The Darcy Monologues: Part II, Other Eras

The Darcy Monologues edited by Christina Boyd and written by Various

So first of all, I’m so sorry to have taken so long to post this. I first planned to have it up by the 20th, but then I got busy and I pushed it back to the 21st. Then other things occurred which took me away from home all day so I had to push it back to the 22nd. And then I am sure you can guess that once again my attention was diverted.

After all you know my motto:

But never fear, my other motto has this covered.

The Darcy Monologues was brought to my attention when Christina Boyd gave me a free copy in exchange for an honest review. I readily agreed and began reading:

What the novel consists of is several monologues, or short stories, retelling Pride and Prejudice from Mr. Darcy’s point of view.

Some stories take place during the novel, some change things, some ask questions of “what if this happened…?”, etc.

Hmm…

The first half of the novel’s collection all take place in the Regency Era; and I loved it!

To read more about those stories, click on this link. The second half involves different decades.

Now let me clear one thing up. It was said anywhere, but for some reason I assumed that every story would take place in a different decade and involve Darcy and Elizabeth throughout time.

However, that assumption was false. When they say “Other Eras”, they mean “not Regency”. Yes, there is no great time traveling like I thought.

And let me be clear that this assumption wasn’t anyone’s fault but mine. The writers and marketing team did not lead me astray. made the mistake.

So I’m going to do things a little different then in the previous review. Last time I went through the stories by the way they are set out in the novel. This time I am going to review the stories by their times-starting with the ones in the past and ending with those that are set in modern times.

Pemberley By Stage by Natalie Richards

Circa 1860

Thoughts Before Reading:

When I heard that there was going to be a Western version of Pride and Prejudice I couldn’t wait to read it.

If you have been following me, then you know how much I was obsessed with the Old West, cowboys, and Clint Eastwood as a child.

ME!!!

So will this story be all I dreamed it to be?

Hmm…

Plot Synopsis:

After having his name sullied by his associate, George Wickham, lawyer Darcy has been convinced by his friend, Charles Bingley, to move to San Francisco and start over. He is journeying with Bingley and Bingley’s sister Louisa; no Caroline as she “would not leave civilization.” Darcy brought his sister Georgiana with him, but is worried that maybe it would have been best to leave her in the East. Also in their stagecoach is a Mr. Hurst, a man Louisa has become interested in.

As they are journeying, the stage is overtaken by bandits. Darcy is knocked out and when he comes to he discovers that the thieves not only stole everything of value, but kidnapped Georgiana as well, and will only release her for $10,000.

Darcy wants to travel after her, but many are wounded and need assistance. Luckily, two siblings-Jane Bennet and her brother Elias, arrive on the scene. They have been after the gang and the leader, George “Smiling George” Wickham” (the same ex-partner of Darcy), ever since he convinced their sister Lydia to run off with him. The two know of a healer, so Darcy and Elias head off to fetch her while Jane and Louisa tend to the wounded.

As the two travel they talk about their families and instantly form a friendship. After bringing back the healer, who is also a prostitute favored by Wickham, Darcy pays not only for her to aid his friends but for the information of Wickham’s hideout. Elias wants to join him, as Darcy needs an extra hand, and Elias is an excellent shot.

However, it turns out that Jane does not want Elias to help, as she can’t stand to lose another sister.

Yes, Elizabeth had been traveling as “Elias” to protect herself and her sister. Darcy is at first upset at Elizabeth, as he shared personal information but Elizabeth withheld hers. As they ride, the two patch up, as each understands the other hurt.

When they arrive at the camp they find Georgiana tied up, Lydia pregnant, and a camp of thieves bickering between themselves as what to do next. As this gang begins to turn on each other, Darcy and Elizabeth must think fast and bold in order to save their siblings.

Things I Pondered: How awesome this was.

Things I Liked: How amazing this was!

The action was fantastic, the pacing was great, and once I got started I just had to keep reading to find out what was going to happen next.

Or class. Or lunch. Or anything!

I think it was absolutely one of the best in this section. Just amazing from beginning to end and with every character. I know this will be one I will read over and over.

For more Westerns, go to People Have to Snatch at Happiness When They Can in This World. It is Always Easier to Lose Than to Find: O Pioneers!

Reason to Hope by Jenetta James

Circa 1939-1941

Thoughts Before Reading:

I love history and had just finished reading The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History, so I was primed for a World War II-themed Pride and Prejudice.

Plot Synopsis:

Darcy and Bingley are soldiers in the British army. They knew each other back in school and have struck up their friendship again. Bingley’s sister Caroline is after Darcy, but he has been free from her clutches as she has evacuated London and went to a country estate, Netherfield

Yep!

One night when Darcy has time off, he comes across a light shining during a mandatory blackout. When he drives up to yell at the person with the torch (flashlight), he finds his words being thrown back as Elizabeth Bennet will not take any of his gruff, especially as he is on her land.

In this tale there are only three Bennet sister- Jane, Elizabeth, and Mary. However, the household is harboring two girls from the city, Lydia and Kitty Potter.

Darcy tries to talk to Elizabeth at a USO dance but she is angry for the things Caroline said about her family previously, the Potter girls, mother, etc.; and that Darcy listened to it all in agreement.

Jerk

When Lydia and Kitty return to London to visit their parents, a bombing is done by the Nazis. Darcy goes with Elizabeth to track down the missing girls and try to make amends for his earlier behavior. But will he succeed or fail in both ventures?

Hmm…

Things I Pondered: I didn’t really see where this level of anger was coming from in Elizabeth as there is a difference between voicing an opinion and listening/agreeing to one. I felt that she released her anger at Caroline at Darcy, instead of being given a reason to dislike him.

It also felt weird without Mr. Wickham. As much as we hate him, he does play a very important role in the story.

What I Like: I liked the introspection Darcy goes through as he realizes not saying anything can be just as bad as being the one saying it; when you give the impression that you agree with the speaker instead of being polite. I think it was paired very well with the fact that this was a war in which some citizens didn’t agree with what the Nazi party believed, but also didn’t say anything about what they were doing.

I liked the second part of the story when they search for the girls as it just grabs you and makes you read faster to see if they discover them alive…or dead.

The secondary characters were also fun as I like what the author did with Kitty, Lydia, Denny, and the like. 

You Don’t Know Me by Beau North

Circa 1961-64

Thoughts Before Reading:

This whole time I have been reading this title as You Don’t Own Me, thinking it was named after the Lesley Gore song.

Having it in the sixties intrigued me as I wondered if the author was going to go in the direction of Mad Men or Do Not Disturb with marketing or fashion (as that is how I saw Darcy) or the overused “hippie” route.

I was pleasantly surprised to find this to be about music and a radio station.

Plot Synopsis:

Darcy inherited half his father’s company when he passed, the rest being controlled by his aunt Catherine. He doesn’t really care for it, as the company always held all of his father’s attention, but does like the money he gets from it. After he is caught with a client’s wife, as he did not know she was married, his aunt banishes him from Manhattan to Buffalo for a year.

If he does well with the newly acquired station, WPNP, then he can come back after the year. Otherwise he stuck there.

The interim station manager and sales manager is Charles Bingley, who later becomes a good friend, and his secretary is Jane [Bennet]. One of the radio shows is run by an Eliza Bennet, who has the top stats with her music. The only problem, she is playing African-American music which is not what Aunt Catherine or Regina Caroline Bliss, leader of the Mother’s Morality League, want. Finding himself pressured from all sides he tries to strike a compromise which doesn’t work well with Eliza, them often going head to head.

After a heated argument, Darcy goes to speak to Eliza at home and meets her father, Tomas Benowitz. It turns out that Elizabeth Bennet is actually Benowitz and that she is Jewish. There are more discoveries to be made as Tomas was the star violinist of the Royal Orchestra of Prague, before the war changed everything and he came to America. Darcy also meets Eliza’s aunt and uncle; and enjoys everyone’s company.

In fact, he starts falling for Eliza but she refuses him as she doesn’t want to be seen as securing her job by sleeping with the boss; plus Darcy is only staying for a year. Darcy doesn’t like, but agrees to just be her friend.

Not what I want, but what can I do?

Darcy leaves, with Bingley in charge (he is also now dating Jane). He returns to Manhattan and repairs the relationship with his aunt. When Eliza’s father dies, he returns, but she still refuses him. There is nothing he can do but return home.

His Aunt Catherine discovers that he is in love and encourages Darcy to go back and try again. Will he fight for the woman he loves? Or will he give in and marry some high society girl from Vassar?

Things I Pondered: I didn’t care for this story as much as I didn’t like the depiction of Elizabeth. She always seems to be just rude and yelling at Darcy. I understand her wanting to be sassy and standing up for the rights of others, but still Darcy is her boss. I don’t care how good you are, I think most bosses would fire you for screaming at them and saying the things she says about their character.

I don’t know the background of North but I thought the Jewish ancestry wasn’t dealt with as well at it should have been. Yes Eliza talks about the fact that she had to change her name to not offend people, but they characters act as if it isn’t a big deal when many Jewish people still faced racism and scrutiny. It also seems to not impact their lives or anything as it is introduced and never featured in the story again. True, it is not about her but Darcy, but I felt like it could have been fleshed out (maybe in a future novel?). I also thought they were too cavalier with Darcy converting. I mean changing religions is a big deal, it isn’t like changing a shirt. There are lots of steps he has to go through and it is taking everything he has known and celebrated and throwing it out, having to adjust to new life.

Things I Liked: really like that North decides to make this a bicultural relationship. This is something not really seen, other than  the film Bride & Prejudice. I liked the idea of having Pride and Prejudice with people of different cultures or races as you aren’t as separated as one was in Regency England. I would definitely read an interpretation of Pride and Prejudice that went along those lines.

I also like how the author tied in Eliza’s background to her musical choices. Being a person who is discriminated against as to her gender and religion, it made sense that she would campaign so hard for others who face prejudices. 

Plus *SPOILER ALERT* I love how he tells her on air, not caring who hears him, that he loves her and wants to marry her.

Hot for Teacher by Sara Angelini

Circa 1999-2005

Thoughts Before Reading:

So at first I thought this was set in the 1980s as the title comes from the Van Halen song, Hot for Teacher (1984) and they name a section after AC/DC‘s Back in Black.  But then they reference  Creep by Radiohead (1992), Dazed and Confused (1993), She’s So High by Tai Bachman (1999), and then Paradise which I am not sure is referring to the ’80s film or the Coldplay song that came out in 2011.

Hmm…

There are no cellphones really in use, but then Darcy does mention Google. I think the author set it in modern times, but it still has an older vibe to it. I may be wrong, but I’m going with early 21st century.

Plot Synopsis:

Darcy’s parents were the CEOs of the FitzCo company, his father having passed on, but instead of being a part of the corporation Darcy has chosen a career in education.

Yes, Darcy is the principal of the prestigious Pemberley Academy. A new year is about to start, but Darcy is less then pleased with Vice-Principal Charles Bingley’s choices in two new teachers. For art we have Ms. Elizabeth Bennet, who dresses in eccentric clothes and does not carry the look Darcy expects his staff to project.

That sweater and hairstyle?

But Ms. Brunhilda (his nickname for Elizabeth) is nowhere near as disastrous as the new English teacher, a Mr. George Wickham.

George Wickham is the half-brother of Darcy, having been born from a liaison between Darcy’s father and his secretary, George’s mother. The two have never gotten along and Darcy dislikes him with every fiber of his being. George has never done anything to warrant this dislike but Darcy just has a “feeling”.

One night when Darcy is attending the FitzCo art benefit, he makes a disparaging comment about one of the artists, Frances Gardiner, to his cousin Anne (mix of Anne and sister Georgiana). Elizabeth overhears it and is extremely displeased as that is her mother.

Darcy soon grows to like Elizabeth but finds himself challenged in that arena with his half brother. However, after a few conversations and flirting, he believes Elizabeth is in to him, and goes for it at a the Homecoming dance.

Elizabeth turns him down and yells at him. She finds his behavior with George and the other teachers to just be atrocious. She dresses him down for all kinds of things he was unaware that were occurring in the school, and with a few lies that George has told her.

After that embarrassing moment,

Darcy decides that he will try and improve himself and the relationships at school. Will it work? Or will George and Elizabeth have the happily ever after?

Things I Pondered: I didn’t care for this depiction as much as I felt there were quite a lot missing. First Darcy’s relationships are horrible, I mean he had friends in the original book. And he wasn’t as mean or temperamental as depicted here as all his servants loved him and could only speak kindly of him. I mean that is something that validates the Darcy in the letter, when Elizabeth visits his home and hears what the people who work for him say.

Having George Wickham not be evil, also didn’t work. In fact, you rooted more for him as he missed out on all kinds of things Darcy had, while Darcy hates him for being born. I mean it isn’t his fault your dad cheated on your mom. They should have made him far more nefarious than stealing money at the end of the book.

Elizabeth is really mean to Darcy and he is her boss. I don’t mind her being sassy, but the way she talks to him, I’m surprised she didn’t get fired. If I yelled at any boss I’ve ever had this way, I don’t think I would have stayed on. They would have let me go. 

Darcy was a bit of a dork in this. I thought he had more in common with the original Mr. Collins. The way he acts around others, his flirting, his assumptions, etc.

Elizabeth yells at Darcy for being cruel and insensitive, but while in the original novel she had a valid concern, the others being misinformation supplied by Wickham; in this she has no justification. Mrs. Crane has been late multiple times and isn’t keeping up with her work so the rules say she has to receive a warning. Elizabeth yells at him that the only reason she has ben doing that is because her husband was in a car accident and is going through physical therapy, meaning she has become the sole caregiver for her husband and boys. Darcy didn’t know as Mrs. Crane never told him. It isn’t his fault, she should have talked to him, after all she could have received emergency family leave. The same goes for the other teachers, they never give a reason why they can’t do something, so what is Darcy supposed to think?

What I Liked: I actually liked that Darcy wasn’t carrying on the family business but doing his own thing. In today’s world you don’t have families being forced to carry on the professions their ancestors did but have the freedom to do what they want. I thought that was a very new twist in the story, and something no other Austen retelling that I have read has ever tried doing.

Also Angelini finally does the one thing Austen fans have been BEGGING someone to do. 

Yes we finally have Darcy do that. Thank you very much Angelini.

