Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Avoiding the most "unmentionable" embarrassment of all!

It’s fall again, dear readers. Longbourn estate is in such a tumult of activity, what with preparing for the autumn balls, taking walks around the grounds, and enjoying afternoon tea in the company of so many important and handsome members of society—no! I will not say a word about whom exactly I speak! (Here, please excuse a most selfish aside: four of my five daughters are brunettes, and as I find the crisp weather and autumnal colors to be quite in the favour of their complexions, I do expect at least one marriage proposal before the season is out!)

Of course, along with the excitement of such balls and activities, it seems that Longbourn’s loamy fields are quite prone to the unearthing of all manner of unmentionables. Their tattered garb and utterly disfigured visages are a daily affront to my lawn, and dear Lizzy spends nearly two hours each day outdoors, slaying them in her finest clothing and most dainty dancing slippers. Of course, Mr. Grahme-Smith’s atrocious exposé of our family has done doing nothing to help Lizzy’s cause. In fact, I believe that Pride and Prejudice and Zombies has contributed to her complete abandonment of all things feminine. Dear readers, if you encounter this book, please tell any interested parties that Mr. Grahme-Smith’s depiction of my daughters’ unladylike behaviour is utterly exaggerated. They are much more radiant and less blood-splattered than the horrendous pictures that he chooses to display so brazenly within his book’s pages!

But I digress. Let me simply introduce this afternoon’s “question of note”: What is to be done with an overly headstrong daughter? And how, exactly, can one expect to marry her off, when she insists on spending her afternoons studying ninja techniques, and prefers a Katana to a lovely crochet? If you have any suggestions, please let me know. I have been quite begging Mr. Bennet to take my side on the manner; alas, he utterly refuses to ask Lizzy to enjoy more ladylike pursuits.

I will publish the most noteworthy responses to this question in one of my upcoming correspondences.


  1. Dear Mrs. Bennet,
    I sympathize most ardently with your dilemma. Surely the true victims of the current unpleasantness are those dedicated mothers like yourself, who yearn to see their daughters attain stability, respect and happiness through a sensible marriage union. Perhaps you might try dabbing a little lavender oil on dear Elizabeth’s brow as she sleeps. It may whisk away her unhealthy obsessions and fill her slumbering mind with feminine notions such as needlework and rose buds. I hesitate to suggest another alternative of which I’ve heard spoken in blushing tones in circles of elegant society. It appears that a sharp, thin needle, such as is used in the finest embroidery, will affect one’s outlook most markedly, when inserted behind the eye and wiggled delicately. I do hope you will be soon relieved of your suffering, my dear. May your daughters realize all your noble, maternal dreams.

  2. I quite agree with you, and am overjoyed to have a supporter in my cause. I shall attempt your experiment at once, for I have both lavender oil, and embroidery needles easily on hand.

    May you be blessed with many grand children,

    Mrs. Bennet

  3. Dear Mrs. Bennet,

    I do hope your poor nerves have settled and that your daughter's unnatural tendencies are no longer causing you suffering. I suspect, unfortunately, that this is not the case, since just yesterday, on my way to visit the poor and afflicted (such as I am known to do as frequently as I have strength) in a neighboring village, I witnessed Elizabeth cleaving the skull of an unmentionable in a most unladylike fashion. Her gown was ruined, I am sure of it.

    Should you find that the lavender and embroidery needles are unhelpful, and your daughter is still among the living, you might try a different approach. Perhaps you could reward Elizabeth on the days where she manages to refrain entirely from beheading, impaling and disemboweling. What young lady can resist a pickled beet, or a spoon of clotted cream, depending on her preference? Given that Elizabeth is no more slow-witted than most girls her age, she will no doubt associate the lack of slashing with the rewards, become disinterested in the undead, and focus instead instead on her natural purpose - to attach herself to a man.

    I wish you the best of luck, my dear. I shall not speak of this to the ladies within my social circle, but will hold the matter in the utmost confidence. Gossip is unbecoming and could well do further harm to Elizabeth's cause.

  4. I do believe that we are quite kindred spirits, dear lady! I am horrified that you witnessed Lizzy in such a compromising position (nary a day goes by that I don't wish she would take more after Lydia and Kitty than the Eastern katana masters). Unfortunately, along with her regime of fighting techniques, Lizzy has sworn off all sweetmeats and delicacies (apparently, they hinder her fighting capabilities), so I cannot even tempt her with clotted cream! Nonetheless, I will continue to shine light on my cause, and hopefully get her married yet!!