The Bad Miss Bennet: A Pride and Prejudice Novel
This is a delightful romp with Jane Austen’s bad girl, Lydia Bennet. Her husband, Mr. Wickham, has left her a penniless widow, and she is not content to live in obscurity with her wealthy sister Elizabeth Darcy at Pemberley. After securing a small allowance to draw on from her brother-in-law Fitzwilliam, the wild Mrs. Wickham flees to Paris to be with her like-minded friends, with whom she shared many late nights gambling when she was married.
Her stagecoach is set upon by a handsome bandit, and she loses her special necklace and stands to lose a great deal more as their paths cross again. She has always been attracted to ‘bad boys’ and manages to find herself tangled up with not only her highwayman but also a crooked banker and the Prince Regent. Lydia is on a quest for money, jewelry, and a rich husband, but not necessarily in that order! Her skills at cheating and winning at the card table, as well as her insatiable flirting, move her across the continent to Italy. She climbs the social ladder and becomes a confidante of the Princess of Wales while living in comfort with Count Esterhazy, repaying him ‘in the time-honoured way’.
The Bad Miss Bennet is not a pastiche of Jane Austen but written in the author’s own voice, a delightful book full of fun and mischief. The last chapter appears to be the beginning of still more romps with Lydia and her highwayman, Jerry, alluding to a continuation of the tale.
Who Needs Mr. Darcy?
352 (US), 416 (UK)