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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

227

Texts From Pride and Prejudice

And you must see to it that your sister invites Mr. Bingley, Lizzie 
He isn’t here, Mother
Isn’t here? 
he must be here
the ball is in seven days
and if he is not here then how will we convince our Mr. Darcy to attend?
Mr. Darcy is not here either
no?
but I thought he was in London
for business
and would return in time for the ball
No
he is not in London
he is on a ship
he is going to war
but this is terrible news 
There is an actual war on right now
against Napoleon
how could this have happened??
He was commissioned months ago
And Mr. Bingley? 
He is also there
He is also at the war that is happening now
oh my god
we are going to have to put off this ball 
Probably yes

do you know who I miss? 
Who?
Mr. Collins 
remember Mr. Collins? 
remember him? 
remember when he visited? 
I do
I do remember
what I liked about him the most 
how much he wanted to marry you 
remember that?
Yes
remember when there was someone who wanted to marry you
yes
hahahaha
there isn’t anyone like that now 

Mother, have you seen Mary?
No one has seen her since Jane returned from London
Mary?
yes
Mary who?
I don’t know anybody by that name 
Mary
Mary Bennett
mm 
I don’t believe so 
doesn’t sound familiar

Does this mean that Mr. Wickham has left too?
for the war?
yes 
you’re asking if military officer Mr. Wickham has also gone off to war?
yes
He has also gone off to war, yes
Just
good God
if there is a man you are thinking of
under the age of 35
who is in the militia or an officer of any kind
he is probably at the war
is that where your friend Mary went too
the one who went missing 
I don’t think so
well you should check 
apparently everyone is going there
apparently no one is going to balls anymore because they just can't get enough of Napoleon

did you mean MARY? 
did I mean what?
when you were talking about Mary earlier 
were you talking about MARY Mary?
which Mary did you think I was talking about?
the tall one 
the one who lives upstairs 
with the glasses 
the upstairs girl 
who frowns at the piano

oh Jane i’m so happy for you
Thank you
and Lizzie too of course
Yes, that’s wonderful
and now Lydia too
thank God you all found such wonderful men to marry
Thank you
we would all honestly be homeless right now if you hadn’t 
I suppose that’s true
we would have nowhere to go 
everyone we know would just
allow that to happen to us
I hope you don't think I was so hard on all of you about it without cause
No of course not
It's just that if you didn't marry I would spend the rest of my life worrying about my homeless daughters 
I'm just glad we're all so happy now
and even if you aren't 
literally your only other options would have been prostitution or begging 
so
Let's not talk about it
Please have sons 
all right, Mother
have sons and be happy
I know
I’m still going to lose the house 
the minute your father dies 
he’ll just be dead and I’ll have no husband 
and no house and nothing
I know
I’m going to have to live with one of you 
you’re going to have let me move in with you 
I know

 

Previously: Texts From Don Quixote

Mallory Ortberg is a writer in the Bay Area. She is a regular contributer for Gawker and The Gloss.

227 Comments / Post A Comment

anachronistique

*tiny screams*

teaandcakeordeath

@anachronistique
There was an *audible gasp* when I saw the title.

Anne Helen Petersen

Next time I need to get out of a party: "I just can't get enough Napoleon"

noReally

I am warm with pleasure.

lisma

I love my mother dearly, but these texts are uncomfortably close to the ones that she sends...anyone else?

Anne Helen Petersen

@lisma "were you talking about MARY mary?"

SuperGogo

@lisma Just the other day, my mom said she wants to upgrade her cell phone plan so she can send me texts (yes, there are apparently still plans that don't include texting). This is my future.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@lisma Texts from my mother, yesterday: "are u going to the airport"
"No, mom, my flight doesn't leave for six hours. I'm wandering around Salt Lake City for a bit."
"BE CAREFUL. let me know before u leave."
10 minutes later: "R u at the airport?"

Nicole Cliffe

EMAIL ME NEXT TIME any of you are stuck in SLC for six hours. I have a magnetic cheese board and wine.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@Nicole Cliffe Oh, will do. I found the Beerhive, which was a great place to read in the afternoon, but also almost got talked into going skiing with these two couples from Tampa, flight home be damned. Luckily the low alcohol content in the draft beers gave me some clarity.

Apocalypstick

@Nicole Cliffe Magnetic cheese board? You just get more and more attractive! /smooth.

No but seriously the concept confuses me, what benefits does magnetism have for your cheese?

Apocalypstick

@Nicole Cliffe Magnetic cheese board? You just get more and more attractive! /smooth.

No but seriously the concept confuses me, what benefits does magnetism have for your cheese?

Nicole Cliffe

The little knives and spreaders can adhere to the sides, so you don't get smeared cheese all over everything. There's a little dish for olives that fits cunningly in an indentation.

Apocalypstick

@Nicole Cliffe Ooo that's actually pretty cool.

Megasus

@lisma Haha, I was definitely like, "Someone's mother TOTALLY actually texts them stuff like this."

blueblazes

@lisma I was coming down to say the very same about my mother-in-law. The whole last stanza was her!

lisma

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose Texts from MY Mother, this weekend:

"where are u?"
"at home."
":)"

Madeline Shoes

@lisma my mom only texts about whether or not I'm coming over for dinner OR pictures of the pets with captions like "someone finally decided to take her new bed for a spin" which, out of context, sounds like something I really don't want to know about.

collier

@Madeline Shoes : I text my dad, but he can't figure out how to text back.

He has an iPhone.

RNL
RNL

@lisma I was so excited when my mom learned to text, because of the voicemails. What a white elephant.

sevanetta

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose I still remember the first time my mother texted me (about five years ago) when she and my dad were traveling (riding around the country on dad's motorbike):

Mum: safe in goulburn nice veiw
me: wow look at you texting!
Mum: prety good ha

I also get obscurely worded requests for visits and 'love you's. awwww mums texting! she also complains because my brother never texts/responds days later.

