Mr. Darcy’s Bride(s) – Guest Post, Excerpt & Giveaway

Hello dear readers,

Regina Jeffers is an award-winning author of cozy mysteries, Austenesque sequels and retellings and vagaries, as well as Regency era romantic suspense. A teacher for thirty-nine years, Jeffers often serves as a consultant for Language Arts and Media Literacy programs. With multiple degrees, Regina has been a Time Warner Star Teacher, Columbus (OH) Teacher of the Year, and a Martha Holden Jennings Scholar.

With 32 books under her belt since 2009, Jeffers is considered one of the publishing worlds most prolific authors, and today she is visiting From Pemberley to Milton 🙂

I am very, very happy to welcome such an incredible author and to be able to share with you some information concerning her latest release,  MR. DARCY’S BRIDEs 🙂

 

 

Marriage by Estoppel

One of the possibilities I explored in researching my latest book, MR. DARCY’S BRIDEs was marriage by estoppel as a plot point. According to Investopedia, “Promissory estoppel is a legal principle that a promise is enforceable by law, even if made without formal consideration, when a promisor has made a promise to a promisee who then relies on that promise to his subsequent detriment. Promissory estoppel is intended to stop the promisor from arguing that an underlying promise that was made should be not be legally upheld or enforced. Promissory estoppel is a legal principle that a promise is enforceable by law, even if made without formal consideration, when a promisor has made a promise to a promisee who then relies on that promise to his subsequent detriment. Promissory estoppel is intended to stop the promisor from arguing that an underlying promise that was made should be not be legally upheld or enforced.” As you can readily imagine I was thinking of some sort of breach of promise suit, when our Mr. Darcy does not marry Anne De Bourgh as he had intended to do, but rather finds himself speaking his vows to a our “dearest, loveliest Elizabeth.”

I was well aware of promissory estoppel being used in marriage issues in the United States, especially in common law marriages. For example, in Martin v. Coleman, 19 S.W.3d 757 (S.Ct Tn 2000), it states that our courts have recognized marriage by estoppel when parties have believed in the validity of their marriage and have evidenced that belief by cohabitation. [Rambeau, 212 S.W.2d at 361.] The doctrine of marriage by estoppel is applied in exceptional cases. It does not apply in cases where the parties knowingly live together in an unmarried state and are privileged to discontinue that relationship at will. [Crawford, 277 S.W.2d at 392.] And although England does recognize Promissory Estoppel, where the doctrine of promissory estoppel prevents one party from withdrawing a promise made to a second party if the latter has reasonably relied on that promise, most of the cases I found dealt with contractual law. I felt I was writing myself into a “legal” nightmare, so I abandoned the idea of promissory estoppel as part of my plot. Good old “Breach of Promise” took its place. We must remember that the Regency is an era in which marriage is pretty much forever, and engagements meant you were just as good as married-—neither person can call off without damage to his reputation, but the lady had more leeway to back out. Even so, she still risks being labeled either a jilt if she makes a habit of this.

If you are interest, you may read more on Promissory Estoppel here: Promissory Estoppel http://www.investopedia.com/terms/p/promissory_estoppel.asp#ixzz4mdnX1f81

Introducing MR. DARCY’S BRIDEs…

I much prefer the sharpest criticism of a single intelligent man to the thoughtless approval of the masses.

ELIZABETH BENNET is determined that she will put a stop to her mother’s plans to marry off the eldest Bennet daughter to Mr. Collins, the Longbourn heir, but a man that Mr. Bennet considers an annoying dimwit. Hence, Elizabeth disguises herself as Jane and repeats her vows to the supercilious rector as if she is her sister, thereby voiding the nuptials and saving Jane from a life of drudgery. Yet, even the “best laid plans” can often go awry.

FITZWILLIAM DARCY is desperate to find a woman who will assist him in leading his sister back to Society after Georgiana’s failed elopement with Darcy’s old enemy George Wickham. He is so desperate that he agrees to Lady Catherine De Bourgh’s suggestion that Darcy marry her ladyship’s “sickly” daughter Anne. Unfortunately, as he waits for his bride to join him at the altar, he realizes he has made a terrible error in judgement, but there is no means to right the wrong without ruining his cousin’s reputation. Yet, even as he weighs his options, the touch of “Anne’s” hand upon his sends an unusual “zing” of awareness shooting up Darcy’s arm. It is only when he realizes the “zing” has arrived at the hand of a stranger, who has disrupted his nuptials, that he breathes both a sigh of relief and a groan of frustration, for the question remains: Is Darcy’s marriage to the woman legal?

What if Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet met under different circumstances than those we know from Jane Austen’s classic tale: Circumstances that did not include the voices of vanity and pride and prejudice and doubt that we find in the original story? Their road to happily ever after may not, even then, be an easy one, but with the expectations of others removed from their relationship, can they learn to trust each other long enough to carve out a path to true happiness?


 

Enjoy this Excerpt from MR. DARCY’S BRIDEs…

 

“Mr. Darcy?” his butler said tentatively. “There is a gentleman below who requests a few minutes of your time.”

With a frown marking his brow, Darcy looked up from his book. “At this hour?” He wondered if his aunt had sent a magistrate for Miss Elizabeth. “Does the gentleman have a name, Thacker?”

“A Mr. Gardiner, sir.”

Not the magistrate, he thought, but someone to remove her from my protection, nevertheless. Miss Elizabeth’s family has come for her. The idea did not please Darcy half as much as it should, but it was only proper to speak to the man. He had set several barristers to work today in pursuit of whether he was married to the woman or not. One of the men mentioned the possibility of Darcy’s pursuing a Promissory Estoppel case where one person makes a promise to another, but there is no enforceable contract. However, Darcy had no desire to sue the woman for the promise to “love, honor, and obey.” He simply wished to know whether he needed to approach the church courts to void his marriage. “See him up, Thacker,” he instructed.

Within a few minutes, a well-dressed gentleman appeared in the open door. He presented Darcy a bow of respect. “Please pardon the lateness of my call, Mr. Darcy.”

Darcy’s bow was less formal. “I suspect I am aware of your purpose.” He gestured to a nearby chair. “Come join me. Would you care for a drink?”

“No, thank you, sir.”

Gardiner claimed the chair to which Darcy directed him. “That will be all, Thacker.” His butler bowed from the room, and Darcy resumed his seat. “You have come for Miss Elizabeth.”

Mr. Gardiner’s tense shoulders sagged in what appeared to be relief. “She is here? Thank our dearest Lord. When Elizabeth did not return to my office, I began to search for her. It was only by accident that I overheard a tale of how you and Lord Haverton had rescued a girl in the street. Did she step into the way of his lordship’s coach? I told Lizzy that her plan would prove dangerous.”

Ah, Mr. Gardiner is not aware of all that has occurred. “I fear your niece ran into the street when she noted my pursuit.”

“Your pursuit?” Gardiner’s eyebrows drew together in confusion. “Why would a man of your consequence chase after a young woman of little notice? Did our Lizzy offer you an offense?”

“Not unless one would consider her taking the place of my bride during my wedding an offense,” Darcy said in droll tones.

