The Aspirations and Depravity of George Wickham
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Source: Review Copy from Publisher
George Wickham, fortune hunter, seducer of young women, and wastrel, had not only all the appearance goodness but a childhood situation that held a lot of promise. As the son of a steward, godson of the late Mr. Darcy, and playmate to the heir Pemberley, Wickham’s future could have been bright. He had good looks, pleasing manners, and the approbation of a wealthy man. What went wrong?
“You do not have the temperament to be poor. You have winning manners and good looks and they will be a great help to you.”
“I can not see you doing well in a profession, George… A life as a gentlemen with a rich wife is more suited to you, I think.”
And so we see how it all began. In this novella, readers are given a glimpse into Wickham’s childhood, the “idleness and dissipation” of his Cambridge years, and his unsuccessful elopement with Georgiana.
While I wasn’t expecting a heartwarming tale of an honorable hero, I did think this novella might make Wickham a little more likable and perhaps redeem him a little in my eyes. But that didn’t happen, this is the story of a scheming scoundrel, and dissipated debaucher. Be prepared for frequent mentions (nothing explicit) of his “wenching” in this novella.
Even though I knew ahead of time that this novella only extended until Darcy’s arrival in Ramsgate, I found myself a little disappointed in seeing this novella end so soon. In fact, I wish it wasn’t a novella at all! I think it would have been interesting and unique to see all the events of Pride and Prejudice from Wickham’s point of view. What were his immediate thoughts after encountering Darcy in Meryton? Was his heart touched by Elizabeth Bennet? What exactly happened in Brighton?
While I love the writing of Amanda Grange and the uniqueness of this premise I couldn’t help but feel a little dissatisfied. I loved Ms. Grange’s recreation of Wickham’s mother and enjoyed witnessing her influence over Wickham’s character; but overall, I would have appreciated more depth and substance to this diary. Nonetheless, I remain an ardent admirer of Ms. Grange’s novels and am eagerly anticipating her next release Henry Tilney’s Diary, due out December 2011!