Posts Tagged With: Pride and Prejudice

Being Torn

I’m torn. I’m torn about a number of things.

I’m torn about my status as a writer. I get this way from time to time.

calendar-on-waterDecember seems to be a throw away month for me in the area of my writing. The past two years I was treading water from my experience with NaNoWriMo and didn’t have the will or the strength to pull myself up on a lifeboat to write. In a way January has turned into a recovery from December. Just like the past two Decembers, I did not write a thing worth keeping in either January. But I wasn’t drowning. It was more like I was floating around on my back enjoying the quiet of the water around my ears and just how prune-y my fingers could get.

Now it is February and I will have a guilty conscience if I don’t put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard). February is the swift kick in the rear that flings me into the new year. January is nothing.

I’m also torn about some news.

Yesterday I heard that a sequel to To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee will be published this summer. When I first read that my heart leaped into my throat. That one book single-handedly introduced me to a world outside of my own and one, as a small town Southern female, I knew so well it was like looking in a mirror. It is THE book of all books I hold up as my favorite (yes, even above Pride & Prejudice).

For a long time I have known that the public life was not something Harper Lee enjoyed. She did not write that book to become famous or to have people like me pour over the story in an obsessive way. It was too much for her. I also remember her saying she wouldn’t publish anything else. So, the report that a new book was coming from her camp surprised me.

Now I am wondering if, as a woman in her eighties, is it really her wish to have this book put out for the world to see. A great part of me doubts it. As much as I WANT to read it, I wonder if I should.

Are you torn about anything today? How is your writing or other goals for this year going? Are YOU going to read the new Harper Lee book?


This post is part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) blog hop where writers work to support and encourage each other on the first Wednesday of each month. You can click the image or link above to find more musings from other writers.InsecureWritersSupportGroup

The group was founded and is led by our captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh and his merry co-hosts. This month they are: Gwen Gardner, Dolorah, Sarah Foster, and M. Pax!

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Ode To A Ninth Grade English Teacher

Dear Mrs. Pogado* (yes, you will always be Mrs. Pogado to me),

I’ve been meaning to reach out to you for so long. My year in your English class was an entire adult lifetime ago. Time slips away fast and I’ve not done everything I meant to do.

I also taught school for years. Trust me when I say that I know how easy it is to blur the line from one kid to the next. I hope you won’t feel bad that you don’t remember me particularly. I’m sure I was one of many students you encouraged along the way.

thankyouchalkboardWhen I started the ninth grade I believe there were four class phases. I was on the second one from the bottom. There aren’t any feelings I remember about where I was placed. I assumed that’s where I was meant to be.

You didn’t see it that way.

We weren’t far into the first six weeks of school when you pushed me to move up a level. On that subject I do remember feelings. Strong ones. There was a bit of fear, disbelief…pride.

After some jostling of my schedule, I landed in an upper phase. There was some struggle to keep pace. It wasn’t that I couldn’t do the work. I think I’d grown lazy. School had been easy up until then.

But I wanted to make you proud. I wanted you not to be wrong about me. I wanted to belong there.

So I did the work.

I learned some things about myself that year. I found out that being challenged is a good thing. My brain had been coated in rust from years of being good enough. It also occurred to me that I didn’t have to accept what I was given. I can be an obstinate, headstrong girl (nod to Miss Austen) if that’s what it takes. I don’t have to accept that things are meant to be.

I also realized that I am intelligent. Mrs. Vogado, you were the first teacher to make me feel value for my brain. Not that I could draw well, not that I can sing, not that I’m a nice person or that I am tall enough to reach things off a high shelf. No. You made me feel smart. You made me proud of what I can know.

I’ve never let that go.

And as if that wasn’t enough, I also fell in love. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD is still my favorite book. I read it again and again year after year (GREAT EXPECTATIONS? Eh. Not so much, though I still get chills thinking about Miss Haversham).