And something even more surprising, Angelini does something I never thought possible-she makes Mr. Collins likable.

Yes I know, I never, ever imagined finding myself liking Mr. Collins. Angelini you must be a magician or something.

Or something…

I, Darcy by Karen M. Cox

William Darcy has hated his name for as long as he could remember. His mother choose it after the hero in one of her favorite novels, but he just can’t wrap his head around why woman like him so. Ten years ago he read the book and hated it-

I know-

So the worst place for him to be would be a convention center full of Austenites.

Yes, he is bemoaning this to his friend and business colleague, Charles Bingley, when he is interrupted by two lovely ladies who defend Austen. Jane and Lynley Bennet walk in and out of his life, but remain memorable as the two gentlemen head on to discuss opening a chain of locally sourced restaurants with their board of directors. It passes and Charles it out to start up the trial place-with Darcy joining him later.

When Darcy comes driving up to the house Bingley rented in the country, he has car trouble but manages to get help-from Lynley. Not only is that a coincidence, but Charles is dating her sister Jane.

Darcy waits for Charles as he is out on a date and starts reading a copy of Pride and Prejudice he finds on the table (probably given to Bingley from Jane), surprising himself with falling in love with the book.

Later the two men discuss the farms they want to use for the restaurant, seeing the Bennet farm as the perfect place to get their supplies from. Darcy makes them a generous offer, one they need as if they don’t get a good contract they may lose it; but Lynley refuses, angry at Darcy. What could he have done to upset her? I smell a nefarious plot, but who would want to ruin Darcy’s name?

Things I Pondered: I liked it. I thought it was funny how she went with this theme of “real” Mr. Darcy as I was just talking about that earlier this year.

Things I LikedI thought the characters were very well written and easy to connect to. I liked how the story flowed and enjoyed it from start to finish.

The Ride Home by Ruth Phillips Oakland

Circa: Present

Plot Synopsis:

This story takes place after Darcy proposed to Elizabeth and was rejected. Darcy is owner of the company, Pemberley Media, and is in the States to launch PM’s channel here, then planning on returning to England. His best friend got his happy ending when Jane said yes to his proposal.

Soon to be!

The happy couple have been celebrating with champagne when they receive a call from Elizabeth asking for a ride. Neither can take her, so they wake Darcy and ask him to do it.

Darcy picks Elizabeth up from her disastrous date (with Mr. Collins) and she really lets herself go- drunkenly praising Darcy’s personality to body- ranging in too much information to nonsensical. She does apologize for being upset over Lydia, saying Darcy was right to be angry at Lydia spilling secrets to rival George Wickham. The two patch things up and everything looks great for Darcy, that is if Elizabeth remembers the conversation tomorrow. Will this drunken release be the beginning of something new, or the last shred of the old?

Hmm…

Things I Pondered: I didn’t care for this as much as I missed Elizabeth’s witty repartee with Darcy-something drunken speech can’t really do. 

I also found myself distracted with trying to figure out if she would be well enough to talk. I mean she was average height, thin and consumed a gin and tonic along with four or five martinis (she lost count) but hardly ate anything as her date said no butter, salt, carbohydrates, meat, etc. I’m not a drinker but gin, dry vermouth, and more gin with no butter or carbs to counteract it seems to be like she would be passed out. I mean I calculated it and she has an estimated BAL of 0.235-that’s nausea, vomiting, blackouts, etc. How was she able to make him breakfast the next day? She should have a massive hangover.

Things I LikedI liked having Darcy be introspective as he drives into town. Something about him just thinking over everything and himself as he drives resonated with me. 

Darcy Strikes Out by Sophia Rose

Circa: Present Time

Thoughts Before Reading:

I love puns, jokes, and when authors are smart enough to use language that implies two meanings that fit perfect with the situation. In this case Darcy strikes out in the game of love and:

I’m also a big baseball fan so I was very interested in reading this.

Plot Synopsis:

Darcy is a top baseball player, known as “Dandy Darcy” after he and his father posed in top hats and tails with the bats as canes for a photo shoot. After his father passed away, and his sister was in her horrible accident that left her in a wheelchair; he pulled away from life and others. The only one who he remained close to (besides his teammates) was his good friend and old roommate, Charles Bingley, who he saved from a gold digger.

He meets Elizabeth Bennet, sports reporter, and starts to fall for her.

But when he asks her out, he strikes out. Yep, it turns out that he really dropped the ball as that “gold digger” was Elizabeth’s sister; she thinks he is a snob for being camera shy and refusing interviews (especially with that horrible nosy Collins), and sees him as a giant jerk for blackballing fellow baseball player George Wickham.

Darcy is still thinking over the refusal as he visits his sister. Yes, Elizabeth was right about Jane; but after checking her out Darcy did discover he was wrong about her and encouraged Bingley to try again. However, being camera shy and Wickham all have to do with Georgiana as he tries to protect her.

When he gets to his sister’s apartment, he discovers her hanging out with a friend who participates in the Paralympics, and their new friend; Elizabeth Bennet.

Elizabeth meet the girls when she was writing a story on upcoming athletes, and she has realized that she was prejudiced against Darcy. They later meet for breakfast, and Darcy reveals what happened to Georgiana. Wickham was trying to use Darcy to get ahead, but was lacking in discipline and focus; being cut from the team. Later at a high school party, Wickham being over eighteen, roofied Georgiana’s beer with the intent to rape her. However, she left early and ended up crashing the car not from drinking (which she did) but from being drugged. They knew it was him, but couldn’t prove enough to put him away. The famous Darcy name, underage drinking, a beautiful girl with a tragic story all made for excellent newspaper fodder, especially for a TMZ like reporter (Collins).

Things are going well, until Elizabeth hears from Jane that their sister Lydia is missing! It appears this underage girl was last seen with baseball player George Wickham.

Darcy calls in his private detective, Jack Austen, who has been keeping an eye on Wickham. Will they be able to find Lydia and Wickham in time? Or will this be another strike out for Darcy?

Things I Pondered: Wow this was awesome!

Things I Liked: First of all if there was a “Dandy” baseball player I would totally be out there cheering for him whether or not he was on my team (the As, Cali all the way). I also would purchase a “Dandy Darcy” clothing line for my friends and relatives if such a thing existed. 

I thought this book was amazingly well done in taking the story and setting it in modern times. I loved what Rose did with all the characters, and I really enjoyed how she set us in the middle of the story with flashbacks as to what came before. 

I also applaud you for doing something I haven’t really seen anyone else do- show how Wickham was not only a jerk but a child predator. Yes, contrary to popular belief, most people weren’t married until they were 21-24 during the Regency period. Most modern updates keep Wickham close in age the other characters and make him seem like just a fiend. In this we realize just how evil Wickham is, in the orginal and this version, as Rose unveils him as the pedophile he is.

Jack Austen, P.I.- I like the sound of that. I don’t know if there are any film-noir, 1940s, Humphrey Bogart-ish Austen retellings, but now you make me wish for one. Can’t you just see Darcy?

Or what if Elizabeth was the detective and Darcy the client?

So Rose names a few of Darcy’s teammates and their wives, I’m not sure but I believe they stand for other characters from Austen novels. There is a Cathy and Hank Denny, maybe Catherine and Henry “Hank” Tilney from Northanger Abbey?

And then there is an Esme and Jose Carreaga. Could it be Emma and Mr. Knightley?

I think it would be wonderful if Rose would develop this into a full novel with all the Austen characters. 

But seriously, I thought this was just as fantastic as To Pemberley By Stage and just as hard to put down.

So what did I think of it as a whole?

Well, I….

I really loved it, even the stories I didn’t like as much. It was just so refreshing to see a point of view that is often overlooked or not done well.  I enjoyed every version of Darcy as each had the things we loved most about him but at the same time were all so different.

I thought that was fantastic as it made a Darcy for everyone. I mean some might be into a baseball playing Darcy or Western Darcy, while others want something different-such as a teacher or man born with a silver spoon who needs to see how others live.

Just like the movies you have your pick of Darcy, being sure to find one, two, or more to love/

In conclusion I think The Darcy Monologues, Part I and II, are just fantastic.

Amazing!

If you are an Austen, Pride and Prejudice, or Mr. Darcy fan you need to check this book out TODAY!

In fact, not only is this something I know I will read over and over again:

Or 10th, 50th, 100th….

But I can already think of several people who will be receiving it as a birthday or Christmas present.

Thank you authors. You all did a wonderful job.

For more on The Darcy Monologues, go to The Darcy Monologues: Part I, The Regency

For more Mr. Darcy, go to Whether Presentable or Not, I Love Spending Time With You: Episode Four, Pride and Prejudice (1995)

For more on Pride & Prejudice, go to Prom & Prejudice

For more Pride & Prejudice variations, go to Brought Shame and Scandal to Pemberley: Death Comes to Pemberley, Episode Two (2013)

For more books based on Jane Austen, go to Suspense & Sensibility (Or First Impressions Revisited

The Darcy Monologues: Part I, The Regency

The Darcy Monolgues edited by Christina Boyd and written by Various

So I was contacted by Christina Boyd to do a honest review in return for a free copy of the ebook. I agreed as you know I will review anything Jane Austen.

This is so me

I promised to have the review posted by the 21st, which I saw as no problem as you know how fast I read.

But the day came closer and closer and I realized I hadn’t posted my review!

Let me say that when I first heard of the story, I thought it sounded interesting but had no idea what to expect.

Hmm…

Was it going to be a view of Darcy at different times in the story? Will they follow the original text or do their own thing? Hmm…

I began reading the book

But then I was sucked in:

Or story in this case.

So the book is a collection of monologues or short stories; told from the point of view of Mr. Darcy.

Some take place in the Regency time period, some take his point of view of the novel, some after the novel, and some asking the question of what would happen if..?

Hmm…

The book is divided into two collections: those that take place in the Regency time period and those that span all time periods. I have decided to review the first collection on the Regency time today, and the second one later on this week.

Death of a Bachelor by Caitlin Williams

This monologue tells of Mr. Darcy’s feelings as his wedding day grows closer and there will be an end to his bachelor ways. As his wedding occurs and they head out to London for their honeymoon, they get stranded at a less than fabulous inn in a blizzard. Will Darcy enjoy being married? Or will it be his biggest regret? And how can he fix his honeymoon to be memorable for all the right reasons?

Things I Pondered: The only thing I can see Janeites/Austenites getting upset over is when Darcy says that he has been with many women before Elizabeth. This is historically accurate, as gentlemen had more social freedom; however some might not care to have Darcy be anything than their version of a romantic hero. 

What I Like: I thought it was very well written and that Williams truly captured the spirits of the characters. I really enjoyed her story, especially as she was not graphic but allowed the reader to use their own imagination. 

From the Ashes by J. Marie Croft

This story takes place right after Darcy has proposed to Elizabeth, only to have her reject him in every way. We have Darcy as he goes through every emotion from anger to sadness at having his love refused.

Things I Pondered: Who is Richard? Is that supposed to be Colonel Fitzwilliam’s middle name or something?

What I Like: I thought that Croft truly captured the emotions of anyone who has been heartbroken and I found her portrayal of Mr. Darcy not only to be likable but 100% relatable, as who hasn’t gone through a painful rejection?

I thought that he might be a little more composed than her portrayal:

But I think the beauty of this piece is that Croft shows that temper Darcy spoke of in the original novel, giving it a strong connection to Austen’s work.

I also loved her character of Anne de Bourgh and if Croft wrote a novel that featured or continued this expanded character of Anne, I would read that in a heartbeat.

For more quotes from J. K. Rowling, go to Don’t Fear the Reaper

If Only a Dream by Joana Starnes

Mr. Darcy has been rejected by Elizabeth and is so upset after giving her the letter that he wants to leave Rosings Park and never see her again. However, things do not go according to plan as his Aunt Catherine de Bourgh’s ploy at faking a heart attack turns to a real malady when she trips on the stairs and breaks her ankle.

Now Darcy must remain there, as it is his nephewly duties; and as the Collins are such great neighbors that they (along with Elizabeth and her sister Maria) come over all the time. Will this constant proximity change things? Or drive a deeper wedge between Darcy and Elizabeth.

Things I Pondered: I didn’t like this story as much as having them fall in love so early cuts out a lot of growth in the characters, along with all the events that changed Elizabeth’s view on him and showed her own pride and prejudices.

What I Like: While I didn’t like losing so much of the story Starnes wrote the answer to this “What if” very well and provided an interesting twist: Lady Catherine’s plot to get her nephew to marry her daughter results in him marrying Elizabeth. Oh Lady Catherine, I think your conspiring days are over:

 I also liked this Anne de Bourgh character as she was interesting and witty. If Starnes decided to expand her version into a novel, I would definitely read it as well. 

Yep!

Clandestiny by KaraLynne Mackrory

This story takes place during the ball at Netherfield. Georgiana had only been attacked four months earlier by Mr. Wickham and Darcy is still upset over it. However, his mind is split between that and Elizabeth as he thinks she has feelings for him. Things take an interesting turn when a trap door brings the two together. Will this help the situation or only cause more issues?

Hmm…

Things I Pondered: By moving up them having that time when Darcy is less reserved and more himself, we miss out on all the meat of the story. It is cute, but too short and missing the whackam-sockum appeal of Jane Austen’s revelations as how all the characters connect.

What I Like: Even though I didn’t like how much was to be cut out of the story with this earlier connection, I still thought this was interesting to see what would have happened if Elizabeth saw the “real” Darcy earlier in the novel. This was a good part to do it in as her real only problem was that he hurt her feelings. After all she doesn’t know Wickham all that well and seeing Darcy behaving in a different way, more natural, and apologizing for his earlier rudeness would help sway her from the fake charm to the real deal. 

The Beast of Pemberley by Melanie Stanford

So in the past I have compared Pride and Prejudice with Beauty and the Beast :

But in this story, Stanford rewrites the story so that it is Beauty and the Beast, with all its magic and characters, but set in Regency England.

In this tale, Darcy has saved Pemberley and the village by standing in when Wickham (a powerful wizard) tried to destroy it. For his efforts he has been cursed with hideous scars, while each of his staff (Cogsworth, Lumiere, etc.) suffer from one scar. All he does is look in his magic mirror hoping that he might see something to lift him out of his depression and pain. He sees Elizabeth Bennet, and when her father plans to marry her off to Mr. Collins to pay his debts, Darcy steps in.

