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Duty and Desire: A Novel of Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman (Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman series Book 2) [Kindle Edition]

Pamela Aidan
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (223 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.00
Kindle Price: $10.99
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Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
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Book Description

³There was little danger of encountering the Bennet sisters ever again.²

Jane Austen's classic novel 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.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The second installment in Aidan's Fitzwilliam Darcy trilogy has the Pride and Prejudice hero wrestling with his infatuation with Elizabeth Bennet. While Aidan's Darcy exhibits the class snobbery and noblesse oblige readers expect of him, he also has a purpose: Darcy decides he must find another woman "of his own station as beautiful and blessed with wit as Elizabeth Bennet, whose charms would banish her from his mind and displace her in his heart." While searching for this woman, Darcy looks after his sister, Georgiana, who is emerging from a long depression. Aidan is comfortable with the overwrought Regency prose and tropes ("The horses, atremble with desire for home, broke into a canter from which no one in the coach wished to dissuade them") and, instead of imitating Austen, convincingly makes Darcy's story her own. Darcy and his loyal valet, Fletcher, travel to Norwycke Castle for a house party where murky inheritances, debt, husband-hunting aristocrats, the supernatural and dead ancestors commingle, resulting in a good time for fans of the series and those enamored of Austen. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

What is it about Fitzwilliam Darcy? Two hundred years after he captivated Elizabeth Bennett, readers still can't seem to get their fill of him. This title is just the latest in Darcy-inspired Jane Austen "fanfiction." It's better to forget Pride and Prejudice and read Aidan's knockoff on its own terms. Duty and Desire takes place during a few short weeks following Darcy's departure from Netherfield. After spending some time in London with his sister Georgiana and noting some puzzling changes in her interests, he sets off for a house party, determined to put Elizabeth Bennett out of his mind and find himself a more suitable partner. At first the aristocratic group gathered at Norwycke Castle seems to offer matrimonial possibilities, but soon Darcy is embroiled in a somewhat improbable mystery, which is solved thanks in part to the below-stairs access of Fletcher, his resourceful valet. Plenty of period detail, witty dialogue, humor (including a scene in which several characters discuss the new novel Sense and Sensibility), and elements of the gothic will keep readers entertained. This is the middle book in a trilogy, preceded by An Assembly Such As This (2006) and followed by These Three Remain. All three were originally self--published. Simon & Schuster will bring out These Three Remain early next year. Mary Ellen Quinn
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • File Size: 444 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone (October 3, 2006)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #176,539 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
71 of 80 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Improbable February 3, 2005
By Scout
My earlier review of Pamela Aiden's first installment cites it as the best P&P spinoff. It was the initial part of a trilogy that offers insight into Darcy's point of view and life apart from Miss Elizabeth Bennet in parallel to the P&P story line. The second installment falls a bit short by comparison.

While the continuation of Darcy's relationship with his valet is particularly delightful, the strategic plot choices seem out of character.

Finding solace in God is certainly a plausible means by which Miss Darcy would overcome her experience with Wickham but to turn to evangelical Christianity rather than the Anglican Church is less realistic. As a ward of an elder brother determined to shelter her and guide her to adulthood as a proper aristocratic woman, it is more likely that he would have seen to it that she pursued a deeper faith within the more conventional church. Having already suffered the consequence of a poor choice of governess, Darcy would have been ever more careful about the character and background of a replacement.

Likewise, the entirety of the plot twists at the country manor is implausible. It served a valuable purpose is demonstrating Darcy considering alternative potential matrimonial options to Elizabeth Bennet and one by one finding reasons to eliminate them. However, that he would attend let alone stay at such an event is entirely out of character for him. It is more likely that he would have pursued a similar interest within the confines of proper London aristocratic society rather than in the plot's bizarre environment.

All in all, the second tome of a trilogy is usually regarded as the least attractive of the three. The final leg promises to give us Darcy's perspective as he struggles more directly with Miss Bennet in the evolution of their relationship. I for one continue to await its publication with undiminished anticipation.
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not quite sure why I liked this book so much... August 31, 2005
...except perhaps that I was expecting to be disappointed and was instead engrossed and very pleasantly surprised. I had originally been enthralled by the first volume in the series, loving its fresh and unexpected but eminently logical insights into well-loved characterizations, but had gotten distracted from finishing the opener, perhaps momentarily bored with the predictability of its correspondence with Austen's original (paradoxically its original attraction). The second book's description was not enticing for me, promising few familiar characters or favorite events. Eventually I persevered and finished the books at a rapid pace so that I could lend them to an avid friend.

In the event, "Duty and Desire" was not what I expected, instead much better than expected. The first half was charming and engaging and rich with characterization, hardly harmed by its paucity of action. Georgiana's character reveal was plausible and took Darcy's dilemmas to a new level.