Now my dad has a mobile, I send him texts, but he has total disdain for replying.

Miss Maszkerádi

@sevanetta The day my mom learned to text was the day my life got weird.

Some years later, the day she got a touchscreen phone she couldn't figure out how to use, it got weirder.

Mom: Hsve u tslkef to proessor anout courde rewiprdntns?
Me: What.
Mom: cprosu requremend for next semwstet
Me: SPELLCHECK MOM!

sevanetta

@Countess Maritza I am still trying to convince my boyfriend's parents that they need smartphones.

bluewindgirl

@collier My dad just got a smartphone, and we showed him how to do voice to text. He loves it to death, but we now receive daily updates in a slightly garbled robot translation. Also sometimes he forgets to turn it off and there's just a lot of random nonsense bits of conversations he is having. He signs them all "Dad," despite the fact that it is a text.

collier

@bluewindgirl : Heh. Actually, "random nonsense" coming from my dad might be precisely what he meant to type. The man did, after all, just have a thousand custom beer koozies printed up. On one side they say "Don't give up all your skittles to chase a pot of gold at the end of a stick."

Hammitt

@lisma

It's my Dad for me. For YEARS he wouldn't text because "it was making the culture stupid." He would tell me off for it and say that "it makes people talk like twelve year olds." I explained to him that you don't HAVE to write like that. I showed him the many ways I spell full words out and actually use correct grammar.

Then, about four years ago, he and I were both flying into the same city on the same day. When I turned on my phone I got the following messages
RU HRE YET?
WE R
THIS IS DAD
CNT WAIT 2 SEE U
CALL!!

Nicole Cliffe

Oh, pour one out for Mary. She never had a chance.

anachronistique

@Nicole Cliffe She and Edith Crawley should start a club.

RK Fire

@anachronistique
╔══════════════ ೋღ☃ღೋ ══════════════╗
Upvote this
If you are a supposedly plain beautiful strong English gentlewoman
Who don't need no men
╚══════════════ ೋღ☃ღೋ ══════════════╝

The Hyperbolic Julia Set

@anachronistique Have you seen the Lizzie Bennet Diaries?? In that modernization Mary gets a boo. Although Kitty becomes a cat.

PistolPackinMama

@Nicole Cliffe She probably turns into a governess.

Also, I always assumed Mr. Bennett lived to an unrealistic 90 just to spite Mr. Collins.

JanieS

the upstairs girl
who frowns at the piano

I die.

Nicole Cliffe

MELIS, you need to do one of these for Little House on the Prairie. I want them to be just Almanzo wasting money on stupid shit for four years.

christonacracker

@Nicole Cliffe or just an endless description of the foods he ate at lunch.

JanieS

@Nicole Cliffe what the fucking shit, Charles
why not check to see if we're allowed to move to Kansas BEFORE I have to take care of three small children ALONE
IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE
WITH MALARIA
fiddle-playing won't get you out of this one, mister

Nicole Cliffe

@JanieS

does anyone have any tissue paper
so I can wrap my china shepherdess?

again?

Nicole Cliffe

I never really wanted glass windowpanes
So much easier not to have to clean them

Burlap does just as well

JanieS

@Nicole Cliffe it's so cozy
living in a literal hole in the ground

par_parenthese

@Nicole Cliffe Burlap what the fuck, caroline
did I not bring this paper and lard all the way across the prairie
so you could have semi-translucent windows
god, some people are so ungrateful
using burlap and shit

next you're going to complain
about our packed earth floor
which i worked my ass off walking on
in case you didn't notice
god

lisma

@christonacracker I think if Almanzo lived now, he'd be Instagraming every.single.meal.

laurel

@christonacracker Or Mary debating why she's blind.

christonacracker

@lisma #sixkindsofpie

melis

ahhh I think Wuthering Heights will be next (or Anne of GG) but I will for sure be doing Little House at some point

Nicole Cliffe

I just re-read Anne of Windy Poplars, and I want to shoot her in the face with a nail gun. But, I mean, they were my entire childhood, too.

LaLoba

@Nicole Cliffe Just stop after Anne of the Island; just stop there.

pterodactgirl

@Nicole Cliffe @LaLoba What possibly could have made you feel that way?

dear gilbert
everything is perfect now
i am perfect
our love is perfect
windy poplars is perfect
haha who would have guessed that my too bright eyes and fairylike complexion would make me such a beauty now
can't remember the last time i got into a scrape, gilbert
i mean this one time i had a problem but i just fixed it by being perfect
hahaha scrapes
haha
wow i'm so excited to get married

Theda Baranowski

@Nicole Cliffe I have a strange residual fondness for Rilla of Ingleside, which probably says something about me, but seriously, Anne of Windy Poplars. If I'd been Katherine I would have started spelling my name with a smug C too, just to piss Anne off.

JanieS

@Theda Baranowski But ... but I legit love Rilla of Ingleside why are we not supposed to like Rilla of Ingleside?

Nicole Cliffe

I love ALL of them, but Rilla can be pretty intense WWI propaganda about the Kaiser bayoneting Belgian babies, when WWI was really just more like Risk than Star Wars.

happy go lucky scamp

@JanieS I love Rilla! the Rilla and Walter story is just adorable.

editrish

@JanieS Agree, RILLA is the best...I can forgive the propaganda since it was published just two years after the war ended, kind of early to have any real perspective. Plus, as someone who was not a dreamer, I prefer Rilla's wartime conversion to practicality to Anne's dreamy descriptions of fall leaves or what she sees in the clouds. Also love Walter and JIMS, the "War Baby." And what about Jem's dog? And poor Una. I will stop now.

JanieS

@editrish WAR BABY OM A SOUP TUREEN.

Um, WTF Interrobang

@Nicole Cliffe or Pa saying "Screw this established farm and familial support system - I'm dragging you and the kids to the literal middle of nowhere!"