“But she was supposed to be at the wedding of her…” Gardiner’s words slid to a halt as the truth found root. “Oh, my…”

A hint of sympathy touched Darcy’s countenance. “Your niece appears to act before she thinks.”

Gardiner ruefully acknowledged, “You have no idea the half of it.” The gentleman smiled mirthlessly. “Elizabeth meant to disrupt the wedding of her sister to Mr. Bennet’s heir.”

“Mr. Collins?” A wry grimace twisted briefly at Darcy’s lips as Mr. Gardiner’s features again registered his surprise. “Miss Elizabeth has explained her purpose in preventing her sister’s marriage to my aunt’s rector.”

Gardiner’s tone was singularly ironic. “Your aunt is Lady Catherine De Bourgh?”

Darcy nodded his affirmation. “Needless to say, her ladyship was in attendance at my nuptials, as I was to marry her daughter.” The gentleman did not disguise his groan of despair as he buried his face in his hands. “Lady Catherine means to have Miss Elizabeth turned over to the magistrate once she learns of your niece’s whereabouts. Such is the reason I brought Miss Elizabeth here so a physician could attend her, and I could protect her from my aunt’s wrath. Moreover, it is important that I determine whether the vows we spoke are legal or not. Fraud must be in place prior to the nuptials. As Miss Elizabeth and I held no acquaintance until I called in upon her earlier today, fraud may not be applicable to annul the marriage.”

“But did not Elizabeth use her sister’s name in the exchange of vows? That was her intent in foiling Collins’s marriage.” Gardiner contested.

Darcy drawled with cold formality. “She said, ‘I, Elizabeth, take thee William.’ I am Fitzwilliam Darcy, but am known to family and close associates as William. Although we did not sign the registry, I am not certain whether a shortened name is grounds for annulment or to have the marriage declared void. When I spoke my vows, I did so to ‘Anne,’ my cousin.”

Gardiner shared in ironic tones, “Anne is one of Elizabeth’s middle names.” Studying Darcy carefully, the gentleman cleared his throat. “I am certain your legal advisors have already discussed this issue, the marriage is valid as long as those who marry by license marry whom they think they are marrying, no matter what names are used. Elizabeth should have objected to the joining when the vicar asked if she took you as her husband. The fact that she did not could indicate her intent to marry you or her intent to practice fraud. The church courts could rule either way. As to the signing of the register, it is commonplace practice in the church, and I know some bishops have issued warning to clergymen about keeping careful records, but it does not mean the register must be signed immediately after the ceremony. I know a gentleman, a client of mine, who signed the register more than a week following his nuptials, which were conducted by special license and at his betrothed’s home. The clergyman had to call upon the gentleman to secure the man’s signature.”

It was Darcy’s turn to know surprise. “I was unaware of your niece’s full given name, and as to the other information, I was aware of some, but not all of what you have shared.”

“What I do not understand is how Elizabeth appeared at your wedding. She was to be at All Saints at Kingston upon Thames. Where were your nuptials held?”

“A chapel at St. George, which is also near the Thames.”

“Admittedly, Lizzy knows little of London. Mr. Bennet despises the place and comes to Town only when necessary. She and Jane visit often, but not enough to understand the city’s diverse populations and the neighborhoods harboring each or how there are hundreds of churches with ‘Saint’ in their names.” He smiled sadly. “Why did she not hail a cab to return to my office?”

“Miss Elizabeth left her reticule at the church,” Darcy explained.

“But someone would have paid the fare,” the gentleman began in explanation, but halted his protest. “It does not signify to second-guess Elizabeth’s frightened state.” Gardiner sighed heavily. “What do you wish me to do with Elizabeth? It is you who my niece has offended.”

Darcy counted to ten before he responded. What he wished to do and what was proper were in sharp contrast. “Miss Elizabeth should not be moved this evening. Doctor Nott reset her shoulder, and she struck her head upon the paving stones when Haverton’s team knocked her down. Such an injury must be handled carefully. Moreover, your niece has expressed concern at having disappointed her mother’s aspirations. Miss Elizabeth believes her punishment could be extensive. I know from my cousin that Lady Catherine’s ire has yet to abate. If you are agreeable, I think it is best if Miss Elizabeth remain with me until she is well enough to face her accusers or until we have a definitive answer as to whether ours is a legal joining. The vicar did pronounce us man and wife.”

 

Mr. Darcy’s Brides is now available at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

You can also find all other Regina Jeffers books on her Amazon Page, and contact her through the following links:

Website   www.rjeffers.com 

Blog     “Every Woman Dreams…”    https://reginajeffers.wordpress.com 


 

 

Now for the GIVEAWAY: Regina Jeffers has two eBook copies of MR. DARCY’S BRIDEs available for those who comment below. To be in the mix, leave your comment by midnight GMT on Monday, August 21.

The winners will be announced shortly after, so please make sure you are following the blog to receive an email with the announcement of the lucky winners 🙂 I’m sure you don’t want to miss you name in it 🙂

Good Luck everyone!

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And the giveaway winners are…

 

Hello everyone,

Last month one of my dreams came true, I finally visited Pemberley!

I went to Lyme Park, spend lots of time with wonderful people and met several writers I’ve long admired. I consider myself very lucky to have had this opportunity, so I thought that it would be nice to share my good fortune with you. I brought several books from this trip, some of them signed by the authors, and offered them to some readers.

Today I’m happy to announce that the lucky winners are:

 

My Jane Austen Roadtrip Chapter V

 

*** Rellaenthia ***

( 1 paperback copy of Mr. Darcy’s Diary – winner drawn from the followers list)

 

*** Anji ***

( 1 signed paperback copy of Mr. Darcy’s Diary – winner drawn from the comments)

 

*** Daniela Quadros***

( 1 signed paperback copy of The Perfect Match – winner drawn from the comments)

 

 

Congrats to all of you! Could you please send me your contacts to ritaluzdeodato at gmail dot com so that we can send the prizes to you? Unfortunately if I do not receive your contacts until the 26th of August, I will have to randomly other winners.

Happy reading!

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Darcy in Wonderland – Review & Giveaway

Darcy in Wonderland is the proof that Alexa Adams is not afraid to try different and creative approaches in her books. She turns the unthinkable into reality and creates stories that readers will hardly forget.

Darcy in Wonderland brings together the loveliness of the Darcy family and the craziness of Lewis Carrol’s Alice in Wonderland, and even though the Wonderland scenes were quite amusing, especially when Darcy was forced to go along with his daughter’s curiosity, what captivated me the most in this book was the Darcy family and their interactions.

