Just finished watching the BBC Christmas treat Death Comes to Pemberley, from the Pride and Prejudice sequel penned by PD James, called a crime against literature by some critics, but once I got over the fact that it was a murder mystery and stopped looking for Gibbs to show up at the crime scene, I actually liked it. Apart from Lydia (played wonderfully by Dr Who alum Jenna Coleman) the irritating character who as always I just wanted to slap.
Now if you remember your Pride and Prejudice, the mere mention of Lydia should set your teeth on edge and have you needing to be restrained. Lydia’s only excuse for being so dumb and irritating may be that Jane Austen wrote her this way to call attention to the need for women to be educated and encouraged to be more than simpering, shopaholic, narcissistic wives in waiting.
Lydia is the classic “pretty” sister who’s mantra in life could be “I should have it, can have it , and you will want to give me anything I ask for, why, because I’m adorable”.
“Lydia was still; untamed, unabashed, wild, noisy, and fearless. She turned from sister to sister, demanding their congratulations;(51.4) –Narrator
Lydia’s addle brained folly in running off with slimy Wickham, is the trigger that enables Darcy to reveal his true character to Elizabeth thus overcoming the P & P hurdle to their future happiness, so I have to concede that she is useful to the story, and it will be no surprise that she is at the center of the drama and the scandal in this the sequel. But mostly she squeals and simpers and inserts herself where she isn’t wanted without a care for the problems she may cause. Typical Lydia. Definitely the most irritating character I have ever encountered, rivaled only by her mother.
A murder mystery without the police, detectives or CSI; no blood spatter analysis or DNA to rely on and just the town gossip sat on the “privy” as a witness! Hey it wasn’t perfect but the views of Castle Howard were glorious and the actors gave good Austen. Check it out if you get the chance.