Chapter Sixty – Lady Millhouse Interjects
Lady Millhouse, as you may recall, is roughly equivalent to Basil Exposition. Essentially, she’s a nice, friendly woman who knows pretty much exactly what is going on and has all of the dirt on everyone around her, and is perfectly willing to provide exposition at the right times in the story.
She and her husband head over to France to find the grave of her nephew and bring him back for a proper burial in England. It’s not really that interesting. Anyway, Mrs. Bennet doesn’t really have any interest in watching her grandchildren grow up, so Lady Millhouse becomes a surrogate grandmother. And then one day she mentions that Darcy was chubby as a child. And…that’s about it. So she doesn’t even provide exposition here. Even Lady Millhouse has lost any reason for appearing in this book.
Darcy angsts for a bit. And then:
He had been forced to the conclusion, since independently verified through Lady Millhouse, that the despicable Wickham was the…yes he had to speak the word, to himself if to no one else…Wickham was the bastard son of his father. Wickham was his half-brother (page 259).
Wait, where the hell did this come from? I have no idea. But Darcy is pretty sure that Wickham is dead somewhere in England, and he and Elizabeth have agreed to let sleeping dogs lie. So…alright then.
Elizabeth takes a great deal of pride in her children and gets bitchy if anyone doesn’t fall over themselves complementing them.
Lady Catherine is quite pleased that Lady Anne got knocked up so quickly. She’s even fine with the fact that it happened before Lady Anne was married, which doesn’t really sound like it’s in line with everything that we know about Lady Catherine. Neither does this quote:
“Well, just when one thought there no more surprises to be found in this world,” Lady Catherine reflected in the darkness of her bed-chamber, “one learns that Anne’s little love-cranny is just as cock-smitten as any scullery-maid’s.” (page 264)
Uh. Right. This sounds exactly like Lady Catherine, a woman who is absolutely concerned with propriety in every way, shape, and form. This is totally what her inner monologues sound like.
Lord Beecher is a gambler, and is in debt, so Lady Catherine has been quietly paying off his creditors, making him beholden to her, which means that he’ll be pretty much forced to help her when she puts her insidious plan into motion. Whatever that plan is.
And….Lady Anne’s baby is born and it’s alive. I’m not sure about Lady Anne, though, the text is unclear.
Lydia is a shallow and shameless whore. She gets knocked up by another officer, and after this, she writes him to let him know, and he writes back saying that he’s been promised to another. So Lydia cries hysterically and falls against the chest of the officer who brought her the letter and he’s immediately smitten. Lydia, being the conniver that she is, quickly realizes her options are slim, and starts flirting madly with him. His name is Kneebone and is not that attractive, despite his red coat, and she’s not really that attracted to him and cries the night before his wedding at the thought of having to get inside his bed.
Afterwards, though, her opinion has changed dramatically, because even though Kneebone is butt-ugly, he’s more than adequate in bed.
The chap who painted Elizabeth and immediately proclaimed it to be his Mona Lisa and the pinnacle of human achievement is back, this time to do a family portrait. He rolls into Pemberley, sees the children, and immediately is overcome and whispers thanks to God at how utterly adorable their children are.
God, this entire family is only comprised of Mary-Sues.
Sally manages to con her way inside the Darcy’s London house and learn…well, nothing, really.
Wickham moves in with Mrs. Younge. Mrs. Younge being the douchebag that helped Wickham run off with Georgiana long ago.
This chapter begins with a thoroughly nonsensical quote that I really need to share:
Beneath the professional surface of the hatching of a commissioned portrait roosted a bird of an altogether different feather. It had been born of appetence but incubated in pique (page 280).
Berdoll spends a page talking about England’s painting scene, two and a half pages talking about the painter’s infatuation with Elizabeth and how much he wants to fuck her, and the rest of the chapter talking about him trying to capture the Darcys and their dogs in the portrait. None of it is even remotely interesting.
It’s funny that this is chapter sixty-nine. I wonder if this is Berdoll’s idea of being funny.
Elizabeth’s toes tingled furiously and they wriggled with spasms. Whilst her feet pedaled against the mattress, her hands flailed over her head until they managed to catch-hold of two spindles adorning the head-board. With fluttering eyelids and arched back, a slow, susurration of a moan began at the back of her throat threatened to turn into undiluted acclamation – when came a shrill call from outside the door (page 284).
Mrs. Bennet bursts in, shrieking about some horrific problem. Elizabeth hastily covers herself. Darcy doesn’t need to, of course, because he’s already well down beneath the covers. WELL down beneath them, in fact. Ah, yes, the cunnilingus has finally made its heralded appearance. And yes, by the time night-time rolls around, there are several large bolts on their door.
Anyway, the point of this chapter is that Mrs. Bennet is an annoying shrew and difficult to live with, but we already knew that.
Lydia shows up with her gaggle of children and her new squeeze. She and Mrs. Bennet try to out-annoy each other and everyone just puts up with them. However, her new husband is very agreeable and they all think he’s a decent chap. So time passes and one day Mrs. Bennet brings up Wickham and this makes Elizabeth flash back to when she thought she saw Wickham walking down the street. For some reason, she’s kept this news to herself and didn’t bother to tell Darcy.
God, she is stupid.
Sally, who is now at Pemberley taking care of Lydia’s kids, resolves to find information about her brother. Which, we already knew that she was at Pemberley taking care of Lydia’s kids, and we already knew she had resolved to find information about her brother. So, this chapter accomplished exactly nothing.