The story starts many years after Darcy and Elizabeth’s marriage, and we are introduced to their children: Bennet who is the only boy, and the eldest of Darcy’s children, is a delicious image of his father and amuses us with his dry humour and his fatigue with all his sisters. Can you imagine a teenager Darcy surrounded by sisters? I loved some of his comments and the relationship of comradery he established with his father, who is determined to give to his son the support he was unable to receive from his own father as a young man; Elleanor (Ellie) who is about to turn 18 years old reminded me of Jane Bennet and I truly wished Lady Catherine would not ruin her coming out season; Helen and Rose who are already at school and are terribly missed by their youngest sister; Cassandra whom I loved and was more interested in reading novels than anything else; and Alice, the youngest child of Darcy and Elizabeth and the one who is always involved in some kind of mischief. Or maybe she is only a curious, imaginative and outspoken girl who was too genuine for her time and discovered the pleasures of Port at a precocious age :

Alice’s impertinence reminded me of Elizabeth, but also a little bit of Lydia Bennet because that girl does not know when to keep her mouth shut, and even if this is very amusing to us readers, it makes Lady Catherine very displeased! And yes, Lady Catherine is still alive and true to herself in this story :

The Darcy’s and Lady Catherine, who arrived unannounced at Pemberley, are to visit the Bingley’s, but during breakfast Alice’s enthusiasm becomes too much and when she spills some tea in Lady Catherine’s gown she is punished for her actions and must remain at home. She tries to apologize:

“I am truly sorry, Aunt Catherine,” Alice quickly followed. “You have ruined my gown!” “If it makes you feel better,” Alice continued hopefully, “I don’t think the color becomes you at all.”

But her father is implacable and determines she has to stay, accompanied by him to guarantee she behaves of course, it’s not like he wants to escape Lady Catherine and Mrs. Bennet’s company.

During the day Alice sees a White Rabbit with a Pocket Watch and chases it down a hole with her Father close behind, and this is how the adventure in Wonderland begins.

In Wonderland we will find Carroll’s White Rabbit, Mad Hatter, Queen of Hearts and even some characters that will remind us of some members of the Bennet family like Mrs. Bennet, Darcy finds it very hard to understand what’s happening and where he is. His main focus is to find a way home, but Alice’s curiosity makes her want to interact with everybody and that’s what makes their journey so funny. Those who loved Alice in Wonderland will certainly love this view of the story.

Darcy in Wonderland is not a romance, and readers who merely want an Elizabeth/Darcy story will not find it here, but they will find a beautiful sequel showing us how delightful their life was after they married, and how funny their household became over the years with so many different children. The relationship they established with their children is endearing, and we also have the pleasure of seeing how happy and content they are as a couple.

I believe parents will particularly love this story, and they will even be able to share it with their children as this is a family book in which the drawings and the poetry add the final touch to an incredible story.

 

You can find Darcy in Wonderland at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

 

 

Alexa Adams would like to offer one copy of Darcy in Wonderland (ebook or paperback) to one of my readers.

This giveaway is international and open until the 20th of August. To participate all you have to do is comment on this post, and if you want to increase your chances of winning comment on the guest post I published yesterday. I will consider entrances from both posts.

Good Luck everyone!

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Darcy in Wonderland – Guest Post & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

I am very pleased to receive today for the first time in From Pemberley to Milton an author whose work I have admired for a long time! Alexa Adams is not affraid to take chances to try diferente approaches in JAFF, she captivated me with The Madness of Mr. Darcy, which was a bold move,  and now she surprised me once more with the release of Darcy in Wonderland, a mash up between Pride & Prejudice and Alice in Wonderland.

Today she visits us to share Alice’s real story…

 

 

Thank you so much, Rita, for hosting me today. It’s a pleasure to be here.

In Darcy in Wonderland, Alice Darcy is a creature of two worlds, being both Lewis Carroll’s creation and the youngest daughter of Pemberley. Of course, Carroll’s character provided a great deal of guidance for how she would behave, even in a more orderly setting, but as a mother of a rather curious and fantastically imaginative six-year-old, my own daughter was also a huge source of inspiration. My husband, who is always the first one to read my work, was highly amused by the similarities between them, easily imagining our child getting herself into similar scrapes, but did you know that Carroll’s Alice was also modeled off of, or at least written for, a real child?

“Mama!” she cried, her eyes wide with excited recognition. “You shall never believe what has happened!”

“You mean other than my daughter running off without telling anyone where she was going?”

“Oh! Sorry, Mama. I did not mean to visit Mrs. Reynolds. My feet took me here without my brain giving the matter much attention.”

Alice Pleasance Liddell (1852-1934) was the daughter of Henry Liddell, the Dean of Christ Church, Oxford from 1855 to 1891, at which point he became Vice-Chancellor of the university. Charles Dodgson (1832-1898), who wrote under the pen name Lewis Carroll, was a new lecturer of mathematics at Christ Church when the Liddell family relocated there. He met them while pursuing one of his many hobbies – photography – on a spring day in 1856, and an intimate friendship with the family quickly developed. He was particularly close with the children. At first his special friend was the eldest son, Henry, whom he took on many boating trips and picnics in the surrounding countryside along with the eldest daughter, Lorina (or Ina). When Henry departed for school, the next two daughters, Alice and Edith, became the chosen participants in these excursions.

 

Much of the relationship between Dodgson and the Liddell family is clouded in mystery and rumor, but the origins of the Alice stories are recorded fact. On the 4th of July, 1862, Dodgson took Ina, Alice, and Edith on a picnic in the company of the Reverend Robinson Duckworth, who rowed the boat down the Thames to and from their destination. Having often regaled the girls with fantastic stories, Alice requested that Dodgson do so again, and he spun tale of a young girl named Alice and her adventures down a rabbit hole. Alice requested he write the story down, and more than two years later he presented her with the original manuscript, now at the British Library, entitled Alice’s Adventures Underground.

Alice, seeing his height stabilized, climbed onto her father’s enormous chest and sat down upon it, looking terribly unhappy. “It was much pleasanter at home,” she lamented, “where one is not always growing larger and smaller!”

   

“Or being ordered about by mice and rabbits,” Darcy added with perfect empathy.

“I almost wish we had never gone down that rabbit hole!” she continued.

“Almost! Good Lord, Alice! This entire episode has been an unmitigated disaster.”

“Well, it is rather curious, you know, living this sort of life.”

“Curious indeed!” he snorted, causing a strong enough gust to raise Alice’s hair.

“When I used to read fairy tales,” she continued, unfazed, “I fancied those kinds of things never happened, and now here we are in the middle of one! Maybe they will write a book about us,” she wondered, brightening at the idea. “Imagine, being in a book! There ought to be one, do you not think so? When I grow up, I will write it, if I ever do grow up. I feel smaller than ever next to you.”

“And I feel ancient,” groaned Darcy, carefully adjusting his inside arm so that it ached less acutely.

ARM_OUT_WINDOW

Much like Austen, Dodgson did not write his first novel with the intention of publishing. It wasn’t until the story proved popular with the children of friends beyond the Liddells that he decided to pursue a wider audience. He had previously published and had some success with his poetry, so it is not surprising that the final version of the story features several playful verses, almost all parodying famous poems of the time.

The mystery surrounding the Dodgson-Liddell relationship involves its sudden dissolution between the 27th to 29th of June, 1863. The page for this period is missing from Dodgson’s diary, presumably removed by either his nieces or nephew (another odd similarity to Austen, whose sister burned much of her personal writings). The Liddell’s themselves never referenced the rift. Speculations are aplenty as to what caused this abrupt break in what was hitherto a close and trusting relationship. The most sensational is that Dodgson proposed marriage to the then eleven-year-old Alice. Other the theories include Ina having developed a romantic obsession with him or his using the girls as a means to court their governess. The one thing that seems consistent is that some inappropriate romance grew amongst the players involved. Six months later, Dodgson visited the Liddell’s once more and something like peaceable relations were restored, though the same level of intimacy was never regained.

