Excessively Diverted is a quick and pleasant read. I enjoyed it very much. -- From a Review by Linda Waldemar,The Republic of Pemberley 31st August,2002
I loved the new characters and almost forgot that they werent original to Pride and Prejudice. -- A pre-publication opinion of Excessively Diverted by J.D.Matthews July 2002
I was relieved that Juliette Shapiro wasnt tempted to inflict unhappiness on the newly married Darcys. -- An independent readers viewpoint. Jennifer Carrington 5th July 2002
I was shocked about Darcy and Wickham but was so enchanted by this lovely follow on that I now believe the events to be entirely possible. -- A shocked independant reader. Lynne Mc Bain 2002
"Pride,"observed Mary, who piqued herself upon the solidity of her reflections,"is a very common failing I believe."
Though it may not be universally acknowledged, it is a truth that the creation of one mans pleasure is oft the reason for anothers grief. Amongst others, this truth is well fixed.
On first coming into Hertfordshire, Mr Darcy was a single man, he possessed a large fortune and, although he may very well have overlooked the fact, these two defining features dictated that he was in want of nothing more than a wife.
When he married Elizabeth Bennet in the autumn of 1812, it was the cause of a great flow of feelings. The bride and groom were elated, the intricacies of both their natures entwined now so naturally that recollection of any past dislike of each other was avoided by the pair and discouraged in others. Oh, what a disagreeable and thoroughly inconvenient facility memory, particularly a good one, could be. Elizabeth often pondered on the sharpness and clarity with which acquaintances could summon up each detail of the past and, despite ones blushes and discomfort, warm up stale moments of embarrassment to be offered around for refreshment.
"To think Miss Eliza, how thoroughly objectionable you once found the fellow." remarked Sir William Lucas, the father of her dear friend Charlotte, on hearing news of Elizabeths engagement. How she had tried to argue, struggled to affirm the faults as all her own and contrived to persuade all cynics of her true affection for Darcy. Her elevation in status from country girl to mistress of Pemberley did nothing to dampen her spirits but had the effect, she often felt, of giving others the idea that she had married first for money and second for love. That she should be so misunderstood! What mercenary, feeble minds could think that she could fall in love with fortune? Oh! Such blindness was unforgivable. They had only to look at Darcy to understand her better, for how could she not love him and had not she begun, just a little, to love him before she had found the good sense even to like him? It was unacceptable to her that others could make the mistake she once had in misunderstanding him. For in every way that his appearance was pleasing Fitzwilliam Darcy was in equal part a genuine spirit. Elizabeth could have designed him no better. He was as handsome as he was good, he stood as tall in stature as he did in sound judgment and his particular tenderness, of which she was the only recipient, astonished her, took her breath and warmed her heart. No one could think, if they only knew the value of his affection, that the price for her soul could have been paid in pounds. Even ten thousand of them a year was too small a fee for a heart that had proved so hard to win as Elizabeths.
But think thus sceptical minds will and Mrs Darcy - how strange and thrilling that new title - wished sometimes that the only fortune she had gained was that of her husbands love. Oh, but how she adored Pemberley; the house so much a reflection of its master, the exact formality of its architecture and the natural freedom of its grounds in every way depicted him. The trees, the streams and the very earth were steeped in memories of the boy he had been, the air itself seemed to have soaked in the potent essence of his being so that even in his absence a sense of him could be felt. In his presence the house and the parkland came alive but appeared rested. Reassuringly safe under his governing eye. It was there, in the grounds that had formed the picturesque backdrop to his boyhood, that Fitzwilliam Darcy had introduced himself again as the man he had become. It was under the old oak that Pemberley first saw its master place a gentle kiss on his wifes cheek; by the stream she had coaxed his laughter from somewhere deep within and gradually Elizabeths own ready laughter had filled the fine rooms. United they were, Elizabeth and Darcy, by love, undeniably, and by being, in equal part, complicated, intelligent creatures who, they both conceded, were well suited, if only because there was no one else who could tolerate either of them so well as they did each other!
It is, however, folly to assume that perfect ingredients make for pictures of perfection. Where the united couple was at first reserved and subtle in any outward shew of feeling, the fervour of the brides mother provided ample compensation. Fervour of such enormity is best avoided if it cannot be extinguished and in certain cases, where there appears that little would be gained by attempting to induce composure, evasion of the enthusiast is advised...