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Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy: The Last Man in the World by Abigail Reynolds

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  activelearning | Oct 22, 2011 |
Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy
The Last Man in the World
by Abigail Reynolds
Sourcebooks
978-1-4022-294-3
256 pages

Pride and Prejudice fans will love and no doubt accept this “what if” plot scenario devised by Abigail Reynolds in Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, The Last Man in the World. The premise of the story is, suppose that Elizabeth accepted Mr. Darcy’s original proposal of marriage and they became husband and wife. Caught in a dilemma, faced with social ruin, Elizabeth does just that in Reynolds short novel. She really loathes him and finds the idea of being his wife abhorrent and distasteful. He on the other hand is madly in love with her and obsesses over her to extreme. When her true feelings are revealed to him, he recoils into his arrogant abyss. There lives are tenuous and as tempestuous as the original Darcy and Elizabeth.

Reynolds creative imagination provides a charming and whimsical fun read with her alternative plot twist. Her interpretation of the characters is a seamless blend. They are true to the memory of the original cast. Mr. Darcy’s speech and demeanor is still abrupt and aristocratically arrogant. At times I would like to shake sense into Elizabeth’s, but then with a sister’s support, cheering on her attempts to win back Darcy.

Reynolds succeeds in delivering a passionate Pride and Prejudice detour that is entertaining and honest.

This copy was provided by Sourcebooks

© [Wisteria Leigh] and [Bookworm's Dinner], [2008-2011]. ( )
  WisteriaLeigh | Jul 8, 2011 |
I approached this novel with trepidation; I am a very devoted fan of Austen (most specifically Pride and Prejudice), and I have had bad experiences with "alternative" classics before. However, Reynolds has helped me move beyond my bad experiences by providing a perfectly delightful alternative to the Bennet/Bingley/Darcy story that is so familiar.

The Elizabeth of Reynold's novel is certainly not the same Elizabeth that Austen created, but once I was able to move beyond the surprising differences I found myself drawn into a world that was wonderfully familiar. Reynolds balances her own story with a number of allusions to the original novel, producing a charming story all on its own. Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy defies expectations more often than note, but in that defiance gives the reader an experience that is far more satisfying. ( )
3 vote Luxx | Jan 15, 2011 |
I enjoyed seeing Elizabeth grow to love Darcy from within the confines of marriage and Ms. Reynolds makes good use of famous passages from the original, putting them in new context. I found the circumstances of their marriage unconvincing (though I can't think of a more convincing way to marry them early) and some of their misunderstandings in marriage seemed contrived. However, I liked this variation and the fact that the sex is toned down (compared to some of Ms. Reynolds' other works). ( )
  tjsjohanna | Dec 27, 2010 |
And so begins a truly wretched marriage where Mr. Darcy views it as the single greatest thing in his entire life and Elizabeth sees it as her greatest sacrifice.

If you love romances where the two main characters start off on opposite ends and eventually come together after several heartaches, then I highly recommend The Last Man In The World for delivering such an entertaining romance! While Elizabeth dominated the story with her torn feelings, Mr. Darcy had his moments of vulnerability as a husband hopelessly in love with his wife who does not return his affections yet, if ever.

Abigail Reynolds kept this Pride & Prejudice variation short and sweet. An unwanted early marriage seemed to heighten the conflicts that were already present between these two most-beloved characters, and it is almost - just almost - as good as the original Pride & Prejudice ending.

I usually don't say this, but I am hoping that Abigail Reynolds will bring back to life Georgiana who might have stolen the show if she had more page time. In the meantime, I may just check out her other Pride & Prejudice "what-ifs" to have more delicious tension between Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth! ( )
  theepicrat | Nov 19, 2010 |
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"In a moment, when we leave the trees, you will be able to see the house," said Mr. Darcy. "There it is, across the valley -- Pemberley House."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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First published as Last Man in the World, republished as Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 140222947X, Paperback)

What if…

The last man in the world she could be prevailed upon to marry…is her husband?

In Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennet tells the proud Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy that she wouldn't marry him if he were the last man in the world.

But what if she never said the words? What if circumstances conspired to make her accept Darcy the first time he proposes?

In this installment of Abigail Reynolds's acclaimed Pride and Prejudice Variations, Elizabeth agrees to marry Darcy against her better judgment, setting off a chain of events that nearly brings disaster to them both…

What readers are saying

"A highly original story, immensely satisfying."

"Anyone who loves the story of Darcy and Elizabeth will love this variation."

"I was hooked from page one."

"A refreshing new look at what might have happened if…"

"Another good book to curl up with… I never wanted to put it down."

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:12 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

What if the last man in the world she could be prevailed upon to marry...is her husband? In Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennet tells the proud Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy that she wouldn't marry him if he were the last man in the world. But what if she never said the words? What if circumstances conspired to make her accept Darcy the first time he proposes? In this installment of Abigail Reynolds's acclaimed Pride and Prejudice Variations, Elizabeth agrees to marry Darcy against her better judgment, setting off a chain of events that nearly brings disaster to them both.… (more)

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