Things don’t go well as she refuses to have Darcy wear a mask, wanting to see his face:

But when wolves almost attack Elizabeth, Darcy manages to save her and after that things start improving.

Especially when he gives her the Pemberley library.

But will they be able to end the curse? Will Elizabeth ever see more in Darcy? Or just a Beast?

What I Like: I thought it was a cute fan service story. And when I say “fan service”, I mean this is something people have been talking about and wanted. It was a very fun and adorable read that I really enjoyed.

For more on Beauty and the Beast, go to Xactly Why I Think Beastly is An Xcellent Story

A Resentful Man by Lory Lilian

Mr. Darcy has proposed to Elizabeth, been rejected, and has left Rosings. He is celebrating Georgiana’s 16th birthday with the Bingleys and other family friends. They are heading back to Pemberley when Darcy decides to return ahead of schedule. When he gets there, who should he run into? Elizabeth and her aunt and uncle, the Gardiners. They spend the time together walking the grounds and talking. Will they be able to reconcile? Or will this just make things more awkward?

What I Like: I thought it was cute and adorable. 

In Terms of Perfect Composure by Susan Adriani

So the story starts off with a brief recap about all that happened. Lydia had run off with Wickham and he’s been paid off so that the reputation of the Bennet family would be saved. Darcy is having dinner with Mr. Gardiner, and the latter man is trying to find out why Darcy would help them out – is there an understanding he hasn’t been told? Darcy tells him about his proposal and how it went:

And how he still cares but has given up. Mr. Gardiner encourages him to try again, as he believes Elizabeth still has feelings for him. Darcy goes to stay at Netherfield and when he and Bingley visit the Bennets, as Bingley and Jane are now engaged, Darcy overhears Lady Catherine’s tirade at Elizabeth.

Will this bring them together or force them farther apart?

Things I Pondered: I don’t get why she has Elizabeth avoid Darcy as in the original novel, at this point in time she wants to see Darcy and be with him.

What I Like: I really enjoyed how she has Darcy build upon his relationship with the Gardiners when he is in town as he greatly enjoyed their company and this showed that to a further extent. I also like how the author made her Darcy expect nothing in return for his deeds in helping the Bennets as is closely followed how Austen’s Darcy was. 

Without Affection by Jan Hahn

neverloveyouchallengeprideandprejudicedarcy

It has been fifty years since Darcy proposed to Elizabeth the second time and she accepted. The two are in their golden years and Darcy reflects back on his life, to a time he almost lost Elizabeth…

Elizabeth gives birth to their son and almost dies in the process. After the birth she has to rest, but while her body is weak her spirit is strong. Darcy is heartbroken and decides that he cannot, will not lose her. He is determined to have her never experience childbirth again and risk her life. But will Elizabeth comply to his plan or have her own ideas?

Things I Pondered: Darcy talks about how he knows little of women’s bodies and never thinks to consult with a doctor to see if she shouldn’t give birth. I thought it was strange as I imagine that a man with all his wealth and power would seek several people’s opinions.

What I Like: It was sweet to see them still so in love and talk about their great years together. Just adorable and a great way to end the first collection.

So what did I think?

Hmmm….

I enjoyed every one.

Yes there may have been changes I wouldn’t have done or things altered that weren’t my favorite, but those were really minute things. I found each of these tales to be extremely enjoyable and I loved looking at all the interpretations these authors gave to a story they and we love.

And no matter what changes, additions, etc  that the authors did, there is one very important thing that they all made sure to do. And that was to get inside the character’s head and actually give a voice to Darcy.

Wow!

Yes, you have heard me complain again and again about different writers never really ever go that far to bring Darcy to life, always stopping short in their interpretations.

But these authors don’t do that. Whatever changes they have made or ways they interpreted the characters; they tried to make sure they gave Darcy a personality and looked deep into him and how he would react to the situations, not through another’s eyes but through the depths of his spirits.

That is a hard feat to do I commend all of them:

I think all did a fantastic job in presenting “their” Darcy and I highly recommend you read this book.

But what do I feel about part two, Darcy and Elizabeth through time?

I guess you will just have to wait and read.

For more Mr. Darcy, go to Whether Presentable or Not, I Love Spending Time With You: Episode Four, Pride and Prejudice (1995)

For more on Pride & Prejudice, go to Prom & Prejudice

For more Pride & Prejudice variations, go to Brought Shame and Scandal to Pemberley: Death Comes to Pemberley, Episode Two (2013)

For more books based on Jane Austen, go to Suspense & Sensibility (Or First Impressions Revisited)

For more Jane Austen quotes, go to For Darkness Shows the Stars

Brought Shame and Scandal to Pemberley: Death Comes to Pemberley, Episode Two (2013)

So it has been a while since I reviewed the first episode for Horrorfest V. I had meant to do it in December, but then wasn’t able to as I was so focused on the 30 Day Challenge: Literature Loves.

I was planning to do it in January, but then I was trying to finish the 30 day challenge as I was behind.

Then February came with Romance is in the Air: Part V and the evacuation; and the next thing you know it is almost April, but here we go.

So I actually enjoyed the first episode, which surprised me as I did not care for the book. In the TV show it looks like they are playing up the supernatural aspect more and trying to make it more mysterious.

I didn’t care for their portrayal of Elizabeth and Colonel Fitzwilliam, but I enjoyed the way Darcy was played.

We last left off with Elizabeth discovering a letter burned by Colonel Fitzwilliam. Will we discover what it held?

Will Wickham be put on trial for the murder of Captain Dennys?

Will the Darcy-Bennet-Bingley family stay strong or be ripped apart?

Now will my views stay the same or change?

So we start off this episode with Darcy having a tender moment with his son ad I like that they included this in the TV show instead of just shutting the children off. I know that most parents in his position and wealth didn’t spend a lot of time with their children, having them occupied with governesses and the like; but I feel like both Darcy and Elizabeth would play a bigger role in their children’s lives. I mean look at the way he treats Georgiana.

Lydia is staying with them for the ordeal and Darcy meets with the doctor who had been looking in on her, and sends him on his way. Elizabeth tries to gather the servants to deal with the situation and calm everyone down. Sadly, Mrs. Bennet is going to cause issues with her dramatics-as always- but luckily the Doctor hadn’t left yet and can deal with her exclamations.

The servants are agog and shocked at when they find out the ball is canceled, but of course they can have no such thing with what Wickham is facing.

So Wickham is being such a

All he does is go on and on about what he wants.

 I mean he is in jail for murder and all he wants is for Darcy to go to his every whim and get him a better room.

But interestingly, Wickham seems to have something on the Colonel as whatever he asks for, Colonel Fitzwilliam supplies.

Hmm…

Colonel Fitzwilliam and Wickham, a secret deal?

One things this TV show does really well, is play around with the setting. They show the grand estate, the opulence, but also how empty it is- creating a beautiful contrast. We have the beauty and decorations, showing how they should be happy for Christmas and the ball but instead faced with such horror-and each filled with loneliness.

Darcy and Elizabeth are having miscommunication issues. Elizabeth keeps trying to talk to him, but Darcy has retreated into himself and is so cold toward her.

You need to communicate with your wife, man.

Seriously

Elizabeth is completely broken hearted about everything that has been going on and thinks back to one of her early days as Mrs. Darcy and how everyone talked about her and her family. Poor Elizabeth. She now wonders if Darcy regrets marrying her, as she has tied him to the very man he cannot stand and wanted to never see again.

Henry Alveston lends them his skills as a solicitor and prepares the family for what will happen and what they should do.

Georgiana also wants to help but Col Fitzwilliam and Mr. Darcy wants to send Georgina far away to distance herself from everything, but Georgiana doesn’t want to go. Poor girl, poor Georgiana. She has gone through so much and has faced such trauma but still remains strong.

Darcy is brooding, Colonel Fitzwilliam is brooding, Henry is brooding, etc. I know I have said I love brooding men, but we have too many.

Sir Selwyn Hardcastle, the one who is investigating as Darcy is related to Wickham, returns to interview everyone about what happened that night.  Nothing seems quite right, and Sir Selwyn is on the case to solve it. He questions Lydia but she isn’t helpful at all.

Ugh!

She is an empty flowerpot-her and her mother.

Elizabeth tries to speak to Darcy about the letter she found, but he won’t even discuss it and refuses to believe that his cousin could have done anything wrong. He is closer to him than any other, of course he would believe the best.

Unfortuantely, Elizabeth did not know that her dad was sitting in the library and he has overheard the whole fight.

So embarressed

He tells her that he called for Jane, and she and Bingley will be arriving soon to aid the family.

The two then go one to laugh at Lydia and her outrageous behavior. I loved this addition as I thought it was a cute image of her and her father’s relationship and shows how much she is his favorite.

Elizabeth questions the maids who saw the “ghost” the other day as she is trying to find out more about the woman. Could it be the same one that hissed at her? Elizabeth tells Sir Selwyn about the woman, hoping it might help bring Selwyn’s view on someone else, but no dice. Sir Selwyn is focused on only one man.

Colonel Fitzwilliam sees Georgiana with Henry and doesn’t like it at all. He wants to marry her and he doesn’t trust Henry at all, even though Henry is trying to help him.

I know, right?

Jane arrives and setss out to comfort all. She tries to support Lydia, but all Lydia does is go on and on about her needs and wants. Ugh, what a jerk. She and Wickham deserve each other. Jerks flock together.

Colonel Fitzwilliam finally tells everyone  where he was when he took off that night. He says that he had a meeting with a lady who needed help with her brother and he was trying to protect her reputation. Is he telling the truth?

Hmm…

I can’t help feeling for Darcy. Poor guy- this is tearing him apart.

When they attend church all  the people can talk about is Wickham’s arrest. Lydia totally loves the drama and plays up her role of the injured wife for all to see and feel sorry for.

Ugh.

Oh come on. I really want to punch her in the face-Sidney from Scream style.

I love the minister of their church. He is hilarious! He knows that the big turnout is because they all want to gossip about the murder and isn’t above getting the little digs and letting people know that he knows what they are up to.

Elizabeth tries to hold Darcy’s hand, and get support but he breaks the hold and instead goes off with their son.

Jane and Mr. Bennet team up to take care of Mrs. Bennet and Lydia to try and shield the Darcys.

Let me just say that I love this version of their father as he is so hilarious and animated.  This Mr. Bennet is much more active and how I believe Jane Austen wrote him.

Henry tries to propose to Georgiana and I have to say I really like him and want them together. In the book he was so bland, boring, and seemed to be a good choice for the villian. He’s much better in the TV show as James Norton was just fantastic.

Elizabeth and Jane decide to visit the butler’s cabin and check on his sick son William. Darcy drives them over but remains in the carriage. As the ladies are walking over to deliver the books for William, Elizabeth spies Louisa with her baby nephew George that she brought back from her sisters. But to Elizabeth’s shock she sees Louisa os nursing the baby!

You know what that means. The baby George is actually her child. But why the pretense? Why won’t the father help her take care of him? Who is the father?

The two cut their visit short as something not right-besides Louisa being the real mother-the air is thick with tension. As they leave, Will creepily stares at them through the window.

He’s creepin’ in your windows. He’s starin’ at your people.

When they get back to the carriage, it turns out that Darcy has now disappeared. Jane goes into the cariage while Elizabeth searches the woods. Where could he be? Maybe the grave of the crazy grandfather?

Hmm…

Yep, he’s there. Of course, he doesn’t tell Elizabeth anything and she has to find out the story from Georgiana. It turns out that their great-grandfather was a gambler and almost lost Pemberely. Darcy is afraid, has been afraid since a boy that he will be the Darcy to lose everything. His proposal makes a lot more sense now doesn’t it?

Elizabeth understands her husband more than ever and why duty is so important to him. And knowing this causes her heart to break even more. She reveals to Jane that she is afraid that Darcy regrets her, regrets everything, that they embarrass him. The cold way he acts, how he is shutting her out-it is killing her.

Stress, shame, scandal- it is all too overpowering.

Darcy goes to visit Wickham in his cell, and this is not fun or pleasant. Darcy thinks back to when he forced Wickham to marry Lydia, that was ot pleasant either. Wickham is so evil! He doesn’t care about anyone or anything other than himself. He didn’t care a twig about Lydia, he already has the price prepared to which he can be bought off. Sock him in the face please, someone.

We need a modern adaption where someone knocks him in the face pleaseProm and Prejudice has a good whack in it but I want more.

I have to say that when I first saw Matthew Goode, I didn’t think he could be Wickham. Prior to this I had only seen him in Chasing Liberty, as undercover British FBI agent that is protecting the President’s daughter. But he completely blew me away in his performance. He is probably the best Wickham I have ever seen as he is just so deplorable! I mean words cannot describe how horrible and hideous this character is.

I mean he is sitting in jail about to be determined whether or not he will be tried for murder and all he can think of is being famous!

Yes, he is trying to use his “experience” to make him money. And then he has the gall to try and get money from Darcy. Slap him please.

Seriously

Darcy agrees to help if Wickham is released. Wickham assures him he will be as he did not kill his friend. But if not him, then who?

Hmm…

Lydia and Mrs. Bennet are just awful to Darcy, so Jane takes them away, hoping that she will be able to isolate the damage they will make. Let me tell you, she and Wickham are a matched set as she created her own memoirs to “cash in” on his arrest.

Ugh.

Back at the Darcy’s Colonel Fitzwilliam asks for Georgiana’s hand. Darcy is a great big brother and wants her to decide, but is very pro-Colonel. Elizabeth is extremely against it, vehemently discouraging about the Colonel’s traits. It is really odd as six years earlier, Elizabeth was thinking about marrying the Colonel herself.

As I said before, I don’t like this version of Colonel Fitzwillam. They make him act like such a jerk and nothing at all like the jovial version in Pride and Prejudice.

Sir Selwyn calls Darcy to look at some carvings he found close to the murder site. Darcy knows nothing about it but Selwyn thinks he is the one who carved the tree, a big FD for Fitwawilliam Darcy.

Louisa comes to Elizabeth and tells her the truth about the baby. She feel in love with a handsome soldier, Freddie Delancy. When she discovered she was pregnant she hid it from her parents and brother, staying with her sister until her son was born. Freddie promised her that he would take care of her, marry her, and take her and their son away from her. However, Elizabeth knows that this probably will not happen. Most likely Mr. Delancy is a fake name and has taken off.

