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Pemberley: Or Pride and Prejudice Continued Paperback – August 8, 2006
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“The text virtually breathes Jane Austen.” ―The New York Times Book Review
“Authentic and convincing.” ―Lady Antonia Fraser
“In Pemberley, the characters of Pride and Prejudice do live on.” ―Arkansas Democrat Gazette
“A remarkably close approximation of the Austen style and stance.” ―The Christian Science Monitor
About the Author
Emma Tennant, who grew up in England and Scotland hearing about her family's connection to Jane Austen (her elder half-brother was descended from Jane Austen's brother Edward Knight), was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the author of numerous distinguished novels. She passed away in 2017.
Top customer reviews
Every piece written has a timeline, no matter how you play with it, it does have a sequel of events. P&P's goes like this: Michealmas (sept. 29 or oct. 10-11 depending on the history, so let's say early october.) Bingley and friends take up Netherfield Park, They meet oh... Mid october. The Netherfield party is gone by the end of november. Lizzy goes to Kent around end of march. Darcy propose early to mid-april. They meet again in Pemberley at the end of july, beginning of August. Lydia leaves Brighton at around the same time. She is married by early september. Bingley goes back to Netherfield Say mid october, everyone is married by christmas. Are we all agreed? I thought so, except for this author. Because at the time where the story starts, Christmas time, it has been almost a year since Darcy and Elizabeth have been married, that means Jane also, right? Apparently not, cause she already has a child of over a year and is ready to pop with her second. That means Bingley would have had to get her pregnant on their first encounter, way before they were married and... You get the point. Lydia, who got married three months before her sisters is pregnant with her fourth is less than four years... Or so says Mrs. Bennet. Can anyone spot a mistake in there somewhere? Me too.
Now, the characterisation is laughable. Lizzy is meek and afraid of Darcy because she feels constantly in his debt. She doesn't talk to him, the teasing and liveliness of her spirit has apparently been lost somewhere along the 'I will' and she's so insecure that The amazing Elizabeth bennet becomes annoying. Darcy barely talks to Lizzy about anything. He's reverted to his old self. Georgiana is the biggest brat I have ever read of. All the other characters are caricatures of their personalities in the book. It`s almost unbearable.
The story is... Well, there isn't that much of a plot really. It's Christmas and the Darcy's welcome their family to Pemberley (both sides, include Darcy's equivalent of Mr. Collins) and it turns into a nightmare. Add in an imaginary lost love, illegitimate child, Elizabeth's failing has a woman (i.e., Darcy hasn't gotten her pregnant yet) and you have a big fat pointless mess. The end has been cut short like the author ran out of ways to explain herself and just wanted to get it over with. that or nobody could get the end and she just slapped something there to make it look finished. It isn't. It isn't anything in fact. I've read much better fanfics for free on the net. Don't spend your money on the book, you'll be sorely disappointed.
Oh! and to those who love her Elizabeth is Lizzy, not Eliza! That was also annoying.
So all things considered, is there are word worse than terrible? Troll?
Now that you have a closer understanding of the environment that Tennant's brave foray into Jane Austen sequeldom entered in 1993, and what anticipation the reader might have felt, you will have a greater appreciation of its tepid reception. When the vast majority read this book they delusionally expected Jane Austen, again. How could they possibly not be disappointed? By the time I read it in 2002 it had gotten a bad rap all-around by media reviewers and pleasure readers. My first impressions were not positive either. Now, after eleven years of reading numerous PRIDE AND PREJUDICE-inspired novels that have been published in its wake -- I have re-read it with an entirely new perspective -- with an open heart and a sense of humor.
