I had no doubt that this would be just as enjoyable.
Or audiobook, although I know I’ll never hate it.
But I just don’t know what is wrong with me. Every time I tried to write this review something would come up that interrupted me, and this just ended up in my drafts, yet again.
But in July I became sick and had to stay home for most of the month, allowing me time to go through my drafts and get to things I’ve been wanting to write on. I decided no more waiting on this one, I will write this review or die trying. (Just kidding I won’t die)
So quick backstory-back in 2017, Christina Boyd (editor) and several writers wrote The Darcy Monologues, which was a series of stories from Mr. Darcy’s point of view, some in the Regency period and some in the present. After the book came out Christina Boyd shared that from the beginning of the publication of The Darcy Monologues, readers suggested doing the same for Elizabeth-but Boyd wasn’t sure. With all the retellings of Jane Austen’s most loved novel:
“…I thought all the Elizabeth Bennet point-of-view stories surely must have been told.”
But you know us Janeites-no matter what character may be your favorite, everybody loves an Obstinate Headstrong Girl.
So the fans persevered and Elizabeth: Obstinate Headstrong Girl was born. Yes, Elizabeth is a fantastic and complex character and Christina Boyd, Elizabeth Adams, Karen M. Cox, J. Marie Croft, Amy D’Orazio, Leigh Dreyer, Jenetta James, Christina Morland, Beau North, and Joana Starnes have written 10 different stories on her.
Yep, 10 more Elizabeths to love. And with so many stories, you know without a doubt there will be several ones that you love.
So I’ve reviewed the book, splitting it between the Regency and modern eras and my opinion is, I loved it! It was amazing.
After loving the book, I couldn’t wait to listen to the audiobook. It was narrated by Elizabeth Grace and Grace did a fantastic job. Often times, female narrators can sound a bit silly when they try too hard to have a deeper “manly” voice but Grace’s narration didn’t sound silly. She was also able to differentiate between characters clearly.
The only time Grace had a slight struggle was with the Southern accent, which I completely understand as doing a Southern accent is easy, but keeping it is very, very difficult.
In my opinion the best thing about this audiobook is that listening to the words being spoken highlights the parts you love and also brings to life passages that you might have overlooked or forgotten how well crafted they are. Every story was wonderful and Grace brought them all to life.
When I took my niece to Reno for her birthday we ended up getting stuck in three car accidents. It took us 6 hours to get there instead of 3. And as we were stuck in traffic no music would play on my radio or through Amazon music as we hit an area where the towers weren’t changed out yet, and there was no service. The only thing I had for us as it grew dark, and we were bored, was this audiobook as I had downloaded it on my phone. We ended up listening toResolution by Amy D’Orazioon the way there and “Love in the Limelight” by Beau North on the way back.
My niece and sister enjoyed Resolution, but I had to explain the plot of Pride and Prejudice to my niece as she has never read or watched it (at least not yet).
They both really enjoyed Love in the Limelight, the 1940s Hollywood one. That one didn’t need any back information and was really intriguing. In fact, my niece asked to finish listening to it instead of the radio as she had to know what happened next, did they end up together or not?
I definitely recommend listening to it if you like Jane Austen, audiobooks, and are looking for something new to love and listen to over and over again.
So in the last episode, we went to the racetrack to see the Edgewater Estate horses run in the derby and I received news that my father fell ill with yellow fever.
Now look at the title-what did I tell you! I knew my father wasn’t going to last long-I wrote a paper on how Yellow Fever assisted the Confederate Soldiers in the Civil War as it devastated the northern troops. It quickly spread and was a brutal disease.
Now interesting-this chapter starts off with a warning:
This chapter contains scenes of implied sexual violence that may be upsetting to some players. Discretion is advised.
What does that mean? This sounds bad…
So my father is very sick-he is going to die in this episode, I just know it. Darn, I just found him and now I will lose him.
Aw, that’s sad.
As my grandmother is talking to me my evil stepbrother, Mr. Marcastle comes in asking what is wrong. Now you have the choice to tell him the truth or keep it from him.
On one hand Mr. Marcastle, my stepbrother, has been pretty awful and plotting against me this whole entire time, he and his mother spreading lies and trying to sully my reputation. It would serve him right if I kept it from him.
BUT…even though he is horrid, my father did raise him and Mr. Marcastles loves my father.
Hmmm…Weighing my options
Even though I want to be tough, I decide to tell him the truth. It is the right thing to do, however much he has hurt me-he deserves to know the man who was his father is dying.
By doing so it does give me a +Relationship.
Mr. Marcastle leaves to be alone and so does grandmother. As I enter my own contemplation all I can think is this stinks!
I lose my mother in the first chapter, finally meet me father and NOW he is dying. Ugh.
While I am commiserating Briar gives me a stack of love letters.
Apparetly my mother gave them to Briar to hold onto and give to me later when she felt the time was right. I don’t know why it took so long, but I am eager for them!
I of course want to read them-maybe something sweet about my parents or even useful information that can help me is in them?
But unfortunately, I do not have enough diamonds. I need to pause the game and return after I achieve seven more diamonds.
So I originally wanted to post my review of Pride & Prejudice: A New Musical, but I am still transcribing my notes and editing them. Instead I am posting on:
So it has been almost a year since I last reviewed one of these chapters from the Choices videogame. The problem was I was playing faster than I was reviewing and getting everything mixed up as what happened in each chapter.
So I resolved to not play another chapter until I finished reviewing what I already had played. Of course things came up and I got distracted by other things on my list to write/review/etc-so now I am getting to Chapter 1 of Book 1, while I think Pixelberry has already created book three or four of this videogame.
What am I going to do with all these?
