Too Pretty

Too Pretty by Andrea Grigg

Gabrielle “Ellie” Paxton is has had to deal with constant criticisms, stereotyping, refused from certain circles, rumors, bad mouthing and unfair firings all because she is-too pretty.

In fact she has just lost her job, is always mistreated by her aunt, and her latest boyfriend just wanted to date her because he wanted to brag about being with her.

Everyone

She goes to her cousin’s congratulation party and meets a handsome guy named Nathaniel. He is interesting, a good listener, well off, and seems perfect. But too bad he doesn’t seem interested in her, she will probably never see him again, and her ex-boyfriend just mauled her and caused her to decide to stop dating men for a year.

Her aunt causes a giant scene and Ellie has enough!

After praying about it, she decides it is time to move from her small town to the big city of Sydney (Australia).

But even though it feels as if God is pushing her in that direction, things don’t seem to be going as she hoped. She is able to meet up with her old friend Annabel, but after she puts out massive amounts of resumes, but  nothing comes of it. Will she be able to make it work?

Annabel is from the same small town as her, and the two went through some rough times before they settled into the confident secure women they are today. Annabel has started dating a very kind and wonderful man who turns out to be extremely wealthy. He has a great family and friends, one of which turns out to be the tall, dark, brooding Nathaniel. As they continue to spend time together, will Ellie keep to her vow of no men?

So what does this have to do with this blog? Why am I reviewing it? Because this is a rewrite of Pride & Prejudice.

Yes, this is another rewrite of Jane Austen. How do I know? Let’s count it down.

A) Gabrielle “Ellie” is like Elizabeth “Lizzie”.

I know that sounds like a stretch, but that is just the first thing. There is more.

B) An Evil Aunt

While in this version the evil one is is Ellie’s aunt (the Elizabeth) instead of the Darcy character the aunt is still the same. She is demanding, rude, cruel, critical, and just all around one of the most awful characters in this.

C) Tall, Dark, and Brooding

Nathaniel is Mr. Darcy. He’s tall, handsome, brooding, rich, etc-all the same qualities. He also doesn’t like to dance, takes a long time to warm up, likes the girl before anyone else realizes it, etc.

D) Best Friend Marrying a Nice Wealthy Guy

So Jane Bennet’s character is taken by Ellie’s best friend Annabel. While Annabel has a past, she is now kind, caring, compassionate, sweet, and thinks the best of everyone. She also manages to score an equally sweet guy, Theo, who turns out to be rich! A real Mr. Bingley, if you know what I mean.

E) Theo has a Mean Girl Sister, Just like Mr. Bingley

While in Pride & Prejudice, Caroline doesn’t like the Bennets because of their class, her main issue is that Elizabeth throws a wrench in her plans to snag Mr. Darcy. In Too Pretty, Alicia likes Annabel and welcomes her into the family, but she hates Ellie. She instantly picks up on Nate’s interest of Ellie and tries all she can to get rid of her as she has been after him for a long time.

F) After They Spend Extended Time Together They Discover Their True Feelings

In P&P Jane becomes sick and Elizabeth travels out to help take care of her. She stays there for weeks, and here is where Mr. Darcy starts to fall for her. In Too Pretty, staying weeks in our modern age wouldn’t work; so instead Ellie is invited for a long weekend and the two realize their feelings for each other.

 G) The Author Mentions Pride & Prejudice Again and Again

She first mentions it when they go to the ball, later there is the whole hand flexing thing from the 2005 film version, and the characters even watch the film. It is clear that this was what inspired the author in writing this book.

So yes, while this isn’t a clear remake of the original book, you can clearly see that the author was greatly inspired by Pride & Prejudice.

But What Did I think of the Book?

I didn’t like it.

The story really fell apart for me because of two things:

1) Going On and On About Ellie Being Too Pretty

So the book starts off with Ellie going on with how she is mistreated because she is too pretty. People think she’s some dumb blonde, want to use her, women mistreat her, people talk bad about her; and on and on.

What jerks

You feel for Ellie, but then she doesn’t stop talking about it. She goes on, and on, and on, and on.

Blah, blah

I get what she is saying, but her continually going on about how beautiful she is chapter after chapter makes it really difficult to not get annoyed. When I was a teenager and suffered from acne, I tried everything to get rid of it, tons of products and nothing worked. When I finally went to a dermatologist I discovered I was allergic to salicylic acid. It is a rare allergy and left scars on my face. I never leave without make up as I don’t like the way I look. So reading about how hard Ellie’s life is because she has a perfect figure, skin, etc-I just can’t feel sorry for her. I would happily trade in an instant.

And that is the problem. Most of the people who read this are going to have some body issue so hearing again and again how she is gorgeous but hates it, doesn’t endear her to the reader.

2) Pretending to Be Someone They Are Not to Get Something and It All Blows Up in Their Face.

This book takes part in one of the worst clichés in books, film, and TV. The character decides to dress up and pretend to be someone else. And what happens in the end? It all comes out and blows up in their face.

It is really dumb, I mean come on what did you think was going to happen? Ugh! I can’t stand it.

Seriously

Yep, those two things killed it for me. I would pass this book on by if I were you.

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

For more Australian Austen works, go to The Austen Series: Amanda

For more on May Vanderbilt, go to A Fashion Statement

Whether Presentable or Not, I Love Spending Time With You: Episode Four, Pride and Prejudice (1995)

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Well we have reached the end of another Valentine’s Day countdown. Hopefully you all have enjoyed it as much as I have.

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I hope everyone had a great day whether you spend it with a spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, family, friend(s), a pet, or food.

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And if you didn’t enjoy it, there is always tomorrow when everything will be marked down really low.

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So let’s move on to our final pick:

Romantic Moment #14

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“Episode Four” from Pride and Prejudice (1995)

So what can I say about this?

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I LOVE this miniseries. It is one of the best versions of Pride & Prejudice; Colin Firth is tied with Pride & Prejudice (1940)’s Laurence Olivier in best Darcy.

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So I thought and thought about what I which moment I think would be a good one to choose, and I think I picked one that everyone will love.

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 So the story of Pride & Prejudice should be something you are familiar with if you are a fan of my blog. Even so, I’ll give a quick synopsis.

So Elizabeth Bennet is the second of five daughters in the Bennet family. This wouldn’t be too bad if the estate was not entailed making it harder for them to find husbands and forcing them to lose everything if Mr. Bennet dies. No one is really concerned with it except their mother who desperately wants them to all to secure a relationship.

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A Mr. Bingley rents a home in the area, thinking about purchasing, and brings his sisters and best friend Mr. Darcy. Mr. Darcy is more aloof, having many dislike him even though he is very wealthy. When Elizabeth overhears him saying she isn’t pretty enough for him, she becomes very upset and the one who dislikes him the most.

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A very handsome soldier, Mr. Wickham, comes into the picture and charms everyone along with giving more ammo on why we should all jump on the “I dislike Darcy train.” Also, the Bennet’s cousin who is set to inherit comes, Mr. Collins, and is extremely disliked by all.

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Bingley leaves suddenly and his sisters and Jane write to each other, with the sisters saying that Mr. Bingley is getting very close to asking Mr. Darcy’s sister for her hand in marriage. Mr. Collins also exits after he is rejected by Elizabeth, deferring his interests for her friend.

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Elizabeth visits Charlotte after she is married and meets Mr. Darcy’s insufferable aunt, Lady Catherine.

Those guys

She also finds out from Mr. Darcy’s cousin that Mr. Darcy was the one who convinced Bingley to leave and forget about her sister, being the one to blame for Jane’s broken heart.

Or an author

After this Mr. Darcy ends up proposing to Elizabeth! It turns out while her dislike was growing he was falling for her!

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She refuses him:

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Elizabeth thinks that is the end of it, but then Darcy gives her a letter with an extensive explanation. Will it be enough to forgive him or will she just forget him?

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Most Romantic Moment: Even Though I’m Not Presentable, I Don’t Care I Want to Spend Time With You

So the moment I have chosen occurs when Elizabeth travels to Pemberley. Here she looks upon Mr. Darcy’s home and hears how everyone talks about him. This coupled with what he revealed in his letter has her wondering if maybe she was wrong to refuse him.

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Now the only reason Elizabeth agreed to look upon the house was because she thought that Mr. Darcy wouldn’t be there, but unbeknownst to everyone, Mr. Darcy has decided to come home early. As he heads home, he decides to take a dip in the pond.

I just love how shocked yet excited he is to see her that he just wants to talk to her, yet at the same time doesn’t know what to say. It is so cute how he doesn’t even realize his wet clothes or tries to get away to change them.

And then after he realizes his attire, he races to dress and runs downstairs, still wet, in a hurry to not let her slip through his fingers. Even though she rejected him, he still cares deeply for her and wants to spend time with her to change her impressions. So cute!

So romantic!

So romantic!

And just a little extra to make your day special:

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

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To check out the rest of the romantic moments:

I Would Suffer Anything to Save You: Under Capricorn (1949)

I Would Go Through Anything for You: Sleeping Beauty (1959)

You’re My Wife and the Mother of My Children: Move Over Darling (1963)

I Will Face My Fears for You: Back to the Future (1985)

I Know You Can Do This: Working Girl (1988)

I Did It for You: Edward Scissorhands (1990)

Even Though You Are Only Using Me and Made Me Look Like a Jerk, I Only Care About Helping You: Picture Perfect (1997)

I’d Risk My Life to Save Yours: Earshot, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1999)

You Are a Horrible Cook, But I Will Eat What You Prepare Anyway: Bridget Jones’ Diary (2001)

I Always Knew and I Didn’t Care: Usual Suspects, Young Justice (2012)

I Only Care That You Succeed: How I Met Your Mullet, Raising Hope (2014)

I Want to Give You What You Love: Age of Adaline (2015)

I Don’t Care About Money or Class, I Love Her: Episode Three, Doctor Thorne (2016)

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For more Pride & Prejudice, go to Is Mr. Darcy Out There?

For more Mr. Darcy, go to Bridget Jones’ Diary (2001)

For more Colin Firth, go to When I Get Into a Novel

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

For more Nicholas Sparks, go to Growing Up Is Hard to Do

Waiter, There’s Some Disney in My Jane Austen

So you all know how much I love Disney:

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And how much I love Jane Austen:

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So one day I was thinking about Disney and thinking of Jane Austen, when it hit me. If the Austen characters were Disney characters who would they be?

The plot thickens

So I thought and thought and thought some more. And below is my list of the perfect Disney/Austen crossover.

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A Prideful Beauty & the Prejudiced Beast

(Beauty & the Beast meets Pride & Prejudice: scenario one)

So Beauty and the Beast was the natural choice for the Darcy/Elizabeth storyline. In Pride & Prejudice Elizabeth becomes angry at Darcy, hurt by his comments on her looks, therefore fueling her dislike of him. Darcy, on the other hand, realizes he was wrong and falls for Elizabeth, slowly having to show her he is a good man, despite his bad first impression.

Just like in Pride & Prejudice, Belle has to work through her own misgivings of the Beast, his looks and her anger at him imprisoning her father. The Beast, first rude to her, realizes his mistakes and works on showing her his true heart and soul under the ugly exterior. Just like in P&P Darcy is seen as “a beast”, rude and cruel; but by the end of the book, and Disney film, we are loving both men.

Elizabeth Bennet = Belle

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Both Belle and Elizabeth Bennet are avid readers, close to their fathers, and not afraid to speak their minds. They both come from middle class family, as they have land (and farm but not for necessity). The Bennets have the estate of Longbourn, and Belle’s father Maurice have their country land. Maurice must have some money from his family as his inventions don’t work very well enough to bring money in.

As mentioned before, both characters create judgements on Mr. Darcy and the Beast based on their initial view of looks (Darcy’s scowl & Beast’s beastiel form) along with their behavior. However, over time this opinion is changed as their heroes save them (Elizabeth’s family saved when Wickham marries Lydia, and Belle is saved from wolves); along with both realizing there is much more to the man than their prickly personality.

Mr. Darcy = The Beast/Prince Adam

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Like Beast, Darcy is the only son raised in a wealthy family with a lot of power and expectations of him. Darcy also has a temper, but it is more controlled than the Beast’s. Both have to learn a lesson on character, the Beast’s inability to see more than the outer shell of a person, while Darcy’s is more of getting past a preconceived notion.

While they initially are prickly characters they change themselves in order to win the woman they love. Both also are willing to do things for the woman they love with no expectations. For Darcy he saves Elizabeth’s family for Elizabeth, and while he still cares for her, he doesn’t use that as a bargaining chip for marriage, allowing her to act on her own feelings. The Beast lets Belle out of the deal they made and allows her to leave, even though it breaks his heart. He doesn’t try to use their contract or the fact that he saved her life to try and manipulate her to stay.

Mr. Wickham = Gaston

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Although in the Disney film Gaston doesn’t play as much a love interest to Belle as Wickham was to Elizabeth; he is instrumental in painting an ugly picture of the Beast and getting the town riled up to destroy him. Yep, just like Wickham does. In fact I think this is one of the best Disney pairings. Both men are arrogant, care only about their outside appearance and women who will provide something for them. For Wickham he uses Elizabeth to spread lies about Darcy, and then tries to go after the very wealthy Miss King to have a poke at her money. For Gaston, he wants Belle to gain the ultimate trophy and to have children as good looking as him. Both care only for themselves, and use others achieve whatever they want.

