The Fate of Colonel Fitzwilliam

As you probably know, I have been putting the finishing touches to the final chapters of Desperate Measures (Volume III of A Fair Prospect). Having finally let go of Mr Darcy (see my post of 24th April!), I turned my attention this weekend to the Epilogue which, as you might expect, briefly sums up what happens in the future to the main characters of the story.

I wrote the Epilogue some time ago, so I sat down to read it through to see if I was still happy with it, and I soon came to a shocking realisation: I had failed to mention the fate of Colonel Fitzwilliam!

I do feel particularly attached to the Colonel. Throughout the long years of writing this story, he never failed to deliver what I wanted from him. He didn’t lead me off along unanticipated pathways like Lizzy occasionally did, or refuse to play ball in a particular scene – not that I’m mentioning any names (cough*Darcy*cough). He was the character I found easiest to write; scenes with him just simply flowed out of my head onto the page and often remained in their original form right through and beyond the final edit.

So how could I have overlooked him? That’s not a rhetorical question. Seriously – how could I have overlooked him? I really don’t have an answer…

This does, however, lead me into the purpose of today’s post and another (equally non-rhetorical) question: what should his fate be?

I am passing this over to you, the lovely people who have so far been reading A Fair Prospect and commenting here on my website, on Facebook, Twitter or my Amazon Author Page (where any posts I do here automatically link or appear). I realise that, without having read the final book, you only have two-thirds of this particular story but, as the Colonel is not the leading male, I believe I am not revealing any spoilers by saying he is, at the end of the tale, sound of heart and head. In other words, he could have absolutely any fate you or I decide.

I would love to hear your thoughts on what you think a fitting future would be for the dear lovely man who, whilst he isn’t Mr Darcy, has definitely earned a firm place in a corner of my heart.

Do please share your suggestions here, or wherever you follow these posts! If there are enough of them, I will do a poll so we can vote on our favourite future for the Colonel, and I will happily send a free copy of Volume III on its release to whoever makes the winning suggestion!

Happy Sunday, everyone!

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32 Responses to The Fate of Colonel Fitzwilliam

  1. Paperdoll says:

    OK, let me go first…and if I wasn’t already soooo hopelessly in-love with (your version of )Darcy, I would so pick the Colonel to moon over (your version, of course). All throughout, (Col) Fitzwilliam has been outstanding –upstanding, funny, supportive, protective, and just all-around adorable.
    I say he needs to be struck by cupid too…I would say Georgiana, because I totally adore her (your Georgiana, of course), but they’re related so that’s out. And that would be gross.
    Let’s give him Mary!
    Not JA’s dour. no-sense-of-fun Mary…but your Mary.
    Just like Elizabeth’s vibrant spirit balances out the serious Mr. Darcy, imagine how Fitzwilliam’s propensity for enjoying life would be perfect for drawing out the timidity in Mary.

  2. Ada says:

    It would be fun if love struck him and he either carried on exactly like he was urging Darcy to (i.e. realizes it and immediately acts on it) or the opposite and finds himself in a nearly identical situation – calling on Darcy in embarrassment.
    I do think he would be an excellent stepfather… so maybe even find himself in love with a widow!

  3. Sara Khazai says:

    You’d either have to go “Emma”ish and have him & Georgiana discover their long standing affection for each other;
    Or shed some very favourable light on the Bennet siblings to make them good enough for our Colonel. He could even, in a very Colonel Brandon-like style, pick up Lydia’s pieces and make a rational creature of her?!
    But mostly I think I’d like to have him go “Wentworth”ish, resolving a past misunderstanding, only after he’s come to some unexpected fortune and is at liberty to marry where he chooses.

