EC-One of the things that I love so much about Pride and Prejudice is the truth of the characters. Jane Austen did not portray characters that were perfect. They were flawed, just like I am flawed. Everyone knows who the people around them are in relationship to the novel.
Here are a two examples from my own life: Jane is my mother. She is so perfect in her regard for everyone’s feelings that she often is the one trampled on. She never thinks ill of another person and never expects anyone to unwittingly take advantage of another. In other words, she is a doormat, although an angelic one so you really can’t find fault there. She truly exhibits the fruits of the Spirit. Lydia is my very dear friend who I will not name. She is fun loving and first to spot a cute boy. Although she doesn’t know who her baby daddy is, she is a wonderful mother. Maybe there is hope for Lydia after all.
DM- In my family we are all Gardiners – stable, rock solid and dependable. Boring? Nah – happy! In my past work life there were tooo many Wickhams ( both male and female 🙁 ) as fellow managers, always watching your back. There were lots more Darcy/Theo/Elizabeth managers so it all balances out!
EC-Now we come to Elizabeth…
Elizabeth makes me so crazy! Sometimes I hate her. She is so stubborn and hard headed. She sees fault everywhere with everyone (except her dear Jane and her father) and can’t see past the end of her nose to realize that Mr. Darcy is madly in love with her. She flirts with stupid boys who in the end, she never cared about in the first place. She speaks before she thinks often saying things that she wishes she had never said. She is in agony over the does he love me or does he hate me? It took me a very long time to recognize that maybe the reason I resent her so much is that I am Elizabeth.
DM- I see Elizabeth in a little different light. She wears a mask just like Darcy. With such a dysfunctional family you would need a way to laugh or you would be crying all the time! At the start she is in a desperate fix futurewise – bleak. I see her as using her wit as a boost of her self worth and a defense tool. She is around 20? How know-it-all are twenty year olds even today?
EC-What is wonderful about variations of P&P is that we can take those characters that we know and love so much and raise them from their ashes of imperfection and lead them to a place that we truly believe will be happy and fulfilling. Elizabeth and Darcy deserve a happy ending. Jane deserves to learn how to stick up for herself. Lady Catherine learns to shut up. Anne becomes bold and rises to the occasion. Kitty figures out that the only one she needs to follow is herself. And Wickham. Wickham represents all of the evil people in our lives who have hurt us and done us wrong. Wickham gets his due in every imaginable way!
DM- All so very true! We all have favorite scenes from the original novel – and in our imaginations we take the beloved characters off into other adventures…
1. Elizabeth and Lady Catherine begin to see eye to eye
If women dueled…
“This is completely unfair!” Elizabeth wails. “She has a dainty pistol and all I have is this heavy monstrosity!”
“Careful Miss Bennet! That pistol is loaded! Please do not aim at the horses!” cries Colonel Fitzwilliam.
“Elizabeth, please stop this immediately. Ladies do not duel!”
Looking at her betrothed in amazement, “Of course women do not duel! We …. discuss our differences. And on rare occasions we … display our markswomanship.”
Whispering, “You need not worry William, i only plan to blast off one of those ridiculous feathers from her bonnet. He He.”
“Elizabeth, you cannot hold up the pistol, even with both hands! The surgeon is hiding behind a tree after you waved the barrel in his direction!”
“You mean the pointy end with the hole?” Elizabeth smirks.
“Yes my Sweet, that is the dangerous end – the one you are now pointing at the spectators! Oh good, they are taking up positions behind the carriages.”
“John! Swing that carriage around where the cattle are protected. Do not worry, the spectators can hide somewhere else!”
“Fitzwilliam! what are you saying? i must have my share of the conversation!”
“Lady Catherine please! Will you not see reason and stop this farce?”
“Hah! I demand satisfaction!”
“YOU demand satisfaction? Lady Catherine, you are the one who took your hankie from your sleeve and slashed me across the cheek! I demand satisfaction! Your feathers are in jeopardy Madam!”
“Ohhh, however Lady Catherine, please allow me to compliment you on that beautiful powder blue reticule you have today. Ah! It matches the grip on your pistol! Are they a set?”
“Of course Miss Bennet. One must keep up appearances at all times. You would do well to follow my example!”
“It is true you are always so formidably accoutred!”
“One simply must have style Miss Bennet.”
“Actually this outfit you chose for today is most becoming to your form, Miss Bennet.”
Laughingly, “Oh, Lady Catherine! A compliment? I may swoon!”
