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Episode 46: Lydia Bennet, L is for Liability series with Storyhooked Podcast Host Lynette

In this episode I am joined by Lynette host of the Storyhooked podcast, as we journey into the world of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. We shine the spotlight on Lydia Bennet, the youngest of the five Bennett sisters, known for her impulsiveness and recklessness. Lynette, and I dive headfirst into Lydia's character, drawing on our own teenage experiences to explore her traits further. Let's peel back the layers on Lydia's dramatic and immature tendencies, and explore how her parents' complacency may have influenced her development. contemplating the societal norms of Austen's era and how Lydia's understanding of marriage and her age affected her decision-making. Lydia posses a puzzling paradox as both a victim and a perpetrator of her circumstances. This podcast is about Janeites coming together, discussing Jane Austen's work, and having a few laughs along the way.

We really enjoyed making this episode and we hope you like it!

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Where can you find Lynette? Instagram: @storyhooked Shop:

Izzy's recommendation: The Jane Austen Collection: An Audible Original Drama

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Where can you find your host (Izzy)? Website: Podcast Instagram: @whattheausten Personal Instagram: @izzy_meakin Youtube: What the Austen? Podcast



Hi Janeites, and welcome back to the what the Austin podcast. Today we are doing another character study and it's the second one in my Ellersville Liability series and we're going to be covering Lydia Bennett from Pride and Prejudice. So Lydia is the youngest of the five Bennett sisters and she is pretty notorious for being impulsive and reckless and all around just a little bit crazy. But today joining me is the wonderful Lynette from the Storyhooked podcast, which is a bookish podcast you need to check out. You chat with bookstagrammers, authors. It's just basically embracing your love of reading, basically yeah, it's everything.


There's so much on there. I can't really narrow it down because I just love so much stuff. I'm like I love Jane Austin, I love fantasy, I love authors, I love bookstagram. It's kind of a big hot mess, it's kind of crazy, but I have a lot of fun with it.


So I kind of love that though, because, like with my podcast here I'm so niched in, Whereas, like you're just like, we just do everything bookish and I yeah, that's a vibe.


You're so sweet. I love your podcast too. I will say Jane Austin talking about just Jane Austin, like that's the dream. That is amazing.


Jane Austin all the time. That's what we're here for. But, yeah, I'm like totally hyped to have you on the podcast though, because we've been chatting quite a bit outside of, obviously, this recording and we've got Austin, obviously, and then other bookish things, but I'd love to know what sparked the idea to start Storyhooked. Oh yeah for sure.


So Storyhooked became. It was kind of a an idea from me and my friend McKell started it in September of 2021. So gosh, oh my gosh. It's coming up on two years now. That's crazy. When did that happen? Well, we, isn't that just crazy. So she and I have been best friends since we were like nine. Like we've known each other for years and then we, like you know, grew up together and then we like went to college, you got married and started having kids and all of a sudden we realized like we didn't really talk anymore and it was super sad, right. It was like kind of a bummer because we've been best friends for so long. And we started talking about books. And McKell was like hey, do you want to like do a bookstagram? Do you want to do a podcast? This would be so fun, you can just read books and talk about them. And I was like shut up, yes, I do, I absolutely want to do that. And she's like All right, let's do it. So we just jumped in with both feet. She had done podcasting before. I never had. I just like went in, totally had no idea what I was doing. But I was like this is fun, let's go Because I just wanted to have fun. It was just something that brought, like brought so much joy into my life. All of a sudden I was like back into reading. I was back into something that because I was a huge reader since I was a kid and then I kind of forgot about it. You kind of lose it when you kind of go to college, or you go to school and then they make you read books that maybe you didn't want to read or you don't need me forced to read and it's like drives you up.


Yeah, I know.


Yes, and then you're also out like reading. It's like, no, no, you just didn't find the right book yet. You know, like so, exactly. So I, we started just for fun and started reading again. All of a sudden, boom, I realized this is my calling, this is my life, like it. Just ever since becoming a mom, you kind of like lose yourself a little bit. You're like who am I? Who am I really? And fighting books and reading again was so wonderful. It was so in podcasting and just it was so fun. You were making connections with people from like, like with you, from people from all around the world, making friends with people that love that stuff that you do. And that's kind of how it started. I don't know if I like totally went on a tangent there, but basically started as like a way for me and my friend to reconnect and talk about books. And then there's just just like taken off and it's become just this big thing for me. That's like kind of like my creative outlet. Does that make sense? Yeah, so that's kind of where it came from, yeah.


No, I love that because obviously from you reconnecting with Miguel, that kind of sparked it. But then that's also means so many other people can like reconnect or connect over books and things and I just think that's the best thing about the bookstore community. Honestly, it just amazes me how many friends I've made. It honestly blows my mind a little bit. I'm like just like, how is this like possible, like it's not even a world that I even saw before I started it and it's just so nice. Everybody's so kind and supportive and just love books and that's awesome.


And it's awesome. These are my people, you are my freaking people. And my husband was like I'll be like, oh, it's my friend. He's like Is this a like you know in person friend, or is this one of your bookstore friends? And I'm like, oh, it's my best friend. Friends like, but they're real friends. It's so cool. I would have never seen this back when I was a kid. It was always don't talk to people on the internet and I'm like all my bestest friends are on the internet.


Friday. It's so true. Yeah, no, it's awesome. And also, when you can, can start meeting people in person as well. Like there's like a few people who I met through the podcast that now I meet up with like in real life and I see real life. Like isn't that so funny? Like isn't that so true? It's like the real life.


And yeah, it's all real life, guys, but you know it's all real life, but I get exactly what you're talking about. It's true, yep.


So, looking at Lydia Bennett today, we're going to seek to understand her role in the story as a whole, the impact that she has on the plot and the broader themes that she represents. So I love doing these deep dyes on secondary characters because there's always too much to unpack and also I always have so many different ideas, like I'll sleep between different thoughts. But I feel like Pride and Prejudice. You get so caught up with Elizabeth Bennett that because she's so spirited and intelligent and she's our protagonist and we love her. But the book would not be the same without Lydia, right? So I think she deserves an episode.


