Book Recommendation: P&P Inspired Novels
It is truth universally acknowledged that Pride and Prejudice, first published on January of 1813, is one of the most widely-read and most popular of Jane Austen's 6 published novels. It's been adapted to numerous tv and film adaptations (ie. BBC's 1995 Mini-series and the 2005 Oscar nominated film were two of the most popular tv and film versions for P&P fans to watch). Not too mention the P&P novel inspired stage and Broadway musical versions as well as inspired so many authors over the years to write their own sequels or versions of this classic and most loved novel.
There are tons of inspired P&P novels written by various authors and I thought I'd post some of them that my friend Stephie (thanks a lot) from the P&P forum has compiled (a list of books) to recommend to all the P&P fans and to our regular Blog Readers here who might be looking for and interested in reading other P&P related novels.
First, here are a few that I've already read (so far) and would recommend you read them, if you haven't already...
[In no particular order]
Two Shall Become One: Mr. & Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy by Sharon Lathan
Released: June 6, 2007
"You have bewitched me body and soul...I love you and never wish to be parted from you." Thus did Mr. Darcy declare passionate love to Elizabeth Bennet in a swoon worthy moment adored by fans of the classic novel, "Pride and Prejudice." Journey beyond the final curtain; turn a fresh page to discover what happens after declarations and acceptances. Travel the road of matrimony and happily-ever-after in this romantic but realistic rendering of Regency life between two souls as they learn to become one. Beginning moments after the wedding and covering five months of marriage, this is the first in a series of novels which detail the unfolding life at Pemberley and beyond, as well as the family and friends who revolve around them. Fans of the novel and its numerous theatrical adaptations will thrill in more of Lizzy and Darcy. Those unfamiliar with the tale will delight in a message of hope and happiness as the elusive 'true love' is manifest. The joy starts here!
Darcy's Story by Janet Aylmer
Released: August 15, 2006
When Elizabeth Bennet first met Mr. Darcy, she found him proud, distant, and rude-despite the other ladies' admiration of his estate in Derbyshire and ten thousand pounds a year. But what was Mr. Darcy thinking?
Jane Austen's classic Pride and Prejudice has long stood among the most beloved novels of all time. The story of Elizabeth Bennet's blossoming romance with "haughty, reserved, and fastidious" Fitzwilliam Darcy has enchanted readers for nearly two centuries. Yet, Mr. Darcy has always remained an intriguing enigma-his thoughts, feelings, and motivations hidden behind a cold, impenetrable exterior . . . until now.
With the utmost respect for Austen's original masterwork, author Janet Aylmer loving retells Pride and Prejudice from a bold new perspective: seeing events as they transpire through the eyes of Darcy himself. One of world's great love stories takes on breathtaking new life, and one of fiction's greatest romantic heroes becomes even more sympathetic, compelling, attractive, and accessible, all through the imagination and artistry of a truly gifted storyteller.
Mr. Darcy's Diary by Amanda Grange
Released: March 23, 2007
Mr. Darcy's Diary presents the story of the unlikely courtship of Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy from Darcy's point of view--sharing his innermost thoughts and feelings. This graceful imagining and sequel to Price and Prejudice explains Darcy's moodiness and the difficulties of his reluctant relationship as he struggles to avoid falling in love with Miss Bennett. Though seemingly stiff and stubborn at times, Darcy s words prove him also to be quite devoted and endearing qualities that eventually win over Miss Bennett s heart. This continuation of a classic romantic novel is charming and elegant, much like Darcy himself.
Me and Mr. Darcy by Alexandra Potter
Released: June 12, 2007
Dreams come true in this hilarious, feel-good fairy tale about life, love, and dating literature’s most eligible bachelor!
After a string of disastrous dates, Emily Albright decides she’s had it with modern-day love and would much rather curl up with Pride and Prejudice and spend her time with Mr. Darcy, the dashing, honorable, and passionate hero of Jane Austen’s classic. So when her best friend suggests a wild week of margaritas and men in Mexico with the girls, Emily abruptly flees to England on a guided tour of Jane Austen country instead. Far from inspiring romance, the company aboard the bus consists of a gaggle of little old ladies and one single man, Spike Hargreaves, a foul-tempered journalist writing an article on why the fictional Mr. Darcy has earned the title of Man Most Women Would Love to Date.