For  more on Pride & Prejudice, go to The Confession of Fitzwilliam Darcy

For more on Beauty and the Beast, go to Number Two Look Just Like You

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A Little Prideful & Prejudiced Mermaid 

(Pride & Prejudice meets The Little Mermaid: scenario two)

Now you may wonder why I included this as another avenue for Pride & Prejudice. While I don’t see Jane as much of a main character in the novel, her role is important and I felt that Beauty and the Beast didn’t capture the whole of Pride & Prejudice, specifically her part.

So both The Little Mermaid and Pride & Prejudice address people of two different worlds falling for each other and others trying to keep them apart.

Jane Bennet = Ariel

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Out of all the Disney characters I see Jane as Ariel. Both are kind, naive, the prettiest of the family, and don’t always understand other’s views of them. For instance Grimsby heavily disapproves of Eric spending so much time with this unknown girl, of which Ariel blindly does not see. She also can’t tell that Ursula is EVIL. Mr. Bingley’s sisters despise Jane’s family and are rather cruel to her, but Jane too cannot see this, instead always giving them the benefit of the doubt. Both Jane and Ariel fall for a man out of their league: in Ariel’s case a human, while for Jane a much wealthier man; however that doesn’t stop them as they go after what their heart desires. Both also have issues with a parent: Ariel her controlling father and Jane her controlling mother. But in the end they are able to get win their man and happiness.

Charles Bingley = Prince Eric

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Prince Eric is a sweet, kind character, who follows his own ideas but is still susceptible to what others advise; just like Bingley. While Eric cares for Ariel and is set on making the girl who saved him his wife, he still listens to Grimsby’s cautions and of course is completely controlled by the Sea Witch’s hypnosis. Bingley tolerates all the negative things his sisters have to say, planning on persuing Jane, but he finally gives way to Darcy’s powerful persuasion. But both men when they realize they have made the wrong choice, go back and do all they can to win the woman of their dreams. Both marry girls that are below them (Jane financially, Ariel literally as in under the sea), but yet their equal (Jane and Bingley same personalities, Eric and Ariel are both royalty).

Caroline Bingley = Grimsby

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Caroline and Grimsby are very similar. As a sister to Charles, Caroline is constantly giving her opinion on matters. She is the one that criticizes Jane (and her family), along with pointing out what is improper. Grimsby is an advisor to Prince Eric, doing the same thing. Both aren’t listened to, as Charles and Eric ignore their rules and suggestions to follow their heart and own ideas.

Both Grimsby and Caroline also disapprove in the matters of the heart. Caroline sees Jane as too far below their family, along with carrying the extra baggage of her mother and embarrassing sisters. Grimsby also doesn’t approve of Ariel as they know nothing about her, and she can’t talk. Grimsby wants Eric to settle down, but with a more suitable person, liking Vanessa (secretly Ursula), just as Caroline wants someone better than Jane for her brother, Georgina Darcy. In aligning the two, she hopes that she and Darcy will grow much closer.

Mr. Darcy = Ursula

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I know, I know you are probably thinking what? Yes in this scenario of Jane Austen/Disney, Darcy doesn’t get a favorable character. Then again it is fitting that he is paired up with the villianess as if we were to look at Pride & Prejudice from Jane’s view, he is kinda the villain of the story.

Now the two aren’t exactly similar, Darcy has his best friend’s interest at heart while Ursula is after global domination. However, both are similar in the fact that they don’t want the romantic leads together. Darcy feels that Jane has a lot of baggage (mother + sisters) but that she also doesn’t really seem to care strongly for Charles. In The Little Mermaid, Ursula wants Ariel to fail to get Eric’s kiss and heart so that she can have her as a slave and exchange her life for Ariel’s father’s powers.

Now here is where the real similarity comes into play. These two are the only ones capable of true persuasion. In Pride & Prejudice, Caroline and Bingley’s other sister have done everything they can to point out why marrying Jane would be a bad idea. They constantly criticize, point out every faux pas, etc; but Charles will not listen. He’s in love. That is until Darcy advises him. Charles clearly relies more heavily on Darcy than his own intuition, and leaves Netherfield for London. In The Little Mermaid, Eric isn’t set on marrying Ariel, but he definitely starts thinking about her as more than a friend. He won’t listen to Grimsby, who keeps saying that it is a bad idea to get involved with a girl you know nothing about. The only thing that steers him away from Ariel, is Ursula’s transformation into Vanessa.

For more Pride & Prejudice, go to Darcy’s Story: Pride and Prejudice Told From a Whole New Perspective

For more The Little Mermaid, go to The Little Moreland

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A Frozen Sense & Sensibility

(Frozen meets Sense & Sensibility)

So I am pretty sure you saw this one coming, after all how many Disney films have two very close sisters (in relationship and age)? I couldn’t think of that many. Both Frozen and Sense & Sensibility revolve around sisters, one who’s feelings are heavily regulated (sense) while the other is more out and sharing whatever comes to mind (sensibility). A parent’s death strongly affects the family and shifts everything about them. One sister falls for a horrible guy, but luckily for her the real deal is waiting nearby. There also is a real comedy about a couple trying to match two off.

Elinor = Elsa

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Other than the ice powers, Elinor and Elsa are very similar. Both are the eldest in their families and trying to keep everything together in their home after a parental death (Elinor her father, Elsa both parents). While their younger sister is allowed to be more freewheeling, Elinor and Elsa do not share the same luxury. They control their emotions because if they didn’t either the family would fall apart (as in Elinor’s case she is the one taking control of everything) or there could be a lot of destruction (Elsa’s ice). Both experience moments of total release that shock all closest to them, Elinor when she reveals the pain she has experienced of her love for Edward, and Elsa’s finally “letting go”. In the end both stop keeping such a harsh rein on their emotions and allow themselves to open up and love.

Both also care deeply about their sisters, especially in the love department. Elinor is the only one who doesn’t trust the relationship with Willoughby, as she thinks Marianne is moving way too fast with a boy she just met. Elsa is the same way, refusing her blessing on Anna marrying a guy she just met and only knows a few things about. Besides that, both girls care deeply for their sisters.

And let’s not forget a similarity in names. (Just saying!)

Marianne = Ana

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Both are romantics who don’t believe in reigning in their feelings but expressing everything. As feelings guide them, they tend to rush into things not clearly thinking them through and acting on their heart. Marianne gets involved with a man she hardly knows anything about, and later when brokenhearted tries to go to after him in a storm, nearly killing herself. Anna also gets involved with a man she hardly knows anything about, along with trekking after her sister in a storm, whilst wearing summer clothing.

While both have bond with their sister they also are very distanced. Marianne doesn’t understand Elinor’s sense and feels she cannot express all her thoughts with her. She also knows her sister would disapprove of much she does. Ana has a more physical separation, as her sister avoids her, but also shares that sense of not understanding Elsa’s actions, along with being afraid of what she might think of her (check out that awkward ballroom scene where they run into each other).

Now let’s move back to their love interests. At first Marianne falls for a handsome, romantic hero guy she has just met, only to find out that he is only interested in one thing: money. As Marianne doesn’t have it, he leaves her. At first she is broken hearted, but she later realizes that she is better off without him and instead ends up with the guy who started out as just a friend, but turned out to be the grand prize. Ana follows a similar route as her “first love” turns to be false as he is only after her kingdom, dumping her when realizes he can get it another way. She too is hurt initially, but quickly realizes that her friend who liked her all along, is the real deal and perfect for her

They too share similar names. I’m sensing a theme here Disney.

Willoughby = Hans

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First of all sideburns. Seriously did Disney decide that Austen made better source material than the original fairy tale Hans Christian Anderson wrote?

Moving past that, both are men who are after a good time and searching for the women who will net their fortune. For Willoughby, he loves Marianne, but he loves his money much more. After spending all his time with her and making her believe he loved her (which some argue he did have strong feelings for her, his love of money just overpowered it) he ends up leaving her, trading her in for a model that could support his expensive habits. He also proves to be a true scoundrel, sleeping with other women and abandoning them with a ruined reputation and no hope of marriage or a happy future.

For Hans he too is lacking the wealth, being the 13th son, and is setting his eyes on a woman who will provide the lifestyle he wishes. While originally planning on marrying Ana, when an opportunity comes where he can have everything without her, he quickly dumps her for his second plan. His character is darker than Willoughby’s though, as he actually plans to murder both sisters to achieve his means.

 

Colonel Brandon = Kristoff

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While they may different financially (Colonel Brandon with his manor house and wealth while Kristoff is an ice cutter) everything else about them is very similar.

Both share sad backstories: Colonel Brandon losing the girl he loved, and after her death caring for her child from another man; and Kristoff being orphaned and on his own with a reindeer (although later adopted by trolls).

Both men are rugged outdoorsmen: Colonel Brandon does fencing, horseback riding, a falconer, a soldier, etc. Kristoff is an ice cutter, sledder, etc. They match brain with brawn, a winning combination. Both are also loyal, intelligent, appreciative of beauty and fine craftsmanship.

Unfortunately for them, they also are surrounded by well-meaning people that actual harm their chances rather than help them. For Colonel Brandon, he and Marianne were becoming friends and getting along very well…that is until Sir John and Lady Middleton try to push them together; upsetting Marianne and making her not want to consider Colonel Brandon out of spite. For Kristoff, the trolls don’t damage his chances as much, but they certainly do not win him any consideration from Ana in the moment they attempt to wed them off.

But how they are the most similar is the way in which they love so whole-heartedly that they are willing to do anything to ensure that the woman they love has her happiness. For Colonel Brandon, he loves Marianne but when he realizes that she cares for Willoughby he steps aside. He knows tons of damaging things about him, has enough money to pay him off, could do countless things to get rid of him; but if he makes Marianne happy that is all he cares about. He later does challenge Willoughby to a duel when he breaks Marianne’s heart, and of course does all he can to help her; never pushing or manipulating, but allowing her to make the decision of whether to pursue a relationship or not. With Kristoff he loves Ana, but as he knows she is engaged does nothing to truly hinder the relationship. He helps her get to Hans, as he wants only her happiness. But just like Colonel Brandon, when his lady is in trouble he is there to help her, coming to her rescue.

Both characters also have a scene where they are carrying the women they love through a storm as she grows sicker and sicker. Wow these are some serious parallels.

Sir John and Lady Middleton = Trolls

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These guys are like carbon copies of each other I swear! Sir John and Lady Middleton are sweet people, who heavily assist the downtrodden and financially insecure Dashwoods. They provide the family with a place to live, food they cannot afford, trips they would be unable to take etc. The only downside? They are busybodies and enjoy actively taking a role into marrying Marianne off, something that backfires as their involvement makes her lose any desire to even be friends with Colonel Brandon.

The trolls also take in some downtrodden, lost souls: Kristoff and Sven; adopting them and giving them a family, food, and a place to live. They also like to meddle, trying to marry Ana and Kristoff off, backfiring as their weirdness makes Ana say no way.

For  more on Sense and Sensibility, go to The Sense and Sensibility Screenplay and Diaries

For more on Frozen, go to I Could Kiss You

 

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Cindermansfield Parkella

(Mansfield Park meets Cinderella)

So Cinderella is a story we all have heard of. A sweet kind girl is forced to slave away for her family. Those that bring her particular pain are her evil stepmother and two evil stepsisters. She manages to escape her dreary life for a ball, where she meets the man of her dreams. But unfortunately there are others with a darker intentions making the same play for him.

Mansfield Park may be a story you have never heard of before, but it make shock you with the similarities it has. A sweet kind girl is forced to slave away for her richer family. Those that bring her particular pain are her evil aunt and two evil cousins. She falls in love with the man of her dreams, but unfortunately there is another with a darker heart making the same play.

Fanny = Cinderella

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This is the most obvious choice for this novel. Fanny Price is the niece to the Betram family, and was sent to stay with them. Instead of being treated as family, she takes on the duties of a servant because of her “bad blood” inherited from the low class, wastral father her mother married down to. She is particularly mistreated by her evil aunt and two cousins; all of which take pride in bossing her around and being as cruel as can be. Cinderella is the stepdaughter, and technically rightful heir, but instead of being treated as a part of the family, she too is treated like a servant to her evil stepmother and two stepsisters. Like Fanny, Cinderella is the essence of swetness, taking this injustice in stride and trying to remain optimistic in a bad situation. Both know that any kind of rebellion could spell disaster for them; with Fanny being sent back to the hovel she escaped and Cinderella being sold, institutionalized, or worse.

Both have absentee fathers: Fanny’s father is a drunkard while Cinderella’s is dead; who’s decisions ultimately caused their predicament. With Fanny her father being one of so low behavior and drinking all his money away; causes her family to have to send her somewhere else as they cannot care for her. This behavior causes those in the “richer” family to believe they have the right to treat her like garbage. For Cinderella, her father married evil incarnate who makes her life horrible.

Both fall in love with a man out of their league: Fanny with her cousin Edmund and Cinderella with the Prince. While initially their love interest is waylaid by other women; for Edmund the enigmatic and manipulative Mary Crawford, and the Prince with the other woman who claim to be the girl he fell for; those turn out to be false and the girls get their dream guy. And in true poetic justice, those that tried to hurt them end up getting their just desserts for their evil ways and bad decisions.

Mrs. Norris = Lady Tremaine

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In Mansfield Park Mrs. Norris is Fanny’s aunt and a horribly cruel woman. She loves her nieces Maria and Julia, treating them far better than Fanny; along with encouraging and rewarding their cruel ways, especially those aimed at Fanny. Lady Tremaine also encourages her daughter’s cruelty: from horrible nicknames, cruel jokes, and even assault. Watch that scene where they rip Cinderella’s dress, that was pretty psychologically and physically damaging.

