Mr. Darcy’s Daughters by Elizabeth Aston

One of my goals this year is to read and review older Austenesque books, so I thought that Mr. Darcy’s Daughters by Elizabeth Aston would be a good place to start as it was published in 2003.

The story begins twenty years after Pride and Prejudice left off and tells us the story of Mr. Darcy’s daughters first season in London. Similarly to the Bennets, there are five Darcy girls, Letitia who is the eldest, Camilla who is similar to her mother Elizabeth, Georgina and Belle who are twins, and Alethea, the youngest. The girls also have some brothers but they are only mentioned in the story, just like Darcy and Elizabeth who are in Constantinople and do not make an appearance.

When I started reading this book, I knew that Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth would not be at the centre of the stage, but I was not expecting them to be completely missing from the story, which was a minor quibble I had with the book. Even if it was necessary for them to be absent for the plot to work, I still missed their presence, especially because all the other characters were new to me. In fact, because we were introduced to so many new characters in the beginning of the book, not only the girls, but also their relatives, friends and acquaintances, it was very hard for me to feel any real attachment to any of them, and for the greatest part of the book I was not very engaged with either the characters or the story.

In terms of characters there were a few I liked and a few I disliked. Aunt Lydia, for example, was really fun to be around with (Wickham is long gone), and Wytton was certainly the best character in this book with his resemblance to Darcy in terms of personality (even if I cannot understand his fickleness of heart). But Fitzwilliam was a despicable character I could not enjoy due to his coldness and obtuseness, and Sophie was truly annoying which is a strange fact to accept when I think she is the Gardiners daughter. The same applies to Mr. Darcy’s daughters whom I could not like. Their behaviour was scandalous and not at all what I would imagine from girls raised by Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet. The only one I started caring a little about was Camilla, and that was only towards the end of the book.

In terms of plot, I think the idea was interesting and it was nice to see a little more of the ton, but what I enjoyed the most was Camilla’s romance towards the end. If the book had been only about that I think I would love it very much, however, there were too many scandals and elopements for my taste in this story. It was mainly this exaggeration of scandalous behaviours from Mr. Darcy’s daughters that made me dislike the general plot. I am not particularly fond of Lydia, so seeing so many of Darcy’s daughters having Lydia like behaviours was truly a disappointment for me.

Mr. Darcy’s Daughters is a very well written book released at a time when not many ventured into Jane Austen Fan Fiction. It has its own merits for bringing to live so many new and different characters but unfortunately, the exaggeration of certain behaviours coming from certain characters, the farfetched explanations and the language that was often used prevented me from enjoying it more.

 

You can find Mr. Darcy’s Daughters at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and on Audible

23 Comments

Filed under JAFF

23 responses to “Mr. Darcy’s Daughters by Elizabeth Aston

  1. Glynis

    I simply can’t believe that Darcy and Elizabeth would not be present for the season if their daughters were taking part. So out of character! As is the idea of misbehaviour, so this isn’t something I would read I’m afraid.
    I think you’re very dedicated Rita to read these older books and thank you for your honest opinion.

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    • This is a very famous book Glynis so I thought I would love it, but I didn’t feel engaged during most of the book, and when instantes liking Camilla and was more engaged in the story, the other sisters all started behaving like Lydia with elopments etc. I also didn’t picture Mr. Darcy’s daughters like that… so… yeah, I didn’t love it. But it is very well written and it was one of the first out there, so I believe some readers may enjoy it. Unliked parts of it for sure, but as a whole, not that much.

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  2. Christina Boyd

    When I first read these when first published, I enjoyed for the stories and the writing—and frankly, not much D&E was available back then—but if someone is looking for a Darcy & Elizabeth story, these are not for them. Darcy and Elizabeth are very off stage, with them making an appearance less and less as you read the books. The titles always say “Mr Darcy” but he usually only has a line or two. But the writing is good.

    I would recommend Stephanie Barron’s Jane Austen Mystery series. Read them one after the other. Brilliant!

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    • I have read one of Stephanie Barron’s books this month for the first time and I like it Christina, I’ll review it shortly too 🙂 This one unfortunately I cannot say I enjoyed that much, and not just because it doesn’t have darcy and Elizabeth but because of the characters behaviors.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Michelle H

    Back when Audible had their Romance pkg. later called Audible Escape, I listened to a couple of these and just couldn’t finish them. Why did I start listening to the second one? To see if Camilla was going to be happy. Otherwise these stories might as well have been written as Regency Romance with the Darcy name taken out of it. Then I might have accepted the characters better, trying to better understand their foibles and insecurities, their sibling competition and jealousy. Like you I kept thinking, “Darcy and Elizabeth’s children? You’ve got to be kidding me.” Maybe that’s why they ran off to Constantinople. JOKE. That’s a ridiculous premise, as you stated.

