The Darcy Monologues: Part I, The Regency

The Darcy Monolgues edited by Christina Boyd and written by Various

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

This is so me

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

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

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

Hmm…

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

I began reading the book

But then I was sucked in:

Or story in this case.

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

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

Hmm…

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

Death of a Bachelor by Caitlin Williams

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

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

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

From the Ashes by J. Marie Croft

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If Only a Dream by Joana Starnes

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

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

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

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

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

Yep!

Clandestiny by KaraLynne Mackrory

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

Hmm…

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

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

The Beast of Pemberley by Melanie Stanford

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

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

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

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

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

Especially when he gives her the Pemberley library.

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

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

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

A Resentful Man by Lory Lilian

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

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

In Terms of Perfect Composure by Susan Adriani

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

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

Will this bring them together or force them farther apart?

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

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

Without Affection by Jan Hahn

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

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

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

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

So what did I think?

Hmmm….

I enjoyed every one.

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

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

Wow!

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

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

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

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

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

I guess you will just have to wait and read.

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

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

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

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

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

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Prom & Prejudice

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Prom.

Some of us loved it,

I love it!

Some of us hated.

Whether we planned for it

Or ignored it,

it is something that every person in public school in the United States encounters in their lifetime.

It’s true.

For me, I enjoyed prom. I tried to spend as little money as possible on everything and did extremely well. I had a beautiful blue gown, cost $2.50 at a thrift store sale, $8 to get it dry cleaned.

Oh yeah!

My shoes? Beautiful silver heels, extremely comfortable, and free-with the purchase of a bracelet for $8 (Kohl’s cash buy something $8-10, get something $8-10 free).

I like it.

Make-up? Free, my sister did it.

Yep!

Hair? Only $16 as I knew a hairstylist.

Limo? Free, my friend’s date father owned a limousine rental.

Sweet!

Dinner? Free, my friend had coupon that covered everything.

Awesome!

The most expensive thing? $25 tickets. So a total of $59.50, not bad.

But we don’t want to just hear about my experience. Oh no, this is a book review post:

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Prom & Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg

**Contains Spoilers**

Yes, if we go through prom, why not the Austen characters? (Or at least Pride & Prejudice Austen characters.)

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In Eulberg’s book Jane, Elizabeth, Lydia, Caroline, Mr. Darcy, Charlotte, Mr. Collins, and Mr. Bingley all get an opportunity to go to prom.

Why not?

This book came out when I was a young adult and I just happened on to it accidentally, started reading and LOVED it! In fact I think it is one of the best modern adaptions.

Elizabeth “Lizzie” Bennet is a scholarship student at the elite prep school, Longbourn. She was recruited for her musical talent, as she is an accomplished piano player.

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Sadly, piano playing is the only nice thing about being there at the school. Everyone treats her horribly as they want her to “know her place.” They dump drinks on her, call her names, give her the wrong room when she asks for directions, etc.

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She does have two friends in the school, one is a fellow scholarship student, Charlotte, and the other is the incredibly nice Jane.

So Lizzie has just returned from Hoboken, New Jersey to the school from winter break. While she is thinking about the spring concert and her studies; every other girl at Longbourn and every boy at Pemberley (school for boys) have only one thing on the brain: prom.

To not have a date would be the biggest faux pas; so all are prepping and conniving to have the best date.

While Jane is excited for prom, she is also thrilled that Charles Bingley will be returning from England where he spent the previous semester. Before he left the two had been heading toward something, and spent the whole summer emailing and writing; so Jane is eager to see if they  will become more.

 At the welcome back dance Lizzie is pleased to meet Charles as he is extremely nice and appears to be perfect for her friend Jane. Unfortunately, his twin sister Caroline is a real jerk.

Charles also brought his best friend Will Darcy, who is attractive and seems like a good guy, that is until he finds out Elizabeth is a scholarship student and just takes off, major diss.

What a jerk

Later she overhears him saying how he spent a year in London to try and get away from those kinds of people.

Ugh

Elizabeth tries to leave, but is stopped by Colin Williams (Mr. Collins) the only other person nice to her and the most boring person she has ever met.

Blah, blah

Oh, Mr. Collins:

While her way at school is paid, she still needs money to fund everything else and works at the local coffee shop as a barista. She runs into Darcy there, but the fate is sealed. She is not going to like him for anything.

Charles invites Jane and Lizzie to come with him, Caroline, and Darcy as they are headed to Vermont to ski. Lizzie agrees to support Jane although she has no clue about skiing. She decides to just wait inside playing the steinway (piano), doing homework, and sipping hot tea.

The next day everyone heads out to the slopes while Lizzie decides to head to the bookstore to pick up a book for school. Darcy offers her a ride, but Lizzie doesn’t want help. She finally agrees and the two talk on the drive. Darcy doesn’t get why she is being so snobby and down about school, while Lizzie lets everything out about how people are treating her.