Reading and writing are such a part of me now. I can’t go a day without a book under my nose. Plus, I’m currently in revisions on my third novel (Young Adult, of course). Part of that is because of you (another part belongs to my mom because she bought me a boxed set of Judy Blume books when I was a kid).

So, for me and all those other students that participated in your class, thank you. You are the teacher we remember. Fondly.

Still Fondly & Hoping You Won’t Grade My Grammar,

Leanne Ross

 

*Names were changed to protect the innocent.
 

Did I mention that I can be found on Twitter, Pinterest,  Google+, Tumblr, & through Email?

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IWSG and April A to Z Posts, post April

A2Z-Pride-and-Prejudice_REF

InsecureWritersSupportGroup

Today’s post is going to serve as my contribution for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group and my 2014 April A to Z Blog Challenge Reflections. These are both blog hops that encourage sharing the love. I hope you’ll follow the links above after you read my post.

The ISWG is a wonderful group of writers who, like me, from time to time need a little encouragement in the crazy, mixed-up world of writing. We post our insecurities or triumphs on the first Wednesday of each month. The blog hop is hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh and his band of merry co-hosts ( Mark Koopmans, Joylene Nowell Butler, Elsie, and Lisa Buie-Collard!). Please give them a visit and a word of thanks (THANK YOU!).

The April A to Z Blog Challenge asks those who sign-up to post daily (except Sundays) throughout the month of April. One letter for each day. The reflections come AFTER April, when we look back at the success or struggles we had during the month.

I think these two blog hops work well together (rationalizing the combined post)…plus it doesn’t hurt that there are a ton of bloggers who are active on both lists.

 

I’m not going to lie to you. April was difficult. I had my A to Z theme (What I LOVE about Pride & Prejudice) mapped out before the month began, but that doesn’t mean I really knew where I was going. It was a daily dash to get a blog post ready for the next day. I read, researched and dug up/created images for each letter. I think I walked around in a Mr. Darcy daze half the time.

As hard as it was, I also loved it.

  1. Not only did I get some new followers (thank you folks…you know who you are), but I also made some new friends. It’s amazing how many people love Jane Austen and her most famous piece of writing (I wonder if she were alive today, would she join ISWG?….hmmm).
  2. I also learned SO MUCH. I knew the story of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy really spoke to me, but going over it with a fine tooth comb made me appreciate it even more (glad it wasn’t for a class…I never HAD to read P & P in school. I discovered it on my own as an adult).
  3. The A to Z Challenge reminded me that I can do anything day in and day out…simply because I wanted to do it. Writing 26 coherent (I hope, at least) blog posts on a beloved piece of literature will do that for you. I didn’t even care if no one read the posts (well, I care a little). This theme was for me.
  4. I also have this overwhelming appreciation for the coordinators of the A to Z challenge and all the teams who worked tirelessly visiting everyone on the list. It was a real undertaking and I want to say THANK YOU. We could never have pulled off such a feat without you.

 

As for my own novel I was writing before April began, it is exactly where I left it. The last saved file on my computer is dated March 30, 2014. There was just no energy left after working all day and posting all evening to get anything else done (I barely did laundry). This is why I usually only blog once or twice a week. The REASON I write a blog starts to slip away when I DO write a blog. I just need to find a balance.

 

If you didn’t catch my A to Z blogs on Pride & Prejudice, I hope you’ll take a look. I have them linked below.

 

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My A to Z of Pride and Prejudice – Letter Z

Pride-and-Prejudice_LOVE I can’t believe this month is coming to a close. The 2014 April A to Z Challenge was one crazy ride. My theme, “What I Love About Pride and Prejudice,” kept me busy. It was the “good” sort of busy though…full of focus and inspiration. I want to thank all of you who have read and/or commented on my posts throughout the month. It’s been a delight!

Long May Pride & Prejudice Be Read!