The last thing Emily expects to find on her excursion is a broodingly handsome man striding across a field, his damp shirt clinging to his chest. But that’s exactly what happens when she comes face-to-face with none other than Mr. Darcy himself. Suddenly, every woman’s fantasy becomes one woman’s reality.
And now, here are a long list of P&P related books that Stephie (thanks again) has compiled for you all to check out and consider reading...
A New series of five books by Rebecca Collins called the Pemberley Chronicles:
Book 1 - The Pemberley Chronicles: A Companion Volume to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice
Released: April 1, 2008
The weddings are over.
The guests (including millions of readers and viewers) wish the two happy couples health and happiness. As the music swells and the credits roll, two things are certain: Jane and Bingley will want for nothing, while Elizabeth and Darcy are to be the happiest couple in the world!
The couples' personal stories of love, marriage, money, and children are woven together with the threads of social and political history of nineteenth century England. As changes in industry and agriculture affect the people of Pemberley and the neighboring countryside, the Darcys strive to be progressive and forward-looking while upholding beloved traditions.
Rebecca Ann Collins follows them in imagination, observing and chronicling their passage through the landscape of their surroundings, noting how they cope with change, triumph, and tragedy in their lives.
Book 2 - The Women of Pemberley: A Companion Volume to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice
Released: April 1, 2008
The Women of Pemberley follows the lives of five women, some from the beloved works of Jane Austen, some new from the author's imagination, into a new era of post industrial revolution England, at the start of the Victorian Age. Vast changes are in motion, as they were throughout this dynamic century.
The women, like many of Jane Austen's heroines, are strong, intelligent individuals, and the depth and variety of the original characters develop into a series of episodes linked together by their relationship to each other and to Pemberley, which is the heart of their community.
The central themes of love, friendship, marriage, and a sense of social obligation remain as do the great political and social issues of the age.
Book 3 - Netherfield Park Revisited: The acclaimed Pride and Prejudice sequel series
Release date: September 1, 2008
Netherfield Park Revisited is set in mid-Victorian England, at a time of great political and social reform. Jane Austen's characters Elizabeth, Jane, Darcy, and Bingley are observers and commentators whose values and opinions are important elements of the drama as the next generation reaches maturity.
Jonathan Bingley, son of Charles and Jane Bingley, is the new master of Netherfield Park. Jonathan is clever, handsome, and more politically active than his easygoing father, and is a deeply passionate man who faces major crisis in his life and that of his young family. Jonathan Bingley's efforts to deal with the consequences of his and other people's actions lie at the heart of the tale, which is also a love story that tests the strength and inner resources of the characters.
Book 4 - The Ladies of Longbourn: The acclaimed Pride and Prejudice sequel series
Release date: October 1, 2008
The Ladies of Longbourn is the fourth book in the bestselling series from Australia, The Pemberley Chronicles. Jonathan Bingley, son of Charles and Jane, is now the owner of the Bennet family estate. His wife and daughter, together with Charlotte Collins, widow of the unctuous Mr. Collins, are the Ladies of Longbourn.
Exploring what life was like for women in that era, Ms. Collins explores the themes of how a complex young woman's passionless marriage forces her to find strength both within herself and her family. Her rejection of the conventional marriage without love or passion makes her a truly Austenian heroine.
The original Austen characters-Darcy, Elizabeth, Bingley, and Jane-provide the framework of solid values and commentary upon the characters and unfolding events. Exploring the themes of personal and social responsibility, integrity, and compassion, Collins tells a great story with wit and conviction
Book 5 - Mr. Darcy's Daughter: The acclaimed Pride and Prejudice sequel series
Release Date: November 1, 2008
Mr. Darcy's Daughter is a remarkable story in which a strong-minded woman struggles to balance the competing demands of duty and family during the political and social changes sweeping through England in the Victorian era.
In this fifth installment of the bestselling series from Australia, The Pemberley Chronicles, the Darcys' daughter Cassy, happily married and the mother of five, faces a difficult challenge when her brother Julian falters in his role as heir to the Pemberley estate.
