and Colonel Fitzwilliam.  The character I wish to spend some time talking about in this post is Caroline — the girl that many love to hate. 🙂  

For fun, I asked for descriptions, in one sentence or less, of Caroline at the time of her departure from Netherfield from members of the Austen Author’s Facebook Group. I gathered those responses together into a document, deleted some extraneous words (and anything that was longer than one sentence 😉 restrictions are restrictions 🙂 ), and after pasting them into a Google Doc used a Word Cloud builder to create the two different styles of graphics below.  You can see that one word was predominate — insecure. 

Thank you to everyone who left their thoughts. I have drawn three names from the participants (because there were so many!) and will be sending them a copy of One Winter’s Eve. Look at the end of this post for those names and any instructions for claiming your prize. (There’s also a giveaway attached to this post so be looking for that as well.) 

 

 

Insecure, the word that dominates both graphics, matches-up well with where I was coming from when I developed Caroline’s character in this book.  

But before we get to anything about Caroline in my book, let’s look at a few things Miss Austen told us about Caroline. There is not enough room here to quote everything from the first portion of Pride and Prejudice about Caroline Bingley, so I am going to try to just hit a few of the highlights.

The following is from when we are introduced to the Bingley sisters in a conversation between Jane and Elizabeth after the assembly.

According to Jane, the Bingley sisters are not equal to their brother in manners…

“But they are very pleasing women when you converse with them. Miss Bingley is to live with her brother and keep his house; and I am much mistaken if we shall not find a very charming neighbour in her.”

Elizabeth, on the other hand, is not as accepting of the Bingley sisters and is “very little disposed to approve them.”  The text then goes on to say the following (and remember, this is still in Elizabeth’s POV, and she is not inclined to like them. 🙂 )

“They were in fact very fine ladies, not deficient in good humour when they were pleased, nor in the power of being agreeable where they chose it; but proud and conceited. They were rather handsome, had been educated in one of the first private seminaries in town, had a fortune of twenty thousand pounds, were in the habit of spending more than they ought, and of associating with people of rank; and were therefore in every respect entitled to think well of themselves, and meanly of others. They were of a respectable family in the north of England; a circumstance more deeply impressed on their memories than that their brother’s fortune and their own had been acquired by trade.”

Based on those two extracts, I believe we can say the following about Caroline (I included some of the thoughts that I had when contemplating this information to give you a little peek at a part of my writing process):

She is arrogant. (So were several others in P&P — including Darcy)

She can be pleasant when she chooses to be. (Well, I suppose that could be said of just about anyone, including Darcy and Elizabeth — both of them had a tendency to be pleasant and disagreeable in varying circumstances.)

She is pretty. (There’s no mention there of fashion sense — I think being well-educated in town would have probably helped her be fashionable, although I have used the trope of her being not so good with fashion in at least one story, His Inconvenient Choice, because it helped me give Kitty a reason to offer to help her.)

She is well-educated. (And she would know more about the “real” world than Elizabeth probably did. She knew how a lady of the ton was supposed to act — this made me think about how ladies were often expected to agree with their gentlemen and that put a new perspective on the conversation about accomplished ladies for me. I know I have used it as an “oh, look how dumb” example for Caroline, but what if she was flip-flopping just because she knew it was what was expected of a lady?)

She has a fortune. (The Bingleys were part of the nouveua riche, people who had made their fortune in trade but were now becoming gentry. With her money, she’s not a bad catch for a man who wishes to bolster his estate or a second son who needs funds to pursue the life he wishes. A gentleman would not lose his status by marrying her. She would gain his. Of course, she would want to gain the highest status she could through marriage — not so different from most ladies in that day.)

She liked to spend money and was not so good at watching her budget. (This may have been just a “normal” character flaw or might be due to her desire to “fit in” with the people of rank with whom she kept company.)

