Pride and Prejudice:The Sequel;
The Plot of a Novel, Part I
By: Amy, Elizabeth, and Laura (aka Fond Fir)
The Family of Fitzwilliam Darcy
It is thought that perhaps the Darcy family emigrated from France in the 1200-1300's, when the French ruled England (the Norman Conquest) Through the many succeeding generations, the name D'Arcy, was anglicized to it's present Darcy. Because of the lapse of so many years, the French connection gradually became nonexistent, though it left them with a certain affinity towards the people of France, not always, of course for their government and politics, though.
This was most especially evident in the fact that Mr. Darcy senior, a close friend of Sir Percival Blakney, Bart., was known to spend a great deal of time in his younger days sailing betwixt Dover and Calais in his yacht, the "Beautiful Anna". Merely pleasure cruises, he'd always say, but you never can tell!
The younger generation, though, was not so close to its fellow creatures on the continent, the result of a wound received by Mr. Darcy during the course of one of his "cruises" which forced him to remain home at Pemberley much of the time. However there was one connection which Darcy could never forget, and that was a tie formed long ago, while at Cambridge University, and though his country was at war with that of his friend, he could never bring himself to despise the French, the way some people did, remembering a time when this was not always so.
It had been while he was at school with Wickham, that he was notified of his mother's death. There was no one to comfort him, George being off on a spree ( their lives were so different now anyway, that it is doubtful that he would have been of much help) When he returned from the funeral, he resumed his classes, but not with the same vigor as before, Fitzwilliam and his mother had been very close. Only one of his fellow classmates seemed to notice his apathy, recognizing in him the grief he himself had felt upon the death of his own parents, sent to the guillotine, twelve years before.
The Marquis had realized that arrest was imminent and had sent his son away, but his wife had refused to leave his side, even in those last dark days of the monarchy. Bravely she stood by his side as the tumbrel rumbled its way down the crowded streets, ignoring the taunts and epithets heaped upon them, commending her soul and that of her son in to the hands of God before she met Him face-to-face. Louis knew none of this at the time, but recently, with the establishment of Napoleon's empire he had gone back to Paris to find witnesses of his parent's last days. Many had been struck by the courage shown by the Marquise that October day, remembered more particularly for its also being the last day of the Queen, Marie Antionette's, life. That in itself had brought many people into the great square, but it was the peace on Suzette's face as she died that they remembered, long afterwards.
All this flashed through Louis' mind as he beheld the grief-stricken face of his classmate and comforted him in his loss, as only those who have felt the same can. From this sprang a friendship between the two men, based on mutual respect and background. Later on, to this duo, was added a third, Charles Bingley. A good natured sort who went along with anything and everything the others said or did, not relying on his own judgment, but trusting theirs implicitly. After graduation, Louis returned to France, to reclaim the inheritance stolen from him by the revolution, Charles and Fitzwilliam to London, and George to an army post graciously supplied by the former.
The Darcy's (Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth), in due time, had two daughters, Anna and Jane. Although everyone supposed that he would prefer to have a male heir, there is no sign in Mr. Darcy of not valuing his daughters or of wishing them other than they were. Realizing that there was no provision for Pemberley should the master not have sons, he changed the entailment, much to the delight of his wife who always thought male entailments unfair, anyway. After this the Darcy's are blessed with several more children, including of course boys as well as girls. All of whom are joyfully received and well provided for, their parents realizing the importance of children being able to marry (within limits of course) those with whom they would be most happy, instead of limiting their choices to those who can "afford it". After all, every one knows that if an Earl's younger son is not always able to marry where he likes, how much more for a country gentleman!
The house, filled as Darcy always dreamed of, with many children, a loving wife, and laughter is a joy to behold and a refuge for Mr. Bennet.
The Family of Charles Bingley
The Bingley family is somewhat less boisterous than the Darcy's; perhaps that is why they get along so well.
Soon after purchasing an estate near Pemberley, Jane gave birth to a boy, crushing Caroline and Lousia's hopes of ever inheriting Bingley's wealth.
Little Charles Jr. was joined by many siblings, who by nature had their father's affability and mother's good looks. Taking example from the elder Bennets, they are never distressed by having exceeded their income, though living in great style and comfort, Jane being a wonderful manager, despite her gentle and unassuming nature.