Nicole Cliffe

"I just don't want to live close enough to another human being for you to be able to meet a man who might let you live in town, that's all."

funfetti

@melis Oh Wuthering Heights will be grand.

par_parenthese

@melis YES YES THANK GOD because if this hadn't been Texts from My Favorite English Novel I might have torn down the shrine of you I have in my house.

Hot Doom

@melis I hope texts from Anne of GG involves any combination of exchanges between Diana, Moody Spurgeon or Great Aunt Josephine. Everyone would be disgusted with everyone. Deliciously disgusted.

TheBelleWitch

@melis Wuthering Heights!! I will be here, in the comments, defending to the death my love of Wuthering Heights and all its weird-ass necrophilic glory.

Yankee Peach

@melis Can we vote? Because I am voting for Anne of Green Gables, mostly because I am dying to read Texts From Matthew and Marilla. Also, do you accept bribes?

teaandcakeordeath

@funfetti
Wuthering Heights! Everyone is bonkers!

Disco Sheets

@Hot Doom Also all of Gilbert's ignored and spurned texts will be amazing! And you just know Anne texts back such lengthy texts that they have to be broken up into four texts. I am so excited for Texts from AoGG.

RNL
RNL

@Nicole Cliffe I am re-reading Anne of GG RIGHT NOW. I can't wait.

all the kittens in the club gettin nipsy

@melis MELIS MELIS. There is a local lesbian literary figure in my city who wrote the most AMAZING series of short poems about Anne and Diane being in teenagery, overwrought, obsessive lesbian love with each other. Because of COURSE they were. (One of the poems was about their S&M threesome with Gilbert. But it was like, still sweet and feelingsy.) I wish these things were published somewhere so I could show them to you. Also I feel like you'd think the author was hot.

Hot Doom

@all the kittens in the club gettin nipsy

holy shit

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@Hot Doom Agreed. Holy shit indeed.

area@twitter

@all the kittens in the club gettin nipsy !!!!!!!!!!!

SuperGogo

@melis DRUNK. DIANA. TEXTS.

squishycat

@SuperGogo YES YES YES YES YES I DO NOT THINK THAT CAPITAL LETTERS CAN SUFFICIENTLY CONVEY HOW MUCH I NEED THIS GLORY

CalvinBall

@Nicole Cliffe I'd love to see texts from Betsy-Tacy !

Did your mother finish your cat costume yet? The town talent pageant is in two days!
I'll meet you at the Chocolate House for a stroll to Little Syria. Don't let Katie know where we're going

Craftastrophies

@Nicole Cliffe I am so glad I got into the office early because I could not contain my laughter at this perfection, and no one was here to wonder if I'm crazy.

I am still not over the glass windows.

Or the lady that Laura stays with when she's learning to be a teacher who maybe needs some treatment for her clear post natal depression, or, ya know, to be near her family instead of in a one room cabin in the middle of fucking nowhere, snowed in.

So angry.

lisma

@Yankee Peach TEXTS FROM MARILLA CUTHBERT
Dearest Marilla
Don't you love it when all the leaves turn their glorious colors?
Doesn't it just make you GLAD to be alive?
Doesn't it Marilla?
Anne, text messaging is expensive, enough about the leaves.

sevanetta

@melis pleasepleaseplease Anne of GG!!!! I want tortured Gilbert texts and blunt Anne dismissals and Anne texting the wrong person and Anne writing way-too-long texts after she changes her mind about Gilbert and and and! :D

PistolPackinMama

@laurel I just typed out all these examples of how Mary's texts would get mangled by her voice-to-text app, like you get when Outlook transcribes your voicemails. The Pin ate them?

"Laura- ma says don't forget the hoot for Grease from the general store."

"hi Ma and pap. arrived in Iowa- roommate seems nicked. Am learning to love the sound of the orgasm- will also learn to play."

log lady

@melis I cannot wait to read Heathcliff's jealous rage-texts to Cathy!

Nicole Cliffe

if there is a man you are thinking of
under the age of 35
who is in the militia or an officer of any kind
he is probably at the war

Nicole Cliffe

LITTLE KNOWN FACT: Rock Paper Scissors was invented by the Bennet sisters to figure out who got stuck with their aging mom after Mr. Bennet went to that great study in the sky.

City_Dater

@Nicole Cliffe

I have always imagined Mr. Bennet's death as the windfall of windfalls for the Wickhams, who would end up with Mrs. Bennet and collect fat payouts from Lydia's sisters' husbands to keep her from going visiting.

PistolPackinMama

@City_Dater Exactly this. Mary became a governess to escape the horror show. Or converted to Catholicism and became a nun.

Nicole Cliffe

I also imagine that Mrs. Bennet would have loved and misused emoticons.

SuperGogo

@Nicole Cliffe Yes, this. There really needs to be a winky face after "remember when there was someone who wanted to marry you."

lisma

@Nicole Cliffe I also imagine that Mrs. Bennet would be an ALLCAPS abuser.

iceberg

@lisma also she would punctuate thusly:
i wish you had been there, my dear, to have given him one of your set-downs lol I quite detest the man lol.

teaandcakeordeath

@Nicole Cliffe
She would have sent super obvious messages to Jane whilst she was talking to Bingley like "£5000 A YEAR" and then they would have both had to politely pretend they hadn't seen it flash up on her phone.

rayray

@iceberg I did a real-life LOL at my desk. I think it's hometime.

pinniped

@Nicole Cliffe EMOJIS of cups of punch and feathered caps and moneybags and rapidly winking faces.

cee
cee

@Nicole Cliffe she would be the kind of person who thought "LOL"was short for "lots of love"

Nicole Cliffe

I'm so happy I have a babysitter in the mornings so I can nonsensically cut and paste things other people have written into comment sections instead of tending to my firstborn child.

