Geeky Mary Bennet

Ne 25 června 2023

I have originally commented on “Mr. Collins, a male lead??? Is this possible?” by u/JenniferRAKim on That Site, but now I think I would just leave it here as a prompt:

That’s one way, or of course if it leads to my preferred ship Mr Collins/Mary Bennet (and religion taken seriously, not as an soon to be discarded after thought).

Something like “Far Above Rubies” by Beatrice_Otter or “Let Her Own Works Praise Her in the Gates” by ChronicBookworm.

I have in my head this scene:

INT. Netherfield dinning room, evening after the dinner,
small groups of people are talking, sound of general chatter in
the room. Camera wanders through the room looking at those
groups. MARY BENNET talks quietly with MR COLLINS.
Interrupted by

    MARY BENNET
    (shrieking)
Mr Collins!

MR DARCY, MR BENNET, some SOLDIERS run towards the pair
and threateningly surround them.

    MR BENNET
    (threateningly)
Mary, what did he do?

    MARY BENNET
    (looking excited, even perhaps a bit aroused,
    face flushed, her bosom is heaving heavily)
Can you imagine? Mr Collins declared that he finds
interesting Luther’s concept of temporary existence of
the church rising up in the congregation of believers under
The Word being preached. How shocking!

Camera slowly shows faces of people surrounding them,
completely confused and unbelieving what they hear.

(BTW, Luther’s concept of Church is truly interesting, perhaps not in the arousing level, but quite remarkable nevertheless).


I don’t have a good plot, and most of the stuff have been already written. There are two thoughts which I have, but these were already written couple of times:

  • Elisabeth (or Mr Bennet, when Mr Collins comes for permission to ask for her hand) suggest to Mr Collins that their marriage is completely stupid idea, because:

    1. there is absolutely no love from Elizabeth to him,
    2. Elizabeth is constitutionally unfit to be a pastor’s wife
    3. there is a third Bennet’s sister, Mary, for whom being a pastor’s wife is actually a wet dream, and for whom visiting sick parishioners would be the dream coming true.

    That was written by many, for example (aside from those stories I linked before) “If Only” by DesertVixen, “The Second Chance” by violet_baudelaire, or “This is what we’ve sown” by Kissed_by_Circe.

    That is however just a setup of the relationship, we could get then to this relationship of two theology geeks (as shown in the scene above; kind of Sheldon or Lisa Simpson meets theology), I don’t have enough plot to make it into real story.

  • Alternative would be just opposite: yes, Mr Collins is as inept as Miss Austen suggests he is, and all Bennets sisters unite in one thing in their life and that is they don’t want to have anything to do with him. In the end he is kicked away (and marries Charlotte if you want, or marries a other random girl, later from sexual frustration starts to visit prostitutes, gets STD, and dies as complete wreck in the ruins of his supposedly holy life).

    Fortunately, whole issue of entail is made moot by three sisters marrying and two of them very well (Jane and Elisabeth) as in the canon. In the end, nobody knows what to do with Mary (and her parents are getting too old and sick to take care for her), so she moves to live with Elisabeth and Mr Darcy at Pemberley. There she meets some distant cousin of Mr Darcy (or some random man) who is a theology student, and Amy Farrah Fowler meets her Sheldon Cooper with geekiness abounding. With “a little” help of Mr Darcy, the guy (now all done pastor) gets a position of the pastor for the church in Lambton and they get their HEA perhaps combined with happily observing the ruin of Mr Collins, bankruptcy of completely incompetent Lady Catherine de Bourgh etc.

    And of course, the Regency Era was also time of William Wilberforce, Clapham Sect, or for the more social work part of the Church Sunday School Society. Why they cannot participate in that and make it slightly cross-over with those real movements? Something like that is suggested in “Let Her Own Works Praise Her in the Gates”, but I think one could make a lot of fun with it more.

The End

{update 2023-10-05}

@Basic_Bichette@reddit.com reminded me also that this was the time of weird relationships between the Victorian England and Roman Catholicism.


Category: literature Tagged: review austeniana blogComment storyPrompt