The Exploits and Escapades of Wickham’s Widow
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Source: Review Copy from Publisher
Lydia Wickham is set free from the confines of her unhappy and ill-fated marriage just three short years after her imprudent and “infamous elopement” to George Wickham. Because of Wickham’s untimely and misfortunate death, Lydia is left to depend on the generosity and sympathy of her relations. While the Darcys bestow upon Lydia an allowance that will allow her to live respectably, comfortably, and independently. Lydia prefers a more lively and luxurious lifestyle. She eschews their suggestions of remaining at Pemberley or returning to Longbourn, and instead makes haste to the country’s capital where she intends to procure the means to live in Paris.
What ensues in the next four hundred or so pages is a succession of spoiled schemes, misadventures, and frequent changes of address. London, Brighton, Bath, Paris, Venice – Lydia does an exhaustive amount of traveling throughout the span of this novel. Along the way she supplements her income by swindling inebriated gentlemen with deep pockets, accepting jewelery and finery from her lovers and patrons, and eventually working as a lady’s companion. No matter where she goes or what she does, Lydia seems to end up in hot water and perilously close to disgrace and ruin. “I have progressed from a living death of boredom at Pemberley to an uncomfortable proximity to the criminal underworld” – page 120. Will Lydia ever be able to escape the scandals and scrapes that surround her?