I am sorry I am late on my Pride and Prejudice post. I’ve been terribly lazy about my online responsibilities lately. In celebration of two hundredth anniversary of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, I’m taking part in the Austenprose Bicentenary Challenge for 2013. Here is the original blog post if you are interested. The idea is to pick a challenge level (Ie: how many Pride and Prejudice inspired books, be they prequels, sequels, non-fiction, fan-fiction, etc., or movies or miniseries) then post our review on your blog. This month’s review is Mr. Darcy’s Diary by Amanda Grange.
Here is the link to Goodreads and here is the blurb:
Monday 9th September
“I left London today and met Bingley at Netherfield Park. I had forgotten what good company he is; always ready to be pleased and always cheerful. After my difficult summer, it is good to be with him again. …”
The only place Darcy could share his innermost feelings was in the private pages of his diary…
Torn between his sense of duty to his family name and his growing passion for Elizabeth Bennet, all he can do is struggle not to fall in love.
Mr. Darcy’s Diary presents the story of the unlikely courtship of Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy from Darcy’s point of view. This graceful imagining and sequel to Pride and Prejudice explains Darcy’s moodiness and the difficulties of his reluctant relationship as he struggles to avoid falling in love with Miss Bennet. Though seemingly stiff and stubborn at times, Darcy’s words prove him also to be quite devoted and endearing – qualities that eventually win over Miss Bennet’s heart. This continuation of a classic romantic novel is charming and elegant, much like Darcy himself.
Pride and Prejudice has inspired a large number of modern day sequels, the most successful of which focus on the rich, proud Mr. Darcy.
This was a great read, like sliding your foot into a fuzzy slipper. Despite the familiarity of the situations, the characters, etc., this view of things from Darcy’s point of view shows us the other side of Pride and Prejudice. It is faithful to the original book as far as what happens, the behavior of the characters, but shows us more of what happened regarding Georgiana’s brush with Wickham and how things went during Darcy and Caroline’s deceitful removal of Bingley from Netherfield.
We also see Darcy at his most arrogant. In Austen’s original, he is an enigma. We see his actions and hear his words, but not his thoughts. He is most often silent. Now we are privy to his own opinion of himself and it is pretty high. He makes constant reference to all he has to offer and how he is courted by the debutantes. It rubs you the wrong way, but then he does say how it is simply the plain truth and much of it is stated as a matter of fact. He believes this, but you realize that he doesn’t equate it with himself – his own worth as a person, but as what Pemberley has to offer. Then you realize it is not conceit – arrogance, perhaps, but he doesn’t mince words when it comes to the truth. Which leads us to the unfortunate proposal.
It’s one of the most famous in all literature – and yet poor Darcy completely fudges it. He begins so beautifully, but then he begins to tell the truth – as he sees it – and much of this is only described by Austen. However, Grange tells us everything he said, and she did it beautifully. Everything he said was in keeping with Darcy’s own voice and beliefs. And he doesn’t hold back a single thing. Very cringeworthy.
I was supposed to put this up last month but life got in the way. I should have read the book for the August review, but sadly, that one I did not like at all and I couldn’t get through it. So I decided to review this book instead, but had to re-read this to write up the review. I enjoyed it just as much the second time.