Mr. Darcy’s Diary by Maya Slater

Mr. Darcy's Diary4 stars

Mr. Darcy’s Diary is a retelling of Pride and Prejudice through Mr. Darcy’s eyes. The reader follows the story through diary entries that reveal not only Mr. Darcy’s perspective of events, but also scenes Jane Austen never wrote.  

I always love to read stories told from Mr. Darcy’s perspective because in Pride and Prejudice we only get to see Elizabeth’s prejudiced point of view, and we are never privy to Mr. Darcy’s dealings when he is not with Miss Elizabeth Bennet, however I found it hard to get into this story in the initial chapters because Mr. Darcy’s entries in his diary were very factual and transpired little emotion. The absence of feeling was something that bothered me, but as the story progressed, I started to understand the tone of the book, it wasn’t exactly lacking in emotion, it was simply told from a male point of view and my female bias was preventing me from liking it. Once I realized this, I started enjoying the book much more.

Although I loved the portrayal of the manly relationships in this book, and Byron did give it a much-needed animation, I found it strange for a character such as Darcy to be friends with a someone whom he witnesses raping a girl in the beginning of the book. I understand I cannot judge a book that takes places in regency with 21rst century standards, but I really do not imagine Mr. Darcy, who is a man of honor, to be friends with Lord Byron who is prone to debauchery and ungentlemanly behaviors.

I never thought I would say this, but I loved not only Caroline Bingley’s character in this novel, but also her relationship with Mr. Darcy. We are privy to many conversations between them in this book, and they gave me a different perspective not only of her personality, which is harder to judge based on this diary, but also their relationship. Caroline Bingley is not the villain we sometimes imagine her to be, and in this book, we can see how badly she feels about deceiving Jane, we see a side of her that Elizabeth Bennet never even allowed to exist, and I found that very interesting. There is always two sides to a story isn’t it?

I also loved the way Bingley was described and how he was seen coping with the loss of his love. It felt natural and real, and once more something we never really saw in Pride and Prejudice.

The truth is that after several chapters, and once I’ve accepted the tone of the book, it became increasingly interesting in my perspective, and I felt the will to pick it up and see what Mr. Darcy was up to. The only quibbles I had with this book were the emotionless tone of the diary entries and Darcy’s relationship with Byron, but those did not prevent me from finding enjoyment in many of the other nuances of the book.

I would recommend this book to those who like to witness Pride and Prejudice from different perspectives, and who are open minded towards different angles.

Audiobook Narration:

Elizabeth Bennet’s Level

Mr. Darcy’s Diary was the first audiobook I heard narrated by David Rintoul and I quite liked it, even if at times I wondered if the haughty  and cold tone I was associating with the diary entries were not produced by the narrator. Nevertheless, the author was quite good with the male voices and was also able to adapt to the female ones, so I would still recommend the audiobook version of the book.

You can find Mr. Darcy’s Diary at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and on Audible

 

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Filed under JAFF, Persuasion

Captive Hearts by Kelly Miller

captive hearts4 stars

Captive Hearts is a sweet Persuasion variation where the path to second chances is easier and smoother. In this story Captain Wentworth returns to Anne Elliot’s life eight years after their separation, but he realizes much sooner than in the original story that he needs to fight for her. This realization will be the foundation of a low angst romance where love and trust are put to the test.

I found it surprising and curious that Mr. and Mrs. Darcy are visiting the Musgroves right in the beginning of the story and playing a somewhat important role in the development of the romance. I loved seeing these characters in the Persuasion setting, and especially seeing Mr. Darcy helping Captain Wentworth challenge his perceptions. We may even say that Mr. Darcy was responsible for the entire direction the tale took, which is a very interesting detail.

But the Darcy’s were not the major deviance from the original story in this book, Kelly Miller changed a very important element in the narrative when the characters are at Lyme, and I must say I absolutely loved this alteration! She altered a pivotal moment that changed the entire storyline, something we don’t usually see in Persuasion variations, which often struggle to deviate from the original.  After that exciting change, the story progresses slowly with not much happening in the lives of the characters, and the pace seemed a little uneven in the middle of the book because of this lack of action. However, even though I was a little put off with the mundane events in the characters’ lives in the middle of the book, towards the end there is an unexpected twist that refocused my attention and pulled me back into the story, so the pace picked up again.

One aspect I really enjoyed in this book was Sir Elliot’s character. I loved the fact that he was not simply portrayed as a vain person, Kelly Miller gave him depth, and that made him more likable and appealing, definitely one of the best aspects of this story 😊

Summing up, Captive Hearts is a very sweet and very low angst novel that is perfect for Persuasion fans who like to see Anne and Captain Wentworth together early in the story. The book has some interesting details that make it unique such as the events that occur in Lyme, Sir Walter’s character and the Darcy’s and I recommend it to readers who love Austen’s Persuasion.

 

You can find Captive Hearts at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and Kindle Unlimited


 

6 Comments

Filed under JAFF, Persuasion

7th Blog Anniversary & Giveaway

7th

Good Afternoon everyone,

This week was From Pemberley to Milton’s 7th year anniversary! I should have published this post a few days earlier on the exact birthday of the blog, but I guess this just shows what having a blog for such a long time looks like! Sometimes either our personal lives or our laziness takes preference over blogging, and I am ashamed to say that in this case it was the second option that took precedence.

But please do not be discouraged by my lack of commitment, this is actually one of my favorite posts of the year because it gives me a chance to analyze what I’ve been doing, and like I said last year, this has been an exciting journey with many adventures, great reads, and most of all, incredible new friends made along the way. I am still very happy to be able to keep this blog and be in contact with so many of you. In fact, this year I thought about celebrating the blog anniversary by writing a slightly different kind of post. Apart from sharing with you a few stats that demonstrate what I have been up to blog wise speaking, I decided to share as well all the good moments this blog has already given me 🙂

But let’s start with what I’ve read.

what have I read

I have read 367 books since I started this blog in 2015, and 204 of them were JAFF variations! Variations were clearly my favorite sub-genre when I discovered Jane Austen Fan Fiction, and during the first years of this blog they were all I read. But with time, I started having the need to read something different, and discovered other sub genres.

