Thank you so much for hosting me today at My Jane Austen Book Club! It’s always a pleasure to drop in.
Today I’d like to focus on some of the side characters in my book, Darcy in Wonderland, all of whom are of great interest to Janeites. While the story primarily focuses on the immediate Darcy family, particularly Mr. Darcy and Alice, many of our friends and foes from Pride and Prejudice receive mention, and some even play a major role in the plot, like Lady Catherine. She has had ample time in the spotlight over the past several days as I’ve done the rounds of the blogs, so let’s set that imposing grand dame aside and turn our attention to quieter members of the cast.
Mary Harding and Kitty Crawford
Austen was rather specific regarding the fates of some of her characters, and even though this is a rather unorthodox continuation, I have stuck to cannon as much as possible. For example, the fates of Mary and Kitty Bennet are clearly disclosed at the end of Pride and Prejudice, so I didn’t tamper with their destinies.
“The days passed quickly in a frenzy of preparations, visiting, and new arrivals, who swelled the numbers in the dining room. Elizabeth’s sister, Mary Harding, her husband, and their three rather grown children arrived from Hertfordshire two days before the ball. They traveled with the Collinses of Longbourn, who left their children at home. Kitty Crawford and four of her brood of nine did not descend upon Pemberley until the following day, as her husband, a clergyman, worked in a parish not far away. The halls of the great house veritably rang with the footsteps and laughter of children while the nights were marked by family gatherings in the drawing room, full of games, performances, conversation, and laughter. What did it matter if Mr. Collins was abysmal at cards? Under his wife’s skillful management, the former rector’s absurdities were never subjected on any single person for too long, and Bennet was often happy to partner him, finding his cousin just as diverting a source of entertainment as his grandfather had before him.”