Published by Pegasus
Publication date: October 19th 2012
Genres: Fiction, Historical
The last time we saw the troublesome Miss Lydia Bennet, she was smirking triumphantly at her sisters while being driven away by her new husband, the bounder Mr. Wickham. Now she has resurfaced, a widow at the ripe old age of nineteen, and while she mourns her husband’s passing (not really) she’s ready to go after the life she feels she deserves. And so begins the romp that is The Bad Miss Bennet by Jean Burnett.
“If only I could be indifferent to the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. I have observed that those who care least for the outcome, whether in love, in cards or in life itself, are the most successful.”
Lydia stays with her sister and the formidable Mr. Darcy long enough to wheedle a monthly stipend out of Darcy so she can go stay with suitable friends in London. Friends who organize the type of parties Lydia feels will get her back on her feet, namely, gambling. The dear Mr. Wickham was kind enough to impart his card cheating skills to his wife before his ignominious death and she hopes she can win enough to get to Paris and marry an aristocrat. Unfortunately, bad luck plagues Lydia and despite her best efforts she ends up consorting with a banker who is only wealthy because he is defrauding his clients and a highwayman, who, while he excites her passion, blackmails her into stealing a royal necklace. But despite her lack of success Lydia is indefatigable in pursuit of her goals. When Darcy discovers that neither her friends nor her own actions are suitable he consigns her to the dreary environs of Bath to be an elderly woman’s companion. Little does he know that even there, Lydia, with her wiles and sunny nature, will be able to turn a bleak situation into an opportunity.
The Bad Miss Bennet is the antidote for stressful times—relaxing reading that will keep one amused without taxing the brain with too much introspection or extraneous detail. Burnett’s prose is clear and witty and the characters, their antics, and the swiftly moving plot will keep the reader amused and reading. A light-hearted delight.