She was accustomed to being in company with people of rank, which caused her to think well of herself and poorly of others. (She’s used to being part of the “cool group.” Also note it says people of rank, which is plural, so this means not just Darcy.)

She is a member of a respected family and, in her mind, this respect given to her family overshadows the fact that her family’s fortune comes from trade. She feels she has the right to be arrogant. (Being from a highly respected family in an area led to some issues for a couple of our heroines in Jane Austen’s novels, Emma and Elizabeth, both in different ways show their own pride due to their position in a neighbourhood. Yes, the Bingleys were not landowners, but I still think we can draw some human nature sort of conclusions.)

These descriptions and my thoughts as I considered them are the basis for the Caroline I began to develop. But I didn’t just stop there. I also took into consideration some of her actions up to when she left Netherfield, including —

the fact that she had tried to separate Jane and Bingley

the fact that she wanted to have some sort of married connection to the Darcys either through herself or Georgiana

the fact that she attempted to warn Elizabeth away from Wickham

the fact that she planned a successful ball

Based on all of that, I set out to delve into Caroline’s possible thoughts and feelings and to round her out and make her into a sympathetic character. I had to deal with her imperfections. I did not want to remove them nor did I want to exaggerate them and create a caricature of Caroline. I wanted a flawed heroine in need of improvement — improvements that the hero would (and does) help her make. Is she perfect at the end of the story? No. She’s still as real as she was at the beginning, but she has learned and grown and become a better person.

Now, the title does promise I will tell you why Colonel Fitzwilliam would like Caroline Bingley. Well, I did mention she’s pretty, right? 🙂 The following excerpt might help you understand the colonel in part but not in full — I can’t tell you all, now, can I? There have to be some delicious little tidbits to discover when you read the book. (Besides, the colonel in this excerpt is just as befuddled as to why he likes Caroline as you are. 🙂 )

“Now, about Miss Bingley.”

Richard’s brows furrowed. “What about her?”

“It is unlike you to spend any amount of time with her. In fact, you usually attempt to avoid her at all costs.”

“There have been few others around.”

Darcy’s brow rose. Skepticism suffused his face.

Richard shrugged. “I needed something with which to occupy my time. So, I have been attempting to understand her.”

Skepticism changed to amusement as Darcy shook his head.

“It is not my fault that your betrothed put the notion in my mind.” He folded his arms and leaned back in his chair. “I think I have figured her out — Miss Bingley that is.”

“You have?”

Richard nodded. “I have. She wants improvement in a few areas, so I have set myself to the task.”

“And this is that with which you have decided to occupy yourself? Improving Caroline Bingley?”

Richard chuckled. “Whether she wishes it or not.”

“We will go riding tomorrow,” Darcy said decisively. “You should not torment our host’s sister even if that sister is Caroline.”

“I am not tormenting her,” Richard scoffed. “I am acknowledging her proficiencies much to her bemusement.” And he was enjoying it. Caroline’s look of confusion when he complimented her hair this morning was delightful. But the combs she wore did, in fact, match the colour of her eyes. He was not concocting frivolous flattery. He was not the sort to do that. He was only pointing out her worth so that she could see it. At least, that is what he hoped he was doing. “She is not so bad actually.”

“Are you smitten with her?”

“No,” Richard said, turning his eyes away from his cousin and toward the fire. “I am not ready to marry.” If he were, he might allow his appreciation of her figure and his enjoyment in causing her to become flustered to sway his heart in her direction. However, as it was, he was in no position to be smitten with anyone.

“But if you were ready to marry?”

Richard shrugged. “She has a fortune. Not so large as I might like, but not insignificant. And she is tolerable when she is not cross.” And if he were honest, which he would not be with his cousin just yet, at least, not about this, Caroline was rather more than tolerable when she was cross at him. He liked the way she crossed her arm and narrowed her eyes as she glared at him. She also tended to step much closer to him than was entirely proper when she was put out. Even without such an admission, Darcy’s mouth had dropped open. “She is pretty.”

