On Pride and Prejudice


By Jane Espenson

Georgiana had been to Rosings before, having been relegated to the upstairs schoolroom during family visits when she was a child. But she had not returned for many now, and as she was led through the antechamber of the house, her alarm was every moment increasing at the Gprospect of facing her aunt, Lady Catherine de Bourgh. Lady Catherine featured in childhood memories as an imposing figure, forever conducting inquisitions of mathematical and historical knowledge without ever waiting for the answers. Encounters with her were a trial for a naturally shy child, and even now Georgiana dreaded offending her. She had yet to learn that the commanding of respect was not the same as the deserving of it.

Georgiana’s brother and sister-in-law, who accompanied her, didn’t display obvious agitation, although there was, to be sure, a tightness around Darcy’s shoulders, and there had been a telling briskness to his gait as they approached the house that had forced the women to quicken their steps after him. Elizabeth glanced at her husband with a smile, trying to win its echo. This was not awarded to her, but she was not surprised or disappointed. At times, Darcy had a tendency to slip back into the kind of stiffness he wore in the earliest days of their acquaintance, and Lady Catherine de Bourgh, of all his relations, was the one most likely to bring about this change. This stemmed more from his fear that Lady Catherine would display vulgarity than any concern that Lizzy  …

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