Relatives Here, Relatives There

Relatives Here, Relatives There

What’s a Pride and Prejudice sequel without a healthy measure of family drama inherent in the unequal alliance between our dear couple?

In my upcoming release, Dearest, Loveliest Elizabeth: Pride and Prejudice Continues, not everyone is as happy about the Darcys’ marriage as they ought to be. All the usual suspects are present plus a couple more. Hidden agendas and secrets waiting to be told abound.

One might think of Lady Catherine de Bourgh as being the greatest source of vexations for the young lovers. Think again. Take Lydia, for instance. I’ve often wondered what would happen if Lydia found out that her dear Wickham had planned to elope with Miss Georgiana Darcy. As evidenced in canon, Lydia is not very reliable when it comes to keeping secrets. Here’s a classic example:

“Well, I was so frightened I did not know what to do, for my uncle was to give me away; and if we were beyond the hour, we could not be married all day. But, luckily, he came back again in ten minutes’ time, and then we all set out. However, I recollected afterwards that if he had been prevented going, the wedding need not be put off, for Mr. Darcy might have done as well.”

“Mr. Darcy!” repeated Elizabeth, in utter amazement.

“Oh, yes!–he was to come there with Wickham, you know. But gracious me! I quite forgot! I ought not to have said a word about it. I promised them so faithfully! What will Wickham say? It was to be such a secret!”

“If it was to be secret,” said Jane, “say not another word on the subject. You may depend upon my seeking no further.”

“Oh! Certainly,” said Elizabeth, though burning with curiosity, “we will ask you no questions.”

“Thank you,” said Lydia, “for if you did, I should certainly tell you all, and then Wickham would be angry.”

On such encouragement to ask, Elizabeth was forced to put it out of her power by running away.

What a pivotal moment that was in the story! It also caused me to consider what would happen if Lydia Wickham arrived uninvited at Pemberley, intent on causing mischief at the behest of her dear husband, who is forbidden to come there himself?

Here is an excerpt from Dearest, Loveliest Elizabeth in which Lydia takes it upon herself to enlighten Georgiana on the earliest days of Elizabeth’s acquaintance with Mr. Darcy.

Chapter 3

Lydia, Georgiana, Mary, and Kitty were walking about the lanes when Lydia impatiently seized Georgiana’s arm. “Come, Georgiana, let us walk ahead of the others, for I should like my fair share of your attention.”

Despite feeling the young woman’s rudeness toward the others, Georgiana silently consented. When they were a few paces ahead of the others, Lydia said, “My sisters, Mary and Kitty, had the pleasure of making your acquaintance at Lizzy’s wedding. I should have liked to have been there, and I would have been there too had Lizzy prevailed upon Darcy to make the proper arrangements, which I am certain he would have done, given everything else he did for me and my dear Wickham.”

“I beg your pardon,” cried Georgiana.

“Oh, I should not have said a word, for that is meant to be a great secret. Pray, forget I said anything.”

Georgiana’s countenance clouded a bit, but she said nothing.

Lydia said, “It is a fine morning for a walk, is it not?”

“Indeed, it is.”

“I always enjoyed walking with my sisters when we were all at Longbourn. Hardly a day went by, weather permitting, that we did not venture to Meryton. Do you ever walk to Lambton?”

“I am afraid I do not. Even if I wished it, my brother would never hear of such a thing.”

“I suppose it is very far when I am forced to think of it. Meryton is a very easy distance from my father’s estate. And, as I said, my sisters and I so enjoyed walking there—Lizzy especially, for she has always been an excellent walker. Did you know that on one of our walks to Meryton we had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Wickham for the first time?”

Georgiana’s voice cracked a little. “I did not.”

“Indeed. How fortunate we thought ourselves at the time, although I am forced to confess that he only noticed Lizzy and she likewise took note of him. He was her favorite beau for the longest time, but then a Miss Mary King—who went away to Liverpool once she inherited a small fortune—stole him away from Lizzy. That freckled thing—what Wickham admired about her I can scarcely imagine. However, as I said, she went away, which delighted all the other ladies in Meryton exceedingly and no one more than me, for I became the happy woman upon whom he lavished all his adoration from then on, and the rest, as they say, is history.” Lydia shrugged. “I say ‘as they say’ although, for the life of me, I have not a clue who they are.”

Georgiana did not utter anything in reply. Her mind was frantically engaged in thought on the implications of Lydia’s speech. She wondered if her brother knew of Elizabeth’s early fondness for George Wickham. If perchance he did then how did he endure it?

Lydia tugged at Georgiana’s sleeve to reclaim her attention. “Why does your brother not allow my Wickham to visit Pemberley? We are all family, are we not?”

“No doubt my brother has what he supposes is a valid reason.”

“I’ll tell you his reason. It is because Darcy is so very mean. Why, you would think he would welcome both of us with open arms, given that he paid for my own wedding and Wickham’s commission.” Lydia slapped her hand over her mouth. “Oh,” she cried, “there I go again, telling the world what is meant to be a secret, but I trust I may depend on you not to tell another living soul, and I shall endeavor to do the same.”

“You may depend on it,” Georgiana said tentatively, not entirely convinced she would keep her word. Why would my brother do such a thing?

“Well, as I was saying, not only is Darcy mean-spirited when it comes to my Wickham, I fear he is exceedingly jealous, for everyone liked my Wickham best when we made his acquaintance in Hertfordshire, and not a single one of us could tolerate Darcy—not even Lizzy.” Lydia huffed. “La! Especially not Lizzy!” she exclaimed. “She hated him the most. Of course, one would never know that now. The two of them forgave each other. Oh, if only they were half as magnanimous where my darling Wickham is concerned.”