“I may seem harsh in my comments at times. I will admit to a moment of peckishness the other day…”
“Lady Catherine, Yesterday I myself was quick to judge. It did hurt my feelings that you disdained my choice of lace. It is one of my favorite fichus!”
“Well, possibly we overreacted…”
“Yes, possibly so. It is rather warm and this pistol IS quite heavy…”
“Shall we retire to a tea room and start over?”
“I would like that above all things, Lady Catherine.”
DM- The duel is one of my favorite snippets. Easy to visualize Lizzy waving the pistol around with everyone ducking for cover!
EC- I wouldn’t change a thing about this scene! My husband and I have toyed with this concept off and on for a while, although in his version it actually comes to shots and Lady Catherine wins. (He has never read the book, only seen bits and pieces of the movie. He comes to his Pride and Prejudice knowledge vicariously through me, hence his particular appreciation for certain imagined outcomes.
2. Anne finds love and happiness.
Theo presents the gentleman, “Anne, may I present Mr Beau Brummell?”
With a confused look, “Am I to be impressed Theo?”
With widened eyes, “Yes Anne, Mr Brummell is the arbiter of all mens’ fashion!”
“Ah,” with a nod, Anne allows the introduction.
“Mr Brummell may I present Miss Anne de Bourgh.”
“A pleasure Sir.”
“Likewise Miss de Bourgh.”
“So you are important to men’s attire. I must say Mr Brummell I approve of your cravat.”
“How so Miss de Bourgh?”
“Look around Sir! So many popinjays wearing atrocious neck pieces! They look like flower bouquets exploded on their necks! Unlike yourself, sporting an understated affection. Well done Sir!”
“Ah, alas, those flower bouquets are my fault. I once mentioned I found a dandy’s monstrosity to be ‘interesting’. The next day there were a hundred similar atrocities! “
“You will remedy the situation immediately Sir! The boy in the next box. His puce choice is offensive to everyone whether they have taste or not! You are to give him an immediate set down.”
With raised eyebrows and a wry smile, Mr Brummell proceeds to slaughter the hapless offender.
With an amused smile, “There. Are you pleased Miss de Bourgh?”
“I rate you a true gentleman Mr Brummell. You may attend me as time allows.”
“Your servant Miss de Bourgh, I will consult with Theo here on a proper event. Possibly a turn around Hyde Park at the fashionable hour?”
“That is satisfactory Mr Brummell, I thank you.”
At the thought of Anne de Bourgh driving her phaeton at break-neck speeds through Hyde Park, scattering both man and beast from her path – all the while loudly chastising everyone in sight regarding their choices of apparel and behavior, Theo begins a plot to disable Anne’s equipage for the safety of proper society.
EC- Anne and her beau go on to realize their true love for each other. Anne reforms him of his rakishness however her mother still considers him the skuge of the universe which causes Anne love him even more. Under his tutelage, Anne realizes her lifelong dream of becoming a woman of fashion and revolutionizes the world of Haute Couture. Even today we see her influence on fashion in our esteemed cultural dignitaries such as Beyonce Knolls, Rue Paul and Miley Cyrus.
DM- LOL Looking at pictures of The Beau, my guess is he gained his fame by his personality!
DM- Theory # 1. Newgate Prison was wretched – the prisoner had to pay for everything – food, clothing, lighter or no shackles, even lightskirt visits. For the right price to the unscrupulous guards you could have anything. So! Wickham is not dying. This is a scam. His cohort is Mrs Younge who he helped set up in business in London after Ramsgate – for part of the profits. After heavily bribing the guards at Newgate, she brought him theatrical makeup and supplies while acting as his lover, thus the posey. They faked the stabbing and with pasty makeup and bloody bandages, ‘cockroach’ Wickham works his magic.
After the Lydia wedding, he recovers. No surprise, Lydia is pregnant. What is a surprise is the revelation that it is not Mrs Younge – her real name is Mrs. George Wickham – for the past year. Now a pregnant Lydia is married to a bigamist who has his hand out expecting many coins. The legal ramifications? Theo! Help!
