When she woke that morning, Miss Elizabeth Bennet never imagined she would have tea with Lady Ellen Fitzwilliam, the Countess of Matlock, and her young niece, Miss Georgiana Darcy. Yet, there Elizabeth sat amid the richly-decorated surroundings which spoke of generations of wealth in particular awe of all she observed.
The second eldest of five daughters, Elizabeth was enjoying a much-needed holiday in London with her aunt and uncle, Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner. The opportunity to be away from her immediate family could not have come soon enough.
Late last autumn, Elizabeth had committed the ultimate sin, so far as her mother, Mrs. Fanny Bennet, was concerned. She had refused the hand of a so-called respectable, albeit utterly ridiculous, man: Mr. William Collins. Adding insult to her mother’s injury, the gentleman stood to inherit Longbourn, the Bennets’ home. Such an alliance would have secured her family’s future in case of her father’s death.
A woman of mean understanding, little information, and uncertain temper, who fancied herself nervous when she was discontented, Mrs. Bennet vowed never to speak to Elizabeth again, as a result. Amid the former’s constant complaints ever since that fateful day, Elizabeth almost wished her mother had kept her promise.
What a delightful reprieve from all the mayhem in Hertfordshire.