All the men in Austen novels, ranked in order of who you should date

All the men in Austen novels, ranked in order of who you should date
Jane Austen novels are all about the difficulty of finding a partner worthy of marriage.

It’s not something that could be taken lightly, and the difficult economic and social position of women during the Regency era often pressured them into marriage for monetary gain. This puts the relationships between men and women in Austen’s novels in the spotlight. At the forefront is a critique of behaviour and attitudes, and readers are actively encouraged to assess which men are good choice for marriage.

It is therefore every Austen fan’s dilemma: if the men from Austen novels were somehow transported into modern day life, which one would be worthy of dating?

Well, wonder no more, because I have thought about this at length, and this is the 100% legitimate and totally correct ranking of all the men in Austen novels in order of who you should date, from worst to best.

William Collins

I refuse to believe anyone could fancy Mr Collins enough to even consider being in a relationship with him for any other reason than your single life was causing you untold agony. As no one needs to worry about being twenty-seven and single anymore (sorry Charlotte Lucas), I don’t know if even that would make it worth it. Mr Collins is truly the worst possible option available.

John Thorpe

Equally terrible as Mr Collins, but in a different way. Mr Thorpe would tell you at length about his opinions on anything, whether you wanted him to or not. At least he would have a lot of money. Not enough money to make it worth marrying him, but just enough to ensure he isn’t in last place.

Philip Elton

He wouldn’t be quite as sycophantic as Mr Collins, nor as upfront and rude as Mr Thorpe, but he would still mostly be sickening. This man would almost definitely not allow sleep to get in the way of him continuing to talk about how what a great catch he is. Steer clear if you can.

John Willoughby

Mr Willoughby would certainly buy you flowers from the petrol station and lie and tell you he picked them himself from a charming forest. He would be handsome and passionate, and he would read poetry very beautifully, but he would also probably have seduced a girl and got her pregnant, and then complained when people stopped liking him for it.

George Wickham

This relationship would be whirlwind fun for two or three days before he would start asking you for money. Also, you would find out from a good source that he was actually lying to you the whole time about his whole life. He would also definitely text your sister on the sly the whole time you were dating.

Edmund Bertram

Okay, I know this is going to be controversial. Edmund Bertram isn’t a bad or even particularly annoying character, but he would be impossible to be really into. He would have this vague idea of how perfect he’d like you to be and he would be in love with that idea, instead of the person you are. Just about ranks a ‘fine’ because he would be harmless enough.

Edward Ferrars

Another controversial one. Edward Ferrars would be sweet, pragmatic and just lovely. He would definitely ask you how your day was multiple times, and care about the answer. He would be the kind of man your mum would love. Sadly, he would also be the dullest man in existence. He would probably iron his socks. Life is just too short for Edward Ferrars.

Charles Bingley

Charles Bingley would be a better looking and richer Edward Ferrars. He would be very sweet and would treat you like a princess, but ultimately he would always say ‘no, you choose’ and it would get frustrating. There would definitely be worse problems to have, admittedly, but Bingley still only makes it to the middle of the board.

William Elliot

He would be super charming, but also a calculating opportunist, so if anyone better came along he would drop you like a hot potato.

Frank Churchill

Frank Churchill is probably the perfect man on paper. He would buy you flowers, flirt outrageously, text you the best gossip and laugh at all your jokes, even when you knew they weren’t funny, but also you’d sometimes forget you were dating him for some reason. You would eventually find out that he was in love with your sort of friend the whole time you were dating, but you probably wouldn’t really care because he just wouldn’t be that interesting.

Henry Crawford

He would probably be the most attractive man on the list, which is why he gets such a high ranking, but sadly, he would never quite make it into good person territory. He would try to be good, but he would also start fights because he was bored. If you ignored him for even a minute he’d probably have an affair with your cousin and cause a huge family scandal.

Colonel Fitzwilliam

Colonel Fitzwilliam would be funny and have a good job, and would be enjoyable to be around, but you would never be able to shake the feeling that he just wasn’t that into you. You would definitely enjoy dating him, but it would be nothing amazing. Dating him would also come with the major disadvantage of always pining after his hot cousin who you maybe should have been dating instead.

Henry Tilney

He would be funny, charming and genuinely interested in you. He would also read a lot of books, some of the really outrageous ones too, but you could still introduce him to your parents if you wanted to. A solid choice.

Colonel Brandon

If you ever dreamt about dating an older man as a teenager, Colonel Brandon would probably be the kind of guy you dreamt about. He could listen to you talk for hours because he would just be that invested in you, and he would definitely have good taste in music. On the downside, he would be totally charmless and probably still in love with his first girlfriend from when he was seventeen.

Fitzwilliam Darcy

Mr Darcy would be very good-looking – we’re talking probably a little painful to look at – but he would also be an irreconcilably awkward dweeb. He would jump to conclusions and be very rude to you and your whole family more than once. On the plus side, he would also be genuinely sweet, love his family, and utterly dote on you, so it’d be worth his tendency towards being an idiot.

George Knightley

It would be difficult to do much better than Mr Knightley in life, really. He would be that family friend who you would have known for years. He would be generous, funny, and do charity work, but you would only realise how good he was when you started dating other people. He would truly want to make everyone happy, especially you.

Frederick Wentworth

Dating Captain Wentworth would be like transcending onto another plane of existence. He would work hard to be successful because he would think you’re the most perfect being in the world and he would want to be worthy of you. Even when you were bickering, you would know he loved you more than anyone else. Marry him at once.


Do you agree? Let us know in the comments!

If you enjoyed this, why not try out our Jane Austen audio quote quiz!


This post was written by Abigail Jaggers

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