Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Pride & Prejudice, Volume III, chapter 19 (ch 61)

Austen ends the book with a roll-call of sorts:

Mrs Bennet: Still silly

Mr Bennet: Often at Pemberley (quite likely without his wife - it wasn't at all uncommon for spouses to travel separately back in the Regency time period, and Austen's own family frequently saw men paying visits without their wives and vice-versa)

The Bingleys: Stayed at Netherfield for a year, then moved in a county near Derbyshire to (a) get away from Mrs Bennet and Mrs Phillips and the rest and (b) be closer to the Darcys

Kitty: Spent a lot of time visiting her sisters and became more rational and educated and less silly. Not allowed to visit the Wickhams.

Mary: Stuck at home as her mother's companion - but she gets out more, and since her sisters aren't there, she's not constantly having her looks compared to theirs

The Wickhams: Lived beyond their means and eventually fell into a relationship not unlike that of the Bennets - he quickly lost any affection for her and she eventually lost hers for him as well. They sponged off of Lizzy and Jane, who shared their pin money with them. Lydia is allowed to visit her sisters, although Mr Wickham is not permitted to visit Pemberley. Still, Darcy helps Wickham with his profession as best as he's able, because he's that nice of a guy and it makes Lizzy happy to help Lydia.

Caroline Bingley: Mortified over Darcy's marriage, but wants to be able to visit Pemberley, so she sucks it up - and sucks up to the Darcys.

Georgiana: Became quite attached to Elizabeth, and learned to loosen up a little.

Lady Catherine: Indignant over the marriage, she sent Darcy a blistering letter and he stopped talking to her. However, Lizzy talked him into writing to her again, and eventually, she came to visit them after all "in spite of that pollution which its woods had received, not merely from the presence of such a mistress, but the visits of her uncle and aunt from the city."

The Gardiners: The Gardiners get the last word:

With the Gardiners, they were always on the most intimate terms. Darcy, as well as Elizabeth, really loved them; and they were both ever sensible of the warmest gratitude towards the persons who, by bringing her into Derbyshire, had been the means of uniting them.

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