Mrs. Norris enjoys bossing Fanny around and often asks her to do more than then her frail system can take. Lady Tremaine is the same way, asking impossible tasks as she takes true delight in seeing Cinderella suffer.

Both also are trying to ensure that their girls marry well, have a good fortune, and anything else that pleases them. Mrs. Norris encourages Maria’s choice in the wealthy, but dim, Mr. Rushworth and later her infidelity with Henry Crawford. Lady Tremaine is intent on marrying her daughters off to a prince, stooping to locking Cinderella up, breaking the glass slipper, and almost destroying her daughters feet.

Drizzella = Maria Bertram

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It was difficult to determine which evil cousin went with which evil stepsister, but I think I found the match that worked best.

Both Julia and Drizzella are favored by their aunt and mother. Both also are intense in going after what they want; Maria a rich husband and later a hot lover; Drizzella having no qualms about stuffing her foot into a strange shoe and pretending to be a women she isn’t in order to bag a prince.

Both are especially cruel to the heroine, being the bigger bully between them and their sister. Both also have restrained relationships with their sister, always in competition with them and trying to prove they are prettier, better, etc.

In the end, both lead unhappy lives, having to deal with the decisions they made. Maria losing her lover and husband, sent away to live in exile; while Drizzella has to live with her mother and probably has to take on chores as Cinderella leaves them behind with her prince.

Anastasia = Julia Bertram

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Julia and Anastasia are always being compared to their older sister and feeling they are lacking. Both try to compensate by trying their hardest to outshine their sibling, or at certain times out cruel them. Both are also not the favorite and have more insecurities about who they are and how they look.

Now one of the reasons why I felt these two were a good fit, is that both fall for someone their parents strongly disapprove of. For Julia, she runs off with her brother’s actor friend, eloping in Ireland. Her parents hate this, disowning her and wondering where they could have gone wrong. In Cinderella II: Dreams Come True, Anastasia falls for the baker, a man her mother strongly disapproves of. She doesn’t run off and marry him; but does go behind her mother’s back to get a makeover and go to a ball with him.

Edmund = Prince Charming

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Edmund is my least favorite of the Austen heroes and Prince Charming my least favorite Disney prince. It is only right that they are the two that match up.

While my dislike for Prince Charming comes more from a lack of character, my dislike for Edmund comes from his stupidity, easy manipulated spirit, and love of a fantasy that doesn’t exist. When the girl has told you time and time again that she could never marry a minister and wants someone with money, don’t think that “your love” can “change” her. Forget her and move on.

Sorry this was supposed to be a comparison. Both Edmund and Prince Charming were born into wealthy families with controlling fathers. For Edmund, his father does not want him to be a minister but chose the vocation he had picked out, and for Prince Charming his father wants him married and making grandchildren. Both men want to live the lives they have desired, with Edmund choosing to go into the church and the Prince waiting, and later choosing an unconventional bride.

Both men are stubborn, tenacious, and when they set their mind to something they will not be persuaded out of it. For Edmund it is the church, and later wooing Mary Crawford. For the Prince, he wants the women who fits the slipper even if they have to search every corner and crevice of the kingdom for her.

Both marry women that are kind, sweet, and of not completely low standing, but not quite on par with them. And both marriages turn out great for them, much better than their siblings’ (Edmund’s & Cinderllas’s).

For more Mansfield Park, go to Opening With…

For more Cinderella, go to If the Shoe Fits: Why Cinderella is Actually Awesome

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Tarzan & Emma

(Tarzan meets Emma)

I know that this pairing isn’t perfect but it is the only one I could find that correlated well together. None of the other Disney characters were even remotely like Emma or had the close relationship she had with her father.

Emma= Jane

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Emma is a wealthy woman and the apple of her father’s eye. She often does as she pleases, believing that her ways and knowledge are right. She sets her mind to tasks at hand and does all she can to achieve them, not always thinking things through or realizing that she cannot control every person’s actions.

Jane isn’t as wealthy but does come from a well to do family. She is also the apple of her father’s eye as they too share a great bond. When they are searching for the gorillas, she too exhibits some of the I’ll do what I think is best and doesn’t always make the best decisions. With Emma it was pairing up two people, with Jane threatening a baby baboon.

Both of these girls try to remold someone into what is the highest level of society, but it doesn’t quite go according to plan.

They also try to prove that they now better with their planning and scheming, but end up being proved wrong by someone who knows better; for Emma it is Mr. Knightley, and for Jane Tarzan.

Both girls have these amazing guys in love with them, but at first don’t realize and then secondly don’t really want it. Emma doesn’t realize for the longest time that Mr. Knightley is head over heels for her; and when she does she is at first ecstatic, but then doesn’t want it as she is worried about what her poor father will do without her. Knightley of course comes up with the perfect solution and the two live happily ever after. Jane also takes a long time to realize how much Tarzan cares for her and is then worried about how it will work out. Can he really handle English society? Could she survive in Africa? What about her father? In the end all works out.

Like I said not a perfect match, but the closest I could get.

Mr. Woodhouse = Professor Archimedes Q. Porter

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Both Mr. Woodhouse and Prof. Porter are single dad’s, having lost their wives to an illness. While this made Mr. Woodhouse shrink from fear and Prof. Porter live more dangerously; one thing is the same with both. It made them concentrate and rely more heavily on their daughter.

For Mr. Woodhouse he would have died from depression, if not for his two girls; particularly Emma. She remains by his side constantly, tending to his ever fear and worry; enveloping him with love and care.

For Prof. Porter, why do you think he has Jane as an assistant and not a man? Sure he could have done it because she was intelligent enough to handle it, but I think it goes deeper than that. I believe that like Mr. Woodhouse, he became so concentrated on his daughter after the death of his wife that he wanted her always with him. Training her in his field (whether society approved or not) and having her always journey with him. In fact that is why he decides to give up the modern world and remain with his daughter. He couldn’t stand being apart from her.

Mr. Knightly = Tarzan

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Some of you are thinking maybe Tarzan should be Harriet as both Emma and Jane take on pet projects in improving someone, but I think the Mr. Knightley/Tarzan comparison works too.

So both men are from wealthy English families, the ones to inherit all the land, manors, and titles. (Read Tarzan the book.)

Both sometimes give the appearance they don’t know what is going on; Mr. Knightley being older and as Emma believes uneducated in matters of the heart; while Tarzan seems too “stupid” by the animals to be a true ape and too “beastlike” by the humans to ever master English society. However they have a whole more going on that the other characters expect. First Knightley is spot on about everybody; Emma, Jane & Frank, Harriet & Robert, Mr. Elton; proving to Emma time and time again that he knows what’a what.

Tarzan too proves to everyone that not only is he capable of being King of the jungle, but mastering every aspect of human society (except sarcasm and lying). Jane may believe at first that she knows more, but quickly realizes the knowledge that Tarzan has is something much deeper than what she knows.

Both fall for the girls, Knightley for Emma and Tarzan for Jane; of which the women take forever to realize. Both men do their best to cultivate the relationship, but not push too hard that they may lose them. In the end all works out with them both gaining a father-in-law as well.

Frank Churchill= Clayton

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So while Clayton is much more evil being a poacher; both men are liars, betrayers of trust, manipulators, only care about themselves and what they need, etc. Ugh horrible men.

Frank Churchill is the son of Mr. Weston but was sent to live with his mother’s family after she died and adopted by them. He never cares to come see his father or spend anytime, being far too busy with his own things. The only reason he does come visit his father is that he is secretly engaged to a member of the community. But instead of letting people know of his involvements, he pretends to court another girl, Emma, playing with her heart and stabbing a knife through his “beloved’s”. He not only lies about that that his actions, but manipulates the whole community, just to protect his secret. What a jerk!

With Clayton he too comes along on the expedition to “help” the Porters and “protect” them from any attacks; but in reality that is all a lie. He too has a secret engagement, and engagement to trap as many gorillas as possible. Not only is he playing the Porters, but also tries to manipulate Tarzan to achieve his means; not caring what happens to anyone else. What a jerk!

For more Emma, go to Mr. Knightley’s Diary

For more Tarzan, go to Episode VI: Return of the Favorite Movie Lines List

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A Sleeping Northanger Abbey Beauty

(Sleeping Beauty meets Northanger Abbey scenario 1)

So as I was thinking about what Disney films the characters of Austen matched up to, one of the firsts that popped up in my head was Northanger Abbey and Sleeping Beauty. I believe I might have mentioned some of their similarities in the past, but here we go with a full on comparison.

Catherine = Aurora

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Catherine Morland is a dreamer. While she spent her earlier years as a tomboy, participating in games with her brothers, running all around; as she grew she began to devour literature and began dreaming of the perfect man and adventure.

Aurora or Briar Rose, is the same. While her early days are more dramatic with a bethrol, curse, and having to be sent away; she grew up in the forest and don’t tell me she wasn’t a tomboy playing with the animals; running, climbing trees; etc. because I am 100% sure she was. As she grew older, she also began to dream; dream more than just the cottage hideaway and dream of her perfect match.

Catherine and Aurora are also kind, sweet, and adorable people. The type you love to have in your life.

Both Catherine and Aurora have “storybook” romances, as Catherine meets this tall, handsome stranger, with a great personality (Mr. Tilney) that no one really knows that much about but something about him seems to pull at her. For Aurora she meets a tall, handsome stranger in the forest, who has a great personality, (Prince Phillip) and is at first a little unsure as she doesn’t know him but something about him seems to pull at her heart.

Of course the road to love is never easy as John Thorpe has his eyes on Catherine, and Mr. Tilney’s father doesn’t approve of her as he thinks she isn’t wealthy enough for his son. For Aurora she has Maleficent who is trying to kill her and Prince Phillip’s father who thinks she is just some peasant girl.

Of course true love conquers all and all is set right in the end.

Mr. Tilney = Prince Phillip

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Mr. Tilney is Prince Phillip, no if, ands, or buts.

Both are sons to controlling fathers who want to dictate their lives to how they want it. General Tilney wants his son to not be a minister but to marry a very wealthy woman who will increase the family fortune. Prince Phillip’s father the King is set on Phillip marrying King Stefan’s daughter as it will not only unite the kingdom, but increase land and wealth. However, both of these sons have their own ideas. They don’t directly oppose their father in the beginning; as Mr. Tilney agrees to find a woman with wealth, and Philip does go through the betrothal ceremony; but when they find something they love and want they say good-bye dad.

In fact both of these men are willing to go to the end for who they care about. For Mr. Tilney, when his father discovers that Catherine isn’t as rich as he thought she was he sent her packing back home (she was visiting Miss Tilney). When Mr. Tilney returns from out of town he lets his father know that he is in love with Catherine, and that he will say good-bye to all his family money as he is in love and will marry her. Prince Phillip is the same way, willing to give up the throne for his lady love.

John Thorpe = Malificent

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While John Thorpe is a man with an agenda. He sees Catherine and assumes she is wealthier than she is, doing everything he can (and aided by his sister) to try and bag her. He is manipulative, a liar, and causes her pain in order to get what he wants. One of his most underhanded ways was to first get his sister to “become friends” with Catherine, gaining an inn; and second to try and make sure she made no other connections with anyone.

Malifcent also has her own agenda. She wants to hurt the royal family and curses a little baby to death. When it appears the fairies may have outsmarted her with sleep instead of death, she manipulates the game by pretending to be Aurora and capturing Prince Phillip, to keep him from freeing Aurora.

General Tilney = King Hubert

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General Tilney married for money rather than love and he has made that top priority for his own children. He wants them to increase the family coffers or else they get nothing! When he finds out that Catherine isn’t an heiress, he tosses her out of the house.

The King isn’t as cruel, but he too has definite ideas about matrimony. Marriage is a business deal and he wants his daughter-in-law to be Aurora who will bring peace, land, and money. He is most unhappy when his son wants to marry a peasant girl instead, but unlike Colonel Tilney he agrees to his son’s wishes. In fact he was planning on breaking the engagement, but the fairies sleeping spell took over before he could tell King Stefan.

For more on Northanger Abbey, go to God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

For more on Sleeping Beauty, go to For She Filled Their Lives With Sunshine

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Northanger Aladdin

(Northanger Abbey meets Aladdin scenario 2)

So this one is probably something you never saw coming, but it just seemed to fit so right I had to include it as well.

Catherine = Aladdin

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Catherine is a girl from an okay family, but dreams of something more, some adventure. She is kind, sweet, and real gem. She is given the trip of a lifetime, when wealthy family friends include her on their trip to bath. There people assume she is richer than she is and she manages to catch the eye of the wealthier Mr. Tilney.

Aladdin is not as well off as Catherine, being an orphan living on the streets. He too wishes of better things; living in the palace, food, etc. Like Catherine he sort of is blessed with wealth, when he becomes master to a Genie. For both of these characters the wealth is only temporary; Catherine her trip and Aladdin his three wishes. With this new “life” Aladdin is able to recapture the eye of the princess.

Both have someone plotting against them and their happiness (for Catherine she has throne who is trying to get her for himself, while Aladdin has Jafar trying to remove him so that he can get the throne.)

Both have things turn sour when the real truth is revealed about them; although in Catherine’s defense she never lied about anything. Others lied about her. Anyways, that doesn’t stop General Tilney from removing her from the family homestead. In Aladdin’s case; his lies are revealed and when all find out he isn’t a prince, he too is sent packing by Jafar.

