Charlotte Lucas (later Collins)
Although Charlotte's marriage of convenience to Mr. Collins is criticized by Elizabeth, her situation and marriage is much more realistic than is Elizabeth's for nineteenth-century Britain. Elizabeth's story is a work of romantic fiction, but Charlotte's is a mirror of reality. Even though Elizabeth cannot understand Charlotte's reasons for marrying Mr. Collins, she does respect Charlotte's sound management of her household and her ability to see as little of Mr. Collins as possible. Whereas Elizabeth's relationship with Darcy was what Austen's female readers may dream of, Charlotte's marriage to Mr. Collins was the actual life they would most likely have to face.