 

ZZ is for Zombies

“I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book!” ― Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

I wonder how many of you who’ve stuck with me over the course of the month knew that I was going to use Zombies for my Z word. When I decided that Pride & Prejudice was going to be my theme, I had very little trouble sorting out the words I would use for each post. I guess I could have chosen terms like Zeal or Zest to mark the end. Either of those words might be used to describe the characters, setting, or plot of the story, but they just wouldn’t wrap up the alphabet for me like Zombies does.

pride-and-prejudice-and-zombies

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith

If you are a fan of Pride & Prejudice, you’ve likely heard of the book Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. The book is a lighthearted parody of the original story with the added bonus of zombies thrown into the mix. Now, I’m not recommending the book (unless you are into the bloody mess that seems to follow the walking dead). I wanted to use it to point out that Pride & Prejudice and all of Jane Austen’s stories are still going strong. There is a whole world of adaptations all centered on the work of our dear Jane. I’ve read a lot of it. There are continuations, re-tellings, a mystery series, websites full of fan fiction and hours of video. My favorites are the ones that follow the same formula Jane Austen set in place. That’s because, if you’ve read my posts you know, the best parts of the story for me are the misunderstandings that get in the way of the romance. There isn’t so much of that once Elizabeth and Darcy say I do.

Austenland

Austenland by Shannon Hale

Of all the adaptations out there that I enjoy, there are ones that I love. As reading material, I’m going to recommend Austenland by Shannon Hale. This is the story of a modern day Pride & Prejudice fan who watches the DVD with Colin Firth on a loop (hmmm…sounds familiar). She’s given a vacation at a Jane Austen themed resort and begins her search for her own Mr. Darcy. It was made into a good movie, but the book is wonderful. I have it permanently on my bedside table for light reading whenever I’m in need of a good laugh and a swoon.

Lost in Austen

BBC’s Lost in Austen

In the medium of videos, I’m going to suggest the BBC’s miniseries Lost In Austen. This one is about a Pride & Prejudice fan who reads the book almost every night. When Elizabeth Bennet appears in her bathroom (shocking), they switch places. The girl works to keep the story moving along while she tries to get back home. There are some hilarious revelations plus a delightful wet shirt scene with Mr. Darcy that makes this my favorite Pride & Prejudice video after the 1995 BBC version (Sorry Colin Firth, Elliot Cowan is my favorite Mr. Darcy).

Since both of these recommendations have the lead living the fantasy of Pride & Prejudice, you might think I’d wish to do the same. That’s not true. I already have the man I love. Besides, who would want to wear a corset? Ugh. I just love a good love story and I always will.

Thank you Miss Austen.

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My A to Z of Pride and Prejudice – Letter Y

Pride-and-Prejudice_LOVEThe April A to Z Blogging Challenge is where a few thousand bloggers post every day of the month (except Sundays) using a different letter of the alphabet. My theme is:  “What I Love About Pride and Prejudice.” Y

Y is for Young

“Young ladies of her age are sometimes a little difficult to manage…” –Jane Austen Pride & Prejudice

Being a Young Adult fiction writer, I think I should point out that Pride & Prejudice is ALL about the young people. Anyone….ehmm….old in the story (save the Gardiners who are angels from Heaven) is pretty much ridiculous. Case in point: Mr. & Mrs. Bennet plus good ‘ole Lady Catherine de Bourgh.

youthful

The Bennet Sisters from the 2005 Pride & Prejudice Film

Instead of harping about what importance youth was to Jane Austen’s storyline, I thought I would share some quotes containing the word YOUNG and/or YOUTH from the book.

“Why, my dear, you must know, Mrs. Long says that Netherfield is taken by a young man of large fortune from the north of England…” –Mrs. Bennet to Mr. Bennet on page one of the book.


“He is just what a young man ought to be,” said she, “sensible, good-humored, lively, and I never saw such happy manners!” –Jane to Elizabeth about Bingley.


