“A Femme Fatale, translating to “Deadly Woman” in french, is an alluring, seductive woman whose charms ensnare her lovers in bonds of irresistible desire. Often this leads them into compromising, dangerous, and deadly situations.” ~ Wikipedia
I first discovered this class of women from 1930s and 40s film noir several years ago and was seduced by their charm and cunning minds. I then began to see them popping up in novels I read, even my favorites like Gone with the Wind and Wuthering Heights. This weekly post is to highlight/celebrate/condemn these sultry and conniving ladies in literature.
Elizabeth Bennet, who may not be a good judge of character with men is very severe upon her sex. On her first meeting she proclaims Miss Bingley (and Mrs. Hurst) as “Very fine ladies; not deficient in good-humour when they were pleased, nor in the power of being agreeable where they chose it; but proud and conceited.”
To be quite honest, Elizabeth hit the nose on the head. Miss. Bingley has her heart set on wedding Mr. Darcy and his younger sister Georgiana to her brother Charles. In doing so sabotages or provokes these men as often as she sees fit. With Darcy, she teases him about someone’s “fine eyes”, but in the next breath asks him to say hello to his sister for her.
As for her own brother, she deceives him by not mentioning that Jane is in London. During a visit to Miss Bennet, she implies that his affections truly lie with Miss Darcy and may quit Netherfield all together. This is matchmaking of the worst sort.
Although, in her defense, she did try to warn Elizabeth of Wickham’s true character, so she does have her moments.