Friday, 22 April 2011

Jane Austen Quote of the Week - Week 149

Of special interest this week (with a surprise at the end) in Pride &Prejudice is Miss Mary King. We find her mentioned in the following chapters.

In Chapter 27 Elizabeth and her Aunt Gardiner are discussing Wickham's attachment to Miss King:

Mrs. Gardiner then rallied her niece on Wickham's desertion, and complimented her on bearing it so well.
"But, my dear Elizabeth," she added, "what sort of girl is Miss King? I should be sorry to think our friend mercenary."
"Pray, my dear aunt, what is the difference in matrimonial affairs between the mercenary and the prudent motive? Where does discretion end, and avarice begin? Last Christmas you were afraid of his marrying me, because it would be imprudent; and now, because he is trying to get a girl with only ten thousand pounds, you want to find out that he is mercenary."
"If you will only tell me what sort of girl Miss King is, I shall know what to think."
"She is a very good kind of girl, I believe. I know no harm of her."
"But he paid her not the smallest attention till her grandfather's death made her mistress of this fortune."
"No -- why should he? If it were not allowable for him to gain my affections because I had no money, what occasion could there be for making love to a girl whom he did not care about, and who was equally poor?"
"But there seems indelicacy in directing his attentions towards her so soon after this event."

In Chapter 36 Elizabeth is re-evaluating the character (or lack thereof) of Wickham and she thinks:

How differently did everything now appear in which he was concerned! His attentions to Miss King were now the consequence of views solely and hatefully mercenary; and the mediocrity of her fortune proved no longer the moderation of his wishes, but his eagerness to grasp at anything.

In Chapter 39 we find that Miss King is saved from Wickham:

There is no danger of Wickham's marrying Mary King. There's for you! She is gone down to her uncle at Liverpool: gone to stay. Wickham is safe."
"And Mary King is safe!" added Elizabeth; "safe from a connexion imprudent as to fortune."
"She is a great fool for going away, if she liked him."
"But I hope there is no strong attachment on either side," said Jane.

Briefly, this covers Miss King's story. Now here is the surprise. Sophie St. Clair sent me an email at my web site "The Loiterer" to say that she had written a graphic novel about our "Miss King" in Pride and Prejudice. Sophie has a beautiful web site here: Sophie's Mary King and her book "Mary King- Volume 1" is available at Amazon here: Mary King. Both are definitely interesting. Enjoy.

Linda the Librarian

Pic: Sophie St. Clair

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