I was a little surprised with the figures I obtained when preparing this post because I was expecting to have more secondary character novels read and especially more Different POV’s. As it turns out, the JAFF sub-genres I’ve read the most (apart from the variations which are not even in the graphic) are Sequels, which I personally do not love, Fantasy which I never thought I would like very much, and Modernizations which are becoming a favorite of mine. I was also surprised to see I’ve only read 11 paranormal stories, as this is a sub genre I would love to read more. 

books read by genre

The sub-genre I really want to read more in the upcoming months is Secondary Characters. I am loving more and more to read books that take different and unknown avenues through the secondary characters lives and personalities. I do love Darcy and Elizabeth, but after having read over 300 P&P books based on these characters, I crave for the novelty that is impossible to find in them. After all, their personalities are always the same no matter the situation authors put them, and sometimes I need something different and unexpected. The predictability of romances is also starting to tire me a little, I know they’ll meet, dislike each other (or Darcy will love Elizabeth and she will dislike him), fall in love, have some trouble in between and end up as a happy couple with a lot of children running around the house. If this was something I looked for when I started reading this genre, it is something that is becoming a little too repetitive for my taste, so I crave for different stories that will surprise me 🙂 

I also want to diversify the type of book I read because I want to put together my favorites lists of these sub genres, and for that I need to read more of them. I’ve posted a few favorites lists, but they are all concerning P&P Darcy centric novels, so I wanted to branch out a little. Is that something you’d be interested in? Which favorites lists would you prefer to see? And which sub-genre do you like the most apart from variations?

what have I published

Since the 5th of August 2015, I’ve published 760 posts including giveaway winners’ announcements, book deals announcements, etc., which I am considering under the Other Matters cathegory, but the majority of the posts I’ve published are obviously Reviews.

Even though I’ve read 367 books I’ve only reviewed 279 of them, that’s because I only review Jane Austen Fan Fiction books (I am starting to change that), and sometimes when I read very fast and do not take notes, I find it very hard to still write a review. Stories start to blend in, especially when I read them in eBook format, and I don’t have clear information to write proper reviews. I am trying sit down and write a review as soon as I finish one book and before I start another one, but sometimes all I want to do is read and not write reviews…so occasionally there are a few books I read and do not review.

I am currently reviewing an average of 5 books each month but I don’t know if I’ll be able to continue with this rythm, especially because I have not felt so much pleasure in reading lately as I used to, in part because of the predictability of the romance formula. I was thinking about changing things a little and start reviewing austenesque movies too, what do you think about that? 

What about the other type of post, are excerpts still your favourite? I have to admit that despite having more work with interviews, they are the type of post I enjoy the most to work on. I would also love to publish more My Jane Austen Road Trip posts, but for that I need to revisit the U.K and that will not happen before 2023, unfortunetly 😦

Published Posts

The 279 reviews are pertaining 147 different authors, but a few of them are recurring in my reviews, which indicates I really like their writting style 🙂 I’ve analysed this data last year, and even though the numbers changed, the authors I’ve reviewed the most remain the same. I think I may try to change this next year by re-reading and reviewing some older books from authors I love. Of course, this is not a list of my favourite authors, there are a few names I can immediately think of that are not on this list, but they have probably written less then 5 books. 

Most reviewed authors

Are these authors among the ones you read the most too? Any others you absolutely feel I need to read? Should I diversify more? Or do you like reviews from authors you already know?

 

who have I met

As I mentioned before, this blog allowed me to meet many amazing likeminded people, and that is probably the best aspect of this hobby, so this year I thought that instead of bringing you a post full of stats, I could bring you a few pictures of the some of the happy moments I’ve had in the last 7 years with fellow bloggers, talented authors, and incredible readers, many of whom have actually become friends 😊 

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London, 2016 Author Elizabeth Adams, Author Joana Starnes, Blogger Sophie Lizzie Andrews (Laughing With Lizzie); Blogger Anita Darcy (My Vices and Weaknesses).

 

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New York, 2016. Blogger Claudine Pepe (JustJane1816).

 

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Bath, January 2017. Author Joana Starnes, Blogger Mira Magdó (Obsessed with Mr. Darcy).

 

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Chawton, January 2017. Blogger Anita Darcy (My Vices and Weaknesses), Author Joana Starnes.

 

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London, March 2017. Blogger Anita Darcy (My Vices and Weaknesses), Author Caitlin Williams, Author Elizabeth Adams, Author Joana Starnes.

 

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Lyme Park, July 2017. Author Amanda Grange.

 

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Stockport, July 2017. Fellow Reader Glynis

 

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Winchester, July 2017. Editor Ellen Pickels, Author Lory Lilian, Author Andrea Catana, Author Joana Starnes, Blogger Mira Magdó (Obsessed with Mr. Darcy).

 

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Winchester, July 2017. Author Cassandra Grafton.

 

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London, 2017. Blogger Anita Darcy (My Vices and Weaknesses), Blogger Mira Magdó (Obsessed with Mr. Darcy).

 

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Leiper’s Fork, Tennessee, 2018. Author Elizabeth Adams.

 

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Lyme Park, March 2019. Glynis, Author Joana Starnes.

 

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Washington D.C., 2022. Blogger Meredith Esparza (Austenesque Reviews).

 

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Washington D.C, 2022. Author Elizabeth Adams, Author Victoria Kincaid (not present in photo).

 

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Blogging, 2022.

 

Thank you all for being a part of this beautiful journey!


NEW giveaaway time

To celebrate From Pemberley to Milton’s 7th anniversary I will be offering one ebook to one of my followers. The winner may choose any book I’ve reviewed in the past 7 years. You can check them out by author, by genre, or even check the entire list in JAFF Reviews or North & South Reviews. Navigate through the website, and let me know which one calls your attention and why 🙂 The giveaway is open until the 13th of August and I’ll announce the winner shortly after that. 

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Filed under JAFF

A Season of Magic by Sarah Courtney – Excerpt & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

I am very happy to welcome Sarah Courtney at from Pemberley to Milton to share with all of you an excerpt of A Season of Magic. Ms. Courtney’s last visit was one year ago, and at the time I had the pleasure to interview her and discover she has a particular soft spot for fantasy, so this book comes as no surprise. What about you? Do you like fantasy romances? Which type of fantasy do you like the most? If magic and powerful mages is your thing, you may like this one 😉

But I’ll let you read the excerpt so you can tell us what you think of it.

