I know how shocking this will sound and I clearly understand the implications of admitting it, but I’m sorry, I’m not a Darcy fan. [Bracing for worldwide snubbing to begin.] In fact, I think that Austin got it wrong. She inexplicably mixed up the couples. How this could have happened is beyond imagining. I mean, there they are, staring at you from the page, as elegantly described as any characters in history. How could you miss the connections! I’ve given this some thought because I’ve been reading this story since I was twelve, not long after Austin published it.
First of all there’s the man himself. Tall, looming, almost sinister in his avoidance of public pleasantries. The man’s a snob! What’s attractive about that? Oh yes, the money. Monstrous estate. I know how beloved he was by his housekeeper, but really, at least he could be nice away from home. And yes, he should have said something about the slimebag Wickham. I’m not saying Darcy is evil or bad, I just don’t see hero in him.
Then there’s Bingley. Now there’s a nice guy! I like him. He’s open, sweet, generous, and gracious. He eagerly agrees to host a ball suggested by a young girl just to please her. How nice is that! Bingley has the warm, outgoing personality that is both agreeable and benevolent. In fact it is his weakness. He trusts more than he should. But that is not a great fault. He trusted in his good friend, a man of wealth and influence who had never let him down before. I give him credit for that. And Bingley keeps his good nature even in the company of his wicked sister. That speaks volumes to me.
But then there’s the problem with the pairing. Now I see Elizabeth and Bingley much happier together than Jane and Bingley. Jane is much more suited to the stilted kindness of Darcy. Elizabeth is out of Darcy’s league and Jane, quiet and sweet, fits better with his restraint. Elizabeth’s playfulness will only turn into a source of irritation and resentment for Darcy, but Bingley would find reasons to have fun with Elizabeth.
There you have it. If zombies can take over Meryton, then we can recouple our antagonists and make them happier. They’ll thank me for it.