A couple of years ago, a friend knowing my feelings for Mr Darcy recommended me a trilogy based on Pride & Prejudice - the Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman trilogy written by Pamela Aidan :
1. An Assembly Such as This
2. Duty and Desire
3. These Three Remain
Being a huge fan of P&P, I often wondered (and like so many others around the world) about Mr. Darcy’s point of view and what did he do during those times he was away from Elizabeth.
In the first book, we follow him to Netherfield, with his friend, Mr Bilgley, and his sisters. We understand better his behavior at the public assembly at Meryton and his attitude towards the Bennett family and his meddling in Mr Bingley and Jane burgeoning courtship. This must be my favourite book of all three, because if it follows closely Jane Austen’s story, there’s some very refreshing perspectives that really captivated me all along the story.
Duty and Desire starts after the departure of Darcy and the Bingleys from Netherfield. During all those months apart from his love interest, Mr Darcy cannot stop questioning his feelings for Miss Elizabeth Bennett and he does his best to forget her (without much success, I must say). Not only we learn more about him and his social life, but Aidan also gives us some particular adventures. I did had some troubles imagining Mr Darcy acting like he did in some occasions, but my interest never falter.
In These Three Remain, Darcy visits his aunt, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, and, surprise, he meets Elizabeth there. In the final part of this trilogy, I especially enjoyed reading about THE proposal from Darcy’s POV. And later, his explanations about his dealings with Wickham or the reasons why he convinced his friend, Bingley, to leave Netherfield and Jane, really show us his real intentions. While reading P&P I always find Darcy mysterious and distant, at the beginning at least, here he seems more human.
The Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman trilogy brings a new light about the haughty, snobbish and arrogant man we meet in Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice. This is absolutely no critic to P&P (I would never dare !), I like the book exactly as it is. Nonetheless, it’s always fun to read more about the character we love so much.
These three books were an absolute pleasure to read and one that I will certainly repeat during one of those windy and rainy Winter days with a wonderful cup of tea.