Veronica’s List in order of preference:
- Sense and Sensibility – Two sisters, two different paths to romance.
- Persuasion – A love that stands the test of time.
- Pride and Prejudice – Overcoming differences.
- Emma – Maturing and finding one’s true feelings.
- Mansfield Park – Being genuine no matter what.
- Northanger Abbey – Gaining perspective on reality.
- Elinor Dashwood – She commands herself well even in the face of disappointment, particularly in conversations with Lucy Steele.
- Anne Elliot – She learns to use her own judgement and remains true to Captain Frederick Wentworth, her first love.
- Elizabeth Bennet – She uses her wit and is willing to look at her own faults.
- Marianne Dashwood – She embraces life and makes the most of what she can.
- Emma Woodhouse – She matures in her understanding of herself and others.
- Fanny Price – She struggles to hold on to what she knows is right even while others pressure and bully her.
- Catherine Morland – She learns to put life in perspective, and keeps her wits about her when forced to travel unaccompanied.
- Colonel Brandon – He is a man of upstanding principle who goes to great lengths for those he cares about.
- Captain Frederick Wentworth – He remains faithful to Anne Elliot even after being rejected, and writes one of the most romantic letters of all time.
- Fitzwilliam Darcy – He becomes truly worthy of Elizabeth Bennet by taking her censure to heart and going out of his way to make right a situation gone terribly wrong.
- George Knightley – He is candid and honest with Emma Woodhouse, and does not play games.
- Henry Tilney – He comes to love not at first sight, but through getting to know Catherine Morland.
- Edward Ferrars – He is a man of integrity, even as he comes to understand what is to be most valued in a woman.
- Edmund Bertram – He learns the hard way how to truly value the affections of a consistent woman of integrity.
- John Knightley – He values his family over society, and would rather spend an evening at home. (I find that endearing.)
How would you order the novels, your favorite Austen heroines, and favorite Austen heroes?