Title: Lydia Bennet’s Blog – the real story of Pride and Prejudice
Author: Valerie Laws
Genre: Steampunk/humour/Austen inversion
Lydia Bennet’s blog is an intelligent and amusing account of the events of Pride and Prejudice as seen through the eyes of the youngest Bennet sister, Lydia. It’s written as if Lydia is a modern fifteen year old who writes a blog for her friends on the net. The ‘net’ and the Face Book, that Lydia refers to and writes for are never explained, so we really have no idea what they are or how they fit into the world of the Bennets and Mr Darcy, but they are there nevertheless. It could have been called Lydia Bennet’s Diary, as that’s what it is, only in modern lingo in both content and name.
Since in Pride and Prejudice Lydia appears as rather brainless, you may wonder how I could call this intelligent. It’s because by taking Lydia’s point of view, we come to see the other characters on the story on a completely different way. The story as written by Jane Austin makes Lizzy and her father appear intelligent, and her mother and younger sisters appear stupid, but seen from Lydia’s angle, Mr Bennet is emotionally abusive. The same words of his that I found witty in the original, come across in this story as put downs of his wife and younger daughters. Lizzy suddenly seems incredibly naive in matters of the heart, and sometimes stiff & prudish, and Lydia seems quite perceptive, and at least by her own accounts kind and generous. She can’t spell big words, but she does know how to get what she wants and how to sort out her silly older sisters love lives.This is mot the same impression of the characters that we got from Pride and Prejudice, and yet the story is exactly the same. Certain dialogue from the book is quoted verbatim. The only difference is who is telling it.
Mrs Bennet comes across as an unfortunate woman living with a husband who doesn’t respect her, (obvious in both stories, but it never bothered Lizzy enough for her to point it out, because she never respected her mother either). L,ydia’s poor mother clearly
loves her daughters and does her best for them despite her husbands refusal to take any interest in them or their future. As far as Lydia is concerned, her mother deserves her husband’s respect simply because she is his wife. She has a very good point. And really what is Mr Bennet reading all the time in his library?
There are only two characters in the family that I saw the same way and that is Jane and Kitty. None of the characters have actually changed, only our perception of them, as we see them through Lydia’s eyes. It is this that makes the story so interesting.
If you ever wondered how Darcy just happened to roll up to his estate when Lizzy was visiting with her Aunt and Uncle, this will tell you. And if you ever wondered why Charlotte seemed so content with Mr Collins, you’ll find out the inside story here. Yes, Lydia was the cause of everything turning out all right for everyone in the end. She is clearly the unsung heroine of the story.
Lydia has all the spunk of a modern heroine, as gutsy as her older sister, just in a different way. Different things matter to her than they do to Lizzy, but she knows how to get them, and is clever in her manipulation of people and circumstances. As well as being a well-written and highly entertaining story, there is something of value for us to take away from it, and that is that everyone has value, not matter what their abilities or lack of them. In Lydia’s version of events, Lydia proves to have a lot more mettle than Lizzy would have us believe was possible in the sister she thought stupid, thoughtless and selfish. Why, if she’d known the truth, she might even have been grateful.
Lydia appreciates a man in tight pantaloons and makes delightfully suggestive references to their weapons. She loves pretty things, and how her hair sits is important to her, but she is not a poor ignorant fool who is waylaid by a scoundrel; she is the mastermind behind the perfect solution for both her and the hopeless and dashing Wiki ie George Wickam,
This belongs in the top reads category for Pride and Prejudice fans and would like a different angle on the events and characters. It really is very good value.
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