“So, you like her?”

“I do not dislike her, and you may thank your lovely Miss Elizabeth for that.”

Darcy shook his head. “You do not dislike Caroline Bingley?”

“That is what I said.”

“Why?”

Richard shrugged. “I’ll be hanged if I know.” He rose, and Darcy followed suit. “We’ll ride before breakfast?”

Darcy nodded. “I prefer it.”

“As do I.” Richard opened the door for his cousin. “Until the morning,” he said as Darcy exited. Then, he leaned against the door frame watching his cousin shake his head and imagined him muttering as he made his way to his room.

“Ah, Miss Bingley,” Richard said as he turned his head to see who was walking so lightly on the carpet behind him. “Have a pleasant night.” He pushed off of the wall and gave her a nod before turning to close his door. He had his door nearly shut before a thought occurred to him.

“Miss Bingley,” he said as he pulled his door open once again.

“Yes.”

“I…you…” he stammered. She had pulled those two combs out of her hair, and it was spilling down her back in soft amber waves. “Your hair,” he said, finally managing to put two words together.

She blushed. “I did not expect to encounter anyone.” She gathered her tempting tresses in her hand and began twisting them.

“No, no. I did not mean to say it was improper.” Somehow he had left the open door of his room behind and was now standing near enough to her that he could touch those flowing locks if she were not winding them up. “It is beautiful,” he whispered. “Magnificent.” He stopped her hands and pulled them away from their work so that her hair would once again tumble down her back.

“Did you want something?” She made no move to pull her hands free from his hold.

Richard’s brows drew together. There had been a reason he had called to her; now what was it? He had just been thinking about Darcy and — ah, that was it! “Do you ride?”

The colonel has been studying Caroline and learning about her. However, he has not quite realized at this moment in the story that he is liking what he is discovering. He just knows he is very drawn to her. I hope you take the same care as the colonel and study Caroline along with him by reading One Winter’s Eve once it is available on January 25, 2018. 

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Three very lucky readers will have an opportunity to read One Winter’s Eve before its release day because they responded to my plea for help on the Austen Authors’ Facebook Group page.  If Allison Peterson, Nancy Tidona, and Elin Eriksen would in the next 72 hours, go to Leenie Brown’s Facebook Page and send me a message, I will reply with a link to where you can download a copy of One Winter’s Eve

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The rest of you who are reading can be entered to win an ebook copy of One Winter’s Eve by commenting on this post.

Contest ends January 21, 2018, at 11:59 PM EST.

~*~*~

Leenie B Books

KOBO      AMAZON      NOOK      IBOOKS      MAILING LIST     PATREON

 

63 Responses to Who is Caroline Bingley and Why Would the Colonel Love Her?

  1. Rather off-topic, but when I first read the headline, I was reminded of the episode of the Mary Tyler Moore Show when meek, gentle Georgette is asked if she truly loves the arrogant and egotistical Ted Baxter, and Georgette replies, “Somebody has to.”

  2. I can’t wait to know how the story progresses. Must I read Two Days Before Christmas before reading this book, Leenie? I think I read the first part of the excerpt before but I cannot recall when.

    • This story picks up where the last one left off and does assume the reader knows what occurred in book one as there are some references to that story. Darcy and Elizabeth are already together in this story and there is no rehashing of how that happens so you might wonder how that came about. (Darcy and Elizabeth are side characters in this story — Darcy is there more than Elizabeth because he is Richard’s cousin and living at Netherfield) Also, Georgiana in this story is perhaps different than one might expect, but her character was introduced and developed in the first book. That could also throw a reader off a bit if they are expecting a strictly canon version of Georgiana. So, I would say that it is best to have read Two Days Before Christmas to understand everything. However, if you can start from a place of realizing Darcy and Elizabeth are together and that Georgiana is not weak as well as realizing where Caroline is starting from and that the Colonel has been challenged by Elizabeth to reconsider her, then I would think you could read this one without the first one. I don’t know if that is helpful or not 🙂 To summarize: It’s best to read them together fro maximum enjoyment.

