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Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Duty and Desire: A Novel of Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman...Review

About the book:
Jane Austen's classic novel Pride and Prejudice Pride and Prejudice is beloved by millions, but little is revealed in the book about the mysterious and handsome hero, Mr. Darcy. And so the question has long remained: Who is Fitzwilliam Darcy?

Pamela Aidan's trilogy finally answers that long-standing question, creating a rich parallel story that follows Darcy as he meets and falls in love with Elizabeth Bennet. Duty and Desire, the second book in the trilogy, covers the "silent time" of Austen's novel, revealing Darcy's private struggle to overcome his attraction to Elizabeth while fulfilling his roles as landlord, master, brother, and friend.

When Darcy pays a visit to an old classmate in Oxford in an attempt to shake Elizabeth from his mind, he is set upon by husband-hunting society ladies and ne'er-do-well friends from his university days, all with designs on him -- some for good and some for ill. He and his sartorial genius of a valet, Fletcher, must match wits with them all, but especially with the curious Lady Sylvanie.

Irresistibly authentic and entertaining, Duty and Desire remains true to the spirit and events of Pride and Prejudice while incorporating fascinating new characters, and is sure to dazzle Austen fans and newcomers alike.

I normally abhor any type of sequel or rewrite, especially when it comes to Pride and Prejudice. I have, however, loved this series. An Assembly Such as This was terrific. I'm skipping over all the other books sitting in my basket so I can read number 3. Duty and Desire covers the silent part of Pride and Prejudice: the part between Darcy leaving Hertfordshire and then showing up at Rosings Park with Colonel Fitzwilliam. As a warning, there is nothing in this book that is part or parcel of the Pride and Prejudice we all know and love.

However, I think Pamela Aidan has done a fantastic job of writing a story to show a little more of Darcy's character: why he is so good, why he struggles with his feelings for Elizabeth despite the impropriety of her family. Aidan gives Darcy a more developed sense of humor and an interest in faith that is refreshing. She explores his relationship with Georgiana and we see some of Georgiana's maturity after the incident with Wickham. It's all very believable and enlightening. Aidan isn't trying to be Jane Austen, and that is why I think this series works so well.

Although, just like Jane Austen did in Northanger Abbey, Aidan also plays a bit with the gothic satire of the time in Darcy's visit to Oxfordshire. It's engaging and funny and I couldn't wait to see how it climaxed. I just have to say that I love Fletcher. His character is awesome. He and Darcy kind of play off each other and the Shakespeare quotes are hysterical, as is the little plug for the new author and her story of a widow and three daughters put out into the cold by the heartless step-daughter-in-law. A story otherwise known as, Sense and Sensibility.

Thanks to half.com for having a copy I could purchase.  You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 3/08

* * * *
4/5 Stars


  1. I'm so excited to find your blog! I am always looking for something new to read.

  2. I've read Assembly as well but not the rest. I'm going to the library. by the way, do you buy or borrow books, or both?