Thank you so much for visiting once more Ms. Courtney and thank you for organizing the tour Janet!


Thanks so much for having me on From Pemberley to Milton! I’m so happy to share my newest book with you today, a fantasy variation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice called A Season of Magic.

In this fantastical world based on Regency England, elemental mages have both control over an element—fire, wind, water, or earth—as well as an individual talent. Elizabeth Bennet loves her element of fire, but she has also spent her whole life working with metal, which she can shape and manipulate without needing heat or tools. When she is finally permitted to attend the magical university, the Season, she will need both of her abilities as well as her own wit and determination to survive it.

You would think Elizabeth has enough to contend with. She and Jane are alone in the world, the children of notorious magical murderers. Her teachers dislike her and would love to see her fail. And Lord Matlock’s nephew, Mr. Darcy, can’t seem to keep his eyes off her. She knows he is probably reporting her every move back to his uncle and the Mage Council.

But on top of all that, Miss Lucy Steele and Miss Caroline Bingley see her as an easy target. The Season isn’t just a university for magic, after all—it’s also where most elemental mages meet their future spouses. Whether it’s out of anger for what her parents have done, or whether it’s truly because they see her as competition, their little pranks are a constant annoyance. Miss Bingley’s ability to manipulate fabrics is a constant threat to Elizabeth’s limited wardrobe.

***

“Miss Bennet,” she said with a sneer, “while you may have nothing better to do than to pour over your books day and night, you may wish to see to it that you do not create enemies in the process.”

“Oh, I apologise,” Elizabeth said with false contriteness. “For some reason I was thinking that we were here to learn about magic.”

“How to use our elements, yes,” Miss Bingley hissed. “It is not as though history will be of any use. You had best be careful. You would not want to be thought a bluestocking.” Her eyes flickered downwards for a moment, and there was a gleam in them when she again met Elizabeth’s eye. “Or some country girl raised by foster parents who has never had a proper dress fitting in London.”

Suspicious, Elizabeth looked down. Her dress was no longer the simple green calico she had donned that morning. The green was light, almost grey, as if it had faded. The dress sagged at the waist and shoulders as if it had been made for someone larger and clumsily altered to fit.

“Goodness, does your maid not have time to alter your clothing, Miss Bennet?” Miss Bingley taunted. “It is just too, too bad. I suppose it takes her so long to remove the mud from your gowns and make you presentable that there simply is not enough time for adjustments.”

Elizabeth clenched her fists as she felt her face heat. “I warned you,” she said, controlling her fury.

Miss Bingley squealed and jumped back as her necklace fell from her neck and poured itself onto the floor in a little puddle of melted silver, the small emerald floating rather pathetically on top.

“My necklace!” Miss Bingley cried. “That was a gift from my brother!”

Elizabeth wondered what Mr. Bingley would think of the fate of his gift. “And I created many such necklaces to earn enough for my gown.” There was no point in hiding her metalwork or her connections to trade, as Miss Bingley already knew all about it. “If you are going to destroy someone else’s belongings, you had best look to your own.”

“How dare you!” Miss Bingley’s face was almost purple. She took a quick step towards Elizabeth, hand raised.

Elizabeth stumbled backwards when a man appeared behind Miss Bingley and grabbed the woman’s extended wrist. It was Mr. Darcy. He must have been watching them from the shadows.

“Miss Bingley,” he said firmly, using his hold on her wrist to place it on his arm. “Would you do me the honour of walking with me to ethics class?”

Miss Bingley gaped, her mouth opening and closing a few times before she snapped it shut. “Very well,” she said after a moment. Her eyes blazed at Elizabeth as she turned to go. “Clean up that mess, girl,” she called back just before they turned down the next passage and out of sight.

Elizabeth held out her hand. The metal leaped into her palm, and she stroked it with her finger, guiding it back into the shape of the necklace as it had been before as best as Elizabeth could remember of it. She had to bend down to pick up the emerald, as her metal powers did not affect gems, but she placed it into its original spot in the necklace before hardening the surrounding metal.

Perhaps she would leave it on Miss Bingley’s desk the next chance she got. Perhaps.

Or perhaps not.


NEW book blurb

Everyone knows Elizabeth and Jane’s parents were magical murderers. But blood isn’t everything.

When the girls are forced to reveal their elemental magic, it does not matter to the Mage Council that they did so only to save lives. Their parents were traitors, and the entire magical community is simply waiting for them to descend into evil themselves.

The Council reluctantly admits Elizabeth to the magical university (and unofficial marriage market) called The Season, where she will learn how to control her powers. If she can keep her head down and avoid drawing any untoward notice, she might be able to graduate and finally be accepted as a fire mage.

But fading into the background will be difficult. Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, nephew to Lord Matlock of the Mage Council and a student himself, is assigned to observe her and report any misstep. One mistake could send her back to her foster parents, the Bennets—or worse, to prison. Yet when that mistake inevitably comes, he stands up on her behalf. Could he be an ally instead of an enemy?

When pranks between classmates become something more dangerous—and potentially deadly—Elizabeth will be forced to depend upon her friends—including Mr. Darcy. There’s something terrible lurking beneath the surface of the Season, and it will take everything Elizabeth has to survive it.

You can find A Season of Magic at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk


NEW author bio

Sarah Courtney loves to read fantasy, fairy tales, and Pride and Prejudice variations, so what could be more fun than combining them? She currently lives in Europe where she homeschools her six children and still manages to write books, which has to be proof that magic exists!

Blog: authorsarahcourtney.wordpress.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/author.sarahcourtney.1/

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There is plenty more to discover about this book, so don’t forget to check out the remaining blog tour stops 🙂

July 28 Austenesque Reviews

July 29 My Jane Austen Book Club

August 1 From Pemberley to Milton

August 2 Savvy Verse & Wit

August 4 My Vices and Weaknesses

August 5 Babblings of a Bookworm


Ms. Courtney is giving away one eBook of A Season of Magic to one reader at From Pemberley to Milton. If the winner is from the US and prefers a paperback, he/she may choose that instead of the eBook. The giveaway is open until the 6th of August, so don’t forget to comment to apply 🙂

The winner will be announced shortly after.

