Monday, January 19, 2015

Spotlight Lydia Bennet

Welcome to Lydia’s Bennet’s story.
If you’ve read Pride & Prejudice, you know Lydia is the youngest of the five Bennet sisters. Like her siblings she has little chance of making a good marriage. Still, Lydia is not your typical heroine. She doesn’t cry over her hopeless future. She sets about to change it, without concern to propriety or decorum.  Lydia falls to the charms of Wickham when she’s sixteen. She’s certain a marriage to the handsome fellow is the beginning of her fabulous life. Wickham’s many failings reveal themselves in short order and Lydia realizes she’ll have to secure a better future for them both.
At each stop, I’ll share a new bit of detail from Pride & Prejudice that touches upon Lydia’s story.
Gretna Green Scotland—where Lydia thought she was going to marry Wickham.

To marry in the town of Gretna Green, Scotland in Lydia’s time, a couple need only arrive, pledge themselves to their partners in the presence of another person, such as the blacksmith, and they were married.

No bans, nor special license required. Why so different than England? Simple: The 1754 Marriage Act of England did not apply in Scotland.  In 1856, England managed to get Scotland to require a 21 day residence law. Thus, couples would have to live there for 21 days before being married, but in Lydia’s time, it only took a long journey, but a short time to marry.

The closest the U.S. has to this quickie marriage is a Las Vegas wedding with an Elvis Presley impersonator heading the service. Just bring proper ID if you’re 18 or over. Otherwise you’ll need a note from your parents. (Official doc signed by one parent). There’s no blood test. Like England in the 19th century they don’t care if you are first cousins or too drunk to know better. And they accept credit cards. No Waiting —make your semi-permanent misstates quickly.

Elizabeth Bennet told her story in Pride and Prejudice. Now Lydia Bennet tells her side of her whirlwind marriage to Lieutenant Wickham. The youngest of five daughters with a pittance of a dowry and no hope for a good marriage, Lydia feared her life was doomed from the start. She learns how to set herself apart from her sisters and gain the attention of young men. She hones charm and flirtation to an art. Willing to take risks, she manages to acquire a substantial dowry and marries her beloved Wickham. Yet, her life remains on the brink until she gains the patronage of a wealthy Duke trapped in a loveless marriage.

“Lydia was Lydia still; untamed, unabashed, wild, noisy and fearless.”
—quote by Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Wickham couldn’t believe his luck. He had imagined it would take at least an hour to convince Lydia he was so passionately in love that they had to marry this very night. Never in his wildest dreams did he think she would spread her legs after a few kisses and agree to Gretna Green less than ten minutes later.
Her willing responses had made him believe she was far more experienced than her age would imply. Still, he did her the courtesy of saying the things expected when deflowering a virgin. He knew from his previous seductions, young ladies appreciated the ruse during their first encounter with a gentleman, no matter how battle-tested they were.
Thus, when he met true resistance, he was stunned. What the bloody hell had Denny and the others been doing for the last two months? He was ashamed of the whole sorry lot of them and thanked God he’d never have to set eyes on them again. If ever there had been a young girl ripe for the taking, it was Lydia Bennet.


More About the Author
Liza O’Connor’s favorite books are Pride & Prejudice and Douglas Adams’ four book trilogy, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Go figure…
Raised in the southern mid-section of U.S., Liza escaped to the East Coast once out of college. She’s worked as a journalist, a radio DJ, a security guard, a stock broker, a strategist, and a business solutions consultant to name a few of her many occupations.  Again…go figure.
She learned to fly planes, jump out of planes, hang-glide, kayak and scuba dive, to name of few of her ‘let’s kill Liza’ moments. However, her favorite activity is to hike with her dog Jess among the shaved mountains of NJ.
Here are additional Historical Novels by Liza O’Connor
A Humorous Sleuth Series: The Adventures of Xavier & Vic
The brilliant English Sleuth, Xavier Thorn, takes on a cheeky apprentice who turns out to be a young woman. Vic prefers to dress as a young man so she can live a more interesting life in the Late Victorian era. Overtime, Xavier makes her his partner in all ways.
The Troublesome Apprentice — The greatest sleuth in Victorian England hires a young man who turns out to be a young woman.
The Missing Partner — Opps! The greatest sleuth in Victorian England goes missing, leaving Vic to rescue him, a suffragette, and about 100 servants. Not to mention an eviscerating cat. Yes, let’s not mention the cat.
A Right to Love — A Romantic spin off from the Adventures of Xavier & Vic. The gypsy pirate Jacko falls in love with a compromised lady of high society.
The Mesmerist The Mesmerist can control people from afar and make them murder for her. Worse yet, Xavier Thorn has fallen under her spell.

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Liza O'Connor said...

Thanks so much for having Lydia over. Hope she doesn't get into too much trouble.

Daryl Devore said...

Fabulous idea - writing Lydia's story. Great excerpt.

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