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Guest Post: Reader’s Perspective with Dave McKee — 54 Comments

  1. Fabulous fun, your posts, Dave, as usual!!!
    Wickham the putrid boil, Darcy the Dolt hehehe – the fun never ends!

    Same as you, I hope Elizabeth doesn’t get a moment of self-sacrificing madness and doesn’t set him free without telling him why – that would be dreadful!!!!!! On the other hand, more angst means a longer story, and who can have a problem with that????

    Quite confusing, isn’t it, about what to call people. Jane would of course be Miss Bennet at all times (except to Bingley who might be expected to call her ‘my sweet all-forgiving angel whom I adore till my dying breath and even after’) but then it might get confusing. If they’re both together, I think she would be addressed as Miss Elizabeth Bennet by people who aren’t very close (see the way Denny introduced the Bennet brood to Wickham when they met in Meryton). Darcy, as her fiance, might call her Miss Elizabeth, as could Bingley, as her future brother.

    As for Monty, no no no, we can’t have something like ‘Sir Hopkins’, for crying out loud!!!! It’s Sir Anthony, good people! I had lots of fun reading ‘Titles and forms of address’ when I was writing my first book, and by now I forgot most of it; I mean who can remember how you address the divorced wife of a duke? – now that you have divorced wives of dukes, of course 🙂 but one thing’s for sure: it’s Sir Anthony 😀

    Looking forward to the next chapter, it’s bound to be a roller coaster! Yay!

    • Having said that, Bingley calls her Lizzy in the original P&P on the day of the second proposal (when he asks Mrs Bennet to recommend some paths where Lizzy & Darcy can get lost 😉 ) which doesn’t quite fit in with the rule of thumb that in larger company, people should only be addressed in the way everybody present would be allowed to address them (and Darcy can’t very well call her Lizzy yet!!) but that’s hair-splitting!!

    • Hi Joana! Liked writing the bit about Darcy tossing her over his shoulder – think he felt that way a lot! What is so cool about the guy is that he sees her inner beauty as more important then even her dancing eyes. Elizabeth’s home life sure made her defensive – hard for her to trust anyone but Jane?

      So it’s Sir Monty the Hunk? Really hoping for a curricle race – already have a snippet where Theo meets his future mate after Monty almost runs her down. If you can believe Regency romance novels, ladies diving into a ditch happened quite a lot!

      • Now that’s a brilliant idea, Dave — and we were thinking of having a curricle race, so you’re right on track, though I think the race has been ditched (puns, don’t you love ’em?).

      • It is “Sir Monty the Mountain.”
        For a baronet, it is Sir + Christian name, as in Sir Walter in “Persuasion.”
        As to how to address Elizabeth, it is Miss Elizabeth when Jane is present for Jane is Miss Bennet. I know in the original P&P, even Austen sometimes refers to Elizabeth as Miss Bennet, but never when Jane is in the scene.

    • LOL Joana, now you see why it took me so long to post on a blog! I want an edit function like Facebook posts! I thought Bingley was just a touch informal – but Bingley was in total alt by then!

  2. Ah, yes, terms of address, one of the banes of a historical writer’s existence. You can now look them up many places online, and even the venerable Debrett’s has unbent enough to recognize that some people (not the kind they associate with, of course) might need help with these things. I always go back to the first place I found them years ago, which is at http://laura.chinet.com/html/titles12.html, for when I need to know how to address the wife of the younger son of a marquess.

    Joana has it right – Monty would be Sir Montgomery, which is what Georgiana calls him. No doubt what Anne called him initially, then probably went over to Monty as if she were one of the fellows. 🙂 Bingley could call Elizabeth Lizzy once he was formally engaged to Jane because that made him part of the family, but for some reason it still feels very strange to me when he does so in P&P.

    • On Bingley saying Lizzy, could it be a subtle acknowledgement that he believed E&D to be engaged and therefore everyone present as family? Went right over Mrs. Bennet’s head?

      Wasn’t it a big deal if Darcy asked Sir Monty to call him Darcy? So Monty would say to call him Preston?
      I had that concept in a snippet with Mr. Gardiner, which would have been a watershed point for Darcy.