Good luck everyone!

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Filed under Pride and Prejudice, North and South, JAFF

Anne and Wentworth: A Persuasion Prequel and Variation Novelette by Samantha Lord

Anne and Wentworth3 stars

Anne and Wentworth: A Persuasion Prequel and Variation Novelette by Samantha Lord shows us how Anne Elliot met Captain Wentworth and fell in love with him when she was still a young woman. However, in this novelette the events that take place between these characters are not exactly the same, and they do not have to wait eight years to find happiness.

The story starts with a very interesting premise, what if Elizabeth Elliot, used to being admired and having everything her way, decides to charm young Frederick Wentworth who is in the neighborhood visiting his brother? What if there wasn’t much to do around Kellynch and this was her idea of fun? And what if this young man is not charmed by Elizabeth’s airs, but by her shy sister Anne?

I personally loved the beginning of this story because it was a very different, credible, and fun change, I found the idea of having Elizabeth trying, and failing, to enchant Captain Wentworth very innovative and amusing.

I always love to read Persuasion prequels, because Austen never told us much about Anne and Wentworth’s relationship when they were younger, so the possibilities are endless, however, despite the very exciting beginning, their first encounter was somewhat anticlimactic for me because I didn’t feel any particular sparkle occurring between them. The same is valid for the following encounters they had, unfortunately I never felt captivated by them and at times I was a little frustrated to be told about a romance I was not seeing in the pages.  I found the scenes between Anne and Wentworth scarce and tame, and because of that I never felt any intensity in their love story.

I enjoyed the different interference Lady Russel had in this book, but I wasn’t convinced that this interference would be enough to cause Anne’s decision. If the idea had been further developed, I see this happening, but as it was, it felt somewhat rushed and unsubstantiated.

I also enjoyed the changes the author created towards the end of the book to make sure these characters found their HEA but I would also have liked to see this developed a little bit more and to have at least one more scene between Anne and Wentworth, as it was, it felt like a very abrupt ending.

The version of the book I have also has several typos and errors which are at times distracting, however, there might be a revised version, so this is something that may have been fixed already.

Anne and Wentworth: A Persuasion Prequel and Variation Novelette is, as the name indicates, a very short story and therefore the author didn’t have much page time to develop a very interesting premise. I enjoyed all the different changes the author decided to bring to the story, such as Elizabeth’s goal, Lady Russel’s interference, Anne’s change of heart and the reason that escalated it, but I felt this book, which was full of great ideas, needed more page time to develop them. This is a story with a lot of potential, and I am only sorry that being a novelette, the interesting ideas the author had weren’t fully assembled, making the book feel somewhat lacking and draft like. I would love to read a more extended version of this story where the author had page time to develop all the great ideas she came up with. Nevertheless, it is a story that can be read very quickly and with interesting and creative new approaches to Anne and Wentworth’s romance, so I believe Persuasion fans may still enjoy it.

 

You can find Anne and Wentworth at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

 

3 Comments

Filed under JAFF, Persuasion

Giveaway Winners Announcement

Good afternoon everyone,

It’s time to announce the names of some giveaways that were hosted here at From Pemberley to Milton! The winner of Camp Jane promoted by Susan Andrews had already bought the book, so a new winner needed to picked, and there are 5 other giveaway winners that I needed to announce. Michelle D’arcy visited this month and decided to offer one ebook of her recently released An Unpleasant Sort of Man, and another ebook copy of Undoubtedly by Design which will be released this fall. The winner of this book will have the chance to receive an early copy of this book as soon as it is released 🙂

Laura Moretti also visited, and she brought with her 3 ebook copies of Who is Elizabeth Bennet’s Soulmate, isn’t that generous? The winners will also be announced today 🙂

Thank you for all your offers ladies!!! And congratulations to all who won hours of pleasure reading a book 😉

Now, without further ado, the winners are:

Camp Jane

*** Darcybennett***

An Unpleasant Sort of Man

*** Glynis***

Undoubtedly By Design

*** Sheilamajczan***

Who is Elizabeth Bennet’s Soulmate

*** Shelby6666***

*** Noagnes***

*** Evaedmonds***

I would like to ask the winners to please send your email contacts and the amazon store you use to ritaluzdeodato at gmail dot com so that the prizes may be sent to you.

Happy Reading everyone!

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Filed under JAFF

Kiss Me Good Night, Major Darcy by Georgina Young-Ellis

KMGNMD FC Final 061122F S4 stars

Kiss Me Good Night, Major Darcy is an Austenesque romance that takes place during WWII, and as would be expected, the lives of all characters in this book revolve around the war efforts. All the Bennet sisters are actively assisting their country either by helping in hospitals or in the Women’s Land Army, while most man are fighting in the continent. In this scenario Elizabeth and Jane Bennet meet Captain Bingley and Major Darcy, two soldiers who are the bearers of bad news, but despite the sad circumstances that brought them together, they will form a relationship that will strengthen regardless of the occasional separation brought by the war, and the difficult conditions they all live in.

The events in this book occur mainly in England and I found that very interesting because it allowed me to learn a little more about how life was for people living in a country at war but away from the combat zone. Through this fiction story I learned how the bombings were felt by London residents, how the troops would organize themselves while away from the frontlines, and how civilians still lived their lives despite the war, and this was all transmitted in a serious but optimistic tone, something I appreciated.

I liked reading the Pride and Prejudice elements the author added in this setting, and the role of some secondary characters like Anne de Bourgh and Mr. Collins. But I particularly liked the fact that Elizabeth Bennet was not so impressionable as I see her portrayed in other books. Even though Wickham tried charming and setting her against Darcy multiple times, she didn’t immediately fall for his schemes.

I also liked Mary’s character in this book, she is one of my favorite secondary characters, and I enjoyed the fact that she had a different but useful way to help people during the war. I also enjoyed her love story and the fact that she got her happiness. On the other hand, Caroline was a character that interested me in the beginning, but who didn’t convince me by the end of the story because her latest appearances made her look a little one dimensional.

