Pride and Prejudice: The Sequel;
A Plan of a Novel, Part II
By: Amy, Elizabeth and Laura (aka Fond Fir)
Miss Anne De Bourgh
After the death of her mother, Anne who had gone for an extended visit to Pemberly, at Elizabeth's request, began to blossom into her own person. Without Mrs. Jennings always hovering about, and her mother telling her that she was frail, she soon forgot that she was supposed to be so. The children adored her as "Aunt Anne" and since she had never been allowed to play as a child, she took delight in them. Everyone knows that the way to a mother's heart is through her children, and Elizabeth soon forgot her first impressions of her as a "pale, sickly creature" as she made herself invaluable with the girls. Anne had known all along that she was a pawn her mother's scheme to join the Rosings property to the Darcy money, the upkeep being unbearable for the beautiful, yet extensive grounds. She had therefore determined to thwart the plan in her own quiet way, fearing the tirade that was sure to come if she ever openly opposed her mother's will. It was true that she had a bad complexion, but that worked toward her advantage and she "set it off" in the clothes that she wore. Lady Catherine was colorblind, and so never knew.
As thoroughly as Anne did her work, she never found it a joy. Though she was glad for saving Darcy the pain of an unbearable mother-in-law who would suck him dry, she was also sad for she knew that no one really liked her for her own self. This changed with her visit to Pemberly. As she watched what real family life is like, she was gradually drawn into the circle, and by the end of her stay, even Darcy (who only invited her out of clannishness and his wife's insistence) found some good points in her, after all.
Anne was delighted to find such friends, especially in Georgiana, and was thrilled when they invited her on their trip to Bath, whither they had been sent for Elizabeth's confinement. While they were there, they ran into Darcy's friend Louis, now the Marquis of St. Fraque. He was at the time in mourning for his wife who had died while being delivered of a child, leaving him with an infant daughter. Louis found comfort in the Darcy home, and since Georgiana was shy, especially around strange men, it fell to Anne to entertain him much of the time, as Elizabeth was not always well enough to leave her bed. The Marquis was astonished at the way Anne had with children. As is true with mothers, so it is true with fathers and by Michaelmas, an engagement was announced, followed by a wedding at Christmas. Anne had finally found true happiness, after 26 years of loneliness, and they retired to a quiet life of ease at Louis' estate in the north of France.
Miss Georgiana Darcy
Upon the marriage of her brother, Georgiana finally had the sister that she had always longed for. After her Aunt's death Georgiana was more and more in the company of her cousin as well. This was good for both girls as they grew to know one another, and they too, became friends, knowing the loss of a beloved father, at a tender age, and the curse of being an heiress. In time she also found someone of whom her brother approved and who loved her for herself and "settled down" to marriage and a family.
Being the good natured, openhearted fellow that he was, it deeply hurt the Colonel that someone whom he had trusted and befriended would betray him by hurting the one he held most dear. As Georgianna's guardian, he naturally took a deep interest in her as he watched her grow and fiercely guarded her, seeing the results of allowing her companions too much freedom. As Darcy was occupied for much of the time with his own family, she came to rely more and more on the Colonel. He had been the one to teach her horsemanship and archery, she had always delighted in the boys company when they would allow her to tag along. When he fell from his horse, broke his leg, and was confined to bed for weeks, she taught him crocheting. In short, there was such camaraderie between them, and such perfect harmony, it came as no surprise when the he finally got around to telling Darcy that they had an understanding.
Richard would never forgive himself for allowing Wickham near enough to hurt her, and for not seeing through him sooner, but he was also able to put it behind him and thank God for his good fortune.
It will be remembered that Rosings Park was in great financial trouble, when last we left it, and it was decided, by Anne and her Marquis, that it was a drain on his funds and should be sold. That is how she inveigled a loophole into the entailment, and was able to take offers on those hallowed halls. The Earl of Matlock , delighted at not only being able to provide his younger son with property, so reasonably priced, but at the same time help out his sister's daughter, bought the Park and surrounding lands, and presented them to his son and new daughter-in-law at their wedding. That is also how Georgiana Darcy- Fitzwilliam became Mistress of Rosing Park and it's tremendous chimney piece.