Yes. Anyway, quick backstory since it has been so long. This game is storybook based where you have a story that progresses, but at times you make a choice what to do, say, who to fall in love with, etc. Some choices require you to spend diamonds to play, which you can earn every time you play a chapter or purchase from their store. Some “books” have different side quests, like i this one you want to become an accomplished woman and certain choices allow you to gain items.
It’s really fun as you have the power as to what path the story takes.
This game is set in the Regency time period, and of course is catered toward Jane Austen fans. In this game you are the illegitimate daughter if the Earl of Edgewater, something you had discovered on your mother’s deathbed. You met your father and he accepts you and wants to make you his legal heir, as your half-brother passed away.
You have an evil stepmother and conniving stepbrother Mr. Marcastle, with a dim fiancé, Miss Sutton. They are all plotting against you.
And a lot has happened since the beginning of the book: you have held a garden party (which you rocked), you are currently having a London season, you go to Mr. Sinclaire’s house (a suitor I am all about)-who has a sad Rebecca–esque backstory and he gifts you a book, you visited the Opera St. James where your mother used to preform, went to see an Opera and were stuck with the Duke who is a handsy jerk, took a walk in the rain with Mr. Sinclaire, learned to paint, helped your friend refuse a gross geezer, and have just learned that your father has fallen ill.
Whew! That’s a lot. Now onto the next chapter!
So we start off where the last chapter left off-you just received a letter that your father is ill.
That’s not good.
I want to go back home and be with him, but my grandmother won’t let me.
Please, oh please!
I have a really bad feeling about this, that this illness will end in…death.
In his letter he has chills, but thinks he will be over it soon. I however am not convinced, as I want to go home and care for him.
But my grandmother, the Dowager Countess, says I have to be here. Finding a wealthy man is my main duty if I want to protect my claim of heiress of Edgewater. She decides the next course of action would be to go to the races.
And they’re OFF!
My grandmother encourages me to purchase a dress in the house colors, as it will boost morale, and I wasn’t going to, but changed my mind as the dress is beautiful.
I get a ride in the carriage with Prince Hamid who thinks I look gorgeous. That’s one really nice thing about this game, almost every other character compliments you and thinks you are awesome.
He wants to take a walk through Hyde Park as the carriages are moving oh so slowly, but I have no extra diamonds, I just bought my dress, so I refuse and we wait in the carriage until traffic continues and we can go to the track.
We get to the track and Briar (my former friend and now lady’s maid) runs over with Mr. Marcastle, my evil stepbrother who is plotting against me. Why Briar, why? He’s engaged and trying to get with Miss Holloway (a Miss Bingley-esque lady), and messing around with Briar. Come on Briar, you are smarter than that.
I thought you were my friend?
Mr. Westonly also arrives, the geezer that is trying to get with my best friend Miss Parsons. She is also attending the race, along with Mr. Chambers, and ugh Miss Holloway.
Briar and Mr. Marcastle are looking cozy, too cozy. I decide to break it up and bring up his fiancé’s name Miss Sutton. They then step away from each other. Good, you two need to keep apart. I know that sounds mean, but Mr. arcastle is awful and plotting against me, and I need to do anything I can to protect my friend and her reputation. Plus, she’s my friend.
Later, the time has come for gambling. Miss Holloway bets on her horses, Bellington Hall-but I am not in fear. I know that Edgewater Estates has some of the finest horses. I’m betting on mine today!
The race is on-it starts off with Holloway’s horse in the lead and I’m biting my fingernails as they go down the track. I hope mine does well!
Please, oh please!
They keep going, and running and just at the end-the Edgewater horse pulls forward and wiiiiiiiiins!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I’m excited, but before I can finish watching the races, the Duke comes and pulls me down next to him.
Ugh, not again…
Ugh. I hate him.
It was so awful!
If only he could just keep his hands to himself. And it is my fault as I’m “so alluring”. Ugh!
I HATE this character!
He won’t stop talking and I’m just so over it.
Like just leave me alone!!!!!
Mr. Sinclaire comes to my aid trying to block the Duke from accosting me, but the Duke won’t listen. He wants to do a race to see who will win me, really?, seriously?
Thankfully Mr. Sinclaire agrees with me, aw that’s why I like him. I hope I end up with him but as there have been three or four books, you know that means there will be lots of drama.
Mr. Marcastle pipes up and the Duke goads him into racing him. I try to encourage him not to, but he won’t listen. Ugh, male pride.
Mr. Sinclaire doesn’t want him to race Duke Richards, as he knows nothing good will cone out of it . They race and Duke really gets in there good-making the turns fast and cutting him off. The Duke wins but Mr. Marcastle takes a tumble!
I may not like Mr. Marcastle, but I don’t want him dead! Briar and Miss Sutton rush out there to check on him. Mr. Sinclaire leaves, angry again at the Duke and how he plays with people and how Sinclaire has nothing he can do to stop him.
Mr. Marcastle is angry-and rude saying we are making a big deal out of nothing when he could have died. Oh Mr. Marcastle.
Th horse is wounded, but luckily it will heal with care. Mr. Harper, our horsemaster, invites me to the stable, but I can’t go check on the horses-I still have zero diamonds.
That evening Miss Sutton tries to help Mr. Marcastle but he’s acting like a spoiled brat. Poor Miss Sutton. She deserves better.
Miss Sutton is worried the wedding might not happen as she hasn’t been as blind as I thought. I decide to try and gain her as an ally-turning her against Mr. Marcastle’s evil mother. Besides, I do feel for her. Poor girl, her fiancé is a jerk trying to get around with other women.
But while that is good news, there is bad news too. Grandmother has received a letter from father. It appears he has grown worse, he has fallen ill with yellow fever.