The pace of Kiss Me Good Night, Major Darcy was balanced throughout the entire story, and it was one of the aspects of the book I enjoyed the most. There was a trade-off between action packed scenes and descriptions of how the lives of the characters were evolving. This was particularly necessary because the storyline takes place during an 18-month period, and it was essential for the author to move the story easily and quickly to a future date. These smooth transitions were well written and gave the book and introspective tone I appreciated. However, the ending of the book was somehow anticlimactic with many pages being dedicated to a secondary character’s wedding, relegating to the second plan the slow built relationship between Darcy and Elizabeth. I was expecting to see their romance finally flourish towards the end of the book with powerful and breath-taking scenes, but unfortunately that was not the case, and their love felt somewhat tamed for me.

Summing up, Kiss Me Good Night, Major Darcy is a well-balanced different era story that gives the reader the opportunity to see Darcy and Elizabeth showing their most lovable characteristics in a new setting. I would recommend it for Pride and Prejudice fans who like to see these characters in different eras.

 

You can find Kiss Me Good Night, Major Darcy at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and Kindle Unlimited


 

10 Comments

Filed under JAFF, Persuasion

Colonel Brandon in His Own Words – Guest Post by Shannon Winslow

Good Afternoon everyone,

I’m very pleased to welcome Shannon Winslow at From Pemberley to Milton once more. After the success of Fitzwilliam Darcy in His Own Words, she has decided to give Colonel Brandon his own voice and has released Colonel Brandon in His Own Words. I was super happy to see this happening because Brandon comes third on my Austen’s heros list, and I’m kind of hoping she will also release Captain Wentworth in His Own Words one of these days. But until then, I’ll have Colonel Brandon to fill my mind and heart. Ms. Winslow brought with her a guest post where she explains why she decided to write this book and where she also shared a small excerpt of it. I hope you like reading it!

Is Colonel Brandon a favourite of yours? Let us know in the comments 🙂

Thank you so much for visiting once more Ms. Winslow! It is a pleasure to have you here! I wish you all the happiness with this book 🙂


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NEW guest post

 

Thanks so much, Rita, for the chance to tell your readers about my brand new book baby: Colonel Brandon in His Own Words! Today, I want to share a little of what inspired me to write this novel and to write it now. I suppose you could say it was partly a matter of the head and partly a matter of the heart.

As for my head, I’ve long planned to write at least one novel related to each of Jane Austen’s six. That’s my goal. And with only Emma and Sense and Sensibility left to go, the tie-breaker was that S&S will be the theme at the JASNA convention in Victoria this year (which I will be attending, btw, yay!). So I thought the timing would be perfect to do this one first. Then my heart told me to make it a book about Colonel Brandon.

I’ve always had a deep fondness and special sympathy for Colonel Brandon (helped along, I suspect, by Alan Rickman’s poignant portrayal of him in S&S ’95). The colonel is my kind of hero. He’s a quiet man of genuine kindness and deep integrity, but he’s also a man of action when the situation calls for it. He’s just a really good guy, who tries to do the right thing, but has had some rough breaks in life. And since I always root for a worthy underdog, I have to root for Brandon to finally find all the happiness he deserves, which Jane Austen tells us, much too briefly, that he does:

Colonel Brandon was now as happy as all those who best loved him believed he deserved to be. In Marianne he was consoled for every past affliction. Her regard and her society restored his mind to animation and his spirits to cheerfulness; and that Marianne found her own happiness in forming his, was equally the persuasion and delight of each observing friend. Marianne could never love by halves; and her whole heart became, in time, as much devoted to her husband as it had once been to Willoughby. (Sense and Sensibility, chapter 50)

Because Austen’s book focuses on Elinor and Marianne, there’s no space to thoroughly tell Colonel Brandon’s story too. That was never her intent. But as wonderful as the paragraph above is, it doesn’t really feel like enough, does it? Luckily, as a writer, I knew I could do something about that! I didn’t have to be satisfied with a few lines telling me Colonel Brandon is happy, restored, and loved; I could take the time and space to show it’s true and how it came about. The same for his relationship with Eliza, the events of his youth, and his military years – things that must have shaped his character and experience of the world.

I got pretty excited about filling in all the very large and intriguing gaps in Brandon’s record. When I thought of the possibilities, my head told me there was plenty of scope for a whole new novel here. Not simply a rehash of S&S from a different point of view. No, I wanted a fresh approach. I wanted to bring in tons of new but compatible material to really flesh out Brandon’s character, to expand his story both in depth and across time.

Then, to give the book extra heart, I decided that the story must be told by Colonel Brandon himself, not by an impersonal narrator. It must be told in his own way – following along as his mind moves naturally from one event to another by association, rather than forcing things into strict chronological order. And it must all be viewed through the prism of his crisis with Marianne, which is where the book begins:

 

It is happening again, and I suddenly feel very old. Although I survived it once before – just – I have the gravest doubts that I can do so again. Some days, I do not even wish to.

The circumstances are quite different this time, it is true. But the pain is the same – the sudden wrenching in my gut each time I think of it, which I do nearly every minute of every day; the repeated jolt of panic in my brain, which tells me that I must do something to stop it; the hollow ache in my heart and the certain knowledge of my own pathetic powerlessness. It is all too familiar, for once again the hand of the woman I love more than life itself is being given irrevocably to another, and there is absolutely nothing I can do about it.

It is no doubt weak and self-indulgent, as I have repeatedly told myself, but my mind will persist in entertaining questions of morbid curiosity. I cannot seem to help asking if, overall, it is better or worse this time. Is my disappointment more or less profound, the circumstances more or less regrettable? Will the resulting pain last as long as before and leave scars as deep?  

Perhaps it is only the proximity, but the current event appears worse – at least for myself personally – for I shall not only have the pain that she is lost to me forever, but the additional mortification of knowing she does not care for me. In truth, she thinks nothing of me at all. So, God willing, I shall be the only one to suffer, which was not the case before.

Poor Eliza.

I would not wish her fate on Marianne Dashwood, not for the world. In fact, that must be my chief consolation: knowing that Marianne is happy, even if it must be in the arms of another man. I would willingly sacrifice my own happiness and more if it would secure a lasting one for her. And yet who can say that her present bliss will endure, dependent as it is upon a man of whom I have every reason to think ill? And so my mind can by no means be easy.

