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Pemberley Manor: Darcy and Elizabeth, for…
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Pemberley Manor: Darcy and Elizabeth, for better or for worse (edition 2009)

by Kathryn Nelson

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803283,342 (3.29)None
How does "happily ever after" really work? With such different personalities, Darcy and Elizabeth surely need to work on their communication skills! Unlike Jane and Bingley, both of whom are easygoing and friendly, the Darcys are definitely a case where opposites attract. Through their dramatic courtship, Lizzy finally saw through Darcy's rigid pride and sense of duty, and Darcy fell in love with Lizzy's sunny optimism and independence of spirit. Now that they're married, what will happen when their fundamentally different personalities reassert themselves? Uncover the true feelings of one of the world's most famous couples during their first year of marriage. PRAISE FOR PEMBERLEY MANOR: "A talented writer with a wonderful feel for Regency." Mary Bracho, Loft Literary Center "An absorbing read from the very first page." Alison Aldridge, BBC Worldwide "One to treasure. What a sumptuous book!" Jane Odiwe, author of Lydia Bennet's Story… (more)
Member:AustenBlog
Title:Pemberley Manor: Darcy and Elizabeth, for better or for worse
Authors:Kathryn Nelson
Info:Sourcebooks Landmark (2009), Paperback, 400 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:Paraliterature, Pride and Prejudice

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Pemberley Manor: Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice Continues... by Kathryn Nelson

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You have got��to be kidding me. I was actually indifferent to this. Usually an Austen sequel is so bad by plot or writing or abuse of source that it's risable, but this one, despite its flaws, was just eh. That's not fair: I want my snark.

In Elizabeth's letter to Aunt Gardiner to tell her she's engaged, she says, "You must all come to Pemberley at Christmas." Violating the first principle of the Austen sequel, that it must be faithful to the text, this visit doesn't happen. Instead Elizabeth, Darcy, Georgiana (and the Hursts and Caroline Bingley) go to Meryton.

The Darcys go to Meryton at the end of the longest December ever. On 30 November, Darcy meets someone at the inn at Lambton, someone who is staying there because his newly bought residence is not yet inhabitable. All the work on the house is completed before Christmas. Elizabeth goes from the textual "no horsewoman" to an excellent one in the same 24-day period. The Darcy friendship with this person becomes familiar and intimate before a family of guests arrive for a visit of several days before Christmas. Also, during this brief and wintry period of "dirty weather" (which makes travel difficult), Elizabeth is fully launched and accepted in Derbyshire society.

There's lots of Darcy family backstory, to the point that author Kathryn Nelson sets up a prequel to her sequel, which is pretty audacious. Nelson paints Darcy's mother as being exactly like his aunt, and eh, I disagree but cannot counter this textually. Certainly countertextual is her painting of Darcy's relationship with his father as strained to the degree of their being "virtual strangers." Certifiable is Nelson's depicting Darcy's mother as bipolar and Darcy himself teetering on the verge of madness, uncertain and reeling with recovered memory. I expected her character to ramble like Hamlet or wander like Launcelot.

The book's two main sloppinesses are, one, that its the central question is unresolved (this and Darcy's being given his father's diary are why I expect Nelson to whelp a sequel), and two, that people didn't blithely inform others that they were homosexual. Homosexuality was criminal. You might tell one person in extremis, but you wouldn't tell that person's wife, his sister, a servant, and the wife's sister's sister-in-law.

Other bothersome crap, from minor to major:
- Darcy's mother is called "Lady Anne Darcy." She wouldn't have retained the title of the daughter of an earl after her marriage, would she have? I don't think so.
- Elizabeth says "Fitzwilliam" is too formal so calls Darcy "Will." His full name is good enough for his sister to use, and, ��despite the difference between much-younger-sister and wife-equal, it should suit Elizabeth too. At least she didn't call him "Manly."*
- The dashing back and forth from Pemberley to Matlock seems unlikely, though not as oblivious to travel time as the one-day trip to Longbourn. Google maps calculates the distance between Chatsworth (the likely inspiration for Pemberley) and Matlock as nine miles. On a cantering horse in good condition, that might be two hours? Possible, but I should think imprudent on the horse's behalf.
- The faithful old lodgekeeper extends his hand to Darcy instead of waiting for Darcy to make the first move. What is he, Mr. Collins?
- Mrs. Annesley is nowhere to be seen. Georgiana speaks of her pre-Elizabeth loneliness as if that pleasant companion had never existed.
- The Darcy father's first name is given as James, instead of the George that is implicit in the text (George Wickham being his godson and Georgiana Darcy his daughter).
- Georgiana winds up engaged 18 months after the Wickham debacle, which happened when she was 15 years old. I vehemently disagree with those readers who think Darcy wanted Bingley to marry Georgiana the winter��following that hullabaloo. Caroline might have wished it or maybe said so only��to smother Jane's hopes; however, Darcy would not wish his sister to marry at such a young age, no matter the man. Here, another year later, I reckon he'd still consider her too young.
- Public disputes. Darcy allowing Georgiana to be present when Lady Westby goes all Lady Catherine de Bourgh on Elizabeth's ass. Darcy unmasking himself before Mr. Alexander. I didn't note every instance but his turnaround from reserve to disinhibition could make your head spin.