When Cassy is suddenly thrust into the role of surrogate heir-managing the estate and raising her brother's son-her inner strength emerges. She must strive to keep Pemberley's tenants satisfied and thriving on the estate while the new mores of industrialism pull them toward the cities, and all the while maintaining family relationships both with her husband, children, distressed mother and father, and her errant brother.
The Darcys Give a Ball: A gentle joke, Jane Austen style
by Elizabeth Newark, released: March 1, 2008
This light and airy bow to the Darcys after their marriage offers an acceptably Austenian setting. With their children and those of their neighbors and friends coming into their own, it behooves Elizabeth and Darcy to give a ball; they're mostly offscreen while several Pride and Prejudice plot lines are resolved neatly. Mr. Collins finally receives his feverishly anticipated inheritance of Longbourn; he dreams of leaving the clergy and joining the landed gentry. (Charlotte Collins, his wife, must be ambiguous about his goals, in deference to her friendship for Elizabeth Darcy.) Miss Anne De Bourgh, daughter of the late redoubtable Lady Catherine De Bourgh, is found happily married to a husband with great musical enthusiasm, if not talent, producing one of the gentle humorous moments in the work. Charlotte Collins experiences quite a change of life as well, as much due to Mr. Collins's late-developing affection for her as from his unusual reaction to the final chapter of The Olde Curiosity Shop. Missing is any real dealing with the passing of Elizabeth's father, Mr. Bennet, or Elizabeth's reaction to it, but the addition of the Collins's daughter, Eliza, is a welcome one. This mildly charming addition keeps the Austen mill churning.
The Confession of Fitzwilliam Darcy
by Mary Street, released March 4, 2008
Originally published in the U.K., Mary Street's ingenious retelling of Jane Austen's classic story now makes its U.S. debut-to the delight of the fans of Austen's comic masterpiece of divine romance. In Fitzwilliam Darcy, Austen created the ultimate romantic hero. Yet Pride and Prejudice reveals little of Darcy's innermost thoughts. Here, Street unveils the true motives and mysteries of Elizabeth Bennet's enigmatic suitor. Through Darcy's eyes we discover the reality of his relationships with his sister Georgiana, his cousin Colonel Fitzwilliam, the dastardly Wickham, his friend Bingley, and his formidable aunt, Lady Catherine. And of course, all his memorable encounters with Elizabeth, from that first view of her fine eyes to his disastrous proposal, and then to a pride and arrogance tempered by an unquenchable love.
by Regina Jeffers, Released Nov 16, 2007
Regency England speaks of love and romance when Darcy's Passions brings to life once again Jane Austen's classic love story. An interpretation of Austen's Pride and Prejudice, Darcy's Passions tells the story from Mr. Darcy's point of view. When Fitzwilliam Darcy comes to Hertfordshire as a service to his best friend Charles Bingley, who has recently let the Netherfield Park estate, Darcy assumes the locals will possess "vulgar" country manners. So, when the opportunity arises, he refuses to dance with Elizabeth Bennet at the Meryton Assembly; however, from that moment, the woman's charms possess his every waking and sleeping minute.
Obsessed with Elizabeth Bennet, Darcy places himself in a position to learn more about her while realizing his social status will not allow him to marry her. He manipulates Bingley and others in order to spend time with her. He tells himself Elizabeth Bennet is simply a "diversion" from the lack of society he finds in Hertfordshire. However, if she is only a diversion, then why does he dream of her as mistress of his estate? Why does he seek her out as a friend for his shy, withdrawn sister? Why does he allow her to speak to him with a saucy attitude? Why can he not even breathe when she is in the room? Why does a raise of her eyebrow or an enigmatic smile or the smell of the lavender she wears create havoc with his emotions? His duty to his family and his estate demand he choose a woman of refined tastes. Yet, what his mind tells him he wants and what Darcy's heart knows he needs are two different things.