That night things go a bit sour as Charles is taking Jane out and Lizzie is to be stuck at the house with her two favorite people, Caroline and Darcy.

Those guys

Darcy isn’t so bad, but Elizabeth Lizzie has to be there while Caroline tries to impress him. She starts with commenting on his email writing, then doing yoga moves, etc. The conversation moves to involve only Lizzie and Darcy, but Caroline doesn’t like that.

They all return to school, and in Lizzie’s case work, and things are back to normal. However, Lizzie meets George “Wick” Wickham who is handsome, charming, and hates Longbourn and Pemberley as much as she does. Wick tells her that Darcy and he became very good friends, but when Darcy’s father was paying too close attention to him Darcy got jealous and had him kicked out.

Charles is having a party and invites all kinds of people. Jane and Lizzie are going of course, and because Jane is going, her sister Lydia squeezes her way in. Jane’s father recently lost his job and that has downgraded her status at the school. It doesn’t help that Lydia is all kids of crazy and embarrassing and can’t stop about prom or boys.

If only she followed this advice.

Wick was supposed to come to the party but changed his mind, leaving Lizzie sad and upset as she wanted to spend the time with him. However, Darcy pays quite a bit attention to her and even asks her to dance.

The night ends even worse with nonstop attention from Colin, Lydia doing a bad dance/rockette/cheerleader routine, and her coat getting stolen. Could things get worse?

The next day things get even worse, as Colin asks her to prom and doesn’t want to take no for an answer. He then insults her and says that she will have no one else ask her poverty-stricken patootie (I added that).

When Elizabeth gets home, she is surprised with a new coat. Life seem to be brightening up, but then the dark cloud comes back as Charles just breaks off contact with Jane as “things came up.”

Two weeks pass and no Charles. He just drops off the face of the earth and poor Jane is heartbroken.

Noooo!

To add to that, it turns out that Wick didn’t consider he and Lizzie a couple, but has been dating a wealthy Longbourn girl who’s family has great connections. What a jerk!

But strangely enough, who should come every day to the coffee shop? Mr Darcy. And not only does he see her every day bit he leaves a big tip.

One day as she was walking, she runs into him and his cousin Fitzpatrick, and discovers that he broke up his friend’s relationship as the girl wasn’t right. Lizzie hooks on that it must be Jane and Charles. She is furious!

She tells Darcy her hours and hopes that he will avoid her. It is the opposite as Darcy seens to come more than ever.

And out of nowhere he drops the bomb:

And he asks her to prom. Elizabeth Lizzie’s reaction?

She is furious with him for Jane, Charles, Wick, Longbourn, everything!

She goes to write an email to her New Jersey friends, but finds one from Darcy instead! His letter contains the following:

  1. He’s had scholarship kids in the past try and get things from him-money, connections, social status, etc.-so now he avoids them. He’s sorry to have been so rude to Elizabeth, but that has became his instant reaction.
  2. He wasn’t the one who really pushed Jane and Charles apart, although he didn’t try and have them be together either.
  3. The guy and girl he was talking about? It was Colin who wanted to ask Lizzie out again and Darcy thought it was a bad idea.
  4. He had Wick kicked out of school because of two reasons:
    1. He got Darcy’s young sister, Georgiana drunk to try to get her to have sex with him.
    2. He broke into their house and stole a bunch of things.

Elizabeth realizes that she thought Darcy was the prejudiced and prideful one, but it turns out that she was as well. Because he was rich she thought the worse of him, and because he hurt her pride she was willing to believe anything horrible that was said of him.

They both are.

Things get weirder as it turns out that Wick and Lydia are “together”.

I guess his rich girlfriend didn’t work out.

Lizzie sees this and is horrified as she now knows that Wick is a sexual predator, looking for young, freshmen girls. She goes to Jane and lets everything out. She is just as shocked when she hears it all.

They keep a tight leash on Lydia and argue whether or not to reveal what happened to Darcy’s sister to keep Lydia away from Wickham. They decide to wait as it isn’t their story to tell.

They are both pleasantly surprised when Charles comes with a bouquet and begs Jane’s forgiveness. And as she is so sweet and adorable, she forgives him.

 Midterms end and Lizzie heads home for break, but she gets an even better surprise. Her piano teacher, Mrs. Gardiner, gives her two tickets to see her favorite pianist, Claudia Reynolds.

When Lizzie and her mother go to the concert they are thrilled with the amazing music, and Elizabeth is floored when she discovers that Claudia Reynolds is Darcy’s mother.

She meets Darcy in his own setting and sees all pretense gone. She also meets his adorable sister and sees how cute their little family is.