So I love history, and my time period is the 19th century, particularly America 1850-1900. For one of my college classes I wrote a whole paper on yellow fever during the Civil War. Yellow fever was horrible, in fact it did better against the Union troops than the Confederate soldiers. It is a thoroughly awful disease:
“Yellow Fever is an extremely lethal disease as it sweeps through the body, destroying it from the inside out in a short amount of time. Yellow Fever is named as such, because it interferes with the metabolic activities, especially the conversion of the yellow pigment in bile. Instead of the yellow pigment following its normal path, it circulates throughout the blood, turning the patient’s skin, eyes, and body fluids yellow. The symptoms include chills, headaches, fever, backaches, leg pains, exhaustion, flushed face, light sensitivity, nausea, vomiting, and constipation. The fever disrupts the clotting of hepatic cells, which leads to internal bleeding, hemorrhaging, and deteriorating heart muscle. At this point the system would purge itself of the deconstructed internal mass in the form of black vomit. When black vomit occurred, the doctors knew that the patient was not long for this earth. As Nurse Mary Phinney described it in her correspondence; “Till you are with it you can have no idea of this dreadful fever; nothing else approaches it…No one expects to live, and when the black vomit comes that look of despair…” If one made it over seven days they were sure to recover, but most did not reach that point.”
-The Deadly Enemy: Yellow Fever in New Bern, NC, personal paper by author of this blog.
 Ethne Barnes, “Transoceanic Hitchhikers: Yellow Fever and its Dengue Cousin,” in Diseases and Human Evolution (Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press, 2005), 304.
 Mary Phinney, “, September 30, 1864,” September 30, 1864, in Adventures of an Army Nurse in Two Wars: Edited from the Diary and Correspondence of Mary Phinney, Baroness Von Olnhausen, by Mary Phinney, ed. James Phinney Monroe (Boston, MA: Little, Brown, and Company, 1904), 149-152.
I am most certain he is going to die. Now the question is, will I make it back in time?
Please, oh please!
I guess we will just have to wait and see…
But thinking about it, I don’t think England had a yellow fever outbreak in the Regency era. It occurs in warm climates, so it does’t make sense in England. I suppose he could have traveled abroad to Haiti, Jamaica, or Gibralter and was bit by a mosquito and then came back. Hmm…
Elizabeth: Obstinate Headstrong Girl edited by Christina Boyd
So a while back Christina Boyd asked me to be a part of her Book Tour and I wholeheartedly said yes.
I have always wanted to be a part of a book tour, it’s like being a rock star, but even better as it involves books.
Although…unfortunately I realize that I am too much like Stacey Jaxx the rockstar as I forgot all about the book tour until I saw posts on social media.
But hey, better late than never right?
So when I went to read the book, I saw that my link to get a free copy of the ebook was expired.
I thought of asking for a new one, but I decided to just buy my own as Christina Boyd and the others have been so generous to me. The book, whether as an ebook or physical copy, is really not that much. So if you are stuck in the quarantine and looking for something to read, why don’t you head over to Amazon and order a copy?
So a little backstory before we review the book. Back in 2017, Christina Boyd (editor) and the following writers: Susan Adriani, Sara Angelini, Karen M. Cox, J. Marie Croft, Jan Hahn, Jenetta James, Lory Lilian, KaraLynne Mackrory, Beau North, Ruth Phillips Oakland, Natalie Richards, Sophia Rose, Melanie Stanford, Joana Starnes, and Caitlin Williams-put together an anthology that had stories on Mr. Darcy, The Darcy Monologues.
In the back of this book, Obstinate Headstrong Girl, Christina Boyd shared that from the publication of The Darcy Monologues, readers suggested doing the same for Elizabeth-but she wasn’t sure. With all the retellings of Jane Austen’s most loved novel:
“…I thought all the Elizabeth Bennet point-of-view stories surely must have been told.”
But you know us Janeites-no matter what character may be your favorite, everybody loves an Obstinate Headstrong Girl.
So here we go with the five Regency stories. All of these are set in the Regency whether before the novel, after the novel, or taking a new path from some point in the story. I am going to do them in the order they are as you read it.
Resolution by Amy D’Orazio
It is two weeks before Elizabeth’s wedding and she eagerly awaits it. If I was marrying Mr. Darcy I would feel the same way.
She is staying with Jane (now Jane Bingley) and Mr. Bingley and glances out the window and sees Mr. Darcy-becoming stricken with fever at seeing him. Aw, she is so excited to wed him…so cute.
Jane is in a lather trying to get things ready for Elizabeth’s engagement party-upset that Mr. Bingley keeps inviting people so she has no clue how many people are coming. I really liked that, as I think it is nice seeing Jane more than the perfect angel and I think every marriage has its annoyances. Elizabeth is a bit distressed that Darcy would be coming (weird as they are getting married.)
Whatever, Jane asks if Elizabeth holds a grudge and that it shouldn’t be weird having him at her engagement dinner.
OMGOSH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHATTTTTTTTTTT?!!!!!!!!!!!!! ELIZABETH AND DARCY ARE NOT ENGAGED???!!!
I literally spit out my tea! WHAT??????!!!!!!!!
Do you ever get shocked in reading that you read faster, because you have to know what happens next?
So in this version everything happened as in the original book, but Darcy did not come back a second time to propose to Elizabeth. He did visit with Bingley, so he went back and spoke to Jane but Elizabeth and Darcy never had their walk together, time passed, and she met another man-Mr. Julius Timpson-who also happened to be wealthy as he is a banker-and got engaged and is to be married. Mr. Timpson is older, opinionated, and Elizabeth isn’t in love, she loves Darcy, but as she cannot have him sh but believes herself to be content with him.WHAT? ConTeNT?
OMG I have to take a breath.
