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Mistaking Her Character: A Pride and Prejudice Variation Kindle Edition
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The author was very subtle in the beginning of our story. Information was not forth coming and we [the reader] have to assume or infer information for ourselves. Nothing was spelled out.
We are not in Hertfordshire, Meryton or Longbourn. We are at Rosings Park, Kent and under the patronage and condescension of Lady Catherine de Bourgh. Mr. Bennet is a gentleman physician and has been hired as personal physician to Anne de Bourgh.
Mrs. Bennet is a second wife and mother to the three younger girls. The two older girls were by his first wife. Elizabeth helps her father with nursing duties and has ingratiated herself with all the staff at Rosings Park. They all adore her and that plays heavily in future events.
The atmosphere at Rosings Park is oppressive due to Lady Catherine’s condescension and attitude of her own self-importance. She rules the world within her domain and no one would dare oppose her.
Wickham is present and full of himself. Lady Catherine thinks he would be good enough for Elizabeth. She, on the other hand, saw right through his smooth delivery. Later she was able to disrupt a budding attraction between him and Georgiana. He [being the scumbag that he is] turns his lecherous eyes toward Lydia…with her mother’s blessings. It does not turn out well.
Dr. Bennet…what can I say about him? If the canon Mr. Bennet was indolent and didn’t stir for his family, this guy was even worse. When he wasn’t at Rosings tending to Anne, he was in his book room ignoring his wife and daughters. Some behaviors never change. He used Elizabeth like a servant, running errands, tending to patient needs…the good, the bad, and the ugly. Then, if things went wrong or he was upset he took it out on her and she bore it like a saint.
Mrs. Bennet was similar to the first wife in canon, always looking for ways to marry off the daughters. Jane was of course the most beautiful, Lady Catherine had chosen a Mr. Bingley for her, so no worries about her marriage prospects. Mary was courting and no longer a worry. Kitty was just there, while lively Lydia was her Mama’s favorite. Elizabeth, her least favorite, had already refused Mr. Collins and showed no signs of being interested in Mr. Wickham. What was a mother to do?
The Gardiner’s were wonderful as always. The new Mrs. Bennet did not want to associate with trade so she and Dr. Bennet [with the consent from Lady C] broke connections with the London relatives. How sad. They played a pivotal part in the Darcy Elizabeth relationship later in the story. I just loved them.
Elizabeth was imbued with additional powers in this treatment. In canon, she prided herself on being able to sketch the character of those around her. In this novella, she took observation to an all new level. She could tell by looking at you what you were thinking, what mood you were in, if you felt bad, were feverish, unhappy, embarrassed, unsettled, or lustful. She was the perfect diagnostician and assistant for her father’s medical practice. She was so proficient with his methods, that she could anticipate what he needed when he needed it and would have his tools and meds ready even before he asked for them. At times he found this frustrating; he was the doctor after all. On the other hand, he was so accustomed to her expertise that he expected it rather than appreciate her for her abilities.
Elizabeth also knew what was going on at Rosings. She was attuned to the ebb and flow at the Park and had everyone’s situation in mind both above and below stairs, high and low born. She kept abreast of their aches and pains, illnesses and any sickness that occurred with the manor tenants, or in the general area. She had the true makings of a great mistress.
Then all hell broke out. I can only say this was the most outrageous behavior of Mr. Bennet and Lady Catherine that I have ever read. I can’t even mention it without spoiling the reveal. OMG!!!
Darcy was the most romantic, caring, ready to take on the world for Elizabeth that I have ever read. Again, OMG!!! I loved him, his trust, his dedication and devotion to those he loved. Those hero moments that we love. If I don’t quit talking about this, I am going to spoil something. Read it. It is different, it goes against canon, etiquette, propriety was tossed out the window, comportment and all those things that drive purists crazy…they are going to be problems.
Most of Elizabeth's behavior was not tolerated, allowed or sanctioned in that time period. Not once in this novella did anyone strike Elizabeth for her outbursts. I kept expecting someone to slap her silly for speaking out. In most circumstances, a father or a mother would have snatched her up in a heartbeat and beaten the crap out of her for her disobedience, impertinence, and behavior. That was the way things were back then. She was theirs to do with as they saw fit. Mr. Darcy took a big step coming between a parent and child…even if she was of age.
There were new characters. I adored the servants at Rosings and how they loved and protected Elizabeth. It was a big move on their part and yet they thought of ways to outsmart Lady Catherine. How delightful. They were so cute.
There were words that I had to look up. Chapter 3 “Heaven forfend!” The archaic: avert, keep away, or prevent (something evil or unpleasant).
There were editing problems.
20% “Elizabeth! That a most indelicate remark.”
38% “He lifted his fingers barley not touching her cheek.”
67% missing period at end of sentence
72% “…she turned her face him…”
74% use of couch [as stated in another review]
In the beginning, the Bennets (Dr and Mrs Bennet, Jane, and Elizabeth) are getting ready for a night at Rosings with Lady Catherine playing matchmaker for Jane and Elizabeth. Lady Catherine is similar to canon feeling all the importance of rearranging everyone's lives to her liking. Mr Darcy is present with Col Fitzwilliam, Mr Bingley, Miss Bingley, and Mr Wickham. Lady Catherine has plans for Jane and Mr Bingley, and for Elizabeth she plans Mr Wickham. Lady Catherine is grossly wrong about Mr Wickham's character, having listened to him and believing his fabrications.
Due to the emotional abuse Elizabeth is not the same outspoken witty character, but the essentials of her character are present. Her character is a very realistic portrayal of an emotionally abused person. This is an Elizabeth who is emotionally abused and does not have the loving attention of a doting father therefore her character is out of canon and some of the others are as well. I found that the romance is sweet and poignant, Regency life is described faithfully, a lot of interesting information is included on Regency medical practices, the loyalty of the Rosings servants (to Elizabeth) is touching, the style is flowing and beautiful, the text is well edited and free of errors, and the protagonist characters are both honorable, caring and courageous.
I wholeheartedly recommend this book to all JAFFers and regency romance lovers.
Most recent customer reviews
a terrible man with no sense of humor.Read more
I read this as a WIP and then having obtained the book when it was published put off writing a review until I reread it.Read more