The have a great time and even make plans for Darcy and Georgiana to visit her in New Jersey. Their fun trip is cut short when Lydia goes missing with Wick and Lizzie and Darcy set out to find her.

Darcy goes through everywhere that Wick would want to stay at and finds the two utterly wasted in a trashed hotel room. He uses his father’s money and influence to remove Wick and settle the bill.

The rest of the break is uneventful and quiet, with no calls from Darcy. It seems that now that she wants him, nothing is heard from him. Don’t you just hate that? When they return to school Charles has a big dinner party for their friends, but Darcy doesn’t sit with Elizabeth Lizzie or talk to her, no matter how hard she tries to get his attention.

Soon Lizzie’s recital comes up and she rocks (figuratively). Afterwards Darcy asks her out, telling her he was waiting as he didn’t want to break her concentration.

Aw!

However, they will not be going to prom but be going out to enjoy their night together.

I loved this book.

Even though they didn’t follow the book exactly I thought Eulberg was able to capture the life of the characters and bring across what Jane wanted.

The only thing I din’t like was Darcy didn’t take her to prom. Come on, you guys could have just dressed casual or not spent a lot of money. I mean seriously.

Totally!

But there is something that really surprised me. I spotted this in the acknowledgements:

“I’d especially like to thank Stephanie Meyer for being so enthusiastic for my writer life and having that conversation about Pride and Prejudice that led me to the idea for this book.

Stephanie Meyer?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The Stephanie Meyer who wrote Twilight?

The horror!

I can’t believe I have to thank her for something good!

Well that aside, it is a fantastic book and I recommend it for any Austen fan.

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

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

For more books based on Jane Austen, go to For Darkness Shows the Stars

For more Jane Austen quotes, go to Perfectea, A Perfect Cup of Tea or Tea for Two

For more on prom, go to Oh What A Night

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

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

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So I am so excited about Death Comes to Pemberley.

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

Double double yay

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

This is great

This is great

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stay out of the forest!

Stay out of the forest!

Both take off screaming. What have they seen?

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Were they afraid of the remains of his crazy grandfather?

So we move back to Pemberley

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

GHostFantasia

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

Something about you just doesn't seem right.

Something about you just doesn’t seem right.

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

I don't like it 11

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

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

dean whinchester shrug smile oh well

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

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

Cinderella

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

She’s in love. But with who?

Hmm...

Hmm…

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

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

Whattheheck

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

No thank youhowaboutno

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

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Instead it is very light and pretty.

I don't like it 11

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

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

And taxes

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

It should be a certain way!

It should be a certain way!

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

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

Now you are getting it!

Now you are getting it!

And the woman suddenly appears behind!

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And hisses?

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

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

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

Mmhm great gatsby

So this is what she was smiling about.

Then Mr. and Mrs. Bennet arrive.

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

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

LibraryOK

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

Men

Men

Colonel leaves suddenly for an evening ride. Strange….

Why is he leaving?

Why is he leaving?

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

I don't like it 11

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

as always

as always

Luckily music always can change the subject.

MusicMakesaDifference

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

what what'shappeningSupernatural

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

OMG gasp

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

Just at the exact time?

Just at the exact time?

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

Classic Lydia

Classic Lydia

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

suspicious Hmm

Now we go finally have some spooky shoots.

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FINALLY

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

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

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

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

Looks like Wickham is the killer.

Looks like Wickham is the killer.

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

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

Do the woods hold a killer or a ghost?

Do the woods hold a killer or a ghost?

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

Over You

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

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

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

What?

What?

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

Something just doesn't seem right.

Something just doesn’t seem right.

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

paris-whenitsizzlesaudreyhmmHepburn

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

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

GHostFantasia

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

dethcomestopemberleyelizabethitsbehindsit'sbehind

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

You're so cute

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

Classic Lydia

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

But Wickham continues to proclaim his innocence.

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

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

IndianaJonesHmmMaybe

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

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

Why not ask?

Why, indeed?

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

Not good

Not good

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

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

paris-whenitsizzlesaudreyhmmHepburn

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

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

Set Design

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

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Costumes

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

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

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

Colonel Fitzwilliam

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

Elizabeth Bennet

dethcomestopemberleyelizabethitsbehindsit'sbehind

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

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

Mr. Darcy

What?

What?

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

Laurence Olivier Mr. Darcy mr darcy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Be it Ever So Humble

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23) Your Dream House

[Sorry I’m a day late everyone!]

To be honest I don’t really have a dream house, but if I had to pick….

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Gorgeous gardens:

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A great library:

Pride and prejudice

And not to mention:

Mr. Darcy - Six

Mr. Darcy!

Yep, home sweet home.