Okay, so I calmed myself down, I’m sure Darcy and Elizabeth will straighten everything out. So that evening Elizabeth can’t stop thinking of him. Why didn’t he come back, was Lydia’s shame too great? Has he found another. She wishes she could speak to him, but doesn’t get a chance to as she is next to Mr. Timpson (if you can’t tell whenever I say his name I say it in a snotty tune as I don’t like him) and Darcy is on the other side of the table.
She gets a chance to break away from the ladies, and tries to talk to him-overhearing Darcy and Bingley talking about her engagement. She interrupts them and she and Darcy get a moment to talk when Bingley gets called away. The two parry blows with their wits, and Darcy admits that he loves her aw! They are going to get together! But no, he leaves. What!!!
13 Days until the wedding, the wedding that should not be happening, but is.
Elizabeth wants to be with Mr. Darcy, she imagines him when kissing her fiancé. Oh no, Elizabeth-but she can’t she doesn’t even know if Darcy loves her still. I think D’Orazio speaks for us all when she describes Elizabeth’s feelings:
Elizabeth drinks a bit too much wine and writes a note to Darcy asking him why he didn’t come back. The note is delivered and he replies he did what he thought she wanted. WHAT!!!!!!!!
What are you talking about??
He didn’t know if her feelings changed and then Lady Catherine, that evil schemer went and told him that Elizabeth would never want to marry him. NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!
But what will happen? Will they get together? Will Elizabeth break her engagement?
So I really liked this story and I think it was perfect for the beginning of the anthology. Not to talk bad about the other writers, as I loved their stories too, but this story itself was worth the price of the book. D’Orazio took parts and texts of the original novel and gave it her own spin. We get to see a view of what would have happened if Darcy did not come back? Would she have gone on to be a spinster? Or would she have become like Princess Buttercup in The Princess Bride, not loving or caring and entering the marriage having no feeling regarding it.
And NO lie, every time the days before the weddings shortened, my heart leaped in anxiety, will they or won’t they? I zoomed through this story as I just had to finish it before my lunch break ended. Plus I LOVED that ending, it was amazing. and just what I was hoping for.
But not about her sister or Wickham. The two are engaged and we have fallen right in the middle of their unknown dispute. Elizabeth is angry and trying to poke at Darcy to get him to react, he wanting to leave, but she not letting him until they have it out.
Mr. Darcy is a puzzle to her-he is “cold and warm, kind and aloof, reticent and garrulous”-a walking contradiction. He is kind and loving enough to each her sisters to play chess, gives everyone in her family gifts, but doesn’t give her anything but the compliment of his attention.
So…I was really not getting into this story. I love Darcy, but in a different way than most people. I mean I love that he is kind and caring and a romantic hero, but I also love him because he reminds me a lot of myself, personality-wise (not money or family). Like that earlier quote I pulled, that could describe me.
So as I’m reading this I’m like, why you mad Elizabeth? Look at all the stuff he is doing- spending time with all the people who are the last he’d want to be trapped with, Mary and Kitty, ugh Mrs. Bennet. And I’m sure he feels that giving his time is the best thing to give, after all that happened I’m sure he feels that any larger gift would look as if he is trying to purchase her love not an act of love.
But, then we get why Elizabeth is fighting with Darcy, the real reason:
“No, what truly frightened her was the epiphany he was bound to have, and soon: she was, and always would be, headstrong and obstinate. When he came to understand this unalterable aspect of her character, would he also come to regret his love?”
OOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHH…she is feeling insecure.
It all makes sense!
Will they be able to work through these issues? Or will their wedding not take place?
I really liked the rest of the story as I think this was a new view into Elizabeth Bennet. I mean we all love her wit and how she has no fear toward Lady Catherine, but even though she loves Darcy and was a very confident person, she is no longer blind to her family faults and she must have spent time afterwards wondering if this would work, if Darcy would be okay with it, if he would regret his choice.
Does he regret marrying me? (from Death Comes to Pemberley)
I also like how Morland shows that just like any couple-Darcy and Elizabeth have to work through from being a “I” to becoming a “we”, and that it can be done with communication and still retaining one’s independence and obstinate, headstrong ways.
The Uncommonly Busy Lane to Longbourn by Joana Starnes
Elizabeth is trying to hide out as her mother is trying to match her up with Mr. Collins.
Elizabeth thinks to herself about how soon Jane will get with Mr. Bingley and then maybe Mrs. Bennet will lay off. Thinking of Mr. Bingley of course brings thoughts of Mr. Darcy-how dare he say she isn’t tolerable, and that in turn brings thoughts of Mr. Wickham. Poor Mr. Wickham, so rudely mistreated by Darcy.
As she runs home, she runs into Mr. Darcy, who is out taking a ride on his horse. They actually engage in decent conversation, surprise, to Elizabeth’s total surprise! But she hurriedly scurries away as she does not want to spend any more time with him-confusing man.
At home, Elizabeth tries to put in her plan to have Jane influence their mother to pass Mr. Collins on to Mary, as Mary enjoys his sermons and has her own self-righteous streak. It works half right well, as Mr. Collins secures the first two dances with Mary, but that leaves Elizabeth open to Mr. Darcy asking her to dance! She does, but ends up getting her foot squished by Mr. Collins. That man!
She has to sit out the dance, but who should come and keep her company, Jane?…no Mr. Darcy.
Elizabeth is shocked, but the two actually have some decent conversation, until Darcy warns her against Wickham. That will not do and she becomes extremely angry.
Thinking you were nice.
The rest of the night is horrible as she doesn’t get to dance and instead has to watch everyone else dance and she gets to see how silly her family is acting.
The next day they are walking to visit their Aunt Phillips and tell her of the ball, and when they come back they come across Mr. Wickham who joins their party of Elizabeth, Kitty, Lydia, and Jane.
