That’s right, folks, I’ve finished The History of Miss Betsy Thoughtless. And holy bovine, this book’s ending did not disappoint. Ah, the hilarity of a novel from the eighteenth century.
During my last blog post about this novel, the hero of the story was courting a boring chick who I had secretly hoped would prove to be a lesbian, but whom he actually just married.
While Mr. Trueworth was busy being bored with the now “Mrs.” Snoozeville, the charming and vivacious Miss Betsy was being flirty and tempting possible rapists. This behavior worried her brothers – because, come on, you can’t expect men not to rape you if you’re going to be all beautiful and shit, right? The eighteenth century was possibly not the best time to be a woman.
But don’t worry – Betsy’s brother’s weren’t worried for her physical and emotional well-being, or anything silly like that. In fact, they weren’t even particularly worried about her loss of virtue. They were worried she would be raped and people would find out about it and think poorly of the Thoughtless family – particularly, them.
Betsy’s brothers are so eager to get her married (and thus, off their hands & reputations), that they push her into a marriage with a guy who’s only pretending to love her.
Mr. Munden proves to be a real jerk, not giving Betsy much money, expecting her to pay for things for the house out of the pittance of an allowance he does give her, telling her she was being a prude when his friend he was hoping would give him money tries to rape her, and then having sexy times with a woman Betsy tries to help. Understandably, Betsy flees to her older brother’s house. Older Mr. Thoughtless allows this, because the woman Betsy was trying to help, and with whom Betsy’s husband committed adultery, was Mr. T’s former mistress.
Some other stuff happens, but the important things are that Mr. Trueworth’s wife dies a few weeks after they’re married (smallpox), and Mr. Munden (Betsy’s husband) dies after their separation from some illness that’s never explicitly named, but sounds like “I’m-a-weenie-who-can’t-handle-my-karma.” Trueworth sees Betsy again for the first time in months, and realizes that not even frigid sexy times with his boring, now-deceased wife could help him get over Betsy. He still loves her, she’s really been in love with him since before she even married Mr. Villain, and after an appropriate grieving period, they get hitched.
Told you it was hilarious.