The April A to Z Blogging Challenge is a month-long event where I, and more than 2000 other bloggers, will post every day of the month (except Sundays) using a different letter of the alphabet. The theme of my posts will be “What I Love About Pride and Prejudice.” Click the link above or the A to Z badge in my sidebar to visit other participants.
M is for Meryton
“While there was an officer in Meryton, they would flirt with him; and while Meryton was within a walk of Longbourn, they would be going there for ever.” –Jane Austen Pride & Prejudice
Meryton is the fictitious village in Pride and Prejudice that sits about a mile from the Bennet’s estate. It is where the Bennet girls walk to find ribbon for their bonnets or hear gossip from their neighbors. The villiage is the center of their world, and where much of the story takes place.
Because Mrs. Bennet’s sister, Mrs. Phillips, lives in Meryton, visits offers a convenient excuse for the Bennet girls to spend a lot of time there. They go to dinners and a card party with their cousin Mr. Collins. It is at the Meryton Assembly Hall where we first meet Mr. Bingley and his arrogant friend Mr. Darcy.
The scoundrel Mr. George Wickham meets the Bennets on the streets of Meryton when he comes to join the militia. Also, we’re privy to some bad feelings between Darcy and Wickham when Elizabeth notices how they react upon seeing each other on the street. In no time the girls begin to think of Wickham as a favorite and he becomes a staple in their company. The Bennet sisters, particularly Lydia and Kitty, spend a lot of time coming to Meryton to visit the officers.
Meryton offers another instance for Elizabeth and Darcy to rub each other the wrong way. At a party, Darcy can’t seem to keep his eyes off Elizabeth, making her feel defensive. Sir William Lucas also tries to get Elizabeth to dance with Darcy, but she refuses.
It is because this little village is the local gathering spot for the inhabitants near and around that make Meryton an important part of the story. Most of the parties, dinners and dances in the book take place here. Meryton is the hub that the society in Pride & Prejudice rotates around.