Skip to main content

Bonnets, Officers, (or lack of them) and Christmas Presents!

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.

Friday, December 4th, 1801

Kitty and I walked into Meryton this morning to visit Aunt Philips and take a look in the milliner's window. I have fallen in love with a white chip bonnet adorned with pale blush roses. If only I had next week’s pocket allowance, it would be well within my budget and I could also have some new gloves at four shillings a pair - but then I should have nothing left for Christmas gifts. I must make purchases of Steele’s Lavender water for Jane and Lizzy, a hair comb for Kitty that she has been sighing over for the past month and, a dull book for Mary.

Aunt Philips was very well but we saw nothing of the officers and even though Kitty and I lingered as long as we could in the bitter cold outside the milliner’s window in the hope of spying one; none came. As a consequence, my heartfelt longings for a beau in a redcoat were quickly shifted to the constant delight that the sight of a new bonnet can give.

Since scribing my festive thoughts on presents, I have been considering my gift list and find it necessary to review some of my ideas. I am not sure that either Jane or Lizzy will be expecting so generous a present as a bottle of scent and indeed it may be possible to save on some of my allowance if I produce some of my gifts by hand. In any case, surely no one will expect me to lay out for expensive tokens, as after all, I am the baby of the family (and have the least amount of pocket money). I will embroider handkerchiefs and net purses for my sisters instead. I will make mama a shawl and have a drawing framed for papa’s study, so he can always be thinking of me when he is about his books. They will be touched by the tenderness of sentiment in the selection of such tasteful and personal Christmas boxes.

I will start on the morrow and devote myself entirely to their craft. And then perhaps if I drop a hint to my mother, and borrow just a little against next week’s allowance, the bonnet will be mine!

Lydia Bennet