Henry has returned and asks for Georgiana’s hand, but she turns him down. When Elizabeth goes to talk to her, Georgiana admits that she loves Henry, but must do her duty to protect Pemberley and the Darcy name. She choses Colonel Fitzwilliam.

Noooo!

Darcy heads off to the inquest, what will be the outcome?

This TV show is so much more dramatic than that dry dust of a book. I feel like I don’t know what will happen next even though I have read the book! The emotions of the scenery and the actors just sends my pulse running and has completely captured me. Good job all.

Henry goes to Darcy and offers his help again, and all I can say is good thing they know a lawyer. Such a sweet guy even though his love and dreams have been crushed- a real man.

 The inquest such a lively affair, I have never seen anything like that in present times.

Elizabeth decides to head to the inquest to speak to Darcy and take thim lunch, having Louisa accompany her.

The witnesses go on the stand and tell their stories, and it does not look good for Wickham, not at all. When Wickham takes the stand, he claims  he is innocent, but the other quickly twist and destroy his testimony. It doesn’t help that Wickham is a cocky little jerk.

What a jerk

The question comes about why he is banned from Pemberley and Darcy has to take the stand. Darcy goes up there and is a total rock, telling them all that Wickham is an affable man and not violent.

Jury sent out to consider verdict-will he go on trial or be acquitted?

Elizabeth reveals to Elizabeth that she sent off letters trying to discover the regiment that Freddie Delancy is with, but they have no record of him. Freddie does not exist, he is a liar, is missing, and most likely will not come back into Louisa’s life. Louisa is heartbroken and sets out to deliver Darcy’s food when she sees Wickham and recognizes him. He is Freddie!

The episode ends with Wickham to go on trial; shouting by all; Louisa hystrerical; and a fade to black!

THAT WAS FANTASTIC!!!!!!!!!!!!

It made me want to watch the next episode immediately!

So I’m still not happy with a couple of things (the way the actors portray Elizabeth and Colonel Fitzwilliam), but everything else in this TV series is just downright AMAZING! You definitely need to check it out.

For more on Death Comes to Pemberley, go to A Murder Has Been Committed on Your Property: Death Comes to Pemberley, Episode One (2013)

For more on Pride & Prejudice, go to Suspense & Sensibility (Or First Impressions Revisited)

For more Pride & Prejudice variations, go to Too Pretty

For more films based on Jane Austen, go to Whether Presentable or Not, I Love Spending Time With You: Episode Four, Pride and Prejudice (1995)

For more Jane Austen quotes, go to For Darkness Shows the Stars

Suspense & Sensibility (Or First Impressions Revisited)

Suspense and Sensibility (Or First Impressions Revisited) by Carrie Bebris

So a while back I reviewed a Jane Austen mystery, Pride and Prescience (Or a Truth Universally Acknowledged).  I enjoyed  the first book, although I did solve the mystery quickly, but it was very well written and worth reading.

So while the first book focused only on Pride & Prejudice characters (and ones she made up) this one combines P&P with Sense and Sensibility.

A mashup

Sense and Sensibility actually takes place in the 1790s, twenty years before Pride and Prejudice. All the characters have been aged accordingly so they match up with the Pride and Prejudice ones. It can be a bit confusing when the characters are no longer how they were in their book.  To make it less confusing, I will give a brief reminder of the plot of Sense & Sensibility.

So the Dashwood family:

The estate of Norland belongs to Old Mr. Dashwood. When he was sick he was visited by his family and found young Henry Dashwood, John’s son, to be just so adorable that he entailed it to the men in his family. After he died Mr. Henry Dashwood, the elder, ended up dying and the estate passed over his second wife and daughters going to his son John, (which would ultimately go to his son, young Henry.)

John promised his father to help his sisters, but with an ambitious wife; that quickly ended.

John’s wife is horrible, just evil. Fanny, the demon wife, convinces John to give no money to the sisters as they really “are not his siblings”. She then rearranges the whole household and makes life unbearable for all.

John also has an incredibly bratty son, Henry:

When Fanny’s brother visits, she sees that he and Elinor like each other, but as Elinor is too poor for her soon to be wealthy brother Edward, she ends that immediately. The second Dashwood family all move from their home to renting out Barton’s Cottage, owned by Sir John Middleton, Mrs. Dashwood’s cousin.

They spend a lot of time with Sir John, as he constantly invites them over so that they can eat well, as money is extremely tight. Eventually after all kinds of twists and turns, the two eldest girls marry the men of their dreams and the story ends happily. If you haven’t read it you should.

**Spoilers**

So Mr. Darcy, Elizabeth, Georgiana, and Kitty are all heading to London for a “London Season” as they are husband hunting for Kitty. They are invited to Sir John’s where they meet him and his wife (sadly I think Mrs. Jennings the mother-in-law has passed on) and their now adult children. Also there is the young Mr. Henry Dashwood, who is now no longer a boy, but a young man in his twenties. He meets Kitty and immediately finds her to be a fantastic partner, good conversationalist, and all around enjoys her company.

Only one problem, he thought she was Georgiana Darcy.

The next day it seems as if all the men were only interested in Georgiana, not Kitty, as she is going to bring an extremely large dowry.

Except for Mr. Henry Dashwood. After he discovered his blunder, he still spent the night with Kitty and fell for her. That works perfectly with Kitty as she has fallen head over heels for him.

While everyone finds him agreeable, and Elizabeth definitely thinks that he will be a good match for Kitty; Mr. Darcy thinks of him as a fop and a dandy wanting Kitty with someone who has more brains.

He goes to talk to Henry, and discovers that his lack of business isn’t from him not caring, but from not being instructed on how to run an estate. It turns out that his parents sent him away to school immediately and he has spent hardly any time with family or at Norland. However, he is eager to learn and Darcy soon takes him under his wing.

Henry has won over the whole family, but soon Fanny arrives to meet Kitty.

Here I am!

Fanny does not like Kitty as she is too poor and would rather spear Georgiana with her impressive dowry. But Henry will not be deterred, as he invites them to his 21st birthday and proposes to Kitty.

Everything seems to be going well, until Henry finds an old strange mirror and a painting of his notorious great-great uncle Sir Francis Dashwood. Soon after Henry starts acting completely different-gambling nonstop, drinking, carousing with all women (married and single of every class). What could have happened to him to make him so much worse than his nefarious relation? Could he be possessed?

So what did I think? Did I like it?

No

I thought this book ran into a few problems and wasn’t as good as the first one.

1) Henry Dashwod was too likable.

So when you read Sense and Sensibility, you don’t like Henry. He is a total brat and completely annoying.

But in this book they made him tooo likable. This caused problems as that reading about his possession made it sad because you knew it wasn’t him, and this poor guy has lost everything.

Secondly, because he is so likable, you know that he isn’t the one doing all these horrible things and that something has caused him to have a personality shift. It wasn’t a real mystery, like in the first novel, as you weren’t sure if Caroline was hypnotized or going insane.

2) No Mystery

In the first book, Caroline starts acting weird after she was married. This makes us wonder is someone making her act this way like in Gaslight or is she actually going crazy?

Crazy eyes

Secondly, there are a multitude of suspects:

  1. Mr. Kendall– He could be trying to kill the Bingleys because of the money he feels that he has been cheated out of. He also could be trying to get rid of Caroline because of his daughter being thrown over. Remember, his daughter was with Caroline when her horse bolted.
  2. Mr. Hurst– If his debts are as extremely high as Elizabeth suspects, he might be trying to kill his relations off for money.
  3. Professor Randolph– Professor Randolph has been drifting from place to place as most don’t feel his studies are legitimate. Now that Caroline is crazy, he has room and board as the prime caretaker for Caroline. Maybe he is making her seem crazy, and could even be trying to make it look as if she set the fire, to only further cement Mr. Parrish’s need of him.
  4.  Mr. Parrish- He only married Caroline for her money and is trying to remove her from the picture. He is supposed to be extremely wealthy, but for some people what they have is never enough. Besides, he could be lying about how wealthy he is, or have hidden debt that they don’t know about.

In this however, we immediately know that Henry is being possessed as the writer gives it away in the beginning introduction and the back of the novel. Instead we are just waiting for events to unfold.

Yeah, I don’t like those kind of mysteries. That’s how Death Comes to Pemberley was (the book, not the TV miniseries. The miniseries is better.)

3) Hardly Any Elinor, Marianne, Colonel Brandon, or Edward In It

I’m sorry but I don’t know why they were missing so much in this novel. We LOVE this characters so if we are reading something to so with Sense and Sensibility we want to have then in the book. It was a crime to not have very much of them.

4) Supernatural Seems Like an Afterthought

This is a supernatural mystery (not Supernatural) but it takes a long time for the characters to reach that point and even evoke in anything. Professor Randolph is there for a second, and then the weirdest thing-the ever staunchly “realistic” Darcy decides to do battle with the demon mirror? I don’t know, it just seemed hastily thrown in, instead of carefully worked like in the previous book.

So we will see what the next book holds. Will it get better? Or worse?

There is one question though that this book presented that I think is worth mulling over. Who should Georgiana marry?

So I started thinking, out of all the non-attached Austen men, who would be the best match for Georgiana (yes I know the author might just make a new character like P.D. James did, but forget that lets focus on what Austen made.)? I narrowed it down to three characters who I think might work.

3) Colonel Fitzwilliam from Pride & Prejudice

Pros: Known Georgiana a long time, is kind, caring, funny, amiable, etc.

Cons: Is like a brother to Georgiana, she might not be able to see past that. She might also think he is too old (which he isn’t).

For more on Colonel Fitzwilliam, go to A Murder Has Been Committed on Your Property: Death Comes to Pemberley, Episode One (2013)

2) James Morland from Northanger Abbey

Pros: James is a kind, compassionate, caring, and hardworking guy. He has studied constantly and will soon be taking his orders to become a minister. He is a kind older brother and has many traits, in that respect, shared with her brother. Educated, well read, etc.

Cons: Not from a wealthy family, but still does alright; naive, and like Bingley, more easily persuaded.

1) Lieutenant William Price from Mansfield Park

This is actually my top pick, I think they would be good for each other. I just see them as being a great couple, him so sweet and gentle with fragile temperaments. Georgiana needing someone who can be kind and caring.

Pros: Kind, caring, compassionate, honest, and hardworking.

Cons: While his mother came from a high class family, she married down (although that wouldn’t really matter to Georgiana.) He is in the navy a peon, but he does get a great commission through Fanny’s connection to Henry Crawford.

For more on Lt. William Price, go to Let’s Hear it For the Boys

For more by Carrie Bebris, go to Pride & Prescience (Or a Truth Universally Acknowledged)

For more on Pride & Prejudice, go to Too Pretty

For more on Sense and Sensibility, go to What Would Jane Do?: Quips and Wisdom from Jane Austen

For more Pride & Prejudice variations, go to Whether Presentable or Not, I Love Spending Time With You: Episode Four, Pride and Prejudice (1995)

For more Sense and Sensibility variations, go to Baby Jane Austen

For more Jane Austen mysteries, go to Midnight in Austenland

For more books based on Jane Austen, go to Pride & Prejudice & Zombies

A Murder Has Been Committed on Your Property: Death Comes to Pemberley, Episode One (2013)

DeathcomestoPemberley

So I am so excited about Death Comes to Pemberley.

ElvisPresleyDanceDancing

It’s not because I liked the book and wanted to see how it converted to screen, but because this means I will finally have something Jane Austen to review for Horrorfest!

Double double yay

The only thing I’ve been able to do that was Jane Austen in the month of October was a post where I dressed the Austen men up in costumes, but nothing like this! I can finally review something real! Oh, yay!

This is great

This is great

So the book, I didn’t really care for, and you can check out my post on that if you wish, but for now: let’s look at the TV show.

So this is the first time I have reviewed a miniseries for my blog and I thought about it and figured the best thing would be to review it episode by episode, rather than all at once like the Emma (1996) film review.

So I will just review episode one, and will continue to review the episodes every month or every two months. I haven’t decided yet.

Well that’s enough chit chat, am I right?

DeanSupernaturalLetsGetStarted

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So we begin with very serene landscape. Is this supposed to be contrast for what is to come or just the cinematographer showing off?

suspicious Hmm

Two maids are out in the forest, although they are not supposed to be. One is scared while the other, Joan is braver. What looms in the forest?

Stay out of the forest!

Stay out of the forest!

Both take off screaming. What have they seen?

what what'shappeningSupernatural

Were they afraid of the remains of his crazy grandfather?

So we move back to Pemberley

PemberleyPride&Prejudice

There all are getting ready for the Queen Anne’s ball. Elizabeth is doing well with her preparations but is interrupted when the girls return and shout about seeing Mrs. Reilly’s ghost. Who is Mrs. Reilly? I thought it was Mr. Darcy’s ghost that haunted the woods.

GHostFantasia

I’m not sure I like this actress as Elizabeth Bennet-Darcy, she just doesn’t seem right, but of course there is still time to change my mind. I’ll reserve judgement until the end of the episode.

Something about you just doesn't seem right.

Something about you just doesn’t seem right.

Darcy seems so crazy, with his introduction of him yelling at everyone, I don’t like that. He’s not one to loose his temper easily, especially as this is something he does every year.

I don't like it 11

He and Elizabeth seem to be having issues, the way they interact, but then he writes her a love note. I don’t know, that scene seemed off for some reason.

uh-no-gifuhno

Darcy needs to get out of the house so he takes his son hunting with him. In the book I thought they had two sons. Oh well, neither one played a large role in the novel so I guess it doesn’t really matter of they only have one.

dean whinchester shrug smile oh well

When Mr. Darcy is about to get his horse ready, he and the butler have a few words. The butler’s son Will Bidwell, is incredibly ill. His father is heartbroken that he can’t do anything and that his son won’t take up his legacy.

The_Wolf_Man_4Crying sad

Back inside, Elizabeth’s duties are done so she and Georgiana are having a private chat. Georgina has a secret smile which means only one thing.

Cinderella

So this is love…hmm…So this is love…so this is what makes life divine…

She’s in love. But with who?

Hmm...

