Category Archives: On being a gentleman


Handsome is as handsome does.

Thought it would be fun to lighten things up with some images here.  (And wanted to try out the new Pinterest buttons I added. Join me over there!)

To be fair, this is not a saying Jane Austen came up with, but one that was in use already, and one she used jokingly in a letter to her sister about their neighbor, James Digweed.

Read about Finding a Good Man (and more) in The Jane Austen Guide to Life.

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Filed under Darcy, Images, Letters, Matthew Macfadyen, Men, On being a gentleman

Whatever he said . . .

Whatever he said, was said well; and whatever he did, done gracefully. Elizabeth went away with her head full of him.

Of Wickham

Pride and Prejudice, Vol. 1, Ch. 16

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Filed under Elizabeth Bennet, Love, On being a gentleman, Pride and Prejudice, Wickham

If he possibly can

Mr_bingley396_396x222“He is just what a young man ought to be,” said she [Jane], “sensible, good-humored, lively; and I never saw such happy manners!–so much ease, with such perfect good breeding!”

“He is also handsome,” replied Elizabeth, “which a young man ought likewise to be, if he possibly can.  His character is thereby complete.”

Lizzy and Jane on meeting Bingley
Pride & Prejudice, volume 1, chapter 4

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Filed under Elizabeth Bennet, Jane Bennet, Men, Mr. Bingley, On being a gentleman, Pride and Prejudice

Nobody brilliant

“A handsome young Man certainly, with quiet, gentlemanlike manners.–I set him down as sensible rather than Brilliant.–There is nobody Brilliant nowadays.”

letter to Cassandra, about John Plumptre, one of her niece Fanny’s love interests
September 23, 1813 [89]

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Filed under Austen family, Letters, Men, niece Fanny Knight, On being a gentleman

If he chooses…

“There is one thing, Emma, which a man can always do, if he chuses, and that is, his duty; not by maneuvering and finessing, but by vigour and resolution.”

Mr. Knightley, criticizing Frank Churchill for not visiting his father sooner
Emma, volume 1, chapter 18

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Sense will always have attractions

“’My protégé, as you call him, is a sensible man; and sense will always have attractions for me.  Yes, Marianne, even in a man between thirty and forty.  He has seen a great deal of the world; has been abroad; has read, and has a thinking mind. . . . I can only pronounce him to be a sensible man, well-bred, well informed, of gentle address, and I believe possessing an amiable heart.’”

Elinor comes to Colonel Brandon’s defense with Marianne and Willoughby
Sense & Sensibility, volume 1, chapter 10

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Filed under Col. Brandon, Elinor, Marianne, Men, On being a gentleman, Sense and Sensibility