Yes. Jane Austen has written some drool-worthy heroes, men of various stripes with whom we would like to end up, from her Alpha Fitzwilliam Darcy to her Beta Henry Tilney, there probably isn't a one of them we'd mind being courted by.
But, what about her heroines? Are they all as attractive as the men? Would you like to hang out with all of them?
Probably not. While every one of them is attractive to her particular hero, I'm not so sure they'd be that much fun to have around on a regular basis. I'm sure they're all perfectly nice women, but let's think for a moment what they'd be like as friends.
Elizabeth Bennet would probably the most fun to hang out with. She enjoys a good walk and would be a bracing companion with whom to roam the mall. She dearly loves to laugh, and has no problem making fun of people nor of herself. She is of a generally cheerful temperament and seems to be devoted to her sister Jane (if not the rest of her sisters). Yes, I think Elizabeth is prime BFF material.
Emma Woodhouse would be a tad difficult to have as a friend unless you were willing to be guided by her in all things. Emma is, as we have seen, is always right. Although essentially good-hearted, Emma is a meddler and a busybody. Don't choose Emma as your BFF unless you want to be talked out of dating that nice boy from the country and end up with the stuffy local vicar with nothing much to recommend him.
Forget Elinor and Marianne. They're each other's BFFs and nothing is going to change that, not even marriage. God help the mister who comes between Elinor and her sister, let alone another woman. At best, you'll be secondary in their lives.
Fanny Price? Oh please! Yes, she's a lovely girl: moral, upright, kind, retiring. Is this what you want in a BFF? I know it's who you want by your sickbed and possibly a good friend to go to church with. But I don't imagine dear Fanny to be much fun. Best stick with having her over for the occasional cup of tea and call Elizabeth Bennet for the night out at the club.
If you have a burning desire to mentor someone, I'd give Catherine Morland a call. She's a sweet girl, eager to learn and eager to have a good time. Teach her to love a hyacinth and she'll be your BFF. Introduce her to your brother, and she'll be your sister-in-law.
But if you truly want someone who will be steadfast, faithful, kind and reliable, Anne Elliot is your girl. True, she might not be as much fun as Elizabeth Bennet, as strong-willed as Emma Woodhouse, as moral as Fanny Price, or as malleable as Catherine Morland, but she'll be there when you need her, no matter how long you keep her waiting. She'll go to the mall with you, she might even go clubbing, she'll come for tea, sit by your sickbed and stop to smell the hyacinths. Not the most exciting of heroines, but—yes—Anne Elliot is my pick for BFF.
Heroines illustration from The Republic of Pemberley