Hmm…

Colonel Fitzwilliam arrives early as he has something on his mind. He wants to marry Georgina as he cares for her, has just inherited the family fortune (as his brother, the eldest died), and will be returning to war soon. Elizabeth isn’t sure how Georgiana feels about him, but has no objections as long as she cares for him.

Col. Fitzwilliam says he will have to ask Darcy first, and Elizabeth gets all mad saying it is Georgiana’s decision.

Whattheheck

Uh, seriously Elizabeth? You know how the world works. One has to ask the father, of if absent the guardian, and present his interest to them. It’s not like you just ran off to elope unless you wanted to disgrace your family like Lydia Bennet or Julia Bertram from Mansfield Park.

No thank youhowaboutno

So one thing I notice about this show is that it does  A LOT of shots of the beautiful scenary and landscapes. Now this isn’t something I would normally mind, but this is a mystery. You know it needs suspense, a different type of mood.

sensationhorrorshock_VincentPrice

Instead it is very light and pretty.

I don't like it 11

We then see Elizabeth visiting the Bidwells to deliver books to the sickly Will. Will’s sister has just returned from visiting their oldest sister and brought back her baby to visit, George.

They try to lift Will’s spirits, but his death is approaching and there is little that can be done, other than to try and make his last days happy.

And taxes

So all these pretty landscape shots are actually starting to get on my nerves. This is a MYSTERY!!  DEAT IS IN THE NAME.

It should be a certain way!

It should be a certain way!

Elizabeth suddenly comes across a well-dressed women in purple just standing in the forest. That was a bit creepy. She chases after her, but all that remains is her hat.

weirdtwilightzone

Then the music starts taking a creepier twinge and we hear rustling.

Now you are getting it!

Now you are getting it!

And the woman suddenly appears behind!

dethcomestopemberleyelizabethitsbehindsit'sbehind

And hisses?

hisssesangryupset

I don’t remember that in the book.  I’m pretty sure I would have remembered a hissing woman.

paris-whenitsizzlesaudreyhmmHepburn

Anyways, it does not bode well for the ball, no it does not at all.

OhNOthisisgonnabebad

Mr. Henry Alveston arrives, a lawyer, and Georgina is ecstatic to see him.

Mmhm great gatsby

So this is what she was smiling about.

Then Mr. and Mrs. Bennet arrive.

Pride&PrejudiceMrBennetandElizabethBennet

Back at the local Inn, Denny and Wickham have been talking. Denny and him are fighting over something Wickham wants him to do, a note he would like delivered. Lydia joins them and they stop their arguments, continuing to the carriage.

Mr. Bennet sneaks off to the library for relief from the crowds.

LibraryOK

 They are all in the parlor where Georgiana is looking at the a book which has pictures of Col. Fitzwilliam’s castle. What started as a friendly discussion turns into a measuring contest between Fitzwilliam and  Alveston, as to who is the better man.

Men

Men

Colonel leaves suddenly for an evening ride. Strange….

Why is he leaving?

Why is he leaving?

Night comes and Denny yells for the carriage to stop, getting out. Wickham chases after him, leaving Lydia all alone in the carriage.

I don't like it 11

Mrs. Bennet finds a portrait of Wickham, and Elizabeth tries to get rid of it as it upsets both Darcys, but Mrs. Bennet can’t take the hint.

as always

as always

Luckily music always can change the subject.

MusicMakesaDifference

To stop Mrs. Bennet from going on, Darcy goes to ask Lizzy for a dance. While the two are dancing, Elizabeth lets Darcy know what is going on with Georgiana and how there are two men interested in her. Before they can finish their conversation they are interrupted as a carriage comes barreling through.

what what'shappeningSupernatural

It turns out to be Lydia who is in hysterics. She is so out of it that she has to be slapped to speak. When she finally can talk she tells them Wickham was shot.

OMG gasp

She heard the shot and came rushing back. She relates all that happened between Wickham and Denny being angry, them going off into the woods, etc. Just as they are preparing to go out. Col. Fitzwilliam rides up to the house.

Just at the exact time?

Just at the exact time?

 Lydia stops her freaking out to ask for her trunk as she doesn’t want her dress ruined.

Classic Lydia

Classic Lydia

Darcy just ignores it; calls for the doctor, and gets an expedition ready to head out. As they start, Darcy notices that Col. Fitzwilliam has a gun with him. Just in case he says.

suspicious Hmm

Now we go finally have some spooky shoots.

deathcomestopemberleyforestcreepytrees

FINALLY

 So the men split up as they start searching for Wickham.

Back at Pemberley, the doctor gives both Mrs. Bennet and Lydia a sedative as they are in hysterics. Elizabeth is hoping for the best, and that she can give them a hot meal and send them on their way, not planning for the Wickhams or Denny to stay long. Oh how our plans never quite go as imagined, eh.

The-best-laid-schemes-of-mice-and-men-often-go-awry-erobertFrost

They find Wickham with Dennys, him shouting that it is all his fault. His only friend in the world and he killed him. Fitzwilliam finds a pistol, and it has been recently fired.

Looks like Wickham is the killer.

Looks like Wickham is the killer.

It rains as they move everything back to the carriage to bring to Pemberley.

When they return to Pemberley, Wickham starts yelling that there is a killer out there somewhere, they need to go back and look in the woods.

Do the woods hold a killer or a ghost?

Do the woods hold a killer or a ghost?

Georgina has to face Wickham after years of hoping never to see his face and does quite well. But of course she is in love with Alveston, so it doesn’t affect her as much.

Over You

While Wickham is okay, Darcy has to call in Sir Selwyn Hardcastle the nearest magistrate, and must go get him immediately so as not to look like he is covering anything up. Darcy himself rides out to Hardcastle to inform him of the death.

Harcastle comes in and he doesn’t mess around. He looks at Wickham and is angry the housekeeper for cleaning his face, and tampering with evidence. They then go look at Dennys.

Dennys was bludgeoned to death, first smacked in the front of his head and then pounded in back. The news of this comes as quite a surprise.

What?

What?

But if he was bludgeoned in the head, why did everyone hear gunshots? What were they for?

Something just doesn't seem right.

Something just doesn’t seem right.

Elizabeth is wandering about Pemberley as she just can’t sleep. She then comes upon Col. Fitzwillliam burning a letter, Suspicious.

paris-whenitsizzlesaudreyhmmHepburn

Hardcastle stays on to interview Wickham as soon as he wakes. Elizabeth is told of the murder and she an Darcy just hold onto each other as they try to ponder this evil that has come to their home.

The next day Darcy tells Elizabeth the story of the “ghost” in the woods. A young boy Reilly was found poaching and instead of just getting a slap on the wrist they hanged him. His mother was extremely upset and and hanged herself in Pemberley woods. And now superstition is that her ghost appears whenever misfortune is about to strike.

GHostFantasia

Elizabeth thinks maybe the woman that hissed at her is the “ghost” the maids saw in the beginning. But that woman was a real women, and who is she?

dethcomestopemberleyelizabethitsbehindsit'sbehind

They are called back to the house were Lydia is raving and ranting. Darcy’s son is upset and his father goes to comfort him, which gives us another touching scene of Darcy as a family man.

You're so cute

Hardcastle goes to talk to Wickham. Wickham says that he found Dennys dead and saw someone fleeing through the forest. He fired the gun at the guy, and then fired in the air again for help. When they ask about why Dennys was so upset, he left the carriage, Wickham tells him it is because he didn’t approve of Wickham crashing the party.

Classic Lydia

That just screams of a lie. Why would that make Dennys so infuriated that he couldn’t stand being around Wickham for another second. No, there is another reason…

But Wickham continues to proclaim his innocence.

“George Wickham: There is a murderer out there somewhere and you…you are wasting your time.”

Colonel Fitzwilliam, Darcy, and Alveston are sitting waiting to see what will happen next when Alveston gives them some lawyerly advice. The best thing right now would be to think of sharing Wickham’s character. Do you think he could have killed him?

IndianaJonesHmmMaybe

Darcy doesn’t think so as he knows Wickham would do a lot of shifty and immoral things, but murdering his friend is not one of them. Alveston brings up that maybe he was changed by the war, but Col. Fitzwilliam quickly nixes that idea.

But the next question Alveston brings up is very interesting. When Denny got out of the carriage why did he go into the woods? Why didn’t he follow the road back?

Why not ask?

Why, indeed?

So Hardcastle has searched the carriage and found £30 in Wickham’s hat. Hardscastle sees him as the most likely man; money, a confession heard by three men to the death being his fault, only one in the woods, etc.  He going to stop looking and have Wickham arrested.

Not good

Not good

Elizabeth decides to scrounge in the fireplace searching for remnants of the note Fitzwilliam burned.

letterdeathcomestopemberleynote

She finds a piece that says “thank you for your support” and “meet me”. What does it mean?

paris-whenitsizzlesaudreyhmmHepburn

They take Wickham away, with Lydia in hysterics and Wickham cooly taking it.

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So while this is a review of an episode for Horrorfest V, this is also a review for a Jane Austen item, so we are going to go a little more in depth.

Set Design

deathcomestopemberleyforestcreepytrees

So the set design was really nice. They used the same Pemberley that they had in the 2005 film version. I liked the sets, the lighting, etc. The only thing that bothered me was how much time they spent on showing the beautiful and tranquil landscapes. It felt like they were padding the episode and just didn’t seem to work with a mystery. I mean Midsomer Murders shows the beautiful landscapes, but always lets you know their is something dark simmering, as murder shortly occurs. I think they should have done more of that, rather than having the beginning just a pretty Jane Austen film. I guess they were trying to pull a David Lynch and try and show beauty, then the evil; but it just didn’t feel as good as his work either.

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Costumes

colonelFitzwilliamdeath-comes-to-pemberley-pride-prejudice-refresher-3-fitzwilliam

So I thought the costumes looked great. We’ve mostly been in everyday wear as all are preparing for the ball, traveling, or going out hunting. I especially like how Georgiana always looks pure, sweet, and ethereal in her pastel and light gowns. Lydia on the other hand, just looked perfect in her deep maroon traveling gown. The men also look dashing and I have to say good choices were made for all, so far, in this production.

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So let’s talk about characters, and I’m only going over the ones I felt we spent a lot of time with. How did everyone do?

Colonel Fitzwilliam

colonelFitzwilliamdeath-comes-to-pemberley-pride-prejudice-refresher-3-fitzwilliam

Colonel Fitzwilliam is played by Tom Ward (who funnily had a bit part in P&P (1995) miniseries) and I hate his portrayal. Granted it probably isn’t him as I’m sure he is only doing what the script and director say. But he is just so cold, cruel, rude, and unlikable. It is totally weird from how he was in the book, which this is supposed to be a “sequel” or continuation of. In the book, Col. Fitzwilliam was the opposite of Darcy; fun, full of laughter, able to converse with anyone, liked to dance, etc. As a second son, he never grew up with the same responsibilities as Darcy did, so his character is lighter rather than burdened down with all he must take care of. Also as the second son, he has never had to deal with the throngs of daughters and mothers trying to ensnare him, and allowed him to be more open. Yes, I know this takes place years later and he has been through war; but his whole demeanor and the way he talked to everyone, even Georgiana, was so foreign from the original character. And I know they are trying to set him up as “the possible suspect”, but it would have been better if he wasn’t so harsh and rough all the times. I didn’t like him at all.

Elizabeth Bennet

dethcomestopemberleyelizabethitsbehindsit'sbehind

Elizabeth is played by Anna Maxwell Martin, but I didn’t like her performance. She always looks tired and out of it. I don’t know if she was trying to play overworked or stressed, but she just comes off really bland and boring. I didn’t like her at all.  Plus she keeps getting mad at the idea of Georgiana and Col. Fitzwilliam getting married. Why? Its not like he is a bad guy, I mean you even thought about the idea of him, until he said it wasn’t possible for a second son to marry whomever.

The sad thing is that Elizabeth is such a cornerstone character that she has to be spot on, or else everything is going to fall flat.

Mr. Darcy

What?

What?

At first I didn’t really like this Darcy. He wasn’t physically what I was imagining, but hey its hard when this was what came before.

Laurence Olivier Mr. Darcy mr darcy

You expect every Darcy to be as good looking. I also didn’t like his outburst in the beginning, and thought this guy isn’t Darcy. But as time went on, I began to enjoy Matthew Rhys’ portrayl of the character and thought that he captured who the Austen charater is better than any of the other actors in this production. He was kind, jovial, stern, serious, commanding; the perfect combination of married, fatherly, but still in charge of others Darcy. Good job Rhys.

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So what did I think? I liked it a lot better than the book. The book was a bit dull in places and at times felt it would bring something up and then never come back to it. With its transference to film, things can be shown instead of just talked about; they tie the ghost into the mystery deeper with the maids in the beginning, and I think they are trying to make the ending more mysterious and less a straight telling account of what occurred. Yes I didn’t like how some of the characters were, but BBC you have intrigued me and actually made me want to see what happens next.

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To start Horrorfest V from the beginning, go to Who You Gonna Call?: Ghostbusters (1984)

For the previous post, go to I’ll Be Watching You: Cat’s Eye (1987)

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To read the review of the book this is based on, go to Death Comes to Pemberley

For more on Pride & Prejudice, go to Meet Cute: Darcy & Elizabeth Style

For more Pride & Prejudice adaptations, go to Baby Jane Austen

For more Jane Austen films, go to Emma (1996) AKA the Kate Beckinsale Version

For more Jane Austen adaptations, go to Captain Wentworth’s Diary

For more TV series based on books, go to A Haunting We Will Go: The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Mysteries (1977)

Death Comes to Pemberley

DeathComestoPemberley

Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James

*Contains Spoilers*

While I am a huge mystery fan, I had never really read anything by P.D. James. I had heard of this book when it came out,  but I wasn’t sure if it would be a good read.

I felt whatever about it.

I felt whatever about it.

However, as I have heard people raving about it and the TV series; and I found it at the library book sale for 25¢, I decided to buy it and read it.

bjksale

I didn’t really care for the book

Something is not right!

Why you may ask, well let’s just read and you will see.

startrekletsgetstarted

So the book begins with a quick summary of Pride and Prejudice, most likely for those who have not read the books. Although I’m not quite sure why they would be reading this if they haven’t read Pride & Prejudice to begin with.

suspicious Hmm

Since the end of the novel Mary has married a vicar and is now Mrs. Theodore Hopkins; while Kitty remains unmarried.

