Category Archives: Pride and Prejudice

No Darcy, No Way

Darcy is Best Left to Others

Someone said to me that I should write some Pride and Prejudice fan fiction. In the past, it’s been suggested I write Colonel Brandon. My first response to both suggestions was a simple, “no way.”

While that response is harsh but accurate, I have thought about why I don’t want to even try my hand at writing Darcy or the Colonel. It comes down to having nothing new or interesting to say about the characters or their stories.

Refrain_from_writingThere are days I look at what I’m writing about Anne and Frederick and think the same thing, but at least I have a sort of visceral desire to work with them. About the casts of P&P and S&S, not so much.

Every month in the Austen fandom, there are scads of books published. The vast majority of them are using P&P as their base. I’m sure most are retelling the girl-meets-boy-boy-disdains-girl-boy-proposes-marriage-girl-rejects-boy-boy-saves-girl’s-family-and-reputation-girl-and-boy-admit-to-loving-one-another plot.

Unique stories, like Laura Hile’s Darcy by any Other Name, and Robin Helm’s various series have covered a lot of new ground that doesn’t need to be plowed again by me. There are other fine writers who absolutely love the characters and the story. That affection shows in every aspect of their writing.

At the very best, I would be day laborer working for paycheck. Not that writing for pay is bad. I firmly believe that some of the best writing (and music, visual art, etc) has been done by people putting food on the table, not looking to leave a legacy of amazing prose. The difference is that in fandom, the love of characters is baked into the foundation of the work. Without it, the foundation is wonky at best. And let’s face it, there have been times you’ve read a book that is merely a word count with a cover and a dedication. Did you think well of the author? Race to Amazon to see if they had more of the same? My point exactly.

Darcy is an icon and I have no desire to mess with him. Brandon is an interesting character I prefer to read rather than write. Long story shortened, I won’t be writing any P&P, or S&S fics anytime soon. No heart for the subjects, and no desire to bore you all to tears.

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A Little Something after all these years…

 

Dy Brougham Searches for Lt.Richard Fitzwilliam
Pamela Aidan

(1815, 2 years or so after Darcy & Elizabeth are wed)

The wagon jolted and shivered over the shell pocked roads until Dy’s teeth ached and his fingers cramped in their grip on its splintery sides. Rain continued to fall in unrepentant bursts that were soaking through his oiled cape. His hat was most likely a loss, even for its protective coverings, and the cold crept into the reaches of muscle and bone, both thoroughly wracked by the paths he had been required to travel to get to the farm house in which Darcy’s cousin was said to have been deposited before Uxbridge moved out.

“Il ya la ferme de Emille. Nous sommes presque hors de la pluie damnés,” his driver tossed over his shoulder. (There is Emille’s farm. We’re almost out of the damned rain.”) Continue reading

An Assembly Such as This gains a little oh là là !

Une Telle Assemblée
or
A novel by any other name reads as sweet!

Une Telle Assemblée

Une Telle Assemblée

What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day and the 10th anniversary of Pamela Aidan’s first book in the beloved  Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman trilogy than the publishing of it in French, the “language of love?”

Yes, it’s been ten years since the original self-published edition of An Assembly Such as This hit the world in book form.

Originating as a bi-weekly posting at the popular Republic of Pemberley and The Derbyshire Writers websites in the late 1990s, Pamela’s work then became available through her website, Austenesque, and later, in late 2003, as a self-published work through her own Wytherngate Press, Inc.

The Austen world exploded with enthusiasm! Soon the trilogy was acquired by Simon & Schuster.

Aidan’s trilogy as been set to audio (Audible.com) and translated into Italian and Spanish. The French translation was accomplished just this past year. Book Two, En vain ai-je lutté, arrived in time for Christmas, and Book Three, Un mot de vous, is scheduled for this spring 2014.

Pamela’s working on a new “Austenesque” series that promises more Darcy & Elizabeth but even more Dy Brougham and Georgiana Darcy, as well as a new and darker take on Col. Fitzwilliam.

Keep up with her here at Jane Started It or her own blog, Traipsing After Jane.

