As of tomorrow, I’m starting to post the chapters of my work-in-progress, Pride & Prejudice-inspired story, A Quest for Mr Darcy, here on my blog!
You can read the blurb below, as well as what inspired the story. Chapters will generally be posted twice weekly, and I hope you will enjoy coming along on this journey with me over the coming months!
To kick-start the story, four chapters will be posted this week, one each day from Tuesday-Friday!
What was the inspiration?
Two things! The first came from a line in A Fair Prospect, where Darcy and Elizabeth seem to be hounding each other’s footsteps. There is a point where Lizzy reflects that the way things are going, she’ll likely get home to Hertfordshire only to find her father planning something else that will have them back in company again.
The second came from an early section of Pride & Prejudice itself. After Mr Bingley has arrived in the neighbourhood but before he makes his appearance at the Meryton Assembly, rumours are abounding over why he has gone to London so soon after his arrival.
Here’s the passage from Volume I, Chapter iii:
Lady Lucas quieted her (Mrs Bennet’s) fears a little by starting the idea of his being gone to London only to get a large party for the ball; and a report soon followed that Mr Bingley was to bring twelve ladies and seven gentlemen with him to the assembly. The girls grieved over such a number of ladies; but were comforted the day before the ball by hearing that instead of twelve, he had brought only six with him from London, his five sisters and a cousin.
Although it is generally assumed this was all inaccurate gossip-mongering, I decided to use this and gave Bingley three younger sisters from his father’s second marriage, with the cousin being the lady who cares for them on a day to day basis!
And what’s the story about?
Prelude: Failing to find adequate distraction in London after his rejection by Miss Elizabeth Bennet, Fitzwilliam Darcy decided to go travelling, taking his sister with him.
Little did he realise that, as the Darcys set sail from Southampton early in August 1812, Elizabeth was but five miles from Pemberley, breaking the seal on the first of two letters from her sister, Jane, in Hertfordshire – letters which brought news of Lydia’s elopement.
The story opens with Darcy’s return to England a year later, convinced he is over his foolish infatuation with Elizabeth and with a determined plan, both to protect the estate of which he is guardian and to ensure his sister’s happiness: he intends to do his duty and secure a wife at the earliest opportunity.
Duty; a path from which Darcy knows he should never have been diverted. Duty was safe and nothing would persuade him from it a second time.
But what of the Bennets? What has befallen them in the interim? Will his path cross with Elizabeth’s once more, or are they fated never to meet again?
Soon after his return, and restored to his home at Pemberley, Darcy finds keeping his mind under good regulation a greater challenge than anticipated when he finds out just what did happen to Elizabeth!
With the addition of Bingley’s mischievous twin younger sisters, mysterious letters from a stranger and a shadowy figure lurking in the grounds of Pemberley, Darcy’s carefully laid plans are soon in tatters as the rigid protection he has placed around his heart begins to falter!