Supposing, at the end of Persuasion, Lady Russell decided to find a wife for Sir Walter Elliot, and selected for him the most desperate single woman of her acquaintance? I hinted at such a thing at the end of Much Ado About Persuasion, and this is how I imagine it might go.

From Caroline Bingley to Mrs. Jane Bingley

My Dearest Jane,

I do hope you and my brother continue as well as ever, and of course your darling baby. I suppose she is much grown since I was there last, is she not? No doubt she still has the eyes of my dear brother. I may say that the Bingley countenance is one that will serve her well. If she has Charles’ looks and your sweet temper, my dear Jane, then she will be incomparable!

You are very kind to invite me to come to you next month, but I think I will linger here in Bath with the Hursts a little while longer. Mr. Hurst has a wide circle of acquaintance, and we find ourselves tolerably amused by the plays and assemblies. We do not have the most fashionable address, I am sorry to say, but it has made less difference to our consequence than I thought it would. At least it has not seemed to matter much to— Well, to Someone. I shall not say his name to you, for I cannot abide females who tell the whole of their affairs to all their acquaintance. I consider it the height of vulgarity, and as you know, I am never vulgar. I will only tell you that I met him at the assembly rooms here in Bath, through the agency of a certain Lady Russell. She is nothing in herself—the widow only of a knight—but very elegant and connected in some way to my baronet.

I suppose I should not say my baronet, for he has not yet spoken, but the Signs are Promising. He is very handsome, although I cannot, with perfect truth, call him young. Still, his appearance is such that I am looked upon with jealousy when we are in conversation together. His estate is in Somerset—a beautiful spot from all he tells me. Did you know, dear Jane, that I have always longed to live in Somerset? I do not know why. Perhaps it is something about the name of the county. Do you not think there is a hint of romance about the idea of Somerset? I always have. Even more romantic is the name of his estate: Kellynch. I do not think I could ally myself to a man, be he ever so wealthy, if his estate was called something dreadful.

Do you remember my yellow silk gown? The one with the lace on the sleeves? It is no matter if you do not, only it was the gown I wore to dinner at Laura Place a few days ago. When we arrived, the wretched servant announced our names as “Mr. and Mrs. Hurst and Miss Brinkley”! But before the mistake could be corrected, the baronet bowed to me and said, “No, no, it is a sunbeam straight from the celestial realms!” Was that not pretty of him?  I said, “Oh, Sir Walter, I must protest!” but I could not but be pleased, of course.

I do think my chances with him are fair, as I have learned that he is a widower with only daughters, and that his estate is entailed to a male relative. Would he not wish, if he could, to marry again and have a son and so leave the estate to his child? I hope I may contrive, in the next week or so, to hint to him that I dote upon children and feel myself destined to be the mother of several sons. Of course I shall do no more than hint at such things—you know how I despise such crude tactics. I should not think myself capable of becoming the next Lady Elliot if I could not manage better than that!

Well, my dear Jane, I must close this letter. I am sorry not to give you more particulars of my affairs, but I hope I am not so vulgar as to prattle on about such things.

Give my love to Charles, if you will, and to my little niece. I may perhaps visit you in a few months’ time, or you might visit me … in Somerset!

With much affection,


8 responses to “A Letter from Caroline Bingley”

  1. Glynis Avatar

    Oh my, those two definitely deserve each other! I do hope it comes to pass as that will no doubt keep Caroline away from Charles and Jane and definitely away from Pemberley!

    1. Barbara Cornthwaite Avatar

      Oh yes! Of course then Anne Wentworth will have to deal with her … but she could always take to the seas with her dear captain! 🙂

      1. Susan Kaye Avatar
        Susan Kaye

        Anne will have no trouble with Caroline Bingley as a step-mama. And she will give the Wentworths something to discuss over dinner. No, Elizabeth is going to be an issue–and a fun one, I think. And to see Caro when she first meets Mary … But the biggest question is: Will she acquiesce and use Gowland’s in the spring?

      2. Barbara Cornthwaite Avatar

        I would love to see her stand her ground against the use of Gowlands!

  2. Susan Kaye Avatar
    Susan Kaye

    Anne will be whisked off to unreachable locales. No, it is the tussle of Caroline and Elizabeth I wish to see. Oh, and to be a fly on the wall when first she meets Mary AND the Musgroves!!

    1. Renee Avatar

      Have you read Prideful & Persuaded? It covers this very marriage and shows how Caroline likes the family (not so much!)

  3. Susan Kaye Avatar
    Susan Kaye

    WordPress hates me!

  4. cindie snyder Avatar
    cindie snyder

    I like the letter I just wonder how sincere Caroline is!lol We all know how she can be.

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