      I have shared excerpts on my blog while I was writing, and I have started posting this on Darcy and Lizzy (dot) com, so you might have read it there.

  3. Thanks for a really fascinating article. I am always intrigued by the ‘peripheral’ characters in any story and how they might tell it from their perspective (reaching its apotheosis in Jo Baker’s Longbourn). I also love the way you got others to contribute their estimation of Caroline in a sentence – what a good idea. JA was so brilliant that even the arrogant characters such as Caroline or Wickham are sufficiently well-rounded to bring out their vulnerability. And who among us doesn’t feel a pang for empathy for the thwarted Lady Catherine de Bourgh, mildewing away among her riches like Miss Havisham?
    Gabrielle Mullarkey

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the article. If there is one thing I might love more than anything when reading or writing, it is getting into the character’s head. I like to know what is making him/her who he/she is. I crave that connection. In fact, if a book does not make this connection for me, I will often pass on reading it. When writing stories such as One Winter’s Eve, I find it so very enjoyable to sit down with a character such as Caroline and try to figure out the possibilities of who she is based on the clues given to us by Austen. I tend to be addicted to happy endings and challenges, and perhaps I am a bit Jane Bennet like when it comes to writing my Austen-based stories because I so enjoy taking an “unlikable” or troublesome characters such as Caroline, Wickham, Lydia, Lady Catherine, and Henry Crawford (the ones I have attempted so far) and finding where the good might lie and discovering ways to provide them with the happiness they (justly) missed out on in Jane Austen’s work.

  4. This looks like a really fun book and I look forward to reading it! I love Richard as well as books that explore other sides to characters like Caroline so a combination of a book that shows Caroline in another light combined with Richard sounds great!

  5. Wow! Look at all these posts. I was shoveling snow and missed reading this. Whew!! I’ve read the Colonel/Caroline pairing before and grew to like it. With her personality and tendencies to demand her own way… she would need a man that was as strong of will as herself. It makes perfect sense that it need be our dear Colonel. She runs all over Charles and in order to respect her husband, it would need to be someone as strong of character and passion as herself. He would see her as a campaign to wage war against… a goal to accomplish… a hill to take. Their courtship would not be dull… nor would their marriage. I love seeing them go head to head as he uses all his command strategies and his abilities to manage recalcitrant recruits in wrangling Caroline into the woman she could be. This would be good for him as retirement from his military life would be difficult in a stale dull marriage. Life with Caroline would keep him on his toes.

    • I know! There are a lot of posts here! I thought Caroline would be less popular. LOL It’s nice to be wrong sometimes. Their relationship will not be boring, but it will be good. I think, at least as far as I have written them, that their personalities match up quite well. (but I’m biased 😉 ).

  6. I enjoyed reading this. I’ve read a few other stories fairly sympathetic to Caroline, at least AFTER Darcy and Elizabeth marry. It just dawned on me that the Bingleys may have been considered “Cits” or “mushrooms”, and Caroline may have been trying to overcome that.

  7. Oh this sounds like it’s going to be a fun ‘ride’! I enjoy having the secondary characters getting their time to shine. I also enjoy redemption stories and the digging deeper into their characters to determine what drives them and makes them act the way they do. Yes, I would agree that insecurity is Caroline’s biggest flaw. I enjoyed your Christmas story and was thrilled there was more to come. The Colonel is a favourite and having him look deeper into Caroline is proving an enticing lure to this seasoned soldier. Thank you!

