Monday, 11 September 2017

FAIR STANDS THE WIND BLOG TOUR - CATHERINE LODGE, IN DEFENCE OF MRS BENNET


Author Guest Post

I admit it, I feel sorry for Mrs Bennet.  I know she would be horrendously annoying to live with, no one likes to hear the same thing over and over again, and no one likes to be told what they ought to be doing, especially if it's the one thing you don't want to do, whether it's tidying your bedroom or marrying someone you can't stand.
But the poor woman, really doesn't understand her own life.  She must know that her husband despises her and most of her children, he makes no secret of the fact and she, equally obviously, does not understand why.  As far as she is concerned, she is doing everything right, she runs a comfortable, well-fed household and she is doing her best to get her daughters advantageously married.  Indeed, she seems to be the only person who understands how desperately important it is to get them married, and what a horrendously stupid thing Elizabeth does in refusing Mr Collins.
After all, if Mr Bennet dies - and I read an interesting suggestion recently that he might be an older man captivated by a younger woman - all the Bennet ladies plummet down the social scale into genteel poverty. Poverty which she, in particular, is ill-equipped to deal with. We know she does not understand the entail, she probably really thinks she is destined for the hedgerows in her shift.
So a foolish woman, without information or self-control adrift in her own life. She does not even know what she is doing wrong, no one has apparently taken the trouble to educate her, least of all her husband.  One wonders how the brother, Mr Gardiner, turned out so well and the sisters did not.  Could it just be that the son was educated and the daughters were not thought worth the trouble, and the mesdames Bennet and Phillips are terrible gossips because they've been given nothing else to fill their minds
I can't help thinking she would have been much happier married to someone in a humbler station in life, someone with as little education as herself. When I was younger, I laughed at Mrs Bennet with the best of us, but now she seems to me to be a tragic figure. 



What do you think of Mrs. Bennet? Do you feel sorry for her? Think her ridiculous? Or think her a tragic figure?

Catherine Lodge



About the Book: Fair Stands the Wind

We all know that in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Mr Darcy is proud and prejudiced because he is a wealthy landowner who believes himself above his company; and that Elizabeth Bennet can afford to be proud and prejudiced because she believes she has the freedom to make choices for herself.

But what if Mr Darcy is the second son, sent to sea at a young age? What if Elizabeth is trapped by circumstances, with an ill father on one side and an understandably desperate mother on the other?

Meet Captain Darcy of the Royal Navy, a successful frigate captain, with ample prize-money and a sister he needs to provide for while he is at sea. Meet Elizabeth Bennet, who needs a husband and is trying to resign herself to Mr Collins, the worst “least worst alternative” in the history of literature.

About the Author

Catherine Lodge is a semi-retired lawyer and lecturer, living in Yorkshire–a part of the UK even more beautiful than Derbyshire. One of five daughters, although by birth order regrettably the Jane, she found 19th Century literature early in her teens and never looked back–even if that meant her school essays kept coming back with “archaic!” written in the margin next to some of her favourite words. She still thinks that “bruited” is a much nicer word than “rumoured.”

After years of drafting leases and pleadings, she finally started to write for fun in her forties and has never stopped since. Much of this will never see the light of day, having been fed to the digital equivalent of a roaring bonfire, but “Fair Stands the Wind” is the first book she thinks worthy of public attention.
She spends her day fixing computer problems for friends and family, singing in her local choir, and avoiding the ironing
  
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Buy Links

Fair Stands the Wind   (Amazon US)

Fair Stands the Wind   (Amazon UK)


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12 comments:

Maria said...

The first time I read Pride and Prejudice, I thought Mrs. Bennet was funny. Then, I kind of pitied her because of how they treated her and how everybody was ashamed of her. Now, I'm just lucky she's not my mother! :D

Janet T said...

Your last statement made me laugh, Maria. I'm glad she's not my mother too. I have mixed feelings about her. Sometimes, I get aggravated at her and other times, I can feel a bit sorry for her. She can be funny but mostly, she is annoying. Her constant prattle gets old as does her quick about face on Wickham and Lydia.

Eva said...

I do think that Mrs. Bennet is ridiculous and doesn't understand Mr. Bennet and Elizabeth; however, she does achieve her aims in that her two eldest daughters do marry very wealthy men and Lydia, at least, a very handsome one. Her fears of the hedgerows are now gone.

Catherine Lodge said...

Yes. Say what you want but Mrs B is the only person who gets exactly what they've wanted all along.

BookLuver88 said...

I've always wondered the same thing about Mr Gardiner and Mrs. Bennett

Jo's Daughter said...

Mrs Bennet might not be the brightest bulb ever. Be slightly ridiculous at times... But she does want her daughters to do well. Marrying for security is her idea of a good match/life. I think she has, if not a great mind, a good heart underneath.

Suzan Lauder said...

I've always thought that Mrs. Bennet would be the most fun character to play in a movie or theatrical adaptation.

Vesper Meikle said...

Mrs Bennet might have been happier and contented if her husband had been more of a guide for her, and not an insolent **** who couldn't even make the effort to provide for his family

darcybennett said...

I have always felt sorry for the way her husband treats her with so little respect and believe she loves her children.

Vesper Meikle said...

I obviously meant to type - indolent - much too early to type correctly

Ria said...

I feel sorry for her but still enjoy laughing about her antics. I've come to think that perhaps Mr. Bennett is the poorer of the two as a parent. At least Mrs. Bennett is actively trying to better things for her girls and in turn herself. Her ways of doing so aren't well done but she is trying. Mr. Bennett just prefers to be locked away with his books and laugh at people's folly. He does little to better any of their lives.

Lúthien84 said...

I couldn't stand anyone who nags as much as Mrs Bennet. I feel sorry for Elizabeth and Jane and cringe with them everything she made an off-handed remark that may seem rude in polite society. My feelings may seem harsh because I'm not a mother so I identify with her daughters more.