Miss Caroline Bingley
Caroline never married, but died, much to no one's regret at 87, old and full of herself. She was a connoisseur of large hats with enormous feathers, to the very last. Every time she made her annual pilgrimage to Bath, she stayed at Pemberly. One night on her departure, and one on her return. They were, without a doubt the longest nights of the year. Having been used to being mistress of her brother's house, it galled her to be required to sit lower on account of Jane. After the marriage of her brother, she went to stay at his house in town Her charms consisting of her tremendous fortune of Twenty Thousand Pounds, her elegant style, and rather handsome face, she was indeed much sought after by the younger sons of the London Society Matrons. However, having set her heart on Mr. Darcy, she found it very difficult to switch her sights to anything lower. (Don't we all)
She kept holding out, however, hoping that an Earl, or some other not too recently appointed member of the titled class would recognize her true worth and often dreamed of the day when HE would ride into her life on a white stallion, and casting one look upon her lovely form, brilliant complexion, magnificent style of walking, and all together fashionable helplessness, fall irrevocably in love with her and carry her off to his mansion in the south of France where they would live in a continual Eden for the remainder of their long and blissful lives sitting on the banks of the Riviera, eating bonbons, reading Byron and criticizing everybody to their hearts content.
She was still dreaming the day a severe chill caught her as she walked along her morning promenade in Bath. She had elected not to wear a pelisse that day, lest it conceal her, if somewhat stooped, still rather elegant figure. The rest as they say, is history.
Mrs. Lousia Hurst
Shortly after the disastrous marriage of her brother, Louisa was once again a free woman (with the exception of her children of course) Mr. Hurst having died of and apoplectic fit following a ball at Bingley's new estate. She married again, a doctor this time, having learned to value security above fashion. She lived above her moderate means, with a townhouse in London and a cottage in the country, very near her brother-in-law, Mr. Suckling's place, Maplegrove.
Miss Mary Bennet
Upon the marriage of her sisters, Mary was often left alone with her mother, and while she would be the last to admit it, did learn from her. The most notable was that, though never known to take things to the excess of her mother, she did begin to grow a little more at ease in the company of others. Being the only Bennet sister at home for long periods of time, Mary began to feel more at home with herself and realize that there was more to the world outside, than books. Being quite the most accomplished young lady around did have its advantages and since she was no longer continually being compared to her sisters either in beauty or vivacity, she began to take notice of the young men around. Mr. Collins had evoked in her feelings unknown before, and though she could at last see that he was not the right man for her (He loving society and gaiety to much for her taste) she did not find the sensations at all unpleasant. It was at this time that another cousin was to enter her life.
Samuel Bennet was the son of Mr. Bennet's elder brother. This brother, so it would seem, had left his family, forfeiting the Longbourn estate to his younger brother.
"Why did he leave", you ask, "and where did he go?" Well, I'll tell you. This older brother, John, had heard of a land of opportunity that lay across the sea. He'd heard that in this new land, there was money to be made hand over fist. That there was no class structure, and that everyone who came had an equal opportunity, that it didn't matter if your father had been in trade, all you needed for success was the will to work hard. John had always been somewhat of a wanderer and had had a lust for adventure ever since he was small. Despising the insipid ways of the English landed gentry, whose society he was now, with his father's success introduced into, and wishing to escape the clutches of a certain silly young woman, he fled to this new land that opened her arms to him offering him everything of which he could dream. Mr. Bennet, Sr. outraged at his son's disloyalty to family responsibility, cut of all communication with his wayward son, though secretly hoping that someday he would return. When word of his whereabouts never came, it was assumed that he had perished and the property went to the younger brother.
In time, John, by dint of hard work and a cheerful attitude became reasonably successful. He married the daughter of a Dutch immigrant, thereby assuring his fortune and prosperity. The young couple moved to lower New York and managed a farm and the town mercantile. It was during this time that the Indians around the colony began to grow restless and worried about the great influx of settlers into their land, using up valuable resources (also the report of certain of their brethren being swindled out of a great tongue of land which jutted into the ocean boiled their blood) The chieftains finally held a council and decided that the only way to rid their land from this plague of infiltrators was to wage an all out assault on their farms, homes and villages. John's farm, being on the outskirts of a great wood, was one of the first to be attacked. Neighbors, seeing the smoke from the burning barn, arrived only in time to save the house from the same fate. It was too late for John and Gerda. Each had been killed by a single blow. Gerda, though had foreseen her own fate. She had had just enough time to hide her infant son in the wood box, before being so rudely interrupted from her daily schedule. Samuel, just a few months old, was happily sleeping behind a rather large log, when the neighbors discovered him. He was sent to live with his grandparents, who had moved to Boston. They loved him as only grandparents, deprived of their own child can do, and when he was old enough, told him the stories that John had told them, about his past.