    • She is proving to be quite a temptation to him! And he is about to realize that his strategy in regards to her is totally the wrong one if he really wants to not marry. 🙂 Poor man. Haha 😀

  8. I commented on JAFF based on your post, but having read this excerpt, I see the possibilities even further. Given the positive reinforcement the Colonel is showing to Caroline, it makes perfect sense that he can accomplish some necessary behavior modification. I agree that she is not so awful at this point in the story, so it makes sense to push her in a different direction. His being 2nd son of an Earl would still satisfy her ingrained snobbishness, while his good nature, honest compliments, and plain old sex appeal would go a long way towards improving her attitude and decision-making in the rest of the story. Sounds like a good read and I look forward to seeing it this month. I am new to fan fiction and have not read any of yours as yet, but noticed one or two on Kindle Unlimited, so can read them soon.

    • I just replied to your comment on JAFF on FB 🙂 After I hit the enter on that comment, I was thinking, the colonel is being the Mrs. Gardiner influence. He’s the catalyst that she needs to move in a positive direction. Sadly, I am not in Kindle Unlimited. However, as I know my pocketbook is not as deep as my desire to read and imagine others might have the same quandary, I do post all my stories on darcyandlizzy.com. I have posted the first four chapters over there so far. Two Days Before Christmas is completely posted over there — I mention this because One Winter’s Eve is a sequel to that story.

      • thanks for the info – I checked my Wish List and I see that I had added “Unraveling Mr. Darcy” and “With the Colonel’s Help”, but they did have dollar signs next to them, so may be out of my reach unless I find a print copy in a used book store later. I certainly don’t mind paying for books, but am such a voracious reader that I can only afford print if it is used and online if it is KU. I have a Habit that is as expensive as drugs! Anyway, I look forward to reading a complete story of yours and will try the darcyandlizzy site. I understood that you received a payment for books read on KU and that the volume of smaller payments from KU made up for the lower payment vs. direct purchase. This is all new to me and you have every right to charge for your creativity. I compliment you on your storytelling abilities and thank you for the help.

        • You can definitely find those stories on darcyandlizzy. I totally understand the not having money for every book thing. KU can be a good thing, but I have chosen to make my books available on more stores than Amazon. Amazon requires total exclusivity to be part of their KU program. And there are parts of the world Amazon does not reach, and living in Canada, I would like to support Kobo a Canadian company, so those reasons on top of thinking putting all your eggs in one shopping basket is not a wise business move are why I have opted to not use KU for my books. 🙂 Oh, I am not sure if you are aware or not, but I do a weekly story post on my blog leeniebrown.com — it is a complete WIP and posts at about 1000 or so words a week. Currently, that story features a non-redeemed Caroline. 🙂

  9. I like the idea of Caroline being redeemable. I even like it when Wickham, Lady C, and Mr. Collins change for the better. It’s nice that the Colonel is taking the time to look into why she is the way she is. It probably started out as a lark for him, but happened upon admirable qualities. She is Bingley’s sister after all. Why are the siblings’ viewpoint’s so different? Look forward to reading this Leenie.

    • I have tackled Wickham and Lady Catherine before, but I still haven’t attempted Collins. 🙂 The colonel’s perusal of Caroline’s finer qualities (other than her figure which he has admired for some time) did start just as a challenge and has morphed into more.

  10. Anybody who read my book CAROLINE will know that I heartily believe she is redeemable. I look forward to your story about Caroline and the Colonel. All your stories touch my heart in so many ways. Thank you.

  11. Loved the conversation between Darcy and Col. Fitzwilliam. So cute that he denies being romantically interested in her and Darcy being astonished that he has been trying to understand her and likes her. Can’t wait to find out how the Col. and Caroline’s relationship develops.

    • It’s a fun relationship, in my opinion, as there is a good bit of push and push back as well as desire that is not recognized for what it is until … well… there is no denying it. 😉 And then the decision to either accept it or run from it has to be made.

  12. In one way, Caroline and Darcy are alike. Before Darcy’s reformation he tended to think meanly of people not in his circle. Caroline does this as well. If Darcy could improve his attitude, I don’t see why Caroline couldn’t especially when she relaxes and is gains some confidence.