She really does, I agree. I mean she there's a major plot point that she is like the face of, that kind of brings Lizzie and Darcy together. I mean do you know what? I mean Like I don't know what that would. I think maybe they'd eventually work out. But that is like the like. The climax of the story is where this dramatic thing happens. I was like, ah, and then Lizzie and Darcy are like they're on the same team, all of a sudden, you know, and it's like Lydia kind of like made that happen, you know.


I know she's like literally like a catalyst for everything that happens and I love that yeah this is definitely why I thought like we've got to do an episode on just her on her own. Obviously falls into my Alice reliability series, which, I'm going to be clear, this is not not about Luna. Obviously, obviously, your name begins with L. Oh, my gosh, and it's so funny. You know, I actually had I had Leia on to do the Lucy Steel yeah and. Leia did that, and later it was like my name begins with L as well. I was like oh my God, I keep picking guests whose names begin with L.


I'm embarrassed, oh no, I don't think that's a coincidence. Clearly there's something going on here you got to think about, just kidding.


L in your case means loveable and likeable and not liability at all. Let's be clear. Well, thanks, but before we get into the bulk of the content, then I would love to ask you what I asked all my guests, and that is what got you into Jane Austen originally.


Okay, I love this question so much because Jane has always been like, basically, I grew up reading books, I grew up loving books. My father would take me to the library every Saturday, every weekend. I was walking out with just these stacks and stacks of books and my dad really did influence that a lot, and he would often find books and recommend them to me and say, hey, you should try this book, I think you'd like it. I'm like sure, dad, whatever, and then I'll try it. And I'm like, oh my gosh, I really do love this. And so he kind of nudged me in the direction of like Jane Austen stories, the classics, and Even though I was pretty young and I didn't exactly understand what was going on I mean, I still don't exactly understand what's going on because her language is obviously, you know, different than what we talk about now but I still, just at a very young age, I wanted to understand the story and my dad was like, yeah, you should try this. And he kind of would help me understand it and kind of explain things that I didn't get what was going on, which was nice. So it's kind of like the first exposure to it, but I really started getting into it. I would say, probably in high school. This is and this is going to make you laugh, but they it was required reading was Pride and Prejudice. But they also in my school this is so funny they said you can either read Pride and Prejudice or read Pride and Prejudice Zombies, and they counted it as the credit. Isn't that insane? Yeah, don't even I know, right. And so, as a high school student, I'm like of course I'm going to read the original Pride and Prejudice, because huge enemies to lovers fan I've been enemies to lovers stand for ever and I'm like I'm reading this, I'm reading the, the OG, like are you kidding me? And then a bunch of my friends were like I'm reading Pride and Prejudice Zombies because I'm not going to read Pride and Prejudice. I'm like you guys are, though. Anyways, it was just so funny. It's kind of split the class. A lot of the boys read the zombie one and it was like. Our teacher was like it's fine if you do that, and I'm like what? That is not okay, friends, yeah, like how dare you, how dare you Not hating on Pride and Prejudice, zombies? But I was like really though, I mean really. So that was when I read it, I think as a high school student at like, an age where I was really understanding the story. Does that make sense? Because as a child, once again, you kind of like don't really know what's going on. But that was how I started reading Pride and Prejudice, obviously, and I would say that one's my favorite of the Jane Austen novels. But that was my gateway drug into Jane Austen was obviously the enemies to leverage Pride and Prejudice, because I loved it so much. And then I found Emma and I was like I love this story so much, I love Knightley, he is, I just love him, I connect to him so well. And then Emma is a character also. I think that I just relate to her so much. So I just loved Emma and Knightley and their whole story and that was become probably my favorite too. So I'd say Pride and Prejudice and Emma are kind of like right here, which is hard for me to choose, because Emma I feel like if I were a character I would be her. Does that make sense? And then Knightley is definitely like kind of reminds me of my husband a little bit, which is really funny. He's kind of like I don't know how to explain it, but anyways, our relationship is kind of like Emma and Knightley and then. But you can't not love Pride and Prejudice, I don't know. Anyways, all of the stories are great. I know I'm kind of rambling here, but how I got to Jane Austen was my dad recommended it to me and then I really read in high school, fell in love with Jane Austen's novels as a high school student who, just I just loved romance and these beautiful, beautiful stories, because Jane does such an amazing job with it. And then the themes in it were so deep too and I loved thinking about those as well. So that's kind of how I got into Jane. And then when I started Storyhooked, I went to the bookstore with McKell, with my friend McKell, and I saw this gorgeous edition of Pride and Prejudice. It was so beautiful and I was like that is so pretty. And then I saw another one, and then I saw another one, and then I saw another one.


We all know this journey.


We all know where this is going. I was like I'm going to collect these, so I started buying them and anytime I saw one I would just like if I wanted it, I got it, I want it, I got it, I want it, I got it. And that became kind of my serious obsession, which, just a couple of years ago, finding a few copies that were pretty, that were beautiful covers, and I'm like I need these. So, now I collect those and I collect MS. I think I have over 100 Pride and Prejudice about 50 MS. It's insane but I love it. It makes me so happy.


Oh my gosh, I love that so much. I remember when you told me that you had over 100 copies, I was like wow, like I am so impressed, like I mean I collect them. But I was like that is a lot. That is a lot of copies, it is a lot.


It's kind of insane. It's a little bit crazy. My husband's like oh my gosh, I'm like who am I going to leave this to? Like this is an amazing collection. And he's like what oh?


my gosh so funny. That's how we connected, right.


We connected over our Pride and Prejudice collection. I remember, yes.


