Hail Aunts!

Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (1813), Oscar Wilde’s Importance of Being Earnest (1895), and P. G. Wodehouse’s Jeeves and Wooster stories (1915-1974; my favourite is Code of the Woosters from 1938) span over a century and a half, but they all take place in the same social milieu – where idle young men, who somehow manage to be simultaneously wealthy and impecunious, divide their time between flats in London and estates in the country, seeking or avoiding romantic entanglements while dodging the dictates of terrifying aunts who control the familial purse strings.

That P&P belongs to this tradition is less obvious than the affinity between IBE and J&W, because in P&P the milieu is seen from a viewpoint partially outside it – not of the flitting men but of their female love interests. Still, someone needs to do an era-defying mashup where the three sets of characters are all interacting at once.

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