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Tillabooks: Will's Book Blog

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman by Pamela Aidan

Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman: A Novel in Three Parts. Book 1: An Assembly Such As This by Pamela Aidan. [Coeur d’Alene, Idaho]: Wytherngate Press, 2003. ISBN: 0-9728529-0-5

FINALLY! A Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen story actually worth reading! This is the first attempt at carrying on the story of Pride and Prejudice I've read, and I've read several now, that I've found worth my time, and even more than that, true to the original, AND well written and a pleasure to read. Not only that, but Pamela Aidan seems even to have captured the flavor of Austin's Regency Era English, without becoming the least bit pedantic, or letting the language get in the way of the story.

It's not actually a sequel to Pride and Prejudice, but rather a retelling of the story from Darcy's point of view. And maybe I'm just a big soppy romantic, but I fell in love with Elizabeth too, if not when I read the book, then most certainly when I watched the 1985 BBC version with Elizabeth Garvie as Elizabeth Bennet. And now I can have the pleasure of enjoying Mr. Darcy's fall.

The only downside, and it's also an upside, is that this is only the first of three volumes I'll need to read, to get through the entire story. This relatively slender volume of 218 pages is followed by Book 2: Duty and Desire, then Book 3: These Three Remain. Already I'm looking forward to Book 2.

What's more, in looking up the books on the web, I discovered that their author is, like myself, a librarian! What's more yet, she works in my home state, at Liberty Lake Library in far far Eastern Washington, although apparently she actually lives just across the state line, in Idaho. I haven't met Ms. Aidan, but I certainly hope to have that opportunity at some point. Maybe someone will invite her to speak at the Washington Library Association annual conference! Of course, maybe someone already has, in a previous year, and I was unaware. Let's hope not.

This book is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, especially for Pride and Prejudice fans, and especially for the men who would enjoy vicariously falling in love with Elizabeth Bennet all over again.

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