Oh my gosh, because I did my real work, showing the ones that I have. Yes, oh my gosh. That's so funny when I think back to that. I had one of my closest friends said to me once she was like reading books and like buying or collecting books, with two entirely different hobbies, and I've never related to something that was so much in my life Like that is so true, and thank you for justifying the fact that I have no money in my bank account. It's okay.


It's okay because you're getting happiness from the books. So who needs money? Money's not bringing happiness. The stuff I know right, yeah, exactly.


Exactly. It's okay, the words will nourish us, it's fine, and we don't need food.


The words will nourish us. You're so.


Oh dear, it's amazing.


Oh, I love that though.


No, and it's so good to hear how you got into Austin as well, because I feel like a lot of people's journeys are different. I think most people do start a Pride and Prejudice a lot of the times because it is on curriculums for schools. Yeah, emma's such a good one as well. I know we bonded over all of Emma too.


Yes, we did. I met people like. People don't like Emma. I'm like I love her.


We love Emma. Stop hating on my girl. We love Emma. How can?


you not? And then, when Jane Austen's like I wrote someone that only I would love, I'm like no, we love her too, we love her.


I know it's so true. Yeah, she's definitely more of a character, but I love her and I can really relate to her as well. Like, honestly, I'm like well, I feel like I have a long common with Emma. Not the snobbiness though.


Right, right, yeah, very much, hopefully not. I'm like, am I a snob Shoot? Oh well, Disaster.


But today's character that we're covering is actually Lydia Bennett, like I said. So I thought it would be good to start with the initial like description and traits that are kind of mentioned in the novel. So her initial description is she's described as a stout, well-grown girl of 50 and with a fine complexion, good, humid countenance, and she's the tallest sister. And then throughout the novel she's also considered self-willed, careless, ignorant, idle and vain. So she's got a lot going for her you know, Sounds great. It sounds like a hell of a combination. Not really sure what Jane Austen was. Obviously, Jane Austen was setting her up to be like a crazy person. She wasn't set up for success while she let's be clear Not with those descriptors.


No for sure she definitely was. Like I Jane created a character, for there was definitely a story and a reason that she made her that way, 100% I think what's funny. When I read the description of Lydia, I was cracking up because she's like I'm the youngest but I'm the tallest, like that is such a youngest child thing to say. I don't know, are you a youngest child or do you have siblings or I'm a middle child, middle same About that I saw through.


My brother would say he'd be like I'm the tallest out of all of you.


Exactly, my little brother, who's the youngest, is also the tallest. What is with that? What is with that? And they're all like I'm new, I'm good and tall, like it's just so funny. I feel like she's the quintessential youngest child. She just fits the vibe, she fits a youngest child thing. And when it describes her at 15, I'm thinking you know, when I was 15 years old, I was pretty vain and pretty lazy and whatever. When I was a teenager, you know, when you're 15, you're just like la, la, la, life is great, whatever. You know what I mean. So I kind of relate.


Yeah, and I think that's like such a good point as well, because the thing that I was going backwards and forwards on a lot with Lydia was like is she just like immature? And because she's 15, you know, and she's not had that much life experience, that's why she's crazy, or is she actually like a mean girl? And I just I keep going backwards and forwards with it. But I think back to when I was 15 and honestly I was so dramatic and you are a little bit like obsessed with boys and, like you said, you go a bit vain and things that things are a bit wild, like if you read, like some of my diaries when I was 15, honestly I was so dramatic, it was like the world was going to end or I was like a total high. There was no middle ground. So I can kind of get that. A lot of her attributes linked to her age, yes, but I'd love to know your thoughts.


No, no for sure, I'm totally with you. I agree. Journals and stuff, diaries that I wrote when I was that age, I'm like dang girl, like you, you are just so. It's just it fits the. It fits the age, right, as you say, immature, and I think that a lot of it is her age, for Lydia for sure. But I also think that there's definitely some personality things in there that kind of just make it more so. You know what I mean. It just makes it more dramatic and as well as her background as as how she was raised, I think that it just is a big giant, like it's just a big mess, it's just the perfect storm. Basically, everything just makes it bigger and more dramatic because and the reason I think this is because you've got these Bennett sisters that were all raised same parents, same background and yet they're all so different. But it would be interesting to jump into the Pride and Prejudice story to see what Jane or Lizzie were like when they were that age, right, like. What were they like when they were 15? Were they? But were they more sensible, as Jane is described as sensible, or just really intelligent with Lizzie, and so I think it's kind of just a combination of all of it, you know.


Yeah, I totally agree and I think, unfortunately for Lydia, because she was like the last hope for a son, I think a lot of like, especially on on Mr Bennett side, a lot of disappointment falls on Lydia just naturally, like even without her doing anything, she's automatically like a disappointment on foot, like I know something harsh, but that's the case.


It is the case. You're right, that is so. I didn't even think about that, but that is so true. That is so true. She's already already a disappointment. That's sad, but it's, yeah, exactly. And you can kind of see that in the way that Mr Bennett kind of just kind of leaves it like, leaves her alone, kind of you know.


Yeah, and if he does say anything, it's always like something that's not very kind and I can imagine that does bring up quite a lot of insecurities, like if your dad's always saying like oh, you're really silly, like a stupid, and things. I can understand why some personality types for them that would mean like right, well, I'm going to kind of lean into what you're saying about me because, like, as a way of rebellion, like as a way to rebel against the parent figure is to be like well, if you keep saying this about me, then I will be that, I will be the person that you're saying. It is like someone like villainizes you and you're like you want me to be the villain, I'll be the villain.


Villain origin story. This is my villain era. I'm doing it. It's like, yeah, that is so true, that is so true, they it's. In lots of stories, I feel like that happens, where the villain is often kind of pushed into it, like I'm trying to think of an example. Okay, this is. I don't know if you've ever seen the movie Lion King, but I read some like Reddit on it where they said that scars name was like, translated from the language, meant garbage, and it was like no wonder garbage wanted to kill his family because they named him garbage. I was like that's so sad. Like that you lean into kind of that stereotype or you lean into kind of what your parents put on you and it's sad, but it's, it's true, it's totally true.


