Tag Archives: Pemberley

Pride And Prejudice Character Review: Caroline Bingley

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about Pride and Prejudice. Read at your own risk if you are unfamiliar with the book.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

In this series of weekly blog posts, I will examine character using the characters from Pride and Prejudice to explore how writers can create fully dimensional, human characters that audiences and readers can relate to.

For most of human history, women have been told, both consciously and unconsciously that being single is unacceptable. A woman needs a husband. This has created in some women, especially those seeking a wealthy husband, a less than likable reputation.

In Pride and Prejudice, Caroline Bingley is one of these women. The older sister of Charles Bingley, Caroline knows that she must marry, like all women of the era. She has her sights set on one man: her brother’s best friend, Mr. Darcy.  But while Elizabeth Bennet, Caroline’s unknowing rival for Mr. Darcy is charming, intelligent, likable and witty, Caroline is the opposite. She is a two-faced snob who pretends that her family wealth does not come from trade. She is constantly flirting and throwing herself at Mr. Darcy, despite the obvious signs that he is not interested in her whatsoever. She also pretends to be friends with Jane Bennet, but then convinces her brother (with the help of Mr. Darcy) to walk away from Jane.

If Pride and Prejudice were set in a modern day high school, Caroline would be the perfect mean girl.

To sum it up:  Caroline is the character we love to hate. We cheer when Darcy and Elizabeth marry, knowing that Caroline has not won, she will not be Mrs. Darcy of Pemberley. Ironically, sometimes the favorite or the most memorable character is not the hero or heroine that we love, but the villain or the pseudo villain that we love to hate. It’s fun to watch them try to win, knowing that in the end, they won’t. A writer’s job is to create compelling and memorable characters. If being compelling and memorable means that the we love to hate to the character, then so be it.

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Death Comes to Pemberley Recap Part II

*-This post contains spoilers about last night’s Death Comes to Pemberley and Pride and Prejudice. Read at your own risk if you have not seen it.

When we last left our characters, the evidence against Wickham was strong. Darcy was pulling away from his wife and Georgiana’s chances of marrying Henry Alveston were becoming slimmer and slimmer.

As the investigation continues and the inquest is coming closer, Wickham is still in jail. But questions are coming up about why Captain Denny was murdered so close to the Bidwell home.  Elizabeth, upon seeing Louisa Bidwell nursing the child that is supposedly her sister’s child begins  to put two and two together.  Wickham admits that he had an affair with Louisa. Her child is his son. Not surprised.

The mysterious woman that Colonel Fitzwilliam meets is Mrs. Young (Mariah Gale), the woman who was briefly employed as Georgiana’s companion at Ramsgate and encouraged the then 15 year old girl to elope with Mr. Wickham. Captain Denny, Colonel Fitzwilliam and Mrs. Young were (who claims to be Wickham’s previously unknown sister) conspiring to pay Louisa for her child. But Louisa with those oh so strong motherly instincts refused.

Back at Pemberley,  Elizabeth is being comforted by Jane (Alexandra Moen), who arrived in Part I. Focused on maintaining the good name of Pemberley and the Darcy name, Fitzwilliam has reverted to his previous duty bound self. He encourages Colonel Fitzwilliam’s proposal of Georgiana, while Elizabeth reminds her husband of the growing mutual affection between her sister in law and Henry Alveston. Telling Henry that she must cut off all communication with him break’s Georgiana’s heart.

Lydia, being Lydia, has perfect timing. She returns to Pemberley just as Elizabeth received a visit from Lady Catherine DeBourgh (Penelope Keith). Lizzy enjoyed introduced her scandal ridden youngest sister to her husband’s aunt. Enter Lydia, exit Lady Catherine.

At the formal trial, Wickham is found guilty and is to be executed.

After the trial, the Colonel and Darcy are traveling back to Pemberley when the Colonel reveals that he was in with the scheme to separate Louisa from her son. He was planning to use this scheme as the reason to marry Georgiana, to put further distance between her and Wickham.  Darcy then forbids his cousin from contacting his sister, tells Georgiana to marry whomever she likes and has makeup sex with his wife. Post coital, Darcy tells Elizabeth that she has to inform her sister of her husband’s extra marital activities.

Putting two and two together again, Elizabeth figures out that it was not Wickham, but Will Bidwell, in an effort to avenge his sister’s honor, who killed Denny. Wickham is saved from noose in the nick of time.  After being released, Lydia and Wickham are to travel to America, hopefully to never darken the door of Pemberley again.

Georgiana is reunited with Henry in a very 2005 Pride and Prejudice way and accepts his marriage proposal. Lizzy tells Darcy that a new Darcy will soon enter the world.

And they all lived happily ever after.

 

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Death Comes To Pemberley Part I Recap

*-This recap contains spoilers.  If you have yet to read either of the the books or watch the miniseries, read at your own risk.

Jane Austen’s most famous and beloved novel, Pride and Prejudice ends happily ever after. The union of Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy, the reader hopes, is to be a long and blessed one.

Last year, author P.D. James took her readers 6 years into the future of this couple. Mingling the characters of Pride and Prejudice with murder mystery, Death Comes To Pemberley asked viewers the following question: Who murdered Captain Denny (Tom Canton)?