The other girls walk ahead to give Wickham and Elizabeth time to talk to each other, but as Wickham tries to steal a kiss, before Elizabeth can decide what to do they are interrupted by Mr. Darcy. Mr. Darcy begs a moment with Wickham and the girls walk off.
They are almost home and there is no Mr. Wickham behind them. Elizabeth starts to grow fearful and decides to head back as maybe Mr. Darcy did something to him? She and Jane hurry and they spot motionless riding boots emerging from a bush. Oh no!!!!
Elizabeth thinks it is Wickham and reaches out to him, only to discover it is Mr. Darcy and he has a headwound!
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! NOt Mr. Darcy!!!!
They take him home and call the apothecary but Elizabeth is in shock. She cannot believe that Wickham could do such a thing, such a decent man-it must have been Mr. Darcy’s fault, it must have been an accident, he must have gone for help, Wickham can’t be a bad man.
But why didn’t he get an apothecary? Why didn’t he get help? Darcy must have caused it himself, right? She can’t have been wrong about Wickham, could she?
I liked that Starnes took the obstinate and headstrong down this pathway. I know I am an obstinate and headstrong girl and I have often in my younger days, not as much now, held onto a view of belief of a person even when the evidence seems glaringly opposite. It is a major fault of being an OHG that we can be so obstinate that we deceive our own selves.
And she receives the truth hard-with the officers saying that Wickham spread the account of Darcy (Mr. I won’t speak an ill word and disgrace his father), meeting Georgiana Darcy and seeing she is nothing like Wickham said, and Georgiana sharing the truth about his character.
But don’t fear, let me calm your hearts-Darcy survives and there is an amazingly cute scene when he thinks Mr. Collins is Elizabeth as he is suffering from a bad concussion. But will he want to be with her still? I mean he almost died for her-will that deter him from this OHG?
Elizabeth and the Gardiners have decided to tour Pemberley as Mr. Darcy is gone. Elizabeth immediately regrets this as seeing it reminds her of what she gave up.
However, she also would have had to marry Mr. Darcy, and who would want to be married to Mr. Darcy?
She realizes however she was wrong about Mr. Wickham and about Mr. Darcy. Seeing the beautiful place isn’t what chnges her mind but hearing what all his staff say about him-she starts to wonder. Could it have been that Mr. Darcy was just seeking intelligent discourse, seeing her as a match for his wits-rather than trying to argue with her? Could she have misconstrued his intentions? Could he have fallen in love with her mind? Is that why he said he loved her?
I don’t know…
She then sees a portrait of him when he was 22, before his father died. And she can see the difference in his countenance-before he had to be a serious landowner, responsible to all the people, and a father to his sister-in fact, he only a year older than Elizabeth and he took all that on. And Elizabeth knows she would find difficulty in being responsible for so much, and looking at how it has flourished:
They learn from the houskeeper how wild Mr. Wickham turned out and Elizabeth starts to wonder about her judge of character.
Maybe…being obstinate and headstrong isn’t the only way one should be. Maybe they should be firm in what their beliefs but also allow a flexibility in judging characters.
She looks at the late Mr. Darcy’s study-left exactly how it was when he died and how he kept a small miniature of Mr. Wickham to honor his father. Elizabeth thinks that if she had accepted Darcy’s proposal her first act as mistress of Pemberley she would “accidentally on purpose” smash Wickham’s picture, and I’m 100% in agreement with her!
Elizabeth realizes that she let his comment and injury to her vanity color her every perception of him. Being obstinate and headstrong sure can lead to misunderstandings. (I know it!)
Then Mr. Darcy comes…awkward.
Elizabeth is later surprised when Mr. Darcy joins their tour. He converses with her uncle, and is extremely friendly and not at all what she expects, and when Elizabeth apologizes for the way she treated him in Kent-he turns it around and admits his faults and apologizes to her.
The two begin to spend quite a bit of time together as Mr. Darcy invite her and her aunt and uncle over. And what of Mr. Wickham? Well, he does not cut their visit short as he won a ton of money and took off to hide from his creditors. So good-bye to you!
Adams is an excellent romance writer as they are just so cute together-the way they talk, and act, and such. Ah my heart melts like butter.
So this was a very different story. We start the book off in 1806, when Elizabeth is 15 and at her coming-out into society. I really like that Croft went in a different direction than most people-I don’t think I have ever read any other retelling that starts long before Pride and Prejudice.
The first party was not so great as she and her mother argued over the clothes-and there were no proposals. We all know Mrs. Bennet is not happy about that.
Later a Mr. Archibald Crosbie visits, both handsome and charming, and Elizabeth develops a crush on him. She goes to visit with her Aunt Gardiner who is planning on buying her clothes that are fashionable and actually suits Elizabeth, also using this time to try and talk about her about men-warn her that not all have honorable intentions, but Elizabeth doesn’t really listen. She believes she is an excellent judge of character and will not be hoodwinked-us poor obstinate headstrong girls-we don’t listen.
She picks out lovely material for her new gown, and knows it will catch Crosbie’s attention.
But Mr. Crosbie attracts too many women, and nothing happens. Poor Elizabeth is hurt and slightly angry at him-you know teenagers:
She then concludes that she will never pursue a man again-they need to pursue her!
Sir Jack Ashe moves into the neighborhood and pays a ton of attention to Elizabeth, pursuing her over her beautiful sister Jane. As anyone who has ever felt second best to a sister, Elizabeth’s heart gets stolen by his attention. He tries to woo her, but unfortunately all Elizabeth’s illusions and hopes are broken when she discovers he just wanted to take a roll with her in the hay-he never had any intention of anything more than seducing a “simple country girl”.