In the end they are able to overcome those trying to stop them and win the person of their dreams. Both fathers later relenting from their harsh stands.

Mr. Allen = Genie

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While Mr. Allan doesn’t play as large a role in the story as the Genie; both are instrumental in the changes they bring about in the main characters lives.

Mr. Allan not only finances the trip to Bath, but he and his wife also purchase some things for Catherine. He is the one who brings her into the world she would have been unable to visit; catching the attention of good and bad.

For the Genie he is more than a window dresser, he becomes Aladdin’s best bud. But like Mr. Allan he is the one changes the appearance and introduces the character to the world he had only previously dreamed of.

Mr. Tilney = Jasmine

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Both Mr. Tilney and Jasmine are headstrong people. Both have father’s who have a plan for their lives, but they are still allowed some wiggle room. For Mr. Tilney he must marry wealthy, but gets to choose whom. For Jasmine she has the stipulation that her man must be a prince, but her father has allowed her to pick which prince she wants to marry.

When both are faced with the challenge of falling in love with someone who does not fit the parameters set out by their fathers, they choose to ignore it. With Mr. Tilney, he risks disinheritance; while Jasmine chooses Aladdin anyway, causing her father to repeal his law.

General Tilney = Sultan

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As stated previously, both are men who are used to being in control. General Tilney first and foremost of his troops, and also his family having parameters they must follow. The Sultan has a whole country, along with his daughter.

Both desire their children to marry wealthy and titled, and are less then pleased when they pick someone below that. Both get very upset and threaten; but in the end change their minds. General Tilney allows Mr. Tilney to keep his inheritance after his marriage and the Sultan changes the law so that Jasmine can marry whomever she wishes.

Mr. Thorpe = Jafar

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This is probably one of the best comparisons as these men are very similar. Both are ambitious and want things out of their reach. For Thorpe he wants to marry way up, to a women who will take care of him with her inheritance; and Jafar wishes to be Sultan.

To get their ways both men do every underhanded thing they can think of. Mr. Thorpe talks Mr. Tilney down, saying how his family is strange, keeps Catherine away from the Tilneys, uses his sister to promote him; etc. Jafar also uses manipulation, hypnotism, thievery, and even plans to marry Jasmine (and then kill her) to achieve his means.

Both only care about themselves and achieving their own interests.

For more Northanger Abbey, go to It’s All Jane Austen’s Fault

For more Aladdin, go to Well I Feel Sheepish: Chinese New Year

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A Robin Hood Persuasion

(Persuasion meets Robin Hood)

These have similar parts of the story. Both involve sweethearts being unable to marry because of a war. Both have a story about a reversal of fortune after the war, changing their lives dramatically. Both also invove dim relations, and a power play with marriages.

Anne = Maid Marion

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Ann and Maid Marian are very similar. Both feel in love at an early age, but forgo marrying because a war was separating them. Even though they were apart from their sweetheart, they never stopped loving him or dreaming that he would come back.

Both are related to not the brightest or smartest of men. With Anne her father Walter is a horrible manager of money and only cares about his looks, for Maid Marian her cousin Prince John is the same.

They both find their relations trying to manuever marriages and relationships they do not desire. Sir Walter thinks that Mr. Elliot would be a good match, Anne however only has eyes for one man. For Maid Marian, Prince John pushes her at the Sheriff, but he cuts rather a lackluster picture next to Robin Hood.

Frederick Wentworth = Robin Hood

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These two’s characters don’t exactly match up perfectly, but are pretty close. While Fredrick starts off poor, but comes back from the war wealthy; Robin Hood is the opposite, being wealthy and coming home from the crusades with his home having been given away.

However, both has childhood sweethearts they wanted to marry, Frederick & Anne and Robin Hood & Maid Marian. They leave for war which prevents them from getting married and when they return they consider starting the relationship up again, but have some obstacles. For Fredrick, he has his pride and hurt over being rejected; for Robin he is now an outlaw which is no life for a Lady. Even with these issues, both continue to love from afar and once again, proving that in their case, absence allows the heart to grow fonder.

Mr. Elliot = Sheriff of Nottingham

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Mr. Elliot is the long estranged cousin and next in line for Sir Walter’s title, unless Sir Walter remarries and has a son. Mr. Elliot is all about himself and how he can advance, romancing three women to ensure his future. The Sheriff is another man that cares about titles and advancement. He commits some horrible acts in order to keep the job of Sheriff and stay on the good side of Prince John, where the money is currently coming from. Like Mr. Elliot, he isn’t below some bad acts; such as taking money from an injured man, hanging a priest, and cheating at a tournament.

Both characters also try to be a love interest to the main character, Mr. Elliot with Anne and the Sheriff with Maid Marian. They do this because of the advancements that it could bring them, for Mr. Elliot, Sir Walter may not care about siring a son, allowing his daughter to gain her mother’s title and Mr. Elliot Sir Walter’s title. And for Sheriff Nottingham, marrying the cousin of the King and Prince, that will only raise him up.

Sir Walter Elliot = Prince John

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So Sir Walter and Prince John are very, very similar. Both are pompous jerks that think they are more special than they are. And both have an affection for mirrors and their apperance. All Sir Elliot can do is look at himself, spending tons of money on mirrors and lotions. Prince John cares only about he how he looks as well, physically and with the public.

Both also have a bad sense of money, burning through it rapidly. Sir Walter loses so much money he has to move to Bath and rent out the family home. Prince John runs through so much money, he taxes the stuffing out of his people.

Both men also don’t care very much about their family, Sir Walter trying to keep all his children away, except his eldest who has taken on the “Lady’s” household duties; and Prince John who wants his brother to continue to be captured as he wants to stay in command.

For more on Persuasion, go to A Letter of Love: Persuasion (2007)

For more on Robin Hood, go to Oh Oh De Lally

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So I hope you enjoyed that list. It took a long time finding the perfect people, the best pictures. I started in September and just now managed to finish.

For more on similarities between Austen and other famous characters, go to A Bit Pottery About Jane Austen

For more Disney posts, go to A Modern Mummy: Under Wraps (1997)

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So today’s Christmas Carol is one that I love and one has been around for quite some time, Oh Come All Ye Faithful. 

This song was written in the 17th century, actual author unknown. Three claim to have written it: King John IV of Portugal, John Reading, and John Francis Wade. It was originally written in Latin and then later translated into English.

 It is a great song, uplifting and serene. I really enjoy the version by Celtic Woman.

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For more on Celtic Woman, go to Joy to the World

For more Christmas Carols, go to The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas to You)

Mr. Knightley’s Diary

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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…

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And the hilariously comedic story Emma.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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

Pride & Prescience (Or a Truth Universally Acknowledged)

Pride&Prescience

Pride & Prescience: Or a Truth Universally Acknowledged by Carrie Bebris

So as I’m sure you are aware, whether from reading my post Happy Birthday Pride & Prejudice; or perusing your local bookstore/library; there are a lot of sequels to Pride & Prejudice. But unlike those that write about the Darcy children, or married life of Lizzie & Darcy, this one is a mystery.

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Yeah, at first I wasn’t sure about it, but when I started reading it, I actually enjoyed it. I solved the mystery quickly, but it was very well written and worth reading. There were a few things I didn’t like, but I’ll save that until the end.

So are you ready to take on this mystery?

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So the book begins at the after-the-wedding-next-day-breakfast. Jane was just married to Bingley, and Elizabeth to Mr. Darcy. Elizabeth is happy about how everything went, and even more happy to be married to Darcy.

Double double yay

There is only one thing putting a damper on the event. Caroline Bingley.

hate her

Yep, Caroline has struck again. This time she has announced her engagement to an extremely wealthy,  American Southerner, Mr. Parrish.

How rude

Elizabeth is incredibly put out and part of her wants to say something, but instead she chooses to ignore it share her day, and just enjoy the fact that she is now Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy.

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However, Caroline’s sister’s do not adhere to this and even though it is Elizabeth’s wedding day, they delight in being cruel. Some people.

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The Darcy’s are planning on staying in Netherfield with the Bingley’s and then heading on to Pemberly as Elizabeth and Darcy are both eager to be home for the Christmas holidays.

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Unfortunately, Caroline Bingley once again throws a wrench in their plans. She is having the wedding this upcoming weekend in London.

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Yes it seems that Pemberly will have to wait. The Darcy’s have a duty to their friends and now relations, returning to the London house instead.

2013-11-27-bradpitt friends ugh slap face stupid

Oh well.

The house had been closed for the winter, and while the servants are hurriedly putting everything in its place, Elizabeth and Darcy head out for a hotel for dinner. There they meet some of Darcy’s friends, a part I really enjoyed as we don’t get to see that side in the Austen novel. More character depth is always welcome.

That is as long as it stays true to the original character. No secret adoptions, or having a child from a first marriage, or any of that nonsense.

Get it right

Get it right

There the Darcy’s find out from Lord Chatfield, Darcy’s friend, that Mr. Hurst, Caroline & Charles Bingley’s brother-in-law, has been making numerous bets and losing them. He did bet that Caroline would be engaged soon and must have been ecstatic when he heard the news of her and Mr. Parrish.

paris-whenitsizzlesaudreyhmmHepburn

The next day the two are off looking about London. One place they visit is the British Museum, which just opened with an exhibit on the supernatural.

TheDead

There are all sorts of items from the “New World”. Darcy is all practicality that it is nothing but silly superstitions, while Elizabeth wonders at the possibility of maybe there is more to it.

That Saturday, the Darcys find themselves at a dinner party being given by the Chatfields. Elizabeth finds herself seated next to Professor Julian Randolph; American, his field the supernatural, the one who donated the exhibit to the British Museum, and a close friend of Mr. Parrish.

coincidencegi

Professor Randolph has found himself forced to move from place to place, as universities find his work interesting, but not so to hire him full time. Elizabeth also notices his watch is no ordinary timepiece but covered in symbols, or “runes.”

suspicious  Hmm

After dinner the men and women are separated. In the smoking, brandy, and billiard room; Darcy finds himself accosted by Mr. Kendall. Mr. Kendall was an old partner of the late Mr. Bingley, Charles’ father, and embezzled from him. When the late Mr. Bingley discovered the subterfuge, he disbanded the partner ship, leaving Kendall with much more than he deserved. Even so, Kendall feels he has been cheated an has a lot of animosity for the Bingley’s, animosity that grows stronger as everyone believes Mr. Parrish thew over Miss Kendall for Miss Bingley.

ouch Hermione

Miss Kendall speaks to Elizabeth over a cup of tea, and tries to assure her that she is fine. But she isn’t. She spills tea everywhere and threatens that if Caroline and Mr. Parrish wed, Caroline will be very sorry.

notenoughChamomileTeaStopRage

Caroline’s wedding comes and is quite the shebang. Tons of people, mountains of food, opulent dresses, enormous rings. Everything she could ever want. The Darcys are happy that their London trip has reached a completion and go out to the theater that night as they plan to be leaving soon to the country and beloved Pemberley.

heartPemberly

After the play when they are heading home, they pass through a poor section of town, and who should they see? Caroline Parrish!

SayWhat?

Why would Caroline be there? And in her nightgown in the middle of the night? Darcy saves her from being mugged, and the two take her home. The whole trip there Caroline seems nothing like herself. Almost as if she was in a trance…or a zombie!

night of the living dead

After Darcy and Elizabeth return Caroline home, they can’t stop thinking how odd the whole thing was. Why would Caroline act in such a way? Mr. Parrish tried to reassure them that she must be sleepwalking, but the whole thing seems very odd.

strange things are afoot at the circle k

The next day, the Darcys head out to call on the Parrishes and see how Caroline is doing. There they discover that she has gone out riding. Riding! After a night like that you think she would be resting or something.

paris-whenitsizzlesaudreyhmmHepburn

And with Miss Kendall who practically confessed to hating Caroline’s guts.

Say What

As the Darcy’s are contemplating this, Caroline has fallen from her horse as it “mysteriously” bolted. Something is definitely not right here at all.

That's weird.

That’s weird.

Elizabeth goes to question Miss Kendall

Being questioned police Annex - Tierney, Gene (Laura)_03

But ends up getting nowhere.

Darcy and Elizabeth are finally ready to head off to Pemberley. They barely begin to make arrangements when…bum ba bum. You guessed it, they are stalled once again.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Caroline Bingley, oops Caroline Parrish (forgot she was married) was found with her wrists slashed in the kitchen. The doctor was able to save her, but he believes them to be self-inflicted.

That's weird.

That’s weird.

Caroline would never do such things, never. The Bingleys, Hursts, & Darcys find it extremely odd. Professor Randolph thinks it is just over-exhaustion from planning the Wedding of the Millennium in a week. Mr. Parrish decides to take her to his plantation in America for her to recover, but everyone nixes that idea. They know Caroline would just hate being sent there. Instead they are heading to Netherfield, the invitation extended to the Darcys, the Hursts, and Professor Randall, the hope being that all together could keep an eye on her and bring her former self back.

Let me just say that in this moment I thought the husband was behind it all. I wasn’t sure how just yet, but I was thinking drugs. To me, the fact that he married so quickly, and right after all this behavior starts up, and then he wants to remove her from her family to where he can either dispose her quickly in quite a few ways on the boat or in the U.S. He’s the one.

