Monthly Archives: January 2015

Pride and Prejudice Characters: Lizzie and Darcy

Happy 202nd anniversary Pride and Prejudice! For your present, dear readers, I’m giving you a reblog of my character study of the first RomCom couple… Lizzie and Darcy!

With a special shout out to my friends in JASNA MD, especially Joyce (who sent me a special P&P birthday greeting)!



Is there anything more delightful than a well written story of personal growth and discovery? Pride and Prejudice, Austen‘s “own darling child,” is a story of first mis-impressions that eventually resolve into true understanding, appreciation and love. The journey to that self discovery is the juiciest part of the novel. And that means that both Darcy and Lizzie must be willing to change the way they look at the world and at each other.

Jennifer Ehle is beautiful as Elizabeth  in the 1995 series [Image courtesy BBC Home.] Jennifer Ehle is beautiful as Elizabeth in the 1995 series [Image courtesy BBC Home.] Elizabeth Bennet is a pretty, charming, intelligent, self-assured 20-year-old. She is the second eldest daughter of the Bennet family. She takes second place to sister Jane in beauty as well, but she bares it well. She has a lively, playful disposition and a good-natured impertinence that is the delight of her father and the bane of her mother.

Cropped screenshot of Greer Garson from the tr... Cropped screenshot…

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Pride and Prejudice characters: Jane and Mr. Bingley

We are in the home stretch with these character bios… Here are Jane and Bingley



Ahhh. Jane and Bingley. Of all the characters in Pride and Prejudice these two deserve to be together — and deserve a happy ending — the most. If Austen had been a lesser writer I think Jane and Bingley would have been the main characters in the novel. Pride and Prejudice would have been a more straightforward romance of two beautiful nice people meeting, falling in love, being separated by circumstance and malevolent people, but coming together at the end and, against all odds, getting that happy ending.  Not a bad story. A charming story, no doubt, but not one, perhaps, that we’d still be re-reading 200 years later. (And one, no doubt, that would have had a different title.)

Suzannah Harker in the 1995 series. Suzannah Harker in the 1995 series.

I have absolutely nothing critical to say about Jane. And I am sure she would have absolutely nothing bad to say about me…

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Pride and Prejudice characters: Charlotte and Mr. Collins

Another pair of character profiles reblogged from 2013 in anticipation of the Pride and Prejudice anniversary…


Charlotte & Collins

For a woman who came from a family of clergymen — her father, two brothers and four cousins wore a collar — Jane Austen certainly enjoys poking fun at them in her novels. And Pride and Prejudice’s  Mr. Collins is her most ridiculous clerical caricature. How on earth does sensible Charlotte wind up with such a buffoon?

A clergyman was a professional, just like a lawyer or doctor. He made his living in the pulpit, not at the bar or in the examining room, but he still needed to be a well educated man. Add to that a vicar needed have a high moral standard, be a good speaker and have compassion for the poor and needy.

David Bamber is Mr. Collins  in the 1995 series [Image courtesy BBC Home.] David Bamber is Mr. Collins in the 1995 series [Image courtesy BBC Home.] Instead we get conceited, pompous, narrow-minded, silly, self important Mr. Collins. He is a mixture of pride and obsequiousness

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Pride and Prejudice characters: Mr. and Mrs. Bennet

Reblogging this character study in the lead up to the P&P’s Anniversary.


Mr. and Mrs. Bennet

It is unlikely that either Mr. or Mrs. Bennet would win any parenting awards. Nor are they they a role model of a happy marriage.

Mr. Bennet is the easier to take of the two. Perhaps because Austen herself liked a witty conversationalist, she gives Mr. Bennet plenty of ironic banter. Sure, he’s got a quip for every idiotic thing that comes out of Mrs. Bennet’s mouth, and he puts down his daughters with unsettling regularity, but he’s on our girl Lizzie side of things. And when he does come out with a  snarky remark it isn’t said in a shrill scream. He’s calm — to the point of being detached. And if things get too hectic he just shuts the door to his man cave, er, I mean LIBRARY and lets the others put out the fire.

Benjamin Whitrow played Mr. Bennet in the 1995 series [Image courtesy BBC Home.] Benjamin Whitrow played Mr. Bennet in the 1995 series [Image courtesy BBC…

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Pride and Prejudice Characters: Lydia and Wickham

Ohhh Lydia… Today I’m reblogging my character study of Lydia and Wickham in anticipation of the upcoming anniversary of the publication of Pride and Prejudice. Enjoy, and try not to roll you eyes too much.


Today is the third installment in a week’s worth of Pride and Prejudice character studies leading up to next Monday’s 200th anniversary of the Austen novel.
Lydia and Wickham

Was there ever a sillier, more insipid, selfish little sister than Lydia Bennet? One would need a thesaurus to accurately describe how crass she is… if Austen hadn’t painted such a wonderful picture for us.

On the kind side of the Lydia spectrum I could say she had an exuberant spirit. From there the rainbow of Lydia character trait runs from “Vain, ignorant, idle, and absolutely uncontrolled!” to selfish, reckless, and just a little bit mean. (Though she’s got nothing on Caroline Bingley in the Mean Girl department.)