Alice married a wealthy cricketer, Reginald Hargreaves, in 1880 at Westminster Abbey. She became a noted society hostess and had three sons, the second of which was named after Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany, who stood as his godfather (Leopold named his first child Alice). The two eldest of the Hargreaves died fighting in World War I. When Reginald died in 1926, Alice sold the original manuscript of Alice’s Adventures Underground for an astounding £15,400 in order to be able to afford the ongoing maintenance for Cuffnells Park, the family’s estate. She was 82 when she died.

AliceHargreaves_1932

 

There is a very interesting film version of Alice in Wonderland from 1949 that sets the fictional story within the true tale of its creation. Few books have been so often portrayed on film, and through these movies, countless written interpretations, and theatrical versions, Alice Liddell’s fame lives on. I think it arguable that never before or since has a child’s simple request to hear a story had such a lasting impact on popular culture.

Original illustrations by K. Wiedemann: www.wiedemannillustrations.com

Thanks again, Rita! It’s been a lot of fun.

 


.

Alexa is an American expat living in Switzerland with her husband and daughter. She blogs about Austen and Austenesque literature at alexaadams.blogspot.com, is a contributing member of AustenAuthors.net, and a founding member of the Jane Austen Society of Switzerland.

You can contact her on the Alexa at:

alexaadams.blogspot.com

austenauthors.net

www.facebook.com/AuthorAlexaAdams

www.facebook.com/ElegantExtracts

twitter.com/ElegantExtracts

Author Page at Amazon

.

And you can find the Darcy in Wonderland at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

 


 

 

Alexa Adams would like to offer one copy of Darcy in Wonderland (ebook or paperback) to one of my readers.

This giveaway is international and open until the 20th of August. To participate all you have to do is comment on this post and if you want to increase your chances of winning comment on the review I’m posting tomorrow. I will consider entrances from both posts.

Good Luck everyone!

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And the giveaway winners are…

Hello dear readers,

Last month I hosted several giveaways in From Pemberley to Milton and it is now time to announce the winners 🙂

 

My Jane Austen Roadtrip Chapter IV

*** Karylee Marin ***

(Persuasion plus 200 anniversary goodies)

 

An interview with Cassandra Grafton

*** Glynis ***

(ebook or paperback copy of A Quest for Mr. Darcy plus 200 anniversary goodies)

 

When We Are Married

*** JanisB ***

(ebook copy of When We Are Married)

 

Congrats to all of you! Could you please send me your contacts to ritaluzdeodato at gmail dot com so that we can send the prizes to you? Unfortunately if I do not receive your contacts until the 19th of August, I will have to randomly choose another winner, so please don’t forget to give me your contacts 🙂

Happy reading!

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Blog Anniversary & Giveaway

Hello everyone,

Today is a very special day for me because it marks the second anniversary of From Pemberley to Milton!

People usually say that time flies by when we are doing something we love, but honestly, I do not feel that way. I feel that I’ve been blogging for much much longer than 2 years, and it’s even hard to remember what I used to do with my free time…

It all started as a way to organise myself, to list the books I had read and to have an idea of which authors I would want to read next, but soon this blog became much more than that!

From Pemberley to Milton opened the doors to many experiences, but above all, to conversations with kindred spirits. Because of it, I got to know people with whom I feel really connected with and whom I consider true friends.

It all started in 2015 with me posting the review of Mr. Darcy’s Noble Connections, after this first step, comments started to appear and I started talking to many of the people with whom I’m still in contact today.

Getting to know all of you was a plus, and one I was not expecting, I never imagined a JAFF community existed and that everyone was so welcoming and nice 🙂 Thank you so much for all your kind words in the past 2 years, and for being such na important part of my live!!!

But the conversations I established with you were all online until the beginning of 2016. That’s when I got to meet Elizabeth Adams, Joana Starnes, Sophie Andrews and Ana from My Vices and Weaknesses.

This first meeting was absolutely wonderful, but it was only the beginning. Since then I’ve been with these ladies many more times, and I believe we are now establishing a tradition of meeting in London once a year 🙂 Who wants to join us next year?

That first meeting opened the door to other encounters, and the next time we all met, we even added another Janeite to the party, author Caitlin Williams, whom I was lucky to meet a second time just last month, along with another group of amazing ladies.

But my Janeite meetings were not restricted to the UK, I crossed the ocean and met fellow blogger Claudine Pepe in New York City that same year.

And then, back in Europe, I had an opportunity to chat with some readers of my blog like Glynis and Sonia. I confess this was particularly touching for me because I might have met other authors and bloggers if I didn’t have my own blog, but I don’t think I would ever have met other readers, and I absolutely loved being with these ladies 🙂

This year, my janeite encounters continued and I met several writers such as Cassandra Grafton and Amanda Grange .

Travelled with writers Lory Lilian, Andreea Catana and editor Ellen Pickels.

 

And of course, through all this time, Ana and Joana were a constant in all Jane Austen related places 🙂

In fact, Joana was the one who introduced me to Mira Magdo, and later on I got to introduce Mira to Ana 🙂

The last day I was with Mira, I was telling her I had to prepare this post, because my blog anniversary was coming, and you’ll never guess what happened! We were on a train on our way to London, when we discovered that, in fact, we started our blogs exactly in the same day!!!

(Me and Mira seconds after discovering our blogs started exactly in the same day)

The 3rd of August 2015 saw 2 JAFF blogs come to life, From Pemberley to Milton and Obsessed With Mr. Darcy! And not only did we start our blogs on the same day, but we also published reviews of books from the same author, Abigail Reynolds. We could not believe the coincidence! So I would like to ask you to wish, along with me, a happy anniversary to Obsessed With Mr. Darcy! Congrats for such a fun and original blog Mira, I still love the tissues, chocolate and icecream things…

And of course, to celebrate our blog anniversary, we are doing a giveaway for our readers 🙂

 

 

As you, wonderful people, have been with me and Mira on this journey, you shared, liked, commented, entered giveaways, wrote us messages, etc,. We would like to offer one lucky winner a copy of The Darcy Monologues, signed by the editor Christina Boyd, and 3 authors: Lory Lilian, Joana Starnes and Caitlin Williams along with a Mr. Darcy Magnet. The giveaway is international and open until the 22nd of August.

You can enter by commenting on BOTH From Pemberley to Milton and Obsessed with Mr. Darcy‘s original wordpress posts. Good Luck!

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My Jane Austen Roadtrip – Chapter V – Pemberley dream & Giveaway

Hello dear readers,
If you read My Jane Austen Roadtrip Chapter IV post from last week, where I talked about my visit to Winchester, you know that two weeks ago I embarked on a most anticipated road trip across England. What I didn’t mention yet is that during this visit I discovered what would become my favourite place in the entire world, Lyme Park 🙂

Today I will tell you all about that part of my trip and share lots and lots of pictures.