IDon'tTrustHimGreatGatsby

I mean she is extremely wealthy and is easy prey for a handsome man with charming qualities. I think he’s behind everything, because he wants her out of the way for her money.

Everyone thinks this is the perfect solution and set off for Nethefield. Upon arriving, Elizabeth can’t help to think this whole thing just seems off. Caroline with fragile nerves? She has the tenacity of a bear. Something is just not right.

wolfman 2010 inspector abberline hmm i've almost got it hugo weaving

But such thoughts are interrupted by the arrival of her mother. After she has invited all to dinner and left, Louisa Hurst tries to make fun of her with Caroline. But to Elizabeth and Jane’s shock, Caroline doesn’t make fun of her. Instead she just thanks the thoughtful gesture.

OMG

WHAT? CAROLINE IS ACTUALLY NICE!!!??? Now Elizabeth is certain something is definitely not right. Caroline would never miss out on an opportunity to make fun of the Bennets.

strange things are afoot at the circle k

On a side note, the whole Netherfield estate is run by people in need rather than trained servants. It’s pretty funny as I know that is exactly what Jane and Bingley would do. Too tenderhearted for their own good.

Anyways, back to the mystery. So Elizabeth heads over to the hothouse and sees Professor Randolph heavily concentrating on cutting leaves. He says they are spearmint and that he is using them to cure Caroline. He also keeps talking about the upcoming Winter Solstice.

Interesting, very interesting.

Interesting, very interesting.

Later that evening they all get into a discussion of reason vs. the supernatural. Professor Randolph is all for the unexplained, while Darcy is heavily a nay.

That night Elizabeth cannot sleep and hears something. She goes out and finds Caroline running around the hall. She tries to talk to her, but Caroline is just not responsive. Instead, Elizabeth deposits her with Mr. Parrish and goes back to her room. Is Caroline really sleepwalking? Why is all this happening so suddenly? (Well you all know what I think. It’s the husband.)

The next day the group set out for Longbourn, when the Bingley’s carriage overturns.

OMG

Jane and Bingley are okay, but they could have been killed. In fact, there coachman died. They all return to Netherfield and the local doctor is called in.

Now they believe the wheel probably came off for normal reasons, and that the Bingley’s nice but inexperienced help just didn’t realize it was in need of repairs. However, I am a devout mystery reader and was trained by the best, Agatha Christie, so I know that this is no mere coincidence, but someone was attempting to murder the Bingleys. I’m still gunning for Mr. Parrish, money as the motive.

Anyways, at the house it turns out that Mr. Kendall has been waiting quite some time to speak to Mr. Bingley. He arrived just after the group set off (meaning he could have tampered with the wheel, and then “arrived” after they all left to give himself an alibi.) Hmm…

paris-whenitsizzlesaudreyhmmHepburn

Mr. Kendall doesn’t care that Mr. Bingley has just been in an accident but demands to see him. And of course, sweet Bingley agrees. Darcy also accompanies them, as he knows without him, Bingley would sign himself over.

Mr. Kendall once again starts charging the family with holding money that is rightfully his. He threatens to take them to court, when Darcy presents his trump card. The Bingleys have proof of his embezzlement and if they do go to court all of England will find out about that and the Kendalls will most likely have to either head to the continent (Europe) or the New World.

Gotcha!

Gotcha!

Mr Kendall is enraged and threatens that he will have his revenge on the Bingley family, no one can stop him. He then storms out, only to storm back in as extreme snow is forcing him to be unable to travel.

the irony iron

Elizabeth keeps dreaming of the carriage wheel falling off, seeing it vividly even though she never witnessed it. She wakes up, and feels that something is not quite right. It is the middle of the night, and all appears to be well, but Elizabeth decides to take a stroll through the house in hopes to calm her mind. She sees a light coming from the library and assumes it must be Bingley, but when she gets closer it is Mr. Kendall and he is rifling through Bingley’s desk. He must be looking for the embezzlement papers! She hides into the next room, until Kendall returns upstairs, and just as she is to go back to her room she spots Caroline. Once again Caroline is pulling a Mrs. Rochester and roaming the house at night. Elizabeth heads toward her to take her back to her room, but after Caroline spots her she returns on her own. Elizabeth goes back to her own room where she tells Darcy about Kendall.

Darcy decides to move the papers and the two go back to sleep. Just as Elizabeth has slipped off to dreamland, she is awakened once more by the calling if her name. She wakes up and realizes that it must have been a dream, but then sees that there is smoke in the room, and FIRE!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

She wakes Darcy, and they quickly wake everyone else up, moving them out of the house. Mr. Bingley and Jane are alright, but they have the worst of the smoke damage as the fire was started outside their room. The Hursts are quite okay, as they were wakened before it was too bad in their wing. Mr. Kendall is also, unfortunately, well as is Mr. Parrish and Professor Randolph. But no one can find Caroline.

Mrs. Hurst is complaining about clothes and being put out, etc, etc. But Elizabeth stops listening as she realizes something very odd. When she was calling there was a fire, Mr. Kendall came running down the stairs, fully dressed. While everyone else is in their night clothes, he is the only one who is dressed right. Pretty strange for a man who had “gone to bed.” Hmmm….almost as if he had known…

Interesting, very interesting.

Interesting, very interesting.

The search for Caroline turns out to be a futile one. Yep, they had her with them the whole time. Caroline is strangely dressed in maid’s clothing, so in the confusion everyone assumed she was a maid. She is badly burned, especially her left hand. They try to question her, but once again Caroline can’t remember. Ever since this whole “thing” started Caroline has been suffering from blackouts. The worst part of the burn is her left fingers, and they try to remove her wedding ring, but Caroline won’t let them.

Mr. Parrish talks to Elizabeth aside from the group and tells her he fears he may have married Mrs. Rochester (not really that’s what I’m calling her). For those of you who have never read any books from the Bronte sisters, Mr. Parrish believes that Caroline may have set the fire and tried to murder her brother and sister-in-law. He now is considering the possibility that an insane asylum is the best way to go.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO! Insane asylums were horrible back in the day. Just horrible. And once you are committed, you would never come out. Men who wanted their wives only for their money, if they didn’t have family members willing to protect them, they would have them committed. Their word was stronger than the “insane” one. Horrible, horrible places. You can say there all kinds of things wrong with mental health facilities today, but none will ever be as bad as back then.

Darcy returns from leading the fire brigade. It turns out that the house wasn’t too damaged, the worst occuring at the master suite while the rest just need airing out from the smoke. The Hursts, Parrishs, Professor Randolph, and Jane go to Longbourn while the clean up is overseen by Darcy and Bingley. Elizabeth remains to be with Darcy, while Mr. Kendall stays as the sky looks bad, (in reality he wants to snoop more).

When Darcy investigates the fire, he finds pieces of Jane’s silver dress in the location of where it started. Weird how they got there as the dress was last seen hanging in the closet. Elizabeth also tells Darcy about her suspicions surrounding Mr. Kendall, and his explanation that he had “fallen asleep in his clothes.” She also tells him about Mr. Parrish’s suspicions of Caroline.

paris-whenitsizzlesaudreyhmmHepburn

After everyone has returned, Elizabeth overhears Caroline talking to someone and making fun of her family. While in the past this has angered Elizabeth, she readily welcomes it as it is a sign of the old Caroline. However, when she peeks into the room she sees that Caroline is actually talking to herself.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow

Later Elizabeth is asked to sit in during one of Professor Randolph and Caroline’s sessions, as Professor Randolph can’t locate Mr. Parrish. He questions Caroline and she is her normal irritable self and in pain over her ring. Professor Randolph has spearmint around and speaks some phrases in a low voice.

That night is not fun at all. Mr. Kendall is completely rude and insulting. He makes digs at Caroline, insinuates that Mr. Parrish is not all that he seems but a rotter, and that Mr. Hurst is a river rat gambler.

Interesting, very interesting.

Interesting, very interesting.

Darcy and Elizabeth discuss Mr. Kendall’s comments. Could Mr. Hurst be gambling all his money away? Is Mr. Parrish a snake? Is Caroline too far gone for help?

Elizabeth starts thinking about why all this is happening. Could Mr. Hurst have gambled all his money away and is trying to kill Bingley, Jane, and Caroline so that he inherits? Could Mr. Kendall be trying to kill them all? Mr. Darcy is not wholly convinced, but decides to write to friends for some info on Hurst, and keep a close eye on Kendall.

Later, Elizabeth is working on needlework when she is approached by Mr. Parrish. He is attempting a custom he heard about in New Orleans about taking the hair of friends and family to create a good luck charm. He asks for her hair, but Elizabeth refuses, partly because she is not really a friend of Caroline, and because Darcy would be furious that she gave her hair to any man but him. You have to remember that giving of your hair symbolized a very close relationship. Usually the two were engaged, close friends, or related.

uh-no-gif

Darcy and Bingley are discussing the repairs of the house and the landlord, when they set off to the billiard room to play pool. There they discover Hurst and Kendall playing, with Hurst not looking as if he is really enjoying himself. Hurst takes off, and Bingley is called away; leaving Darcy with Mr. Kendall.

Karen stop talking

Without any excuse, Darcy plays a game with Kendall. Mr. Kendall talks to Darcy about his dislike for Mr. Parrish. Apparently he was the one who stopped the engagement, contrary to what has been said around town. He thought that Mr. Parrish was too forward, asking his daughter for a lock of hair before he even declared himself. Luckily for Darcy, Mr. Parrish comes in and tells Darcy that Bingley needs him.

Elizabeth and Jane are looking at the poorly hung Christmas decorations. Elizabeth leaves her to grab her bonnet for a walk when she sees Mr. Randolph and Caroline having a session, alone, and no ordinary one. Leaves have been scattered all around her and Professor Randolph is speaking some strange words over her and pressing an object into her left hand. Caroline looked deathly pale. Elizabeth also starts feeling strange, as if the words are coming over her as well.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

Elizabeth interrupts them and Professor Randolph acts very suspicious. Not answering any of Elizabeth’s questions at all. Elizabeth finds herself questioning, what this man is really about. Especially when he asks her to keep all that she has seen a secret from everyone.

So now they are up to three 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. 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.

And of course my pick, 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.

IndianaJonesHmmMaybe

Elizabeth tells Mr. Parrish about the session she saw, and he becomes incensed. He yells at Professor Randolph, nearly knocking him down the stairs.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

Mr. Parrish once again brings up the idea of placing Caroline in an insane asylum. To Elizabeth and Darcy’s shock, her family actually is considering doing it. They suggest getting her a nurse, but that idea is shot down. Professor Randolph doesn’t agree as he thinks that Carolin is improving. In fact, he believes a few more sessions with him will help her. But Parrish cuts him off, letting him know that his help is no longer necessary. In fact, as soon as the storm ends Professor Randolph is whole-heartedly invited to leave.

ouch Hermione

 Mr. Darcy receives a letter from his friend, regarding Mr. Hurst. Mr. Hurst had been gambling a lot and owes a whole ton of money. To makes things worse, Mr. Kendall bought up all his IOUs. Buying IOUs was very popular then. Let’s say Steve owes Tom, Dick, and Harry $5 each. George buys the IOUs from the three, paying what is owed. Now Steve owes George $15.  Not only was it beneficial to the person who was owed money, but the person who bought up the IOUs, espechially the big ones, was now in a position of power over the others.

Seeing as Hurst has huge debts, and now is indebted to Kendall, it makes him a much stronger suspect. He might be trying to kill the Bingleys to inherit or doing the dirty work of Mr. Kendall.

The plot thickens

The plot thickens

While the Darcys are going to ask Kendall more questions, they discover his body. Now the question who is trying to kill the Bingleys and who killed Kendall?

*******Attention*******

If you wish to not have the ending spoiled then stop reading. Know that I enjoyed this book immensely, except for a later “supernatural” part. I think that this is something all Austen fans should check out. For those who are okay with me telling them the end, continue.

So now things have changed. Either there are two murderers, one after the Bingleys and the other after Mr. Kendall, or this is one. But why and who?

  1. Mr. Hurst- As stated before, he could have been trying to kill the Bingleys either for the money or because Mr. Kendall is using his debts to force him too. He could have killed Kendall because of his debts to him or to stop him from trying to murder his extended family.
  2. Professor Randolph– Trying to kill the Bingleys, but making it look like Caroline in order to keep a position in the house. Maybe Mr. Kendall knew somthing about him? It’s a weak reason, I know.
  3. Mr. Parrish– Killing the Bingleys for money, killed Mr. Hurst because he knew more about him than Mr. Parrish wanted to be public.

Mrs. Hurst is excused from being a suspect as she is too stupid, and of course Mr. Darcy, Elizabeth, Jane, and Bingley aren’t suspects.

As they further search the crime scene, they discover signs written out in the dust on the floor, the same signs Elizabeth saw on Professor Randolph’s watch. The same watch in the dead man’s clutches

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

When Professor Randolph is questioned, he says that he misplaced his watch. But did he really? But if it was him, why would he leave signs on the ground that would clearly trace everything back to him?

Interesting, very interesting.

Interesting, very interesting.

Professor Randolph tries to get Elizabeth to give him his watch back as Darcy has it. Or forgive me, I forgot to mention that the constable is a bumbling fool and Mr. Darcy is the one who really takes charge of the situation.

Anyways, the rest of the group is questioned, but no one really has anything to help. Elizabeth speaks to Darcy about her suspicions of Professor Randolph. The pentagram symbol on the floor, the way he acted about the watch, the death on the winter solstice, etc. Elizabeth also believes that something unnatural is going on, she can feel it.

supernatural supernatural

Darcy doesn’t agree with her feelings, although he agrees the evidence is pointing toward Professor Randolph.

