Chapter Thirty-One – Love Has Its Fashion
Elizabeth and Darcy are enjoying a post-breakfast cup of coffee. Elizabeth suddenly remarks that it’s a nice day out, which makes Darcy instantly suspect she has some sort of ulterior motive. He blows on his coffee to conceal that he’s noticed anything, and says “Hmmm” in a very casual and non-committal way. It’s actually kind of a nice moment and I rather like it, as it shows how well they understand each other – or, at least, how well Darcy understands Elizabeth. And yes, I’m a little appalled that I found so much as a moment of this book that was rather well-written, but on the other hand, I’m pretty sure this entire scene is setting up a sex scene outdoors on the grounds of Pemberley. Let’s see if I’m right!
Elizabeth wants to go out riding. Darcy’s a little concerned over whether she’s well enough, but he has to admit (internally) that she’s been riding him every night with no discernable side effects, so a horse is the next logical step.
There’s an interesting moment where he notes a red mark on his finger where Elizabeth happened to bite him the previous night. It doesn’t really show how well they know each other. Instead, it provides them with an excuse to head off to have sex before going out riding.
Berdoll moves on to begin talking about Jane. She spends two pages relating the story of Pride and Prejudice and another page and a half relating the story from Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife, dwelling particularly on Jane and Bingley’s sex life, which is very awkward, takes place in the missionary position, in the dark, with most of their clothes on, and Jane never really feels anything. Also, at Mrs. Bennet’s advice, Bingley has to sleep by himself any time Jane is on the rag, knocked up, or nursing, or tired, or on Sundays. So he strayed and slept around. But he has an excuse!
But the reasons men wander from their wives are as diverse as the arms they betray – whether it be in search of love, money, self-aggrandizement, or simply because they can. Bingley did it for none of these reasons. His rationale was far too immediate. He was not lustful. He simply sought to relieve a palpable pain in his nether-regions (page 131).
Uh…right. I don’t think you know what lustful means, Berdoll:
1. intense sexual desire or appetite.
It’s kind of the definition of wanting to fuck something. Anything. Also, there are plenty of men who don’t get sex out of their marriages. Some of them masturbate. Some of them find sheep. Not all of them sleep around. Fuck Bingley.
Anyway, the point of relating all this was the woman he cheated on Jane with was by no means a virgin, so she taught Bingley quite a lot.
We’re introduced to a character named Sally. Berdoll spends two and a half pages describing the slum she lives in and grows up in and it’s exactly like any slum you’ve ever read about from that era. I don’t care, even when Berdoll reveals that Sally is John Christie’s little sister. John Christie, as you may recall, might be Darcy’s bastard. He also might be Wickham’s. Who knows? Who cares? Anyone?
Pemberley’s beautiful and all that. They go out for a ride and find a stream and Elizabeth pulls her boots off and goes wading. Darcy is disinclined to join her. After a bit she slips and falls in and Darcy laughs at her. Then he decides to join her and tows her out to another part of the pond. And Darcy says the single most romantic thing that he can possibly say to her:
“I want,” he said, “to do everything within my power to bring you with child again.” (page 141)
True love. Isn’t it beautiful?
Elizabeth immediately agrees. So they have mind-blowing sex. It’s mind-blowing.
Georgiana and Fitzwilliam get married.
Right. So the happy couple is off to Bath to have Fitzwilliam soak in the healing springs. Brilliant plan. But Fitzwilliam’s in a lot of pain and so the first two nights they spend as a married couple involve them sleeping and nothing else. But the third night, after they arrive in Bath, he’s up for a bit of a roll in the hay. So they strip down and crawl into bed and Fitzwilliam tries to mount her and his leg cramps and things go downhill fast. Fitzwilliam starts to angst and despair. He doesn’t even remember the first time they had sex and he’s now afraid that they’re not even going to be able to make with a second time. So finally Georgiana rolls him over and leaps on top of him.
…and yeah, I have a little bit of an issue with that. There is no particular reason that Georgiana knows anything whatsoever about sex, perhaps beyond a clinical understanding of tab P into slot V. A lot of women of that era (especially the gentlewoman class) had horrible hang-ups about sex. There’s every reason for Georgiana to feel horribly awkward, embarrassed, self-conscious, and not have the slightest clue what she’s doing. But instead she leaps aboard Fitzwilliam and they have immediately proceed to have glorious mind-blowing sex. I’m calling bullshit.
But that’s nothing compared to what comes next.
The next morning Fitzwilliam wakes up and discovers a great deal of blood on the sheets. At first he’s confused, and wonders if he was a bit too rough, but Georgiana comes in then and they share a glance and she nods and he suddenly realizes that she was a virgin last night. Oh yeah, surprise! Georgiana made up all that shit about being pregnant. She and Fitzwilliam never had sex and there was never anything urgent about getting married, she just made it up so they could get married.
So let’s examine this:
- She tricked Fitzwilliam into marrying her. The man of her dreams. The man she supposedly loves. Instead of going to him and admitting her love, and letting him make a choice based on his feelings for her, she tricks him into marrying her by pretending that they had sex and she got pregnant. The fact that Fitzwilliam was happy to marry her has nothing to do with this. She robbed him of any free will he had in the matter. Instead of marrying her out of love, he had to marry her because it was his duty to do so.
- Georgiana has caused irrevocable harm to Darcy and Fitzwilliam’s friendship. Not to mention that Darcy came extremely close to challenging Fitzwilliam to a duel to reclaim his sister’s honor, which would have ended with Fitzwilliam six feet underground, Darcy feels betrayed (and rightly so) by one of his closest friends. Even if Darcy eventually finds out about this, their friendship will never be back to the way it was before.
- I’m guessing there are a few niche cases, but it’s difficult to imagine a worse way to start off your marriage.
I am quite literally stunned that a human being could stoop this low. This is probably more evil than anything that Wickham has done in his life. Possibly the only thing more disgusting than this revelation (which makes Georgiana a scheming bitch, in my opinion) is Fitzwilliam’s reaction.
The truth settled over him that until the night before she had been a virgin.
Remarkably, the realisation was one that was not entirely disagreeable.
He knew he should have been angry, but he was not. She looked again upon him with unadulterated adoration so that he could not find it in his heart to be even a little cross. Inwardly, he had a laugh at his own expense. This sweet innocent had completely duped him – Col. Geoffrey Fitzwilliam, Cavalry Commander, winner of dozens of campaigns both on and off his horse. Happily, he found being hoodwinked by Georgiana was not at all unfavourable (page 151).
I really, really hope there aren’t any impressionable and stupid young woman who have read this book and thought that this was a clever idea to ensure happiness in life. Twilight doesn’t need any more help in setting young women up for disappointment.
The chapter ends here, which is good, because I cannot stomach any more of this absolute stupidity at the moment. So I’ll leave you with three thoughts:
First, the fact that Georgiana was a virgin only makes her taking charge in bed more unlikely and unrealistic and out of character.
Second, losing your virginity tends to be a little uncomfortable. Especially if there’s enough of a hymen to cause considerable bleeding. It usually does not result in amazing sex.
Finally, how dumb does Fitzwilliam have to be to not realize that Georgiana is bleeding all over him…I dunno, while they’re actually having sex? The lights are on, Georgiana’s on top, and blood is kind of noticeable. This would be acceptable if it was pitch black – there could very well be excess moisture, not that uncommon – but Berdoll explicitly says that Fitzwilliam was lying back looking up at Georgiana enjoying the view while they fucked.
Berdoll is insane.