      • A baronet is the holder of a hereditary baronetcy awarded by the British Crown. A baronetcy is the only hereditary title, which is not a peerage. A baronet is styled as “Sir,” as is a Knight, but ranks above all knighthoods and damehoods except the Order of the Garter, and in Scotland, the Order of the Thistle. However, the baronetage, as a class, are considered members of the gentry and rank above the knightage. A baronetcy is not a noble title, and the recipient does not receive an accolade. The baronet is addressed as Sir + Christian name, while his wife is Lady + surname. (In Persuasion, it is Sir Walter and Lady Elliot.)

  3. Before I read this blog I want to send a big “Thank you” to Dave – a scholar and a gentleman – for his gift to Eviejoanne, Deborah, Kathy, June, Sheila, Cindy, Sophia, Shelia L M, Luthien, Beatrice and Maggie of a Theo magnet.

    • Thank you Sheila – Abigail deserves the credit for the idea. I’m the novice lurking wallflower currently center stage doing my Tim Conway imitation! Some of my thoughts are intentionally outrageous just to push the characters out of their box a bit. All is in fun!

  4. The rules of address are really convoluted, and I’ve noticed that in JA you get some interesting variations for example Darcy called Caroline by her first name, which is supposed to be reserved for someone you’ve grown up with, though I suppose he probably did, in a way. Clearly all these rules were set up expressly to give Regency writers and readers something to think about…

    • Hi Monica! Would Caroline consider such familiarity as an encouragement – that he wanted to be brought up to scratch? She just had to wait him out?

      On rules of behavior, seeing Anne in Hyde Park should be a treat! Can see her getting impatient and cutting around all the dawdling carriages on the lawn.

  5. I have to say that being married to Lydia would most definitely be a good enough daily torture for Wickham for me! Imagine the incessant talking day after day after day…ugh! It gives me a headache just thinking about it.

    • Hi Kari! You have a point – here is Wickham six months in. “Bonnets! Lace! Enough! Shut yer gob, you silly twit!” Yes, that would be a punishment, having to share his gambling money for bonnets and lace!

        • It always bothered me that given her irresponsible behavior she is still given a choice of her own. Brought out the dysfunctional family at its worst. A lousy selection of choices available. Not sure she would have ever improved at home – Scotland maybe… Wales? Anywhere away from mum and under an authority figure. Too late?

  6. Dave, loved your snippet here! You really should write a book. I would love to read the reaction of your readers when Darcy throws Lizzy over his shoulder and they are off to the church. And absolutely howled when Anne told Lady C. off! Monty’s three sisters…sister “A”, sister “B” and sister “C”…I caught that – another smile. I am so happy to live in the US of A and not to have to worry about what we call people in the peerage…even in conversation at work or in the community. Not that I am in a class where meeting up with any of them would happen. But can you imagine memorizing all the Queens and Kings down through the centuries, i.e., Susan in Mansfield Park (at least in the movie). Bad enough memorizing all our presidents!

    • Hi again Sheila! Back in the Regency period memorizing our presidents would have been easier – only five, now we are at 44! When compared to England, we truly are upstarts!

      Have really been hard on Darcy the last couple weeks, but good grief! Off to Rosings without a word to Theo or Elizabeth? Did he give any thought at all to how they would react? The writers better come up with a really good excuse for him. If he has a wuss excuse, maybe we readers will get a vote on his punishment. Can we turn The Darcy Brothers into a Regency period Hunger Games and get to vote on everything? Doubt it. LOL

        • Since engaged, he is allowed to send her letters – lots of letters. Daily letters. Flowers. A basket of fish. A pony. No, that would be too much. A daily letter would be acceptable, right? One letter before he left and one when he arrived?

          Elsewhere in this post we have the letters intercepted by Lady C and Anne/Darcy locked in a room. Hmmm. sounds familiar but different women…

          • Darcy/Anned locked in a room – That made me LOL. Lady C. would have her trusty parson there to do the rites a.s.a.p. Wickham should be “transported” to Australia and Lydia indentured to “the Colonies”.

