I bought this book at the library booksale despite knowing that it had been roundly condemned by lots of bloggers, well it only cost me 80p, so I thought I would see for myself what it was like. I’ve previously read quite a few books by P.D. James and enjoyed them.
I have to say that I agree with the people who were disappointed with this one. It seems that in dealing with a historical setting James doesn’t have that important skill in writing of imparting information without it seeming to be clunky, but just part of the story. There was so much obvious info dumping and tedious repetition. I struggled on womanfully to the end, well I had to see what happened didn’t I!
Anyway, in planet Katrina, that place I live where life is more congenial than the reality, I decided when I first read Pride and Prejudice that Lydia and Wickham were going to come to a sticky end.
In my mind Wickham swiftly turns to other women after his marriage to Lydia and ends up having to fight a duel with his regiment’s colonel after he ravishes the colonel’s wife and then tries to blackmail her. The colonel is a hotshot and Wickham is a goner!
Lydia returns to where she has been happiest, that Mecca of naughtiness Brighton. She ‘entertains’ as many officers as is humanly possible, well she doesn’t want any of them feeling left out, she guzzles gin like it was water and expires in a foaming fit whilst dancing like a mad thing at the Pump Room. Her last thought is ‘La – what larks!’
Do you have an alternative future for Lydia and Wickham?
The BBC is broadcasting a dramatised version of this book at Christmas and I actually think that it could be worth watching. There probably won’t be much else on anyway, but I think that all the clunky bits in the book will be cut out, making it a lot more enjoyable, and of course there’ll be frocks and gorgeous houses. Chatsworth House and Harewood House are being used as film locations, you can read more about it here.