Yeah, I think so and I mean obviously she's kind of brought back a little bit in the fact that she is in the book. She is described as Mrs Bennett's favorite child and you know, a lot of people say it's because they're so similar and it's like Mrs Bennett sees a lot of herself and Lydia and so she kind of put a lot of work into it. And I did kind of read or heard this, but someone made a good point of saying for Mr Bennett obviously it's a disappointment because he didn't get the son that he needed to kind of help the finances, but for Mrs Bennett that's her final child and she knew she wasn't going to have any more. So it's like, did she just, did she put so much like love and affection into this, this child? Because she was like well, this is my last one, but in a different way that you do with, like your first children, what your first children probably get, you know. I don't know this sounds really bad, but they kind of get the best of you because you know you're the youngest you've ever been having a child and you've got all the energy and all the motivation and you really want them to succeed. And then I guess the more children you have, the harder it is to maintain that level of like energy and just like you know, because you get older and like you learn, you grow.


Yeah, exactly, I can relate just as a mom. I mean I have four kids and I and my energy is like, like I do not have any energy. Doing this is like going to take a lot out of me doing this podcast because I'll be like going upstairs like guys, I just need sleep, please leave me alone. I'm not kidding. But I can relate to that as a mom. Like, and as you get more experience with more kids, you get a little more lax, you get a little less strict. You just with your oldest, you're like we're gonna do this, we're gonna do this, which is very much how Mrs Bennett treats Jane. She's like we're gonna do this and you're gonna go get that. You're gonna go get those 20,000 pounds a year or whatever he had or a Bingley had. She's like we're doing this. And then with Lydia, it's totally like oh, do whatever you want, like whatever. It's very much a youngest child thing, so I can see it being just a natural thing for Mrs Bennett. Are they similar? Yeah, is Mrs Bennett and Lydia very similar? Yeah, but I think it is definitely a parent child being with being the youngest, you know.


Yeah, yeah. And I think, mrs Bennett, I think her lapse in judgment comes that she kind of supports all kind of buys into Lydia's like fantasies, where Lydia's like obsessing about all these like offices all the time and she's allowed to just go off with like random men constantly and do her own thing with Kitty. And Mrs Bennett's not like, oh, hang on a second, we should be cautious here. She's just like, oh, I liked her red coat myself, like at one point, and it's like, isn't this like so polar with Jane? She's literally just like Jane, like you've got to be like perfect, like this is very serious. It makes you think of when, like when the servants like helping Kitty and she's just like I'm kitty, like God saw Jane out. Jane is the one with this important. And yeah, I just feel like Lydia and Kitty were just allowed to just run free and I feel like because of that one, I don't think they built up an understanding of, like the dangers of society and the risks out there. But also like, obviously, even if they did know that, I feel like maybe as younger children they're a bit more rebellious and they're a bit more, they take more risks potentially, but I think they were allowed to too much freedom in the sense that I mean. Obviously we see it backfires in the novel. But Wickham is not the first officer. She's like all over. You know we have a captain Carter and you know she's like stalking some of them. She's like I heard that he goes to this place quite a lot, and what do you mean? And nobody's like hang on Lydia's bit with. Like you should be stalking men. Like it's not good, not good.


No, yeah, that's right. Even think about that. What was not her first like go at it. She was just like let's go, all the boys, and Is a boy crazy teenager, like once again. I'm like yeah, I was like any guy that like remotely gave me any attention. I was like yeah, we're all in. okay, we're all in, lydia was all in and I think that, yeah, that society at that time for her, I mean it's kind of sad but being like you need to get married, you need to have a husband, and that even made her probably more boy crazy, because it's like that's what you do, that's probably what your parents are pushing you into. Like oh no, you don't even get to say it's so true.


Yeah, on the one hand it's like she wants the attention that most teen girls one, but the tragedy of her is that she gets married and locked into a union with a guy who's just awful and it's such a young age as well like she doesn't even get to. I want to experiment seems like the wrong word but she doesn't get to like experiment of life, like she genuinely gets locked in with the worst guy ever, like most people In the life maybe have a wiccan at one point and you know he's just like he's, like he happens and then he's gone. But Lydia, like he mentioned, lydia ends up with her wiccan and that is just so tragic for her, I think.


I've never thought of it like that, but her story is a tragedy. It totally is. You're right, I've never thought of it like that. I've always looked at her like like she's kind of silly, she's funny, it's like she, she kind of becomes and I thought about this really deeply. Tell me what you think about this she becomes the face of the tragedy. She's like Lydia went into this, lydia went and ran away with what come? Lydia? This is, this is like hold on. There are two people In this story, there are two freaking people and we're like Lydia, lydia. Lydia is like no, no, no, what come with a wiccan? Wiccan is the problem, he is a womanizer, he is such a problem. And all of a sudden, like when we went with them, it's like no, maybe he ran away with Lydia. Like does she have some responsibility? Yeah, but why is the woman always blamed? Are you? Do you just know?


I'm saying oh my gosh, yes, oh my goodness. I honestly thinking about this a lot lately. I can't really sorry if I saw this thing, a post that was saying like Women are often villainized by men or by society, but they usually leave out the ways in which that woman was antagonized to get there, that kind of thing. And I know it's slightly different, but the point is, yes, like women are putting, like they put in the position where it looks like they are the problem, they are the issue. You know they are the ones in the wrong right. You so right. And let's be perfectly clear wiccan Essentially kidnapped Lydia because she was 15, so she doesn't know any better. Family a far away. She was under the protection of another family, so can we kidnap? And we should be calling wiccan out.


Wiccan is the liability. Was it W for worst person ever? He is just. He essentially, you're right, he can't. He basically kidnapped her and was like just and we know that this is not his first offense with the Darcy, with with Darcy sister, right, we know this is not his first like go at it. And so, just so, while studying, lydia is fascinating, unlike she also kind of had the cards stacked against her and that is If I get really deep into it, I start to get really mad. So we won't talk about it too much, but I get like I get pretty fired up, but I'm like this is not fair, that it happened to her.


