To have just realised that Mr Collins got Mrs Collins in the family way.

(562 Posts)
squoosh Tue 19-Apr-16 17:04:20

Have just re-read Pride & Prejudice for the first time in yonks and at the end Mr Collins mentions 'dear Charlotte’s situation, and his expectation of a young olive-branch. How had I not noticed that before?

I'd always imagined dear Charlotte avoiding that messy business by keeping him occupied with his sermon writing and his gardening and his pash on Lady Catherine.

But she was a woman who knew what she wanted so I wouldn't be surprised if she was the one who took conjugal matters in hand.

Good old P&P, the book that keeps on giving.

TheSpottedZebra Tue 19-Apr-16 17:06:21

Maybe he was very busy with his sermons, and dear Charlotte sought er, olive pips elsewhere?

gleam Tue 19-Apr-16 17:12:54

I don't remember that at all and I've read PP quite a few times.

CigarsofthePharoahs Tue 19-Apr-16 17:16:25

You can just imagine the reaction the Bennets would have when being introduced to the "Olive Branch" for the first time! grin

squoosh Tue 19-Apr-16 17:19:26

Zebra I don't think dear Charlotte would approve of extra marital shenaigans, not for moral reasons but because it wouldn't make sense to her to upset a perfectly decent apple cart.

No, she must have taken Mr Collins to her bed chamber and then lain back and thought of Hertfordshire.

squoosh Tue 19-Apr-16 17:20:38

Yes Cigars you can imagine Mrs Bennet giving the poor thing major evils grin

randomsabreuse Tue 19-Apr-16 17:21:06

My English teacher pointed it out in yr 10. It stuck in my brain because in a mock someone had a bit of a grammar fail and made it appear that she would literally be ejecting a stick from her womb and that concept struck me as potentially uncomfortable!

IrenetheQuaint Tue 19-Apr-16 17:25:55

I can't help suspecting that Mr Collins would have been unpleasantly enthusiastic about his marital duties. Of course, he would have been appalled had Charlotte shown any signs of enjoyment, but I doubt there was much risk of that.

SatsukiKusakabe Tue 19-Apr-16 17:31:15

I re-read this recently and it, ahem, stood out to me too. And I've read it loads, so thought maybe I'd forgotten it.

Mind you, Mr Collins wasn't necessarily a physically repulsive man, just an incredibly stupid one.

kickassangel Tue 19-Apr-16 17:35:36

I can imagine he would be enthusiastic, but also kind of reviled by his own enthusiasm, and therefore caught in an ecstacy of indecision.

OF course, the moment she thought that they may be a 'situation' he would have retired to the spare room to play with the one-eyed snake. I wonder if Charlotte would have suspected herself to have a 'situation' quite often.

squoosh Tue 19-Apr-16 17:42:22

I'm sure as soon as the vital business was completed Charlotte would have been keen to send Mr Collins straight back to his own chamber to mortify his flesh and read some psalms.

BoatyMcBoat Tue 19-Apr-16 17:53:26

I'm sure they would have had separate rooms anyway, and he would pay conjugal visits, which would stop as soon she found herself in an interesting state. (I had an uncle-by-marriage who came from similar stock to the Collins', and that was the arrangement with my aunt; I gathered it was the standard on his side of the family. My aunt shuddered, in a very Austenesque way, at the idea of his undressing in front of her!)

AcrossthePond55 Tue 19-Apr-16 17:53:37

I've always felt that earlier in the book when Lizzy and Charlotte are discussing the engagement (the 'I'm not romantic, Lizzy, I never was' convo) Charlotte's whole attitude seems to be that she understands that conjugal rights were part of the deal. The old 'what a woman must bear' for the sake of a 'comfortable establishment'.

I guess it all depends on what Jane Austen may or may not have known about the (ahem) 'marriage act'. Many women of her age/rank went into marriage completely ignorant about the 'mechanics' of intercourse. JA herself may not have actually known the mechanics of PIV. I know she alludes to these things in more than one book (Lydia in P&P, Col Brandon's ward in S&S) but who knows what she knew.

My own Mum (born 1922) once told me that when she was a teen a girl at her church 'got in trouble'. She said that at the time all she knew what that it was something that happened between the sexes but she had no idea what it was. I can only guess how sheltered someone born 130 or so years before would be.

didofido Tue 19-Apr-16 17:54:30

But don't forget, Charlotte and her dear husband were Georgians not Victorians. No hang-ups about sex within marriage. In fact, it was a sacred duty - whether you wanted it or not.

Maryz Tue 19-Apr-16 17:55:15

Does anyone else think that Mr Collins would have been a rather slobbery kisser? So maybe Charlotte managed to have the shenanigans without the necessity for kissing [bleurgh]

Having said that, I've always thought Mr Bingley was probably a bit wet sad

IrenetheQuaint Tue 19-Apr-16 17:57:10

I dunno AcrossthePond, in late 18th century and Regency times the culture was to be quite open about sexual matters. There are some v graphic political cartoons etc. It was the Victorians who buttoned everything up.

I am quite sure that JA would have known the facts of life.

NewYearSameMe Tue 19-Apr-16 17:57:46

You can have good sex with someone that you don't particularly like, I suspect it's not likely in this case but it's certainly possible. I imagine that Charlotte would co-operate at least until she was pregnant, I think having children gave women a bit more security. Don't forget that the Bennet's home is entailed and can only pass to a male family member, which is why Mr Collins will be getting it. If Charlotte doesn't have a son to inherit it from Mr Collins then she will be in the same difficult situation that Mrs Bennet is in.

I missed that part of the book, and I've read it loads of times.

PirateSmile Tue 19-Apr-16 17:59:41

As Tom Hollander played Mr. Collins in the P&P film I don't see what the problem is grin

mateysmum Tue 19-Apr-16 18:07:22

Oh yes, tis true but oft overlooked. I think when Charlotte took Mr C she knew exactly what she was doing and no doubt children might at least provide some future escape from spending life a deux with Mr Collins. She is a very pragmatic person and what is often overlooked is that Mr Collins is only about 25 yrs old. He's often played by much older actors. I bet Charlotte blew out the candle, hoiked up her nighty, closed her eyes and hoped it was over quickly - it probably was!! Can't imagine there was much Yes, Yes Mr Collins, ooh yes! Now Mr Darcy.....

WellErrr Tue 19-Apr-16 18:07:36

I pretty much know it off by heart so I did realise....but yes, I'm sure it wouldn't have been a nightly 'pleasure' for her grin

EverySongbirdSays Tue 19-Apr-16 18:08:14

Yes but you DID see him in the original series

<boak>

He is Matt Smith in the Zombie version

I <3 Matt Smith

but I always think of Collins as BBC Collins she must've been lying back and thinking of England poor thing. I can't imagine it being very pleasurable

AugustaFinkNottle Tue 19-Apr-16 18:15:34

I wouldn't think Charlotte took conjugal matters in hand, Mr C would have been deeply shocked. I think he would simply assume that he was entitled to his conjugal rights and would have made very sure that he exercised them.

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Tue 19-Apr-16 18:17:20

Re facts of life, they were pretty rural too so I can't believe she didn't know the details.
I am sure she factored it all in when she made the decision...

Maryz Tue 19-Apr-16 18:17:58

I can't work out who this is, but this is who I think of.

Muskey Tue 19-Apr-16 18:26:33

Even genteel country folk at the time would see cows, pigs, sheep, dogs, horses you name it, at it. Charlotte would have known something was going to happen although she may not have known exactly what.

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