“Mr. Darcy, you must allow me to present this young lady to you as a very desirable partner.” –Sir William Lucas offers up Elizabeth to Mr. Darcy as a dancing partner as she crosses the room.


“It is amazing to me how young ladies can have patience to be very accomplished as they all are.” –Bingley to room at Netherfield when Elizabeth was staying there to be near an ill Jane.


“But I can assure the young ladies that I come prepared to admire them.” Mr. Collins to Mrs. Bennet upon arriving at Longbourne.


“I do assure you that I am not one of those young ladies (if such young ladies there are) who are daring as to risk their happiness on the chance of being asked a second time.” –Elizabeth to Mr. Collins upon refusing his marriage proposal.


“You will hardly bear to be long outdone by Jane. Now is your time. Here are officers enough at Meryton to disappoint all the young ladies in the country. Let Wickham be your man. He is a pleasant fellow, and will jilt you creditably.” Mr. Bennet to Elizabeth regarding how a female likes to be crossed in love.


“But really, ma’am, I think it would be very hard upon younger sisters, that they should not have their share of society and amusements, because the elder may not have the means or inclination to marry early.” Elizabeth speaking her mind to Lady Catherine.


“The situation of your mother’s family, though objectionable, was nothing in comparison of that total want of propriety so frequently, so almost uniformly betrayed by herself, by your three younger sisters, and occasionally even by your father.” Darcy to Elizabeth regarding his concerns in marrying her.


“She is my youngest girl, but one, my youngest of all is lately married; and my eldest is somewhere about the ground, walking with a young man, who I believe, will soon become part of the family.” Mrs. Bennet to Lady Catherine, bragging.


“I am no stranger to the particulars of your youngest sister’s infamous elopement. I know it all; that the young man’s marrying her was a patched-up business, at the expense of your father and uncle.” Lady Catherine to Elizabeth when she came to insist Elizabeth not marry Darcy.


“If any young men come for Mary or Kitty, send them in, for I am quite at leisure.” Mr. Bennet to the house after Jane and Elizabeth have become engaged.

I searched for these quotes, picking the ones that most intrigued me. Afterwards I laid them out in sequential order and discovered something. Reading them this way almost tells the whole story. Obviously, youth is important to the book. It is the lives of these young people, some more mature than others, that are the focus of Pride & Prejudice.

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My A to Z of Pride and Prejudice – Letter X

Pride-and-Prejudice_LOVEThe April A to Z Blogging Challenge is where a few thousand bloggers post every day of the month (except Sundays) using a different letter of the alphabet. My theme is:  “What I Love About Pride and Prejudice.”

X

X is for seX

“To Mr. Darcy it was welcome intelligence–Elizabeth had been at Netherfield long enough. She attracted him more than he liked –” –Jane Austen Pride & Prejudice

I know I’m cheating by using the X at the end of the word. I also know I’m cheating because there is no ‘sex’ in Pride & Prejudice. Technically, the word SEX is in the novel six times. Of course Jane Austen used it to describe gender, but hey…I’m no monument to justice (Moonstruck reference).

One thing I love so much about Pride & Prejudice is that no sex is necessary to carry off the romantic story. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy a well written romp as much as anyone, but this book has stood the test of time without it. Besides, I know there is sex happening in the story. Come on. The Bennets have five daughters. There had to be something going on behind the scenes…at least at Longbourne. And…just what do we think Lydia and Wickham were doing holed up in London? I doubt they were playing cards.

Just because we don’t get any graphic details it doesn’t mean that Jane Austen deprives us of sexual tension. From the very beginning of seeing Mr. Darcy, Elizabeth found him attractive – yet rude. Though he wasn’t moved upon first seeing her, the more Darcy was in Elizabeth’s company the more he found her to have “fine eyes.” At a gathering early in the story Jane Austen describes the growing feelings Darcy has for Elizabeth.