You know it's like yeah, we can get such an easy pass because even when he did it with Georgiana, darcy kept that quiet and so he was able to go and do it again. And then with the Lydia situation, he gets loads of money, is married off to her and gets a new job up north and it's like what does he really suffer for his crimes? Nothing, and we can imagine that Lydia probably has the worst life with him. Like I know that she likes going out and stuff, but I feel like, like we said, because she's young, that might be just an aspect of her youth and when she gets older that might not be what she wants.


she might not want to party all the time, she might not want to be socializing constantly, but she is like trapped with this, just like horrific person now yeah, I didn't even think about that that she is, especially at the time, like she's trapped, like there's literally nothing she can do and, like you said, her lifestyle might change her. Like her personality, is it you? There is her actual personality, but what is wick and even gonna do, because obviously it's not a match of love, it's or me, I don't know. It's just very, I'm very curious, like if we could get into Jane's brain, if we could ask Jane Austin, like where are they now? What? How did Lydia and wick and end up? Cuz they were pushed together, maybe not what they wanted, but it's what had to happen, that is. So I would just love to ask you that, like Jane, tell us, spell the tea, tell us what's really going on. I imagine it was a tragic.


Yeah, I can, I mean, you can just like speculate. I can imagine it was just like the worst situation because he wouldn't be loyal to Lydia, like he didn't even want to marry her anyway. He was literally just. It was literally just for his own amusement. And I genuinely think as well that Lydia is such a victim of society because, like, I think it's a partly is Mr Bennett's fault because he sees marriage so much as a transaction that he thinks Lydia is not at risk to be taking advantage of because she's poor. But he's blind to the fact that some people just do things for their own amusement or short term rewards, like without thinking about the long term consequences for others In society. Obviously, was not protecting these like younger women, like these young women in society who are just like out doing stuff, all like the family that she was staying with, like I know that she's like secretive and things, but wouldn't you be like, would you spend a lot of time with that? We can with him guys. Not, he's not so great, let's use all. Do you come back and everybody in Merit and apparently has a story about how Mr Wickham's a bad guy, but yet nobody, everybody failed to mention that until Him and Lydia like gets together and it's like, yeah, I was keeping these stories quiet, like why are you all protecting him, like Darcy's, became sort of understand, because he was trying to protect his sister.


But what are? What are all these other people's motivation? Like, wait a second, I heard something about him. I'm like, couldn't, you could have said that sooner? We could have done something for this girl. Come on.


Literally, literally. But she is kind of thrown under the bus a little bit in whether or not that's just Jane Austen's way, because she needed a catalyst, for obviously it was like him at rescue. Rescuing in a sense, not really, but like him sort of. Yeah, yeah, wickham situation obviously played a massive part in the plot and was one of the main things that sways Lizzie to reconsider her thoughts on Darcy and be like you know, he's a really great guy. He's like saved my family. That's awesome. Yeah, we have to just sacrifice Lydia for it.


Something's gotta happen and Lydia becomes the fallout and that is A tragic for her, happy for Darcy and Lizzie. But oh man, that it just shows how, jane, none of her characters were really like a how do you say she, her characters all definitely had a purpose and that was definitely for Lydia kind of like you said. It kind of made the whole the ball start rolling.


Yeah, I actually wrote about this once about the ways in which Jane Austen can be like really brutal with minor characters, where they can literally be a means to an end in she can definitely just like sacrifice people, cut people off If they just like you know, we're no longer needed or they were just like a point for the plot and like I think that's like fascinating. I think is, what's really strange is Lydia has such a big part in the plot. She's almost like a minor character who becomes major just because of her actions.


Yeah, oh, that's so true. I never even thought of it like that. She's a minor character for the entire book and then just boom, she's just thrown right there into the front for sure. Yeah, that's a good point.


Jane is brutal, yeah, sometimes like yeah, right, honestly, like kind of like, blows my mind a little bit, but right, something that makes me think, like with Lydia, though, like I know, like we're saying about her age and she's and she's like naive and stuff, there's two things that put me on the other side of the argument for Lydia. One of them is the way that she like her relationship with Kitty, like they it says in the book that she was like completely under Lydia's guidance and she was almost like manipulative to Kitty, like to get kids to do stuff, and also the fact that she has no notion of how bad her elopement is and the fact that like she looks down on her older sisters where she's literally just like you're not married I might marry everyone should go to bride and for husbands and it's like what, like? What are you actually on?


Yeah, like what is going on? You, I mean sibling dynamics. I am a middle child. You said you're also a middle child, so we get it. Middle children, we were just great. I mean I'm just kidding, so look at me be in all vain. Like the oldest are kind of like oh, we get pushed into these roles of like I'm more responsible. Middle children have this stereotype of being forgotten and the youngest children just get to do whatever they want. I mean, the theme is the same with these sisters, but when? I will say when a young is child is like does anything that remote, remotely puts them like I did something before my oldest child which I feel like something interesting. I talked to my husband about this. He's an oldest, very responsible, but he noticed that when in like his lifeline, if his younger siblings did something before he did, he felt kind of weird. He's like wait, is this my weird oldest child? Like syndrome coming to the forefront, being like I need to be the first at things because I'm the oldest, right, and so for youngest kids, when they're like I did something before you, haha, like that's very is like a very much a youngest child thing, where it's like I know everything and I'm so wise and like you, know what I mean, yes, oh my gosh.


you know, I've actually experienced not myself, but with, like a friend when one of like one of their youngest siblings like bought a house before they did in. They like bought a house that would be like four months. They were like gotta get this sorted. Like it was like a crisis for them, like they had to do it because one of their younger similes had done it first and I just everybody's on different timelines like I don't think we should rush anything, but it's so true like there is this dynamic like for older siblings like to be the first Two certain things because they think that's their role in their responsibility, to do that kind of lead the way.


