Happy Friday, friends! I am so excited to be kicking-off my weekend with a lovely visit from Victoria Kincaid! As you may already know, Victoria recently released a Pride and Prejudice variation titled When Jane Got Angry, which spotlights Jane Bennet and Mr. Bingley. (Yay! You know I don’t mind seeing some Mr. Bingley!) In this premise Jane Bennet takes matters into her own hands while in London and seeks out Mr. Bingley. Attagirl, Jane! Today Victoria shares a little bit about her ideas for Mr. Bingley in this tale and an enticing excerpt from his point-of-view! We hope you enjoy!
Hi Meredith! Thank you so much for having me back as a guest! When I first started writing,
When Jane Got Angry, I was thinking about it as a book about…well, Jane Bennet getting angry. But I also wanted to write scenes from Bingley’s point of view. I realized that Bingley, of course, has his own reasons to be angry. And I knew that I needed to give him a chance to explore that anger so he could grow as a character in the same way that Jane does.
In some ways it was harder to have Bingley find his anger, in part because he bears some responsibility for his separation from Jane; he allowed himself to be persuaded to leave Hertfordshire while Jane suffers as a consequence of someone else’s decisions. But Bingley has also been deceived by his sisters and Darcy, so he experiences betrayal by the people closest to him. In P&P we are led to believe that Darcy confesses his deception and Bingley readily forgives him.
But, I wondered, what would happen if Bingley discovered the subterfuge on his own? How would he feel? Would he work his way up to real anger? This does lead to an explosive scene between Bingley and Darcy later in the book. The scene below takes place right after Bingley discovers Jane is in London. He is having lunch with his sisters, and…Well, you can see for yourself what happens.
~ Excerpt ~
The butler directed Bingley to the dining room with a stern reminder that luncheon was already underway. I suppose I am a bit tardy.
“There you are, Charles,” Caroline said languidly when he pushed through the door. “I was willing to give odds that you would not arrive before the pudding course.”
Bingley grimaced. He was not so very late; surely the meal had just commenced. “My apologies,” he mumbled at his plate as he seated himself.
Caroline sniffed, and Louisa regarded him disdainfully. Mr. Hurst’s attention to his repast was such that Bingley’s arrival appeared to have utterly escaped him.
Bingley’s plate already held a large slice of ham, much to his dismay. Caroline knew he hated ham; this was her punishment for his tardiness. Sighing, he cut into it and took a large bite. If he chewed quickly, perhaps he would not taste it. Much.
The conversation revolved around the sisters’ recent shopping trip and the latest fashions in shoe decorations. It could not possibly have been duller. Reading a book of sermons would have been preferable.
During a lull in the conversation, Bingley seized the opportunity to introduce a new subject. “I saw Miss Jane Bennet this morning.”
Caroline’s spoon fell into her soup, splattering drops everywhere. Louisa shot her sister a sidelong glance.
“A-Are you sure it was Miss Bennet?” Caroline asked quickly, using a napkin to dab the soup stains on her bodice. “You have believed you have seen herbefore. I recall a time on Regent Street—”
For the love of—! “Yes, it was Miss Bennet. I spoke with her.”
Caroline straightened herself in her chair. “I am astonished to learn that Jane Bennet is in town and failed to call upon us.”
“Indeed,” Louisa nodded. “One would like to think we were good enough friends.”
“Well, Sister, consider: perhaps she has not been in London overly long,” Caroline said with a conciliatory air.
“Two months, she said,” Bingley volunteered. Perhaps I should not call at Gracechurch Street. Jane might harbor some resentment against my family after all. The ham tasted like ashes in his mouth.
Caroline’s eyebrows rose. “Two months? I would think that sufficient for at least one visit.” She fussily rearranged the ruffles on her sleeve. “It appears she has forgotten us amidst the distractions of London.”
“You did not even receive a letter from her?” Bingley asked.
Caroline rolled her eyes. “Do not be tedious. I would have informed you immediately if I had received a letter.” She cut into her own ham with relish.
Louisa sniffed. “Jane did not even reply to the last letter I sent her. It is as I suspected, Sister. That woman is only interested in our brother’s fortune. Her appearance of friendship was feigned.”
The ham turned sour in his stomach. Bingley had assumed his sisters and Jane had experienced some sort of misunderstanding—a letter gone astray perhaps. But his sisters’ report suggested Jane had lost interest in the acquaintance. Bingley would not have believed it of her, but what other explanation was possible?
Caroline wiped her lips delicately with her napkin. “This is most vexing! We hardly run in the same circles as those sorts of people. And London is such a large city. We are unlikely to encounter Jane except by special arrangement.”
“Indeed,” Louisa agreed tartly.
Bingley said nothing. He knew from past experience that disputing his sisters’
assumptions would lead to scenes of unpleasantness that would upset him far more than disturb them.
They understood such social niceties better than he did; in such circumstances he was accustomed to relying on their judgment. If they believed Jane was slighting them deliberately, how could Bingley say otherwise?
Perhaps a visit to Gracechurch Street was not a good idea. Bingley laid his fork next to his plate; abruptly he was no longer hungry.
No, Bingley!! Go to Gracechurch Street! Call on Jane! Don’t believe Caroline and her vindictive lies! 🙂
What a wonderful post, Victoria! Thank you so much for sharing and thank you for writing a story that features Jane and Bingley and adds some dimensions to their characters. I’ve not really thought about it before, but I can’t imagine how difficult for Mr. Bingley when he realizes everyone he is closest to is working against him…how lonely he must feel – who can he turn to? who can he trust? I can’t wait to readWhen Jane Got Angry!
Connect with Victoria
Today, Victoria brings with her ONE copy (paperback or ebook – winner’s choice!) of her newly released novel, When Jane Got Angry for me to giveaway to ONE lucky winner!
To enter this giveaway, leave a comment, a question, or some love for Victoria!!
- This giveaway is open worldwide. Thank you, Victoria!
- This giveaway ends October 19th!