    There’s another series of books (that go on and on) about the Darcys that take place about 20 yrs after P&P. Darcy and Elizabeth are very much present in those stories and I thought they were very good, if long. You really experienced the family connection, warmth and sibling support, and parental worries. I cannot remember the name of the author. If I figure that out I’ll let you know. You may already know. They are also older works.

    Quite a fair and honest review, Rita.

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    • Like you I have considered giving a shot at the next volume because I did like Camilla, but I don’t think she will be that present in the next ones so I may skip them. I also agree with you when you say this could be a regency romance without any connection to P&P, and I wouldn’t mind that if I had engaged with the characters, but Camilla and the romantic hero where the only ones I ended up liking. Lydia was fun too, but she’s Lydia… thanks for letting me know of the other story Michelle, if you remember the author, I’d like to give it a try 🙂

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  4. Michelle H

    Found them. The Pemberley Chronicles: A Companion Volume to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudic by Rebecca Ann Collins. There are 10 of them, all over 300 + pages. When I started the series they were available on KU, and no longer are. And to purchase them, for me, is too pricey. There are so many new ones I want. I think you would like the first couple though, at least.

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  5. sheilalmajczan

    I have 6 of this author’s stories in paperback and read them long before I started posting reviews. I may reread this one to post a review now that I see you have done so.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I would like to know what you think of this Sheila, I think that our opinion about books changes with time because we’ve read more and have more books with which to compare them, so you may even feel differently now then you did at the time.

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      • sheilalmajczan

        I pulled it off my shelf and have it sitting in front of me but so many other stories call out to me. When I see friends post 5 stars I just have to read those. I will get to it but want to see the order which the books I own were written in. If I am going to reread I want to start with the first one written. Thanks for getting back to me.

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  6. Sophia Rose

    I read this when it released and can barely remember it. I know I haven’t been in a rush to finish the series so I think I probably liked, but didn’t love it. I do agree that it was disappointing not to have the parents around.

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    • I was prepared for the parents not to be around, but I didn’t feel too engaged with the daughters and that was the main reason why I didn’t love it, but it is a nice novel, very well written, and I believe many readers will like it.

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  7. Xena Anne

    Thank you for reviewing an older book. There is so much new JAFF these days, that my earlier TBR’s get overlooked.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s true, and I think that some of the older books are real gems, that’s why I am trying to go back to those. I think I missed some of the older ones, and maybe other readers have missed them too, so this is a chance to get to know them 🙂

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  8. J. W. Garrett

    No way would Darcy and Elizabeth allow their daughters to behave in such a manner. Also, what the heck? Why would D&E leave their family to run amuck like that? They both know what can happen to young girls. Hello, Georgiana and Lydia are prime examples. I mean… I’m sorry, this certainly is not for me. Thanks, for the fantastic review.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Jeanne 🙂 This was clearly one of the first JAFF books that was released and I think that at the time JAFF wasn’t even a thing, so this book has the merit to go through uncharted waters, but it did not captivate me. It is a nice novel, and I did like some aspects of it, but I can’t say I loved it.

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  9. Jen D

    This is one of those books that I bought at a flea market cheaply and have been hesitant to read. I think I will read this one to see if I want to even consider reading the rest of the series. I hope I like it enough to explore the series.

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    • This one is well written and I do think all books can be read as stand alones, so you may even prefer one of the other books based on the premise. If you do start with this one, let me know what you think Jen 🙂

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  10. maryvad

    Hi Rita,
    Though this book of course has its merits,I must admit
    that I don’t think I’ll venture forth with it.
    My concentration hadn’t been what it was so to read a book
    without Darcy and Elizabeth taking centre stage would
    be a waste of time.
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on it.
    Stay safe. 🍀
    Mary.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I understand whay you say Mary, there are so many books out there that readers must choose wisely. I am reading more and more books without Elizabeth and Darcy, but that is beacuse I have already read hundreds of them by now and I trully need something different.

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  11. Great review, Rita! I love that you chose an older book to read, but I am sorry you did not like it more. I read this one back in the day (and remember liking it – especially Camilla and Wytton), but it was before my blog so I don’t have a review of it to remind myself more of what I liked or didn’t like about it. I do remember thinking of wanting to read the next in the series, but I read a chapter or two and decided I wasn’t interested enough in the characters to see it through.

    Looking forward to seeing which older release you read next!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Meredith! It wasn’t easy to write because being this one of the older books out there, it deserves to be treated fairly, but even though I enjoyed some parts of it, namely the Camilla/Wytton plotline, I didn’t love it and I had many quibbles with the story. I don’t think I will read any other book in the series either, I was hoping to do it before I read this one, but like you, I don’t think I’ll relate with the characters, so I’ll pass them on.
      Thank you for stopping by and commenting 🙂
      Oh…the next one I think will be Captain Wentworth Home from the Sea which is from 2011. Not as old as this one but already a decade old 🙂

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