Catch Up: A Pride and Prejudice Refresher
It is a truth universally acknowledged that Janeites need no brushing up on Pride and Prejudice before Death Comes to Pemberely, the Pride and Prejudice inspired murder mystery by British crime writer P.D. James, premieres on MASTERPIECE Mystery! But whether you first encountered P&P on a syllabus or by flashlight, under the covers after bedtime, you may still conflate your Regency romances, confusing Lizzys with Elinors, Darcys with Knightleys. Dear viewer, we offer you a Pride and Prejudice refresher.
Bennets: In Three Words
Jane: Generous, beautiful, serene
Elizabeth: Spirited, intelligent, witty
Mary: Bookish, plain, overlooked
Kitty: Flirty, idle, sidekick
Lydia: Impulsive, vain, spoiled
Mrs. Bennet: Superficial, gossipy, melodramatic
Mr. Bennet: Sarcastic, weary, apathetic
Fitzwilliams: a Rundown
Fitzwilliam Darcy: Our prideful and prickly hero, the sexy Fitzwilliam, Mr. Darcy, was given his mother's surname (Lady Anne Darcy, née Fitzwilliam) according to the custom of the time among prominent families. He's big brother to Georgiana, antagonist turned admirer of Elizabeth, and master of Pemberley.
Colonel Fitzwilliam: Darcy's cousin and co-guardian of Georgiana, as the younger son of an Earl, is unable to marry freely and is obligated to unite with a woman in possession of a significant fortune. His father is brother to Darcy's mother Lady Anne and Lady Catherine de Bourgh; hence his surname.
Note: Be on the lookout for another Fitzwilliam in Death Comes to Pemberley—a rascally moppet born of the renunciation of pride and prejudice!
As the charming, handsome son of the elder Mr. Darcy's steward, Wickham grew up as a brother to Darcy and with the support of Mr. Darcy, who even provided him with a gentleman's education, intending for him to enter the clergy. But not long after both fathers had died, he abandoned the goal and asked Darcy for more money on the pretext of studying law. Wickham then squandered the large sum given him by Darcy, indulging his idle and dissolute ways. Cut off from more money and convinced that Darcy had cheated him out of an inheritance, he intended to seduce Georgiana Darcy and secure her fortune.
Wickham nearly seduced the kind-hearted and naïve Georgiana Darcy when she was only 15, with the help of her dodgy then-governess, Mrs. Younge. Darcy learned of her plans to elope in time to bring her back from the edge of ruin.
Wickham & Lydia: A Match Made in Brighton
Two people couldn't deserve each other more than Lydia Bennet and George Wickham. The caddish Wickham seduced flirtatious, impulsive Lydia in Brighton and they ran off together, as he fled his considerable gambling debts. Then, in exchange for payment of those debts, he opportunistically agreed to marry her.
Now that you're caught up, don't miss Elizabeth and Darcy's hard-earned (albeit brief!) happiness at Pemberley and Lydia and Wickham's persona non grata status there; Wickham's latest scandal-inducing imbroglio; Lydia and Mrs. Bennet's dueling histrionics; Georgiana's prospective suitors; Mr. Bennet's attempt to find a library to disappear into, and…murder!
Starring Matthew Rhys, Anna Maxwell Martin, and Matthew Goode, Death Comes to Pemberley premieres on MASTERPIECE Mystery! on Sunday, October 26, 2014 at 9pm ET on PBS.