Elizabeth is angry at her naiveté and decides to never be used in such a way ever again and to not even look at wealthy man, but set her sites lower; developing an unknown prejudice against the wealthy class.
There is more to the story, I don’t want to give everything away, but I found this to not only be an interesting view into Elizabeth and her obstinate, headstrong ways-but very new. I also like how the author concentrated on Elizabeth’s relationship not with Mr. Darcy, but with all the people that are very important to her: Jane, Mrs. Gardiner, Charlotte Lucas, and her father Mr. Bennet.
Some people might feel what more can be done to Pride and Prejudice? Does Elizabeth really need her own book? Well I am going to stop you right there because first of all-
And secondly, this anthology proved that yes there is plenty more stories to tell about Elizabeth.
So I really loved and enjoyed all these stories!
Especially how each author took the theme of “obstinate headstrong girl” and worked it to create five very different stories that still kept the heart of Jane Austen and the fire plus wit of Elizabeth.
So if you love Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennet, or am a cardcarrying member of the Obstinate Headstrong Girls’ Club-you should definitely check this book out (and what better time when you are basically being told to stay home and read?) Why don’t you head over to Amazon and order a copy?
I think it is a fantastic idea.
So this of course is only the five Regency stories, the next post on 3/26 will be on the other five stories-these of course will be set in different time periods. We have the Victorian Era, Edwardian Age, 1930s, the ’80s, and present time!
So a while back I told Christina Boyd this regency story idea I had to pass onto her writers. A regency group of ladies and gentlemen, maybe make them married or related so they could be together, traveling by coach and solving mysteries. A regency Scooby-Doo.
She politely declined and suggested that I should check out the Carrie Bebris’ Mr. & Mrs. Darcy Mystery series. I told her I would think about it, but I wasn’t too keen on the idea.
I then decided to take a break, and went on reading and reviewing other things.
In July, every other day I asked a question on Instagram about Jane Austen characters and themes, such as what fashion from the Regency Era do wish we would be brought back, who had the best fashion, etc. One question I asked was what book adaption do you wish would be turned into a movie or a TV show? On thing I suggested was this series, even though I had only read two books, as I think the idea behind it was very strong.
But I resolved this year that I would somehow factor in reviewing a mystery every month, so there is no time like the present to review this.
Mystery, you say?
So here we go.
North by Northanger (Or the Shades of Pemberley) [Mr. and Mrs. Darcy Mystery #3]by Carrie Bebris
So in the last book, Elizabeth found out she was pregnant and it is nearing her time. This is a joyous and strained situation, as the Darcys are pleased but at the same time Mr. Darcy is scared out of his mind as his mother died in childbirth.
But childbirth isn’t what is foremost on Elizabeth’s mind. You see Elizabeth is sensitive to the supernatural and is convinced that Pemberley has a ghost, and not just any ghost…Anne Darcy, Mr. Darcy’s mother.
Elizabeth doesn’t feel as if Anne is vindictive or angry, but feels her presence nonetheless. She has lived the year with everything exactly how it was, but has decided that the time has com to start doing things how she wants it.
She decides to shift the writing desk from its corner so that she can look out the window. After some hemming and hawing with the footmen they do, and a letter falls out. A letter from Anne Darcy to Elizabeth!
20 January 1796
Dear Mrs. Darcy,
Should this letter reach your eyes, it is because I no longer live to deliver its message in person. I know not who you are-what name you bore before taking that of Darcy. I know only that by addressing this letter to you, I write the woman who has wed my son. For that reason alone I entrust to you the stewardship of something most precious…I had at Fitzwilliam’s birth a…an heirloom from my own mother-I want it now, but it has become lost. If only I could find it, I would trust that I will be safely delivered. But I hid it too well, beyond my own reach. You-you must look if I cannot, for I want you to have it when…If you are my niece, my namesake Anne, know that I guarded myself from my sister, not from you-…Search for me…My daughter, the only one I may ever have, start with the knowledge that love conquers all. I am-
Unfortunately, this letter, dated on Georgiana’s birthday and Lady Anne’s death day, only strengthens Darcy’s fears. It, however, baits Elizabeth’s curiosity. What was the object? Why couldn’t Lady Anne find it? Where is it?
We move along a few weeks where Elizabeth and Darcy have been visiting the Bingley’s for their youngest’s christening. However, they are in a hurry to leave as Lydia and Wickham have dropped by unexpectedly.
Elizabeth shares the contents of the letter she found with Jane, and Lydia overhears them mention a treasure, which Elizabeth strongly dissuades her of.
That’s not good.
The talk then turns to babies, of which Lydia is bored of. Of course, I don’t expect Lydia to ever have children, as if she has a baby she won’t be the baby anymore.
They are headed home by way of Bath, to meet the famous Dr. Severn, the man Darcy wants to have assist Elizabeth in her birth. He supposedly is the best in the nation, and very hard to get. They reach Bath and as they are about to take in the sights they run into an unexpected visitor. Lady Catherine.
Lady Catherine and Anne are there to take the healing waters for Anne. Lady Catherine is more civil as Elizabeth is carrying the future heir to Pemberley, but still bossy, judgemental, and of course loves to give advice and hear her own voice.
They also receive a note from a Mr. Tilney.
No, not that Mr. Tilney- Captain Frederick Tilney.
I know. I was so disappointed. I want MY Mr. Tilney!
I want MY Mr. Tilney!
Bath, 6 October
Dear Mr. Darcy,
My discovery of your name in the Pump Room book prompts me to write. Though we are strangers to each other, I believe our families are acquainted. My late mother, Mrs. Victor Tilney, enjoyed the friendship of one Lady Ann Darcy, whom I believe to be your mother.