Elizabeth (Anna Maxwell Martin) and Fitzwilliam Darcy (Matthew Rhys) are in the midst of wedded bliss. Life at Pemberley has become normal. Their son, also named Fitzwilliam, is a hearty, healthy and energetic boy who wants for nothing. Georgiana (Eleanor Tomlinson) is of an age to marry. The entire household is in a frenzy, as the Lady Anne Ball is approaching.  The last thing they want or need is the accusation murder on Darcy land.

Enter Colonel Fitzwilliam (Tom Ward) and Henry Alveston (James Norton). The Colonel, who is Georgiana’s c0-guardian after the death of her father, has begun to look at his young cousin differently. While the Colonel may see her in a different light, Georgiana seems to have made her choice elsewhere.

Invited to the Lady Anne Ball are Elizabeth’s parent’s, Mr. and Mrs. Bennet (James Fleet and Rebecca Front). For the sake of his wife, Darcy rolls his eyes and deals with in in laws, as many men have and will do. While Mr. Bennet characteristically retreats to his son in law’s library, his wife foolishly chatters on how wonderful Mr. Wickham (Matthew Goode) is , unaware of his true nature and his attempted seduction of Georgiana.

As a the lady of the manor, one of Elizabeth’s duties is to visit those that live and work on the land. Mr. Bidwell (Philip Martin Brown) has been a loyal servant. Elizabeth has become friendly with his wife, Mrs. Bidwell (Jennifer Hennessey), his bed ridden son, Will (Lewis Rainer) and his daughter, Louisa (Nichola Burley). Louisa has just returned from visiting her sister with a child she is caring for that she has claimed is her sister’s. But there is something about the child that does not add up.

In the village near Pemberley, an argument ensues between Captain Denny and Mr. Wickham. It continues in the carriage on the ride to Pemberley. That is, until Captain Denny orders the coachman to stop and runs out in the forest. Wickham goes after him, shots are fired and Lydia’s (Jenna Coleman) screams are heard as the carriage stops in front of Pemberley. Captain Denny is found dead and Wickham is suspected of being the murderer.

Strangely, despite their strained relationship, Darcy seems to understand that Wickham is not guilty. He remembers a boy who was hanged for poaching and how they witnessed it, despite being told to stay away. Add in the mystery of a spirit haunting the woods and an unknown woman with whom Colonel Fitzwilliam was seen in conversation with about a subject that is yet to be revealed.

I read the book and saw the miniseries when it was online briefly last year. I won’t reveal anything else, but I will let you, gentle reader learn the truth on Sunday.

 

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The Lake Scene

*-Contains spoilers about Pride and Prejudice. Do not read if you have not finished either the book or the miniseries.

Even if your not a fan of Jane Austen Or Pride and Prejudice, you know the lake scene. The one where Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy, strips down to his underthings and dives into the water.

While it is not in the book, screenwriter Andrew Davies chose to include in the screen play of the 1995 Pride and Prejudice miniseries.

Colin Firth, both in and out of character is easy on the eyes, making the scene that much more fun to watch.

But what I love about this scene is that Austen does a complete 180 with her leading  couple. Both are equally shell shocked by the turn of events. Fitzwilliam Darcy expected Elizabeth Bennet to immediately and without hesitation accept his marriage proposal. What he didn’t expect was her out and out rejection. Elizabeth, upon receiving the letter following the failed marriage proposal, begins to re-evaluate her opinion of him.

Their fateful meeting at Pemberley sets the stage for their real courtship. He does not expect visitors, and she does not expect him or Georgiana to be home.  There is a sense of beginning of an emotional intimacy, of being open to the other person and the possibilities that life with that other person will be like.

Sometimes we take what we think is a wrong path, but in the end, it leads us right where we are meant to be.

 

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Death Comes to Pemberley- A Good Sequel

There are a lot fanfiction writers out there. Very few are lucky enough to not only see their work in print, but also see it on screen.

PD James’s sequel to Pride and Prejudice, Death Comes to Pemberley aired the UK over the past few days.  I was lucky enough to see it before my American IP address prevented me from seeing it. 

The 1995 Colin Firth/Jennifer Ehle minieries is not only the best filmed adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, but the best of the filmed adaptations of any Austen novel.   Any adaptations will always bring comparisons, but this adaptations stands on its own.

Ms. James’s novel starts 6 years after the original novel ends. Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy are happily married with a young son.  On the eve of the annual Lady Anne Ball, Lydia arrives in hysterics that Captain Denny has been murdered and her husband is in the woods surrounding Pemberley.  During investigation and trial, Georgiana must  choose between duty and marry her cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliam or choose her heart and marry Mr. Alveston.

I enjoyed it. Ms. James keeps the language and humor of the original novel, utilizing many of the leading characters while keeping the reader engaged in the mystery.

Taking the reins from Colin Firth, Matthew Rhys is a more mature Darcy who is deeply in love with his wife and aware of the responsibility of his station. Anna Maxwell Martin as Elizabeth is a lively and outgoing as she is in the original novel, but with the experience of marriage, motherhood, as well as sharing the responsibility of running the estate.  Lydia (Jenna Coleman) and Wickham (Matthew Goode), as Mr. and Mrs. Bennet (James Fleet and Rebecca Front) are as they are in original novel.

I enjoyed both the book and the miniseries and I look forward to seeing it when it airs on PBS next month.

 

 

 

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