Years have passed since Austen’s novel ended and now Elizabeth is the mother of two adorable boys and has found her place as lady of the manor.

I-got-this-reaction-gif

It is the day before the Lady Anne’s ball and Elizabeth has been busy preparing the plans and making sure that everything is being done right.

MeanGirls I know right!

Meanwhile Colonel Fitzwilliam has gone through many changes since  P&P. His older brother died, leaving him the heir and gaining the title of Viscount Hartlep. He is looking to marry and looking at Georgiana as his future bride. Only one problem, she wants to marry lawyer Henry Alveston.

Love triangle Boy Meets World

I actually never liked Henry. I thought he would have made a great villain as he seemed off to me…

Suspicious

Suspicious

But I guess James didn’t want to do that.

Fine, do it your way

Fine, do it your way

The Bingleys have left Netherfield as they don’t care to be that close to Mrs. Bennet. Instead they moved to Highmarten which is much closer to the Darcys. They have just arrived for the ball as well.

janecharles

Everything seems to be going as planned, but a storm is brewing outside. This brings unease that cannot be explained to the guests and hosts.

I'm scared!

I’m scared!

We then pause from the house to the view of the butler, Bidwell Thomas. He gives us reader a background of the woods surrounding the house and cottage where he resides. The cottage Bidwell resides in was built by Mr. Darcy’s grandfather who lived there with his dog. When his dog became too old and sick, he shot him and himself.

escalatedquickly

That was a weird, dark twisted branch in the Darcy tree.

weird

Why would James include something like that? What is it’s purpose? We see Darcy has some mental illness in his background, I guess.

I don't think this really added to the story.

I don’t think this really added to the story.

Darcy’s father restored the cottage and gave it to the butler’s family. Besides the death of that Darcy, the wood is claimed to be haunted when a poacher was hanged, even though Mr. Darcy tried to give him leniency, and the mother of the accused cursed the entire Darcy line and then hanged herself. Now there is a superstition of a ghost living in the woods.

Scooby Doo and the ghoul school phantom ghost

What I don’t understand is why go through all that trouble of giving this big complicated and supernatural history but then have no follow through. I thought maybe there would be something about a ghost or someone using it in the murder; but there was nothing. So why waste our times James? Why?

IT MAKES NO SENSE

IT MAKES NO SENSE

So the butler lives there with his wife, sick son Will, and daughter Louisa. Louisa recently traveled to help her older sister Sarah with their newewst baby, and brought him back so that Will could see it. The newest baby’s name is Georgie. Hmm…what character in this story shares that same name? *Hint, hint* *Wink, wink*

savedbythebellwinkhelloooh

While everyone is relaxing after dinner, Colonel Fitzwilliam takes off for his evening ride. Half an hour later the party is breaking up with everyone going to bed when Darcy sees a coach coming up crazily. He goes outside to find out what is happening, when Lydia comes running out. She scream that Wickham is dead and that Denny killed him.

OMG gasp

Now in the previews for Death Comes to Pemberley miniseries, they implied that Darcy was thought to possibly have murdered Wickham. But then when you read the book, Darcy is never implicated as he wasn’t in any situation and Wickham isn’t even dead. False advertising!

rebeccaitwasallalie

Lydia is taken with the women while Darcy interrogates the coachman. Coachman Pratt tells him that he was to drop Lydia at the house, the men off at King’s Arms in Lambton, and then return the coach. When halfway through the woodland Captain Denny stopped the coach, jumped out and shouted that he was done with Wickham. Mr. Wickham ran after him to come back, Lydia yelling at both of them to return. Then the coachman and Lydia heard shots. Lydia started screaming murder and ordered the coach to go straight to Pemberley.

paris-whenitsizzlesaudreyhmmHepburn

They start making arrangements and arming the search party. As they head out they meet a returning Colonel Fitzwilliam.

Suspicious

Suspicious

As they head up, Colonel takes control of the situation and splits the group up.

splitupScoobyDoo

Darcy looks around and starts talking about him and nature being one. Really? I can’t see Darcy waxing so romantically and poetically in a situation like this.

Really?

Really?

We also get the tidbit that his grandfather (who sounds crazy to me and makes me think those Darcy’s shouldn’t have been so proud) asked to be buried with his dog in the woods; but the family refused. His spirit supposedly is roaming the woods.

So once again we get a hint at the supernatural or something, with no follow through. Why even bother to set something like that up?

Stop it now if it isn't going to be anything more.

Stop it now if it isn’t going to be anything more.

They reach the cottage and the colonel is the only one to enter it. Odd. Why wouldn’t he allow others to go inside, what is he trying to hide or keep from the others?

Suspicious

Suspicious

As they continue in the woods they discover the body of Denny. He is lying on his back, face caked in blood. Wickham is kneeling over him; bloody and screaming that Denny is dead and it was his fault, he killed him.

I guess that's all

I guess that’s all

They carry the two back to Pemberly.

Darcy travels to Sir Selwyn Hardcastle who reviews cases such as this and makes the final judgement. He and Darcy don’t see eye to eye, but everything must be done by the book. As Wickham is his brother-in-law, Darcy can’t oversee the investigation.

The next day finds Lydia furious, not at her husband, but at Elizabeth, If only the Darcys had received them then they would have arrived the next day, not with Lydia trying to coax her way in.

Favorite Lydia Bennet

Georgina and Elizabeth have a heart to heart as Elizabeth is worried about Georgina with the close proximity to Wickham. Georgina reveals that she is fine, and that she has told Henry about her past.

See here is where I thought that the book would have been more interesting if it turned out Henry was the murderer as he lied about his past to try and get to Georgina’s inheritance. With him attacking Wickham as he knows too much and accidentally killing Denny.  Or Colonel Fitzwilliam being the murderer. But no, James decided to not go down that path.

Fine, do it your way

Fine, do it your way

There is an inquest and Wickham is to go on trial, although there is quite a few holes in the case.

Hmm...

Hmm…

Meanwhile the Darcy’s visit sick Will and bring the family things to help them. They try and convince them  to move to the manor where they can recieve better care; but the family refuses.

The Darcys and Bingleys have been aiding the Wickhams; providing Wickham with items he requests to help his time in jail and the Bingleys opening their home to Lydia. Darcy is very unhappy about he situation and also with the fact that he will have to support the two until Wickham can find a job, having been fired by Sir Walter Elliot (characters from Jane Austen’s Persuasion).

StoryOfMyLifeSomeLikeItHotMarilynMonroe

The day of the inquest arrives. All the Darcys and Bingleys have been cleared as they all alibi each other. A stone was found that is believed to be the murder weapon, but no incriminating marks were found on it so there is no definite proof. After all statements are given, the coachman’s being the weightiest, they decide to hold Wickham and put him on trial.

notgoodveronicamarsbadday

Christmas is approaching, and Darcy declares that the trial is not to be talked of, instead having everyone focus on the upcoming holiday.

regency christmas 4

They give food to the poorer parishioners, have a few dinner parties; and Wickham is transferred to London. Meanwhile the Butler’s Georgie gets sent home to his mother and Louisa and Will are happier; but the trial looms closer and closer.

Now as they keep mentioning the Butler’s family, you just know they are connected somehow to this murder. Otherwise why would James focus on them when the house is full of potential suspects? And of course Wickham well set up as the killer.

Should've done better James

Should’ve done better James

The day of the trial arrives. At the trial Darcy spots a familiar face, Mrs. Younge, Wickham’s partner in crime and Georgian’s old companion. The same Mrs. Younge that aided in the elopement.

ThewomenBadnameBitch

Everyone shares their testimony, including Mr. Darcy and Colonel Fitzwilliam. Things look pretty grim.

But then it is time for Wickham to give his testimony and be questioned. As we know, Wickham is charming and manipulative. He says that he said he killed him, as he feels it is his fault Denny is dead, as his life was his responsibility since he was traveling with Wickham. He says that he drank too much and was chasing the real murderer when he passed put. He points out that the weapon is missing, and there is no motive for Wickham to kill him; therefore he could not have done it.

So there! tongue sticking out pug

The jury leave to discuss.

When the trial reconvenes they declare Wickham as guilty. Wickham scream that he didn’t do it, but it’s too late for him. Mrs. Younge runs out of the courtroom after the verdict, with Darcy following to speak to her, but she gets run over by a coach and dies. Did she kill herself? Or was it an accident?

escalatedquickly

But then to everyone’s shock a confession is asked to be added to evidence. It was brought by the country doctor and is the confession of the sickly Will, the Darcys’ butler’s son.

I knew it!

I knew it!

Will killed Denny. You see Louisa had been with her sister taking care of her children, when she was assaulted by Wickham. She became pregnant and Georgie was hers, named after Wickham. When it was revealed that Wickham could not marry Louisa, as he was already married, she came home with the baby; pretending it was her nephew. When Will saw the officer in the woods, he thought he was Wickham and killed him to protect his family. Unfortunately he killed the wrong person and could not allow him to go to prison for something he did not do.

sorry

Wickham is discharged as witnesses prove that Will did write the confession and that he meant it.

george-wickham-pride-and-prejudice-bbc

The reason why Colonel Fitzwilliam left to go on his ride was that he was approached by Mrs. Younge to try and help her adopt the boy as she loved Wickham and wanted a piece of him near.

Well that was a red herring.

Well that was a red herring.

Mr. Wickham gets approached by a minister he met while in prison who offers him  job on a horse farm in the United States. He and Lydia travel there. Louisa marries her old beau and everything turns out well.

I guess that's all

I guess that’s all

Well I thought it was kind of boring.

Bones David Bored I;m bored boring

It was nowhere as great as the critics claimed it to be, and I’m sorry for those who love P.D. James and thinks she is fantastic but I just found it to be an all-around dud.

There was no mystery, no challenge, no nothing! I hated it! And why did she keep bringing up the supernatural when it had nothing to do with it in the end!

It was awful!

It was awful!

If you really like the idea of a Darcy and Elizabeth mystery, you should check out Pride & Prescience (Or a Truth Universally Acknowledged).

Pride&Prescience

Now will the miniseries be as horrible? We shall see.

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For more Jane Austen mysteries, you should check out Pride & Prescience (Or a Truth Universally Acknowledged)

For more books based on Jane Austen’s work, go to The Confession of Fitzwilliam Darcy

For more Pride & Prejudice, go to Clear Eyes. Full Hearts. Can’t Lose: Superbowl 50

For more Pride & Prejudice variations, go to Happy Birthday Pride & Prejudice

Darcy’s Story: Pride and Prejudice Told From a Whole New Perspective

Darcy's Story: Pride and Prejudice Told From a Whole New Perspective

Darcy’s Story: Pride and Prejudice Told From a Whole New Perspective by Janet Aylmer

So the cover says a “whole new perspective”, but it’s not that new. Other authors were doing it before her, like Pamela Aidan in An Assembly Such as This.

anassemblysuchasthis

But as I have promised to review all Jane Austen inspired novels, I will review this.

So Mr. Darcy.

Mr. Darcy - Six

We all love him. But, in the original novel, he’s actually not a major player, in the sense of being in a majority of the book. We see him in the beginning, some in the middle, and then at the end. As a whole, the book is more about Elizabeth.

Pride&PrejudiceYou'veGotMail

So we know how Elizabeth feels about everything, as we are in her head. But what about Mr. Darcy? What made him change from:

Mr.DarcyMoveAsidepeasants Pride and prejuice

To:

mr darcy

So anytime you rewrite Austen it can be difficult. How do you retell the story so that it stays true to Austen, but at the same time giving it your own flavor so it isn’t a boring rehash.

New plan

Let’s see how Aylmer does.

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So of course the book is Pride and Prejudice, and we all know the story, (or at least I imagine most of us do), so I’m only going to hit on the parts that I liked or didn’t like. Ready?

So one thing Aylmer does differently with her work, is that instead of starting with Darcy heading to Netherfield or starting at the ball, it begins with Georgiana Darcy almost running away with Mr. Wickham.

Georgiana-and-Wickham-at-RamsgatePrideandPrejudice

I thought this was a good opening as it set it apart from other retellings, and showed the great relationship Mr. Darcy has with his sister.

pride&prejudicedarcygeorgianapiano

So what’s nice about this version, is that Aylmer goes farther than Aidan went. She gets into Darcy’s head and actually tries to create a fuller character. It isn’t as big a release as I would like, but I understand that it must be hard writing when you have the ghost of Jane Austen lurking over you.

janeaustenghostdo'tmesswithwork

So one thing we see in Darcy, is that he is not a true romantic, willing to marry whoever he loves. He needs someone in his position of wealth and class, but he won’t settle for just anyone. He wants a relationship like his father and mother, who earnestly cared for one another. And as his cousin Fitzwilliam points out, it might be time to start looking, after all he’s not getting any younger.

see cute guy look

For Darcy he has yet to find a woman that captures him wholeheartedly. There are young ladies of means, beauty, etc. but he cannot connect to their intelligence or wit. So until then, he’s content with being single and enjoying his hobbies and managing the estates.

bookladysitwithmybooks

In this version Darcy hates balls, not just because he hates to dance, of which Aylmer states it in such perfection I am now forever going to say this when people try to get me to dance:

“I cannot recall how many times I have tried to impress upon you that my knowledge of the exercise is not matched by any enthusiasm…”

But him being single and wealthy, he has to spend all his time with overzealous mothers trying to push their daughters on him. It can be extremely annoying.

Darcy P&P OMG Can't Even

I like that addition. When I read Pride & Prejudice for the first time, I always imagined that someone as single, rich, and attractive as Mr. Darcy probably had women constantly trying to get him for his money and title. Like in Cinderella when the prince wants a girl who wants him for himself, not because he’s a prince.

So Darcy is going to visit his Aunt as usual, but he can’t get Elizabeth out of his mind.