Anne Helen Petersen

@Nicole Cliffe I'm so happy I'm just supposed to be prepping for all three classes I have to teach today but am instead blowing it all off to wallow in the exquisite comments

Nicole Cliffe

@Anne Helen Petersen I do not understand how people are nostalgic for a time before the internet. If you did not live two blocks away from Mallory, you would never be able to read anything she wrote. You had to hope the people two blocks away from you were funny, and they probably weren't.

Then you got cholera and died. The end.

Anne Helen Petersen

@Nicole Cliffe But maybe Mallory would find me via some pen pal exchange in 5th grade and then we would talk about books and how Christian stuff is weird forever until we met and everything was perfect.

Diana

@Nicole Cliffe

Haha! I do live two (okay nine) blocks away from Mallory! Sucks to be you!

...Except that she never gets to make me laugh in real life frequently enough because she's always writing for you, The Internet. I hope you're happy.

Citizen Christy

... Have we all watched the Lizzie Bennet Diaries?

Sophie's World

@Citizen Christy Yes. It is my favourite thing. (Also, hi everyone. Long time lurker, first time commenter.)

terrific

@Citizen Christy yes. yes we have. this made me triply happy just because of them

Ringrrl

@Citizen Christy I was just about to ask this question!

Do you follow the twitters/tumblrs too?

par_parenthese

@Citizen Christy Yes, and we dissect it in the FOT. And it is wonderful and I love it.

Anninyn

@Citizen Christy No yet but I feel I must. Where can I find them?

Ringrrl

@Anninyn Youtube! I made an epic play list that has all the side vids on it as well (side vids being from characters other than Lizzie.)

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLgXzvhsIvK7KNZ7WgfcC94Ww7jbgfJhu9&feature=mh_lolz

Anninyn

@Ringrrl Thanks! I shall indulge in that soon.

The Hyperbolic Julia Set

@Citizen Christy Ha! just commented to the same effect elsewhere... I should read all these first...

The Hyperbolic Julia Set

@Ringrrl http://www.lizziebennet.com/

^ has all their tumblrs, twitters, etc. ALSO I JUST FOUND OUT JANE IS ON PINTEREST.... not that I'm creepin or anything...

Ringrrl

@The Hyperbolic Julia Set I love Jane's Pinterest! When all the stuff was going down with Bing, she was pinning all kinds of sad quotes and stuff. It was heartbreaking.

Also, really well done on the immersion portion of the story telling!

Nicole Cliffe

MOST DIVERTING. HOW AMIABLE. YOUR EXQUISITE CONDESCENSION ADDS TO MY DOMESTIC FELICITY.

Sophie's World

Mary may have gone off to fight in the war, but Kitty didn't even get a mention. Perhaps she decided to outdo Lydia and elope with the entire regiment?

melis

Kitty died of being boring :(

melis

Kitty = Sansa in Book 1

Lucienne

@Sophie's World Or died of TB?

Nicole Cliffe

@Sophie's World

graffiti in the officer's toilet at meryton:

"miss lydia bennet adores balls, or so we hear"

(I tweeted that once but it was really late at night and no one noticed.)

meetapossum

@melis SHUT YOUR FACE ABOUT SANSA (because Bran is definitely the most boring Stark in Book 1).

RK Fire

@meetapossum Rickon is so boring he gets left out of the rest of the series!

meetapossum

@RK Fire I have a dream that Rickon will come in riding his direwolf and flanked by cannibals and unicorns from Skaagos to take back Winterfell.

RK Fire

@meetapossum That's fair! I think we're all hoping for massive Stark armies for the last two books, even if it's just Nymeria and All of the Wolves of Westeros.

stonefruit

@meetapossum @RK Fire I just logged in to say something about Rickon.

"Rickon."
"Who?"
"My point exactly."

rayray

@Nicole Cliffe Thankyou for also doing that thing where you bring attention to tweets you were really proud of but got no notice for whatever reason. That one is v good!

Fredo

@Sophie's World Off topic but Sophie's World is my favorite book ever and no one has ever read it, let alone used it as their login name, so in short, I love you, and welcome!

SarahDances

@RK Fire Rickon is only 3 years old, what do you want of him?! God, can you imagine a POV chapter from his point of view?

I WANT MY MOMMY BACK! I LOVE SHAGGYDOG! I HATE EVERYONE ELSE!

And that would be the entire chapter. Seriously, though, I am rereading the series and into book 4, and the Brienne chapters are making me want to die. I would rather read a Hodor chapter.

Redheads have even more fun

@Sophie's World I just snorted at my desk. And then tried to play it off as a cough.

RK Fire

@SarahDances Honestly, I get that, but I just love the "Rickon? Who?!?" jokes. And I think that GRRM probably should've aged everyone up, but the poor guy didn't know that he was going to unleash an 8 book series on the world when he first started Game of Thrones.

...

but he should have

LooseBaggyMonster

@Sophie's World Kitty: *cough* *cough*

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@meetapossum Good lord, that's hysterical.

A. Louise

@melis awww, why everybody gotta be so down on pour Sansa. I for one love watching her be a total prissy brat while full well knowing her life is about to shit out around her.

GRRM sure knows how to write (destroy) a fairy tale.

SarahDances

@A. Louise Yeah, there's pretty much never any sense in wishing terrible things on any of his characters because it could never be anywhere near as bad as what he has planned for them. See for reference: Theon.

RK Fire

@SarahDances While I broadly agree with this, I think Joffrey fate could have been crueler. But maybe I'm a horrible person.

SarahDances

@RK Fire No, because then you might start to feel a little sorry for him (as I do for Theon), and nobody should ever feel sorry for Joffrey, ever.

melis

Seriously though I will never understand what that militia was doing hanging around some Southern town in the MIDDLE OF THE NAPOLEONIC WARS. Were they just all deserters?? Did they forget that basically all of Europe was embroiled in this MASSIVELY SIGNIFICANT POWER STRUGGLE? what was going onnnnn

JanieS

@melis They were the regiment of worthless drunk wastrels, and if they had been sent to the Continent, they would have brought back All Of The Syphilis.

