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|Chapters 51-52:Those Wacky Wickams!
Written by Tara O'Donnell
(2/15/2004 9:59 a.m.)
With the GR drawing to an end(and it's been a very good one,IMO),I thought it would be fun to focus on the high drama and hijinks of Lydia's return to Longbourn. Lydia comes breezing in,with Wickam on her arm as the conquering heroine,totally shameless and showing off her marital status:
"Oh!mamma,do the people here abouts know I am married to day? I was afraid they might not;and we overtook William Goulding in his curricle,so I was determined he should know it and so I let down the side glass next to him,and took off my glove,and let my hand just rest upon the window frame so that he might see the ring,and then I bowed and smiled like anything."
You would think she was flirting rather than annoucning the fact that she's married! Only her mother appreciates this-her father,Jane and particularly Lizzie(who leaves the room at one point due to disgust)are not pleased. Lydia's insisting on Jane's going lower"because I am a married woman now"is rather crass(even if she is right in taking a high place in entering the house).
Lydia's giddiness leads to her spilling the beans about Darcy's involvement in settling the affair which leads to Lizzie writing her Aunt Gardiner for confirmation(which Aunt G is happy to give and to drop hints about Lizzie's & Darcy's attraction to each other-Aunt G is a great supporting player,helpful yet subtle). This then leads to Lizzie's little chat with Wickam. He starts quizzing her about who she saw in Derbyshire"Poor Reynolds,she was always very fond of me. But of course she did not mention my name to you."
Lizzie replies playfully but truthfully:"Yes,she did..that you were gone into the army,and she was afraid had not turned out well. At such a distance as that,you know,things are strangely misrepresented." A sly dig at Wickam's own storytelling ways?
Their talk continues to reveal that Lizzie is well aware of his misleading and past bad behavior. She is finally able to put him in his place with"Come ,Mr.Wickam,we are brother and sister,you know. Do not let us quarrel about the past. In future,I hope we shall be always of one mind." That sends the message loud and clear-no need to decieve,Lizzie knows all about it.:)
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