Pride&PrejudiceMrDarcyEvolutionofDarcy'sviews

So when he hears that she will be visiting the Collins, he writes to Col. Fitzwilliam and moves their trip up to coincide.

coincidencegi

There he makes conversation as best he can, as we all know he is really shy under that exterior.

barofsoapconversationMr-Darcy-Pride-and-Prejudice-1995-5

He starts to believe that her comments, manners, everything she does means that she likes him too. For someone who has always had to make it clear to women that he is not interested, the thought never comes to mind that she might not like him. He assumes she understood how much he cared about her in their shallow, little, talks they had.

completelydelusional

It is easy to throw stones, but on some level this must have been what he was thinking. I mean at this point in Pride & Prejudice, Elizabeth has heard the lies of Wickham and that Darcy was the one who took Bingley away from Jane, so we know that Elizabeth hates his guts.

dialMforMurder Killer Hate

But Darcy must have seen something that he thought was encouraging, or else he never would have proposed.

darcy__s_proposal_PrideandPrejudice

And then when he hears all that Elizabeth thinks of him he decides he must correct it. Now this is what I always thought of Darcy as well. I always thought that he never realized what image he was giving off to others, his reserved nature coming off as snobbery and jerkiness. Bingley is so nice and thinks Darcy is awesome, while any other people around him are always brown-nosing, trying to win his favor. He’s never had anyone be brutally honest with him.

So he decides to write a letter, partly because he is angry, but mostly to fix his character in her eyes. He then starts to really think about what portrayal he is giving off.

Pride&PrejudiceDarcyLetter

I agree with Aylmer in this, as I always believed that this shock of seeing how others viewed him was part of the reason why his reserve breaks down.

better man

But while all is settled in that sense, he still can’t stop thinking about what she said.

what-not-to-say-to-broken-hearted-girl-3what went wrong holiday

We also have some great scenes with Darcy and Georgiana, which deeply cement how great an older brother he is.

And of course we get to see Darcy track down Wickham. While it doesn’t go like this:

GeorgeWickhamKickButtPride&Prejudice

Darcy still comes out on top.

Pride and prejudice kiss darcy elizabeth

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For more books from a Jane Austen Hero’s perspective, go to Mr. Knightley’s Diary

For more Pride & Prejudice, go to Be It Ever So Humble

For more works based on Jane Austen, go to Pride & Prescience (Or a Truth Universally Acknowledged)

 

Mr. Knightley’s Diary

Mr.Knightley'sDiary

Mr. Knightley’s Diary (Jane Austen Heroes #2) by Amanda Grange

So I read this book mostly because it was recommended to me and because I am trying to review every book based on Jane Austen’s works. However, I wish I hadn’t read this as in my opinion this book sucked!

I don't like it 11

Now this should have been a hit. We have the handsome, kind, wise, amazing Mr. Knightley…

Emma Mr.knightley2

And the hilariously comedic story Emma.

emma

It should have been an instant win. But it wasn’t.

lord-henry-remind-u-that-ur-getting-old

I sure won’t get the time I wasted on this book back.

And why? What went wrong? Well I will tell you.

So my biggest issue with this book is how they present the character of Mr. Knightley. First he is so formal, his writing stilted, and it is just a rehash of Emma.

uh-no-gif

I mean I understand that it is his diary, so of course the writing won’t be on the same level as a novel, but come on it’s his diary! It should be so interesting it is impossible to put down.

ImReading

As a diary there should be more leeway and less formality as this is a diary. It’s not like letters which were read aloud and basically the TV of the 19th century, this is a diary! It’s private, it’s an entrance into his mind, and there should be more there. It shouldn’t be so dry and boring. And it should not be a rehash of the novel.

AA_KnightleyDisapproved

As a diary and a look into the mind of Knightley, we should get more development of his character. For instance, Mr. Knightley is the older brother, has the estate, is making enough money to have married years ago, but yet is single.

Hmm

Hmm

Eventually we discover that he is in love with Emma, but was he at the beginning of the novel? Or did it develop over time? If he wasn’t aware of his feelings at the beginning, why didn’t he marry? Was there no one he was interested in romantically? Had he just been focused too much on his land? Did he have a bad experience with a woman or witnessed a bad marriage that has made him cautious? Does he just not want to upset his routine?

The plot thickens

We don’t know, but as the diary of Knightley you could chosen any of those answers and built up his character more. But what does Amanda Grange decide to do?

“And now [John and Isabella Knightley] have five children. It is, perhaps, time that I too, thought of taking a wife.”

Tom-Hanks-Saying-Really

Is that the extent of character building you are going with? BORING!

Bones David Bored I;m bored boring

Take for instance, An Assembly Such As This by Pamela Aiden. In that she followed Pride & Prejudice exactly, but added a few things to Darcy’s character to broaden out “his version of the tale” along with allowing us a more complete picture. We saw more interaction with his sister, Mr. Bingley, etc.; giving a bigger picture of Darcy.

Take note Hollywood

So I did not like this book and am not looking forward to reviewing her other diaries. But I will for all of you out there. Ah, my love for my followers.

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For more on Emma, go to Unsung Austen Men: Mr. Weston

For another book inspired by Jane Austen, go to Pride & Prescience (Or a Truth Universally Acknowledged

Fall For You

FallForYOuJaneAustenAcademyCecilia Gray

Fall for You (Jane Austen Academy #1) by Cecilia Gray

*Warning: Contains Spoilers*

So in this Jane Austen inspired work, Cecilia Gray takes the characters of Jane Austen’s novels and puts them in high school together, pairing up who would be friends and having them live in modern times. She chose the characters Elizabeth Bennet, Elinor Dashwood, Emma Woodhouse, Catherine Moreland, and Anne Elliot.

Now this is something I have thought of too. Now I consider the main characters of the novels to be Elizabeth Bennet, Elinor Dashwood, Marianne Dashwood, Fanny Price, Emma Woodhouse, Catherine Moreland, and Anne Elliot. For me, I would have pegged Emma and Anne as best friends as both were raised in the same manner with money. Anne is also more passive and listens to advice given by friends, the qualities that Emma enjoys in others. Catherine and Marianne always seemed a great match to me, as both love reading and have overactive imaginations. I could see Elizabeth and Elinor as well as Elinor has a level-headed, cool, calm, and collected personality that Charlotte, Elizabeth’s best friend, also had.

AustenHeros

So the girls all go to an all girls’ boarding school in Merryton, CA. The founders of the school were the Elliots, in this book called the Escobars, Anne’s family, and named it the Jane Austen Academy. However this year is different, as the Elliot family have lost a lot of money and had to sell the school. The new owners want to remain anonymous, and have opened the doors to boys.

This gets Lizzy Egmont (I don’t know why she didn’t just use Bennet as she is Elizabeth Bennet) very upset as she feels it is going against the values of the school and that boys will ruin everything. This is something I didn’t like as the author made Lizzy like some man-hater and against all boys in general.

HateYou

Lizzie is an only child from Chicago, where her parents are doctors, poor, and too busy for her. Now this is something that I didn’t really like either. Lizzie needs the interactions of her other siblings, as that helps make up her character. And Lizzie isn’t the only one who loses her siblings, every character in this (besides Darcy) is an only child. Really, I mean for Elinor this is horrible as she and Marianne are yin and yang. Elinor sense and Marianne sensibility. Without each other, who are they?

Weird

Weird

And if her parents are doctors and poor (which could happen) how can they afford to send her every year to a boarding school? That makes no sense. And her parents ignore her? One of the cutest things in Pride & Prejudice is the relationship between Lizzie and her father.

Pride&PrejudiceMrBennetandElizabethBennet

Yeah that is majorly upsetting and… wait I shouldn’t rant. Moving on.

So Lizzie is excited to live with her best friend Ellie Dvorak (Elinor Dashwood). Ellie is the child of yoga instructors and very zen “whatever happens will work out” type of person. She’s the complete opposite of the actual Elinor Dashwood character. And I didn’t like that at all.

NotLiketheBook

However, Lizzie discovers that not only did she have to share a ride with her, but Lizzie is also having to room with her nemesis…Anne Escobar (Anne Elliot). Lizzie hates Anne because everything was just given to her as her parents owned the school. Ellie is rooming with Emma, a rich girl more interested in clothes and having fun. Everything Lizzie is not.

uh-no-gif

Lizzie and Anne don’t agree on being roommates and the two go to see the headmistress, Katherine Berg (Catherine de Berg). As they are waiting they overhear the headmistress talking with someone else and saying how she wants to destroy everything the Academy was and make it something new. Change the name, change the curriculum, etc.

OMG

When they speak to the headmistress, she won’t let them switch. And to make it worse she promises them that if they room together, she’ll give Lizzie the job of managing editor (perfect blackmail as she wants to be a journalist and has been coveting that spot) and Anne will be in charge of the “Welcome Back Dance”, (what she has been in charge of since the beginning of time). At first both balk at this, but decide it’s best to team up in order to take Ms. Berg down and stop the changes she is trying to make.

floral-bonnet-gifIWillEndYouFirefly

Part of this deal is that they have to do in depth profiles of certain new guys brought into the school. New students such as Dante Braxton (Fitzwilliam Darcy). However, to get back at Headmistress Berg, Lizzie and Anne decide to make the “Welcome Back Dance” a Regency inspired ball.

ball-in-emma-300x291

Anne and Lizzie start bonding and discovering more about each other. Lizzie starts understanding Anne’s pain of losing everything, and Anne understands Lizzie’s drive for truth and justice.

The next day the two are in the “newsroom”, in which Lizzie thrives in her role as editor and meets the very thing she doesn’t like, boys.

ew! Gross Yuck

Dante enters with the other two guys that Lizzie and Anne have to interview, Rick Wright (Fredrick Wentworth from Persuasion) and actor Josh Wickham (George Wickham from Pride & Prejudice).

Now this is something else Cecilia Gray changes. Wickham has no role in this book at all. He’s there for the interview and that’s it. He’s not the guy Lizzie crushes on for a while, he’s not evil as he was in the book, he’s nothing. I don’t know whether she is going to change his whole role (as she already did with his backstory) or save his destructive side for later books. All I can say, it’s not Pride & Prejudice with Wickham being a nice guy.

Get it right

Get it right

Besides the guys, Dante also brings his little sister Georgiana. He is extremely overprotective of her, and his protectiveness is misconstrued by Lizzie to be super controlling of his sister.  Lizzie is trying to take down Dante’s “control” by assigning Georgiana to interviewing Josh. She also assigns Anne to interview Rick as they seem to know each other. Lizzie gives herself Dante.

She starts questioning him and notices his attractiveness:

Pick whichever look you prefer

Pick whichever look you prefer the most

She starts questioning him and gets on the scent that he knows more about the new owners of the school then he is trying to let on. Georgiana interrupts them; with her, Dante, Rick, and Josh all leaving abruptly. Lizzie finds it strange and starts to discuss it with Anne, seeing that her interview was pretty stilted and just plain bad. Lizzie starts to push Anne to find out what her past was with Rick, but stops and instead is just a friend, joining her for dinner.

Friendjustbethere

While Lizzie and Anne’s friendship is growing, Lizzie and Ellie’s relationship is going through some rough times. Lizzie is jealous with how close Ellie and Emma are getting and vows to get everything back to “normal”.

Soon it is time for the dance and the ladies look lovely.

ball-in-emma-300x291

Lizzie is ready to head to the dance, but Emma got them dates. Edward (Edward Ferras from Sense & Sensibility) is Ellie’s date, Emma got Dante, and Lizzie is teamed up with Rick. Lizzie leaves the group to hang out with Anne, and both are thrilled that the dance was a success and everything is beautiful.

Anne sees Rick dancing with other girls and is heartbroken. She runs outside and Lizzie follows her, to comfort her. While they are talking, Dante and Rick come outside discussing things, not realizing that the girls are there.

OhNOthisisgonnabebad

 They overhear the boys talking and find out more than they wish.

  • “Edward will be in the middle of a catfight if he keeps acting this way”- Is there another girl besides Ellie that he is with? Is he cheating on his girlfriend? (Those who have read Sense & Sensibility know the answer to that.
  • Darcy excuse me Dante, wants to get a scholarship to Georgetown, the same school that Lizzy wants to go. (This makes me wonder why uber rich Dante needs a scholarship to Georgetown? His family has gazillions so can’t they use some of that to pay for his education? Whatever.)

So yeah, instead of outright dissing Lizzie like in the book, Dante just states he’s not interested in any girl and wants to go to Georgetown. Now I thought it was a huge faux pas on the writer’s behalf. Dante did nothing to outright insult Lizzie. In the book Pride and Prejudice he does and you agree with Lizzie’s anger as you see it as justified. He was a total jerk, and because of her hurt of pride at that remark she readily believes Wickham’s lies about the rest of Darcy’s character. In this, Lizzie has no reason to be mad at him, making any anger unjustifiable, and instead of a sympathetic character she looks like a brat.

See Hook agrees with me.

See Hook agrees with me.

Lizzie and Anne go back to the dance, having a great time. They run into Georgiana and convince her to come back to journalism. She worries about what her brother might say, but ends up agreeing to join. Dante approaches Lizzie to ask her to dance, but Lizzie immediately pounces on him, calling him a jerk because he is trying to control his sister. I thought once again this made Lizzie seem rude and not as likeable as she doesn’t even know the family dynamics but is yelling at him, and also because Lizzie would never discuss this in a public forum, but would wait to have a more private conversation.

she'sallthatembarrassmefreddyprincejr

After Lizzie rails on him, Dante apologizes for being a bit overprotective and agrees that maybe Lizzie was right in his being a bit too controlling. Instead of graciously accepting, she throws in another dig and storms off.

How rude

I mean:

Girl Please

He just admitted he was wrong! Give the guy a bit of slack. Especially since he hasn’t really been a jerk, in fact you are the one acting jerky!

They continue dancing, but then Headmistress Berg drops the mother of all bombs, she announces that the Jane Austen Academy is no longer going to exist, the next year will show a massive overhaul of everything and a new name.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

But Lizzie will not be deterred. She is determined to save the academy.

AvengedTheAvengers

The next day in Journalism, Lizzie sends everyone sccurying to cover the bomb Headmistress Berg so delightfully dropped.

ThewomenBadnameBitch

Curse you Headmistress Berg!

When they are surprised by Rick’s mother. Lizzie had contacted her for background information, but Mrs. Wright decided to come in person to answer any questions and bring photos for the spread.