    • In the same way, I would say Caroline and Elizabeth are alike. Elizabeth is not always nice. She tells Jane she has liked many a stupider person. She is not supportive of Charlotte’s choice to marry Collins. She listens to gossip about Darcy and does not check her opinion of the man. It seems to be a bit of a theme in Pride and Prejudice. And I agree if Darcy could correct his attitude, there is no reason why Caroline, if presented with her faults and failings and guided appropriately, could not change her attitude as well.

  13. I always figured Caroline’s warning to E about Wickham was: 1 – an attempt to show E that she (Caroline) had intimate knowledge of Darcy’s life and E didn’t, and, 2 – that E wasn’t as smart as she thought she was and that Caroline was better than her for knowing more. It always just seemed like she was trying to prove something and to show up E.

    Insecurity affects all of us – we just show it in different ways.

    Another book for the TBR pile! (I’m really getting behind…)

    • Well, remember, when you get to that TBR pile, Leenie’s books tend to be quick reads. 😉 LOL I do agree with your thoughts on the warning of Elizabeth. Caroline was still trying to be superior to her rival — a rival who at that time did not think of herself as a rival AT. ALL. 🙂

      Georgiana actually says something about the pain of refusal being shown in different ways in Two Days Before Christmas. She herself kind of pulled in and allowed the pain to be felt, but she realizes that for some ladies that same pain might present itself in bitterness, anger, and meanness. It’s the same with insecurity. Some might try to be small and avoid notice while others actively try to prove they are better than people deem them to be.

  14. Sounds intriguing. The Col has been placed in a variety of roles in different variations. I have read about him marrying Elizabeth, being like Wickham to her, envying Darcy for marrying her, marrying one of the sisters and some have hinted at him taking a liking to Caroline. None have had him delving into her character and trying to improve and bring out better qualities in her. She does have her side of the story to share and the Col might be the one to help tell it and share more background information as to why she became the conceited lady Austen wrote about.

    • The colonel is such a versatile character to develop in so many ways as we don’t get a lot of information told to us directly about him, so he does tend to turn up in a variety of roles. I know I have paired him up with several different ladies — Kitty, Charlotte, Anne, and Mary Ellen(a character of my creation)– and I have hinted at him being paired with another lady in Oxford Cottage, and I do eventually one day want to delve into that colonel story. However, in all my pairings and using the colonel, I have used him as a good friend of Darcy’s and as a really great guy. I know I have read him as not nice, but I prefer him to be more hero than villain.

  15. This sounds intriguing. This is also more believable than pairing her with Wickham, as she knows what she is. In n a way a friendly colonel, the second son of an earl, who is used to mingling with people of all walks of life would serve to improve her. Her dowry would be nice for him.

    • Her dowry would be nice for him — of course, he is still a man without an estate, and Caroline desperately wants to be landed gentry, so there is that drawback. 🙂 However, that’s not the thing that holds her back in accepting that she loves him…but I’m not telling what that other thing is. 🙂

  16. Love this idea of redeeming Caroline. That she warns Elizabeth about Wickham has always confused me. She could have removed her rival for Darcy, but attempted to do the right thing.

    • Well, I’m not completely convinced that Caroline warned Elizabeth for the right reasons, but if she had kept her mouth closed or even encouraged Elizabeth toward Wickham she could have perhaps gotten rid of her rival. I think she was showing her knowledge (superior knowledge) and familiarity with Darcy to Elizabeth. I still think it shows she’s not “all evil, all the time.” She was a jealous, I-want-the-hot-guy-for-myself lady which is not an unusual character to find in any romance, is it? 😀

  17. I love the premise of Caroline and the Col. He has the right connections and is jovial and likes company. A MUCH better match then Darcy ever was, if she’d just get her nose out of joint. LOL I love this story Leenie. Leave me out of the drawing please as I’m a patron. 🙂

    • Thank you, Stephanie! I’m glad you liked the story, and Darcy never was a good match for Caroline. Their personalities would have never meshed well. Oh, you know what? My older sister put another challenging character bug in my ear yesterday during a late night FB chat. So now I have ideas about Collins running around in my head!