Lucienne

@melis Well, the whole point of being in the militia is that you don't have to go overseas.

(I mean, obviously not the whole point, but whatever.)

melis

@Lucienne But surely at this point even the reserves and national guard and museum docents and what have you were getting hurled across the Channel, weren't they? It's Napoleon!

meanchelled

@melis The Southern Orlando Bloom Looking Ribbon Contingent with Beautiful Hair and Those Natural Highlights Wow Totally Balances Out His Mouse Face

teaandcakeordeath

@melis
They were defending Hertfordshire against the French!

Lies. The answer is balls.

laurel

@melis The museum docents, the crossing guards, the notaries public, the chartered accountants...

Anninyn

@melis I always thought the implication was that they were kind of shit at their job because if they weren;t they'd be overseas.

Also, the war is why there were so few men and all these women were in desperate, vicious competition so they could avoid the stigma of being an old maid. DARK. Also, Jane Austen: Best satirist? Because she's so good most people don't realise?

meanchelled

@Anninyn If we're going for "no seriously why aren't they at The Wars," there's also the fact that Austen wrote the first draft right smack in the middle between the French Revolution and the start of England going to war with France. By the time she was revising the manuscript in 1811-12, adding in a whole WAR subplot would have been such a downer/detrimental from the satire at home where shit like "oh mother of anglican jesus why are laws of inheritance such absolute BALLS" was still really important. Actually, maybe even MORE important than before since guys were dying left and right, leaving female relatives at the mercy of some shitty laws that they can't even get around on Downton Abbey.

RK Fire

@Anninyn You know, I never put together the wars with the constant desperation of Jane Austen's heroines in finding a suitable husband. I think there's now a whole other level of nuance to her books now.

The Hairpin: filling in for a terrible AP English Lit teacher. This is honestly the second time that I've learned something about the social context of her books in the comments section.

Anninyn

@RK Fire Most of the men were at war! Or dead! Or horribly, horribly maimed!

And you had all these gently brought up young women who didn't have the skills to get any job that wasn't being a governess, knowing that if they didn't marry they'd either starve or be a burden the rest of the family resented for all time.

No wonder they could be horrible to each other as they tried to get the few eligible men remaining.

RK Fire

@Anninyn And as we all learned from Downton Abbey, being "horribly maimed" could be something as simple as "not being able to use one of your arms."

frumious bandersnatch

@RK Fire Right?? I get the old thing, but seriously one of his arms was in a sling and that made it not ok? I kept on wondering if there was some secret "that was the hand I'd use to finger you and now I'm scared I won't be able to make you cum" subtext. (Probably not. But wouldn't that be great?)

Inspector Tiger

@melis I always thought that in those times mercenaries (eg the Swiss Guard of Vatican fame) and The Lower Classes were sent to war (helmed by a few officers). There are certain european wars were surprisingly few countrymen of the opposing countries participated. I could be totally wrong about the napoleonic wars of course, so i welcome every bit of schooling on that topic.

The Hyperbolic Julia Set

@Anninyn Thus Lucy Steele, the girl I want so badly to hate but then there's all the things you just said....(who am I kidding, Lucy if you separate Edward and Elinore I will cut you!)

Craftastrophies

@Anninyn This is why Charlotte Lucas is my favourite character. Let's be real. If this wasn't a book with miracles happening, marriage wise, she's the person you aspire to be. Bitches getting stuff done, that's Charlotte. Working with the shitty hand she got dealt, like woah.

I was under the impression that the militia were like... the reserve reserve. In case of invasion. But I have no idea where I picked that up, so.

Also once I read an interview with the author of 'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies' where he was basically like 'lol y r ther so many soljers, lol what war is happening then lollololol!!!!' And then I smashed everything in the world.

PistolPackinMama

@melis I always assumed it was a Quarter the Soldiers in the Houses of the People sort of thing? But the "they were crap" idea is appealing.

MrsLlama

"the upstairs girl
who frowns at the piano"

ME=DEAD

Glasses

This made me so happy. Just sent the link to my mother, because..and I know I'll regret this immediately...I'm trying to convince her to get a smart phone so we can text and keep in touch. I'd much rather text than talk (we live 20 minutes away from each other, I swear I am not a horrible daughter) but I'm thinking that way she can text me her thoughts at 2 in the morning instead of calling, which always immediately makes me think a close relative has died.

Additionally, here in Seattle on March 9th there is a Bushwick Book Club show (local musicians given a book to write songs about) and they're doing Pride and Prejudice! Totes my birthday present to myself. Yay!

Anninyn

I did feel really uncomfortable when I realised that silly, social-climbing Mrs Bennet who I felt so comfortable judging was that way because if she wasn't her daughters would starve. Forced by circumstance into being a lot more pushy about it that she probably would have been otherwise. That situation can't have been good for a woman who was already a bit 'silly'.

And that if Mr Bennet, who I loved, should have been just as concerned about it.

melis

@Anninyn yeah this book is DARK AS SHIT. The wolf is always one step away from the door! Repartee! Parties! Emotional fulfillment! But also: homelessness. Fall from society. THE HUNGER. The nameless fear and the inevitable prostitute's end.

Nicole Cliffe

Yes! Mrs. Bennet was right. I would wear a t-shirt to that effect.

par_parenthese

@Anninyn About the 20th time I read P&P I started wanting to take Mr. Bennet by the shoulders and shake him until his teeth knock together and he realizes that it's a jerk move to leave the raising of his five daughters entirely to a woman he mocks in front of them daily.

RK Fire

@Anninyn Also, Mr. Bennet is a dick to his wife.

Anninyn

@RK Fire I know, right? The fact that it's pretty much text that he married her because he wanted to get his end away and then came to despise her is really, really unpleasant. And reading it as an adult I was thinking 'well no wonder she's so fluttery and always talking, because the man she married treats her like a stupid animal and she's lonely and nervous and her daughters are getting older and they're going to starve and she's going to starve and her future is terrifying.'

