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|IMO, it wasn't so much the wedding itself...
Written by Line
(6/17/2007 7:46 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Not completely distancing, penned by Robbin
As far as outsiders were concerned, Lydia was supposed to have eloped strictly in order to marry (e.g: perhaps the very day they left Brighton, or at least only as long as it took them to reach Gretna Green). IMO, what the Bennets *really* wanted to hush up was that there was such a long break between the elopement and the wedding. They didn't attend the wedding because it was already supposed to have taken place (with the couple perhaps hiding out *afterward* because they feared her family's wrath about the elopement). The more people who attended it, the more likely the news would be to get out that it had been delayed. That's part of the reason why the Bennets were so grateful to the Gardiners for taking Lydia in *before* the wedding, and having her married *from their house*. If the news got out, and people put two and two together, the Gardiners' reputation would be damaged too.
I agree that once the wedding was a fait-accompli, a respectable family would close ranks and make the best of things, no matter how they might feel about their new in-law. There was a big taboo against "washing dirty linen in public", and the only thing that would have caused a public breach would have been if Lydia had remained unmarried after her elopement. In private, of course, the family would make its displeasure known, but publicly, all would be united.
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