  7. Oh, Dave… Always asking the tough questions, aren’t you? Love your imagination making up the behind the scene scenes. I didn’t cach it when I read the chapter that Darcy left without telling Lizzy. That seems kind of weird. Maybe Lady Cat really kid napped him and is drugging him with Anne’s leftover medicine to keep him there against his will. Maybe the whole thing with Wickham is just a red herring to keep them from finding Darcy until its too late. Will Lizzy have to come to his rescue this time? (Your active imagination has rubbed off on me ).

    • Hi Tobin! Suspect Lady C is getting desperate – threatened with the dower house – her worst nightmare!

      Is Wickham being his usual opportunistic self? If he expects to wheedle Darcy, and meets Theo and Monty instead, bruises will be his reward! Like Kari said above, married to Lydia would be an awful punishment, but is it bad enough? I am thinking about all the other women he seduced in the past…

      I like your idea of Lizzy being part of the rescue – she owes Wickham retribution for his lies and deceit. Now if she will just overlook his doltishness and encourage Darcy, that part of the plot can move ahead. Are we ready for that or should there be more connubial angst?

  8. What to address whom. Too confusing. Just hlad I don’t have yo know. As for throwing Elizabeth over his shoulder I can just picture her wriggling like a fish while kicking & punching & quietly but angrily telling him what she thinks of him.

    Yesterday. At one point the vote was 61 to 61 for 1 & 2. I like the idea of 2 happening & then 1. Also, Lizzy thinking Darcy is present with her uncle & Theo whether she mistakes Theo,’d voice for Dsrcy’s or thinks he is present also.

    • Hi Deborah! Yes, Elizabeth would not go quietly, bouncing along on his shoulder. I hope she is not too heavy or Darcy and she will collapse in a pile at the side of the road! Impulsive man! He should have brought a carriage. 🙂

      The vote does seem to be a combination of options two and one. Elizabeth is not going to be happy to find out he left town without notice. Maybe she will come up with the idea that Lady Catherine filched the letters to herself and Theo. That would be in character!

  9. Yes. It would. I also like TLeighF’s idea of Darcy being kidnapped and drugged. Anne wouldn’t go along with that. Maybe she somehow gets word to Charlotte through a servant loyal to her as she will have to be held by Lady C also. And Charlotte gets word to Lizzy. Although, before Lizzy should be quite upset that he didn’t leave word. Hmm…I also like the idea of Lizzy redeeming her distrust by going along with ghd rescue.

    • Deborah, these are all good ideas – would draw everyone back to Rosings! Am wondering if Wickham is now in London stews with Lydia in tow. They sure are spending a lot of money going back and forth on the toll roads!

  10. Thank you for the magnet, Dave and Abigail! Theo, Theo, Theo! Must have more Theo….. XD

    I am trying to think of why Darcy the Dolt would leave without a note to his fiancee or brother. Apparently, Georgiana witnessed him leaving – or did she get a secondhand account from a servant? Since Rosings is just under three hours away, did he think he could return the same day, or the next day? Will he remember to not drink anything that his aunt serves him – such as another dose of whatever she gave to Anne and Theo? Did Lady Cat get Darcy to Rosings through blackmail?? I do hope Darcy brought his own carriage so that he can leave Rosings at will.

    Anne… should she be concerned that Darcy has gone alone with her mother? Should Anne now be suspicious of her mother? Or would she think that her tall, handsome cousin can take care of himself at Rosings?

    I do not like the return of Darcy the Dolt – would much rather see Darcy the good brother and the loving fiance. Thank you for stirring the pot, Dave!

    • Hi June! Am hoping Lady C stole the letters rather than Darcy forgetting to write them. He is so careful about Pemberley seems out of character that he would ignore something so basic.

      A plotting, desperate Lady C would not play by the rules – Darcy had best be on his guard! Had to grub back into Chapter 19 – Anne went to Rosings with Darcy and Lady C so she may be in the soup with Darcy. Would Lady C hold them both in the same compromising room?

      Am teasing on Darcy the Dolt – he may bumble about but his heart is pure gold towards Elizabeth. He would be in shambles without her!