I had been talking about visiting Lyme Park for ages, and even if Joana Starnes kept tempting me to go, and I would dearly love to visit it for the first time with her, I ended up visiting it with a very unexpected and international company! Because of the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death I discovered that author Lory Lilian was planning to visit the UK, one thing lead to the other and we decided to embark on a marvelous road trip together!

I landed in Manchester, and even if I dearly loved to visit Elizabeth Gaskell’s House, it wasn’t possible because of the opening hours, so I decided to leave Milton eh..Manchester for another time and got on a train headed to Stockport. That’s where I met for the first time Lory Lilian, her editor Ellen Pickels, and author Andreea Catana 🙂

One would think we would be embarrassed by meeting new people in a foreign land, but we are all janeites, so obviously that didn’t happen 🙂 We had a nice dinner, chatted, and planned the following day that would start in Pemberley!!! (I’m sorry, but for me Lyme Park will always be Pemberley and there is no other Pemberley than Lyme Park).

So the following morning saw us getting through the gates of Lyme Park in a very hysterical state! I would post the videos that prove how excited we were to be there, but I’m not sure the other ladies would ever forgive me 😉

Mira Magdo from Obsessed with Mr. Darcy joined us at the entrance and was the most magnificent guide we could have. She lead us through the gate that Mr. Darcy ran thought to prevent Elizabeth from leaving Pemberley, and patiently waited for us to take a thousand pictures from every possible angle, explained everything she knew about the place and took us to all relevant filming locations (she is a bit of na expert in it).

Visiting Lyme Park was a dream come true to me. It was the place I most wanted to visit and it did not disappoint. It is perfect in every possible way. I was expecting it to be glorious, beautiful, magnificent, but I never expected it to be so cozy and warm, especially, I never expected to feel so well there, so at peace. I felt I had come home (jokes about being the mistress of Pemberley aside).

There really aren’t enough words to explain how much I loved this place and people say a picture is better than a thousand words, so I won’t spend much time describing how marvelous our days in the North were, I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves 🙂

As you can see, my perspective of the house, followed by what I wish I could see…Mr. Darcy riding towards me…and yes, it’s hard to tell, but that is Colin Firth 🙂

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I know this is not the main view of the house, but entering the property and seeing this entrance where Elizabeth introduced the Gardiners to Mr. Darcy was the perfect first impression of the house 🙂 I stood there and looked at it for God knows how long…

 

But as you can imagine, the best was yet to come…Getting inside was truly a dream come true! If I stood a long time outside looking at the façade, imagine how long I stayed here trying to get the perfect picture and imagining Colin Firth eh..Mr. Darcy coming down those stairs in pursuit of Miss Elizabeth Bennet…You don’t remember that scene? Well, here it is:

How cool is it to be in this place?? And by the way, there is no way he could have gone to the house and get dressed without her leaving the house. It would take her only 3 minutes to go from the place she saw him in his wet shirt to where the carriage was, but hey, we’re glad he did 🙂

Now, I know the interior scenes of the 1995 BBC production were filmed at Sudbury Hall (that I missed because TAP cancelled my flight without even telling me about it because they didn’t have a plain….that’ts rigth…they didn’t have a plain and made me lose 10h of my day in the airport), but still, the interiors at Lyme Park were gorgeous and I could only imagine myself living there! Take a look at those windows on the library…I would spend my days sitting there and reading…and ocasionally looking at Mr. Darcy in his desk 🙂

But the place with the biggest impact on us was Mr. Darcy’s balcony! You see, this balcony is not usually open, but this day it was, so we got a chance to step in and see the marvelous view from the house. It is stunning and so inspiring…I’m sure both Andreea and Lory will get my point, right ladies? We want more stories…

 

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And do you see that gravel path behind me and Mira? Well…we’ll get there in due time 🙂

Before heading out, we decided to do something fun, and by fun I mean dress in regency clothes. It was our first time, so Mira who is now very used to this, helped us put the bonnets on, found us matching reticules etc, did I mention she was the best guide possible?

And when we did get out to walk in the gardens, we met Mira’s friends who were also visiting Pemberley 🙂 Now that we are acquainted I hope I can see them while attending a ball in the future 🙂

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Remember I was talking about the gravel path? Well, this is me with a huge smile on my face because I was actually walking in the same place where Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy walked when they met at Pemberley!!

If I made it this far without swooning, I think I’ll be able to handle the pond, don’t you think?

 

 

I could stay in that place the entire day just looking at the house. It really is magnificent and peaceful, but the pond awaited me and I think that at this point Mira and Andreea were getting tired of me taking so many pictures…I hope you’re not tired of seeing them because I still have a few others to show you 🙂

 

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On our way to the pond we found a place where I believe Elizabeth Bennet would stop to get some rest and read, so I couldn’t resist taking a picture 🙂

The truth is that it is not only the house that is beautiful, peaceful and that made me feel good, the entire property had that effect in me, and I wanted to show you a little of the grounds as well 🙂 Don’t you think the landscape is perfect? Anyway, we made it to the famous pond, and OMG…

Colin Firth didn’t really dive in it, but this was an iconic place and I would not have found it without Mira, so thank you again my friend!!! Oh…and if you look at my picture and the one where Mr. Darcy is taking his jacket off, you can see the trees are the same (huge grin on my face right now).

Too much wet shirt pics? Well… I couldn’t resist 🙂

Finally after all the excitement of seeing all these, and many other places, for the first time, me and Mira met author Amanda Grange who was the second JAFF author I ever read back in 2011. I took my copies of Mr. Darcy’s DiaryCaptain Wentworth’s Diary and Mr. Knightley’s Diary all the way from Portugal for her to sign and came back with those, plus another signed copy of Mr. Darcy’s Diary to giveaway to one of my readers 🙂 After all, I couldn’t have so much fun without sharing a little with you 🙂 It was a true pleasure meeting Amanda Grange as she wrote some of my favourite JAFF books and I was only sorry that our day at Pemberley was coming to an end, and that I didn’t have a copy of Colonel Brandon’s Diary.

But the fact that we had to leave Lyme Park didn’t mean that our day was about to end, by the contrary. At Stockport we got a chance to meet and have dinner with the lovely Glynis!!! I have to say this was definitely one of the highlights of the day 🙂 It was so, so, so nice meeting Glynis with whom I had only talked online 🙂 I met her in my blog and when I saw her face to face I felt we were already long time friends 🙂

She is a such a kind and nice lady! I am only sorry we only had a few hours together, but I know I will be seeing her the next time I visit Lyme Park, she is a neighbour after all 🙂 Lucky girl…

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The following day we could not resist and returned to Lyme Park to visit the grounds once more, and enjoy the views without all the excitement of the first day. It was amazing, for sure, but our emotions were a train wreck and we wanted to re-visit all those wonderful places in Lyme Park for the pleasure of walking in those beautiful places and not because of Pride & Prejudice.

We saw some places we missed in the first day and went a little further on our walks (we were on Elizabeth Benet mode).

It was really nice to walk with Andreea in the grounds on that glorious sunny day and discuss her upcoming P&P variation Meant to Be.

