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The Exploits and Adventures of Miss Alethea Darcy [Paperback]

Elizabeth Aston
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

2 Feb 2006
Alethea, the youngest, most talented and high-spirited daughter of the Darcys, has married too hastily on the rebound. She soon discovers that her husband is not only a brute but that he has bizarre ideas about a wife's duty in the bedroom. She will have to flee, yet she knows he will pursue her. She must take drastic measures to foil his plans and protect herself. So Alethea sets out to cross the Channel, masquerading as one Aloysius Hawkins, gentleman. Accompanied only by her redoubtable maid, Figgins, her plan is to join her elder sister in Italy. But events - always dramatic and at times life threatening - conspire to keep the sisters apart. Until the mysterious Titus Manningtree, in Italy to pursue a lost Titian painting, takes a hand in her complicated affairs...

Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Orion; New Ed edition (2 Feb 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752877372
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752877372
  • Product Dimensions: 2.3 x 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 674,904 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Elizabeth Aston was born in Chile to an impeccably English father and a distinctly un-English Argentine mother. Educated by Benedictine nuns in Calcutta, Fabians in London, and Inklings at Oxford, she's lived in India, England, Malta and Italy.

Her Mountjoy books (originally published by Hodder, and now reissued as ebooks) were inspired by years of living in York, where her son was a chorister at the Minster. They depict the unholy, unquiet, and frequently unseemly goings-on of an imaginary northern cathedral city and its peculiar inhabitants, enhanced with a touch of magic and enchantment - Elizabeth Aston has always been fascinated by what lies just beyond our sight.

Her other books include the bestselling Darcy series - six historical romantic comedies set in the world of Jane Austen, and a contemporary novel, Writing Jane Austen. These were inspired by her love of Jane Austen - her heroes, her heroines and her wicked sense of humour.

Product Description

About the Author

Elizabeth Aston lives in Oxfordshire with her family.

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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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing 21 Feb 2006
By Helen Hancox TOP 500 REVIEWER
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Adventures in Europe 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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4.0 out of 5 stars Aston book 5 Oct 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It's always a pleasure to curl up and lose oneself in an Aston book. I am slowly working my way thru all she's written and having a wonderful read
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By Maggi F
I loved this book. I found the characters totally believable, as was the situation that the heroine found herself in. I loved the twist, it was something that I didn't expect and it got the heroine out of what could have been a difficult social hole. The pace was good - there was no soggy middle. I read it over two days - I had to get on with doing other things - but was oh so tempted to leave everything and read it in one go. I'm so glad that Elizabeth Aston has written others - I'm in for a great treat.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars It's just not an Austen 15 Aug 2006
By Eendje
I must agree with the previous writer. If you're looking for that Austen feeling (as I was), you'll be very disappointed. There's too much wrong with this book for it to qualify as an Austen sequel, that I will not even attempt to start a list.

If you're not an Austen fan and if you haven't read Pride and Prejudice and if you are just looking for a book that is slightly better romance novel, you may like this book. Otherwise: stay clear of it and save yourself the disappointment.
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