This is a very spoiler filled post with a summary of Darcy’s letter from chapter 35 of Pride & Prejudice that was originally in the post concerning episode 62. You have been forewarned.
Continuing with chapter 35 of Pride & Prejudice: The letter was dated from Rosings at eight o’clock that morning. Darcy’s letter starts by telling her he will not repeat his sentiments that disgusted her so much the day before. He goes on to explain himself for the two offenses she charged him with. The first offense concerning Mr. Bingley and Jane and the second being his ruination of Mr. Wickham.
His first explanation centers around Bingley’s preference for Jane over any woman in the country. The night of the dance at Netherfield he observed Bingley’s serious attachment to her. The attentions to Jane had given rise to an expectation of marriage. In observing Bingley and Jane, Darcy saw Jane was open, cheerful, and engaging with Bingley, but she did not appear to participate in the sentiment he bestowed on her. He writes Lizzy that she knows her sister better than he, and admits he may have been mistaken. He did not believe Jane to be indifferent because he wished it, but because it’s what he perceived in observing her.
He adds other causes for tearing the couple apart being the lack of propriety shown by her mother, three younger sisters, and occasionally her father. To console her on the matter, he never felt that Jane and Lizzy shared in this impropriety. When he shared his feelings with Caroline, she agreed and did not waste any time in removing her brother from Netherfield.
On the subject of Wickham, he was connected to the Darcy family through his father who was a very respectable man who managed all of the Pemberley estates. George Wickham was the godson of Darcy’s father. His father supported George in school and at Cambridge. He had the highest opinion of his godson and hoped the church would be his profession. Darcy’s father passed away five years previously and left in his will that Wickham should be promoted in his profession, a valuable family living would be his as soon as it was vacant, and £1,000 was to be left to him. Mr. Wickham’s own father died soon after. He then wrote to Darcy, having decided not to take orders, hoping for funds to study law. Mr. Darcy wished him to be sincere and gave him the £3,000 he required. Their connection dissolved and Wickham’s intent to study law was all a pretense. After three years of hearing little from him, Wickham approached Darcy again in the hope of returning to the church and being ordained. Darcy refused him and Wickham resented him for it.
Darcy continues by talking of his sister who was left in the guardianship of his cousin Colonel Fitzwilliam and himself. About a year prior, she had been taken from school and put in an establishment in London. She went to Ramsgate over the summer with the lady who presided over the establishment. Mr. Wickham also went, as planned, as he had known Mrs. Younge prior to that. Wickham recommended himself to Georgiana who soon thought herself to be in love with him and agreed to elope at the age of fifteen. Darcy unexpectedly joined them a few days before the elopement was to take place and Georgiana admitted the whole plan to him. Darcy did not publicly expose Wickham in the interest of protecting his sister, but he wrote to Wickham who immediately left. Darcy feels that Wickham’s interest in Georgiana was her fortune of thirty thousand pounds.
Darcy writes his reason for not telling her the night before was that he was not in control of himself and was not sure what he should reveal to her. He hopes that his letter will be of some value and it will not be discredited due to her abhorrence of him.
In the Bennet household, Thanksgiving is over but the leftovers are not gone. Lizzie’s theory is that her mother has a ploy. She’ll make tons of food, even if it’s just for immediate family and eventually her daughters will have to bring husbands and children around to eat it all. Lizzie has foiled her mother’s plan though, she’s giving a bunch of leftovers to Charlotte.
Charlotte arrives and calls Lizzie out on pushing leftovers her way. She’s just as good at blackmail as her bestie though and agrees to take leftovers if Lizzie tells her what was said about George Wickham in Darcy’s letter. Lizzie wants to know why Charlotte assumes the letter was about George. Charlotte informs her that everyone knows it was about George and to be fair, Lizzie should share Darcy’s side of the story. Lizzie makes the point that she didn’t share George’s side of the story, but spoke hypothetically.
Lizzie agrees to hypothetically share Darcy’s story in the interest of fairness. She uses the same setup she did with George’s story by referring to him as Batman and Darcy as Darvid. To get the full effect, watch episode 68. I’m going to summarize using real names.
Darcy and George grew up together and Darcy’s father promised to pay for George’s college education. When the time came for George to go to college, he asked Darcy for the money he had been promised. Darcy preferred to pay the college directly, but George preferred to handle his own money so Darcy let him. George was not very dedicated to his studies and he spent all of the money that was supposed to last him four years in just one. Charlotte asks how it’s even possible to do such a thing. Lizzie didn’t get details, but did learn that George asked Darcy for more money when he ran out. Darcy wouldn’t give him any more and George started telling everyone that he had been denied what was rightfully his.
Charlotte now understands Darcy’s reaction to George. Lizzie points out that he is still the same guy who admitted to breaking up Bing and Jane. Charlotte says at least he admitted to it. Lizzie doesn’t care as honest people can be dishonest and liars can tell the truth. She has told both hypothetical sides of the story and is done with it. Now that she’s held up her end of the bargain, it’s time to hold Charlotte up to taking her leftovers.
Lizzie realizes her trade with Charlotte may not have been an even one. Regardless, she is thankful for Darcy’s letter as it has been rather illuminating.
In this comparison we again see Darcy’s observation of Jane’s indifference to Bingley in P&P. Of course this is just Darcy’s opinion of Jane’s feelings toward his friend and it is addressed in an earlier video of LBD.
The bigger fish to fry in this comparison is the relationship between Darcy and George. In both works, Darcy’s father promised to pay for George’s education. Darcy decided to trust George with the money that had been left to him, but he was irresponsible with it. When George ran out, he asked Darcy for more, but was denied. George then turned the story around to favor himself and make Darcy look uncharitable.
In P&P Darcy includes information concerning his sister Georgiana and her planned elopement with George. George’s goal was to get to the money Georgiana had been left, thirty thousand pounds. Darcy stops the plan before it gets too far. In LBD Lizzie does not mention this part of the letter, assuming it exists. I believe there are two major reasons for this. The first being Lizzie’s moral need to protect Gigi’s reputation out of respect for her and for Darcy. The second reason being a plot device. Lydia runs off with George in P&P and only after does Lizzy share the contents of Darcy’s letter with her family. In LBD she obviously shared one half of George’s story but not the other, which will more than likely result in the same outcome for Lydia. If Lydia does in fact end up with George, we may hear more from Darcy’s letter at that point.
That’s all for now, until next time, my name is Joslyn Dechant and this is Pride & Prejudice vs The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.