I am looking forward to watching Pride and Prejudice Vs Zombies; is there no end to the film maker’s imagination or is there no end to our appetite for zombie films, TV, games etc.? The concept of pale, frail Georgian belles fighting the walking dead is certainly a quirky theme. I did take the time to read a few extracts from the novel and the use of Bronte language and zombies is imaginative but reassuringly convincing.
How would our Georgian ancestors have dealt with an outbreak of the living dead? Well at least they would have had a better chance of containing the outbreak. No tube, flights and overpopulated cities bursting with upwardly mobile people. This is the time of Nelson and Wellington 2 commanders who would have paid scant regard for public opinion and human rights. The army and militia was also significantly larger in comparison than todays armed forces. Each county had its own militia and we had a huge navy. Military commanders would have been able to close bridges greatly impeding the spread of the infection. For example, the London authorities had only 1 bridge to contend with then rather than today.
The weaponry was better distributed throughout the land unlike today with our super garrisons. Weaponry was also brutal and simple, cannons fired grape shot. Which literally fired a couple of kilos of nuts and bolts; deadly to packed ranks of the undead. Muskets and rifles of the period admittedly could only fire 1 round at a time but soldiers were more inclined to stuff an 18-inch bayonet through a zombie’s head.
Cavalry was also deadly; ranks of well drilled troopers dressed in scarlet galloping forward would have made short work of a ragged hoard of zombies. Even the horses of the period were trained to bite and stab forward with their sharpened hooves.
Marksman of the 95th RILFES (Green Jackets) would have happily spent their days perched in church towers picking of zombies at a range of 600 yards. The damage a musket ball makes is significant, at a 100 yards a ball could cleave a limb form the body or hit the head causing a huge exit wound. The commanders would have picked their ground wisely and the lines of infantry would be able to fire volleys of up to 3 balls a minute. The effect on a zombie horde would have been devastating once they were pended in. Most towns and cities still had fully functioning castles and forts. Soldiers lived local so once ordered they could quickly man the battlements. What would happen today if we needed the army how on earth would they negotiate the refugee clogged roads and motorways. The government would also be better organised to managed the media message. The army then would simply close roads and bridges implementing martial law. The population could easily be kept in the dark and told to remain indoors.
Could you imagine what would happen today, everyone would read about a zombie apocalypse in seconds let alone minutes? There would be a mass exodus as workers piled out of their offices, in an attempt to get transport home. The road/rail system would break down and communication systems would crash. Within hours’ families crammed into cars loaded with clothes and pets would simply just grind to a halt. The Brits of the 19th Century were made of sterner stuff, they were used to poor living conditions, meagre rations and death.
It’s a sad fact that today the vast part of our population are over pampered, over weight, needy and weak. Unable to function beyond the reach of our pringles, computers and mobile phones. We would be like lambs to the slaughter wondering aimlessly into the abyss of the zombie apocalypse. I am convinced that our ancestors would have put up a better fight; done as they were told and just got on with it. Today for all our technology, central heating, broadband and microwave meals most of us would get our arses well and truly bitten. Today’s Zombie survivors will be canny, wiry, smart and fearless; they have probably already packed a crash out bag with survival rations and weaponry.
We live in a society where everything is organised for us. We have lost our relationship with the land and surroundings.
The true survivor will wait, watch, listen and prepare.
“survive to fight”