I have a very high regard for the clergy in general and for the several members of the profession I know personally. So it may seem strange that I made the premeditated death of a country parson my first literary act. But I hope I will be forgiven for it because Mr. Collins was 1) a very poor example of a clergyman, and 2)not a real person.
Actually, I take part of that back. Mr. Collins’s death wasn’t premeditated. When, seven years ago now, I sat down to begin my sequel to Pride and Prejudice, that’s the first idea that popped into my mind. And, I admit, I had a lot of fun putting the story down on paper, although I ended up cutting out a lot of what I wrote then (see related post Darling Exiles). Those trimmings became the basis for this short story.
Mr. Collins’s Last Supper is the tongue-in-cheek tale of how a pompous clergyman discovers too late why gluttony is considered one of the seven deadly sins. It was a finalist in a short story contest, and now I’m pleased to make it available to the public at an extremely reasonable price ($.99) in Kindle and Nook formats.
The story serves as a prequel of sorts to The Darcys of Pemberley, since news of Mr. Collins’s untimely demise opens that book. So if you’re a linear, chronological sort of person, read it after Pride and Prejudice and before The Darcys of Pemberley. Or read it anytime if you just want more of the gruesome details of Mr. Collins’s death. And just so you know, I’m kidding about the gruesome part.
Mr. Collins was not a sensible man, and the deficiency of nature had been but little assisted by education or society… The subjection in which his father had brought him up had given him originally great humility of manner; but it was now a good deal counteracted by the self-conceit of a weak head, living in retirement, and the consequential feelings of early and unexpected prosperity. (Pride and Prejudice, chapter 15)