To only make things better, Miss Kendall descends on the house angry and demanding to know who murdered her father. And Professor Randolph has disappeared.

Of course

None of the maids want to be around Caroline as they are afraid that she is going to hurt them as she is “crazy.” Elizabeth goes in to talk to her and helps take the ring off that has been hurting her finger. As soon as the ring is off, it is as if Caroline has awaken from her haze, she tries to tell Elizabeth something, but is interrupted by Mr. Parrish, who promptly puts the ring back on.

Afterwards, Elizabeth finds herself questioning her suspicions of Professor Randolph. The watch seems to call to her, and she remembers that Professor Randolph had the watch on Caroline’s left hand. And that even though Caroline is right handed her left was injured. And that Caroline has been trying to get rid of the ring on her left hand. Hmm…

Interesting, very interesting.

Interesting, very interesting.

The ring! There is something in that ring. The last time Caroline was normal, she had removed her ring briefly. Professor Randolph must have enchanted it and is controlling her. Darcy doesn’t believe her, so Elizabeth sets off on her own to get that ring off Caroline’s finger on her own.

Darcy goes to look through Mr. Kendall’s things to see if there is something that might lead to the answers of his death. He comes upon Miss Kendall already looking through Mr. Kendall’s papers, and she hands Darcy a letter. The letter says that Mr. Parrish is not who he says he is but a conman known as Jack Diamond. He is a pickpocket, swindler, and murderer. Professor Randolph is a professor, like he said, and frequents pawn shops (unknown as why). Darcy puts all the pieces together, and sets off to find him.

I-got-this-reaction-gif

Meanwhile, Elizabeth goes to see Caroline, intent on removing the ring. She is interrupted by Mr. Parrish and shares her thoughts. Mr. Parrish is not happy as he was the one who cursed the ring. He has bewitched the wedding bands so that he controls Caroline. He killed Kendall too.

He has Caroline tie up Elizabeth, as he contemplates what to do with her. Elizabeth’s maid comes by looking for her, but Mr. Parrish gets rid if her.  Mr. Darcy forces himself in with Mr. Bingley’s pistol, but is forced to concede when he sees Elizabeth held up by knifepoint. Mr. Parrish tosses the gun to Caroline, having her watch over the two. Mr. Parrish decides he is going to take Elizabeth with him, and will ransom her for all of Darcy’s money.

you're evil

Footsteps come down the hallway and Mr. Parrish runs to the door, with the dagger to keep any from coming in. Darcy grabs the fireplace poker to use against him. As Caroline points the gun at Darcy, Elizabeth uses her weight to knock Caroline down. As everyone is struggling and fighting, Bingley and Professor Randolph come in. Mr. Parrish uses the “good luck amulet” to control Bingley and stop Professor Randolph. Professor Randolph yells at Elizabeth to use his amulet, the watch on Caroline. She does and reduces the power. Eventually all overpower Parrish and remove his objects of control.

Professor Randolph uses an oak rod from the museum exhibit, taps it on the objects and says a few words. He “removes” all the power from the objects. He explains that the rings were from the 16th century and that they had been commissioned by a marquis who was jealous of his wife. Professor Randolph wanted to purchase them, but had no money to do so. He met Mr. Parrish, who purchased the rings, paid for Professor Randolph to come with him to America, would possibly fund his next expedition, and could introduce him to other wealthy patrons. Parrish was also very interested in all his work and asked him a gazillion questions. Professor Randolph taught him a charm to make him not in complete control of those he has a lock of hair from, but able to make strong suggestions.

In the end the Darcys finally make it to Pemberley for Christmas

victorian_christmas room decorated for christmas

Mr. Parrish was imprisoned and Caroline began the process of a divorce. The Hursts debts forced them to depart for the continent. Jane and Bingley resumed life as normal, and began searching for a house to buy. Miss Kendall inherited everything from her father, and married. Professor Randolph was able to make it out of the whole drama okay. He believes that Elizabeth has “the power” and offers to help her any time be able to understand and control her gift.

TheEnd_Title_2

So I liked the book as I felt it stayed true to the characters, while at the same time Carrie Bebris was able to put her own spin on them. The mystery was good, even though I figured it out very fast. The only think I didn’t like was Elizabeth’s “supernatural” powers. I don’t like supernatural mysteries, so I would have kept that out, but otherwise it was very good novel and I’m looking forward to reading its sequel.

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For more Pride & Prejudice, go to Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart

For more retellings of Pride & Prejudice, go to The Accidental Bride

For more on works inspired by Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice, go to Happy Birthday Pride & Prejudice

For more mysteries, go to A Whole Lot of Fanfare

Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart

MrDarcyBrokeMyHeart

Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart by Beth Pattillo

Have you ever had a book and had a bad feeling about it?

BadFeelings

Either you check it out from the library, unwrap it, or pick it up in the bookstore and you just know that this book is not going to be something you enjoy.

DislikeYOuScream2

Well that’s how I felt about this book. In fact I borrowed it from the library months ago, but just couldn’t bring myself to read it. Eventually I couldn’t renew it any longer and had to read it.

So I started the book out and I actually was enjoying it.

WHAT!

WHAT! MUST KEEP READING

But then I got to the end where it all fell apart and I hated it.

I dont like it 11

So what went wrong?

So the book starts out Claire Prescott. Claire is in her thirties and from Kansas City. She is in a lackluster relationship with Neil,a  sports fanatic, and has recently lost her job when her sister calls in with a favor. After Claire’s parents died, she became the soul caregiver for her sister, forgoing college and other young adult dreams. Even now she is always caring for her sister, no matter that she is married and pregnant with her second child. Anyway, when her sister is put on bed-rest and can’t attend a special Pride & Prejudice seminar to give her paper, Claire steps up to the plate.

I-got-this-reaction-gif

Only one problem. Claire has never read anything Jane Austen, and the only thing she knows about it is that everyone who has read or watched it is obsessed with Mr. Darcy.

gameofthronesterriblemistakerob

So Claire journeys to Oxford University where she will be presenting the paper, and starts to feel overwhelmed as she is nowhere near the caliber of these people.

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She tries to relax and settle down, when the most gorgeous man comes her way and asks to sit with her.

be-still-my-heart-gaston-o

He introduces himself as James, in publishing, and from Manhattan. He too will be in the Pride & Prejudice seminar, although he is not a fan. Unfortunately he is as arrogant as he is cute. Luckily, the tongue-tied Claire is saved from making a fool of herself, as her room is ready.

That night and the welcome dinner, Claire finds herself seated with James and Martin, a kindly old man who instantly likes her. Claire tells them she is a doctor in pediatrics instead of the truth, making the same stupid cliché mistake that is done a thousand times in film and books.

Every time!

So now you know she is going to fall for James, and he for her, and then the truth will all come out making James never want to see her again. Same old, same old.

Same old thing.

Same old thing.

The next day is a free one, to help those who are suffering from jet-lag, and Claire decides to take a walk in the country. As she is roaming, she runs into an older woman, in a trench coat, sitting on a stump.

That's weird.

That’s weird.

Her name is Harriet Dalrymple and it turns out that she is a fan of Jane Austen as well. In fact she is distantly related to the author.

Harriet invites Claire over for tea, and Claire goes as she hopes to get Harriet out of the heat. They get to Harriet’s home, when Harriet drops a bomb on Claire. It turns out she has an earlier draft of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice, the one that has been believed to be destroyed.

Say What

Claire is sure Harriet is joking, but Harriet pulls out a sheet of very old paper, written in old ink, and it looks extremely legitimate.

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

So Claire starts reading, and even to her limited knowledge it doesn’t seem right. While the style looks right,

Mr. Bennet is dead!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

And Mr. Bingley chooses to forgo renting Netherfield!

NotLiketheBook

Rev. Collins decides to leave the church and instead become a gentleman of leisure.

What the

This version sounds more like the beginning of Sense & Sensibility, with Elizabeth planning their removal to a cheaper area, Mr. Collins coming and kicking them out a’la Fanny Dashwood, and the whole group moving to the seaside. The only difference? Elizabeth decides to seek employment. 

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Now there are quite a few problems with this writing, the first being why didn’t Jane marry Mr. Collins? When you read Pride & Prejudice, we know Jane is a people pleaser and that she would do anything her parents told her too. And we know that Mr. Collins likes Jane, in fact the only thing that keeps him from marrying her is because Mrs. Bennet assumed that Mr. Bingley would ask for Jane’s hand. But if we have no Mr. Bingley, then most likely Mr. Collins would have asked for Jane’s hand and Mrs. Bennet would have agreed, like in Lost in Austen. 

Mal_huh Whoa Wow

Why would Elizabeth be seeking employment? I mean we know that Elizabeth cares for her family and wants to help them, but she is of the gentry class [minor], so it is a bit odd that that would be her first idea. Someone like her who has never had to worry about such things automatically jumping to that? This isn’t modern times, it would make more sense if the idea grew gradually instead of all at once.

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

So Claire becomes a little weirded out as Harriet says “the others won’t be happy” that she shared the manuscript. In fact she starts to worry that maybe she is in the opening scenes of a horror film.

Gilmore girls creep

She quickly runs away and heads to downtown.

Run Away

In downtown she runs into Martin and learns more about Jane Austen, such as the fact that she wrote a manuscript 10 years prior to Pride & Prejudice, but choose not to keep it, later publishing the one we have today. That starts her thinking, could the one I’ve been reading at Harriet’s be the “real” one?

IndianaJonesHmmMaybe

Martin also tells Claire about Tom Lefoy, the wealthy man Jane Austen fell for, but was unable to marry as his relatives quickly spirited him away from such a poor conquest. Tom Lefoy is believed to be the foundation for Mr. Darcy’s character, Austen’s version having a man of high means willing to brave the negative consequences of marrying down, along with the hateful reception from his relations. Tom Lefoy was also the basis for the plot of Persuasion, of course that novel being a wish fulfillment as the man goes away, but comes back, reuniting the couple.

The next day starts the seminar, and Claire meets their facilitator Eleanor Gibbs. Besides Claire, James, and Martin, there are three other group members: Rosie and Louise from New Zealand, and Olga from Russia. Rosie & Louise go first, their video presentation on the many portrayals of Mr. Darcy in film and TV.

 Pick whichever look you prefer

Now nobody likes their presentation, but this would actually be pretty fascinating IF done right.

I mean first we have Laurence Olivier (my opinion one of the best Darcys) who is able to play restrained and rude; balanced with the charming and endearing Darcy. You also see subtle changes in how he talks to Elizabeth, but with the proposal still coming as a shock. Then we have David Rintoul in the ’80s who is more rude than restrained. Colin Firth‘s  Darcy is the first time we are seen multiple sides of Darcy as in this depiction as we are shown his viewpoint on events instead of just Elizabeths. In Furst Impressions, Mr. Darcy is played by Wishbone the dog, being RADICALLY different. Then we have Colin Firth again, this time in Bridget Jones’ Diary, playing a betrayed man, restrained as his heart was broken, but eventually showing his true emotions. Martin Henderson in Bride & Prejudice, is not only extremely cocky but integrating into a vastly different culture. Matthew Macfayden is more cold than rude, changing more rapidly to the charming Mr. Darcy. Lost in Austen’s Darcy is played by Elliot Cowan who can be downright cruel at times. Josh Hopkins‘ Darcy in The 12 Men of Christmas isn’t a gentleman or rich, but a rugged outdoorsman, small business owner, and volunteer on the rescue squad. J.J. Feild in Austenland is more reserved, but then easily transforms to the Darcy we all love. And then of course Daniel Vincent Gordh, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, isn’t even shown until the very end, forcing the viewers to rely on how Lizzie and friends see him, contrasting that to the amazing Darcy we are later introduced to. Sorry small tangent, I’ll get back to the book review.

LookBackNorth&SouthMr.Thornton

So, no one likes their presentation and Claire feels better about presenting next time.

The next day, Claire sees James and Eleanor talking, and it doesn’t seem to be going all that well. She waits until they are done to get a seat, when Eleanor comes over to talk to her.

OhNOthisisgonnabebad

It turns out that Harriet is Eleanor’s mother and suffering from dementia. Eleanor thinks Claire will only make things worse and wants her to stay far away. Claire doesn’t want to stop seeing Harriet, but at the same time she doesn’t want to hurt her.

Later that afternoon as she is walking away, James comes out of nowhere and asks her to dinner.

What?

What?

Claire is surprised, but accepts.

excited

James takes her to a super fancy place for dinner and the two discuss Darcy. James thinks it’s the money and extreme good looks that stirs the women’s hearts, but Claire doesn’t agree. He kind of squashes anything Claire has to say in retort and moves on to other topics.

How rude

Now here is where James is dead wrong. Money isn’t what makes Darcy so sought after, [you can read more about in my post First Impressions], it’s the fact that he is willing to humble himself and admit he was wrong, help out the Bennet family with no promise that he would gain Elizabeth’s heart, and the fact that he is brave enough to withstand all objections by his family for the woman he marries. That is why he is so romantic!

Mr.Darcy & Dating

Anyways, James tells Claire that Martin is a professor who’s field is Jane Austen, in fact he will be teaching in Oxford in the fall. Claire is surprised and the conversation moves on.