  4. Beverly A. Sywulak says:

    The Colonel definitely needs someone as quick witted and down to earth as Elizabeth Bennett. This man is supposedly not as physically attractive as FD, however, I have always seen him as gorgeous in soul, spirit and personality, and therefore his physical is beautiful no matter what he looks like. (I’m not aware of any striking physical detriments, so a really good personality could make him handsome whatever his looks!) I agree with matching him with a widow. But, a widow of good sense, handsome mien and attitude! No whimps for Richard!!!!! : -) His parentage could provide him with the financial security he needs — of course our widow could have inherited from her family or husband which would serve the purpose. The good Colonel is deserving of a future that is bold, beautiful and…..happy! And, yes, I agree he would be the perfect parent for his own and/or step children. I agree with Sara that he should not be paired with Georgiana…..he is much too old for her and she is a child, and their cousin relationship should remain intact! Whatever you do with our dear Colonel, CG, I’m sure it will be healthy, hearty and loving!!!

    • Dave NcKee says:

      Agree on a widow – preferably one that is struggling with an estate used for a horse stud farm located between Matlock and Pemberly – Lady Ashton maybe… She should ride to hounds and steeplechase. He should also be the county magistrate.

      • Dave NcKee says:

        Might expand on why a widow. He was a career soldier, awash in the horrors of battle that he never mentions in polite society. He has nightmares. He needs a mature-minded helpmate and equal rather than an innocent near-child or arm candy. He needs someone who needs him. He needs a significant purpose to put the past in the past.

      • Dave McKee says:

        Goodness! I thought sure my ‘taciturn’ post would prompt an “impertinent Elizabeth” poster t0 take me to task for such a sterile point of view! The Colonel happens to be one of my favorite characters also. I do hope CG gives him a deliriously happy future with a loving wife and fourteen grandchildren – the trick is how to get him from here to there. As more spaghetti on the wall, Darcy fought the thunderbolt he received. Should the Colonel also be thunderbolted?

        Yes, I am still politicking for a widow. LOL
        He is a powerful, compassionate man – a leader of men, so I continue to think his mate should be as strong as he. As further bio, should she have followed the drum until her prior husband fell in battle? When she returns home, the estate is in shambles where the evil steward has stolen much from the stud farm, right down to the horse apples. With his connections to the cavalry, the Colonel is a natural to supply horses to the military and their future would be secured.

        I am enjoying all the different points of view posted! More! More!

  5. Joana Starnes says:

    Can I say first, like everybody else, how much I love your Colonel Fitzwilliam? He’s by far and away one of the best I came across, he’s level-headed, affectionate, compassionate (not in the cloying sense, he would shake Darcy when he thinks he’s in dire need of a good shake-up, but in the manly, older-brother sense – the scene of the ball comes to mind). So he clearly deserves a good woman. Hmmmm! There is the old fandom approach that pairs him with Anne de Bourgh (and your Anne is a dark horse in many ways, and could evolve into a beautiful butterfly, beautiful enough for the Colonel). Then there’s Kitty of course, great potential there too, I always had a soft spot for Kitty, after all it was not her fault that she was brought up the way she was – and still didn’t end up a spoiled brat like Lydia. Having said that, I like Sara’s post, there’s a thought, especially as in your story Lydia might just not get to be Wickham’s dope. So – eeny-meeny-many-mo… let’s say I go with Anne – but I’m sure that your final choice would be great, would surprise and delight me. Looking forward to vol. 3!

  6. Joana Starnes says:

    Hm! Just re-read that… Dark horse into butterfly… unlikely biology here, but never mind 🙂

  7. Margaret says:

    The Colonel’s fate….there are so many options. Ideally he would quickly find an amazing wife and ride off into the sunset. While it is appealing, I don’t see it as his fate. He should have more time in the army. Rising in rank, again. I don’t think he finds love for a while. Instead, he is Darcy’s trusted counselor, after Elizabeth. Love comes to him slowly. He wants a love similar to Darcy and Elizabeth. He finds it with someone who is considered a spinster. Perhaps the sister of one of his fellow officers. Unfortunately he needs to marry someone with a decent dowry, so he cannot marry just anyone. Their love would build and become as encompassing as Darcy and Elizabeth’s. while it would be great if they settled near Derbyshire, they might need to stay in or near London.

