Thursday, October 16, 2008

Lydia Bennet's Accomplishments

Lydia Bennet's Online Diary.
At this time of the year I always read Pride and Prejudice and I thought it would be fun to see what Lydia is thinking about all the goings on at Longbourn. Lydia's online diary starts just before Mr Bingley arrives and finishes where my novel, Lydia Bennet's Story, begins.


Thursday, October 15th 1801

We are stuck in at home by the miserable rain and are forced to entertain ourselves.
I do not think Mr Bingley has any intention of returning to Netherfield. In any case, the rumour is that he is to bring twelve ladies to the ball, so I cannot understand why this piece of news is causing so much excitement in the village - if he dances with every one of them, he'll be worn out before the rest of us manage to get hold of him.
Every girl in the village does nothing but practice their 'accomplishments', which, in their view, includes singing, dancing, drawing and dull sewing. Kitty and I drew up a list this morning of our accomplishments, which by grave misfortune, were discovered by papa. He said some very unkind things - I swear my tears are the result of his abuse, not of the laughter the list provoked. We are now upstairs to avoid the grim expression of his dear countenance. Here is the list of true accomplishments.

1. Flirting - Without doubt, the most fun a girl can have without spending any money - with any gentleman willing, but probably by far the most diverting with a handsome officer in red. (I know this to be true because when we stayed with Aunt Gardiner in London once, there was an officer who sought me out in Hyde Park every day!)

2. Fair looks and fashion - We could hardly separate these, as the two go hand in hand so particularly. Kitty and I do the best we can, though it has to be said that if we had the money that is lavished on our elder sisters, we would do a lot better. That said, perhaps it is a good thing - the men are driven quite wild enough by our pretty looks and sense of style.

3. Dancing - The best way to attract a man in my opinion. I only had two lessons with my dancing master and he was smitten! I hope Meryton is ready for the excellence of our execution.

4. Laughing - There is an art to this accomplishment, which should be neither shrill nor snickering. It can greatly add to a young lady's attractions and I am something of an expert at it!

5.Talking - How I could write a tome on this subject if I was not too busy being employed in the activity. Of course the most important talking is the type one engages in with one's beau. There is a certain level of softness at which your partner is forced to incline his head towards yours in order to hear you and attaining this level at the correct volume is a skill which needs constant practise!

6. Trimming a bonnet - An accomplishment at which Kitty and I are unrivalled in Meryton. I should like to pass on my own skills, but sadly, I think this talent is something you are born with and therefore cannot be taught. Come to think of it, I think that is true for all of the above!

7. I'm too bored now - I can't write any more. Till next time - Au Revoir as the French have it!


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