I did mention we were on Elizabeth Bennet mode, didn’t I? Of course we had to walk exactly in the same places she walked, and obviously we were thinking exactly the same thing she was…Of all this I could have been mistress…

 

And so our visit ended with no Mr. Darcy to stop us from leaving… But Lyme Park came in my heart all the way back to Portugal. It really is a wonderful place with which I connected immediately. I usually only feel this good in Paris. I don’t really know why, but I always feel well and at peace in Paris, and in Lyme Park I felt exactly the same. I know I will go back one day because it really became my favourite place on earth. I feel I am supposed to be there.

lyme house

We started our journey back south, but first we made a stop in Derbyshire to visit Chatsworth House. After all, it was Pemberley day!

I am clearly a 95 adaptation girl, and Lyme park will always be Pemberley to me, but I confess that when we were arriving at Chatsworth I could hear Jane Austen’s words in my mind “the eye was instantly caught by Pemberley House, situated on the opposite side of a valley , into which the road with some abruptness wound. It was a large, handsome stone building, standing well on rising ground, and backed by a ridge of high woody hills; and in front, a stream of some natural importance was swelled into greater, but without any artificial appearance. Its banks were neither formal nor falsely adorned” and just like Elizabeth I “had never seen a place for which nature had done more, or where natural beauty had been so little counteracted by an awkward taste”.

The grounds were also incredibly beautiful but not as peaceful and cozy as in Lyme Park, and even if I did like visiting this place, I didn’t feel so good in it. It was just another beautiful place to me, but I guess I am partial to Lyme Park.

However, the entire place was impressive, even the stables were huge!! We had some lunch in the old stables and drove to Winchester leaving Derbyshire and both Pemberley’s behind us…

And this was the end of Chapter V. I hope you liked seeing all these photos and to have a Chapter VI to share with you soon, until then, it is giveaway time!

 

NEW giveaaway time

 

I had so much fun during those 3 days that I felt I had to share some of my joy with my readers, so today I am offering 3 paperbacks to 3 different readers :

The giveaway is international and will end on the 10th of August. I will randomly select two readers from the comments left on this post and one from my list of followers, so if you want to double your chances of winning, and you are not yet following From Pemberley to Milton, just click on the follow button on the bottom of the home page.

Good luck everyone!

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When We Are Married Review & Giveaway

Hello everyone,

From Pemberley to Milton is the final stop of the blog tour for Caitlin Williams’s latest book, When We Are Married. I am very, very honoured to be a part of this blog tour because Caitlin Williams has clearly become one of my favourite authors, so I would like to give a special thank you to Claudine Pepe for inviting me to participate in this tour.

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My Review:

Do you know when you’ve read several stories from an author and you know exactly what to expect? Let me start by saying that’s not what you’ll feel when you read a book penned by Caitlin Williams!

I read Ardently when it got released and it became immediately one of my favourite books. When The Coming of Age of Elizabeth Bennet came out, I was eager to read it, expecting something similar to her debut novel, but the book couldn’t have been more different. When her story opened The Darcy Monologues anthology, the writing style amazed me, it was different from what she had written before, it was intense, powerful and I loved it! And finally this month, When We Are Married came into my hands, and I was once more caught by surprise with Caitlin Williams’s writing! Mark my words, this author will amaze you at every turn! It is incredible how easily she goes from one writing style into another never-failing to capture us to the fullest with each story!

When We Are Married is starts as a light, funny story that couldn’t have been more different from The Coming of Age of Elizabeth Bennet, and will make you laugh out loud with Elizabeth’s thoughts and Maria’s comments throughout the book. I don’t remember laughing so much as I did when, on the home from Darcy’s house, Maria says “the food was very nice” (you’ll find it funny too when you read it in context).

But the book is not merely humorous, it is so much more than that, it is an incredible romance full of electrifying moments between Darcy and Elizabeth. The relationship they develop from the first pages is beautiful, but they will not find it easy to be together. They will have to overcome some obstacles, and the angsty path they take to HEA will only make their reunion even more intense and passionate! In fact, passionate is a good word to describe Darcy in this book. He is romantic, charismatic, charming, funny, interesting, caring… I could go on, and on…This Darcy was unforgettable.  He definitely knows how to make a lady feel loved by him, and will not give up on his love easily. The strength of character he shows by pursuing Elizabeth made me love him at every page. Who can resist a Darcy who will go anywhere for Elizabeth?

One of the things I like the most when reading a JAFF book is to feel that the author sees the characters and their relationships exactly as I do, that always happens with Caitlin Williams and When We Are Married is no exception. Darcy is just as I imagine him to be, and so is Elizabeth. The way the author describes these characters and their relationship follows exactly my thoughts, and I felt this incredible need to underline several passages, such as the one below:

 

“He required a true, honest companion, a partner, someone to share his burdens. Elizabeth was as much capable of ruffling his feathers as she was of soothing them down again. She was imperfectly perfect”

 

Isn’t this sentence perfect? I felt it described exactly what I think of their relationship 🙂

When We Are Married is one of those books you will not be able to put down once you start reading. It will make you laugh and cry, it will make you dream and comfort you. It was the book that gave me more pleasure to read this year, and I can see myself re-reading it in the near future.

If you haven’t read it yet, you must. In it you will find characters with  interesting and unexpected evolutions, the complexity of sisterly relationships, misunderstandings that make it a page turner and an unforgettable romance 🙂 I rate it at 5 because I can not give it a higher rating, this book can not be missed.

You can buy this book on:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk


 

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Caitlin Williams is the author of two novels, Ardently and the best-selling The Coming of Age of Elizabeth Bennet, both based on the characters from Pride and Prejudice. She’s a lifelong Austen devotee and lover of all things regency.

Originally from South London, Caitlin spent thirteen years as a detective in the Metropolitan Police, but is currently on a break from Scotland Yard so she can spend more time at home with her two children and write.

You can find her on the following media links:

Facebook / Caitlin Williams

Goodreads Author Page / Caitlin Williams

Amazon Author Page

Austen Variations


 

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If you’ve missed the other stops, there is still time to read what everyone is saying about this book 🙂

July 21 Austenesque Reviews / Guest Post Launch & Giveaway

July 22 Of Pens & Pages / Book Review & Giveaway

July 23 Just Jane 1813 / Book Review & Giveaway

July 24 More Agreeably Engaged /  Book Review & Giveaway

July 25 My Vices & Weaknesses / Excerpt Post & Giveaway

July 26 Babblings of a Bookworm / Book Review & Giveaway

July 27 From Pemberley to Milton / Book Review & Giveaway


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Caitlin William would like to give away 1 copy of When We Are Married to one of my readers.

Please comment this post until the 4th of August to be included in the giveaway. The giveaway is international and the winners will be announced shortly after that. Please make sure you follow the blog to guarantee you receive an e-mail advising you if you were the lucky winner 🙂

Good Luck everyone!

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An Interview with Cassandra Grafton & Giveaway

Hello everyone,

If you’ve read my last post, you know I was very lucky to meet Cassandra Grafton in Winchester last week. Ever since reading A Fair Prospect, I wanted to meet Cassandra and place her a few questions. Now, with all the celebrations occuring in Winchester, and with the release of A Quest for Mr. Darcy, I got a chance to finally meet and interview her.

