, , ,

Pride and Prejudice (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

Pride and Prejudice is set in 19th century England.  The novel starts out starts out with a young man called Mr. Bingley and his friend Mr. Darcy settling in a small, rural town.  All the townspeople with daughters who are of a marriable age are in a flutter, but especially a woman called Mrs. Bennet.  She has 5 daughters and no sons, so of course she wants them all married well.  Mrs. Bennet schemes to marry off one of her daughters.  Her second oldest daughter, Elizabeth doesn’t approve of her mother’s plans.  Will Jane marry the man she loves?  Will Elizabeth marry the man she doesn’t love?  Or will Lydia’s flirtations ruin all her sisters’ chances?  Read this novel about matchmaking, arrogance, and true love to find out.

Mr. Darcy's Diary

Mr. Darcy’s Diary is a great book for Austen fans.  I just finished reading and I wanted to review it.  The diary starts with Mr. Darcy finding out about Georgina’s intended elopement with Wickham.  Then Pride and Prejudice takes over and the rest of the book is mostly his retelling of P and P.  It is a very interesting read.  You get new insights into Caroline Bingley’s character, read about his negotiations with Wickham so that he will marry Lydia, and read of his struggle against his fascination for Elizabeth Bennet.  SPOILER It includes several pages of what life is like for Mr. and Mrs. Darcy after their marraige, and how Colonel Fitzwilliam becomes engaged to Anne de Bourgh.  END OF SPOILER  This book is a very enjoyable read.  Here is an excerpt:

My inclination was to walk out and leave Lydia to the life she had made for herself. But the thought of Elizabeth’s pale face sustained me.

‘Meet me at my club tomorrow,’ I said to Wickham.

‘My dear Darcy, you know I am not welcome there.’

‘I will make sure you are admitted.’

He looked surprised, but said, ‘Very well.’

As I left the house, the memory of his insolent smile went with me.

Thursday, 14th August

I met Wickham at my club and the negotiations began.

‘You must marry her,’ I said to him shortly.

‘If I do that, I give up forever the chance of making my fortune through marriage.’

‘You have ruined her,’ I said. ‘Does that mean nothing to you?’

He crossed one ankle over the other and lay back in the chair.

‘She ruined herself,’ he said.

A waiter passed, and he ordered a whiskey. I did not react, knowing he did it only to annoy me.

‘How much do you owe?’ I asked, going straight to the heart of the matter.

‘Several hundred pounds.’

‘Whether that is true or not I do not know, but I shall. If you give your bills to my agent, he will pay them for you. In return, you will marry Lydia.’

‘Come now, as you are so anxious to see her wed, she is worth a lot more than that. Is it Miss Bennet who has caught your fancy, or is it the lovely Elizabeth?’

‘I am doing this for my own conscience,’ I said.

He laughed in my face.

‘No man goes to such lengths to ease his own conscience. Let me guess. It is the beautiful Jane Bennet. Sweet natured, beautiful Jane. She would make a splendid addition to Pemberley. I congratulate you, Darcy.’

‘I have no intention of marrying Miss Bennet.’

‘Then it is Elizabeth.’

I said nothing, but he must have guessed it from my face.

‘Ah! So it is! Her liveliness appeals to you. I would not have thought it. You are so pompous, Darcy, but they say that opposites attract.’

He had the upper hand, and he was enjoying using it.

‘Have a care,’ I warned him. ‘I will do much to save Lydia Bennet from disgrace, but if you go too far, instead of having your debts paid and something more besides, you will find yourself pursued by every creditor in Brighton, and maybe the army, for I will give them all your address.’

‘I can go to Bath, or Lyme, or the Lake District,’ he said. ‘I do not have to live here.’ But I could tell he had no stomach for further flight.

‘Do so,’ I said, calling his bluff. I stood up and turned towards the door.

‘Wait,’ he said.

I paused.

‘I will marry her -‘

‘Good,’ I said, sitting down again.

‘ – for thirty thousand pounds.’

‘What?’ I cried.

‘It is the sum I should have had from Georgiana.’

I mastered my temper with difficulty. ‘I will give you nothing of the kind.’

‘Very well, then, twenty thousand.’

I stood up and left the club.

He will come to me soon enough. He has nowhere else to go.

I do not relish seeing him, but the knowledge that it will ease Elizabeth’s fears recompenses me for any time or trouble I might take, and I hope that, before very long, I will see her happy again.

Some fan fiction (these stories come from the anthology Jane Austen Made Me Do It)

The Riding Habit

Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy have been married for about a year.  They have a young son and Georgina is about to have her come-out ball.  Elizabeth is perplexed by all the decisions and problems she will have to wade through and to add to this Mr. Darcy wishes her to learn to ride.  Elizabeth harbors a fear of horses, but will Mr. Darcy find out too late?

The Ghostwriter

When Sara is jilted by her fiancée, who is annoyed at her obsession with Austen, she is in despair.  He leaves her with a lock of Jane Austen’s hair.  When Sara wakes up the next morning she finds the ghost of Jane Austen in her house.  Jane wants Sara to write a book which will take all her talents.  Will Sara be able to write the book AND make up with Charles?

Jane Austen and the Mistletoe Kiss

A young lord gives a copy of Pride and Prejudice to Elinor, the woman he secretly loves.  When he confides that a certain Miss Jane Austen, who lives in their village wrote the book, Jane gives Elinor some advice about the kissing plant and shows that sometimes love can come unexpectedly.