ah! I've never heard of this, thanks, Laura!
Posted by P. Bingham on January 25, 1998 at 23:24:26:
In response to Reviews, written by Laura W on January 25, 1998 at 22:12:07
] ] I have just reread P&P and stumbled across a commentary to Mr.Bennet's words in Ch48: "If you are a good girl for the next ten years, I will take you to a review at the end of them." The commentary states that "a review" here means a sort of exhibition held in London to which Mr.Bennet presumably could take his daughter without exposing her to the dangers of the officers' company.
] I disagree with your commentator. Reviews were held in London, it is true, but they were often held elsewhere. There is a picture of one posted further down the page (thanks, HC!) taken from Diana Sperling's sketchbook of a review held at Dynes Hall, which was a large house which dominated its neighborhood (like Netherfield Park, Pemberley, or Kellynch Hall). The picture depicts a cavalry regiment, but there are no officers within it.
] A review is an inspection of troops, of a particular regiment or several together. A high-ranking officer further up the chain of command (i.e., higher than the regiment's commanding officer) conducted the review.
] ]Well, I have always believed that Mr.Bennet meant "to reconsider" his restrictions on Kitty's pastime.
] I think what Mr. Bennet means is that the first opportunity Kitty will have to see another officer is in ten years' time, when, if she has been good, he will personally take her to a review of troops where, under his own strict chaperonage, she will be able to observe officers from a great distance.
] I don't think that Mr. Bennet means that he will "review" his own decision in ten years.
] But I also think that Mr. Bennet is being facetious, and does not mean what he says. I suspect that, if another regiment were to be quartered in Meryton, he would eventually allow Kitty to socialize with them, much as he allows Lydia and Wickham to visit Longbourne after swearing they will never cross the threshhold. He is poking a little fun at Kitty, but she is too stupid to understand and thinks he really means it.
] ]Anyway, can anyone tell me what were those reviews like?
] The most excellent description I have ever read of a review is in Georgette Heyer's An Infamous Army which is a novel set just before Waterloo in Brussels. When Wellington arrives in Belgium from Vienna to take command of the army, he conducts a review of the entire combined armies. It is a major event and all of society in Brussels (including many English) attend. The armies line up along one side of a valley (and the socialites line up in their own carriages and horses along the other, where they can see everything), their uniforms clean and their buckles, boots, swords, and other weapons shining as brightly as possible, and stand at attention while Wellington, along with the King of Belgium, Marshal Bluecher, the Prince of Orange, etc., ride their horses slowly up and down the line, inspecting the soldiers.
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