I have been to her sister in Berkeley Street to have my worst fears confirmed, and now I know I should put Marianne from my mind and retire to Delaford to lick my wounds. And so I have made ready to do more than once. Still, as long as she is in London, I feel compelled to stand by – for what purpose, I cannot even conceive – at least until she is well and truly married. After that, it will be nobody’s right except her husband’s to be concerned for her welfare.

Until then, however, I will wait. Perhaps there may yet be some small service I can render. If I am needed, I swear I will not fail her. Whatever the cost, I must do better by Marianne than I did by Eliza… or by Rashmi.

Meanwhile, I have nothing to do but think of the past. Although there have been enough joys and compensations over the years, the regrets and failures continue to haunt me. I am in a dangerous state of mind.

 

Every time I read this, my heart breaks for him all over again!

A first-person account allows you to feel closer to the hero/heroine because you’re basically living inside that character’s head throughout the entire story. That’s true for the reader, of course, but probably even more so of the writer. I spent nine months of quality time with Colonel Brandon, and I grew to love and respect him all the more because of it! So in this book, you will see what Brandon sees and hear what he hears. You are privy to all his thoughts, internal debates, and emotions.

If you think about it, every one of us experiences life in “first person” – viewing the world from inside our own heads. We have no choice. So isn’t that the most realistic way to present a story? Besides, I really enjoy writing in this style. In fact, six of my eleven novels are done, like this book, in first person from a single character’s point of view. That includes my previous publication: Fitzwilliam Darcy in His Own Words.

So, now with two first-person books from the hero’s point of view, is this a series in the making? Will there soon be half a dozen “in His Own Words” books lined up neatly on the shelf? I haven’t decided yet. I do still need an Emma book to finish off my goal, though. How about Mr. Knightley in His Own Words? I think it has potential! In the meantime, I hope you will read and enjoy Colonel Brandon’s story – with your head as well as your whole heart!


 

Colonel Brandon is the consummate gentleman: honorable, kind almost to a fault, ever loyal and chivalrous. He’s also silent and grave, though. So, what events in his troubled past left him downcast, and how does he finally find the path to a brighter future? In Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen gives us glimpses, but not the complete picture.

Now Colonel Brandon tells us his full story in His Own Words. He relates the truth about his early family life and his dear Eliza – his devotion to her and the devastating way she was lost to him forever. He shares with us a poignant tale from his military days in India – about a woman named Rashmi and how she likewise left a permanent mark on his soul. And of course Marianne. What did Brandon think and feel when he first saw her? How did his hopes for her subsequently rise, plummet, and then eventually climb upwards again? After Willoughby’s desertion, what finally caused Marianne to see Colonel Brandon in a different light?

This is not a variation but a supplement to the original story, chronicled in Brandon’s point of view. It’s a behind-the-scenes look at the things Jane Austen didn’t tell us about a true hero – the very best of men.

Colonel Brandon - KINDLE

 

 

 

You can find Colonel Brandon… in his own words at: 

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

 

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Filed under Pride and Prejudice, North and South, JAFF

Who is Elizabeth Bennet’s Soulmate by Laura Moretti – Excerpt & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

I’m very pleased to welcome Laura Moretti at From Pemberley to Milton once more. Ms. Moretti was the only writer I know of who had the courage to write a dystopian austenesque book, and as dystopic novels are my favourite genre along with JAFF, I absolutely loved it!! I’ve been asking her ever since reading Pemberley to write a new one, but she was more incline to work on a regency variation and today she is here to share with all of you an excerpt of her recently released, and very innovative Who is Elizabeth Bennet’s Soulmate?. I know most of you will prefer this sub genre then the dystopian one, so I hope you like the except 🙂

Thank you so much for visiting once more Ms. Moretti! It is a pleasure to have you here! I wish you all the happiness with this book 🙂


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This happens in Act II of “Who is Elizabeth Bennet’s Soulmate?”

 

“In vain I have struggled. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how passionately I admire and love you.”

Darcy and Elizabeth were alone in the sitting room of the Hunsford parsonage. Mr Darcy was pacing the parlour, offering her marriage. In the moments it took Elizabeth to overcome her surprise, the gentleman had already explained, in no uncertain terms, how difficult the decision to propose to her had been—how degrading was an alliance with Elizabeth, how great her inferiority in the eyes of society. He then proceeded to insult Elizabeth’s family, her upbringing, and her connections. 

When Elizabeth was free to utter a word, she declined Darcy’s offer as politely as she was able to. 

Mr Darcy paused and raised his eyes to her.

“You cannot refuse, Miss Bennet. We are soulmates.”

A laugh. Dry. Incredulous. “No, sir. Of course we’re not.”

“Yes, we are, Miss Bennet. How…how on earth can you deny the truth?” 

Elizabeth did not believe him—not yet—but unpleasant sensations began shifting in her soul. Was it cold in the room? It felt cold.

“Mr Darcy, indeed, you are mistaken. I—”

Saying that the gentleman interrupted her would not be fair; truth was, he had not even heard her objection. 

“I had—it was very difficult for me to admit the truth at first,” he said grimly. “It seemed so preposterous, ridiculous, even.” Elizabeth was getting even colder. “I thought there must be some other young lady in the area who I had not yet met, and that would explain the strength of the melody. And you, Miss Elizabeth, you would dance around the matter, you would refuse to give proof. When I left Hertfordshire, I was certain I had been mistaken, that it could not be you. I was—glad of it… Rather, I thought, at first, I was glad of it, but then…” 

His voice faltered, but the sinking horror in Elizabeth’s heart prevented her from noticing the gentleman’s emotion. No. It could not be. Of course, he was mistaken. Soulmates? It was preposterous—she shivered. 

“I do not know, Miss Bennet, if your reserved attitude was an attempt to increase my desire, or if you were, on the contrary, thinking the difference of rank and position prevented us from forming a respectable alliance…”

Anger replaced horror. “Mr Darcy, let me put an end to these insulting suppositions. We are not soulmates, sir, and even if we were, I would not dream, in any circumstances, of linking my destiny to yours. I do not admire you, sir. Your arrogance, your conceit… Your attitude towards my family, towards my sister—your constant rudeness, even to me—”

“This is absurd,” Darcy interrupted. “I was not… I always behaved in a perfectly—” He paused, pale with anger, then, after a short silence, he waved her objections away. “We have no choice anyway, Miss Bennet. The music…”

“No—no!” Elizabeth repeated. 

