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Darcy and Elizabeth: Mischief and Misunderstanding: A Sweet Pride and Prejudice Variation Paperback – August 11, 2017
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About the Author
Cassandra Knightley spent much of her life dreaming of waking in the world of Jane Austen. As an adult it quickly became apparent that this wasn't going to happen, so she's doing the next best thing, writing more stories about Mr Darcy.
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This is an attempt to merge Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing (which has always been my favorite of the Bard's comedies) with Pride and Prejudice. The character names are from Jane Austen's work. Obviously, Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy take the Beatrice and Benedick roles. Claudio becomes Mr. Bingley, which makes Jane Bennet his angelic Hero. Don Pedro is Colonel Fitzwilliam. Mr. Wickham is the evil Don John, only he is introduced here (reluctantly) as Darcy's half-brother. The author gets rid of the youngest three Bennet sisters by sending them off to finishing school, as Mr. Bennet (Leonato) unexpectedly comes into a major inheritance and is now the very wealthy Lord Bennet.
The similarity to P&P is in the backstory. Bingley and Darcy came to Netherfield with all the developments leading to the Netherfield ball. The Prologue describes an extra scene at the ball where Darcy, having had his very unsatisfactory dance with Elizabeth, has enough to drink afterwards that he gets a bit pickled. Finding her alone on a balcony, he makes a drunken declaration of his esteem and gives her a searing kiss. By the next morning, of course, he's sober and aghast with himself, leading him to convince Bingley to leave immediately. This makes Elizabeth furious with him for leaving and furious with herself for softening toward him for even a moment. The feud between Beatrice and Benedick is ON!
Shortly after that, Mr. Bennet receives notification of the death of his distant (and previously unknown) relative and his family's elevation to the upper sphere of society. As the book rolls into Chapter 1, we learn that two years have passed. From here on, the story basically abandons any pretense of similarity to P&P. There are a few changes, but this is best described as a variation of Much Ado About Nothing set in the Regency era borrowing the P&P character names.
The writing just doesn't flow at all. It's disjointed and lurches along, borrowing some passages too closely from Shakespeare (17th century), some passages trying to emulate Regency (early 19th century), and some modern English creeping into spots (21st century). Editing is lacking, and there are a number of homonym-type errors (bear/bare, council/counsel) scattered about.
Overall, not a book I can recommend.
Mischief and Misunderstanding was an apt title, there was plenty of both in the plotline as well as the writing. Colonel Fitzwilliam and Mr Bingley prank Jane to ascertain her feelings for the latter during a masked ball. Then they team up with Jane and Georgiana to have Darcy and Elizabeth acknowledge their feelings for each other. Unfortunately, Wickham and Caroline also team up to cause a permanent break between both couples. The genius of this plot is revealed in its near success. As acknowledged in the beginning of this review, it is an interesting concept. But more than one page has multiple grammatical or spelling errors making it a difficult read. A good editing session would benefit this variation very much alas, I won't revisit it to find out.
"It has come to pass that I am the closet living relative of my late, great uncle Fredrick.”
I’m not sure about the Regency but in 2017 the difference between “closet living relative”
and “closest living relative” is significant.
I was dismayed to read this so early in the story and thought it would be one of those books stuffed with errors.
Happily that was not the case, although toward the end Elizabeth “wiped a rear from her own eyes.”
Later Darcy “looked quite dower.”
Though she be but little, she is fierce. -- William Shakespeare
Twice this week, I have had to resort to on-line Cliff’s Notes (is Cliff’s Notes still published? –
maybe not in the age of Google) to solidify a work of Shakespeare before reading JAFF!
If this is a trend, it’s not necessarily unwelcome.
The characters are modified to conform to the cast of Much Ado about Nothing:
Wickham becomes half-brother to Darcy; Colonel Fitzwilliam is friend to both Lord Bennet
and Bingley; Mr. Collins in semi-intelligent.
Love is a smoke made with the fume of sighs. -- William Shakespeare
Intrigues occur to draw couples together and to separate them. Pranks are both amusing and cruel.
Miss Bingley forms an alliance with Wickham to create chaos.
I enjoyed this story but I wish it had been better proofread although this is far from the
most egregious example of editing to be found in JAFF.
Better a witty fool than a foolish wit. -- William Shakespeare
Most recent customer reviews
1) Darcy accepts Wickham as a half brother.Read more
I am not an English teacher and since some of this writers are from
other countries I just...Read more