I hope you enjoy this interview where she goes from her love for Jane Austen, how she discovered fan fiction and what we can expect from her latest book, A Quest for Mr. Darcy.

Thank you so much for your company last week, and for visiting From Pemberley to Milton Cassandra! It was delightful to have you here for the first time, and I hope it will not be the last 🙂

(Me and Cassandra in Winchester last week)

 

 

Rita! Thank you so much for this fun discussion! It was just lovely meeting you in person in Winchester on such a significant date as the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s passing, and I will cherish the memories forever. ❤

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Thank you Cassandra! It was lovely meeting you too! We’ve discussed many things already, but I have yet asked, how did Jane Austen influence your life?

Oh gosh, where do I begin? I first discovered Jane Austen and her works when I was 15 (that’s rather a long time ago!), and even now, every time I re-read one of her books, I take something new from it.

She speaks such wisdom through her characters (not all of them, of course!), and I never cease to be amazed at how relevant her stories are today and how her words resonate here in the 21st century.

It has to be said, however, that the biggest influence is far more personal. By nature, I am an introvert, and I’m a pretty solitary person when it comes to writing, but Jane Austen has persuaded me out of my comfort zone to attend events and meet-ups where I have been able to connect with some lovely people – many of whom I’ve encountered online – and who have since become hugely significant to me. My life has been enriched beyond measure as a result, and I only wish I could thank Miss Austen in person!

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And what inspired you to go from reading Jane Austen to writing JAFF?

I’d discovered the world of fan fiction in the early 2000s when I’d ventured into the online Harry Potter community during the three long years between books 4 and 5. I started to co-write Harry Potter fan fiction with Ada, a new friend I made online, and it was such fun!

Becoming curious about similar online communities, I began to look around for those connected to my favourite author and found several sites dedicated not just to the lady but also to writing JAFF!

After co-writing so many short stories inspired by Harry Potter, I finally decided it was time to try my hand at a full length one inspired by Jane Austen’s characters, and so I began A Fair Prospect.

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Following A Fair Prospect you wrote a Jane Austen inspired, but non-JAFF book, called The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen, but now you are back to JAFF with the recently released Mr. Darcy’s Quest, what can you tell us about it?

It follows the premise that Darcy does not go home to Derbyshire in the August following his rejection by Elizabeth but instead he goes abroad, taking his sister with him. Not around to ‘save the day’ when Lydia elopes with Wickham, the story begins as we discover the aftermath of that and its impact upon those affected.

Darcy is returning to England a year later, convinced he is over his foolish infatuation with Elizabeth and determined to do his duty, both to the estate of which he is guardian and to his sister: he intends to secure a wife and without delay.

Soon restored to his home in Derbyshire, he puts his quest in motion, preparing to welcome guests from Town, one of whom is a suitably eligible young lady he has earmarked as his future wife.

But it seems there are new tenants on the estate – tenants named Bennet. Could it be coincidence, or is his path fated to cross with Elizabeth’s once more?

With the addition of his friend, 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.

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The mysterious letters and the shadowy figure bring some mystery to the book. Is this a genre you would like to develop?

Very much so! I didn’t realise how much I enjoyed the mystery genre until I co-wrote The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen with Ada Bright. It was so much fun. In fact, the mystery was the main element to that story, with the romance very subtle and underlying (though the sequel will expand on that). With Quest, I loved interweaving the mysterious elements with Darcy and Elizabeth’s growing awareness of each other’s feelings.

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But the main focus remains romance, right? What can we expect from Darcy and Elizabeth in this book?

Oh yes! I’m a complete romance geek at heart! I’ve always loved the dance of Darcy and Elizabeth’s courtship, how they move away from each other, then towards each other, then back again, only perhaps not so far, and slowly their steps become in tandem, until they are in each other’s arms. Sigh…

In this story, although Elizabeth read Darcy’s letter, she has seen nothing of him since the moment he put it into her hands, almost eighteen months ago. She is carrying some resentment towards him for keeping Wickham’s nature secret from the Meryton populace because of the impact upon her family and also is fighting her discomfort over how it is going to feel to meet with him again now she lives nearby. However, she has also realised how she misjudged him, and is daily reminded of his value by those in Derbyshire who hold him in great esteem, so she is in conflict with herself when they become reacquainted.

Darcy has convinced himself he is over his feelings for Elizabeth, dismissing them as a foolish infatuation. He believes he has himself under good regulation, but how long will his armour remain intact? I’m not going to say!

 

This story starts later than the majority of variations, why did you choose this approach?

My favourite JAFF stories take place after the first proposal has gone so disastrously wrong, so I knew I would continue in that vein. The first idea for the story came from a line in A Fair Prospect. Elizabeth is commenting on the fact poor Darcy seems unable to escape her, their having unexpectedly met again – post proposal – in Kent, London and finally Bath. She remarks jokingly that she will likely return home to Longbourn to find her father planning to move them all to Derbyshire.

This idea seemed like it had a lot of potential for fun and, sorry Darcy, also for throwing a few challenges in his direction! How to make it happen, though? Providing a reason for such a thing to take place was key, as it had to have some logic behind it to be credible enough. Darcy not having been around to step in when Lydia eloped seemed the obvious answer, and so I sent him away, hence the story taking place a year later.

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Readers will find Mr. Bingley’s sisters a little different than usual, what can you tell us about them?

The idea of Bingley having five sisters came from Jane Austen herself, or rather from a scene in Pride & Prejudice where Lady Lucas is speculating with Mrs Bennet about the rumours surrounding the number of ladies and gentlemen Mr Bingley will bring to the Meryton assembly.

Here it is:

‘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.’

Volume I, Chapter 3

I reasoned that although the early surmising was gossip, the latter comment above is after Bingley has returned from London with his guests, so the likelihood is it could have some truth to it. Just because only two sisters came to the assembly didn’t necessarily mean there weren’t three still at home at Netherfield. It therefore stood to reason they were younger otherwise they would have attended.

I decided Bingley’s mother had passed away when he was young and his father had remarried, having three girls, the twins, Olivia and Viola and a younger sister, Julia.

It is the twins who feature in the story, and I’m hoping readers will grow to love them! All I can say is, they are nothing like their elder sisters!

Mrs Hurst and Miss Bingley do of course feature briefly, but they remain pretty much the same as in the original novel!

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While reading the book I noticed some interesting names from secondary characters such as Thornton and Latimer. Was this a coincidence, or are you also a North and South fan?

Absolutely, Rita! I’m a huge North & South fan!

One of the many things I enjoy when writing is naming my characters, and I love it when friends and family say how fun they found it to find themselves or a family member mentioned in some form or another.

However, I do also love using names from other works of literature I have enjoyed. I did knowingly, therefore, use some from North & South such as Higgins and Latimer. As for Thornton, Darcy’s valet, he has an entire back-story though it’s not relevant to this story.

In brief, he is the grandfather of our lovely John Thornton (big sigh)! The family has always been in service and proud of its history of serving some of the country’s most significant families, but he has become estranged from his only son (John Thornton’s father) who has turned his back on the family tradition to try his hand in trade. Working his way up from a clerical apprentice, he has recently started his own small business in Lancashire. The John Thornton we know and love has yet to be born!

