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P&P: Behind the Scenes – Darcy’s Valet Has His Doubts — 18 Comments

  1. Jennings had better watch himself or he may be looking for another position without references. Bad enough that Bingley’s sisters say cruel things about Elizabeth, I doubt he’d allow his valet. He will be surprised when he sets out to “spy” on his master the night of the Netherfield Ball.

  2. The servants weren’t above being snooty about their positions and their master’s I see. Jennings is as bad as Caroline. Hopefully his opinion will change before Darcy finally marries Lizzy, otherwise, as Carol said, he may be out on his ear. “Spy” indeed. I had another good chuckle this morning. Thank you for this fun mising scene.

  3. Servants in that era were as conscious of status as much as their masters and mistresses were. Where they sat at the table in the servants hall, who and how they were spoken to – well – they were capable of giving a set down deluxe, just watch watch Downton Abbey. I really thought better of Jennings, but maybe he had not seen Darcy observing Lizzie when the two were together.

  4. Oh, my! Isn’t it often the case that the servants have more lofty ideals than their masters and mistresses? At times the servants certainly have more thorough understanding of propriety and class delineations…as we see with Mr. Jennings here. He seems less concerned with his master’s happiness than with his own position should Mr. Darcy marry “a country miss.”

    Is he ever going to have the surprise of his life in about a year…. 😉

    Thank you for writing this humorous vignette! I enjoyed it very much indeed.

    Warmly,
    Susanne 🙂

  5. Really enjoyed this and your last post very much! Jennings’ thoughts were quite thought-provoking. Thank you so much for these chapters!!

    On another note, I am unsure what you mean by the word “resty” in the 3rd full paragraph from the beginning of this one, so I appreciate any clarification. Thanks again for writing these!!!!!!!!!!

      • OH, odd, but I finally found it earlier today in an online dictionary, and it said resty = sluggish, indolent. Very confusing.

        • Resty has been used in both senses over the history of English. A quote from Aldous Huxley in 1920: “The machine is ready to start. The symbolic beasts grow resty, curveting where they stand.” In 1515, Barclay’s Egloges: ” A bad horse resty and flinging Oft casteth a man though he be well sitting.
          In 1782, Fanny Burney, in “Cecilia”: “My horse has been so confounded resty, I could not tell how to get him along.”
          Confusing is indeed the word for it!!

  6. And here I thought you meant “Testy”….now I think it is synonymous with “restless”. Never heard that one before but we can learn something every day.

    I am sorry to read of servants being also conscious of class. I do know it is true but, like Darcy, Jennings will have to learn where true value lies.

    Thank you for this chapter.

  7. Great scene! I can’t remember reading one before where the valet didn’t root for Elizabeth. Your way was probably more accurate as a servant’s reputation was tied so much to his master’s. Thanks for dreaming this up!

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