The controversial second half flowed very well for me, made clear sense, and had a real and necessary point to it. It all may have seemed to some readers as very monstrous and non-Austenesque - but that's the perverse hidden reality behind the pampered and unhampered lives of many of those to the manor born with silver spoons in their mouths. This was a real alternative for someone in Darcy's position, and he needed to see it for what it is in its stark reality in order to better see and appreciate Elizabeth for who she is. And frankly, it presents a nice mediating contrast and perspective to the banality of Hertfordshire, which hardly seems so utterly bad to Darcy by comparison.

For those who call this "mystery" story absurd and unbelievable - is it really?
Read more ›
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87 of 104 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Somewhat Tedious Filler Novel October 2, 2004
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
For a "filler" book, it's not bad. It's well written, as was the first book, but it's not nearly as interesting as the first one. The "mystery" introduced wasn't particularly compelling, and I found myself skipping to those bits that gave insight into what Darcy was thinking and feeling, rather than being pulled into the story itself.

One thing that especially frustrated me was the emphasis the author made on religious contemplation. Jane Austen, herself, was certainly a woman of deep religious conviction, but she was as scrupulously careful about keeping her books free from heavy-handed portrayal of religious belief as she was from heavy-handed portrayal of feminist thought. Even though these themes do pop up in her novels, they are never dwelled upon. But this is where Pamela Aidan's most impressive ability -- her ability to keep close to Austen's style -- failed. She failed to maintain Austen's light touch. Nearly the entire first third of this book has a strong religious orientation, and I even put it down in exasperation several times. I never did that with the first book.

Later in the book, we are informed that Darcy's sister, Georgiana, has undergone a religious transformation the likes of which you might see in a newly born-again Christian of modern times. I suspect (I really hope), that Aidan is simply using this as a plot device. Since Darcy himself worries about Georgiana's excessive devotion to her faith, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it's so. The third book should be the most interesting of the three, and I await it with great anticipation. Let's hope Aidan writes it as she did the first one and drops the heavy-handed style of this one.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars I Felt Like I Was Reading A Bad FanFiction
The only reason I give this a second star is because if the book had been a separate story all together with original characters, I would consider it a decent story and good... Read more
Published 10 days ago by WriterKla
2.0 out of 5 stars Weakest of the trilogy
The Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman series is a novel in three parts, and Duty and Desire follows Darcy in his time away from Elizabeth Bennet, from his escape to London with Bingley... Read more
Published 28 days ago by Inspired by Austen
2.0 out of 5 stars Just Bizarre
The second half of this book belongs more to NORTHANGER ABBEY than PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. Turns out in the Q & A at the end of the novel Aidan acknowledges that as a deliberate... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Kindle Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Duty and Desire: A Novel of Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman
This was the second in a trilogy. Had a difficult time getting into this one. Little of this story moved along the story of Elizabeth and Darcy. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Phantom Phan
4.0 out of 5 stars A Fun Read
Enjoyed this retelling of Pride & Prejudice, despite some of the silliness that ensued. Actually wish Ms. Aidan would write a few more in this genre.
Published 3 months ago by NanKes
5.0 out of 5 stars Good offshoot
What is there to say? This was terrific. Pamela Aidan has a good knack with the subject.
Published 3 months ago by Claudia Milesky
2.0 out of 5 stars A Tale of Two Darcys
This is the second installment of the three volume set that traces the life of Darcy during the time period covered in Pride and Prejudice. Read more
Published 3 months ago by KR Bridges
4.0 out of 5 stars It was an easy read.
It was an easy read.... not too cerebral. I like the old English language used throughout the series. It does take a bit longer to tell the story than is necessary.... Read more
Published 4 months ago by tychadaltin
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice read
Enjoyed it
Published 4 months ago by Gina
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent
As a second book, I remained interested and excited. I loved the writing style- staying true to the era and wording along with this intricacies on polite society. Read more
Published 5 months ago by meg
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More About the Author

I grew up just outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in small towns scattered over Montgomery County. I graduated from high school with the desire to be a history teacher but eventually earned a Masters in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I have worked as a librarian in a wide variety of settings for thirty-five years, most recently as the director of a new library founded in a fast-growing town in eastern Washington, near my home in Coeur d Alene, Idaho.

My husband and I enjoy playing duets (he on guitar or piano and me on the hammered dulcimer) and singing together. We share all of life, especially books, movies, and traveling. He's my best critic and biggest supporter.

My readers are a most faithful and supportive group. I am regularly humbled by fan letters expressing how my work has helped them through difficult times as well as the many who convey their delight with what I have done with Austen s characters. Writing, publishing, responding to has all such an adventure!


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