EC- Hilarious and exciting however I think you may like my theory…
Theory #2. George Wickham, being the slimeball smooth talker that he is, was wooing the young apprentice at the flower shop when he overhears a bit of JUICY gossip from non other than our Georgie and Anne. Excited by the news, Wickham leaves his pregnant lover for that “nut job” (his words, not mine) from Hertfordshire. He of course calms his baby momma by telling her that he doesn’t intend to actually marry Lydia and will come back for her once her makes his quick Darcy money (although he really doesn’t intend to do that either. What a jerk!). When she finds out that he has been imprisoned and will be transported the hormonal woman breaks into the prison. The guards, terrified by the red eyed preggo (never make a pregnant woman angry), let her into his cell. The raging woman intends to Eunuchiphy Wickham (Eunichiphy: verb. meaning to create a eunuch out of that scoundrel George Wickham. Source: The imaginary dictionary of Evie Cotton’s brain. tehe!), however when Wickham realizes that he is soon to have his own precious jewels stolen from him, he fights back. Unfortunately for Wickham he was not quick enough to keep him from serious injury. He will likely bleed to death slowly. Poor Lydia will be so heartbroken when she discovers the missing jewels.
Meanwhile, Elizabeth enters the florist’s shop where she tells the shopkeeper that she is purchasing flowers for her sister’s wedding. The shopkeeper, having heard the story of Wickham and Lydia is furious to find out that the scoundrel is no longer in prison and in fact free with a bride in hand. The Florist kidnaps Elizabeth and holds her in the cellar for the pregnant apprentice’s return…
What do you think? I know you have been wishing for a good kidnapping Dave!
DM- LOL Elizabeth is having a rough time in this story – now tied up with rats nibbling on her toes in a cellar! How long will Lydia mourn Wicked – one hour or two? She is one fickle piece of work! What to do with Lydia now? Off to India with a sea captain? Wicked croaking slowly and painfully does not weigh heavily on my conscience.
EC- You always want Lydia taken to India with a Sea Captain! Maybe being a widow is exactly what she wants. It gives her rank and distinction over her unmarried sisters and peers but doesn’t keep her tied down. She is free to be herself. Roaming happily and flirting with every officer she passes. Hmmm, sounds delightful really…
DM- Possibly me wanting her far away has to do with the disruption she causes. Of course her mama will fill in the embarrassing moments all be herself!
EC- and what about Anne?
DM-Lady Catherine gets to remain on her Rosings throne while Anne is unmarried. Since Anne is to Town, Lady Cathy can reign supreme in an uncomfortable truce. Will Lady C interfere with Anne in London?
Having Anne ask for help from Theo and Richard was heart warming. She has a long way to go, but the family seems to be pulling together.
Which should Anne marry to thwart a de Bourgh raid on Rosings? Monty or Richard?
EC- or Brummell?
DM- After the polish, Brummell would be an option. Anne being so agreeable right now, it will open many doors for a rich heiress. I always want Richard to get out of the military but he does not have a romantical link to Anne – she wants more – I think.
EC- I love Richard. Actually I can’t get enough of him. He is more the heart throb for me than Darcy is. Too bad he doesn’t look like Colin Firth. I’ve read several adaptations that have Richard and Anne marrying off and it just doesn’t feel right to me. Especially here, Anne and Richard may have bonded but I haven’t seen any longing stares or embarrassed bumbles. No chemistry.
DM- Yeah, I agree, there just does not seem to be a spark between Anne and Richard.
EC- I really loved the heart to heart with Theo. It was great seeing him take on the role of older brother, even if he is really her cousin. It seems like he is loving taking on what used to be Darcy’s role.
DM- His management of both harpies was impressive – his barrister abilities on display.
EC- I can see Lady Catherine being smoothed over like a cat. When she asked him to stay the night I could almost see her licking her paws.
DM- Maybe a compromise in the making? She would love to control them both.
EC- I’m not sure about Lady Catherine. There was reference to Theo feeling like she understood the will and was lying about it, but I kind of feel like it ended on a rather sweet note with Theo and Lady Catherine and Anne.
DM- Have high hopes for Anne in London – Vauxhall, theatre, beaus, etc.
EC- I kind of felt sorry for Darcy having to break it to Theo that Wicky wasn’t dead and asking if he wanted to see him. I was kind of torn as to whether I wanted him to or not.
DM- Yeah, what is with Theo and Darcy?? They are behaving … amiable! Like close brothers! Will this continue?
EC- I sure hope so. Theo seemed to really enjoy the look of love on Darcy’s face when he spoke of Elizabeth. I think that in the coming weeks as Theo sees that the love is mutual and witnesses how their love grows he is going to start wishing for a love of his own. That longing deep in the pit of his stomach is going to grow. Maybe he starts seeing Darcy in a new light?