She stood up, her heart beating wildly, feeling almost faint. If it were true, if Darcy was her soulmate, then all her hopes were dashed, reduced to ashes. All her possible futures—dreams, phantasms, would be crushed by dire reality. She would not, could not marry Mr Darcy, and then? There would be no one else; the Fates just offered you one soulmate. 

It would all have been the cruellest joke.

“You are wildly mistaken, Mr Darcy. I do not know what strange fancy has risen in your mind, but—I do not hear your music. I hear someone…someone close, mayhap, but—”

“You are my soulmate, Miss Bennet. I know. When I saw you at the assembly I just—”

“No.”

“I tried to deny it. All those weeks at Netherfield, I tried to fight it. Then, when you came out of the church on the day of your sister’s wedding, I— The music swelled, and… Still—still I foolishly hoped it could be a mistake. Then you came here, to Rosings Park, two weeks ago. When I saw you again, after months of separation, in this very parlour…”

“No.”

“The music goes like this.” Darcy tried to hum, but at first he could not find the right key, so he played with his fingers on the table, searching for the tempo. This was all very similar to Jane’s actions, during these happy days at Longbourn, when Elizabeth’s sister wanted to share her soul music, except—except this was not a happy moment, this was—Elizabeth’s world was crumbling. 

Darcy found what he was looking for, he hummed again, his fingers playing on an imaginary pianoforte.

“Can you take dictation?” he asked in a harsh tone. 

Elizabeth had the strength to be appalled still. “No, sir, I was raised by wolves.” The gentleman watched her without understanding. “That was sarcasm, Mr Darcy, I believe you are acquainted with the concept.”

He did not answer; Elizabeth took possession of whatever paper was on Charlotte’s writing desk and drew hasty staves. She wrote under Darcy’s impatient dictation, and thank God, it did not sound like… 

Of course. Of course, he was mistaken. “Mr Darcy, this is a very different music— This is not what I hear at all…”

“Will you let me finish? I do not… I have not yet found the exact…” He hummed again, before correcting his interpretation. Then he dictated a new series of measures. “This is just the first voice, the second goes like this…”

Elizabeth jotted down the notes. And…

SheHe…

The music…

“This is the third voice,” Darcy said, starting anew, his voice still simmering with rage, and—

Elizabeth had stopped writing.

Oh God. Oh no.

Darcy paused and looked at her. She was livid. So still.

It was like he saw her, really saw her, for the first time.

“No,” Elizabeth whispered. “Please, no.”

Darcy tried to speak. He could not.

“Please, no.”

Now Elizabeth was crying. A few tears, she wiped them off as soon as she could.

“No. No, please no. Please, please no. Please.”

Silence.

“Please,” she repeated.

Darcy watched her for a few moments—his face ashen. Then he turned away and left.


 

What if you could hear, in your soul, the inner music of your soulmate, the person you are destined to marry?
England, 1811. Elizabeth Bennet has just begun to ‘hear’. The inner melody of her soulmate resonates in her soul. She is destined for someone…but who? Who is this mysterious gentleman who will one day ride into her life and change her existence forever? Is he living close by, or is she hearing his music from afar? Is he rich? Is he poor? Has she already met him?
Elizabeth flirts, she converses, she sketches the character of any gentleman she meets to determine whether their personality fits with the deep, beautiful, sometimes sombre notes she perceives. With the help of her sister Jane, who is happily married to her soulmate Charles Bingley, Elizabeth makes a list of all the possible soulmates in the area.
The haughty, disagreeable Fitzwilliam Darcy certainly does not appear on this list.
A shame. Because Darcy, who has no doubt that Elizabeth’s music is the one that haunts him, is falling more desperately in love with her each day.
But does Elizabeth really want to fall in love? In truth, does she really want to have a soulmate?

Cover - Elizabeth's Soumate 2

 

 

You can find Who is Elizabeth Bennet’s Soulmate? at: 

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

 

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NEW giveaaway time

Laura Moretti would like to offer 3 ebook copies of Who is Elizabeth Bennet’s Soulmate? to 3 lucky readers who stop by at From Pemberley to Milton to read the excerpt of her book. You know the drill, to apply to this giveaway all you need to do is leave a comment with either your opinion or a question. I’m sure Laura will be happy to answer to all of you 🙂 The giveaway is international and is open until the 23rd of July.

Good Luck Everyone!

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Filed under JAFF, North and South, Pride and Prejudice

Netflix’s Persuasion: Why it is a flop

persusasion1 star

If you’re looking for a dull and dumbed down modernization of Persuasion where 21rst century characters dress up and pretend they are living in regency, the new Netflix movie is for you.

If on the other hand, you are looking for an intelligent historical adaptation of Persuasion, then you should skip it and watch something else.

When Netflix launched the trailer for their new Persuasion adaptation, it soon became the hot topic on social media and many people highly criticized it. I was one of those who hated the trailer, but I was convinced that only by watching it I could form an opinion, so I was quite eager for the 15th of July to arrive so I could watch it. 30 min after the movie started, I felt it was even worse than the trailer, and I wasn’t sure how I would be able to finish it. I made an effort to continue, and the truth is that with time, the movie does improve, but it is still too bad to give it more than 1 star.

 

What I liked about it

 

  • Wentworth and his speech at the beach

When I saw the pictures of Cosmo Jarvis portraying Wentworth, I didn’t like the way he looked, and I thought I would not like this Captain Wentworth, but in fact, he was the only actor capable of transmitting any emotion during the entire movie, and even though I still prefer Ciaran Hinds interpretation, I believe Wentworth was the only aspect I liked in this movie.

Although it is not in the book, Captain Wentworth’s speech at the beach, where he demonstrated how much he admires and loves Anne, was the only powerful moment of the entire movie!

