The interesting thing is that these predilections really seem to fit the characters. What exactly does Mr. Bennet do all day while hiding from all of the women in his life? I can see him barricaded in his library pouring over naughty drawings. Mrs. Bennet certainly seems the type to buy strange tonics from gypsies that make her a bit loopy – especially since poor Lydia can’t stop rubbing herself suggestively against any and all protuberances she encounters.
I can certainly picture both Charlotte and Mr. Collins happiest in the company of their own sex, although the image of Lady Catherine wearing a hood to discipline all of those she commands still has me a bit disturbed (although admittedly it fits her personality). I will forever associate Caroline Bingley with the birch rod she habitually carries hoping for Mr. Darcy to bare his backside and submit to a caning.
Szereto continues her clever characterizations with Jane and Mr. Bingley, portraying them as two people who have little passion between them, but are quite happy to join their beautiful selves together in matrimony. Bingley’s unrequited passion for Mr. Darcy surprised me, but made me chuckle. And that leaves Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy who mostly just had improper thoughts about each other.
While I do think that “Pride and Prejudice: Hidden Lusts” has forever changed my view of the original, it did not in any way ruin Austen’s classic for me (which was my original fear). I am very glad that I did decide to read this book, because it made me think about the beloved characters in a very different way. There has to be more to them than Austen outlined for us. Szereto offers us quite a different glimpse into them all, but I think she found an ingenious way to do so.
Looking for something quite different to read? Enjoy erotic romance? I would suggest giving “Pride and Prejudice: Hidden Lusts” a read. Be prepared to find out what is really going on behind those closed doors.