The fact that you're charming and funny and you love Lizzie doesn;t mean you should get away with humiliating your wife, Mr Bennet.

Blushingflwr

@Anninyn Yeah. I find Mrs. Bennet really irritating, but that doesn't give you leave to speak to the mother of your children that way, especially not in front of them. She's a bit tacky and overeager and she often damages her daughter's chances by being so pushy, but she really does have their best interests at heart, and Mr. Bennet probably should be putting some effort in to cultivating relationships that might lead to good marriages for his daughters.

Amphora

@melis Little known fact: The House of Mirth was written as an alternate ending to P&P.

RK Fire

@Anninyn You've pretty much put it more nicely than I would've. I thought the book pretty much chalked up to "Mr. Bennett though Mrs. Bennett was hot and then soon realized that there's more to marriages than marrying a hot woman." ::sigh::

RK Fire

@Amphora The ending! Oh god, the ending. Just marry Selden! dkldfjkfkl;ewiourtr

RK Fire

@Nicole Cliffe Ah, I just read House of Mirth in the past six months and can now appreciate this!

Chareth Cutestory

@Nicole Cliffe Hahaha. I love House of Mirth and this is brilliant. MILLINERY, WHY

Amphora

@Chareth Cutestory Choose Your Own Terrible Life Decisions

Craftastrophies

@Blushingflwr It was several rereads before I realised this. And that Mr Bennett is actually supposed to be a figure of almost as much ridicule as Mrs Bennett. Austen clearly judges him harshly for neglecting his duty and retiring in his library to sigh over the books while drinking expensive wine. It's just not as flashy and obvious and I think probably doesn't read as harshly to a modern audience. And I mean, obviously we are glad, narratively, that Mr Bennett doesn't force Lizzie to marry Mr Collins but it really is very irresponsible of him to not even try to convince her, and it's downright RUDE to let Mrs Bennett think he's going to do that and then pull that shit.

But that interview where he mocks Lady Catherine's letter and Elizabeth has to pretend it's funny to save her own emotions AND her father's face remains one of the most painful things to me. And when he says 'I'll get over it, and no doubt, much sooner than I should' AND THEN HE DOES.

And when Lizzie says something like 'a marriage where neither party can respect each other is no good thing, as we have daily proved', I don't feel like she's just talking about how silly her mother is. What an awful position to be in.

Faintly Macabre

@Craftastrophies And doesn't Mr. Darcy mention Mr. Bennett's behavior in his rant about Lizzie's family? (I forget if it was in his speech or the letter.) How basically her mom and sisters are vulgar idiots, but her dad is also shameful, I think for both sitting by and also shutting up Mary in an awkward way.

The Attic Wife

@Faintly Macabre He does, he basically says, "So, I kind of like your dad personally, but objectively, he also sucks. Least objectionable member of your family. But he still sucks." (Oh, Darcy, and you wonder why your suit was rejected.)

But I LOVE Mr. Bennet. SO MUCH. He just committed the cardinal relationship sin: Never marry someone with the expectation that you will 'improve' them.

PistolPackinMama

@Anninyn Mr. Bennett owns up to it, too, when he tells Lizzy, you were right, I should have listened about the not sending your sister to Brighton. Oh! And what with the "failing to lay by extra money for the provisioning of his family, should there never be a son" thing? I mean, if he's The Man and therefore In Charge of Finances.

At least Mrs. Bennett understood the risks she was facing. Mr. Bennett is so likable, but totally irresponsible.

*sigh*

Oh, and he married a very silly woman. There were probably a whole host of Anne's from Persuasion around, but he went with youthful looks and humor because... who knows why.

Craftastrophies

@PistolPackinMama

par_parenthese

So you know how that family from the Mount Vesuvius episode of Doctor Who makes him and Donna their household gods? That is what I have done with Melis because of this series.

TARDIStime

@par_parenthese UPVOTED!!!

meanchelled

remember when there was someone who wanted to marry you
yes
hahahaha
there isn’t anyone like that now

This is perfect!! I am dead. and when I saw there was finally a texts from P&P, Phil Collins shrieked somewhere in my brain AND I'VE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS MOMENT / ALLLLLL MY LIFE / OH LORRRRRRD OH LORRRRD / crazy drums

Yankee Peach

@melis Can we vote? Because I am voting for Anne of Green Gables, mostly because I am dying to read Texts From Matthew and Marilla. Also, do you accept bribes?

Amphora

@Yankee Peach Texts from Anna Karenina!!!!!

RK Fire

@Amphora yesssssss

melis

@Amphora THEN I WOULD HAVE TO READ ANNA KARENINA

Amphora

@melis I can't think of a better reason to dive into an 800-page Russian novel! Texts from War and Peace

Yarnybarny

@melis Don't read Anna Karenina. A former crush told me it was the Russian equivalent to P&P and it isn't. IT IS NOT.

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

@melis
Is it true that you are coming to Chicago sometime soon? Do you accept bribes in the form of me buying you a drink?

RK Fire

@Yarnybarny Yeah, if I was looking for an analogue, I'd say that Anna Karenina was more like an Edith Wharton book with an extra book about a rich guy loving "farm life," e.g. watching his serfs farm.

Sometimes the two books intersect.

Helvetica

@RK Fire I want to give this all the thumbs up. All of them!

RK Fire

@Helvetica Thank you! :D :D :D

I still haven't seen the Keira Knightley movie yet. Have you? Should I?

Atheist Watermelon

@melis ALL THE FUCKING FARMING

Atheist Watermelon

@RK Fire no. it's awful. unspeakably so. especially if you've seen the 1995 colin firth version.

RK Fire

@Didldidi No no, I mean the recent Anna Karenina movie.. unless there is a 1995 Colin Firth version of that!

Atheist Watermelon

@RK Fire ohhh i see, haven't seen that although i am not generally a fan of KK. I thought you meant the atrocious KK version of P&P (flames on the side of my face)

par_parenthese

@melis BUT IT IS BEAUTIFUL AND AWFUL.