Pride&PrejudicePemberly

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To start the 30 Day Challenge from the beginning, go to Musical Madness

For the previous post, go to Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner

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For more Pride & Prejudice, go to Pride & Prescience (Or a Truth Universally Acknowledged)

By Boat, By Train, By Foot, By Plane

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28) Somewhere You Would Like to Move to or Visit

There are actually quite a few places I would love to visit. As you all know, I’m all about history and art history so I would like to eventually travel the world and see some of these things.

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1) Italy

I’ve always wanted to see Venice, Rome, Florence, & Sicily. There’s the Sistine Chapel, the colosseum, Masaccio’s works, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci…I could go on and on.

Italian Job

For more in Italy, go to I Don’t Want to Own You, I Just Want to Be With You: A Room With a View (1985)

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2) Denmark

As stated before, I am Danish and really want to visit the country. I would love to go to the Hans Christian Anderson Museum, along with other

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3) Mexico

I have already been here once, but there is still so much I want to see, Chitzen Itza being one of them.

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4) Egypt

I have been obsessed with Egypt ever since I was young, I guess I saw The Mummy one too many times. I have always loved looking at the Pyramids and really want to see them in person one day. Although I probably die from heatstroke. 🙂 J/K

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For more on Egypt, go to Eternal Punishment for Anyone Who Opens This Casket: The Mummy (1932)

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5) England

Jane Austen, Sherlock Holmes, Downton Abbey, North & South, Charles Dickens, the Beatles, the Who, etc. Some of the best things have come out of England and I would love to go visit, instead of reading about it.

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For more on England, go to Beast or Man: The Wolfman (2010)

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6) Greece

Once again the Art and architecture call me to them. Not to mention the island of Crete and Mount Olympus.

I can do this....just have to wait for the right time

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7) China

I have always wanted to see the Great Wall and the Forbidden City. Always.

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8) France

The Louvre, the Palace of Versailles, the Eiffel Tower, Impressionist artwork, etc. I would love to see this place as well.

For more on France, go to Marry Me: Gigi (1958)

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9) Prince Edward Island

I LOVE Anne of Green Gables and really, really want to see the place. REALLY, really bad.

AnneofGreenGablesKindredSpiritGetsMe

For more on Prince Edward Island, go to Fanning All Over the Place

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10) Ireland

I took a class on Irish History and just fell in love with it. I really want to visit it now.

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11) Scotland

I have always wanted to visit Loch Ness and try and spot the Loch Ness Monster (it’s out there). And after seeing Braveheart and reading The Cat Who Series I was introduced into Scotland and it’s history, making me want to visit even more.

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12) All 50 States of the United States

I love American history as it is so interesting and complex. One day I want to visit every one of our states and every monument. So far I have been to Hawaii, California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming. Only 42 left to go. 🙂

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To start the 30 Day Challenge from the beginning, go to Musical Madness

For the previous post, go to Ya Bothering Me

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.

IndianaJonesHmmMaybe

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?

splitupScoobyDoo

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.

bekindBeright

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.

namesacceptselfShrek

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.

heartPemberly

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

you're evil

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

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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. 

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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!

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

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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.

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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.

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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!!!!!!

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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.

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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.

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Yep, they are best friends, through and through.

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

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.

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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

Conversations With Mr. Darcy

So some of you remember that a couple of weeks ago I mentioned that Mr. Darcy Talked to Me? Well, he’s done it again!

Say What

Yep, he must find me fascinating! 🙂

gastonfab

So on Twitter, there is someone who pretends to be Mr. Darcy, but not the Colin Firth version, I guess the book Mr. Darcy. Anyways, he saw one of my posts and decided to comment, causing us to get into conversation.

Mr. Darcy

Oh Darcy, you think I haven’t talked about you?

As if Clueless

To read more of my posts on Mr. Darcy click on the following links:

Mr. Darcy: Man of Dreams

Darcy’s Dream Date

Flirting With Disaster

A Halloween Hello From the Austen Men

On the 12th Day ‘Til Christmas: The 12 Men of Christmas

On the 10th Day ‘Til Christmas: Merry Christmas from the Austen Novels

The Beauty of Darcy

The Evolution of Darcy’s Views

How to Catch Mr. Darcy

Worst Proposal Ever!

It’s Super Important

Happy Birthday Pride & Prejudice

The NeverEnding Story

Parental Favortism

Definitely NOT Mr. Darcy

My New BF

A Hunky Helping of Manwich

The many handsome men who have played Mr. Darcy

Just can’t get enough of this man

For more on Pride & Prejudice, go to Project Runway

For more on Colin Firth, go to Language of Love

For more on Modern Times, go to Happy B-day!

For more on Pride and Prejudice (1940), go to Episode III: Revenge of  My Favorite Movie Lines

For more on Pride and Prejudice (1980), go to Episode IV: A New Favorite Movie Lines List

For more on Pride and Prejudice (1995), go to What’s the Dealio

And don’t forget to follow me on twitter!