“Occupied in observing Mr. Bingley’s attentions to her sister, Elizabeth was far from suspecting that she was herself becoming an object of some interest in the eyes of his friend. Mr. Darcy had at first scarcely allowed her to be pretty; he had looked at her without admiration at the ball; and when they next met, he looked at her only to criticize. But no sooner had he made it clear to himself and his friends that she had hardly a good feature in her face, than he began to find it was rendered uncommonly intelligent by the beautiful expression of her dark eyes. To this discovery succeeded some others equally mortifying. Though he had detected with a critical eye more than one failure of perfect symmetry in her form, he was forced to acknowledge her figure to be light and pleasing; and in spite of his asserting that her manners were not those of the fashionable world, he was caught by their easy playfulness. Of this she was perfectly unaware;–to her he was only the man who made himself agreeable nowhere, and who had not thought her handsome enough to dance with.

He began to wish to know more of her, and as a step towards conversing with her himself, attended to her conversation with others.”

Uhmm…Darcy is in REAL trouble.

The-Kiss

Elizabeth and Darcy, 2005 Pride & Prejudice Film

Later when he can deny his feelings no longer his proposal, though full of anger, was also full of passion. That opening line lays it all on the table. “In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”

Elizabeth takes longer to come around, but after reading his letter her coldness towards him begins to melt. At Pemberly she stares longingly at Darcy’s smiling portrait and then enjoys seeing him in person. When she finally has forgiven all his misdeeds, she is eager for reconciliation. At Longbourne, near the end of the story, Darcy accompanies Bingley on his visit to see Jane. Elizabeth is beside herself with her want for Darcy.

“Darcy had walked away to another part of the room. She followed him with her eyes, envied every one to whom he spoke, had scarcely patience enough to help anybody to coffee, and then was enraged against herself for being so silly!

‘A man who has once been refused! How could I ever be foolish enough to expect a renewal of his love? Is there one among the sex who would not protest against such a weakness as a second proposal to the same woman? There is no indignity so abhorrent to their feelings!”

It is these moments, these subtle gems thrown in on occasion that are the real passion in the story. Jane Austen didn’t need to be explicit. The flames of the sexual tension are so hot, who needs a wild romp? Maybe I should have titled this post:

My A to Z of Pride and Prejudice – Letter X is for lack of X-Rating!

 

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My A to Z of Pride and Prejudice – Letter W

Pride-and-Prejudice_LOVEThe April A to Z Blogging Challenge is where a few thousand bloggers post every day of the month (except Sundays) using a different letter of the alphabet. My theme is:  “What I Love About Pride and Prejudice.”

W

W is for Wickham (the Wicked)

“Mr. Wickham was the happy man towards whom almost every female eye was turned.” –Jane Austen Pride & Prejudice

It seems like ages since I first wanted to write this post. In vain I have struggled (see what I did there?) to keep Wickham out of my other posts. He deserved his own…and I had to wait until near the end of the month to tell you how ardently I love, though not admire, Wickham (HA! I did it again).

The many faces of Wickham!

bbcWickham

Adrian Lukis as Wickham in 1995 BBC mini-series

FILMwickham

Rupert Friend as Wickham in 2005 film version

LINwickham

Tom Riley as Wickham in Lost In Austen (my favorite)

George Wickham comes to Meryton following Mr. Collins arrival at Longbourne and well after Mr. Darcy snubs Elizabeth during the ball at the assembly halls. He is to join the militia and, with his good looks and happy manners, Wickham becomes the darling to all the Bennet clan (well, the females anyway). Here is how Jane Austen describes him: “His appearance was greatly in his favour; he had all the best part of beauty, a fine countenance, a good figure, and very pleasing address. The introduction was followed up on his side by a happy readiness of conversation—a readiness at the same time perfectly correct and unassuming.”

Wickham, who was the son of the late Mr. Darcy’s steward, grew up with Fitzwilliam Darcy. He, a favorite of Darcy’s father, was promised a living as a clergyman. He explains to Elizabeth that Darcy was so jealous of his relationship with the father that the life he was to have was denied him. She and all the village of Meryton are happy to believe any words against Darcy, so Wickham spreads his venom far and wide.

