Come one, come all, to the Jane Austen Fight Club, where the very best from Jane’s world and the very best from…well, everywhere else…duke it out for all to see! The prizes: pride, honor, and the adoration of Jane fans everywhere, or a “The first rule of fight club is, we don’t talk about Mr. Darcy” t-shirt and some quality Regency-era medical care!
Today’s contestants: Lydia “Last born, first scandalized” Bennet, youngest and least redeemable sister in Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice, and Khloe “At least my reality show’s only a spin-off” Kardashian, youngest and least famous sister in the sort-of-not-fictional Kardashian clan. Both have large families full of more-famous siblings! Neither can abide a long engagement! Who will prevail, ladies and gentlemen? It’s a fight! A real fight!
In their corners:
Bennet is, though the youngest of her sisters, also the tallest. She can (theoretically) flirt with six officers at once. She is “untamed, unabashed, wild, noisy, and fearless,” has the gift of never hearing nor seeing any thing of which she chooses to be insensible, and has the gall to pull rank on her single older sisters when she shows up for dinner. So, basically, bulletproof.
Kardashian is an entrepreneur, socialite, television personality, radio personality, and model, with a nine-carat engagement ring from husband/Laker forward Lamar Odom. Eat that, accomplished ladies!
Lydia Bennet is stout, a complete mama’s girl at age 16, and doesn’t realize that her husband became her husband practically at gunpoint. (Bennet: “Allegedly.”)
Kardashian got married with her family present. I mean, who DOES that?
Bennet. Is this even a contest? Lydia’s total, willful obliviousness about a) men, b) women, c) talking, d) listening, and e) the meaning of the word “embarrassment” lead to an early and decisive defeat of Kardashian and her weak-sauce L.A.-royalty wild-child impression. (Yeah, “jail,” whatever.) In contests of vapidity and poor decision-making skills, she’s simply too skilled to lose and too busy gloating to care.
TKO, Lydia Bennet!
Come one, come all, to the Jane Austen Fight Club, where the very best from Jane’s world and the very best from…well, everywhere else…duke it out for all to see! The prizes: pride, honor, and the adoration of Jane fans everywhere, or a “Mr. Darcy Fights Like a Girl” t-shirt and some quality Regency-era medical care!
Today’s contestants: John “Yes, I Really Am This Much of a Tool” Willoughby, dashing and dastardly bad boy from Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, and Edward “Sparklepuss” Cullen, Twilight teen heartthrob/kindly vampire/stalker. They’re handsome! They’re flattering! They like teenaged girls lacking in common sense! Whose sensitive yet lustful stare will prevail? Only time and raging hormones will tell!
In their corners:
John Willoughby is handsome and lively and beloved by young girls and income-scouting mothers alike. He gives horses as gifts; he cheats at cards, but only for his girl; he rescues young ladies from tumbles down hills, and doesn’t track mud all over the house when he’s done. Salient quotation: “It’s okay; I’ve never done this before, either…”
Edward Cullen is a sparkly vampire, the blood-sucking monster of the Lisa Frank universe. He’s prone to rescuing fair damsels (from werewolves, so suck it, Mr. “Let me save you from the rain and your weak joints“). He likes baseball, though he only ever wants to play when it’s a rain-out. He has never, as far as we know, had an affair with or a child by a fifteen-year-old (…he waits until they’re eighteen. AT LEAST!). Salient quotation: “You take a nap. I’ll just sit here and listen to the Police and, you know, keep an eye on you.”
Willoughby is…how do we put this? Oh: a skeevy, on-leading, non-responsibility-taking, child-abandoning bastard. Is that a problem?
Edward has the ability, with an unfortunate slip of the mouth, to turn the lady in question into an immortal (yet undeniably sexy, because really, she’d better be, after all this) creature destined to suck the blood of living organisms for all eternity. Apparently.
Edward, obviously. He’s a vampire. Does Willoughby carry Marianne Dashwood home with his super strength? Does he sparkle in the sun during long, romantic walks on the downs? Does he eventually raise up an army of like-minded bad guys and father a half-vampire baby named after his and Marianne’s dead mothers?
I didn’t think so.
He may be a) ridiculous and b) a stalker, but c) your argument is invalid.
Knockout for Mr. Cullen! Ding ding ding ding ding!
Today’s contestants: Mr. “Fitzwilliam” Darcy, of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, and and Mark “Just as She Is” Darcy, pugilist extraordinaire from Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones’s Diary. It’s not to be missed!
In their corners:
Mr. Darcy does really, really nice things and doesn’t tell anybody. He spoils his little sister. He rides and shoots and reads and writes. He has ten thousand a year and a sweet pad (with trout pond!) to show for it. He’s loyal to his goofy best friend. He’s faithful even when there’s nobody to be faithful to.
Mark Darcy likes Bridget Jones just as she is. He’s handsome; he’s wealthy; he’s helpful in the kitchen. He’s a lawyer AND a do-gooder. He’s awkward, but nice, and he has the good sense to be ashamed at his own social ineptitude. He’s a nice boy, but he kisses like that.
Mr. Darcy says rude things too loudly at parties. He barges in on his lady love, proposes marriage while also implying that marrying her would be a huge cramp on his swingin’ social style, and then gets pissy when she says no. He also hangs out with his friend’s appalling relatives.
Mark Darcy wears reindeer jumpers and should seriously rethink the length of his sideburns. He allows himself to be bullied by his business partner, Natasha. He always says exactly the wrong thing in every situation, and I believe we find out later that he doesn’t vote Labour. Horrors!
Mr. Darcy. Mark Darcy’s foibles take place on a smaller scale–he often says the wrong thing, for example, but generally comes through when the stakes are high, like when the soup is blue–and so he seems the kinder, gentler Darcy. And that’s exactly why he loses this battle: Mr. Darcy the Elder goes big or goes home. He declares passionate love…in the most insulting way possible. He stomps off, angry, and then gallops around in the middle of the night, out-nice-ing himself entirely. He is “violently in love,” and shows it, given the chance. Plus, we all know Mark Darcy can’t fight.
Ding ding ding ding ding! Knockout for Mr. (Fitzwilliam) Darcy!