Jena Malon took on the Lydia role for the 2005 movie Jena Malon took on the Lydia role for the 2005 movie

Although Jane and Lizzie attempt to “check the imprudence” of Kitty and Lydia their efforts have little effect. The girls are indulged by their…

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Pride and Prejudice Characters Lady Catherine and Caroline part 2

And here is Part 2 of the Lady Catherine and Caroline character study reblog…



Lady Catherin and Caroline

Lady Catherine (acting for Anne) isn’t the only one hoping to get Darcy down the aisle. Caroline Bingley would like nothing better than to snag Mr. D..

He’s rich — much richer than her brother — and he comes from old money with a landed estate. Caroline’s rich too, she has 20,000 pounds. But the Bingley’s money comes from Trade. They don’t even have an estate — which is why Charles rents Netherfield in the first place. Buying an estate would raise their rank, but Charles has yet to get around to doing so.

Darcy is uncomfortable around strangers — advantage Caroline. She is the only single woman of his station in the area. Although she, and Mrs. Hurst (her sister), proclaim Jane to be a sweet girl, she’s quick to cut down every one and everything else in Meryton. It’s kind of schtick.

Caroline from the TV series Caroline from the TV…

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Pride and Prejudice Characters: Lady Catherine & Caroline part 1

Reblogging the day two in the week leading up to the Pride and Prejudice anniversary. Today we visit the two ladies every one loves to hate… Lady Catherine and Caroline…


Today is the second installment in a week’s worth of Pride and Prejudice character studies leading up to next Monday’s 200th anniversary of the Austen novel.

Lady Catherin and Caroline

If there is a truth universally known in the world of Austen it is that the rich play by a different set of rules than the poor or middle class. Lady Catherine de Bourgh and Miss Caroline Bingley are two of her richest women and they play to win.

Lady Catherine was born to her title. Her father was an Earl, so  “She is referred to as “Lady” followed by her first name because she is the daughter of a higher nobleman” []— (as was her sister Lady Anne Darcy, Darcy’s mother.) She married well, taking for her husband the landed Sir Lewis de Bourgh. She has one daughter, the sickly Anne de Bourgh, whom she hopes to marry off of to Darcy…

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Pride and Prejudice Characters : Mary and Kitty

Heading toward another anniversary of Pride and Prejudice… I thought I’d reblog this series. Because who doesn’t love a little Mary and Kitty Bennet, am I right?


Today we start a week’s worth of Pride and Prejudice character studies in anticipation of next Monday’s 200th anniversary of the Austen novel.

Mary & Kitty 1

If you are reading this I doubt that I’m giving anything away by saying that at the end of Pride and Prejudice  three out of the five sisters are married. Two, Mary and Kitty, remain at unwed.

No surprise there. Mary and Kitty are practically throw away daughters in the Bennet household. When Austen introduces the family in Chapter One we find out that Lizzie, the clever one, is Mr. Bennet’s favorite, that Jane is the pretty one and that Lydia is the good-humoured one.

The remaining girls finally get a mention in Chapter Two. Poor Kitty has the misfortune of coughing when Mrs. Bennet is in need of something to be vexed at. A little later when  Mr. Bennet introduces Mary as “a young lady…

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A Year of READING Dangerously: #9. ttyl; ttfn; l8r g8r (series)


I chose the middle book of this hat trick, ttfn by Lauren Myracle, to read and review because it was the first of the three available at my local library. Thus far in my reviews of the ALA’s Top 100 Banned Books of 2000-2009 I’ve been bemused at why certain books are one the list and ardent in my defense of other books (because their literary merits far outweigh any “colorful” language), but with this one… yeah. You got me.

Don’t get me wrong I’m still against the banning of any book… but it is a parent’s job to be aware of what their child is reading and to guide them in their choices. So if little Jimmy or Janie really must read a hip book where the kids take drugs and indulge in risky sexual behavior I would strongly suggest something that is much better written with characters that are fully drawn and who are capable of both evoking and generating some sense of empathy. (See: The Perks of Being a Wallflower)

The hook of these books is that they are written as if they were text messages. So if you like things like grammar, spelling, capitalization and punctuation you are in for a long and very frustrating 230 pages. Still… if the characters had been just a little bit believable / interesting / kind then MAYBE it would be worth it. Alas we’re stuck with Mad Maddie, Snow Angel (Angie) and Zoegirl. Of the three Zoe rises above the other two ethically, but a budding romantic relationship with Doug and a series of crude dares from Maddie seem intent on saving her from her good girl image. Not only would I not want my daughter to read a book about this three girls, I wouldn’t want her to have to go to high school with them. As one review stated “TEENAGERS ARE NOT THIS STUPID IN REAL LIFE.” (The choice of all caps was theirs, not mine.)

So where did ttfn fall on our Banned Book matrix? Offensive Language, Drugs, Alcohol, Sexually Explicit, Unsuited for Age Group (it is marketed to Tweens as young as 9).



I forced myself to read to the end because I wanted to check it off the list. I really took one for the team here people. I hope you appreciate it.

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