Though I understand Lady Anne has also passed away, I would take great pleasure in meeting her son. Unfortunately, my military duties obligate me to depart Bath this very day. However, I plan to return to my country home in Gloucestershire by 18 October, and shall remain there for some time. I would consider myself honored to receive you and Mrs. Darcy at Northanger Abbey as my guests for a se’nnight whenever you make your return to Derbyshire.
I hope your response names the date upon which I will enjoy the pleasure of your company. I am
Yours most sincerely,
Captain Fredrick Tilney
I still want my Mr. Tilney Carrie Bebris. I am intrigued, but wil be sorely disppointed and unhappy if MY Mr. Tilney doesn’t show up.
Anyways, the Darcys are also intrigued and decide to go visit on their way home.
Elizabeth visits with Lady Catherine and does not have a good time, it made even more when Lady Catherine tries to send Darcy to France to go after his troublesome cousin. He sends his solicitor and the Darcys visit with Dr. Severn which should be called Dr. Severe or Dr. Ima Rude Jerk. He is an awful misogynist and just all around horrible and we all should hate him-except Darcy is still wowed by his education and success rate, getting him to agree to come to Derbyshire instead of Elizabeth giving birth in London.
[Sarcastic] Big whoop
Eventually they leave Bath, and head to Gloucestershire but find it not as impressive as Catherine did.
The weather is cold, gray, dismal, and stormy. The servants are strange and act like no servant they have ever known. They are given the late Mrs. Tilney’s rooms which haven’t been used in ages and there is jewelry and all her stuff in it. Their servants have disappeared and the housekeeper has no knowledge where they are, the food gross, their host never appears, the halls are cold and drafty, and the Darcys want to leave but are forced to stay the night.
After dinner, the housekeeper takes them to their host and the Darcy’s see a very bandaged, fat man, with only one eye and his mouth are exposed.
Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. Okay, I know that wealthy people gained weight with the food they eat-but a narcissist like Fredrick Tilney? There is no way you can convince me he is fat. I’m sorry but I don’t believe it. This can’t be him. Something is afoot in this Abbey, I just don’t know what…
Tilney, (if he is Tilney which I remain unconvinced), apologizes for not being able to greet them or sit at dinner. He has no qualms that the rooms are full of things and thoroughly questions grills them about Lady Anne, her friendship with Mrs. Tilney, and if they have any correspondence.
The Darcy’s are completely flummoxed as they didn’t even know of the friendship let alone bring anything with them.
Captain Tilney talks really weird. I mean he is only in the book Northanger Abbey for a little bit, but this feels all wrong. I’m not the only one who feels it, as Darcy and Elizabeth find themselves feeling extremely weirded out by everything and they decide to leave ASAP.
The next morning they leave, carefully maneuvering themselves out of any faux pas. They find their servants-who had taken ill (sounds like were slipped a Regency mickey)-and then a trunk disappears and it takes forever for it to be located. Finally they leave, Mr. Darcy with his cane and off they go without another thought of this strange side trip, sure to be a weird story to be shared with friends.
Or is it?!
They stop for the night and then are com upon by a constable, as they were sent an anonymous note that the Darcy’s stole jewelry and riches fom the Tilneys. They then are both arrested for theft.
What???!!!!!!!! But he’s Mr. Darcy??!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
OMGoodness what is happening right now?
Th constable searches Mr. Darcy’s cane and finds it opens up and reveals that it has the Tilney jewels in it.
First of all-that is so cool. I want a cane or umbrella with a secret compartment, or one where you take it apart and it is a sword that would be so cool. With a wolf’s head on it like in The Wolf Man (1941).
And second WHAT THE HECK? ARRESTED? JAIL? THE DARCYS??!!!
Darcy tries to convince them it isn’t his cane but one that looks like it as his cane has an imperfection in the grain-this one does’t it is a replica, but they don’t believe him.
They then return to Northanger Abbey to speak to Captain Tilney about everything and when they reach the Abbey they see that Captain Tilney is not there but Mr. Tilney arrives, the Henry Tilney, MY Mr. Tinley.
And we get the giant bomb…you see the Darcy’s want Captain Tilney to share what happened that night, but eh can’t. He’s dead.
And that’s not all. Fredrick’s been dead for a while.
And that housekeeper they met? She doesn’t exist. She matches no description of any housekeeper that has ever been employed there and the most recent housekeeper was fired six weeks ago.
And the house has been shut up for a while.
What is going on???
Okay, here I was undeniably hooked. I had to finish this story. Not only has Mr. Tilney entered the picture but we are in a serious web.
Or is there a human trying to frame the Darcys?
And sidenote, is it horrible that after I got over the shock of Captain Tilney being dead, I kind of thought it was cool that Mr. Tilney would have Northanger Abbey. Does that make me a horrible person? I mean, I didn’t think that right away…it was after.
The local magistrate is being a bit of a jerk, enjoying the power he has over someone like Darcy and won’t release him. Darcy sends word to his solicitor, who unfortunately has been sent to France to take care of his cousin, but Elizabeth does the only thing they can do to free Darcy. Call the one person who no one could ever be able to go against.
No, no, no, no, no, not her.
Lady Catherine comes, throws her weight around, and this guy is no match for her. She gets Darcy released and he’ll be back later for the trial. But unfortunately, Darcy isn’t just released he is released into Lady Catherine’s care and she is coming to Pemberley with them.
They are about to head home when Mr. Tilney comes back, yay! I was worried that he was only going to be in there for a moment. He apologizes for his behavior, and said that he let his grief, anger, and hurt get the best of him. He thought over what they said and realized that he does remember the Darcy name, as his mother was friends with a Mrs. Darcy and she provided great comfort in her life with his tyrannical and vampirish father.