RK Fire

@Didldidi I have a weird relationship with that movie. You see, prior to the KK version, I hadn't read P&P. That movie motivated me to read P&P, I fell in love with it, read it voraciously, watched the 1995 Ehle/Firth version, liked it, tried watching the KK version again and realized that it was horribly truncated in some places. However, the KK version has beautiful cinematography and I think the cast is more age appropriate... but the Ehle/Firth version is better written and has better leads (I'm looking at you, KK.)

I kind of like Knightley generally, but I do think that she was miscast as Anna Karenina. I would've liked to see that role go towards Marion Cotillard but no one ever asks me. ;)

Diana

@RK Fire

Everybody was so eager to hate on the newer P&P because it isn't the beloved BBC version but I think it does a lot of things quite well and a few things better than the older version. For instance:

- portrays the VERY DIRE ECONOMIC STRAITS faced by the Bennett sisters. The 1995 version makes Lizzie Bennett seem like a middle class girl who really ought to find a man because, you know, time's a-wastin' but in the KK version you really feel Lizzie's status as a burden on her struggling family, and it becomes much easier to understand how other men would have appreciated her charm but been repulsed by her economic conditions.
- clearly situates them in the country - the dances (see below) look really fun but also look as though they smell of spilled beer and a wee bit of pig shit; the discomfort of the Bingley sisters becomes way more understandable once you understand exactly how rustic it's getting out there.
- the Rosamunde Pike version of Jane is sweet and shy and a bit insecure - a recognizable type of person; the 1995 version of Jane is just maddeningly inscrutable and cherubic and almost robotic in her self-effacement
- is still the only depiction of a Regency era country dance that looks fun as hell, I get sweaty just watching that high-spirited dancing. The first time I watched it I remember it was like a lightbulb clicked on over my head, "OH, that's why everybody was so excited!"
- BEST MUSIC SCORE EVER, golly it's beautiful
- Matthew Macfayden was hot as hell for five minutes and Joe Wright put him in a starched collar and made him stomp broodingly through fields at dawn and got it all on camera

meanchelled

@Diana Totally with you! I will defend the Joe Wright/Keira/MacFayden P&P UNTIL THE END OF TIME. And I also find it so much funnier than the '95 BBC version, and for me the story's tongue-in-cheek humor is one of the most vital parts.

RK Fire

@Diana

Ahhh, so many excellent points! The only thing I have to add to the discussion is that I don't know if the Bennetts would be living in such a condition, because they are gentlefolk and all of that. That being said, I don't know anything about the Hygenic State of Various English Houses of the Regency Era (Across Socioeconomic Boundaries).

I really do love Rosamund Pike's version of Jane, as well as the goofy, oafish Bingley. On a sidenote, the fact that the same actor who played Bingley in the recent P&P also played adult!Octavian in Rome amuses/horrifies me to no end.

Matthew Macfayden belongs in those ridiculous pants, full stop.

Actually the ideal thing for me is if the 1995 and the Keira Knightley version could merge together, full stop.

Atheist Watermelon

@Diana to be fair, I only watched about 15 minutes of the KK version before I couldn't stand it anymore and turned it off- I didn't dislike it because it wasn't the 1995 BBC version, I disliked it because of the weird pseudo- Austenspeak that went wayyy off course in its vernacular, IMO, in addition to KK's acting (blerg). Matthew Macfayden was pretty great in it (he's always great) given the terrible adaptation of the script- and he was really, really hot in it... I just couldn't get past my aforementioned gripes...

likethestore

@Diana I was one of those totally determined to hate the new version and now it's one of my favourite movies of all time. When I need a P&P fix, I actually prefer it to the BBC version for all the reasons you mentioned (shh, don't tell the Colin Firth diehards). Joe Wright really nailed the five minutes Matthew was hot.

@RK Fire Yeah the only thing I didn't really buy about the new movie is Mrs. Bennett tending to her own pigs or whatever it was she was doing in that scene. The estate may have been entailed but the Mr was still a gentleman.

JanieS

@Diana I don't like Ms. Knightley, but the movie's score is seriously awesome and I listen to it all the time.

par_parenthese

@Diana YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES EVERY YES ALL THE YESSES.

I have some Important Thoughts about the problems with that movies ("Don't you dare judge me"? WHAT THE EFF), but it did an AMAZING job at all those things you listed. I wanted to go to that dance so bad.

Helvetica

@RK Fire I've seen it and I'm feeling conflicting emotions towards it. On one hand, I think the motives of the main characters - Karenin, Anna and Vronski - were pretty accurately depicted and well-portrayed. And I will defend my love for Keira Knightley to the death - anyone for pistols at sunset? (Also - love her P&P)
But at the same time, I didn't quite 'get' the innovative way Joe Wright used the "stage as a scene as a movie set" thing. And most of it was beautiful and kind of vacant.
Matthew Macfadyen is there and I think his performance was the best, especially as a way of contrasting the experiences of his character, Anna's brother's, affair with a gouverness, and Anna's eventual faith. The way everyone reacts to those two very similar events very differently is a major theme in the movie which resonated powerfully within me. And it's really subtle and not totally in-your-face kind of double morale.
And just like in the book, Anna's plot and Levin's plot are like two different movies which come together once in a while but mostly remain very weirdly separate.

The Hyperbolic Julia Set

@Diana Agreed. Also I thought Mrs. Bennett was much more believable and her voice INFINITELY MORE BEARABLE OMG.

likethestore

@Diana Also (sorry I can't stop replying to this thread) if you like a good depiction of a country dance, watch the most recent (and best, IMO) Emma with Jonny Lee Miller. Great stompy sweaty dance scene.

Craftastrophies

@likethestore People keep telling me to watch that version. I have never managed to get more than 5% into any version (book or movie) of Emma because it makes me SO EMBARRASSED for everyone and also very anxious because I find Emma really awful and horrible but also horribly vulnerable and I'm EMBARRASSED. Presumably I'll still have that problem with this one. Is it worth pushing through? Help!