Yeah, sense, yeah, totally. And my husband's like he knows that, hey, everyone's timeline is different when, when you and your siblings become adults, it's kind of like you just do what you do when it happens. But there's still this kind of subconscious. He tells me there's a subconscious thing. That's like I need to be first. He's like, wait, no, I don't kind of have to let that simmer down a little bit. So I wonder if anyone that are youngest children ever feel like this weird, maybe subconscious need to like almost overcompensate or something like that. You know what I mean.


Yes, that's such a good point and also that doesn't use the like that, because I was looking at it like always, is it? She just be like really mean and she's just like. I'm gonna just say to you like I've got this. This husband and you guys was like on your own, blah, blah, blah. But actually the way that, looking at it that way, I think makes more sense as well, because she is young, she's still got time to like grow, and Also it doesn't make sense unless you take her age into consideration, the fact that she doesn't see the consequences of what she's done, the fact that she doesn't see the issue, because I'm like, with age, I feel like she would see the issue, but I feel like the fact that she doesn't show that she's young and that everything that she does is blurred by her age.


Yeah, no for sure. I totally agree that when you were saying that it just totally goes over her head or she doesn't even. She's like unaware of what's going on. That's what blows my mind. And in the book, in the movies I love the movies, I love the movies that depict this she's just like so yeah, everything worked out great and I've got a husband. Everyone should do what I did. And you're like are you freaking, kidding me? Like do you know what happened? Like do you realize that this was like the dumbest thing that he did, that that Wickham did? Do you realize how bad this is? Because it doesn't seem like she knows it all. She's just like, yeah, I got married. It's like wait, what? Where are you Right? What is happening?


I feel like she doesn't even recognize the significance of marriage either, because she's like she chooses Wickham and, like we've been saying, she was interested in all these different offices, all these different guys. She didn't choose Wickham because she's like, oh, my soulmate it is Mr Wickham. I know he's been around all the time but he's actually my soulmate. That wasn't the choice that she made, and so I don't know if she realizes like the significance of marriage, that she is now locked in with this person for the rest of her life and maybe both of them would have like wondering well, wickham definitely would have a wandering eye and like tendencies to like go for other people. But I can see Lydia having to be the same as well, because she will like wake up and realize actually, like who is this person? This is somebody that I had a crush on when I was 15 and who took advantage of me and look where I'm at now, like I'm married to this person and, yeah, again, it kind of shows the way that she's kind of sacrificed, because we think, oh yay, great for Darcy sorting that, but Darcy basically locks Lydia into like the worst situation.


Yes, exactly, darcy's like I saved you. It's like did you, did you save the family name? Because he did not save Lydia, you put her with freaking Wickham and knowing I mean obviously with the society at the time. I'm sure Darcy did everything that he possibly could. It sucks that it turned out that way for sure, because he knows what Wickham's like. He saw what he was doing with his sister and so he kind of like put him on Lizzie's sister Like oh my gosh. But obviously I do think that he probably did the best that he could with what they had at the time because that's probably literally the only way that there could be some kind of salvaging of what was going on. But I'm just imagining like I do this a lot with books. I don't know if you do this, but do you read books and kind of internalize the story? I do it all the time Like I am the main character, like I am. Do you know what I mean? I internalize the story but thinking about it with prejudice, I'm thinking, okay, if I internalize it, the guy that I had a crush on when I was 15, I was like I could totally. In my mind as a 15 year old I'm like, oh, I could totally marry him Like, and we'd be like, so in love, and it was very fanciful, like my perception of what marriage was, of how it was. This just like your love and it's like magic and it is. I mean, you know it is. I do love romance and I think that it is a beautiful thing. To find your person and choose them and go through life together is so beautiful. Obviously it's a beautiful thing, but as a 15 year old, I think that my perception of what it would actually be like was so different than what it actually is, you know. So I think that Lydia, like you said, she definitely does not know what's going on has a very probably just fanciful like oh, this is so wonderful, because of her age and just kind of lack of understanding of it. Because who understands marriage at 15, like, obviously nobody. Which is why her being pushed into it or being dragged into it by Wickham is so tragic, right, because she was so young. But what it's like what you were saying, what would she think when she's older and more mature? You know, how would she perceive what actually happened? Because right now in the story it's like woohoo, I'm married, this is great, but in a few years, what's really going to be going on in her mind? You know I'm super curious. I just want to talk to Jade. I just want to talk to Jade about it.


Yes, no, oh, my god, I love what you said as well. It's so true, like it is so fanciful when you're like 15. Also, I mean I can't speak for everybody, but even just the committed relationship when you're 15 is a lot to ask of somebody. Like when you're going through like puberty hormones everywhere, and like you know, you tend to interact with the people you're interested in when you're that age, at things like parties or just like walking downtown together or just you know there's like, there's things that you do that aren't realistic to like a committed relationship or like married lives together. It's not like the mundane activities like cooking dinner or like doing the washing, or you know, like and yes, there's like, there are the elements that you keep in because it does make life magical, like the romantic aspects. But you only have that when you're 15 because you like you live with your parents, like you're not going to be doing your washing with your crush at 15. Are you like? That's just not what you do, and so you only have the magical moments. You know you only have the times where you're kind of forced together or usually you're around friends as well. So it's really different. It's a different dynamic, and that is very much what we can pops her out of, like even when she's with him to start with it still like when they're on the run. I can imagine it's still all of those like magical, like it's all just like fun and games. We're all having the best time and we can. We can definitely assume that they were like sleeping together. You know, going around this, everything was novelty.


But yeah, it's like after that, like what, what, what's it and, yeah, how would reality come crashing down and just how how would reality really feel like to her? And I think, okay, if I, if I ended up in a committed relationship with the person that I had a crush on at 15, I have no idea what that would actually be like like and or this person that I thought that I wanted to be with. Like you know, if you were saying we all had our wickums or have our wickums, so that we're like, well, who like dodge that bullet, so glad that that like didn't actually happen. But for her it actually did. And I'm like oh, that would be so awful if that actually. Oh just, it's just a mess.


