And the games continue…today, we’re going to take a look at the examples of married bliss in Pride and Prejudice, vote for the most likely to succeed, and imagine how things will go for them in the future.
First, the lovely Mr. and Mrs. Wickham, banished up north, although of course you know Mrs. Bennet will be insisting on a visit (the long-suffering Mr. Bennet in tow) almost as soon as is humanly possible. Life with Wickham will never be boring–think of the excitement Lydia can expect–moonlight flits, stints in debtors’ prison (until Darcy bails them out–for the last time, every time), and lots and lots of babies. Naturally she’ll simper and whisper to her female friends of how passionate a man Wickham is. And I’m sure some of her friends will know exactly what she’s talking about.
Next, Mr. and Mrs. Collins. Charlotte has life very well arranged, as she tells Lizzy–and the gaps are micromanaged by Lady Catherine. In between the gardening, the beehives, and exciting installations of shelves, life will never be dull. The marriage will be childless until the day Lady Catherine tells them it would be extremely appropriate for a man of his station etc. etc. After a few years of earnest procreation, Lady Catherine will make the comment that he seems to have plenty of children, the flow of babies will dry up, and Charlotte can enjoy her comparative solitude once more. And it makes you wonder exactly what was so awful at home with the Lucases that Charlotte was compelled to escape…unless…here’s an alternate scenario: Charlotte produces a baby soon–far too soon–after the marriage. Tongues wag. We see whether Mr. Collins is too stupid to read a calendar. Has Wickham…surely not…then who…
Jane and Bingley. Aaaaw. Sweet, nice, not too bright people who adore each other. How can this marriage not work? I think even with Bingley’s wealth their finances will always be a mess, but they’ll live happily in the country and have lots of children. Jane will plump up a bit. Bingley won’t care. He’ll spend a lot of time riding around the estate, patting his tenants’ children on the head, pretending he knows all about agriculture, and giving dubious advice to his estate manager. The estate manager, of course, will agree with him, because Bingley is so sweet no one (except Darcy) can say no to him, and do what he intended to do in the first place. Later in life Bingley becomes a magistrate and crime rates in the neighborhood soar since Jane won’t let him send anyone to prison, let alone transport or hang them.
Mr. and Mrs. Bennet I hope will get on a little better now the financial pressure is off. Possibly with an empty house (Kitty and Mary will become much more eligible because of the Darcy family connection) they may find companionship with each other. Of course the question remains why they married in the first place. He’s a reserved and educated man who married an uneducated, presumably attractive young woman, possibly for the allure of her fine eyes…and who does that remind you of?
Except Elizabeth and Darcy have evolved and broken the pattern–and of course she’s much smarter than her mother. They have learned each other’s deepest and most painful secrets. I have great hopes for these two. Not that I think Darcy will be particularly easy to live with, and Elizabeth, as mistress of Pemberly, may find her new responsibilities challenging. I hope the loyal housekeeper doesn’t revert to Mrs. Danvers mode. I hope their children are not too perfect, or forced by their father to over-achieve. Of course the rest of the family visit them, annoy them, and bombard them with requests for attention, money, or favors. Darcy may have to disappear for a spot of trout fishing with the guys (but not Wickham who will probably be casting for a card game and/or buxom barmaid in the village) if things get excessively feminine or his mother-in-law talks too long and loud. Because even the rarified heights of Pemberly are not immune to Bennets. I hope Elizabeth keeps teasing Darcy. She may, if he becomes excessively pompous, shove him into the pond now and then to teach him a lesson. And frankly, who can blame her?
So let’s hear your take on whose marriage is the happiest and what you see for them in the future–or give us a recommendation for one of the many sequels by other writers for a chance at one of TWO 10th Anniversary Collector’s Editions of A&E’s Pride and Prejudice. If you haven’t already, check out the contest rules and learn more about the prizes at the A&E store. Comment on each of this week’s posts for more chances to win!