In chapter 13 of Pride & Prejudice, Mr. Bennet tells his wife that he is expecting a guest for dinner. The only person Mrs. Bennet can imagine stopping by is Charlotte Lucas. Mr. Bennet informs her that this person is a gentleman and a stranger. Mrs. Bennet immediately jumps to the conclusion that it is Mr. Bingley, but Mr. Bennet quickly tells her that he has never met this particular man before in all his life. As it turns out, he received a letter from this gentleman a month prior and answered it a couple of weeks later. It was from his cousin Mr. Collins, who is due to inherit the Longbourn estate upon Mr. Bennet’s passing. Mrs. Bennet cannot stand to hear of the man who may turn them out of their house. Mr. Bennet insists on reading the letter from Mr. Collins, which expresses that he does not readily want to inherit the estate.
Mr. Collins admits that the disagreement between his late father and Mr. Bennet makes him very uneasy and he has wished to make amends for quite some time. He has been hesitant, fearing that it would be disrespectful to his father’s memory. Mr. Collins has recently received the patronage of the Right Honourable Lady Catherine de Bourgh to be a clergyman in her parish. Having recently been ordained has made him want to establish peace to all the families he can reach. The Bennets are included and he wishes to visit them on a Saturday night of which he names the date and time.
Thoughts are exchanged between the Bennets once the letter has been read. Lizzy perceives Mr. Collins to be odd and finds his letter to sound rather pompous.
Mr. Collins is punctual in his arrival at Longbourn and is more than willing to talk. Austen describes him as being a tall, heavy-looking young man of five-and twenty. He has very formal manners and a grave and stately air. Mr. Collins compliments Mrs. Bennet on her beautiful daughters and tells her that he has no doubt of them soon being married. Mrs. Bennet makes a comment on his kindness and expresses her hope of her daughters soon being married as they will be destitute otherwise. Mr. Collins realizes that she is speaking of how he is due to inherit the estate. Mrs. Bennet calls the situation a grievous affair for her daughters and tells Mr. Collins that she does not blame him for how things have been settled. Mr. Collins assures her that he realizes the state of things for his cousins and begins to hint at the fact that as part of his visit, he wants to get to know them better so as to choose one of them to marry. Before he can finish expressing this, however, they are called to dinner.
Lizzie isn’t in her room for episode 25. She and the crew have gone to VidCon! She has come to the web-video convention to learn, hang out, and meet people. Since they are filming at VidCon the video might be shorter than usual, because the longer they film, the more likely there is a chance that someone will interrupt them. Lizzie has spoken too soon as Ricky Collins enters her video.
When Lizzie addresses him as Ricky, he insists on being called Mr. Collins, which dumbfounds her. Who in this day and age insists on being addressed as such by their peers? He goes on to explain that he has yet to earn his doctoral degree and therefore is still Mr. Collins instead of Dr. Collins. He can understand why Lizzie would think he earned a doctorate at such a young age. Yes he is that conceited, whether he knows it or not. Lizzie tells him that’s not what she meant and when he asks what she did mean, she tries to steer the conversation in a different direction.
Lizzie asks Ricky, excuse me, Mr. Collins how things are going. He says his life is flourishing and he’s actually at VidCon on business. The career path he is pursuing is, in fact, online video. The convention is a ripe harvesting ground for him when it comes to networking and he tries to elaborate, but Lizzie cuts him off. She asks if they can catch up later as she’s trying to finish her video. At this point Ricky, uh, Mr. Collins realizes that Charlotte Lu is behind the camera. Seeing her brings up childhood memories of playground kickball, but the look of disgust on Lizzie’s face suggests she wants him to leave. When Ricky brings up the time that he and Lizzie were betrothed in the 2nd grade, she promptly pushes him off screen.
Charlotte, being the voice of conscience, joins Lizzie and tells her she should not have been so mean to Ricky. Lizzie argues that he was being rude, but Charlotte felt he just wanted to catch up. When Lizzie points out that he wanted to catch up in the middle of their video, Charlotte admits that he did seem rather preoccupied. They start using adjectives to describe him such as self-absorbed, opportunistic, narcissistic… It occurs to Lizzie that Ricky might know about the video diaries. Charlotte doesn’t think he is aware which is a good thing since Lizzie called him a dick in episode 9. Charlotte begs Lizzie to be nice as she doesn’t want them to burn any bridges.
The character of Mr. Collins and how he knows Lizzie Bennet has been adapted and updated for obvious reasons. In P&P Mr. Collins is a cousin of the Bennet’s whom they have never met, yet he is due to inherit Mr. Bennet’s estate. The reason being is that women were not allowed to own property at that time. The LBD facelift given to this character places him as a former classmate of Lizzie and Charlotte. Another item to note is a change to his first name. In P&P he is William Collins, whereas in LBD he is Ricky Collins. This change may be to avoid confusion as Darcy’s first name is William as well. (It has been adapted to William Darcy from Fitzwilliam Darcy in P&P.)
When it comes to the disposition of Mr. Collins, he is very much the same in both P&P and LBD. He has just been ordained a clergyman and serves the great name of de Bourgh in P&P. This is a rather great honor and he is not in the least bit humble about the status it bestows on him. When Lizzie addresses him as Ricky in LBD, he insists on being called Mr. Collins. She’s confused as to why she can’t call him Ricky, but he assumes that she believes him to be Dr. Collins. While he hasn’t attained doctoral status yet, he is working on it. Not to mention the fact that he has recently embarked on a career path in the industry of online video.
After Mr. Bennet finishes reading the letter from Mr. Collins, Lizzy remarks on him being rather pompous. Once Ricky leaves Lizzie’s video, she and Charlotte have a discussion about him and it involves adjectives such as self-absorbed, opportunistic, and narcissistic. Charlotte asks Lizzie to be nice though as she doesn’t want to burn any bridges. The Bennets in P&P must be nice to Mr. Collins as he is due to inherit their estate.
Another subtle adaptation is the intention of Mr. Collins to marry a Bennet sister. In P&P he begins to state his intention of getting to know the Bennet ladies in an effort to choose one for marriage. He sees this as a way to make amends and keep the Longbourn estate in the Bennet family. In LBD Ricky begins recounting memories including one of when he and Lizzie were betrothed to be married in the second grade.
It will be interesting to see how the storyline of Ricky Collins develops, not to mention how he will be involved in Lizzie’s life.
Until next time, my name is Joslyn Dechant and this is Pride & Prejudice vs The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.