Her trilogy & novella, as well as the anthology Jane Austen Made Me Do It in which her short story appears, are carried by Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com. Her novella, Young Master Darcy: A Lesson in Honor is also available through Wytherngate Press.

And if you should want the French version, print or ebook, try Amazon France!

You look mahvelous, Pamela!

Darcy & Elizabeth in the carriage In case you haven’t seen our own Pamela Aiden’s part in the BBC Austen interview in honor of the two hundredth anniversary of the publication of Pride and Prejudice, here is a link.

Congratulations, Pamela, on such a well-deserved and well-done interview!

Problems With Pride and Prejudice?

Like Mary Poppins, Jane Austen novels are practically perfect in every way.

PD_JamesAnd so is one of my favorite authors, P. D. James, creator of the Adam Dalgleish mysteries. Though, she sees problems.

From the Huffington Post: Apart from describing the life at Pemberley and the process of the investigation, I have dealt with what I feel are two problems in Pride and Prejudice.

Firstly, the extraordinarily ungallant and unacceptable words in which Darcy first proposed to Elizabeth, and secondly, why he took from school Georgiana, his fifteen year old sister, nervous and recently bereaved of her mother, and placed her in the sole care of the abominable Mrs Younge.

Jane Austen may have made all this plain in the original draft of the novel, but it was sixteen years before the revised version was published in 1813.

What do you think? Serious problems or just little threads not tied?

Take care–Susan Kaye

200 Years Ago Today

LizziePride and Prejudice was released. Ans we are all better for it.

You can go anywhere in the Austenverse and find blog posts about Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice and this auspicious anniversary. The whole magilla is out there for your perusal.

Here’s our little contribution: What is your favorite P&P moment? It can be from the Canon, it can be any one of what seem to be thousands of adaptation, it can come from what seem to be millions of fan fics, prequels, sequels, parallels, mash-ups or stories with only a tenuous hold on P&P.

I’ll go first. My favorite moment in Pride and Prejudice is in the 1995 version when all the hullabaloo is happening with Charles Bingley’s return to Longborne. Mrs. Bennett is pushing and pulling Jane to sit up, slouch, etc.  Kitty adds that someone is with him. “…that tall proud one.” The look that comes over Jennifer Ehle’s face is perfect. The realization that Lizzie has reason to hope is sweet and subtle.

So, what’s your favorite moment? It’s a free-for-all so go to it.

Take care–Susan Kaye

Decatur Bound!

It’s less than a week until the Decatur Book Festival near my former home of Atlanta, Georgia. The festival sounds wonderfully exciting, and the good people of the Jane Austen Society of North America-Georgia chapter have gone to extraordinary lengths to bring Jane to the Festival. The even attracts 100,000 annually and, although not all are Austen lovers, I imagine that more readers will be exposed to Austen and her literary progeny at one time than ever before.

A book festival–what a wonderful thing in a time when “story” is making another leap in form, spreading further into lives as ebooks living in “clouds”! Whatever would Jane think? Even fifteen years ago when I first started writing An Assembly Such as This, such a thing was not on my horizon. I thought I was quite up on technology by writing by computer rather than with pen and paper, composing by the soft click of the keyboard rather than the explosive bang of the typewriter. So now the dream is to appear in e-ink and be drawn down from a cloud into people’s lives via such strange sounding devices as Nooks and Kindles that will read to you as well, rather than enshrined in bound paper packages.

What will be next? Book glasses, I suppose. Text will stream across the lenses and a tiny microphone will chirp the text to you in surround-sound realism, complete with a musical score. And Jane will make that leap as well: deftly , gracefully, compellingly. Technology nor shifting public taste will hinder her advance through cultures because she writes of the human heart in all its “follies and nonsense, whims and inconsistencies” that lead it into joy and sorrow in every culture, in every time. Although we are not early 19th century ladies and gentleman, we can still recognize ourselves and our neighbors in her words and, perhaps, understand and profit from that recognition to become the gracious ladies and gentlemen of our own times.

Hope to see you in Decatur!

Pamela

PS There’s a list of all the Austen authors at the festival and a give away contest  of An Assembly Such as This and Young Master Darcy at Darcyholicsdiversions.com. Scurry on over!