The Bennets:
a Pride and Prejudice Prequel

by Kate Warren, 2006.

        Review by Linda Waldemar, 11 July 2008
The Authors Note says:
In reading Pride & Prejudice I have often wondered what circumstances might have led to the marriage of Mr. Bennet and Mrs. Bennet. How did two people who were so mismatched end up together? This is my attempt at an entertaining explamation of possible misunderstandings that might have led Mr. and Mrs. Bennet to a false understanding of each others' termperaments.

John Bennet and Edward Gardiner are close friends who went to school together. Miss Fanny Gardiner has been in love with Mr. Bennet since childhood, but he has never given her any attention. When the young men complete school and return home, John Bennet is struck by an exceptionally beautiful young lady of 16. While generally very lively, Miss Gardiner is very quiet and reticent when in the company of Mr. Bennet. This leads him to believe that she is quiet and sensible, like him.

Mrs. Lydia Gardiner is very much like Jane Austen's Mrs. Bennet. Miss Fanny Gardiner is not nearly as silly as Mrs. Bennet. She even sometimes wishes that her mother was not so silly. Mr. John Bennet prefers books to social life. The nephew of Mr. George Bennet, John's father, comes for a visit. He is illiterate and not a very nice person at all. His antics cause a great deal of misunderstanding and result in Fanny Gardiner having sensitive nerves.

Ms Warren's explanation of how these two got together is mildly entertaining and fairly plausible. This is a slight book, a novella, I guess. In my opinion, it is worth spending the few hours needed to complete it.