A Little Whimsical in His Civilities – Guest Post by J. Marie Croft


Hello Dear readers,

Today I’m lucky to receive in From Pemberley to Milton J. Marie Croft with a guest post as part of her blog tour for A Little Whimsical in His Civilities.

Her guest post made me think about Mr. Darcy and whether he is whimsical or not. If someone told me that he was, I would immediately dismiss and deny it, but Mrs. Croft raised some interesting points, after all he does change a little…

I will leave you to read, think and comment J. Marie Croft’s, post, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did 🙂



Told entirely from Fitzwilliam Darcy’s point of view, J. Marie Croft’s humorous novella, A Little Whimsical in His Civilities, spans one moonlit, autumnal night upon the gentleman’s return to Hertfordshire in pursuit of Elizabeth Bennet.


“We take the turning which places us on Meryton’s main road, and—oh, gad! There it is—the base-court building which passes for an assembly hall in this godforsaken place. For me, the venue shall be either a heaven or a hell tonight. My palms grow clammy, my gut churns, and I regret that second helping of onion-laden vegetable pie forced on me before we left.”


Accompany Darcy as he, intent on reversing the disastrous first impression he made there, braves another Meryton assembly and seeks to win his heart’s desire.


***Guest Post***

Thanks, Rita, for allowing me the honour of writing a guest post for your blog. Because you’ve been so gracious … and brave (After all, one never knows what nonsense might leak forth from my pen!), your reward will be an entirely pun-free post. There’ll be no wordplay, I promise. But, because I’m a word nerd, this will be about words … or, at least, one in particular.

whimsical font

Within the pages of Pride and Prejudice, one of my favourite words is spoken by Mr. Gardiner while he, his wife, and Elizabeth are leaving Pemberley the first time.


“But perhaps he may be a little whimsical in his civilities,” replied her uncle. “Your great men often are; and therefore I shall not take him at his word about fishing, as he might change his mind another day, and warn me off his grounds.” ~ Jane Austen


When Austen used whimsical in that passage, she conveyed Mr. Gardiner’s leeriness of Mr. Darcy’s invitation to fish at the estate’s stream. He supposed such an eminent gentleman might be capricious – temperamental, changeable, unpredictable.


Whimsical may not be the first word one thinks of when asked to describe Fitzwilliam Darcy, but he is changeable. For the love of Elizabeth Bennet, he amends his ways and becomes a better man.


Accordingly, the word whimsical is used in the capricious context in my novella’s title. Albeit the outwardly well-mannered Mr. Darcy in that story might be described more aptly as a little snarky in his thoughts. For instance, initially he thinks of Mr. Jones as a pestiferous, hedge-born minnow. Later in the story, Mr. Jones is thought of as ‘the accommodating apothecary’. See? Mr. Darcy does change for the better, not only in his mind but in his outlook on life. He’s changeable.


I’m glad Austen used ‘whimsical’ instead of the more uncomplimentary ‘capricious’ (given to sudden and unaccountable changes of mood or behaviour). However, I prefer the word whimsical for its other meaning. Although Johnson’s Dictionary includes ‘freakish’, the second sense of whimsical is playfully quaint, oddly fanciful, unusual, especially in an appealing and amusing way.


Since fanciful means over-imaginative and unrealistic, some may say Pride and Prejudice’s Mr. Darcy is, indeed, whimsical in the fanciful sense — a ‘too-good-to-be-true’ fictional character.


He’s not all goodness, though. He has his peccadillos; and we all, at times, own churlish opinions. So, what insults, slurs, set-downs, or – heaven forbid! –bawdy thoughts might run through Mr. Darcy’s mind? Jane Austen gave us few clues as to what the gentleman was thinking. So I, rather audaciously, plunked myself inside the man’s head and changed the events following his and Bingley’s return to Hertfordshire in the autumn after Hunsford.


At one point in the novella, while thinking of (and lusting after) Elizabeth, Mr. Darcy dances with another young lady.


… I am so thankful you cannot read minds.

Casting me a distrustful glance, the lady tosses her head and looks away.

What? Oh God, you cannot read minds, can you? No, no, of course not.


Oh, Darcy, your dance partner can’t read your mind, but readers of A Little Whimsical in His Civilities certainly can.


Now I’d like to get inside your head and know your thoughts about the word whimsical and what it means to you. What sort of images does that word conjure up in your mind?


For me, whimsical often implies a sense of unworldliness, as in things mystical, imaginative, fantastic, or fey. Like this.

fairy & unicorn

These wooden dolls exemplify the playfully quaint kind of whimsy found in folk art.



All manner of quirky, off-the-wall (or dangling-from-the ceiling) items – such as whirligigs, zany sunglasses, or eye-catching umbrellas – might be considered whimsical.

witch legs


Then there’s the ethereal, delicate sort of whimsy … things like fireflies, dandelion fluff, and twinkly lights.

                                                                                           dandelion fireflies


Those images were gathered for my Pinterest board, What’s Whimsical? Have a look there, and see if you agree with my choices. Another board, A Little Whimsical in His Civilities features quotes from the novella accompanied by befitting imagery.

