Catherine "Kitty" Bennet is the fourth daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet. She has four sisters, Jane Bingley, Elizabeth Darcy, Mary Bennet, and Lydia Wickham. She is the sister-in-law of Fitzwilliam Darcy, Charles Bingley, and George Wickham. She is a distant cousin of William Collins.
Catherine Bennet is the fourth of the five Bennet sisters, and is almost always called "Kitty" by her family and most intimate friends.
Kitty is in the shadow of her youngest sister, Lydia, often simply repeating or supporting Lydia's own opinions. When the militia come to Meryton, she is just as infatuated by the officers as Lydia, including George Wickham. When Lydia is invited to accompany Colonel Forster's wife to Brighton, Kitty sulks and whines about not being invited, and grumbles after Lydia leaves for a long time, in no spirits to ever leave the house.
When Lydia runs away with Wickham, Kitty proudly reveals that she knew of Lydia's plans from the letters she sent her while she was in Brighton. Mr. Bennet is furious when he finds out, and Kitty has to deal with her father's anger at this discovery. He later makes it clear that he'll be more careful with Kitty, and refuses to allow her to go to Meryton or balls, unaccompanied, which distresses Kitty. Though Lydia married Wickham, saving herself and her family from ruin, Mr. Bennet refused to receive them at Longbourn or to visit them. Lydia sent letters to Kitty inviting her, but Mr. Bennet refused to allow Kitty to go.
After Jane married Mr. Bingley and Elizabeth married Mr. Darcy, Kitty would often visit and spent most of her time with her eldest sisters. Under their guidance and away from Lydia's influence, Kitty changed for the better. According to James Edward Austen-Leigh's A Memoir of Jane Austen, she later married a clergyman who lived near Pemberley.
Since she claims to be two years older than her youngest sister, Lydia, she is either seventeen or eighteen-years-old (as Lydia turned sixteen in June).
Since Mary was confirmed to be the only plain-looking sister, it is reasonable and logical to deduce that Kitty is a pretty young woman.
During the course of the novel, Kitty was confirmed to be one of the sources of embarrassment for the Bennet family. Though she is two years older than Lydia, she was completely under her youngest sister's guidance, and was considered weak-spirited and irritable.
Together, Kitty and Lydia were described to be "ignorant, idle, and vain". Her oldest sisters, Jane and Elizabeth, had tried to advise her, but she was always mortified by their advice, and never listened. Fortunately, after her oldest sisters' marriages, Kitty's personality improved drastically - no longer under Lydia's influence, and with her father's restrictions, as well as the proper attention and management of her oldest sisters, Kitty was said to become "less irritable, less ignorant, and less insipid".
How she is Addressed
- Kitty - by family and intimate friends, the narrator herself also frequently refers to her as Kitty.
- Catherine - the narrator sometimes also refers to her as her full true name of "Catherine", and it is possible that there are others who do so as well.
- Miss Kitty Bennet/Miss Catherine Bennet - by those who are not intimate enough with her to use either her full name or her nickname alone.
- Miss Bennet - she will be addressed as such if none of her elder, unmarried sisters were present.
- Mr. Bennet and Mrs. Bennet
- Edward Gardiner & Mrs. Gardiner (maternal uncle and aunt)
- Mrs. Phillips & Mr. Phillips (aunt and uncle)
- 1940: Heather Angel
- 1967: Sarah Taunton
- 1980: Clare Higgins
- 1995: Polly Maberly
- 2005: Carey Mulligan
- 2008: Florence Hoath
- 2011: Christina Rizzo
- 2016: Suki Waterhouse