It has come to Lady B’s attention that much of the excitement around the Regency stems from a very particular story…one of which she is quite unaware.
Lady B (in a state): What I am trying to say, Albert, is that I’ve never even heard of these Bennet girls, and they seem to be wreaking quite the havoc on all of South England.
squawk! Pride & Prejudice in the Ballroom! squawk!
Lady B (continues): All this talk of Bingleys and Darcys and men in uniform? And Frank Churchill with the dark lady?
squawk! Wrong book! squawk!
Lady B (uncaring): I mean half the world seems to be quite enchanted by these young women. And do I know them? No! The feathers in her hat are quaking. She stalks the ballroom. No one has ever seen fit to introduce them to me. As if I am not Heliotrope, Lady Beaufetheringstone, hostess of the highest caliber!
squawk! The mostest! squawk!
Lady B: Thank heavens for Miss Noble. Without her, I wouldn’t have any idea what the rest of England was on about. Thankfully, she introduced me to something called the Internet.
Lady B: Oh, yes. All the authoresses have these magic books that open right up and give you all the information you’d ever need. At any rate. It seems this Lizzy Bennet lives in the New World. And she is something of a scholar.
squawk! Wrong number! squawk!
Lady B: I beg your pardon. It is not. She keeps some kind of magic diary on the Internet. All the authoresses love it. See for yourself: She’s quite…diverting.
Lady B: I highly recommend watching all of these “videos” in order. I should like for this Miss Bennet to join us for the ball one day.
Miss Tessa Dare comes rushing into the Ballroom, winded and skittering to a halt on the parquet.
Lady B: Miss Dare, my word. I wasn’t sure we’d see you today.
Tessa, catching her breath: I know, I know. I’m very late for today’s ball. But I’m here now, and I’m prepared to grovel, Lady B.
Lady B: Grovel?
Tessa: Yes, grovel. You know, like at the end of a great romance novel, where the arrogant hero has realized the error of his ways, and he makes an impassioned apology to the heroine and begs her forgiveness.
Lady B: But if groveling is a hero’s task, why would you be engaging in it?
Tessa: Well, it’s not always the hero. It just turns out that way most of the time, because…you know… men. But heroines–and authoresses–make their share of mistakes, too. And I’m no exception, so I’m here to grovel.
Lady B makes an expansive gesture. Grovel away, my dear.
Tessa: Right. We all know a good grovel always starts with a confession. You see, I have erred. I missed the fact that I was scheduled to post today, this being an extra Monday in the month. Ms. MacLean covered for me with this charming post about Elizabeth Bennet (the heroine of a book with the most delicious groveling on both sides!).
Lady B: Go on, Miss Dare.
Tessa: A proper grovel continues with assurances of regret and promises of change. I heartily regret the oversight. I feel terrible about letting our guests and my fellow authoresses down. I promise, I won’t let it happen again!
Albert: <<squawk>>Words are cheap!<<squawk>>
Tessa: You’re absolutely right, Albert. Which is why the best grovels end with a grand gesture. So I think this situation calls for prizes. Lots of prizes!
Lady B: I do enjoy prizes.
So carry on… comment about Lizzy Bennet — or perhaps a favorite groveling or apology scene in romance–book, film, TV. One commenter chosen at random will win all the authoresses’ books on the sidebar, sent by Tessa. (Print or digital format, as the winner prefers) Entries open until midnight PT, April 30.