Georgiana pursed her lips in puzzlement. “I find it hard to believe that my brother and Elizabeth were ever at odds.”

Lydia’s mouth gaped. “You need not take my word for it,” she said in the face of Georgiana’s skepticism. “Ask Mary, for she never lies. She always tells the truth.” The young ladies turned to see what had become of the others. Kitty walked along with her arms crossed and her expression aggrieved. Mary trailed behind, heedless to her surroundings with her head buried in a book.

“Oh, Mary!” Lydia cried. “Why are you reading on such a perfect day as this and at Pemberley of all places?”

Mary looked up at her sister inquisitively.

“Hurry and join us, for I want you to tell Georgiana how Darcy and Elizabeth really felt about each other when they first met.”


Have your share in the conversation. Which do you think has the potential to wreak the most havoc on the Darcys: Lydia’s loose lips or Lady Catherine’s cunningly concealed contempt?


Dearest Loveliest Elizabeth Pride and Prejudice Continues

It’s giveaway time! Dearest, Loveliest Elizabeth is available for pre-order on iBooks, Nook, and Kobo. Its release date is November 30, 2015. Comment for a chance to win a Smashwords eBook edition that can be read on the platform of your choice, including your Kindle. One winner will be chosen on Tuesday, November 24th.



48 Responses to Relatives Here, Relatives There

  1. Having read several of your other stories I will of course need to read this one! Esp given that tantalizing excerpt. Always difficult to tell if Lydia is conniving or just completely clueless!

  2. This one sounds so good but then I would expect nothing less. I’m excited to read about ‘after the marriage’! Thanks for sharing.

    I’m not sure which of those two could wreak the most havoc. I think a cunning deceptive person can be very dangerous as one never sees the disaster coming. Loose lips are almost as bad but maybe not as devious. Neither are good and I will enjoy seeing the results of both.

  3. Definitely Lydia has the potential to cause more harm, I think. There is certainly a hidden agenda at work here if this is all at Wickham’s behest. It sounds as if he’s out to wreak more revenge on the Darcy family. Although I think Lydia accidentally let slip about Darcy’s involvement in canon, I don’t believe all these little slips in the excerpt are “accidental” at all. Love this excerpt, Pam, and looking forward to reading, or listening to more. I assume an audio version will be forthcoming at some point?

    Lady C. may be the overt villain, but in the end, she does have her family’s interests as the driving force, not some ill-conceived notion of revenge for failure to receive what he thought was “his due”.

    • Excellent points, Anji. I agree, Lydia’s slip was accidental in canon. Of course, I think it was only a matter of time before she felt compelled to tell someone what happened. I’m delighted to know you enjoyed the excerpt. Thanks so much. Yes, there will be an audiobook version in 2016. 🙂

  4. Wow Lydia is horrible. I wonder what she thinks can be gained by hurting Georgiana. Aren’t she and Wickham dependent on handouts from the Darcys?
    Can’t wait to read more!

  5. I think Lydia can cause the most damage to the Darcys as she allow herself (intentionally or not) to be used by her husband to cause chaos and disruption. On the other hand we can predict what Lady Catherine will do so we are prepared for her attacks.

  6. I think Lydia’s loose lips. Now Georgiana is upset and Lydia let out the secrets. She is causing a great deal of trouble. I wonder if she will be forever exiled, like Wickham. Can’t wait to read this story.

  7. I have always considered Lydia to be in the villain list. I have wondered how many ways her always self-absorbed behavior when manipulated by the master manipulator, Wickham, could cause havoc in everyone’s life. I look forward to reading more!

  8. Oh who can make more mischief? I dare say Lady Catherine, but Lydia is so terrible at keeping secrets and loves to gossip, I am sure they will share equally in the problems! LOL Looking forward to reading this one! Thanks so much for the excerpts!

  9. Oh no not Lydia again, but I hope that Georgianna and Mary let her know what we all think about her and Wickham, again I am lokking forward to read this book from you – thanks for writing all your great stories

  10. Great excerpt! Lydia is such a pain, and you certainly cannot trust her with a secret. Looking forward to reading this one

  11. Oh, that Lydia! I just want to smack her! 😉

    Loved the excerpt, Pam! Can’t wait to read it!

    Thanks for the great giveaway!

  12. Very intriguing excerpt, Pam. That Lydia; she’s such an idiot! However, I don’t any of the trouble she will cause is deliberate. She would probably create a lot of confusion, hurt feelings and angst. Can’t really say too much about Lady C, since she’s not included in the excerpt, But if one goes with what we know about her, I can see her creating the most problems. She truly does not like her will to be thwarted (after all, she DOES know best), and I can imagine that she would try to rectify what she sees as wrongs.
    I would love to win a copy of this boo, so please do consider me.

    • Thanks so much. I am glad you found the excerpt intriguing. Great points about Lydia and Lady Cat. Thank you for commenting for a chance to win a copy of Dearest, Loveliest Elizabeth. 🙂

  13. This could certainly put a crimp in Elizabeth’s relationship with her new sister, especially if Georgiana keeps quiet about what she’s learned. I’m imagining Georgians suddenly giving Elizabeth a cold shoulder and Elizabeth struggling to figure out what she could have done to bring it on. And Lydia will go blithely on her way reveling in the mischief she’s caused.

  14. Another book from you! Lydia is truly more cunning in this excerpt than one has been lead to believe. I wonder what mischief Wickham and she are hatching. Will there be discord between Elizabeth and Georgianna and misunderstanding between Elizabeth and Darcy? Thank you for the giveaway.

  15. Ooh I’d say Lydia only because she can cause a lot of hurt and misunderstanding. Lady Cat may say vicious things but I’d bet that Darcy and Elizabeth would be more apt to ignore her. Love your books Pam.

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