The ‘Pride & Prejudice’ Dating Show Better Betroth Some Cousins

If we’re being historically accurate

Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen staring longingly at each other in Pride & Prejudice.
Pride & Prejudice (2005)
In Want of a Wife

NBC’s streaming service Peacock, capitalizing on Bridgerton mania and the ample intellectual riches of public domain, has ordered a dating show called Pride & Prejudice: An Experiment. Think the Bachelorette but with a Regency flair — meaning, per the series description:

A group of eligible hopeful suitors will have to win the heart of our heroine, and her court. Housed in a castle on the countryside, set on a beautiful backdrop of rolling hills, the heroine and suitors will experience that with which dreams are made of. From carriage rides and boat rides on the lake to archery and handwritten letters to communicate, they will be immersed in a time-traveling quest for love. In the end, our heroine and her suitors will discover if the ultimate romantic experience will find them true love … With the help of her court, our heroine will determine who most deserves to vie for her heart.

But romance is nothing without historical accuracy. Keeping in line with the show’s Regency inspiration, should we expect to see a bachelorette in her late teens, no alone time between couples unless accompanied by a chaperone, and the slightest stench that comes from less frequent bathing? Probably some cousin courtship as well? Why, Jane Austen would have it no other way.