Pride and Prejudice Book III: Pride Hard With A Vengeance

8 Oct

. . . and at that moment she felt that to be mistress of Pemberley might be something!

So I may have said that the last volume of the book was the section where shit goes down, so this section I would say is the section where more shit goes down but not as much as the section before.

We start off with our hero, Elizabeth, generally feeling kind of shitty for the way she treated Mr. Darcy on learning that Mr. Wickham wasn’t the badass she had first thought.  She goes on a trip to the countryside with her Aunt and Uncle and go on tours of huge houses around the area, which is something you could just do in those days.  Elizabeth’s Aunt suggests going to Pemberley (home of Mr. Darcy!) and Elizabeth not wanting to blow her cover accepts and to Pemberley they go.

I thought this was weird.  They just go to Pemberley and the house keeper, who doesn’t know any of them, just lets them right on in and gives them a grand tour of the place.  Elizabeth knows Mr. Darcy and they mention that but still the housekeeper doesn’t know that and for all she knows they are stealing silverware when she’s not looking.  It’s weird.

So they learn that Mr. Darcy isn’t there and won’t be there till the next day.  Elizabeth is relieved in that she’s still embarrassed for yelling at him and knowing she won’t see him she can relax and take in all that is Mr. Darcy’s home.   She starts to semi day dream how she could have been the mistress of the house and you begin to see her fall for Darcy for the first time.  Then out of nowhere Darcy arrives at his home early! Elizabeth freaks the fuck out and says all most nothing to him.  Darcy is super nice and shows her and her Aunt and Uncle around the place.

I was a little disappointed in Elizabeth, she’s shown herself a strong black woman so far and she pussys out completely in front of Darcy.  She could have apologized then and there, or made any mention that she believes he was right in his judgment of Wickhams character.  Instead she kind of blushes a lot and Mr. Darcy, I can only assume, still thinks she hates him.  She had just been remorse that she might not ever see him again and be able to make things right, but when presented with the chance to do just that she doesn’t.

Elizabeth and her Aunt and Uncle leave and stay at a nearby inn.  They receive a letter at the inn from Jane that lets them know that Lydia has ran off with Mr. Wickham and are living in sin.  Mr. Darcy visits them right after and Elizabeth is distraught, tells him what has happened before they leave to go to back home to sort this out.

The details are a little tedious but basically without telling anyone but Elizabeth’s Aunt and Uncle, Mr. Darcy pays all of Mr. Wickham’s debts and a large sum of money in order to convince him to marry Lydia, which he eventually does.  Elizabeth learns that it was Darcy who paid Wickham off and falls even more in love with him knowing he saved their family from disgrace.  Once all that is settled we get the greatest Victorian age verbal smack downs in the book when out of nowhere Lady Catherine comes to Longbourn and tells Elizabeth that she isn’t to marry Mr. Darcy.  Elizabeth tells her to fuck right off and the result has the opposite effect Lady Catherine had intended since now Elizabeth is sure Mr. Darcy still loves her.

Mr. Bingley comes back to Netherfield and him and Jane pick back up and he eventually proposes to Jane.  Darcy visits Bingley Netherfield and during a walk that him and Elizabeth have in which they manage to get some alone time he tells her he’s still in love with her and she tells him she loves him.  They get engaged and eventually married and the other loose ends are tied up in the epilogue.

Besides the bitch out Victorian equivalent of a real house wives throw the table moment between Lady Catherine and Elizabeth most of the action feels on the decline in this part of the book.  It feels funny to say that seeing as one of the daughters ran off with a man and caused a lot of scandal but all of the dealings with that were mostly off screen.  We just got letters and so forth from Mr. Gardiner about what was happening and it eventually worked out.  As soon as Bingley got back to Netherfield it was pretty obvious him and Jane would get be engaged pretty quickly.  After Elizabeth found out that Darcy paid for her sister to get married she was pretty much in for him and all the two of them needed was an open discussion on the matter to seal the deal.

This is another part I am a little disappointed in Elizabeth’s actions toward Mr. Darcy.  When Lady Catherine comes to her house to tell her not to marry Darcy she straight up tells her if he asks she would say yes.  She stands up to Lady Catherine who is of higher class in order to do so which is a big no no.  However she still can’t bring herself to say anything to Mr. Darcy.  If he hadn’t have told her that he still was in love with her they would have never got together.  She seemed intent on not bringing up the subject of even thanking him for what he did for Lydia (all though she wasn’t supposed to know).  Mr. Darcy had even been to dinner with their family and Mrs. Bennet acted like an asshole to him (he had just helped their family out a ton but she didn’t know all thought Elizabeth did) and Elizabeth just let her.  She didn’t stick up for him at all when he was being insulted by her own family right in front of her face.  I guess it was her being lady-like by not saying anything but Elizabeth really should have told Darcy something on the lines of apology for what she said about him and Wickham even if she wasn’t going to bring up the help he had provided for her family.

I was also disappointed in Mr. Bennet in this section of the book as well.  So far he’s been one of my favorite characters with his witty statements and disinterest in his daughters getting married.  He provides a great balance to his wife who thinks about nothing but her daughters getting married.  However when Lydia runs away with Mr. Wickham he is utterly useless in doing anything.  He goes to England where he believes they are in order to convince them to get married but after a few days can’t handle it and makes his brother in law handle the situation for him.  During all of the dealings that had to be made to pay Wickham to convince him to marry Lydia he has no part of it.  He goes from being one of our heroes of wit and humor to being fairly useless in a time of need.

So overall I liked the book, if I were to rate it I would give it 4 out of 5.  It’s language and style reflect the time period it was made, and even though this was all most two hundred years ago it still it’s easy to become engrossed in the story.  I’m pretty excited to say the least I didn’t hate this book and then would be spending the next god knows how long going through adaptation after adaptation.  If I did have one complaint it would  be the treatment of lower class citizens in this book.  They are basically non-existent or they are portrayed as completely content with their station in life.  I’ll go into more detail about this later but for all the analysis between the upper and middle class and destruction the class divide brings we don’t hear about the lower classes at all.  But it’s a small complaint and the story isn’t about the struggle of the lower classes it’s a love story so I get it not being in there.  Any ways now that I’ve gone through the original book it will be time to start going through the adaptations!


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