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Mr. Darcy's Dream: A Novel Paperback – February 3, 2009

22 customer reviews
Book 6 of 6 in the Darcys Series

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Editorial Reviews


"This is historical fiction at its most enjoyable... Miss Jane Austen would be very comfortable in Ms. Elizabeth's Aston's world." -- Historical Novels Review

About the Author

Elizabeth Aston is a passionate Jane Austen fan who studied with Austen biographer Lord David Cecil at Oxford. The author of several novels, including Mr. Darcy's Daughters, she lives in England and Italy.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; Original edition (February 3, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416547266
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416547266
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #844,309 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I was born in Chile to an impeccably English father and a distinctly un-English Argentine mother. Educated by Benedictine nuns in Calcutta, Fabians in London, and Inklings at Oxford University, I'm now back in Oxford after spending several years in Italy.

My books include the bestselling Darcy series - six romantic comedies and a novella set in the world of Jane Austen, and a contemporary novel, Writing Jane Austen. These were inspired by my love of Jane Austen - her heroes, her heroines and her wicked sense of humour.

My Mountjoy novels depict the unholy, unquiet, and frequently unseemly goings-on of the Mountjoys of Mountjoy castle and their circle of friends and family, enhanced with a touch of magic and enchantment-I've always been fascinated by what lies just beyond our sight.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Christina Boyd VINE VOICE on January 29, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I would have easily given this book 5 stars if not for the niggling sensation I felt as I read it. Like all Elizabeth Aston's books, Jane Austen's original characters are not principal players -- which for in any other book would have been perfectly acceptable. And I love that all her books can stand alone. But to actually title this book MR DARCY'S DREAM was extremely deceptive. In classic Aston style, Mr Darcy makes an appearance at the end and does have the last word. But since almost the entire story is based at Pemberley, and the Darcy's arent even in residence until the day of the ball -- well, to be honest, that disappointed me. This book was very enjoyable nonetheless, if not for the deceptive title. (Yes, yes... I get it. I totally get WHAT Mr Darcy's dream is... it just wasnt what I had anticipated or hoped for when pre-ordering this book.)

That said, Mr Darcy's nieces are enchanting and I easily liked them. The heart break that Georgianna's daughter, Phoebe, experiences and carries with her through out the book is intense and Aston inflicts just the right amount of angst on us to keep us reeling til the end. Which by the way, wraps up all too quickly for my liking (but then all her books do!)

I found the added Whig vs. Tory ingredient to be just the right balance. Aston gives enough of the politics to make it interesting and a believable situation -- but not so much to bore us to death.

Elizabeth Aston is a gifted writer and I enjoy all her books. This story, even though Mr Darcy doesnt actually show up until page 281, was a superb read that I heartily endorse!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By K. Jacobs on February 9, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've read all of Aston's Darcy-family books. They've been a delight. This latest is dismally disappointing, moving me to wonder if the same author is at work here. Boring, shallow protagonists, much too much focus on the maids! and their perspectives/quibbling, and story that doesn't really kick in until at least 150 pages in. What a disaster. I had no desire even to finish. Hoping this is just an example of having a bad outing, and that Ashton is back on her game in her next effort.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Whoseblues on February 22, 2009
Format: Paperback
***SPOILERS*** I agree with a previous reviewer. It's almost as if this book was not written by the same author as the other ones in this series, which I think have all been terrific.

In this one, however, the main characters are insipid. The conversation is dull. And the most characteristic marker that's missing from this one is the clever plot twist all the others had that both generated the happy ending and caused the bad guy to get what was coming to him. That's probably because there isn't much of a plot in the first place, and while the bad guy does get found out, nothing is tied together very well, the story does not hang as whole cloth, and the ending is abrupt and utterly uncompelling. This one doesn't come off as worthy of the use of Jane Austen's premise, and it shows none of the social satire that the other books carry through from Austen -- it just comes off as a badly executed romance.

I hope it's just a bad outing as well. Otherwise, if the author is tired of the whole thing, she'd be better off publishing no more books in the series, rather than diluting the really good start she made with more like this one.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Laurel Ann VINE VOICE on February 21, 2009
Format: Paperback
Author Elizabeth Aston has become a nonpareil in the Austen sequel publishing industry. Her latest outing Mr. Darcy's Dream will be her sixth Pride and Prejudice continuation in as many years. With so many authors out there jockeying for position in this competitive book niche, she remains on top and true to her vision consistently offering amusing stories of Jane Austen's famous romantic couple Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam Darcy's children and families. A winning recipe if you mix it up right, so why does the namesake of this book Mr. Darcy not show up until the last three pages of the novel, and what the deuce does his dream have to do with anything?

Twenty-year old Phoebe Hawkins is handsome, well-born, and endowed with a fortune of fifty thousand pounds to the lucky man to win her affections. Unfortunately, her choice Mr. Anthony Stanhope has a bit of a bad rep prompting her father to reject his offer of marriage. Undaunted, Phoebe is certain that Stanhope is no rake until she witnesses his assignation with a notorious woman. Heartbroken and dejected, her clever ma'ma Lady Georgiana averts London gossip by devising a plan to send her to the country to her uncle Darcy's estate in Derbyshire until it blows over. Joining her is her amiable cousin Louisa Bingley whose failure to engage after three London seasons is a bit of flop. Their temperaments could not be more opposite. Quick to judge, Phoebe's free spirit challenges social stricture, while easygoing Louisa is as accepting of fate as her mother Jane Bingley seeing little fault in anything. Both feel the pressure to fulfill their family obligations with brilliant marriages yet neither have a clue as to why they have not succeeded or if they will ever find their own bit of happiness.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By hmf22 on February 22, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have enjoyed Elizabeth Aston's other novels and was naturally looking forward to this one. It's a disappointment. The characterization is loose and careless; Aston seems not to have bothered to check her work for consistency. Phoebe, a recent debutante, is initially described as having few old clothes, but just a few chapters later, she stubbornly insists on wearing "a favourite muslin, so old that the pattern had faded" (107)-- and there are many logical glitches of this type. Moreover, the conversation between Phoebe and her cousin Louisa is astoundingly inane-- when Louisa inquires why Phoebe doesn't open a letter, Phoebe complains that she doesn't know who wrote it, and Louisa wisely replies, "'You can find that out in an instant by simply opening it'" (106). Is this supposed to be witty banter?

I'm also troubled by the shallowness of the plot. Many of Aston's novels explore topics such as politics, prostitution, foreign travel, or women in the arts. Mr. Darcy's Dream has a mild Whig/Tory theme, but it's poorly explained and largely peripheral to the plot. The young heroine, Phoebe, experiences some psychological growth in a manner vaguely reminiscent of Jane Austen's heroines Elizabeth Bennet, Emma Woodhouse, and Marianne Dashwood, but Phoebe's character is so weakly and inconsistently developed that it's hard to care about her in the same way. If you're not already an Aston fan, I would strongly recommend beginning with one of Aston's more substantial novels, such as The Exploits and Adventures of Miss Alethea Darcy or The True Darcy Spirit.
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