    • Yay! I surprised myself (again) by coming to like her as I wrote this story. I’m still going to use her as an unlikable character as well. Her jealousy and sharp tongue lend themselves well to being used for “evil” (mwahaha) but it was refreshing to take on this challenge and see her in a different light.

  18. I do appreciate Caroline improving. However, Colonel Fitzwilliam is my favorite secondary character. I have a hard time seeing her win him. I look forward to you convincing me!

  19. Having read stories where Lydia catches the Colonel then Caroline is not so bad, at least she is not silly and stupid, other words can describe her though. It is certainly a better option than the Colonel and Elizabeth or even Jane. I think I shall have to keep my mind open and just enjoy the story

    • An open mind is necessary when it comes to decrying a character — Elizabeth (or even Darcy) might be able to tell you more about how not being open minded can cause great trouble. LOL An open mind is also necessary to seeing a character in a new light that illuminates things that have not yet been revealed (because I made them up :D) I’m delighted that you have opted to just enjoy the story. 🙂 (And I totally agree — much better option than the Colonel and Elizabeth, much better 😉 )

  20. I don’t think that Darcy will be too encouraging to his cousin, and I would expect many caustic remarks aimed at Fitzwilliam. It will be interesting to see Colonel Fitzwilliam smitten with a woman, and does she realize it? Thank you for the giveaway.

    • You would be surprised. This is from another conversation the cousins have later in this chapter as they are out riding in the morning. This is Darcy speaking here.

      “I do not see what you see in her, but if Caroline Bingley is the lady who will bring you love and joy, then I will help you win her. Just tell me what you need, and it will be done.”

      Darcy has had his moment of self-evaluation regarding his behavior and love and all that in book 1. He cares for his cousin and wishes to see him happy even if it is with a woman that holds no appeal to Darcy. 🙂 And Darcy does have a little bit of a good time at Richard’s expense due to the poor colonel being smitten. No, at this time, Caroline does not know that Richard likes her. They have a developing friendship but that’s it as far as she understands. She’s not even sure about why she is drawn to him just yet.

  21. If Caroline can be redeemed, then Richard Fitzwilliam could use her income. However, I still think (at this time) that Caroline should be caught by Wickham. Richard is too good a man for Caroline.

    • Do you mean at this time as we see her in canon? Or at this time, as Richard is talking about her in the scene with Darcy? Either way, I would have to disagree but especially in One Winter’s Eve as I know what sorts of things the colonel has discovered about her and will discover about her. I could see her being developed into someone worthy of misery, but at this point in Pride and Prejudice, I think she’s still at that could go either way point. She’s jealous and would like to see Darcy away from her rival, but other than that and speaking meanly of her rival and family, she’s not done anything extreme. (She’s no Lucy Steele 😉 ) I think her most extreme nastiness in Pride and Prejudice was how she treated Jane while Jane was in town. That part hasn’t happened in my story.

        • Well, I think it is a reasonable explanation. LOL Of course, I am perhaps not the best unbiased judge of that. 🙂 An open mind is all I ask because I know Caroline is not an easy gal to love or even like. I started the journey for this story worried that I might not be able to like her, but I couldn’t deny the challenge. I do enjoy challenging characters like her. The writing process is always a great learning/growing time, which I also like.

    • I totally agree! It does seem quite a bit easier to find the bad in a person or situation instead of the good. It also takes more muscles to smile than frown they say. So finding the good and being a light instead of casting a shadow will take more effort, but the Colonel is not wimpy sort. 🙂 He’ll get the job done.

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