It has been almost a year since the happy day in which Mrs. Bennet got rid of two of her most deserving daughters. Elizabeth Darcy nee Bennet is learning the ropes of being the chatelaine of Pemberley House while obsessing over her insecurities and lack of producing an heir. Her dear father has died and his entailed estate of Longbourn has passed on to his cousin Mr. Collins and his wife Charlotte. The displaced Mrs. Bennet and her two unmarried daughters Mary and Kitty have taken up residence at Meryton Lodge, their new home not far from Longbourn and neighbors Mrs. Long and Lady Lucas. Elizabeth's elder sister Jane and her husband Charles Bingley have purchased an estate in Yorkshire thirty miles from Pemberley. After four years of marriage they have one daughter and another on the way. Thoughtless younger sister Lydia, her ner-do-well husband George Wickham and their four children are continually in debt and an embarrassment to Elizabeth and her family.
The holidays are approaching and the plans for the annual festivities will include gathering family at Pemberley for Christmas and a New Year's Ball. Besides Georgiana, Mr. Darcy's younger sister, the guest list is growing out-of-control. Even under the care of her capable housekeeper Mrs. Reynolds, Elizabeth is overwhelmed. Included are Elizabeth's family: some welcome and others not. Mrs. Bennet, Mary and Kitty will make their first visit to Pemberley. Jane will also journey with her husband and his sisters Miss Caroline Bingley, Mrs. Hurst and her husband. Elizabeth's favorite Uncle and Aunt Gardiner have let a house nearby so that the unwelcome George Wickham and his family can visit with Mrs. Bennet. Also on the guest list is Mr. Darcy's officious Aunt Lady Catherine de Bourgh who disapproved of Darcy's choice of bride but seems to have mended the fence enough for an extended stay. Arriving with her is her unmarried daughter Anne and the heir to the Pemberley estate, a distant cousin of Lady Catherine, Master Thomas Roper. Shortly before Mrs. Bennet is to depart for Pemberley she reveals to her friend Mrs. Long that even though Mr. Bennet departed this life but nine months ago, she intends to marry Colonel Kitchiner, a cousin and a crush from her youth whose father was a business partner of her father in Meryton. She has invited him to Pemberley as well--so it is a full house of unlikely companionship for its new mistress.
Any fans of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE will recognize the irony of the guest list. The back story from the original novel and the combination of personalities is a set-up for the conflicts that inevitably arrive even before the guests do. Tennant has fudged on the facts from the original novel which were a bit off-putting. I remember being irked by this the first time around, and the second time did not sit as well either. Jane and Elizabeth were married on the same day in P&P, yet she chose to have Elizabeth marry Mr. Darcy four years after the original event--and how could any author writing a sequel or any historical novel set in the Regency-era not understand the ins and outs of British primogeniture? Lady Catherine de Bourgh's cousin Thomas Roper, also the cousin of Mr. Darcy's mother Ann, could not be the heir to Pemberley. If so, it would mean that the Darcy family and his mother a Fitzwilliam were related in earlier generations. This is possible but highly confusing to the reader who may understand the English inheritance laws, or not.
Quibbles in continuity and cultural history aside, my second impressions of PEMBERLEY OR PRIDE AND PREJUDICE CONTINUED were much more favorable -- at least I didn't despise it anymore. With the exception of Elizabeth Bennet being overly angst ridden and atypically un-spirited, I enjoyed Tennant's characterizations of the delightfully dotty Mrs. Bennet and the slippery Bingley sisters. My biggest disappointment remained with the male characters. We see all of the action through Elizabeth's eyes, and since she is uncertain and overly grateful of Darcy's love, their relationship is strained and unpleasant. He is proud again and given nothing to say, and she is too unprejudiced to do anything about it. Tennant excelled most with her new creations: Mr. Gresham, Thomas Roper and the hysterical Col. Kitchiner who rivals the odious Mr. Collins (thankfully not invited to Pemberley) in the role of buffoon.
I appreciate Tennant much more as a writer than I did at first reading. It was interesting to put PEMBERLEY into a wider perspective after many years. She was helping to create a new genre in which many would follow. This first attempt, though seriously flawed, merits some respect and congratulations. It is a must read for any ardent Austenesque fan, but most will be disappointed.
Laurel Ann, Austenprose