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P&P: Behind the Scenes – Wickham Makes a Plan — 16 Comments

  1. What an insufferable man! I think you have captured his thoughts perfectly. Poor Darcy and poor Elizabeth. Wickham may have left her alone otherwise although I think you are right that he would have seduced Lydia anyway. Thanks for this scene Abigail.

  2. I love your stories Abigail, you are such a good story teller. Lovely way to start my morning even if it was about the scheming Mr. Whickham. Also like the photographs from the 1995 P & P – best ever.

  3. He is always out for himself! My favorite part is that those who knew him could see Darcy’s attraction to Miss Elizabeth, even though she could not. Thank you for the scene.

  4. oooohhhh. What a creep. Definitely looking for the best way to hurt Darcy and here he’s found it. I loved getting into his head and seeing the thought process. Well, he is an opportunist. Love (hate) to see how he’s using Denny. It just shows how conniving he is. Thank you for this wonderful post.

    • Opportunist is precisely how I see Wickham. Not scheming and setting up plans in advance, but seizing the opportunities as they happen. I pity Darcy for having an enemy like him who is never satisfied!

  5. Wickham, that cad!! He had no liking for Elizabeth’s impertinent and clever personality (I loved how he admits even to himself that he prefers his women young and stupid)…until Darcy unwittingly shows his preference for the irrepressible Miss Elizabeth, that is. 🙂

    Brilliant (but annoying–’cause Wickham is soooooo annoyingly self-centered!) glimpse into the mind of a gentleman-wanna-be, ready to fool and fleece anyone he can to allow himself to act as if he were a gentleman of fortune.

    Wonderful vignette, Abigail!! 🙂

    Warmly,
    Susanne 🙂

  6. Wickham, that spot of oily, sticky, stinking sludge, this is a wonderful synopsis of his vileness. I will no longer defame small creatures to describe such individuals (poor toads and snakes) because they are underneath all creatures as they are truly worthless.

  7. I wad only 11 when I first read P&P, so this sort of thing never occurred to me then. When I was quite a bit older and re-reading it, not for the first time, the penny suddenly dropped as to why Wickham would divulge the “truth” about Darcy to Elizabeth on only their second meeting. It was very similar to what you’ve described here, Abigail. Of course, it has to be taken in connection with Darcy’s letter later on, where we find out the real truth. Then it all becomes clear at last!

    Thanks so much for showing us an insight into the mind of the opportunist that Wickham is. One minute fancying a tumble with the unguarded and totally lacking in propriety girl Lydia is, the next picking up on Darcy’s attraction to Elizabeth and grabbing the chance for another attempt at revenge.

    • It took me a long time to notice it, too. Jane Austen gives a very specific description of how their meeting came about, and I’ve learned that whenever JA is specific, there’s a reason. Here’s what she says: “But the attention of every lady was soon caught by a young man, whom they had never seen before, of most gentlemanlike appearance, walking with an officer on the other side of the way. The officer was the very Mr. Denny, concerning whose return from London Lydia came to inquire, and he bowed as they passed. All were struck with the stranger’s air, all wondered who he could be, and Kitty and Lydia, determined if possible to find out, led the way across the street, under pretence of wanting something in an opposite shop, and fortunately had just gained the pavement when the two gentlemen, turning back, had reached the same spot. Mr. Denny addressed them directly, and entreated permission to introduce his friend, Mr. Wickham, who had returned with him the day before from town, and he was happy to say, had accepted a commission in their corps.” If you work this through with chess pieces like I did, you discover that she has carefully set it up so that as Darcy and Bingley are riding from the direction of Netherfield to Longbourn, Wickham would be facing Darcy.

      It sheds a different light on why he chose to elope with Lydia – perhaps after hearing Elizabeth was gone to Derbyshire?

  8. The more you lhink about it and look into it, the more devious Wickham becomes. Lydia will certainly have had letters from home mentioning that Elizabeth had gone to Derbyshire. Mention may have been made of Mrs Gardiner’s wish to visit her childhood home of Lambton and Lydia would probably have prattled on to W. about it, knowing that he and E. had been friendly at one point.

    I read a book years ago where a character was described as needing a tall ladder and a high top hat to reach the underbelly of a snake slithering along through the slime. That could easily be used to describe Wickham, couldn’t it?

  9. Yes, Wickhead is exactly as you described him, Abigail, an opportunist. And he has perfected the art of perception in reading expressions. That is something he needs in manipulating his circumstances, whether it be the cards or the ladies or the shopkeeper. In today’s age he could have been such a good politician, knowing to whom, when and which lies!

    Well played. Thank you for this scenario.

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