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Thank you so much, Rita, for asking your great questions. I had a lot of fun answering them!

 


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A fan of Jane Austen since her long-distant school days, Cassandra Grafton has been indulging her appetite for all things Austen for many years. Having long wanted to be a writer, she began publishing her endeavours in 2013. A Fair Prospect, a Pride & Prejudice-inspired Regency romance, was released in three volumes.

She then went on to be part of the co-writing team on The Darcy Brothers, another Austen-inspired historical novel, before settling down to co-write with one of her best friends.

The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen, a contemporary mystery/romance, was released in July 2016 under the names of Ada Bright and Cass Grafton.

A former college lecturer and PA, Cassandra has lived in three countries, and loves travelling, reading, cats and dry wine (and she combines most of these as often as she can!)

She has two grown up children and splits her time between Switzerland, where she lives with her husband, and England, where she lives with her characters.

She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, the Society of Authors, the Jane Austen Society UK and is a founding member of the Jane Austen Society of Switzerland.

 


 

 

Cassandra Grafton would love to offer a giveaway – open internationally – of a copy of A Quest for Mr. Darcy (eBook or paperback, winner’s choice), plus some Jane Austen goodies from the gift shop at Jane Austen’s House Museum, namely:

  • Jane Austen 200 pen and key ring
  • Jane Austen compact mirror
  • Jane Austen lip balm
  • Miniature Pride & Prejudice
  • Set of 20 Jane Austen bookplates

 

The giveaway is open until the 4th of August and to be eligible all you have to do is comment on this post. Share your thoughts with us or place Cassandra your own questions.

The winner will be announced on this blog shortly after the 4th of August. Please follow the blog to make sure you receive an e-mail with the name of the winner. I would hate for people to miss a prize because they didn’t see they had won. Unfortunately this has happened in the past and I’m trying to avoid it from happening again 🙂

Good Luck everyone!

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My Jane Austen Road Trip – Chapter IV

Hello dear readers,

Today one of the most wonderful weeks that I have ever lived comes to an end. As you know we have celebrated Jane Austen’s live and work throughout this past week due to the 200th anniversary of her death on the 18th of July, and as most events were taking place in England, that’s where I chose to be this last week.

I’ve been in England many times and I had visited several places related to Jane Austen, but this was the first big road trip completely dedicated to Jane Austen that I have done. I’ve met lots of amazing people, reconnected with old acquaintances and participated in some ceremonies that inspired me to write a few posts Austen related (bear with me for a while, I’ll be posting more than reviews in the upcoming weeks).

My trip started in Milton, er…sorry, Manchester.I would have loved to visit Elizabeth Gaskell’s home there, but as it is only open a few days a week, I didn’t have that chance. I was sad about it, but it means I have another reason to return to the area, so I have to look at the bright side of it. From Manchester I took the train to Stockport to meet for the first time author Lory Lilian, Andreea Catana and Ellen Pickels. These lovely ladies were my travel companions for several days and with them I visited Lyme Park, Chatsworth House and traveled south across the country to attend the religious ceremony in Winchester on the 18th of July. I’ll tell you all about our adventures in the North, but for now, I would like to share with you how it was to be in Winchester on such a memorable date.

We got to Winchester on the 17th, but the 18th was the big day! After breakfast we headed straight into the garden in front of Winchester Cathedral, took some pictures and were even interviewed by BBC radio, but the real fun started when our dear friends Joana Starnes and Mira Magdo from Obsessed with Mr. Darcy joined us for the day. With them we attended a recital in the Cathedral, and travelled the streets of Winchester to find the house where Jane Austen spent the last weeks of her life, and where she eventually died on the 18th of July.

The house is on 8 College Street but it is now a private house and can not be visited. It bears an oval plaque over the front door, placed there in 1956 and designed and executed by Esmond Burton.It is nowadays the only sign that tells us this is a very special house. In front of it lies a small garden with an Austen quote, and even if some people may miss it, we surely didn’t.

Jane Austen wrote to her nephew, James Edward Austen, “our Lodgings are very comfortable. We have a neat little Drawing room with a Bow-window overlooking D’ Gabell’s garden”, and even if this is not what people may see from the bow-window nowadays, I like to imagine Jane looking over this window.

After this walk, we headed back to the Winchester Cathedral where I met Cassandra Grafton author of A Fair Prospect trilogy and the recently released A Quest for Mr. Darcy. Together we attended to the unveil of the 10£ bank note with the presence of the 120th Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney.

Mr. Carney demonstrated a true knowledge of Austen’s life and work, making a charming and captivating speech, but he also shared some interesting aspects about the new 10 £ note. For example, on the front of the £10 polymer note there are two clusters of raised dots in the top left hand corner, this tactile feature will help blind and partially sighted people identify the value of the note. I also learned about a few details the new note will have, such as a finely detailed metallic image of Winchester Cathedral positioned over a see-through window, and a book-shaped copper foil patch which contains the letters JA. But the most controversial detail on the note is the quote “ I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading!”.

I have nothing against it, I know it was pronounced by Miss Bingley and that it was said in an ironic tone, but it remains a true statement nonetheless, and I find it appropriate for a note with the picture of a writer. What do you think? I know many people do not agree with this quote on the note, is that your case?

The bank note will only enter circulation in September, so I couldn’t come home with one, but thanks to Sophie Andrews, I did come home with a 2 £ coin :)) Do you have it already?

The coin was launched in locations that have a close connection to Jane Austen’s life but the design will only be released into wider circulation later this year. The coin is already being sold on Amazon, but the prices are excessive and the coin can be found at reduced prices in any Jane Austen related place, so if you visit places such as the Jane Austen House in Chawton, don’t miss the opportunity to have one of the first coins out there.

With this ceremony over it was time to eat something, get some rest and be prepared for the religious ceremony that took most of us there.

It was a beautiful ceremony fully dedicated to one of the greatest authors in England and I feel particularly honored to have been there to pay my tribute.

The entire day was wonderful with a beautiful weather, but once the ceremony was over, as if crying for Austen, the sky started pouring rain and we had to leave Winchester.

We ended up eating pizza, drinking god knows what and teaching eachother how to speak our native languages. I don’t think the day could have ended in a better way and I want to thank all these lovely ladies for putting up with me and my photos the entire day! Being in Winchester for Jane was absolutely unforgettable but it wouldn’t have been as special if I hadn’t shared all these moments with people who, just like me, were touched by Jane in so many ways 🙂

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I know that not everybody got a chance to go to Winchester to Jane Austen’s life, so I bring some tokens of the 200th anniversary to offer to one of my readers. As Persuasion was released in 1817, I thought it would be fitting to offer it along with a keyring, rubber and pencil commemorative of the date. I’ve also added an I love Jane pin, and  a bag of lavender I made at Jane Austen’s House in Chawton.

The giveaway is international, and all you have to do to be eligible for it is to leave your share your thoughts with us by commenting on this post. It will run until the 4th of August and the winner will be announced shortly after.

Good Luck everyone!

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