Samuel grew up not thinking much about his English heritage, the war left bitter feelings among those in Boston, and he had no wish to be taunted at school as a Tory. It was not until after his Grandparents died, and he was left alone in the world that he began to wonder about his other family. Having been brought up for most of his rather short life as a gentleman, he now found that his remaining fortune was not as great as he had been led to think. His Grandfather had invested heavily in the Continental Army, and though they were at last victorious, the spoils of war were not exactly tangible. It was only Freedom......the right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Realizing that his happiness depended not only on having family around him, but also bread to eat, Samuel sunk his last dollars into a ticket to Liverpool, where he hoped not only to find a job, but also whatever remained of his father's family. It must be noted at this time, that anti-British sentiment being what it was at that time in the Colonies, and having been reared as their own by his grandparents, Samuel had, as a matter of course taken their last name as his own.
And so it was that Samuel Van Demeer landed in England in 179- . His path lead him to London, where he found sympathy and employment in a business office. Concentrating on learning his new trade, Samuel had not much time to begin his search. His diligence commended him to one of the partners, and he was invited many times to his home. This partner, seeing the hard work which was put into all of Samuel's work was very eager to help the young man in whatever way he could. So it came about after time, that he got around asking the young clerk why he had left America, to come and learn a trade in England. The answer he got was astounding.
Mr. Gardiner had always known the history of his sister's husband's family, he had heard her weeping when John had left for the Colonies, and her joyous raptures when she had finally achieved the object of her desires, a landed estate. She thought it quite a good joke that she should, through the younger brother ascend to the heights vacated by the older. In short, he was once again compelled to send an express post to Longbourn (this one containing more hope of happiness than the last) Samuel Bennet, for now he had once again laid claim to his rightful surname, was embraced by his new family. Mrs. Bennet doted on him like a son, and even Mary, with her studious ways was glad to see him. He found her charming and refreshing, compared to the outspoken and flirtatious American girls he was used to. Mrs. Bennet, seeing his preference, wasted no time in encouraging his suit, and in less time than you could say, "Bob's your uncle", which indeed Samuel had found out to be true, he was found to be welcomed not as a nephew, but as a son and heir to Mr. and Mrs. Robert Bennet.
Miss Catherine Bennet
Kitty Bennet had the distinct honor of being in demand by both Mrs. Bingley and Mrs. Darcy. The two older sisters being afraid that her impressionable young mind left to the companionship of their mother, might be ruined beyond compare. She spent her first few summer's and holidays at Pemberley, and as Georgiana requested the presence of all her family to celebrate her first Christmas in her new home, the last at Rosings Park. That is, her last as Kitty Bennet.
Upon the departure of Mr. Collins to a more favorable parish, Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam were left with an empty vicarage. Recalling to mind the younger brother of an officer in his regiment who had just taken orders, the good Colonel set out at once to write and invite him to come and fill void left in Kent. Thomas Halwell was only too happy to be set up so well so soon after his ordination and accepted with pride.
He was also present, that first Christmas at Rosings, and was so taken with Kitty, that he, by Easter had determined that he could not possibly live without her and that they must be married at once, by special license if necessary. Kitty, deciding that if one could not marry and officer, (as her father had already determined) then the next best thing was to marry the brother of one.
That is how she became the mistress of Hunsford (closet shelves and all) and the mother to a fine and happy brood. Mr. and Mrs. Halwell were renowned in their parish for their hospitality and attention to the young people in the area. There was always something afoot to keep them occupied, and Thomas, not thinking dancing at all a matter to be worried about when a ball was given by such a respectable man as the Colonel, was able to thrill his wife by cutting a fine figure in the ballroom.
Miss Maria Lucas
It was up to Maria to make the most stunning match of the small group. The son of Lady Metcalf, who laid claim to the title Viscount, was in great need of a wife. Tired of hearing his mother harp on him for finding fault with every eligible woman for a 100 mile radius, he purposed to marry the next girl to come along. That girl happened to be Maria, on a visit with her father. Sir William was delighted, and though the Viscount was fully 42, and more than ususally rotund, he was a jovial, hearty sort of man, and she soon came to like him. Having two of his daughters so well settled, left Sir William with nothing left to hope for.
Until his grandchildren were born, that is...............................................