In Jane Austen’s original work, Mr. Bennet bemoans his sad fate–the father to the silliest girls in Hertfordshire. Well, except for Lizzie.
But I am not sure that is entirely fair.
Obviously, there is no magic potion cure for Lydia’s stupidity(also, silly and stupid are not the same thing), but Mary and Kitty may not deserve such censure. After all, no one is quite in her right mind during her teenage years, and with a bit of time and Lydia trapped in Scotland, both Mary and Kitty have to chance to improve their social graces, intellect, and quite frankly, become more well-rounded characters.
Essentially, in The Disappearance of Georgiana Darcy, we are allowed to see the full transformation of both Mary and Kitty from silly to smart.
And I think it is brilliant.
To be fair, this novel focuses more on Georgiana and if she is or isn’t trapped with cannibals , and Lizzie manages Darcy’s moods and prideful impulses while running after a toddler and expecting another child (I’m hoping for a girl just like Lydia, but that would be cruel and unusual punishment).
But for a moment, we do notice the other two sisters, Mary and Kitty.
With Kitty’s nuptials approaching, she clearly has become the stereotypical blushing bride. Everything is roses and laces which of course drives Mr. Bennet to retreat into the Darcy’s library and brood. Typical, father of the bride. Mary, herself happily married prior to the book’s beginning, has the decency to show her good sense and breeding while assisting Lizzie and Kitty with the wedding.
Just when everything is going so fine and well, Lydia brings the drama in human form a.k.a. Wickham. Then Darcy gets pissed and Lizzie gets pissed and Mr. Bennet has been pissed his whole and Mrs. Bennet rejoices to see her darling daughter.
But Kitty triumphs over them all.
With the support of Mary and Lizzie and Jane, Kitty stands up to Lydia’s insistent demands and puts Lydia in her rightful place–alone in the corner pouting. While Lydia is allowed to stay, she cannot interrupt the festivities or steal the spotlight away from Kitty’s day. In this moment, we see both Kitty and Mary become just as smart and agreeable as Lizzie or Jane. Albeit, it took several years and Lydia’s exile.