* It's terribly unkind of me but, again, I love the snark: I wonder how Laura felt about Almanzo's nickname after diphtheria brought him low, weakening and laming him for the rest of his life.
  ljhliesl | May 21, 2013 |
Well, who could really match Jane Austen anyway? Gotta hand to to Nelson for audacity, and she doesn't write all that poorly, so we might look for a future, non fanfic sort of book. I couldn't help but read this...who doesn't want to hear more about Darcy and Elizabeth?--but the book doesn't come close to its model. And who would be surprised by that?

This is not Darcy as we know him (really, he is constantly sniveling). Lizzie fares a little better. The final plot twists are really..um, not true to the period. I mean, it is only a hundred or so years later that folks are whispering about the love that dare not speak its name; it is inconceivable that someone would come out (and not by any means at a Grand Assembly Ball) so blatantly in Jane Austen's time, with everyone going "oh, that's just fine, everything is now okay, let's have tea". And..really, is Darcy likely to consent to his sister's marriage now? She's still pretty young, right. I mean..what, is she even 16 yet? and in love upon a few weeks acquaintance?

But it's fun, and Nelson can write. ( )
  jarvenpa | Mar 31, 2013 |
Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy may have tied the knot, but the story doesn’t end there. With characters so full of passion and determination, they are bound to hit a few stumbling blocks now and then. Their move to Pemberley brings back hard memories for Darcy, who suffered a conflicted and confusing childhood there. Lizzy must help him reconcile with the demons of his past so that they may have the happy future that they deserve.

This was my first Pride and Prejudice sequel. I have been tempted over and over again by a variety of Austen sequels but have refrained until now, fearing that it would never live up to the greatness of the original. Finally, I decided to set those fears aside, accept that it would never be as good, and just enjoy the book that I had to read.

With those goals in mind, I really liked Pemberley Manor. I loved the prose style in particular, which was indeed reminiscent of Jane Austen, and the intensity of the characters’ emotions. They did feel like Elizabeth and Darcy, even though Darcy is developing over the course of the novel. By and large I enjoyed the families and characters that the author added into the universe and thought they fit fairly well, although a certain revelation towards the end was taken too lightly for the time period, in my opinion. I tried not to let that bother me. The added backstory about Darcy did not seem out of place, either.

The plot wasn’t quite as smooth and dragged in places, though. It feels as though a series of incidents happened to the couple to prevent them from happiness and sometimes I wanted to kick them even though I knew their stubbornness was established long, long ago. Darcy isn’t so great at communicating, with anyone it seems, which isn’t a surprise but puts up a variety of roadblocks in front of his own contentment. They establish some sort of agreement each time, but since there are pages left, I knew it wasn’t going to last and worried over the lulls. The last 100 pages were well done and established an effective plot climax which still related to what had happened before and managed to wrap up all the problems nicely.

All considered, I don’t at all regret finally indulging in a sequel to one of my favorite classics. If you’ve ever been curious and would prefer something besides your imagination presenting a follow-up to Pride and Prejudice, this is a worthy place to begin.

http://chikune.com/blog/?p=707 ( )
  littlebookworm | Apr 16, 2009 |
Showing 3 of 3
I was so relieved upon commencing reading Pemberley Manor to realize quickly that Nelson “gets it.” She can write in a Regency style that does not sound forced, stilted, or altogether ridiculous, as is the case with some other writers of historical fiction. Her prose is smooth and her tone is confident, much like Austen’s. This was a great relief, as bad writing can mar even the most intriguing plot. Conversely, good writing may buoy your readers along even when they disagree with your plot choices.
added by AustenBlog | editAustenBlog, JaneFan (Apr 2, 2009)
 
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How does "happily ever after" really work? With such different personalities, Darcy and Elizabeth surely need to work on their communication skills! Unlike Jane and Bingley, both of whom are easygoing and friendly, the Darcys are definitely a case where opposites attract. Through their dramatic courtship, Lizzy finally saw through Darcy's rigid pride and sense of duty, and Darcy fell in love with Lizzy's sunny optimism and independence of spirit. Now that they're married, what will happen when their fundamentally different personalities reassert themselves? Uncover the true feelings of one of the world's most famous couples during their first year of marriage. PRAISE FOR PEMBERLEY MANOR: "A talented writer with a wonderful feel for Regency." Mary Bracho, Loft Literary Center "An absorbing read from the very first page." Alison Aldridge, BBC Worldwide "One to treasure. What a sumptuous book!" Jane Odiwe, author of Lydia Bennet's Story

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Sourcebooks Landmark

2 editions of this book were published by Sourcebooks Landmark.

Editions: 1402212852, 1402218524

 

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