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The True Darcy Spirit by Elizabeth Aston
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The True Darcy Spirit (edition 2009)

by Elizabeth Aston

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214None54,150 (3.39)8
Member:AdonisGuilfoyle
Title:The True Darcy Spirit
Authors:Elizabeth Aston
Info:Harper (2009), Paperback, 352 pages
Collections:Read in 2013 (inactive), Your library
Rating:**
Tags:Austen sequel, 2013, read but unowned

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The True Darcy Spirit by Elizabeth Aston

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Another random pick from the library shelves. Elizabeth Aston's Darcy novels are like Pride and Prejudice: the next generation, in which Darcy and Lizzie's five daughters - how inspired! - have various romantic adventures, and secondary Darcy cousins intermarry. Like Cassandra, daughter of Anne de Bourgh and Thaddeus Darcy - 'His father was your grandfather's younger brother, so [Darcy] and Mr Thaddeus were first cousins', if that makes the family tree any clearer! - who also gets to keep her maiden name. Well done to the author for cashing in on Austen's success while creating a tangled cast of original characters, but the list of second sons and scattered relations made my head spin.

The True Darcy Spirit fell between at least three stools for me. A fair attempt at emulating Austen was eventually overpowered by Heyeresque historical romance and a melodramatic political subplot involving the Prince Regent, to the point where I didn't know what I was reading! Whereas Lauren Willig writes unabashed Regency fluff, and Carrie Bebris borrows Mr and Mrs Darcy to play detective in her cosy mysteries, Aston is all over the place. Her history is heavy-handed, full of exposition and modern views, the romance is predictable (even the maid meets her match), and most critically for an 'Austenuation', the whole thing is lacking in humour. Cassandra is nauseatingly perfect, Horatio is a new age romantic hero, and the villain of the piece is straight out of pantomime. Plus, the frequency of timely coincidences reaches ridiculous proportions - when the secondary romantic hero declared himself a German prince, I was actually snorting with laughter.

In the words of one character's literary assessment, 'the characters seemed wooden, the plot improbable, the dialogue stilted'. I dread to think how corny and convoluted the lives of the Darcy sisters - Letitia, Camilla, Alethea, Georgina and the violet-eyed Isabel (wot, no Allegra or Octavia?) - might be, but I don't think I'll be borrowing any more of Miss Aston's novels to find out. ( )
  AdonisGuilfoyle | Jan 10, 2013 |
It's been too long since I've read P&P, so the characters and their relationships were a little muddled in my mind at first. Cassandra was in trouble, then out, and I was wondering if she would end up in trouble again. It all comes together delightfully in the end. ( )
  soccertheology | Aug 18, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0743274903, Paperback)

Following on the heels of Mr. Darcy's Daughters and The Exploits & Adventures of Miss Alethea Darcy, Elizabeth Aston delivers an irresistible new novel set in the world of Jane Austen.

After being disowned by her family, Cassandra Darcy -- the artistic eldest daughter of Anne de Bourgh (and granddaughter of the infamous Lady Catherine de Bourgh and Mr. Darcy's cousin in Pride and Prejudice) -- strives to make a living by painting. But struggling to succeed in bohemian London turns out to be the least of her worries! To begin with, there are the unwelcome advances of a certain Lord Usborne, and then there are the letters bequeathed to her by a friend -- highly compromising letters written by Princess Caroline that her husband, the Prince Regent, would very much like to possess. In league with Lord Usborne, the prince enlists the services of Cassandra's cousin, Horatio Darcy, who is a lawyer, to track down the missives. When Horatio's investigation leads him straight to Cassandra, he initially disapproves of her lifestyle until he finds himself utterly charmed by it -- and particularly by her. Romance may prove elusive, however, as social obstacles and the efforts of a vengeful Lord Usborne conspire to divide the two would-be lovers.

Another delightful chapter in the adventures of Aston's spirited Darcy daughters, The True Darcy Spirit is a treat for Jane Austen fans everywhere.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:31:14 -0400)

Cassandra Darcy, disowned by her family, struggles to support herself by working as a painter in bohemian London, an effort that is challenged by the unwanted advances of Lord Usborne and a cache of compromising letters written by the queen.

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