Dunedin Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute

Book: Mary B (August 2019)

By Katherine J Chen

August 26, 2019

What is to be done with Mary Bennet?  She possesses neither the beauty of her eldest sister, Jane, nor the high-spirited wit of second-born Lizzy.  Even compared to her frivolous younger siblings, Mary is lacking in the ways that matter for single, not-so-well-to-do women in nineteenth-century England.  As her sisters wed, one by one, Mary pictures herself growing old, a spinster dependent upon the charity of others.  As least she has the secret pleasures of reading and writing to keep her company.  But even Mary’s fictional creations are no match for the scandal, tragedy, and romance that eventually visit her.  Beneath her plain appearance and bookish demeanor simmers an inner world brimming with passion, humor, and imagination – and a voice that demands to be heard.  Set before, during, and after the events of Pride and Prejudice, Mary B pays homage to a beloved classic while envisioning a life difficult to achieve in any era: that of a truly independent woman.

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