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  • Breaking the 4th wall

I am unsure if I can consider this to be one of the aspects of the movie I liked because it was a little too much, and at a certain point a little irritating. Plus, it was one of the reasons why Anne felt so out of character by mocking and ridiculing her entire family, but I did like the idea of making the audience Anne’s confidant, I think this could have worked out really well if it weren’t for the horrible lines in the movie and the constant winking. As an introvert character, Anne’s thoughts and feelings are hard to read, using this strategy made it easier for the audience to know and understand her. Unfortunately, I didn’t like what I was shown of her personality, and takes me to my main quibble with this movie: Anne’s character.

 

What I disliked about it

 

  • Anne Elliot portrayed as Bridget Jones…or completely out of character

Anne Elliot is completely out of character in this movie. If the people who made this film read Persuasion, they have a very different interpretation of Anne’s personality then I do.

Especially during the first 40 minutes of the movie Anne is seen constantly drinking and making a fool of herself. I felt ashamed just watching all these scenes and couldn’t stop comparing these attitudes and behaviors to the ones of Bridget Jones. I love Bridget Jones’s Diary, but that type of character works on that movie because it is a modernization, not and adaptation, plus, it actually is funny. Having a gentlewoman behaving as a trainwreck drunk teenager in a regency adaptation simply doesn’t work. Especially if that character is meant to be Anne Elliot!

In this movie Anne Elliot drinks wine straight from the bottle, puts jam on her face, says the wrong things loudly in polite society, and looks like the party’s fool.

When I read the book, I saw Anne as a clever, rational, considerate, and caring woman. As someone who puts others above her own happiness because she is truly a good person. In this movie we do see Anne putting others before her, but because of the constant communication she has with the audience, we get the feeling she is doing it out of obligation, because she has no alternative. It appears that she hates everyone around her and feels way too superior to any of them.

This Anne is sassy, playful and flirtatious. That is not the Anne I saw portrayed in Persuasion. And you may say, yes, but she doesn’t have to be exactly as Austen imagined her, we can give her personality some twists. We can, but why do we have to make all heroines the same? What is so wrong with having a heroine who is more introvert? Changing that about Anne is saying we all must be playful and spirited, and we don’t. The beauty of diversity is that. There is room for all types of heroines.

Also, I am not British, so I may be completely wrong about this one, but it seemed that at times Dakota Johnson forgot to give her character a British accent, and the difference between her accent and the one of other actors was also distracting for me. Maybe it is just me, and this is a wrong impression, so don’t take my word for this particular point, it was just what I, as a foreigner, thought.

 

  • Modernisation dressed up as Regency

Where should I begin with this one… This adaptation is everything but historically accurate. I’ll try to break it down to a few points:

    • Behaviors

All the characters behave as if they have lived in the 21rst century the entire time. That is visible in their behaviors, such as Anne drinking nonstop, shouting over windows and on her pillows, Mr. Elliot and Mrs. Clay kissing each other in public as if it was no big thing, Anne and Wentworth going completely alone and unchaperoned during an entire carriage ride, Anne saying Wentworth has not written to her, as if he could, etc.

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    • Writing

Everyone saw the “we’re worse than exes now, we’re friends” sentence in the trailer, but it is not the only situation where the lines are way too modern for a regency story.

There’s the “the thing about me is I am an empath”; the “he listens with his whole body, it’s electrifying” or “anyone that attractive must have an angle”, apart from the whole rating people’s looks where Anne is considered a 6 and Mr. Elliot a 10.

It almost feels the director believes the modern audience is too dumb to appreciate a story that doesn’t use modern expressions.

    • Inaccuracies

Anne Elliot mentioned cappuccinos and Lady Russel mentions macarons, as far as I know both were created way after the 1810’s. This is just a small detail, but when put together with all the other aspects that are historically inaccurate, it becomes quite annoying.

    • Casting

I know this may be a sensitive topic for many people, and again, there are different opinions about having a diverse casting in historical adaptations. I know some people believe it is positive to have a diverse cast in regency roles because it allows everyone to feel represented in these stories, but I personally believe it is somewhat disrespectful towards, for example, people of color to pretend they were not enslaved at the time. People of color have been abused for centuries and had to (and still have to) fight hard to have the same rights and treatment as white people, so pretending they didn’t have to go through all that hardship, lessen their struggle and pretend they lived as gentleman and ladies of wealth, is in my opinion, disrespectful and even dangerous, because it’s like building a narrative saying these people didn’t suffer to get where they are nowadays.

 

  • Bad Taste

Some may have no issues with it, and maybe this is some people’s idea of humor, but having Anne overhear Wentworth’s conversation with Louisa Musgrove while trying to pee behind a tree or having her describe how she dreams about being an octopus sucking her own face (her actual words) to a room full of people is, in my opinion, just bad taste.  

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  • Lack of humor

The movie is supposed to be funny and lighthearted, but I didn’t laugh one single time and I was bored to death by the middle of it. I do laugh with Austen’s witticisms, but believe me, there is no wit in this movie, just as there is no humor. Also, it feels a little inconsistent, assuming a very “light” and “pathetic” tone in the begging and getting a little more serious towards the end. I am not complaining about that, because I believe the movie starts very badly and improves a little with time, but if the goal was to make it a funny rom com, it failed miserably. I love rom coms, and this is not it. I didn’t even understand where they were going with the movie, because the tone from the beginning is very different from the one in the end.

 

Austen adaptations are always welcome, and people may like or dislike them. I personally disliked this one because I like to watch regency adaptations to travel to a different era. I like to witness the behaviors, way of talking and values of that era, that’s the whole appeal of these stories for me. I don’t watch historical adaptations to see 21rst century characters playing dress up, in fact, I don’t even see the appeal in that, although I am sure some people like it.

I am of the opinion that if you want to make a modern take of something you should do a “modern” take, and probably your modern story will be quite good, I’ve seen some modern adaptations of Pride and Prejudice that I liked, but they were actually moderns. Playing dress up is not one thing or the other and is bound to fail.

Summing up, Netflix’s Persuasion adaptation is a flop. It fails as a regency movie because it is everything but regency, it fails as an Austen adaptation because it completely distorted the main character’s personality, it fails as a rom com because it is not able to engage the audience in the love story, and it fails as a humorous adaptation because it is not funny at all. But hey…that’s just my opinion 😊

 

 

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Filed under JAFF, Persuasion