Darcy is a man in turmoil. He loves a woman he first denies as being worthy, but it is he who is found wanting when Elizabeth Bennet refuses his proposal of marriage because he does not conform to her standards of a "gentleman." Devastated, he must transform himself into the man she learns to love and respect. With the help of his cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliam, and his sister Georgiana, Darcy learns before he can find real love with Elizabeth, he must first love himself, and an emptiness he has never been able to acknowledge must be filled. Along the way, Fitzwilliam Darcy discovers himself - the master of Pemberley, but also a man who graciously accepts the love and respect of others.
Fitzwilliam Darcy in the original Pride and Prejudice is a very major "minor" character. He, obviously, is the hero of the tale, but the reader never really knows how he creates the changes we accept as part of his personality all along. He is a man who has lived his whole life among strangers; he has never felt he belonged. He has a respected position, and he has done all the things to be counted as a success in the world, but he possesses an emptiness, which Darcy cannot define. We never see his vulnerability, his loneliness, and his passions. In the year from the time Darcy first meets Elizabeth Bennet until she accepts his second proposal, he is only in her life for a little over three months - from Michaelmas in late September to the Netherfield Ball in late November, for a fortnight at Rosings, and less than a week at Pemberley. What did he do during those separations to replace his desire for Elizabeth? How did he complete his transformation? What occupied his time? To whom did he turn for comfort and support? How did he become the hero and not the villain of the tale?
Darcy's Passions takes Fitzwilliam Darcy from his initial meeting with Elizabeth Bennet through the many misunderstandings, which define their relationship, eventually leading through her acceptance of his proposal. Unlike Austen's summary, the courtship, the honeymoon and the marriage become part of Darcy's transformation as the book takes the reader back to Pemberley, showing Elizabeth claiming a "niche" in the estate's history while Darcy learns love and control are not the same thing. When he nearly loses her for good, Darcy gives up the standards he has known all his life and accepts that the Pemberley
The Darcy Connection
by Elizabeth Aston, Released March 4, 2008
Aston's latest foray into Austendom (after Mrs. Darcy's Daughters) follows the children of Elizabeth Bennet's friend Mrs. Collins, who married the uninspired vicar Collins, now an uninspired bishop. Their eldest, Charlotte, has grown into rare beauty; Charlotte's sister, and our heroine, is Eliza—Mrs. Darcy's goddaughter. Eliza has ill-advisedly acquired a tendresse for Anthony Diggory, the son of the local squire, which is passionately returned. Sent off to London as companion for Charlotte, however, Eliza opens her eyes both to the possibilities of the larger world and her own place there, thence lessening the desirability of a Yorkshire life and of Anthony. Assisting this process is the handsome but proud banker, Bartholomew Bruton, with whom Eliza first becomes annoyed and then enamored. If she can save Charlotte from a cad and fend off Anthony, among other complications, Eliza may just find happiness. More development of Charlotte and one or two fewer complications would have helped, and some ends are simply too tidy. But the results are still utterly charming, with all the verve, humor and Austenian turns of plot one expects from Aston.
The Exploits & Adventures of Miss Alethea Darcy
by Elizabeth Aston, Released: Mar 1, 2005
In this delightful new chapter in the story of the Darcy clan, taken up by Ashton (Mr. Darcy's Daughters) where Austen left off, the youngest daughter of Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy is in a pickle. Having married in haste, Alethea is now repenting bitterly, languishing under the unspeakable treatment of her horrid husband, Norris Napier. She escapes in the company of her intrepid maid, Figgins, and dressed as young men, they hare off to Europe to find Alethea's favorite and most sympathetic sister, Camilla. On the way, unbeknownst to them, they are found out by Mr. Titus Manningtree, who's off to Europe to find a Titian painting of his father's that has gone astray. Appalled by Alethea's apparent total disregard for her position and the requirements of polite society, Titus is nonetheless impressed by her courage and pluck. At first out of duty and then out of interest, he comes to her aid time and again, seeing her safe back to England. Once there, however, it is discovered that her husband was murdered, and she comes under suspicion. Both Titus and Alethea are captivating, and the quality of the characterizations saves the book from the plot confusions, too-easy tieups and too-modern sensibility that plague it.