  8. Ashley says:

    I was thinking maybe Colonel can marry the rich and pretty lady Darcy danced with at the last ball for the first set. She is also the lady Elizabeth was kind of jealous of. Or maybe just another beautiful lady with large fortune. Since Colonel does not have a good fortune, marrying her will give him independence. He can leave the army and travel around the world freely for their honeymoon (maybe that’s what he wanted all along, to get a break from responsibilities of Georgiana and even Darcy in some cases for a while). Just reread Vol 1, 2, and can’t wait for Vol 3!

  9. Good heavens! LOL What a selection of wonderful fates you have all suggested! I am not sure I can do justice to any of them in the two paragraphs I was going to allow him in the Epilogue!

    I will leave this open for any additional comments for a few days, and then I will try and turn my poor technical skills to attempting to set up a poll so we can vote!

  10. Paperdoll says:

    Just for clarification, so I get it straight in my head…what exactly is Darcy’s relationship to Fitzwilliam and Anne(?) –I mean, I know they’re all cousins, but since Lady Catherine was always pushing for an alliance between Darcy and Anne, I just always assumed they were not first cousins (or are they?).
    If they’re not first cousins, then Anne might work with Fitzwilliam…he gets Lady Catherine in the bargain (horrors!), but he has already shown he can handle her just fine. Anne is titled AND comes with a fortune, and she has shown herself to be an astute, intelligent, observant young lady; and her sheltered, joyless life (with her overprotective, overbearing mother) could do with a little more of Fitzwilliam’s levity.

  11. TessQ says:

    What fun!

    For selfish reasons, I hope you don’t choose to pair Fitzwilliam with a widow — but whatever you choose in the end, I know you’ll treat him well and write it beautifully!

    Paperdoll, Darcy and Fitzwilliam and Anne are indeed all first cousins. Darcy’s mother, Anne’s mother, and Fitzwilliam’s father are all siblings. But it was allowable/legal in those days to marry cousins, you just had to apply for a dispensation which was usually granted. (Also, Anne is not titled. Her mother’s title comes from her father being an earl and it does not pass down to Anne. But she is still rich and will inherit nice property.)

    Hmm, I could go for Colonel Fitzwilliam to meet and fall in love with a woman and decide to marry wholly for love, and then find out serendipitously after he wins her consent that she is also an heiress or wealthy. Maybe a French lady from a family who fled France, and they secreted their wealth when they stole away to England? But again, as long as you treat him well (for I love the good colonel too) I will be satisfied.

  12. deb says:

    Send Mr Collins off to be a missionary somewhere never to return. He upped and left in the night after affronting Lady Catherine so badly she could find no words and would not bear it. She vowed never to speak to him or allow him to set foot in Rosings ever again. On realising that his patron had disowned him he showed his true colours and being a terrible coward he fled the country leaving Charlotte to bear the brunt of Lady Catherine’s displeasure. The lovely Col Fitzwilliam was a comfort to Charlotte in her hour of need as a deserted wife. He held a secret regard for Charlotte but never said anything because as a military man he had resigned himself to his army career as being the younger son he felt he would not have had much to offer her. Now he realises that life is too short and he has been give a second chance to be with the woman he has come to love. In time they could overcome the conventions of the day be blissfully happy with each other. Goodness knows patient long suffering Charlotte deserves true love. She never expected to find love and because of her true nature she will fight to be with Col Fitzwilliam. As she was deserted by Mr Collins would she be able to be happy with Col Fitzwilliam? The constraints of their society would be difficult but not impossible. Maybe Elizabeth and Darcy would find a way to help them. Would it have been so unthinkable? Could there be a happy ending for them?