That night as James is walking Claire to her dorm, the two have a moment, nothing happens, but Claire is starting to feel guilty about it as she is in a relationship with Neil. A stagnant, boring one, but a relationship none the less.

Likeahouse

The next day Claire finds herself going to see Harriet’s, and another portion of the “manuscript”.

Elizabeth is at Rosings Park, a companion to Lady Catherine de Bourgh’s daughter Ann.

suspicious  Hmm

Okay why is she working here? How did she even meet Lady Catherine? Reverand Collins introduced them in the original novel, but judging from how people treated the ex-Reverand Hale in North & South, I don’t think Lady Catherine would want someone related to the ex-Reverand Collins. Whether he left the church for beliefs or money.

uh-no-gif

So Mr. Darcy and Colonel Fitzwilliam are on their way to visit. Elizabeth goes out walking the gardens and getting messy, dirty, and tan. She runs into Mr. Darcy on a horse. He believes her to be a lower class servant and is rather mean to her. Elizabeth shoots the barbs right back.

Okay in Pride & Prejudice, Mr. Darcy was seen as rude or cold, but never downright mean. In fact the whole reason everyone really starts hating him is that he gives the impression of looking down on people and says Elizabeth isn’t pretty enough to him. BUT, we know from his servants that he really nice and caring, so why would you make him like this?

Get it right

Get it right

As she continues on her way, angry with herself as being rude might get her fired, she encounters Colonel Fitzwilliam, who has injured himself riding. The two flirt a bit, and Elizabeth scurries on her way to get help.

So we have Colonel Fitzwilliam as a rival for Elizabeth’s affections instead of Wickham. Claire is surprised by this, but can’t read more as she has to leave. Harriet warns her about Mrs. Potter, the leader of the Formidables, a secret society that wants to make sure anything Jane Austen’s sister did not intend for public viewships to remain hidden. Eleanor also wants the manuscript as she wants to publish it and become rich. Harriet sends all the pieces she has found with Claire, feeling they are safer with her until she makes her decision as what to do with them.

So now it is as if Claire has entered a spy movie, as she has “the package” everyone is after.

As Claire is contemplating what to do, she runs into James, who invites her to tour the Botanical Gardens with him. They walk around with Claire wanting to slowly stroll and take it all in, while James is just wanting to keep moving forward. Claire questions him as to what happened if a famous author’s previous manuscript was discovered and James tells her that it will mean A LOT OF MONEY for the person and the publishing house.

money money money

They eventually have to stop as it gets too hot. Now I have never been to England and I know this author has, but I looked up the temperatures and it does not get hot. 70 degrees? That’s nothing, try being in the ’90s or 100s. THAT’S HOT!

Anyways, as they are resting, James falls asleep, leaning on Claire. So with Claire having one guy interested it is fitting in scriptworld for Neil to decide to call her up.

Phew!

Phew!

Yes Neil who hardly ever seems to pay attention and is just calling her after she has been there like three days already! THREE DAYS!! He should have called the first day to see that she got in okay. Bad boyfriend, bad.

See Hook agrees with me.

See Hook agrees with me.

It turns out that Claire’s sister Missy said something to him, that made Neil want to call. Hurumph.

James wakes up and asks Claire to dine with him again, but she decides that the dining hall is better as the nice restaurants make her a bit uneasy and they really should be mingling with the other students. They have dinner, with Martin joining them. At the end of it, one of the porters comes for Claire as she has a package waiting for her.

Inside the package are more pages of the novel. Claire runs to her room to read more when she finds a warning note from Mrs. Parrot who wants the pages back.

They're watching her!

They’re watching her!

Claire decides to continue reading as she just has to know what happens next.

So Lady Catherine is throwing a ball, of which Elizabeth is not invited. To her surprise at the last minute Lady Catherine requests her presence, and she dresses quickly in a black gown. 

hold-up-wait-a-minute-let-me-put-some-pimpin-in-it

So as this manuscript is missing a lot of pages, we are unsure how long after Elizabeth’s father died that this ball is taking place. Black was only worn during the full morning period, half of the complete mourning period. As a daughter, Elizabeth would mourn for six months, having to wear all black in the first three and could wear half black for the last three. SHE WOULD NEVER, EVER wear a black gown if she wasn’t mourning. Now as Elizabeth is mourning, as she is wearing black, she could not go to the ball. Customs allowed the deceased’s family to only go to Church and a few functions, balls were out of the question. And a woman like Lady Catherine who cares so much about propriety and society would never make a faux-pas like that. NEVER!

So a mistake like that? Book’s a fake. Move on Claire, move on.

Majorly

Majorly

So Rev. Humphrey, the one who took Mr. Collins’ position, invites Elizabeth to an outing to show off his house. Mr. Darcy and Colonel Fitzwilliam are also going to take a look. Elizabeth agrees, if Ann’s health allows her to come. Lady Catherine agrees if Darcy leads Ann. Elizabeth notices that Darcy doesn’t seem eager to be thrown together with his cousin. Colonel Fitzwilliam will lead Elizabeth, disappointing Rev. Humphrey as he wanted her all to himself. 

Claire decides to go out for some exercise, taking the manuscript in her purse, and runs into Martin. She asks for his help and shows him the manuscript. Martin wishes he could see more and find out where it all came from, but Claire can’t tell him as she promised Harriet. Martin guesses that the Formidables are involved somehow in all this, much to Claire’s surprise. In the end Martin tells her that he believes it could be real, and when Claire asks for advice of what to do, he tells her to follow her heart.

heartguideyou

As she is heading to her room, Claire runs into James who makes her feel…words can’t describe. He walks her home when, he suddenly kisses her.

BMW Kiss

Just as suddenly he breaks away, all sorry that he gave her the wrong impression but nothing can happen here story. If nothing can happen why would you kiss her? Come, on!

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

Claire is justifiably incensed and takes off to her room. When she reaches her room she finds it ransacked!

OhNOthisisgonnabebad

The next day Eleanor is angry with Claire for bothering her mother, and tries to get the manuscript from her. But Claire steadfastly refuses.

It’s time for Claire to share her sister’s essay, which is on the relationship between Elizabeth and Jane. Her sister, Missy, feels that Elizabeth’s constant helping actually hinders her chances of securing an attachment with Bingley, rather than the younger sister’s actions. However, I disagree as anything anyone says about Jane doesn’t deter Bingley except for when Mr. Darcy tells him that not only is Jane from bad stock, but he doesn’t think she really likes Bingley that much. So in reality it comes from Elizabeth not telling Jane what Charlotte told her too, make it clear she was very interested. Sorry Missy but you have some huge holes in your thesis.

This whole essay upsets Claire as it makes her rethink her relationship with Missy, maybe Missy actually resents everything she’s done to help her.

After the paper is shared, they spend the rest of the time talking about the guy we all hate, Wickham.

GeorgeWickhamKickButtPride&Prejudice

When class end Claire finds herself back at Harriet’s cottage, and is given the next part to read.

So the group has gone out to visit Rev. Humphrey’s home. The good Rev. is very interested in Elizabeth, which upsets Lady Catherine. ( I don’t know why? Wouldn’t she prefer him giving her all the attention instead of her nephews?) Elizabeth finds herself continuously paired with the colonel and starts enjoying her time with him. Elizabeth asks about an engagement between Darcy and Ann, but Colonel Fitzwilliam assures her that there is nothing definite. Elizabeth is hopeful as she cares for Darcy.

Now why would she do that? In this manuscript we have only seen two thing with Darcy 1) rude to servants and people he thinks are below him 2) Very quiet. Now does that seem like something Elizabeth would fall for? NO! In Pride & Prejudice there is the hope that maybe he might be her true guy, which is dashed when he says that he doesn’t think she is that attractive. Her contempt for him is only changed after she sees his sweet behavior in Pemberly with his servants, sister, and her and her relations. This is all further fortified when he helps with Lydia and brings Jane and Bingley together. Get it right!

Get it right!!!

Get it right Beth Patillo!!!

Elizabeth asks the Colonel more about  himself and learns that he has recently left the regiment as he has been granted a parcel of land by his father. He doesn’t seem supremely happy with the choice as he misses being out on the sea. Elizabeth also shares a bit of her feelings on how she dislikes the changes her family was forced to go through. Elizabeth then starts thinking on how he would make a great husband, and protect his wife. If only Darcy was like that. Darcy, who makes her feel alive when he kissed her, but now only ignores her.

hold-up-wait-a-minute-let-me-put-some-pimpin-in-it

There are two, HUGE problems with that! Huge!!

First of all, look at Elizabeth!! That’s not Elizabeth. That character is the type you would find in a 10¢ “historical”, bodice-ripping, romance novel. Oooh what a strong protector. Oh Mr. Darcy’s eyes, his lips. NO NO NO  NO NO NO! Elizabeth does not moon over such things NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! This is horrible! This is like bad fan fiction. This is Fifty Shades of Gray bad! NO, NO, NO, NO, NO!!!! Elizabeth would never act like that, Never!!!

NotLiketheBook

I’m sooooooooo upset right now!!!!!!

notenoughChamomileTeaStopRage

Just argh!! Words cannot express how much I hate how they took a character I love and destroyed it so!!! And I get that the author is trying to present a radically different Austen novel and one that a younger Jane might write but I don’t care!!! I don’t like it!

I don't like it 11

And number two NO KISSING IN JANE AUSTEN NOVELS!!!! There is no way Jane Austen would write them kissing. That wasn’t done in Regency periods. You don’t go kissing until after marriage, unless you are a no good cad like Mr. Tilney’s older brother. So NO NO NO NO! Mr. Darcy would not be trifling with girls affections, no. And Jane would not put that in there.

So there! tongue sticking out pug

No way! It is a FAKE!!!!!!

Elizabeth enjoys Colonel Fitzwilliam’s company, but she is in love with Darcy.

Although I don’t know why as apparently he is a cad.

As Claire leaves Harriet’s she sees someone following her.

creep watching lovely bones Stanley tucci

It’s Mrs. Parrot who wants the manuscripts back.

The next morning, Claire heads out to Starbucks and on the way to class runs into James. James wants to apologize for how he was acting as he cares for her. He is about to confess something to Claire, and Claire is about to tell the truth on her not being a doctor, when who should appear? Neil.

Darcy P&P OMG Can't Even

What a cliché!

Neil introduces himself as Claire’s boyfriend, which upsets James. James asks if it is true, of which Claire says yes, causing James to become angry and stalk off. Neil realizes what has been happening and also becomes angry and takes off. Claire is just appalled at how quickly life was turned upside down.

StoryOfMyLifeSomeLikeItHotMarilynMonroe

James presents his paper on how Elizabeth wasn’t really in love with Darcy but just a gold-digger once she saw how awesome Pemberly was. Claire runs out, just wanting to be alone to deal with all the stuff that went down that morning. She runs to the nearby river to think, when Neil comes floating down on a boat. They talk about their relationship, with Neil admitting that he didn’t pay as much attention to her as he should have, but that Claire wasn’t giving him as much attention as she is too focused on her sister. Now I thought this was a very late development, as previously Claire had mentioned that she did a lot for her sister, but when Neil mentions it as almost an obsession. Who is right? We don’t know as the author is almost trying to rescind her earlier reasons for why Claire was unhappy in her relsationship and the whole character based on Neil. I don’t buy it.

uh-no-gif

Claire leaves Neil to think, and heads to Harriet’s who has found more pieces of the manuscript.

Elizabeth is walking in the park when she runs into Mr. Darcy. Mr. Darcy tells Elizabeth that he will not be victim to her game of trying to catch him. He tells her he loves her but that he could never marry a poor peon like her. If he was free from family control, maybe, but no. Elizabeth becomes angry, and says she never tried any such thing of “catching him”. And Darcy is free to do what he wishes.

Okay this is what I don’t like! They made Darcy the villian! They made him a pompus, jerk, pansy, mamma’s boy! No, NO, NO, NO. That is not how Darcy should be. And wouldn’t this Darcy make more sense after her fling with Tom LeFoy as she would have been angry with his lack of standing up for their love and releasing her anger in written form? Why would she  change and make Darcy better after such a disappointing circumstance when her previous creations evoked a closer emotion. It doesn’t make sense to me. And Darcy cannot be the villain. NO!!!!

No thank you

Elizabeth then travels to see Jane and pour out her miseries

Whatever! This book is going to have to do some major begging to get me to like it as it has sunk very, very low in my opinion.

So Claire and Neil meet at a pub to talk. It turns out that Neil is doubly upset as he was going to ask Claire to marry him.

ouch Hermione

They break up, and Neil heads to the airport.

Claire runs into James, who once he hears about the breakup, wants the two to start over fresh and build a life together. Claire appreciates his thoughts but tells him the truth about her not being a doctor. She also tells him that a part of her has been believing that he’s her Mr. Darcy.

Which he isn’t as he is totally jerky. Remember their dinner together, where he wouldn’t let her express her opinions?

Jerk

Claire goes to sleep missing Neil and wondering why she thew him away.

missingYou

Uh, Claire let me just remind you that the boy was taking you for granted and waited three days before calling or texting you! Three days! Find someone who really cares about you.

Missy calls Claire the next day and the two have a huge heart-to-heart. Missy tells her how she loves her sister, but truth is Claire has been sacrificing too much of her dreams and goals. Missy is grown now, Claire should be focusing on her own life, needs, desires, etc.

She later runs into Neil, who couldn’t catch a flight, which makes her regret everything even more. She believes that the man next to her is better than Mr. Darcy/James. Of which let me remind you James is nowhere near Mr. Darcy, and if Claire had actually read Pride & Prejudice she would know that. 

