Sunday, May 12, 2013

The ten best fictional mothers

In 2011 the Observer came up with a list of the ten best fictional mothers, including:
Mrs Bennet
Pride and Prejudice

Garrulous and excitable, Jane Austen’s Mrs Bennet is a masterclass in comic characterisation. Driven by the desire to arrange a good marriage for each of her daughters, she has little sense of social tact and manages to scare most potential suitors away. Austen paints her as “a woman of mean understanding, little information and uncertain temper”, but for all her flaws it is hard not to have a soft spot for Mrs Bennet ... and her conviction that all her daughters deserve the best.
Read about the other mothers on the list.

Pride and Prejudice also appears on Paula Byrne's list of the ten best Jane Austen characters, Robert McCrum's list of the top ten opening lines of novels in the English language, a top ten list of literary lessons in love, Simon Mason's top ten list of fictional families, Cathy Cassidy's top ten list of stories about sisters, Paul Murray's top ten list of wicked clerics, John Mullan's lists of ten of the best housekeepers in fiction, ten great novels with terrible original titles, and ten of the best visits to Brighton in literature, Luke Leitch's top ten list of the most successful literary sequels ever, and is one of the top ten works of literature according to Norman Mailer. Richard Price has never read it, but it is the book Mary Gordon cares most about sharing with her children.

The Page 99 Test: Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.

--Marshal Zeringue