Ever wonder how far Elizabeth Bennet walked to see her sister at Netherfield? How many miles would it take to walk to Mordor? Be sure to check out my year long blog series, the 2022 Book Walk where I'll discus how far literary characters go and the reason behind the journey.
Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen
In the book, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen the character, Jane, is invited to have lunch at Netherfield with the Bingley sisters. Jane's mother, Mrs. Bennet, eager to play matchmaker between Jane and Mr. Bingley, encourages Jane to ride to Netherfield on horseback. Mrs. Bennet's reasoning is if it begins to rain she will have to stay the night, leading to her and Mr. Bingley getting to know each other better. Mrs. Bennet's scheme works too well, as it begins to rain on her ride over and Jane gets sick. Jane's sister, Lizzy worried for Jane, walks 3 miles to Netherfield to check in on her.
Although the 3 miles Lizzy walks in Pride and Prejudice to see her sister does not seem far, for the time the book was written it was quite the distance for a young woman. Pride and Prejudice was written in the late 1790's, the Georgian Era. During this time, young women were not known to wander too far from home alone. Lizzy walking 3 miles on her own symbolized her independence and her love for her sister, Jane.
Of course Jane Austen lovers know of the other walk that happens in Pride and Prejudice, you may even be familiar with the cinematic version. Mr. Darcy walks out of the fog toward Lizzy and pronounces his love, again, for her. The walk of love and other dramatic proclamations of love is all too familiar in Austen's novels.
Whether it is for romantic love or love of your family, many literary characters walk long distances in the name of love. Take time this month to walk with a loved one, travel to see a loved one or just check in on those you love.