    I am enjoying the first volume very much. My daughter ,who also loves pride and Prejudice is reading volume 2. We are both really looking forward to volume 3. Thank you.

  13. Magali says:

    I would also like the good colonel to marry the widow of a fallen clmrade, as suggested by Dave McKee. It makes sense, given the Col.’s chara ter, and how delightfulhe has been.

  14. Magali says:

    I meant comrade, character, and “delightful he”. I am sorry about the typos.

  15. I have SO enjoyed reading all your thoughts! In fact, I am quite overwhelmed by the suggestions! It is clear that for some of you the Colonel needs his whole entire story writing at some point. Unfortunately, I need to wrap up his future in a few paragraphs. 😉

    I am going to be creating a Poll later today (says she who has no idea how to begin yet!) with the main suggestions summarised in a list, so do please come back and vote for your favourite!

  16. Victoria Ashraff says:

    Please give the Colonel a very happy ending, he is one of my favourite secondary characters and is most certainly who would be my second choice after Darcy! I’m rereading the story so far and my heart aches for Darcy each time he is disappointed, your characterisation is so effective!

  17. Sara Khazai says:

    I’ve given the good colonel’s fate some more thought. Charlotte has always been a favourite of mine as she seems a less vivacious version of Elizabeth, always sensible, perceptive and deep thinking but with enough humor to make Elizabth her bosom friend. In Austen’s fair world, Lydia may be easily doomed to the consequences of her folly, but in Charlotte’s case, it leaves a feeling of unease in the reader to think of such “niceness” wedded to Collins’ insufferable prattle.Let’s get rid of the good parson, match his widow with the Colonel and restore justice to Austen’s fair world!

    • deb says:

      Hi Sara
      It’s good to know I am not alone in wishing Charlotte and Col Fitzwilliam love and happiness together. I admire your bravery in killing “the good parson” off I could only muster up enough courage to have him flee the country I can’t bear to think of two such likeable individuals being without the same love and happiness as Elizabeth and Darcy. After all, they were both to some degree responsible for Elizabeth and Darcy getting together.

      Kind Regards

      Deb

  18. Sara Khazai says:

    Hi Deb
    As our talented authoress is only thinking of a couple of paragraphs for the lovely colonel, the measures taken have to be drastic! Nothing short of a sudden accident is going to secure Charlotte’s happiness as well as Fitz’s, with such brevity.

    • deb says:

      You are quite right but I am being a bit sneaky here. I think if we give Cassandra enough ideas she may be persuaded to write Col Fitzwilliams story.

      Deb

      • Victoria Ashraff says:

        I like your style Deb, I’m coming to the same conclusion having just read both books again, he definitely deserves his own story!

    • Dave McKee says:

      Yes, it would be great for Mr. Collins to meet an appropriate end, and as soon as possible. How about the greedy glutton choking on one of his own turnips, or stung by a hundred of his own bees? Regardless, Charlotte would be free to connect to a nice rector or the Colonel. I just hope she lives close to Pemberley.

  19. Well, you see, I had already written Charlotte’s fate… though it would fit in with a few of these latter comments!

    • deb says:

      Hi Cassandra

      Just another thought. If the good parson were to meet his doom would the much despised entailment of Longbourn cease to be a problem for Mr Bennet and family? I do not know if Mr.Collins had a brother. If not would the entailment revert back to Mr Bennet? I would love to see Mr Bennet have the quiet life he craves and with longbourn in his possession Mrs Bennet would likely calm herself and be a more agreeable wife and mother as she will not have to worry about living on the charity of a distant relative.

  20. Elizabeth King says:

    Charlotte!!!

  21. Kc LaPietra says:

    I think you should have Anne leave Rosings to Richard, Mr. Collins dies & Charlotte & Richard fall in love. She could have a daughter which breaks the entail. Charlotte may not be beautiful but she is smart & caring and finds she does have a loving passion she has not known about.

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