No, literally, yeah, absolutely, it's just like. It's pretty crazy when you think about it like that way, like, and obviously we have the benefit of coming to it from like, obviously modern times, Modern times, yeah, Like now we'd be like this is an actual crisis. The wickum is being in prison. But but, like, obviously at the time of the book it was slightly different, but I think it was still quite shocking. Because if you think about the way that Lady Catherine, like, when she asks which of her sisters are out, and she finds out that like Lydia's out and she's the youngest and she's like 15, like Lady Catherine's literally just like what? Like is that even a thing? And so I actually think a lot of it falls onto like Mr and Mrs Bennett, where they are just like not taking it seriously because it seems like there are other people who are like, oh, that's like dangerous or not so great and right. Obviously, Mr Darcy makes a comment on the way that Lydia and Kitty behave, where he's like you know, this is like not acceptable in society, yeah, but they just have no guidance. They're just like left to run around free. And yeah, it is. I'm honestly full of it on the side that it's such a tragedy and I feel so bad for Lydia, Like I know I pulled her liability and I guess she is to an extent, but now I'm also just like kind of feel bad for her.


Yeah, exactly, she's kind of a victim of how society made her to be combined with her youth. I mean, it's really not fair. It's really not fair in my opinion, and it makes for a great story, though. I will say it makes for a great story and it's kind of it's fun, but it's also tragic, like what you said. And the interesting thing that I, when I was thinking about this more Lady Catherine, who I mean in the books, in the movies, she is just a real piece of work, you know, but she's also just, I think, very traditional, someone who reflects her age. She doesn't have a filter because she's old and old people don't have filters, they just say whatever the heck they want and they say mean things, but it's fine because they're old, right. So I don't know it's with the way that Catherine, with Lady Catherine, who just she's a fascinating character, she'd be fun to talk about too, but she, when she says the youngest before the eldest, she's, you know, saying hey, that's not the traditional rules, you know, she's following tradition, she's not. I mean, maybe she's being mean about it, but she is just kind of saying that's not typical. And then when she says you didn't have a governess, that must have been like what do you mean? How were you, how were you taught, how were you raised? And her, her, her question is totally valid. How were they raised? Like you said, they were just kind of just went. They just were kind of running free and it's. I don't know if it's because of money I mean, maybe you would know this better than me like not having a governess because not being able to afford it, or if it's just what the benefits decided to do. I don't know.


Do you know anything about that? Yeah, it's potentially cost because it would be quite expensive to keep a governess and a governess wasn't. Like it's not. Like you know you keep a 90 for like two years. Like, usually a governess follows them through their entire life, like if you think about Emma and Miss Taylor, like this is somebody who lives with you and maybe they struggle to find one as well. No-transcript Daughters in a house, that's a lot You've got to think. The Bennett's like relationship, mr, mrs Bennett like Mr Bennett's not that interested in Mrs Bennett's and Mrs Bennett probably like the fact that she was super busy with all of her children all the time, right, she?


was her children.


She was the boss, yeah, yeah, and so, yeah, I'm not entirely sure, but I would say like cost and also maybe a bit of like Mrs Bennett's kind of not wanting to be on her own and wanting like the company in purpose as well. I think it's probably quieter, Like I think she would want purpose in her life and I genuinely think like raising her children really does that, like she really steps the plate, like I know she's a bit crazy at times but she really does. She loves her daughter, give her all for her children. Yeah, she gives them all. Yeah, absolutely, and so I think partly that as well.


Yeah, yeah, for sure that makes sense. No, I love what you said. I knew that you probably have a good perspective on that, so it's just. Yeah, lydia is a fascinating character. She is fun. She was fun to unpack because I've never done that before and it was fun to think about it, and more deeply, for sure.


Yeah, I think so and I think like obviously she's got all these qualities that aren't so ideal, but also like the way that Kitty is older than her and she's able to be like the leader in that sense and also go into these like groups of like officers and things and be confident. So I think she actually does have quite a few like really good qualities. She's obviously respected among your peers, she is lively and confident and, let's be honest, those are the qualities that Jane Austen often tells us are important and good. It's just that Lydia takes it too far and she has no like propriety or no restraint and she's just yeah nobody kind of rains her back in.


Right, exactly, I think that a lot of and I think this even about just human beings in general. I think that all characteristics that we have in our personality can be good or bad depending on the situation. So you can say about Lydia, you can say she's confident, she's outgoing, she's fun, and all of that is like stuff that we love in a person. I love going out and doing fun things with friends. I love being confident and funny and making people laugh, and being silly as a teenager is a lot of fun. I look at teenagers now and I'm like was. I that silly and ridiculous as a teenager? Oh yeah, it definitely was. You look at her now and you're like, oh my gosh really. But when you're in it it's just so much fun, it's so great. You know what I mean. So those are great characteristics that in this society or in this situation for Lydia, become a liability. So I think that every characteristic that all of us have can be a liability in this situation. But in this situation it is a great thing. It is a great thing. It just depends, and that's why it's so. I think life is so hard. I know I'm getting really deep with this, but life can be so hard sometimes because in a situation where you would thrive and shine that might be the situation you're in, or the situation that you're in your characteristics automatically become liabilities, and that's sad. That's kind of what happens to Lydia is her situation makes it so that these traits about her become liabilities. Does that make sense? What I'm saying? I don't know if I'm getting too deep in this, but I, like I said, I internalize stories. So I'm like, how do my characteristics affect those around me in my situation? Are they strengths right now or not? And how do you grapple with that as a 15 year old, you know.