  11. Sorry my response is so broken up. Overslept this morning. I do want to day thank you to Abigail & Dave for the magnets.

    I do believe Darcy should be considered rather shy & inexperienced with women which would make him seem to be doltish. And I do agree with your last 3 sentences Dave….that Darcy may bumble, but ” his heart is pure gold towards Elizabeth.”. He would definitely be a mess without her.

    • Hi again! The writers are very glad to acknowledge you intrepid readers who take the extra time to post comments! I know they read these wonderings and scrounge plot ideas – interaction with we readers truly is the point of these Reader Posts! That is why some of my musings are far out of the norm, just shaking the shrubbery to flush out a covey of ideas! As long as we all accept the canon that Elizabeth and William end up together, all will be well!

  12. I don’t think Elizabeth is well enough to go to the theatres at that point. Sorry to dash your fantasy, Dave. But maybe after the debacle with Wickham and Lady Catherine is over then perhaps there will be a time when all the main characters will be there.

    Darcy the Dolt – what a funny way to put it. The correct form to address Monty is Sir Montgomery since he is a baronet. I think Darcy will call him Monty like what Theo is doing if Monty performs a valuable service to his family. Why not have Wickham marry Maria Bertram of Mansfield Park and they will live to torment each other for the rest of their lives.

    And thanks for the magnet, Dave and Abigail.

    • Hi Lúthien! Sigh. Yes my fantasy is crushed. 😉 You are right, there will be other nights for the theatre – as long as Anne is included they should be entertaining! I think Darcy started to appreciate Monty when they talked about sibling support, if Monty plays a major role in the Wickham mess, there may be a major link between the two. Monty and Georgiana some time in the future? She seems to like him as Theo’s friend. Time will tell.

      You are quite welcome. Most of the magnet receivers are regular posters – everyone’s ideas are very much appreciated by the writers!

      The idea of Wickham tormented is a favorite – I do like the idea of having him press ganged onto a ship headed for India or Australia. Wonder if he would survive the trip – cheating at cards on a ship could be perilous to his health!

  13. Totally enjoyed thinking about your post while my poor students suffered through a test on linear relationships. Thanks for making that task more enjoyable. 🙂 Here is some of what I was thinking.

    It is fun to see Anne and her mother arguing—and in public, no less—how scandalous. 🙂

    I wondered about whether Elizabeth was well enough to go to the theatre or if a lady would venture out with a rather obvious injury. It seems there would be some awkwardness between her and Darcy—they have a hard enough time in private without someone’s help (like Jane), I can only imagine how much greater it would be in public. But I would love to see the ton get to witness the pair as a couple. I might also like to see Caroline suffer a bit because of it.

    Perhaps Wickham should speak to Mr. Bennet about how “pleasant” a lifetime of marriage to someone such as Lydia might be. If she is indeed her mother’s daughter, I am not sure that marriage to her would not leave him dreading each day of his existence. And he would no longer have the option of marrying for money which would not sit well with him. However, I don’t think Lydia, as annoying and immature as she is, deserves the punishment and for that reason, I say send him to Van Diemen’s Land. Someone there will make sure he gets his just reward, if he survives the journey.

    Yes, Darcy is being a bit of a dolt. Will he ever learn to ask for help instead of doing it all by himself? Perhaps there is a good reason that we know nothing about, but based on pass behavior, I’m not holding my breath that there is. Dumbest move of Darcy’s in the whole thing—not letting Elizabeth know he was leaving town. That girl has a natural tendency to jump to entirely wrong conclusions whenever he is involved….of course that is just her way of fighting her true feelings. (I would love to see him throw her over his shoulder!)

    I totally agree; the whole “Regency Name-calling Business” is confusing. Glad we don’t do that here. I would vote for Sir Preston—not as many syllables to say. 🙂

    • Hi Eileen! When you think about Anne and Lady C arguing in public… Lady C would not pay any attention to an audience. They are lower than her in status and therefore little better than servants – invisible to her. Anne having little life experience being her mother’s daughter would not care – yet. Bet it was a noisy argument! The gossip rags would have a grand time!

