Darcy porn cont'd

9

Written on Wednesday, February 07, 2007 by Jessica

This is just another Austen rant, so you're forgiven if you can't bear to plow through it.

I'm beginning to suspect that Linda Berdoll, the author of Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife, a so-called sequel to Pride and Prejudice, never even read the novel. Is it possible that she might skip the novel in favor of the miniseries, as do so many literature students? It's as if she read the first several chapters to familiarize herself with Austen's style and then tossed it aside. Her brief bio admits that "her interest in all things Austen was piqued by the BBC/A&E mini-series."

Certain telltale signs reveal that her story builds upon the miniseries, not the novel. For example, Mr. Collins is described as having "a perpetually most upper lip" which he must dab with a handkerchief drawn "from his sleeve." This characteristic doesn't exist in the novel, but in the miniseries we do in fact see him running around with a handkerchief in his sleeve that he uses to dab perspiration. And thus far, there is no mention of Mr. and Mrs. Collins's baby -- alluded to in the novel by a reference to a "young olive branch." The young olive branch might have been noted in the miniseries, but if so, Berdoll obviously overlooked it.

And the most aggregious violation of all, the one that prompted me to rant in this post: After Miss Darcy publishes a novel in Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife, Mr. Collins beings to fawn all over her, as if the publication of a novel gave her prestige. (Obviously it does not, because she is forced to use a pseudonym. The publication of novels is inappropriate for ladies.) He even produces storylines that he hopes she'll use in her future novels. This is completely opposite Mr. Collins's established character. In the orignal novel, he offers one night to read to the Miss Bennets. Someone suggests a novel, but he "protested that he never read novels." Novels were looked down upon as degenerate, especially by the clergy, who thought the racy storylines corrupted the sensibilities of the congregation. Therefore, Mr. Collins would have been quite disturbed to learn that Miss Darcy had taken to writing novels and would have "most strenuously advised against it," I am sure.

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9 Comments

  1. Shana |

    I think you need a new career -- how about as an editor who specializes in P&P "sequels"? You could have whipped that book into proper shape. Or -- here's a thought -- maybe you should write a sequel of your own.

     
  2. Christina |

    You go girl! I must confess it has been ages since I read Pride and Prejudice!

     
  3. Jessica |

    Editor -- possibly my dream job. As far as writing my own sequel, I'm forced to admit that it's much easier to criticize the work of others. :) But yes, perhaps I really will give it a go.

    Christina, you should read it again! P&P is so much fun.

     
  4. Zoe Matthews-Aguilar |

    Do you even have time to read anymore Jessica?

    I thought Avoiding Baby's Daddy advances and trying not get your nipples bitten off by Seth was a full time job?

    Well, I would hate for anybody to write a sequel to "Precious Bane" by Mary Webb.

    If you loved P&P, you would love P&B!!

     
  5. That Blue Girl |

    I've never read the book or watched the series. Everytime I see "Mr. Darcy" it makes me think of that movie....oh yeah, "Bridget Jones Diary". Isn't the one character's name Darcy or Mr. Darcy? (maybe it isn't and I'm just making up an association to the movie in my mind)

     
  6. Jessica |

    Yes, Zoe, it's true. The above-mentioned activities have indeed kept me busy.

    I have found an online copy of Precious Bane that I will somehow find the time to read.

    Blue Girl, please excuse me for a moment while I gasp in dismay. Never read P&P? Say it ain't so. You should read it! I know you'll love it! (Of course, that's what Meg Ryan's character says to Tom Hanks's character in You've Got Mail, and he hated it -- but he's a guy, so of course he hates it.)

    As it happens, Bridget Jones's Diary is loosely based on P&P. The character Mark Darcy is played by actor Colin Firth, who also played Mr. Darcy in the A&E/BBC miniseries. It wasn't a coincidence. They got Colin Firth specifically because he's now known as the definitive Mr. Darcy. And he was MUCH more handsome in P&P than Bridget Jones's Diary.

     
  7. That Blue Girl |

    *blushing in embarassment* I guess I have some reading to do.

     
  8. Jessica |

    Oh no! I wasn't trying to embarrass you into reading P&P! So sorry. If you stop blushing, I'll feel so much better. :)

     
  9. Cassidy |

    I would totally read your sequel to P&P!

    Though I do have to confess that I love the A&E movie ;)

     

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