Tag Archives: Pride and Prejudice


Mrs. DallowayThere are two places in Mrs. Dalloway where Richard Dalloway is called “Wickham”.

In Pride and Prejudice George Wickham was the charming, but less-than-honorable man who stole Lydia Bennet away and eloped with her.


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Posted by on July 30, 2013 in Mrs. Dalloway, Pride and Prejudice


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Doubling Back for Dalloway

Screeeech!  That was the sound of me slamming on the breaks and turning this CCOM car around.
I am doubling back for Mrs. DallowayMrs

It’s Sunday, so let me start off with a little confession of my latest WEM sins.  I am just now starting the wrap up questions for Mrs. Dalloway.  I know!  Shocker!  and after our New Year’s resolution too.  Last night as I looked through my copy of the text and tried to read my illegible journal notes, I realized that we did not spend very much time discussing our twentieth tale.

For that reason, I’m taking a detour and backtracking to give a few days to Clarissa, Peter, and the Smiths.

After that lengthy explanation, I’d like to share the subtitle of this blog post:

Clarissa and Lizzy

Perhaps to be more accurate the title should be:

Peter and Lizzy

In both Mrs. Dalloway and Pride & Prejudice some serious statements regarding wedded bliss are made.  There’s this one from Jane Austen:

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”

And this one from Virginia Woolf:

…for there’s nothing in the world so bad for some women as marriage, he thought;

According to Peter Walsh, those wealthy, single men are ruining good women.  I already noted the many unhappy relationships in this title.  Is this an example of Woolf showing the strain between tradition and modernism?  In Mrs. Dalloway Hugh Whitbread is traditional, married to a convalescent wife.  Peter Walsh is modern, returning to England to obtain a divorce so that he can be with his new love, a married woman.

I wonder what our next novels will think about marriage.

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Posted by on July 28, 2013 in Mrs. Dalloway


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Added to my Wishlist

I spent some time on Etsy this weekend doing a little window shopping.  On a whim I typed in Huckleberry Finn.  The very first listing charmed me.  Go ahead; take a look.

Yes, it’s a little book charm with our latest title and author’s name engraved on it.  I love it!  After admiring it for a few moments, can you guess what I did?  That’s right.  I searched the shop for other WEM titles.  I found six:  Huck Finn, Great Gatsby, Pride & Prejudice, Jane Eyre, Moby-Dick, and (yes, I was surprised as well) Portrait of a Lady.

I think a bracelet made up of WEM novel charms would be the perfect reward for completing the novel portion of my DIY master’s degree program.  It’s on my wishlist.


Posted by on March 6, 2013 in The Blog


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How to describe her…

The Portrait of a Lady  chapter 19

“When Madame Merle was neither writing, nor painting, nor touching the piano, she was usually employed upon wonderful tasks of rich embroidery, cushions, curtains, decorations for the chimney-piece;an art in which her bold , free invention was as noted as the agility of her needle.  She was never idle, for when engaged in none of the ways I have mentioned she was either reading (she appeared to Isabel to read “everything important”), or walking out, or playing patience with the cards, or talking with her fellow inmates.”

Oh, Madame Merle… how can we describe you?
Ah!  How about an accomplished young woman? Remember those?
Okay, so you aren’t exactly young.
How about we drop the young adjective and call you an accomplished woman?

See.  Our narrator even calls her accomplished…

I am bound to confess, though it may cast some discredit on the sketch I have given of the youthful loyalty practiced by our heroine toward this accomplished woman

Accomplished woman

Remember accomplished women?  We became quite familiar with them (here and here ) when we were reading Pride and Prejudice.


Posted by on January 29, 2013 in The Portrait of a Lady


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Won’t Accept No for an Answer!

During a recent run with Christina, I had a realization that almost stopped me in my tracks.  Mr. Collins of Pride and Prejudice and St. John Rivers of Jane Eyre are the same person!

No!  It’s true!  Hear me out.  Both men propose repeatedly.  Both men ignore the refusals of the women they ask.  Both men are ministers.  Both men are cousins of the woman they want to marry.  Both men are clueless about courting.  Both men want to marry because it’s the “right thing to do” in their situation.  Both men are not in love.   Both men are incredibly focused.  (Granted Collins’ focus is mostly on his patron Lady Catherine while St. John Rivers’ focus is on his upcoming mission trip and ministry.)

See?  The same person.


Posted by on February 21, 2012 in Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice


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P&P Pop Quiz!

Have you finished the novel?  Are you feeling confident about your grasp of the details?  If so, you might enjoy taking this multiple choice quiz on  Sparknotes to find out exactly what you remember about Pride and Prejudice.  It’s something my fellow bloggers and I have done after each novel.  Frequently, we take issue with at least one of the questions.  Almost as frequently, we smack our foreheads because we forgot some detail which has us scrambling back to our books to verify after our quiz is scored.  It’s really quite fun.  Geeky fun, but still fun.

