Pride and Prejudice still being continued

Greetings from a blowy North East! I think that the only thing to do when 70 mile an hour winds are forecast is stay put. Last night’s excellent quiz organised by Son One kept nearly 80 of us entertained and raised funds for a flower festival in August. Well done that man. Tomorrow night is a ” Cantonese Banquet” for the same good cause. It’s not all about the flowers though – we are raising money for 3 charities including the Children’s Hositals in Newcastle. No doubt I’ll mention it again…

And as to the book, I thought that I would write about one of the many ‘sequels ‘ to Pride and Prejudice. This type of book seems to be dominated by American writers who do a lot of research, but who equally commit serious howlers like having a pregnant Elizabeth Darcy/Bennett riding alone from Derbyshire to London within a couple of hours…

This one, The Other Mr. Darcy by Monica Fairview, doesn’t commit so many blunders, and focuses, interestingly, on the otherwise unpopular Caroline Bingley.

I liked this book. The author makes a virtue of her U.S. roots by making the hero the original Darcy’s American cousin. This at least means that he can get away with flouting some of the precise etiquette of the period which, if nothing else, could slow a book down. Caroline’s insecurity comes over here, as the novel opens on her distress that she was not Fitzwilliam Darcy’s bride. There may be a few quibbles here with some distances and travel realities, but overall this is a good book for anyone who wondered if Lydia came to a sticky end, Elizabeth produced another generation of Darcys, and if Jane maintained her superhuman sympathies for everyone. Essentially it is a book about what happened to a minor character, but it is entertaining and enjoyable. I would certainly look for Fairview’s other book, The Darcy Cousins, which promises to deal with the monstrous Lady Catherine de Bourgh among others. Monica Fairview’s own blog, http://monicafairview.blogspot.com/ mentions other authors and books which continue the Austen legacy, so it may be worth a look if tis is the sort of book which attracts you. (Especially you, Mrs. A.N.!) I enjoy them as a lighter alternative to some books that I no doubt ought to be reading…

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