Bingley showered Jane with affection, and there never was a happier or more well suited couple ( unless of course you count Elizabeth and Darcy, the Colonel and his bride, Mr. and Mrs. Halwell,.....................)
He had her portrait painted (she was of course wearing a green gown) which was subsequently displayed in London, where it made the fortune of a young artist who never again wanted for work. After consulting Darcy, Bingley invested in the East India Company, and consequently increased his fortune substantially. (Growing, much to the delight of his mother-in-law, from a mere 5,000 a year to the astronomical 10,000! [Darcy increased to 17,000])
The Family of George Wickham
During the course of events, George's debts greatly increased as he strove to both placate a harping wife and find some kind of solace for himself. It was his own doing, any grand hopes of turning over a new leaf that either he or any of his friends held for him were dashed soon after his marriage, as his wife only followed him on his road to blatant profligacy. It was no surprise then, that some little time after his gaining a commission in the north that he was stripped of his rank for conduct unbecoming to an officer and forced onto his own means, having spent all which was received at the event of his wedding, and relying only upon the 100 pounds a year that Lydia received from her father. A short while after that, it came out that due to an inability to discharge of certain matters of a pecuniary nature, the Wickham family was to be sent on an all expense paid trip to Australia, courtesy of Dimby & Sons, credit consolidators.
As they were departing from Southampton, Mrs.. Bennet was heard cry, "Oh, my dearest girl! When shall I ever see you or the children again?" To which Lydia gleefully replied, "I don't know, perhaps not for years and years, perhaps never! What an adventure we shall have!"
The Wickhams, to no ones surprise, had many children, most of whom were as profligate as their parents (Who wouldn't be with such examples and such companions as those Lydia surrounded herself with! Wherever she went, she was sure to find friends as silly and ignorant as she was!) Not even a fresh start can cure some bad habits and morals, though perhaps not all turned out bad - we shall see!
The Family of William Collins
After the death of Lady Catherine, the Colonel required Mr, Collins to leave his position in favor of a curate who was more Christian than show (actually he'd been dying to do this anyway, ever since he'd first met the man on that ever memorable trip into Kent. Darcy was particularly thrilled because the joy of visiting his favorite cousin would have been greatly lessened had he been required to be in his company) Mr. Collins, however, quickly secured a new position with one of Lady Catherine's friends for whom she had once done the great service of finding a governess for ("Lady Catherine.", she said of Miss Pope, "You have given me a treasure!") Lady Susan Metcalfe was more than thrilled to return the service done her by installing Mr. Collins as head vicar, near her estate in Ireland. His flatteries were as pleasant to her as they were for him to give them. Though the Collins' brought much amusement, no one but Sir William Lucas was very sorry to see them go. The estate to which his daughter was taken, Castle Connery, in County Kerry, and the rank of the new patroness, much made up for the distance. He was quite content to visit once a year, and talk of Lady Metcalfe whenever he attended St. James.
Charlotte bore only girls and William never inherited Longbourn.
Mr. and Mrs. Bennet
The elder Bennets became model grandparents. Mrs.. Bennet, her object in life achieved with the marriage of all five daughters ("God has been very good to us" "Indeed He has!") was finally able to relax and her nerves were the better for it. She became a doting grandmother, living far enough away from her daughters not to interfere, too much, in the children's upbringing, calm in the knowledge that she would never have to leave her home. As for her daughters, they only had to deal with an occasional visit (The blessing of living in Derbyshire was that though, not as bad as before, Mrs.. Bennet felt the trip to be too much for her nerves to take very often, as well as the fact that she was too much intimidated by her auspicious son-in-law to trespass to often upon his time.) and frequent letters filled with advice (most of which they disregarded) Mr. Bennet was a much beloved and often present Grandfather, feeling that four out of five sensible sons, for two out of five sensible daughters were pretty good odds, and defied even Sir William Lucas to do any better!
Mr. and Mrs.. Gardiner
Mrs. Gardiner became like a second mother to the girls, giving help and advice that their own mother never thought to give. They always remained close to Jane, Elizabeth, and their families, but were especially close to the Darcy's who would never forget the great service done them by Mr. Gardiner's not being able to leave work for very long and Mrs. Gardiner deciding that a trip to Lampton would be nice, but most especially by their bringing Elizabeth with them.