Ok, so I know I am woefully late on my OWN readalong posts. I totally should have made the reading sections longer or read them all at once and then written and scheduled the subsequent blog posts. Reading just a few short chapters and putting this aside so I don’t get ahead, and then having to keep coming back to it is KILLING my interest in the story.
Alas, my blogging mojo is gone. So, instead you get this bland, super-late bullet-filled post on chapters 41-50… which is one of the best sections in the whole novel!
In this section:
- silly, uniform-chasing Lydia follows the regiment to Brighton against Elizabeth’s express wishes. It is at this point in the novel when I sincerely believe she deserves the first of many hard smacks. Of course, the only person who maybe deserves them more is clueless Mr. Bennet…
- Lizzie heads off with the Gardiners on their sight-seeing tour of Derbyshire (including Pemberley!) with only a few inappropriately avaricious thoughts. When they stumble upon Darcy himself once there, Elizabeth barely manages to maintain her composure. The embarrassment must have been unbearable! His housekeeper talks up Darcy something awful, and both Lizzie and the Gardiners begin to seriously reevaluate the man.
- Darcy proves he can be polite and even agreeable to Lizzie’s (less disgraceful) familial connections. Of course, the Gardiners are nowhere near as low in standing as the Phillipses, or even the Bennets themselves thanks to Lizzie’s shameless sisters and the family’s pecuniary woes, but he handles his surprise guests with remarkable poise.
- Lizzie finally gets to meet Georgiana Darcy and the two instantly become bosom friends. It seems Darcy has been discussing Miss Bennet with his sister quite openly; Elizabeth and this reader don’t fail to notice this.
- Miss Caroline Bingley again proves her rightful surname should actually be Bitchley. While in mixed company, Bitchley manages to ridicule Georgiana all while trying to embarrass Elizabeth. Lizzie saves the day by keeping her cool and even saving Miss Darcy a time or two during conversation. Darcy clearly approves 🙂
- Lydia disgraces her family by running off unchaperoned with *gasp* Wickham. Of course, she claims they are getting married, but it seems Wickham may have other ideas on the matter. How could even stupid Lydia succumb to such a plan? And isn’t he MIA from his regiment or something? Anyhow, this effectively ruins the rest of the Gardiners’ vacation and Lizzie and Darcy’s budding romance as they must (all) now run off to clean up Lydia’s mess.
- Mr. Collins makes a colossal ass of himself by writing a letter insinuating that it would be better for the Bennet family if Lydia turned up dead. Who the heck asked him anyway??? Ugh.
- Some incredibly important stuff happens unannounced “offstage” which leads to a resolution of Wickham’s debts and secures Lydia’s elopement will end in marriage. Ahem…more on this in P&P post #6.
- Mr. Bennet finally puts his foot down and says that Lydia and Wickham will never be welcome at Longbourn. This seems like shutting the barn door after the cow is out. I mean, really. Of course, he quickly caves under the pressure of everyone else and proves why he is SUCH a terrible father figure to everyone but Lizzie.
Anyway, this is the section where I start to wonder if Darcy can EVER redeem himself for being such an jerk in earlier chapters. Aaaand, then I see how awkwardly shy he is during the Pemberley visits and remember what it is he is doing offstage during this section, and I somehow manage to like him all over again 🙂