We don’t learn until later that Mr. Wickham isn’t what he appears. When he quickly changes his affections from Elizabeth to the girl that inherited 10,000 pounds we should become suspicious. In the letter Darcy writes Elizabeth, he describes exactly what sort of snake Wickham is and how he would have used Darcy’s young sister. Elizabeth feels lucky to escape Wickham unscathed…that is until he seduces Lydia.

I think George Wickham’s wickedness comes from not being able to live within his own means. Though he denied it, he never wanted to join the clergy. He was quite happy to have Darcy buy him off instead of working for a living. Then when that money was gone, Wickham moved on to a scheme to steal away with the young Georgiana Darcy to ensure he got a hand on her fortune. It all comes from a love of money. Wickham was given a life, as a child, that he wouldn’t have had otherwise. He grew accustomed to the finer things and wasn’t willing to relinquish them.

The truth is, Wickham is the complete opposite of Darcy; the anti-Darcy. In the beginning he is charming and charismatic, but ends up showing himself vile. Darcy, on the other hand, starts out being rude and selfish but redeems himself like the perfect man we all know him to be. Elizabeth said it best, “There certainly was some great mismanagement in the education of those two young men. One has got all the goodness, and the other all the appearance of it.”

If Darcy is the character we love to love, then Wickham has to be the one we love to hate. What are your thoughts on George Wickham?

 

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My A to Z of Pride and Prejudice – Letter V

Pride-and-Prejudice_LOVEThe April A to Z Blogging Challenge is where a few thousand bloggers post every day of the month (except Sundays) using a different letter of the alphabet. My theme is:  “What I Love About Pride and Prejudice.”V

V is for Vogue

 “Look here, I have bought this bonnet. I do not think it is very pretty; but I thought I might as well buy it as not. I shall pull it to pieces as soon as I get home, and see if I can make it up any better.” –Jane Austen Pride & Prejudice

fashion2

Who wears it best? What was vogue in the 1800s.

I am sorry to admit it, for I wouldn’t want to wear those clothes, but I love the fashion or ‘vogue’ of the Regency period. The men with their cravats and the empire waists on the ladies’ dresses set my heart to flutter. Just thinking about it makes me want to pull out my DVDs and watch Elizabeth fall in love with Mr. Darcy all over again.

The special thing about the clothes for the gentry is that they look so noble. I know the women are wearing corsets that force them into uncomfortable positions. It certainly isn’t fair. At the same time the men must be sweltering in jackets and top hats during the summer months. Nonetheless, the look is elegant. There is a certain “class” to the upper class of that period.

Again, I don’t want to go back to that time period. I just have an appreciation for well made bonnets and hessian boots. It is enough for me to watch period productions like Pride & Prejudice. I wouldn’t want to live them.

For a detailed explanation of the clothes during the Regency Period, please see Candice Hern’s website. She does a much better job explaining the clothing than I ever could. Why re-invent the wheel?

Let me know what YOU think.

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My A to Z of Pride and Prejudice – Letter U

Pride-and-Prejudice_LOVEThe April A to Z Blogging Challenge is where a few thousand bloggers post every day of the month (except Sundays) using a different letter of the alphabet. My theme is:  “What I Love About Pride and Prejudice.”

U

U is for Universal Truth

Truth-Universal“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”  –Jane Austen Pride & Prejudice

And so begins Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice. This amazing first sentence is considered one of the most famous opening lines in all of English literature. It is much quoted and parodied, from advertisements to television shows. “A truth universally acknowledged” is synonymous with Pride & Prejudice itself.

One outstanding benefit of this sentence is that it takes us, the readers, immediately into the story. We know that there is a wealthy SINGLE man. We also know that he is going to get a wife…whether he knows he wants one or not.