Mr. TPride&PrejudicePity

Martin finally presents his topic and it is on courage, the courage that Elizabeth has to reexamine herself and understand her heart.

As she is leaving, James approaches Claire. He tells her that he originally pursued her not because he liked her but because Eleanor told him that she had a copy of the manuscript. He was the one who ransacked her room.

Darcy Wickham Pride&Prejudice

He fell in love with her along the way and hope that they can start completely new and fresh. Claire says thanks, but no thanks. Which good for you, you don’t need a Wickham in your life.

I don't need you

Claire then goes to the Bodleian Library and researches into Austen’s life, finding what she thinks is the key to the change in the Mr. Darcys.

Claire believes that Austen changed from the previous manuscrupt because she actually expereienced what it was like to be poor. She also believes that the Mr. Darcy we love today, was created as to give redemption to the man that broke  her heart and fell short of her ideals. Harriet agrees and gives her the last page.

Elizabeth is visiting her Aunt and Uncle Gardiner in London, and enjoying their time together. She is trying to find a new job when a man arrives to see her, Colonel Fitzwilliam. He comes and tells her that he loves her and wishes to marry her, and that he is willing to stand up to the disagreements of his family. Elizabeth agrees to marry him. They take off to visit Darcy’s friend Bingley, taking along Jane. The End.

So all the author really did in this book was turn Darcy into a cad and reverse which Fitzwilliam had the guts. In the actual book, Colonel Fitzwilliam tells Elizabeth that he likes her but needs a woman with fortune, making sure that she has no hopes pinned on him. In this she has Darcy do it. Yawn.

Nothing about this book was revolutionary to me or that delightful, as Pattillo seemed to be trying to just make money off Jane Austen fans, by twisting one of her classics and taking the characters we adore turning them into strange creatures only seen in stupid low-quality romances.

Mmhm great gatsby

By the way, Claire gives the papers to Harriet, and she returns home set on going to school, getting her degree, and gets back with Neil on the plane.

So I really, really did not enjoy this book. And I do not recommend it for any other Jane Austen fans

It was this bad.

It was this bad.

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For more retellings of Pride & Prejudice, go to The Accidental Bride

For more on works inspired by Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice, go to Happy Birthday Pride & Prejudice

For more Pride & Prejudice, go to Cold-Hearted

An Assembly Such as This

anassemblysuchasthis

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.

Mr-DarcyexcuseMe

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.

Mr.Darcy Pride&Prejudice

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

mr darcy

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.

Pride&PrejudiceMrDarcyEvolutionofDarcy'sviews

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.

Mr.DarcyMrBingleyPrideandPrejudicePracticewhattosay

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.

Love_Friends_JaneAusten

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.

Mr-DarcyexcuseMe

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.

waitingforbookinseriesNosleepNeedanswers

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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

The After Party

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Every young girl knows that a dance is split up into three parts. 1) Prep: Getting ready with hair + makeup. 2) The Dance itself. And 3) The After Party. Now I’m not talking about an “after party, after party”, but when its over you hang with your girlfriends and hash over the whole events.

girlieButLoveit BuffyVS

It was just as true 203 years ago as it is today. Yep in Pride and Prejudice after the ball, the girls do what every young girl after a dance does, DISCUSS IT!

So everyone finds the ball a complete success.

Finally something GOOD!

Finally something GOOD!

Jane danced with Mr. Bingley twice! Not once but TWICE!!!

keanu Whoa

If you remember from my earlier post, First Impressions, I discussed how dancing showed you were open to getting married. The women you danced with, showed your interest in them. By dancing with Jane, Mr. Bingley declared to the world that he was most def interested in pursuing Jane. Kind of the equivalent of:

How_you_doin'

Mary was called one of the most accomplished ladies from the neighborhood.

Finally something GOOD!

Now if you remember from my post Parental Favoritism and Just Can’t Get a Break Mary always gets the short end of the stick.

mary_bennetCan't get a break

So finally, she is able to get a good word and be appreciated for talents. This is steering her away from having a breakdown and trying to destroy her village. Not everyone is that lucky to be complimented on their talents.

Exhibit A: The Phantom of the Opera

Phantom of the Opera

Exhibit B: Queen of Outer Space

Queen of outer space

Now Kitty never was without a partner. And what 15-year old isn’t pleased with that. Heck, who doesn’t love knowing that they are hot and in demand.

hot pretty sexy

The same goes for Lydia. No wallflower here. Although with Lydia she doesn’t just think she is hot, she thinks she is the best of the best.

DDontHateme cause beautiful boy meets world

And that leaves us with Elizabeth.

ouch Hermione

Yep poor, poor, Lizzie.

Sadface Batman

Yeah she didn’t have the best of the night. Yeah Darcy did a real number on her pride. But Lizzie like all great sisters, puts aside her feelings and is all about being happy for Jane.

Frozen Sacrifice self love you sisters

Besides, Elizabeth knows like any other girl who has had a bad time at a dance. There will be plenty more.

under capricorn ball

And you may meet a special someone:

stranger Twin peaks

Or just have an amazing time with your friends:

Dance fun friends photo model behavior DCOM

Yep, nothing to stress over. Just have fun!

Double double yay

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For more on Pride and Prejudice, go to Oh NO YOU DIDN’T!

For more on Elizabeth Bennet, go to First Impressions

For more on Jane Bennet, go to Parental Favoritism

For more on Mary Bennet, go to Just Can’t Get a Break

For more on Kitty Bennet, go to Flu Season

For more on Lydia Bennet, go to Food, Food, Food!

For more of my favorite songs, go to The Animal I Have Become

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In other news this marks my 400th post! That’s quite a lot. I can’t believe I’ve been able to accomplish that many. Yay Me! And Yay all of you who read this blog!

400 celebration monument

 

For post 300, go to That’s What You Get

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Oh NO YOU DIDN’T!

So when someone says something bad about us, we as people tend to get angry.

MysteryMenDon'tMessWithMe

We want to make that person pay. We want them to suffer.

mob

Grab your torches and sharpen your pitchforks!

And that explains how Elizabeth felt after Darcy dissed her at the ball.

You are dancing with the only handsome girl in the room,’ said Darcy, looking at the eldest Miss Bennet.

‘Oh! She is the most beautiful creature I have ever beheld! But there is one of her sisters sitting down just behind you, who is very pretty, and I dare say very agreeable. Do let me ask my partner to introduce you.’ [said Mr. Bingley]

‘Which do you mean?’ and turning round he looked for a moment at Elizabeth, till catching her eye, he withdrew his own and coldly said: ‘She is tolerable, but not handsome enough to tempt me…”

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

What a jerk!!!

How rude

How could he say that? Loser!

Pride&PrejudiceDarcypunch

This part of the book always strikes a deep chord with me. Once when I was in middle school I was sitting a bit away from these two boys and accidentally overheard their conversation. Elijah and Kevin were discussing different girls at the school and rating their “hotness level”. Elijah had a girlfriend but Kevin was “on the prowl”. Elijah brought up my name and Kevin said “Nah, all the girls in this school are WAY hotter than her.”

jerk

I was crushed. Utterly upset at what he had said.

Words-Hurt sticks and stones break bones

And it took a while to get over.
self-esteemDeadtoMe

At the time I did nothing. I was a preteen and very vulnerable. Today I think I would have handled it differently. Either:

PridePrejudiceDon'tTemptmeOr:

dean_punching_supernatural

Just kidding about the second one. I wouldn’t get into a real fight, instead a verbal beatdown.

verbalbeatdown

Anyways, I didn’t deal with the situation with the best aplomb. I was angry and upset and wanted to make Kevin suffer.

PissedOff

I got my payback at a school dance a year later. Kevin had changed his mind about me and was interested, but I didn’t have any of that. He asked me to a school dance and I turned him down, meanly.

ElizabethBennetNeverDancePride&Prejudice

Revenge completed.

quote-Alfred-Hitchcock-revenge-is-sweet-and-not-fattening-106992

I have to admit that Elizabeth handled the whole situation way better than me and you have to give her major props. It must be so hard to hear yourself compared to your sister constantly in your own home, but out in public? To hear other guys say you aren’t as hot?

ouch Hermione

I mean people want to hear that they are the good-looking ones.

toldPrettyPrettierthanothergirls

But Elizabeth is one classy woman. Instead of striking against him, being rude or hurtful; she just let’s it roll of her back.

“Elizabeth remained with no very cordial feelings toward him. She told the story, however, with great spirit among her friends; for she had a lively, playful disposition, which delighted in anything ridiculous.”

classy Lady

And that is just one of the many reasons why Elizabeth is a totally awesome person.

ElizabethPride&Prejudice

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For more on Pride & Prejudice, go to Opening With…

For more on Elizabeth, go to First Impressions

For more on revenge, go to All I Know About Trilogies is That in the Third One, All Bet are Off

For more of my favorite quotes, go to The Little Moreland

First Impressions

PrideandPrejudice

So let’s talk about Mr. Darcy’s first meeting. He made several mistakes.

Mr-Darcy-jane-austens-heroes-9589797-2048-1351

Yes, you did. You made a to of blunders that really led to you demise in the public’s eye.

So we see that when Darcy is first introduced as being one hot guy.

“Mr. Darcy soon drew the attention of the room by his fine, tall person, handsome features, noble mein, and…having ten thousand a year…the ladies declared he was much handsomer than Mr. Bingley, and he was looked at with great admiration…”

Yeah-Dean-dean-winchester-33251540-500-300

talldarkawesome

Mr.DarcySexyPridePrej

That is until he showed how prideful he is

Mr-DarcyexcuseMe

“[Mr. Darcy] was looked at with great admiration for about half the evening, till his manners gave a disgust which turned the tide of his popularity; for he was discovered to be proud; to be above his company, and above being pleased; and not all his large estate in Derbyshire could save him…”

facepalm

1. Not Dancing

DancingNotforme Darcy Pride and prejudice

Now I am not big on dancing, I’m like William H. Macy in Wild Hogs

Baddancer wildHOgs

But to people in Regency era dancing was an important thing. As a woman to be dancing it spoke of your beauty and possibility of marriage. Therefore Darcy giving a huge slight on the town  and the women as he danced with no one. It was like saying no one there was good enough for him.

Mr.DarcyMoveAside Pride and prejuice

It also told everyone that they had no chance at all at gaining his heart as

“To be found of dancing was a certain step toward falling in love…”

Not good Mr. Darcy, not good at all.

Ouch

Ouch

But in his defense he only knows a few people, and it can be hard to dance in front of strangers, especially if you are dancing with a stranger.

“You know how I detest it [dancing], unless I am particularly acquainted with my partner.”

I know I couldn’t do it. Mr. Bingley tries to introduce him to people, but Darcy just shuts him down. True it sounds rude, but I believe that Darcy is just socially awkward.

IdontLikeParties

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2. Pride

Mr.DarcyMoveAside Pride and prejuice

Yep, Darcy comes off as a regular tool, the way he acts above everybody else.

“he was discovered to be proud; to be above his company, and above being pleased…”

Jerk

He only dances two dances, one with Mrs. Hurst (Bingley’s sister) and Miss Caroline Bingley. He also only talked to the people within his party, declining to be introduced to anyone else.

How rude

“His character was decided. He was the proudest, most disagreeable man in the world, and everybody hoped he would never come there again.”

Good riddance

Good riddance

However, I’m going to play devil’s advocate here. It can be hard when you are in a new area. Sometimes you can come off being ruder than you mean to be.

sociallyawkward

I used to be like that a lot. People would tell me they thought I was a snob before, and glad that they were mistaken. I never realized that my self-consciousness was giving off that kind of vibe. In fact I feel bad for Darcy, as for him it was the same way. He never realizes the way he may portray himself or the attitude he gives off until Elizabeth tells him.

DarcyNotIgnoringDon'tKnowWhattoSay

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3. Slighting Elizabeth

Ooooh Darcy, this is where you really dig yourself into a hole.

“She is tolerable, but not handsome enough to tempt me.”

Ouch

Ouch

Sorry Darcy, I have nothing to say to defend you. You said such a cruel thing and she tells her friend and family. Her mother spreads the story around and Darcy, you’re coffin is sealed.

Good riddance

Good riddance

 

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So this clearly shows that we need to watch our actions and how we present ourselves to people. First impressions last a long time and take forever to overcome.

HowYouMakeThemFeel

Also that even though Darcy is hot and rich, its personality that will always win over as everyone was willing to forget trying to win his heart, once they felt his personality was a huge zero.

personality

Yep personality will always win out:

PrettySoul

And it’s a good thing for us that Darcy has a beautiful soul to go with his body. It just takes a bit of time for us and Elizabeth to see it.

Laurence Olivier Mr. Darcy

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For more on Mr. Darcy, go to It’s All Jane Austen’s Fault

For more on Pride and Prejudice, go to Just Can’t Get a Break

For more on Elizabeth Bennet, go to How to Catch a Man

For more on first impressions, go to Happy Birthday Pride & Prejudice

For more on Regency Era, go to Definitely Not Mr. Darcy

For more on tall, dark, and handsome men; go to Gone Forever

For more on Maya Angelou, go to A Woman’s Heart

For more of my favorite quotes, go to Food, Food, Food!

For more on Wild Hogs, go to Part VIII: The Little Movie Lines List

For more on George of the Jungle, go to Episode VI: Return of the Favorite Movie Lines’ List