And, ladies and gents, we have arrived at the conclusion of my dearly loved, but lately loathed, Pride and Prejudice. My favorite moment in the whole novel happens in this final section, but we’ll get to that in a moment.
First we get:
- The “celebrated” arrival of Lydia and Wickham at Longbourn. The best part of this is Lydia’s catty remark to Jane about how she has displaced her in the family lineup now that she is married. Disgraceful, but so Lydia.
- The reveal by brainless Lydia of Darcy’s involvement in her wedding. Swoon. I just can’t even…
- Mrs. Bennet’s woefully unsubtle attempts to get Bingley and Jane alone. I can only picture the two of them laughing at her ridiculousness once their engagement gets resolved.
- The awkward thanks Elizabeth gives to Darcy regarding his discreet, uncredited salvation of her sister and her family. This is just so perfect considering he did so at considerable monetary expense, but also at the expense, surely, of his vaunted pride. After all, you’d have to love a girl sort of a lot to bail out your sworn enemy. And although I always doubt that I can forgive Darcy his nastiness to Lizzie at the beginning of the novel, somehow, the nobility and sworn silence of this one act always equals forgiveness. All girls deserve a lover who will also be their savior in this way 🙂
So what is the best moment of all? Well, it is clearly when Lady Catherine de Bourgh shows up at Longbourn unannounced just after the conclusion of all the Lydia-wedding drama. She shows up uninvited (such poor manners!) to intimidate Lizzie into declining any marriage proposal Darcy has made or will make to her in the future. And as much as I love Jane Austen, it took Dame Judi Dench, a rude awakening, some nightgowns and bedhead, and a nighttime parlor, to make this scene perfect. Now, when I reread this, I always picture in my head Judi Dench spitting the lines out so disparagingly.
And although I usually cannot stand Keira Knightley and her distractingly flattish face, after she is completely undaunted and holds her own against Lady Catherine in the scene above, even I have to admit I love the simplicity of this swoon-worthy moment.
And, dammit, now I want to watch the movies again. Kelley, up for a girlie movie night?