      Lydia is such a frustrating character – what chance of an enjoyable life does she have? Two selfish people forced together does not sound promising. Wishful thinking on my part for Elizabeth going to the theatre. Maybe a jaunt to Vauxhall Gardens after the theatre – in costumes of course! I avoid thinking about Caroline – shudder. Ugh. Caroline at Vauxhall in an orange domino.

      Elizabeth being difficult regarding Darcy seems to be hinging on her being compelled to this engagement rather than of her free will. Definitely not a fortune hunter! Until she tells him point blank that she welcomes the marriage, shouldn’t he wait?

      Am glad the writers provided such great links on the name calling – saved me a ton of Googling. 🙂

  14. Totally agree, Dave. Lady C wouldn’t care who was watching. In fact, should they not have their notebooks out furiously scratching away taking notes on how the truly great conduct their business? However, the others in the box may have felt the impropriety of the situation—especially Darcy, if he was there.

    I kind of enjoy thinking about Caroline getting what she deserves—almost as much, no, maybe even more, than I enjoy thinking about Wickham getting his “reward.” Wickham’s should be painful, and Caroline’s should be humiliating.

    I think Elizabeth has been difficult from the beginning with Darcy—not that he didn’t earn it.

    I have visited at least one of those sites when confused by something I read, but I wasn’t smart enough to book mark it. So, I am VERY glad to have that option now…without having to do all the searching again.

    And thank you for posting and conducting these discussions. I am finding them quite enjoyable. (I am also very excited about a tote bag. Thanks.) 🙂

    • How about transporting Wickham to serve somewhere that has a harem – those men are eunuchs…
      Caroline should have an unsuccessful Bond Street modiste shop where no one likes her ideas.
      Enjoy the tote bag. 🙂

  15. In the DVD version of P&P set in Utah (Mormon Country) Caroline ends up married to a much older man, who then lives on and on and fathers a number of children by her – I thought that was a good end for her!

  16. Hello Dave – thank you and Abigail for the magnet! Looking forward to setting up a personal shrine to Theo.

    The more that I read the comments, the more I think Darcy must have written a note and it was lost, or destroyed by Lady C. He’s sooooo responsible, how could he not have left any word for Elizabeth?? Maybe Lady C did do something truly desperate and dastardly and kidnapped him and Anne. I also like the idea of Elizabeth taking matters into her own hands and trying to protect her family as much as she can. She wouldn’t want to sit idly by and let Theo and Sir Monty do all the legwork, especially since this is her family. I think maybe she can also help Theo straighten out his relationship with his brother a little — now that she’s thawing in her opinion of Darcy, maybe they can help each other understand Darcy more. She can probably help Theo appreciate having a responsible, respectable role model, since she didn’t really have that.

    • Hi Kathy! A Theo shrine is a neat idea. 🙂 I have a mug and deck of playing cards from Zazzle!

      If Lydia is involved, it will take Elizabeth or Mrs. Gardiner to control her – the men would have to roll her in a carpet and haul her around screeching something about her Wickham. If Darcy found out Theo and Monty took Elizabeth into the stews of London, yikes!

      Having Theo learn about Mr. Bennet’s indolence up against Darcy’s over protection, maybe it would help him set a middle course for himself. Would he start to recognize the parenting that Darcy tried to do for him – in his own way.

      Monty says he is terrified of what Anne says, could he be drawn to her new-born vivaciousness – a moth to a flame? Will have to see where the writers take them both! Next week should be just as interesting as all the past chapters! Yea Wednesdays!

  17. Dave and Abigail thanks for the magnet. I was not expecting that! Dave has spawned several different ideas from readers about what should happen next. Ideas that seem much more interesting than just chasing Wickhead. I propose that the readers submit a chapter of their own and the authors can vote on which chapters or elements make it into the story.

    • Hi Evie! Talk about stirring the pot! How about the readers submit an outline for the writers to tap dance around. 🙂 The whooshing sounds you hear are several hankies waving vigorously! LOL

      Hey, they asked for ideas! Well done!

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