Your thoughts on Whimsical (the word, my Pinterest board, or my novella ) will be appreciated.


***Author Bio***

Marie Croft is a self-proclaimed word nerd and adherent of Jane Austen’s quote “Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery”. Her light-hearted novel, Love at First Slight(Meryton Press, 2013), her humorous short story, Spyglasses and Sunburns, in the Sun-Kissed: Effusions of Summeranthology (Meryton Press, 2015), and her novella, A Little Whimsical in His Civilities (Meryton Press, 2016) bear witness to Joanne’s fondness for Pride and Prejudice, wordplay, and laughter.





Amazon Author Page




Purchase A Little Whimsical in His Civilities by J. Marie Croft



It’s giveaway time!!!

Meryton Press is sponsoring a blog tour giveaway for A Little Whimsical in His Civilities. In in the end of the blog tour 8 winners (4 ebook & 4 paperback) will be randomly selected and contacted. To enter the giveaway click on the below link 🙂

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Blog Tour Schedule


2/8: Excerpt & Giveaway at My Jane Austen Book Club

2/9: Guest Post & Giveaway at Moonlight Reader

2/10: Review at Tomorrow is Another Day

2/11: Guest Post & Giveaway at So Little Time…

2/12: Excerpt at My Love for Jane Austen

2/13: Excerpt & Giveaway at More Agreeably Engaged

2/14: Guest Post & Giveaway at Liz’s Reading Life

2/15: Guest Post & Giveaway at From Pemberley to Milton

2/16: Review at Just Jane 1813

2/17: Review at Half Agony, Half Hope

2/18: Review at Margie’s Must Reads

2/19: Excerpt & Giveaway at Best Sellers and Best Stellars

2/20: Guest Post & Giveaway at Skipping Midnight

2/21: Guest Post & Giveaway at Babblings of a Bookworm

2/22: Guest Post & Giveaway at My Kids Led Me Back to Pride and Prejudice



Filed under giveaway, Pride and Prejudice, Uncategorized

26 responses to “A Little Whimsical in His Civilities – Guest Post by J. Marie Croft

  1. What a great post! Leave it to Uncle Gardiner to set the stage for such a lively novella!! My favorite part… Where the words stopping and stooping are used in a quick scene… Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Glynis

    Thanks for this review Rita. I really like the idea of this book as I do love reading Darcy’s thoughts. The word whimsical conjures up a lovely magical image to me. I look forward to reading this and thanks for the chance of a giveaway 😃

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Christina Boyd

    As always, such a clever post! Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pinterest is something I’m trying to keep away from as I know it would suck me in. Oh, I created an account but have used it hardly at all. Both of your boards are fantastic, Joanne. The first depicts my idea of whimsy pretty well. The second one illustrating quotes from the story made me smile and chuckle several times. The thought of a plethora of young bucks numbering just two still makes me smile now.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. love your whimsical pinterest board!


    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ginna

    Joanne, my definition for whimsical runs along the “oddly fanciful” bent. I would never attribute “capricious” as a definition, though I can see how it would fit where Uncle Gardiner used it.

    So, when thinking of my definition, the image in my mind would obviously be pink yard flamingoes.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks again, Rita, for participating in the Whimsical blog tour. And thanks for making my guest post look nice.
    So, what image does the word ‘whimsical’ conjure up for you?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for being such a nice, interesting and participative host J. Marie! It was a true pleasure having you at From Pemberley to Milton!
      For me whimsical is connected to something magical, mysterious and from a different realm. Maybe it’s because English is not my mother language, but to me whimsical is definitely magical 🙂 I could associate the word quite easily to your wooden dolls :))


  8. I do not a Pinterest, so I will use what you have created for this post. Whimsical to me is like fairies and laughter. It is quirky and fun.

    I look forward to reading this book. Thanks for the chance of a winning it.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Sophia Rose

    Engaging post and love how a quote from Mr. Gardiner set it all rolling forward. I think of whimsical as when a person does sometimes surprising and startling things though mildly and not with a motive of selfishness or harm. Not usually a behavior that can be predicted. That sort of thing. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I do love the word whimsical and the imagery you provide goes very much towards my own 🙂
    I also think of tightrope walkers, dancing up high, somewhat…whimsically, I guess xD something kind of circus-y, maybe Cirque du Soleil-esque, can’t explain better xD

    I am in fact very curious about this book – especially since you mentioned you are a word nerd and like to use ouns (I’m a sucker for a good pun!) – looking forward to read it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You love the word ‘whimsical’ AND you enjoy puns?
      Hello, my new best friend.
      Yes, I think Cirque du Soleil would qualify as whimsical … which reminds me … Did you hear about the circus performer who pulled his trapezius muscles? Now he’s flying high on pain meds.
      Did I just hear a groan?

      Liked by 2 people

  11. To me whimsical implies flighty, though not to sure that implies to Darcy – looked at the pinterest boards and have followed to look at later

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Dung

    I didn’t realize that the word whimsical could have so many meanings… Your examples all make sense. It gives off different meanings base on the contexts of the situation.

    Liked by 1 person

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