He remembers meeting her once and knowing what he does of her and their estate, he can’t imagine that Darcy wold act this way and steal. He also found the “true” walking stick of Darcy’s.
Darcy shows them the letter they received from Captain Tilney and it is dated the day before he died in his own hand. However, when Tilney questions the Darcy’s the man could not be Fredrick (as he was dead on that date) but also the eye was the wrong color.
So who did this and why? What was their scheme? If they wanted the jewels why hide them in the walking stick? What could they have gained from delaying the Darcy’s and getting them caught up in this? Just trying to ruin their good name?
What is going on?
Tilney tried to get the lawsuit dropped, but the magistrate is just salivating over this and he will not do so. Ugh.
The Darcys leave for Pemberley, while Mr. Tilney plans on remaining at Northanger and continuing the investigation there and getting the estate handled. The two plan to keep in constant contact.
What? What? Where is Catherine? Why are they leaving? How come Tilney isn’t in the book more? NOOOO, why are we leaving Northanger…will we ever see him again?
BUt BUt BUt I Want more Mr. Tilney Wah, wah, wah…
Sorry I’m over it now. So Lizzy, Darcy, and Lady Catherine return to Pemberley and find it polluted. Yes a pest infestation has taken root since they have been away. A giant rat called Wickham.
What the HECK??!! Why would he even think to do that. I don’t know if Wickham is brave, audacious, or just plain stupid.
Lydia immediately accosts Elizabeth for money, and Darcy catches Wickham with a servant girl, Jenny. Not the welcome home they had wished for. Although, their presence does make Lady Catherine disappear to her bedroom. LOL.
Elizabth finds living with Lady Catherine to be extremely difficult, no surprise there, and tries to find ways of coping that do not include her starting a regency fight club or throwing her hot tea at Lady Catherine. She instead goes for walks, visiting Lady Anne’s garden, Our Lady’s Garden.
The next morning is All Hallow’s Eve and the gardner always leaves flowers on the graves. Elizabeth sees his shadow and head down to the collect the bouquets, dropping them off, only to discover that after she completes the task that the gardner had never made the bouquets, he was just about to. He laughs it off that it must be an assistant who readied them, but it gets Elizabeth thinking. Was it an assistant? Or a GHOST??
Meanwhile, Elizabeth has been curious over the correspondence with Mrs. Tilney and thought maybe there would be a clue to help find the missing heirloom. She asks for the correspondence to come downstairs from the attic, and discovers that there are NINE trunks!
OMGoodness, I have one “memory box” my grandma gave me, and when it gets too full I go through it and recycle the cards or toss them out. It is a small box I can’t imagine having nine!!
Elizabeth reads the letters and finds the ones of Lady Anne and the late Mr. Darcy’s courtship “Love conquers all” being their phrase.
They have the yearly Harvest Feast, and Elizabeth develops a slight nosebleed. The local midwife helps her, and talks to her about Lady’s Anne’s last pregnancy. She reveals that the object Elizabeth is looking for is a small Madonna and Child ivory statuette.
Darcy finds her and becomes so worried about the blood, calling for the horrible doctor. Dr. Severn’s arrival makes Elizabeth have to clean up her room, and all the trunks are removed without her being able to finish going through them.
The doctor arrives angry that he was called in for a nosebleed and is a pompus jerk who doesn’t care a thing about what Elizabeth thinks, feels, or says.
Later Elizabeth has even more fun talking to Lady Catherine and finds out that the statuette was from back in the day when the family was Catholic. Lady Catherine wants it back, but Elizabeth refuses to give it to her if she finds it, intending to keep it. It is a battle of wits as both are searching high and low, in and out, and all over Pemberley.
Fight, fight, fight!
Elizabeth wants to read Lady Anne’s letter again but it has disappeared. Only later to reappear. That isn’t he only thing that is strange-is Elizabeth just having the pregnancy forgetfulness, is someone sabotaging her, or is there a spirit at play here?
Elizabeth then continues to go through the letters, finding the ones between Mrs. Tilney and Lady Anne. Those were so cute that they almost, ALMOST, but not quite, make up for the fact that there is no Catherine in this book so far. I am sorely disappointed.
Anyways, the letters are just adorable! It turns out that the statuette came from Northanger Abbey. There was a set of ten, but they were hidden when the Church of England came into power. Mrs. Tilney encourages her to visit, and Lady Anne does, bringing the statue. Mrs. Tilney gives Lady Anne a strongbox to put the statue in, but General Tilney is not a happy camper. He does not like that Lady Anne has one, and he wants it, along with the other nine.
That’s not good.
Elizabeth shares her intel with Mr. Darcy and Mr. Darcy has seen the box before. He and Wickham found it years ago, in fact on the day Georgina was born. A box with a key that opens when you move the dials to create the right “password”. Wickham egged him on and they tried to unlock it. They search the fountain where it was years ago, but nothing is there.
They believe that Wickham might have come after it and that means Mr. Darcy must take a journey. Elizabeth stays behind with she and Georgiana comedically hiding the fact that Mr. Darcy has disappeared from Pemberley from Lady Catherine.
So Elizabeth continues to read the letters and learns more on the friendship, intent on finding where could this figurine be? Darcy heads off to find Wickham and still is trying to discover the truth of what happened in Northanger Abbey. Meanwhile, in Northanger Abbey Tilney is trying to solve the case too. When Darcy heads to Newcastle he finds the truth to everything and in a surprise twist, the villains are someone Austen readers should know.
Meanwhile, things continue to be strange in Pemberley. Is there a malicious person? Another member of the scheme? Or an evil spirit?
This was extremely enjoyable and a very good mystery. I loved it.
The only thing that would be better would be if Catherine was in it and if there was more Mr. Tilney!