Monday, 25 July 2011

MARY SIMONSEN'S GUEST BLOG & GIVEAWAY - A WIFE FOR MR DARCY BLOG TOUR


I'm glad to welcome Mary Simonsen as today's guest on My Jane Austen Book Club. She is here on her blog tour for the launch of  A Wife for Mr. Darcy, a new Pride and Prejudice-inspired novel that was released on July 1, 2011 by Sourcebooks. The Publishers have kindly granted all US/Canada readers who will leave their comments +e-mail address here a chance to win a free copy of the book. The giveaway ends on August 1st.
 
Thank you, Maria Grazia, for hosting me on your blog. It is always a pleasure. You asked me to write about how the three couples (Elizabeth/Darcy, Jane/Bingley, and Lydia/Wickham) interact after their marriages. Jane Austen provides the clues to their future in her final chapter of Pride and Prejudice.

After a year of marriage, Jane and Charles move out of Hertfordshire (and away from the Bennets) and closer to Derbyshire (to be nearer to the Darcys). And that tells us a lot right there. Although Charles is as mellow a fellow as there is in literature, he can only take so much of his in-laws. Despite improvements in Kitty and Mary’s character, there is still the silly Mrs. Bennet to contend with. Because you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, Bingley’s mother-in-law will continue to utter inappropriate comments at the worst possible times and probably talk a great deal about Lydia and George Wickham.

According to Austen, with only thirty miles separating the Bingley and Darcy estates, Jane is so often at Pemberley that Charles hints to Darcy that their host should ask his visitors to go home. I like that. Despite his friendship with Darcy and his affection for Elizabeth, Charles wants time to be alone with his bride. Ditto for the Darcys. I can easily imagine our favorite couple enjoying a lengthy honeymoon. As the years pass, I picture the carriages of the Bingleys and the Darcys wearing ruts in the road between their two estates, and, of course, once the children arrive, the visits will last even longer.

On the other hand, Lydia and her dear Wickham continue to be a problem for the Darcys. Since Georgiana remains at Pemberley after Lizzy and Darcy tie the knot, it is impossible for Elizabeth to have Lydia and Wickham come to visit when Fitzwilliam and Georgiana are there. After all, Wickham tried to lure a fifteen-year old girl into an elopement so that he might have access to her fortune and as a way of retaliating against her brother for his perceived ill treatment. Although Jane Austen has Lydia and Wickham visiting Pemberley when Darcy is not at home, I think the visits would have been few and far between. How can you sit down to supper with someone who is a liar, a seducer, and an unrepentant reprobate? I would imagine that Lydia would have had more success in securing invitations from Jane and Bingley than she would have from the Darcys.

I have five sisters, and we are very close. We visit frequently, and when we do, we seem to get silly very quickly. Because of that, it doesn’t take long before our husbands slip away, usually to watch a ballgame, so that they don’t have to hear our childhood stories for the umpteenth time. I imagine that it would be like that for Jane and Elizabeth. While Darcy and Bingley shoot billiards, their wives will reminisce about their youth at Longbourn and that all important dance at the Meryton assembly when Jane and Bingley fell in love and a tiny flame began to burn inside of Mr. Darcy.


What do you think? Did Lydia and Wickham successfully weasel an invitation to visit Pemberley or the Bingley estate? I would love to hear from you.

Mary Lydon Simonsen

16 comments:

maribea said...

I think that Lydia might have come to Pemberley once or twice at the most, just for appearances' sake. So everybody knew they were still part of the family, but nothing more. And of course, sister Elizabeth was there to welcome the guests when her husband and Georgiana were obviously away from home. A polite way to say: happy you're here and happier when you live. But one was not supposed to say much in Georgian England!!!

Margaret said...

I would say no. They were not in good public standing even though they were married. I think they would still be shunned. Good question! Thanks for the giveaway!

Margaret
singitm@hotmail.com

MarySimonsen said...

Hi Maria Grazia. It's so good to be back at My Jane Austen Book Club. I'm on vacation, but I'll check back in on Wed. Looking forward to reading all the comments. :)

Debbie Brown said...

Don't enter me, I've won my share for a while, but I just wanted to say that it is on my TBR list and I do want to read it. It sounds wonderful!

Jj said...

Elizabeth would never allow Wickham to visit Pemberley and perhaps use that for a reason to exclude Lydia too. I would.

Regina Jeffers said...

We see Elizabeth being very protective of Darcy at the end of P&P. Austen mentions how Elizabeth tried to shield him from Aunt Philips, Mr. Collins, and Sir William Lucas. Therefore, I would find it hard to believe that she would welcome Wickham at Pemberley. It would be as if he tainted the place. That being said, Lydia would be tolerated by Darcy for short periods of time. Both Wickham and Lydia would impose on the Bingleys.

Mystica said...

I think they will come - invitation or no invitation.

Don't count me in for the giveaway (overseas!)

Georgie Lee said...

Lydia would try and weasle an invitation but ELizabeth would be too smart to fall for it. Jane would be too sweet to turn Lydia down.

Debbie Brown said...

I changed my mind- please count me in. :D

MarySimonsen said...

I'm going to agree with Mystica. I think Lydia and Wickham are like bad pennies. They would keep showing up, relying on the good graces of Darcy and Elizabeth. But w/Wickham in the regular army, maybe he gets sent to the Iberian Peninsula to fight Napoleon.

mbreakfield said...

Lydia might have been invited by herself, but Wickham would have never been invited to Pemberley. Both would have probably been invited to Bingley's estate.
marlenebreakfield(at)yahoo(dot)com

MarySimonsen said...

Again, my thanks to everyone who visited. Good luck in the giveaway.

JessiKay89 said...

I think that they would try to weasel their way into Pemberley, but that they wouldn't have much success. Although, I can also imagine that perhaps Lydia might make an appearance every so often alone because I have a hard time picturing Lizzie turning her sister away. And we all know Jane is too sweet to turn them away, so they'd probably have better luck there.

Great, thought-provoking post!

countrygirl922@verizon.net

Jakki L. said...

I think Lydia might come by herself. Hmm? Maybe to get away from Wickham for a bit (I can't imagine her being too happy with him unless they are in bed), hit Lizzy up for money and some new clothes, and of course, a new bonnet or two. I think Wickham would visit Jane and Bingley. I think Wickham would not like to cross paths with Darcy and Elizabeth again so he puts Lydia to task asking both older sisters for money.
Great question Mary!
(Not entering giveaway)

Margay said...

Somehow, after everything Wickham did to them, I don't think he ever got an invite to Pemberley. It's possible they weaseled their way onto the Bingley estate, as Jane and Charles are more soft-hearted, somewhat naive and very forgiving.

Margay1122ATaolDOTcom

Anonymous said...

I don't think we have to speculate; Jane Austen tells us in the last chapter of P&P. Lydia occasionally visits Pemberley, but Wickham never goes there. But Lydia and Wickham frequently stayed so long at the Bingley's estate, that they usually wore out their welcome and Bingley asked them to leave (by dropping hints).

BTW... Bingley never asked Darcy to make Jane come home from Pemberley.