We also know that this is going to be a story full of humor. The ironic comedy of the second line clears up any question, “However little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on his first entering the neighborhood, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families, that he is considered as the rightful property of some one or other of their daughters.” Not only is the wealthy man going to marry, but he is going to marry one of the town’s daughters. Case closed.

The REAL universal truth that the narrator is trying to get at is the opposite of what is stated. Men of wealth and status in England of the Regency period did not necessarily have to have a wife. The need for a marriage with the benefits of money and rank fell on the ladies of the land. Their means to support themselves was so limited, it was crucial for the women to marry well.

I love that Jane Austen took jabs at the social conventions of her day. She, who never married and who felt the need to write anonymously, knew what the limitations for her life as a woman were. The good news is that she seemed to be able to laugh at it.

 

What are your takes on the universal truth? I’d love to read your comments.

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My A to Z of Pride and Prejudice – Letter T

Pride-and-Prejudice_LOVEThe April A to Z Blogging Challenge  is where a few thousand bloggers post every day of the month (except Sundays) using a different letter of the alphabet. My theme is:  “What I Love About Pride and Prejudice.”

Go Vols!

T is for Travel

“Where there is fortune to make the expense of traveling unimportant, distance becomes no evil.”  –Jane Austen Pride & Prejudice

While most of Pride & Prejudice takes place in and around the village of Meryton, travel plays an important part of the story. When Jane Austen was alive, travel of a real distance meant taking a horse and carriage. It took a long time to go even the distance of thirty miles in a slow moving carriage, so people tended to stay put. This means that any traveling done in the writing must be significant to the story.

Of the Bennet girls, Jane is the first to go anywhere in the book. She leaves Longbourne with her Uncle and Aunt Gardiner to stay at their home in London for an extended visit. During this time Jane tries to further her acquaintance with Caroline Bingley. She learns once and for all that Charles Bingley’s sisters are not her friends and is led to believe that Mr. Bingley has no feelings for her.

While Jane is away, Elizabeth travels to spend some weeks with her friend Charlotte and Charlotte’s new husband, Mr. Collins. There she’s exposed to the domineering Lady Catherine de Bourgh, Mr. Darcy’s aunt, and again is forced into the company of Mr. Darcy. It is during this trip that Mr. Darcy botches up a proposal of marriage to Elizabeth. She also learns the truth about the man she considered a family friend. Mr. Wickham is not the gallant figure he seems, though she is duty bound not to expose him.

After Elizabeth comes home, it is Lydia’s turn to leave Longbourne. She hopes to follow the officers to Brighton under the guise of spending time with her friend. Even though Elizabeth begs her father not to let her go, Mr. Bennet would rather not have Lydia moping within earshot. He doesn’t heed Elizabeth’s advice. The youngest Bennet goes off to sow her oats.

It’s then Elizabeth’s turn to travel with her Uncle and Aunt. They’re supposed to spend time in the lake country, but decide to take a shorter trip to Derbyshire where Mrs. Gardiner spent her youth. This is where Mr. Darcy’s estate, Pemberly, is located. Of course, the travelers run into Mr. Darcy. He is so changed from the arrogant man she knew in Meryton, that Elizabeth has a hard time reconciling this person with who he used to be. He even takes delight in introducing her to his sister. Everything begins to point towards a happy ending when Elizabeth receives word that Lydia has run off with Wickham while staying in Brighton. Elizabeth leaves Darcy fearing that the ruin her sister is facing blemishes the rest of the family. She is certain Mr. Darcy will have no further use for her.

The travel that Jane Austen used in Pride & Prejudice was not just a change of scenery because she was bored with Meryton. Travel is like the journey that every protagonist takes throughout a story. They have to change to grow. The story of Elizabeth, Mr. Darcy and all the supporting characters grow as they make their journeys.

What are you thoughts on travel in Pride & Prejudice? Others, besides the Bennets and travel throughout the story. Do these other journeys have as much to bear on the story as those of the three Bennet girls?

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