It is a truth universally acknowledged that every Maltese woman can recognise a hysterical Maltese female relative in Mrs Bennet.
Alison Steadman’s Mrs Bennet is one of the most memorable portrayals in the BBC’s 1995 adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice, and although this is a period drama set in the early 19th century, a lot of the Maltese can relate to the shocked exclamations and antiquated ideas held by this slice of society. But let us go further with our analogy:
Mr Bingley and Mr Darcy would be your typical pepe boys from Sliema and High Ridge respectively, and they’d naturally pursue their parents’ desired careers. So Bingley would be an estate agent, and Mr Darcy would be a lawyer like papa’, hux? Bingley’s newly acquired Netherfield would be a massive villa in Santa Maria Estates, and Pemberley would be Mr Darcy’s beloved home in Pembroke (where else?)
Although the names of Mr and Mrs Bennet are not divulged to us, let us assume they’re called Connie and Dominic, who’ve decided to title Longbourn (situated in Swieqi) as ConDom… This should provide an explanation behind their having five daughters. Mrs Bennet would still be obsessed with people’s salaries, and would be just as desperate to marry off her daughters to any man hailing from High Ridge, Sliema, St Julian’s or indeed Attard.
The lovely couple would still fight tooth and nail and would be absolutely fed up of each other, but they’ll stay together because they had voted against divorce.
She’d still suffer from her poor nerves, or as she likes to refer to it:
I’d like to think that Mr Bennet’s Maltese counterpart would retain a laissez faire air, but he’d be a bit more blunt with his disapproval of his daughters’ frivolous bickering:
And Mrs Bennet’s hysteria of ‘What is to become of us all?’ would be:
Mary Bennet would be a Y4J girl who dotes on the Gift of Life Network, Lydia would be in Paceville every night, Jane would be the tall blonde every Maltese man fawns over, and Elizabeth would be an angry feminist who dislikes Maltese men in general. She’d also be the only one to stay out of her sisters’ constant string of selfies.
The Bingley and Darcy clan would be hostile towards the Bennets because they’re ħamalli. Caroline Bingley would seek guidance from the musings of a particular online blog.
Let us also assume that in this hypothetical scenario, the Maltese Roman Catholic Church would allow for its priests to marry, and so Mr Collins would be the kappillan who’d be chasing after the Bennet sisters. Lady Catherine de Bourgh would always be at the front row at mass, and he’d adore her for her generous donations to the church. His catchphrases would include ‘Iiiii x’arukaża’ and ‘God bless’.
Incidentally, Lizzy’s refusal of Mr Collins would be summed up with a curt:
Wickham would at first be seen to have the same saintly glow as Gianluca, but ħanini, good luck with trying to keep your ‘version’ of the Ms Darcy story under wraps. You’re in Malta, Wickham. You’d be caught out sooner than you can say grapevine. Also, Charlotte Lucas would be fed up of being reminded that she’s been left on the shelf.
How do you think the Bennets would’ve fared in Malta?
Let us know in the comments section below.