There is also this weird subplot where Lizzie keeps thinking of Dante and finds herself disgusted at being so focused on him, as yuck a boy. All I can say is:

Tom-Hanks-Saying-Really

I mean you seem to be going out a little far there with the “I Hate Boys”. I mean it’s not like she is 10 or 12, she is a teenager, and most teens are interested in the opposite sex. Maybe they all don’t want a girlfriend or boyfriend, but they are interested. I mean I could buy the disgusted that she could be like one of those girls who is always giggling at boys or one of those girls who changes everything about themselves for a boy. But really? Being disgusted at the thought of being interested in a boy? That’s really strange.

Mmhm great gatsby

Anyways, back to the book. Dante and Lizzie discuss Georgiana. Dante acceding once again that he was wrong in thinking newspaper wasn’t for Georgiana. Lizzie also discovers that he has parent issues, of which she can relate. (Although in P&P both Lizzie and Darcy had close relationships with their dads. It seems to me you could have the whole bonding over parents done the same way with them keeping those special links to their dads. But that’s just me I guess.)

We learn more about Rick’s character from his mom. He was doing so well at the Naval Academy, but transferred home because his mother became sick. Now this also doesn’t make sense to me. Dante and Edward were born rich, going to the best schools. It makes sense that in some point in time their histories linked up and they became best buds. But Rick was poor, and then become rich AND was at a Naval Academy. How did he meet up with the other boys to become best buddies? I don’t know. I guess when you try and meld different people from different backgrounds, histories, and events you are going to get weird holes like this. I’ll just move on.

dean whinchester shrug smile oh well

So Lizzie and Anne are invited to spend the weekend at the Wright household, where Edward, Dante, and Rick (of course) will also be staying. At first the girls don’t want to, but when Lizzie hears a snippet about Mrs. Wright being one of the new buyers of the Academy, she sees it as he perfect time to snoop.

perfect plan

Lizzie heads out to eat with Ellie, when she is stopped by Dante. Dante questions if she is coming over this weekend to the Wrights. She gets all offended, why? IDK. Then she heads over to Ellie and to her chagrin, Emma.

Ellie is hurt when she finds out that Lizzie is going to a guy’s house with Anne, instead of hanging out with her. Lizzie assures her that things aren’t changing, she just wants to find out who the new owners are. Besides the “awful” Dante will be there. (He’s not even awful!) Ellie is all hurt about what Dante said about Elizabeth, but he wasn’t even that horrible. I mean…I already talked about that. I better move on.

Emma and Ellie make plans for the weekend which upsets Lizzie. Now I totally get this, it’s hard when your best friend is spending so much time with someone else.

bestfriendmakes plans with someone else

So that weekend they head out to the Wright’s place, er amazing mansion. Anne and Georgina feel at home, as they are from wealthy families, or in Anne’s case used to be wealthy. Lizzie is starting to feel uncomfortable.

They go to their rooms and Lizzie is floored with the beauty of the place.

That's a lot!

So everyone heads down to the pool and dinner, while Lizzy stays behind to “groom”. In reality, she is investigating the house. She starts to psych out a bit, but if she is going to be an investigative reporter, then she has to go for it.

KeepCalmSleuthOn

She finds herself in the office, with lots of photographs. She starts trying to memorize them, when she is interrupted by a voice.

OhNOthisisgonnabebad

And it’s Dante!

Crap

It just had to be him, huh.

Lizzie tries to explain that she got lost on the way to the lake. Dante doesn’t say anything. When they get down there, Lizzie talks to Anne. She finds out that Anne really wants Rick back, but is scared. And you can’t blame her, relationships are scary.

truthaboutdatingTogetherForeverorbreakup

While everything is fun, Lizzie still has her eyes on the prize. She fakes a cramp to get back in the house, BUT by doing so she inadvertently causes Dante to dive in and save her. He goes and carries her put of the water.

Col. Brandon carrying Marianne

Lizzie tries to assure everyone that she is fine, but a part of her is pleased to have been in Mr. Darcy’s, I mean Dante’s arms. And who can blame her?

Mr.DarcySexyPridePrej

Lizzie is able to reassure everyone that she is okay, and takes off upstairs to change and get ready for dinner. She hurriedly changes her clothes and runs back to the office.

She begins taking pics with her phone, spotting a younger image of Rick and Dante. In it Dante looks incredibly happy.

Then she hears a creak behind her, and “That was taken three years ago.”

Busted!

Oops!

Crap

And it is Dante! Uh, oh.

Dante asks her what she is doing, as he knows it is more than just “lost”. Lizzie has nothing else to do but come clean. Dante questions her about researching those in the photo when there is over 50 people in them. Just a part of the biz, Lizzie replies.

Darcy, Dante then goes on to tell her not only an incredibly charming memory of him and his sister. He then, to Lizzie’s surprise, begins to tell her who each person in the photos are. When Lizzie asks him why, he says because he wants to.

How romantic

How sweet!

He gives her everything, completely open. In fact, if Lizzie wanted to ask him who the owners are he probably would have said right away. But, she doesn’t want to be a reporter around him. Instead she wants to know all about him.

Grease Tell Me more

They get called down for dinner, and go on.

That night Lizzie is trying to figure out which of them are the owners, why she is feelings this way about Dante…that is until Anne comes in. Anne stays the night in her room as Anne’s is freezing cold. Lizzie quizzes her about the *real story* behind her and Rick. But Anne still won’t give her much about it. Lizzie convinces her to try again for Rick.

The next day the group is playing pool, when Anne smokes them all. Lizzie tries to use this opportunity to match up Anne and Rick, but it doesn’t work out.

nightmare before christmas nothing turn out like it should

But she and Darcy team up to learn more about the owners. Lizzie also asks him about Georgiana, and how she suspects there is something she is hiding. Darcy, I mean Dante (I am so bad at this, tell me why did she change his name again?), Dante says nothing, but Lizzie knows there is more. She cares about Georgina though, so she lets it go as is.

They talk more and Lizzie concludes that she was wrong about Dante, that there was more. Darcy, Dante, says that he is very guarded.

Pride&PrejudiceDarcydon'ttalktostrangerseasily

And that he has trusted people before, and is very careful about who he trusts from now on.

Trust

The two have a big moment alone in the stairs.

swoon dreamy

And Lizzie is hooked.

be-still-my-heart-gaston-o

Lizzie goes up to the room to change and her mind is reeling over what happened. Anne comes in excited as she and Rick had a great time as well.

That night at dinner Rick is acting weird again and is all cold to Anne.

VeronicaMarsBrokenUpbutNot

Lizzie goes to her room and packs everything up, ready to return to school. She Is looking for Anne, when she finds out that she has already left. Dante, Georgiana, and Rick are also off horseback riding. Lizzie is completely confused.

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

What is up with everyone?

She and Edward ride back to school together and Lizzie uses this time to grill Edward on the Anne/Rick drama. He tells him that back in the day, Rick lost his head over Anne and she broke his heart before he left for the Naval Academy. Dante saw that Rick was starting to fall for Anne again, and cautioned him to not give her a second chance. When Rick left for the Naval Acdemy, he wanted to continue dating Anne, but Anne’s mother convinced her to dump him. And who wants a women who can be easily swayed?

OhNOthisisgonnabebad

Then Edward asks her why she and Darcy kept ducking out. Lizzie knows she has to give some back, so she tells them they were looking into who the owners are. This confuses Edward as he knows…or thought the owners were Dante’s parents.

There is always a but

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Crap

HE PLAYED HER!

Ryan-Gosling-Oh-No-You-Didnt-Half-Nelson

And that means one thing and one thing only, revenge!

floral-bonnet-gifIWillEndYouFirefly

Lizzie is hurt and upset over this. How could she trust him? How was she was so stupid?

what-not-to-say-to-broken-hearted-girl-3what went wrong holiday

She is by herself when the door is thrust open, and there is Dante. He tells her that he had a ton of fun that weekend, that he loved how she defended Georgiana, and that he couldn’t stop thinking of her, hoping she would go out with him.

Mr.Darcy Pride&Prejudice

And Lizzie is like

IDon'tevenknowhowtorespondGilmoreGirls

How could he be so cruel to play her and then try to ask her out? She turns him down cold.

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Lizzie rips him a new one. She is furious that he destroyed Anne’s new chance at happiness (I have to admit I did think that was a clever way to do the Charles & Jane story arc). But even more that he helped her “investigate” when his parents are the ones who own the school!

Jerk

Darcy says it’s true, but Georgiana knows nothing about it. He asks if Lizzie will publish anything. She tells him he will just have to wait and see.

Ellie and Emma come back from their trip, and Ellie sees something is wrong but Lizzie doesn’t want to talk in front of Emma. They tell her about their weekend and give her a surprise. A book that has articles from the West coast newspapers through the years.

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Lizzie is estatic, and when she discovers that Emma was the one who decided to get it for her, it makes her realize that she may have judged Emma too harshly.

Lizzie is extremely upset and wants her best friend to spill to, but Ellie was going to have lunch with Edward. She doesn’t want to be around Edward as she feels stupid, and she gets horribly upset saying things she doesn’t mean. They both start yelling, and Lizzie leaves.

She heads down to the microfiche, as she has an idea on how to save the school. When she gets there she runs into Anne. Anne was hiding out as she is heartbroken over Rick. She decides to hitch on to Lizzie’s plan to save the school.

The next day at lunch, Lizzie stands up and gets everyone’s attention. Anne hands out pamphlets while Lizzie talks about her idea. She tells them how the school started when Anne’s great-great-great-great-great-grandmother couldn’t find a school that would allow her daughter on the premises. She goes on in her speech that change is good, letting boys in was a good change, BUT it would be bad to change the name and the morals and values that the school stands for. She then sends a petition around hoping for signatures.

We can do it

That day at the newsroom they dole out assignments and Georgiana asks her some questions. Georgiana’s “something secret” is really bothering Lizzie, so she takes her aside and asks her about it. Georgiana fell for a bad boy that was an old friend with Dante. He was really bad news. Dante got in some fights protecting the reputation of Georgiana. Long story short, Georgiana’s boyfriend cheated on her and dumped her, with Georgiana becoming depressed and throwing a hissy fit. They sent her to California, but Dante said that he had to go to. He didn’t want his sister to be without him, as he wanted to protect her.

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

Everything suddenly falls into place for Lizzie…why they bought the school…why he came. Dante’s parents did it so that Dante could go and protect his sister.

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Lizzie goes to work on her petition, asking Emma and Ellie for help. Lizzie and Ellie make up, with Lizzie no longer hating on Emma but including her in the group.

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They head out to their special tree; grabbing Anne along the way. The twosome is now a foursome.

The next day Lizzie is tooling about in the newspaper room and upset that there aren’t more interested in signing the petition. She decided to not print the owners names as she wants to respect Dante and Georgiana’s privacy, but that doesn’t mean she won’t send their parents special copies of the Gazette with hopes it will sway them.

She goes to see Bergie who tries to tempt her like Crowley into taking a deal that will seal her fate with Georgetown. Lizzie turns her done and heads off to her room.

No thank you

As she is heading back she runs into Dante, who asks her for a few minutes. He gives her a huge stack of papers with tons of signatures. He got everybody he knows to sign it, getting tons of signatures. He can’t guarantee that it will change his parents’ minds, but he wants to help. He also talked to Rick and told him he was wrong, but Rick is not ready to try again. Lizzie is shocked.

IDon'tevenknowhowtorespondGilmoreGirls

Why did you do this?

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And the two’s fighting is over.

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The end does leave me with a few questions. If we had the Georgiana drama done before she came to the school why include a Josh Wickham? Is she going to have a repeat? Is Josh just a red herring? Why?

Now I know I had a few issues with the book, but on a whole it was actually very cute and I loved the idea of putting them all together as friends. I am looking forward to the rest of the series to see how she tells the other stories of the Jane Austen novels. I would recommend reading it at least once.

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For more retellings of Pride and Prejudice, go to An Assembly Such as This

For more modern retellings of Austen’s novels, go to Definitely Not Mr. Darcy

For more on Pride and Prejudice, go to The Ugly Truth

An Assembly Such as This

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So this book review is a part of that challenge I made for myself a year ago. The one in which I promised to review every book and film based on Pride and Prejudice book and movie. (For more on that go here.)

Pretty much

Too bad!

An Assembly Such as This (Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman book #1), by Pamela Aidan, is a retelling of Pride and Prejudice…with a twist. In this version, we get the view of Pride and Prejudice from Darcy’s point of view.

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And I have to say I have never, ever been a fan of these fleshed out fan-fics, you know the one’s where people decide to put a new twist on a perfectly good story, but I must say I loved this.

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Yep, I was not expecting to like this book, but I just loved it and didn’t want to put it down.

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You see the reason that it was so good was first of all the author, Aidan, really paid close attention to Pride and Prejudice and made sure that her book stayed as close as possible to the novel. The book spans from the first assembly in which Darcy snubs Elizabeth and ends when he returns to London, taking Bingley in tow.

It really shows the progression of Darcy’s interests in Elizabeth, as we have that view into his brain.

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I also love how the author focuses a lot of time on Darcy and Georgina’s relationship. In Pride and Prejudice, you know he is a great older brother, but it is nice seeing much more of his care, attention, and affection.

But the main reasons why I loved this book…the Bingley and Darcy friendship.

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In the original text, we know the two are close friends but all we really see is Mr. Darcy trying to take care of his friend, removing him from Jane and then encouraging him to come back. In Aidan’s book, we get to see the every day parts of friendship. The things they have in common, discussing issues they have with their families, their views on what’s popular at the time, etc. It’s nice to see that side if Darcy, as well as seeing that he isn’t always telling Bingley what to do.

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Yep, they are best friends, through and through.

If I had to pick out something that I didn’t like about this book, I would have to say my only issue is the stiffness in Darcy’s personal thoughts.

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In the book Pride and Prejudice, we are hardly ever in his head, so of course he is always stiff and proper, following the way people acted during that time. He only relaxes when we get to Pemberly, as that is his home and he feels comfortable there. However, Aidan always has him stiff and rigid. Even when he is talking to himself and thinking. I would have preferred him to be a bit more relaxed as it is in his private thoughts, but to be honest it is so minute, that it doesn’t really matter. All in all, it was a great book and I am looking forward to reading its sequel.

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For more books based on Pride and Prejudice, go to Definitely Not Mr. Darcy

For more on Pride and Prejudice, go to The After Party

For more on Mr. Darcy, go to First Impressions

For more on my favorite books, go to Dreaming of the Sandman

For more of my favorite quotes, go to 25 More Films of Christmas