The Second Mrs. Darcy
By Elizabeth Aston, Released Mar 6, 2007
Aston's latest novel (after The True Darcy Spirit) focuses on another woman in the tradition of Elizabeth Bennet, Octavia Melbury. Tall and outspoken, Octavia fails to find a husband in London and is dispatched to India, where she is to live with relatives. There, she marries Capt. Christopher Darcy, but their happy union is cut short when he dies from an insect bite. Christopher's spiteful cousin, George Warren, nabs the estate and leaves Octavia with a pittance. However, a surprise and sizable inheritance comes Octavia's way, and she travels back to England, where she keeps mum about her newfound fortune while her conniving half-sister Theodosia schemes to marry her off. Octavia takes a shine to her smart, headstrong niece, Penelope, who, in turn, fancies a man of lower stature than her mother will accept. Not so for Octavia, whose rocky repartee with Lord Sholto Rutherford matures, inevitably, into love. Meanwhile, George realizes Christopher's inheritance isn't as large as he had thought and plots to steal Octavia's fortune. Aston's villains may be one-note wicked, but the lengths to which their puerile greed sends them make for good reading. Fans of the series will enjoy this chronicle of reversals of fortune.
More at BARNES AND NOBLES:
The Matters at Mansfield: Or, The Crawford Affair
By Carrie Bebris, Publication Date: September 2008
Jane Austen meets Anne Perry in a historical mystery series featuring the hero and heroine from Pride and Prejudice
Following the birth of their first child, Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam Darcy are looking forward to enjoying life at Pemberley, but family commitments draw them away to Mansfield Park. While there, the Darcys get involved with marriage arrangements, star-crossed lovers, deceit, mistaken identity, and even murder.
Austenland: A Novel
By Shannon Hale, Pub. Date: May 2008
In 32-year-old singleton Jane Hayes's mind, no man in the world can measure up to Fitzwilliam Darcy—specifically the Fitzwilliam played by Colin Firth in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. Jane is forced to confront her Austen obsession when her wealthy great-aunt Carolyn dies and leaves her an all-expenses-paid vacation to Pembrook Park, a British resort where guests live like the characters in Jane's beloved Austen novels. Jane sees the trip as an opportunity for one last indulgence of her obsession before she puts it "all behind her—Austen, men, fantasies, period," but the lines between reality and fiction become pleasantly blurred as Jane acclimates to the world of Spencer jackets and stringent etiquette rules, and finds herself torn between the Darcyesque Mr. Nobley and a forbidden tryst with Pembrook Park's gardener. Though the narrative is endlessly charming, Jane is convincing neither as a sarcastic single girl nor as a romantic idealist, and the supporting cast is underdeveloped. Nods to Austen are abundant in contemporary women's fiction, and an intriguing setup and abundant wit are not enough to make this one stand out.
True Darcy Spirit
by Elizabeth Aston, Pub. Date: March 2008
After being disowned by her family, Cassandra Darcy -- the artistic eldest daughter of Anne de Bourgh (and granddaughter of the infamous Lady Catherine de Bourgh and Mr. Darcy's cousin in Pride and Prejudice) -- strives to make a living by painting. But struggling to succeed in bohemian London turns out to be the least of her worries! To begin with, there are the unwelcome advances of a certain Lord Usborne, and then there are the letters bequeathed to her by a friend -- highly compromising letters written by Princess Caroline that her husband, the Prince Regent, would very much like to possess. In league with Lord Usborne, the prince enlists the services of Cassandra's cousin, Horatio Darcy, who is a lawyer, to track down the missives. When Horatio's investigation leads him straight to Cassandra, he initially disapproves of her lifestyle until he finds himself utterly charmed by it -- and particularly by her. Romance may prove elusive, however, as social obstacles and the efforts of a vengeful Lord Usborne conspire to divide the two would-be lovers.
Plus two titles that do not have summaries. Their covers looked promising so it's worth keeping tabs on...
Mrs. Darcys Dilemma: A Sequel to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice
By Diana Birchall, Pub. Date: April 2008
Darcys & the Bingleys: Pride and Prejudice Continues/A Tale of Two Gentlemens Marriages to Two Most Devoted Sisters
By Marsha Altman, Publication Date: September 2008
And many, many, many more P&P related titles (too long to list here), which you can find at both Amazon.com and Barnes and Nobles and many other book stores online.