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Posted by on November 19, 2011 in Pride and Prejudice


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P&P character web: spiders not included

As a student of the Well-Educated Mind, I am required to keep a list of characters.  Author Susan Wise Bauer suggests that I not only list characters but give a brief description for each one.   I’ve tried a couple different ways of doing this. 

For Don Quixote I listed characters on index cards that I used as a book mark.  This got frustrating since there were so many characters and so few of them ever made a reappearance.  I think by the time I finished the book I had five index cards covered front and back with tiny script.  As an added insult, the cards continually fell out of my book, losing my place.

For Pilgrim’s Progress I used the same format with some of the same frustration.  Few characters return in later chapters.  At least in this book, the characters’ names are their descriptions, so that part was easier.

For Gulliver’s Travels I confess that I neglected to keep a list.  I was so wrapped up with end notes that I completely forgot about it.  Again, it wasn’t that big a deal because once Gulliver left a location, he never came back.

For Pride and Prejudice, the first character-based novel on our list, I planned to do a stupendous job.  SWB suggests when there are lots of related characters, one should make a family tree.  This sounded like a great way to maintain the list (and to gather blog post material!).  Sadly, I do not know anything about family trees, and it took me many chapters to figure out who was related to whom and how.  I abandoned that idea and created a list organized by family in my journal (the one I use for chapter summaries).

I finished the novel.  Still I dreamed of a P&P family tree.  Fortunately there’s google and Wikipedia

It’s not a family tree, but isn’t it beautiful?!  It’s more of a family web.  A family and friends web.

I love how it shows the relationships between the characters. 

Oh, what a tangled novel!  What a web!  Though I suppose it is a web without a spider… 


Unless you think of Lady Catherine as the spider, using her silken threads of wealth and power to compel others to do her bidding…

Maybe there was a spider after all.



Posted by on November 16, 2011 in Pride and Prejudice, Well-Educated Mind


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Insults a la Mr. Bennet

Perhaps Elizabeth learned her witty retort skills from her father.  Check out what Mr. Bennet has to say about his son-in-law Wickham in chapter 53.  The door has barely shut behind newlyweds Lydia and Wickham when Mr. Bennet says…

“He is as fine a fellow, ” said Mr. Bennet, as soon as they were out of the house, ” as ever I saw.  He simpers, and smirks, and makes love to us all.  I am prodigiously proud of him.  I defy even Sir William Lucas himself to produce a more valuable son-in-law.”

Sarcastic much?

Oh, there is some serious insulting going on here. 

1. Wickham has great schmoozing abilities.  He fooled everyone before with his delightful manners, and he’s trying to do it now.

2. Sir William Lucas is Collin’s father-in-law.  Lucas’s daughter Charlotte was Collin’s second choice after Elizabeth rejected him.  Readers, we definitely understand how Bennet feels about Collins.  Remember that not too many pages ago Bennet told Lizzy if she married Collins he’d never talk to her again

3. valuable son-in-law:  Could this be referring to the money it took to get Wickham out of debt?  Also relating to the fact that Wickham had to be bribed to marry Lydia?  Maybe alluding to Wickham’s incapability to earn an honest wage?  Perhaps it’s all of the above.

Spoiler alert:

Here’s another related quote from Mr. Bennet about his sons-in-law.  In Chapter 59 Elizabeth watches her father get to know and like Darcy.  Bennet says: “I admire all my three sons-in-law highly,” said he.  “Wickham, perhaps, is my favourite; but I think I shall like your husband quite as well as Jane’s.”

I’m betting that Wickham is his favorite only in the way Mrs. Bennet is his favorite;  they both have tremendous entertainment possibiities. 


Posted by on November 10, 2011 in Pride and Prejudice


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Chapter 52 has Lydia and Wickham visiting Longbourn after their hasty marriage.  Lydia has plans to attend balls at Newcastle that winter.  She wants her family to come.  She even offers to help her sisters find spouses.

Lydia– “And then when you go away, you may leave one or two of my sisters behind you; and I dare say I shall get husbands for them before the winter is over.”

Elizabeth– “I thank you for my share of the favour,” said Elizabeth; “but I do not particularly like your way of getting husbands.”

Zing!  Ouch!  That one stung. 

(Not that it wasn’t deserved.)

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Posted by on November 8, 2011 in Pride and Prejudice


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Lady C de B

Lady Catherine is condescending.
Her instructions are never-ending.
Questioning Lizzy,
gives her a tizzy.
For a son-in-law, she’s intending.

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Posted by on November 7, 2011 in Pride and Prejudice


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