That's so true. And I suppose she has other just like not like in this sense, just like natural things going against a one being a woman. So she's not as respected in society in general, her age and also the fact that the Bennets aren't necessarily of like higher class. But we're the roles different Like. If we think about Emma like Emma can be like a bit like crazy and wild and she's like flirting with Frank Churchill at the picnic and she's just having a good time, she's having a laugh and she is respected among her peers. She makes mistakes and she tries to own them. You know, it's right, she's not too dissimilar to the way that that Lydia is. But Emma has the benefit of status and so people just admiring she, they think she's wonderful for her and like her confidence in the fact that she is playful is like what makes her charming. But in someone like Lydia it's almost like a problem.


Right, I have never made the connection between Emma and Lydia, but that is so true, that is so true. She's got the status she's got she's an only child, which only like an only child versus a youngish child.


She's the youngest. Yeah, she's the youngest child.


Thank you. She's the youngest, emma's the youngest.


Right Like Lydia.


She's got a sister. Come on, brain, it is too early for me to be functioning. I know my stuff about Emma. I promise Gosh, that is so embarrassing. No, she's got siblings that have their kids and she's like the young fun aunt, like totally, and she's like Lydia, but has a different thing. Sorry, I'm like that is. That is mind blowing to me to think that Emma's characteristics are seen as like charming and fun, but she's got the status, she's got the even, just the like she has. You said she's the youngest, but it's not like they're all in the household at once. She's kind of she's the youngest, but by like a wide margin, instead of having like all the kids so close together. Am I right with that? I don't know. That is so interesting yeah. I've never compared them, but now I'm like, yeah, that is exactly what it is, that is so thank you for sharing that, because now I'm like I'm going to totally be like did you know that Lydia pretty much going through the same thing that one got taken advantage of and one had a night like literally a nightly night, coming like oh my gosh.


Literally. Yeah, exactly, austin does this a lot across all of her books where she plays around, where she's like there's no like straight answer with Austin of like what is good and what is bad, because you see this a lot of like Mary Crawford as well. Like Mary Crawford is very similar to Lizzie Bennett and yet we are kind of shoehorn to see Mary Crawford is a more villainous figure and Fanny is like the angelic one. But actually if Mary Crawford's, you know, say we took out a couple of things like her ones in Tom to be dead and stuff like certain things, yes, quite bad, but if you just went off her like core characteristics she would be like Lizzie Bennett and everybody loves Lizzie.


So yeah, yeah like Jane said, hey, if this character, this type of person is in this situation, this situation and a few things different.


And that's what you're saying, like it's situation matters.


Yes, it totally does. It's so important. And so I think, just as human beings, we are aware of our strengths and weaknesses and we can't control our situation all the time. But I think that we do have the ability to like kind of adapt. And I say that, not saying like, oh, we should change ourselves, but I think that just to deal with kind of what life throws at us, just to do our best to kind of take care of ourselves. I don't know if that makes sense what I'm saying, but yeah.


No, it does. And I think as well, like, obviously give ourselves grace that Lydia doesn't get, in the sense that when you grow up, you change, you evolve, you develop. I think we see that really clearly with Emma, like the way that she develops throughout the novel and by the end of it you know she is, she's, she's better than she's yeah, she was better and she's learned from her mistakes, and that's like life, isn't it? Like you grow up like me at 15 and me now, entirely different people well, not entirely different people, but we have very different approaches to life and like what I would have thought was funny or things that I would have done back then, I would dream of doing it now. Like it's just you behave differently, like the longer that you live your own life in your own society and you basically become the person that you want to be, as opposed to just kind of like your default.


Right, exactly, I agree, I totally agree.


It's like de-cycle analysis of Lydia, better this is deep.


This is really deep. This is gone from. She is ridiculous. What she is Most determined flirt that ever made her family ridiculous. But also got to give her some grace and give her some credit. So it's yeah. I am, I'm coming away from this definitely with a different perspective of Lydia than I ever did.


That is for sure, I'm like totally feeling bad about my, my episode title now. I'm like this series of my throwing Lydia in here, but I'm like no Alice for liability question mark.


Is she not when I shot? Yeah, I don't know. I see it.


Well, there we go. See, I said to you at the start, I was like I wasn't sure where to fall. Is she a mean girl and crazy, or is she actually a victim of her own? Well, a victim of Elizabeth story, and I think she's more and more on the victim side. Was there anything else in your notes that you wanted to add?


No, I don't think so. That's pretty much.


We've pretty much covered everything that I've been thinking, so yeah, that was so fun, I was so good to like chat about her and like there's some minor characters who I feel like have a lot more in the plot. Like sometimes I there's like certain like Mary Croft, of others. She's not really a minor character, but you know she's a secondary character. But Lydia is a secondary character. She doesn't actually have much airtime talking in the book. She's not really spoken about that much like really a lot of what we have is just the way that she interacts with the plot or interferes in the plot or the way that that what that means for Elizabeth and so. But it was still good to kind of look at like her from a different perspective. Is she liability? Is she not, you know, does she deserve a little bit of sympathy? Yeah, yeah, it was really fun. Yeah, that was super fun.


Thank you for letting me come and be a part of, be part of your podcast. It's like so it's so much fun. I I love this as an avid podcaster. I like this is just the best. And Jane talking about anything Jane is like just so great.


Got to be here for it, so do you want to let people know where they can find you? Obviously, a podcast for Instagram and everything.


Yeah, so if you want to come hang out I mean I am just here for a good time so if you want to like, come be book friends with someone who pretty much loves everything, that's me on Bookstagram. It's story hooked one word kind of like storybook but with an H, and then I'm not on like TikTok or anything like that, but just basically Bookstagram and the podcast. You can look up story hooked podcast or just follow the link in my bio on Instagram is kind of how you can access that.


But yeah, yeah, I'll add all the links below in the bio as well, guys. And yeah, as always, you can follow me over on Instagram at well the Austin. I share all updates about the podcast on there, and the book club has started now on the Patreon page, so you can still join. Obviously, you can join at any point. But, yeah, go and check that out, because we have started. And yeah, that's everything from us today and I will see you in another episode.

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