I've also been instructed to watch the 2008 S&S which is supposedly great. Although it doesn't have Emma Thompson and Alan Rickman in it, so how great can it be?

Craftastrophies

@Craftastrophies Oh, except I've just looked up the imdb page and Peterson/Mr Weasley plays Sir John so obviously now I have to watch it.

I REALLY wanted to like the new Persuasion because it's my favourite and it has Anthony Stewart Head in it, but I only made it five minutes in. It was awful.

likethestore

@Craftastrophies Romola Garai as Emma is a freaking goddamn delight. Not bratty or annoying at all. She's just this sweet, slightly clueless girl (ha, Clueless) who believes in true love. And the ending always makes me cry.

I haven't seen the new S&S, I have to admit that's my least favourite Austen. I thought the new Persuasian was AWFUL AWFUL AWFUL.

Diana

@Craftastrophies

I HAVE REALLY STRONG FEELINGS ABOUT THAT VERSION OF PERSUASION

Craftastrophies

@likethestore I am quite fond of S&S but of the ones I can bring myself to read (not Emma, obvs, or Mansfield Park) it's my least favourite. And to be honest I prefer the book to the movie, which is a bit of an indictment, for that kind of book.

I will have to give Emma a try, then. Obviously I love Clueless so I'm not averse the the general themes. I just need her to be sympathetic before she starts trying to ruin everyone's lives.

Craftastrophies

@Diana Negative or positive?

I have REALLY strong feelings about the '95 version. Most things I like I can handle if no one else likes them. But that version, I will be really genuinely upset if someone says they don't like it.

sevanetta

@Diana you've convinced me - I'm rewatching it. I didn't love it at the time but maybe I will enjoy it more with your insights???

sevanetta

@Craftastrophies My boyfriend agreed to watch the series - my sensitive, delightful, film-studies-degree-having boyfriend. And Elizabeth Bennet appeared on screen, and he grunted happily, 'Titties!! Oh, hello baby... Tittiiiiieeesss' at the screen.

Sooooo you could always ask people who don't like it if they AT LEAST appreciated the joy and wonder of Elizabeth's breasts??

teaandcakeordeath

@Diana
But they werent pigs in the kitchen poor!
Darcy = 10,000 a year
Bingley = 5,000 a year
Bennets = half of Bingley so 2,500 a year
I dont know why Im continuing this conversation! i love the bbc version! cant stop, wont stop, but of course watch whatever you like!

anachronistique

@Diana Also, HOW DELIGHTFUL is redheaded Bingley? The most delightful, is the answer.

Inconceivable!

I feel like I have been waiting my whole life for this.

rayray

This was excellent. I'd love to read a Texts from Cathy and/or Healthcliffe.

And a texts from Lucy Snowe.

melis

@rayray lucy snowe oh god i could not bear it i would start sobbing

Harriet Vane

@melis @rayray Lucy Snowe oh God yes! enigmatic sexy ones from Monsieur Emmanuel, snide ones from Madame Beck, bitchy vain ones from Ginevra! PLEASE Melis!

SarcasticFringehead

@Harriet Vane Your username made me realize I want Texts from Lord Peter. He would immediately master the new technology and use it to send beautiful and perfectly punctuated messages full of literary references and French and Latin that I would pretend to understand and it would be exquisite.

ayo nicole

@rayray Lucy Snowe would never text anybody back.

PistolPackinMama

@rayray But texts from Lucy Steele...

@SarcasticFringehead- Lord Peter would text in quotes from things one hasn't read because one wasn't a student at Balliol.

SarcasticFringehead

@PistolPackinMama Lucy Steele would "accidentally" send you mean texts about yourself that she meant to send to someone else.

Craftastrophies

@PistolPackinMama And they'd all be in French or Latin.

Texts from the Dowager Duchess, though, would be the best.

bluewindgirl

@PistolPackinMama Oh my god I would love texts between Lord Peter and Harriet Vane SO HARD.

PistolPackinMama

@bluewindgirl DOWAGER DUCHESS TEXTS

And you are right- Lucy Steele would be the master frenemy tezter. ZOMG had to resist telling Elanor her makeup made her look like a tramp. WTF eyeliner?

mochi

OH, this is so perfect. Especially the last section, because it brings home how high the stakes were. And that's why Lizzie is such a badass. She told Darcy where he could stick that first proposal of his, even though she was risking everything. Lizzie 4-eva.

Lucie-Mae Sumner@facebook

Texts from Norman Bates. To his mother. And her replies.

Diana

I'm nervous to read Texts from Wuthering Heights because I don't understand how any human could do a better job than Kate Bush already did but if any human could it would be you, Mallort. It would be you.

Rose_H_Tyler

Mallory, you're my hero. This is so amazing. Love it!!!

Diana

SO EXCITED for Texts from Wuthering Heights especially if they're also told from the perspective of poor Mister Lockwood:

hello
is anybody home
is this
hellooo
the hell

sir it's far too foggy out there
stay in this small room for the next ten hours
don't tell anyone
don't touch anything
don't ask questions
delightful estate this
i say what's this book
catherine earnshaw hmm
what's that sou
the hell

sir there appears to be a waif at the window
come in! come in!
are you quite sure that's a good ide
oh! my heart's darling!
this wasn't mentioned in the advertisement
hear me this time, catherine, at last!
the hell

ladybee

Reading this at work like a professional. Laughing so hard I spill bean burrito on myself. Even more professional.

NO ONE UNDERSTANDS WHY I'M LAUGHING.

Karen Healey@twitter

Died laughing, went to heaven, where they had this article emblazoned on walls of marble with letters of white fire.

Emdashes

The only downside to Anne of GG would be that L.M. Montgomery would butt in and say their smartphones got too scratchy and we can't read their gushy love texts.

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