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The Exploits and Adventures of Miss Alethea Darcy Hardcover – 26 Aug 2004

3.9 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Orion (26 Aug. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752852418
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752852416
  • Product Dimensions: 14.2 x 3.9 x 20.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,161,385 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Imagine poor Mr. Darcy with marriageable daughters of his own!...Aston takes us on a romp through late Regency society."-- Julia Barrett, author of "Jane Austen's Charlotte" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

A tremendously lively Regency novel - Georgette Heyer with a dash of Jane Austen - following the adventures of Alethea Darcy, the youngest daughter of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy.

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'Do not trouble to deny that my brother is in,' said Lady Jerrold as she stepped over the threshold of the house in Milburn Street. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I normally steer well clear of derivative fiction having heartily disliked Letters From Pemberley by Jane Dawkins. However, I had been lured back to this subgenre of novels by Pamela Aidan’s excellent series “Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman”.
This book, however, was a disappointment. Although some aspects of it I enjoyed, particularly the descriptions of travel across the Alps in Regency times (did you know they fitted sleigh runners to carriage wheels when in thick snow?), there were so many other parts of the book that I found annoying that I was relieved the finish the book and certainly won’t bother reading any others by this author if they’re of a similar ilk.
I suppose the main problem with writing books that are semi-sequels to great literature is that your characters are fixed. Elizabeth Aston avoids some of the difficulties by dealing with the next generation of characters – Darcy and Elizabeth’s five daughters. I imagine there will be a novel per daughter, and this is the second of them, I believe. “Mr Fitzwilliam” is the Colonel Fitzwilliam of Austen’s novel, although his character seems rather different than in the original. Apart from that Austen’s characters don’t appear in person although they are mentioned. This was a wise move as it theoretically helped the book to stand on its own merits.
Except it didn’t, as it didn’t have enough. When reading a follow-on to a classic novel, even if the characters are different members of known families I expect the overall feel and tenor to be the same. But this is not like reading another Jane Austen or a Georgette Heyer novel.
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Format: Paperback
I normally steer well clear of derivative fiction having heartily disliked Letters From Pemberley by Jane Dawkins. However, I had been lured back to this subgenre of novels by Pamela Aidan's excellent series "Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman".

This book, however, was a disappointment. Although some aspects of it I enjoyed, particularly the descriptions of travel across the Alps in Regency times (did you know they fitted sleigh runners to carriage wheels when in thick snow?), there were so many other parts of the book that I found annoying that I was relieved the finish the book and certainly won't bother reading any others by this author if they're of a similar ilk.

I suppose the main problem with writing books that are semi-sequels to great literature is that your characters are fixed. Elizabeth Aston avoids some of the difficulties by dealing with the next generation of characters - Darcy and Elizabeth's five daughters. I imagine there will be a novel per daughter, and this is the second of them, I believe. "Mr Fitzwilliam" is the Colonel Fitzwilliam of Austen's novel, although his character seems rather different than in the original. Apart from that Austen's characters don't appear in person although they are mentioned. This was a wise move as it theoretically helped the book to stand on its own merits.

Except it didn't, as it didn't have enough. When reading a follow-on to a classic novel, even if the characters are different members of known families I expect the overall feel and tenor to be the same. But this is not like reading another Jane Austen or a Georgette Heyer novel. Here sexual morality is very different - our heroine lost her virginity to a gentleman just before he got engaged to someone else.
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Format: Paperback
Having thoroughly enjoyed Mr Darcy's daughters, I decided to give this sequel a try. I was not dissappointed. What makes Aston so unique is that she does not try to follow the story of Elizabeth Bennett and Fitzwilliam Darcy. Instead she creates an entirely new set of characters (albeit the Daughter's of Mr Darcy) and lets their particular stories unfold.
As a true Austen fan and a student of literature such an approach is truly satisfying, as two of literatures most vivid characters are not altered beyond their original romantic ideal. Instead we get a lively account of the life of Alethea, the youngest of the five daughters and her adventures around the continent. Written using a largely Austen esque style, this novel still exudes the same emotions as one of Austen's own. The character of Alethea is startlingly similar to that of an early Elizabeth Bennett, and this is what makes this story so sucessful. In this stubborn yet passionate character I found myself engrossed in the world that Aston (and Austen) created.
Although not as sophisticated in literary terms as Austen's own work, (could it ever be?) this book is still worth a look. Great for readers who want a novel that goes a little bit further than most contemporary fiction.
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By Damaskcat HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 15 Dec. 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I cannot agree with the previous two reviews except that if you're looking for Jane Austen you won't find her here. I really enjoyed the book and found it entertaining and exciting - especially the episodes in the Alps and Italy. If you read this author's website you will see she is not intending to imitate Austen but to carry on the stories with the next generation. I think the characters are well drawn and the writing fluent. Titus Manningtree is an interesting character as is Alethea Darcy. There must have been people like her who were impatient of the contraints of society otherwise we would never have had the women's suffrage movement later in the same century. I believe the freedom allowed to widows was far greater than that allowed to single women at the time and Alethea would have been able to set up her own establishment and virtually do what she wanted - especially if she lived in Europe. So for me these were not jarring notes in the book. This in my opinion is the sort of book either Jane Austen or Georgette Heyer might have written if they'd been writing today. I recommend it.
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