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Letters from Pemberley (Pride & Prejudice Continues)
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42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on 25 May 2002
'A Continuation of Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice' the title says... this statement probably immediately misleads readers like myself of what to expect. It suggested a sequel to the classic romance- a brand new love story.
If you start the book with this assumption, I can tell you, you may instantly feel deceived. For when I read the first two letters of the book, I was bored, I felt nothing really happens, and the author was just repeating and worning out what was in the original storyline from the novel. At one point, I even felt I was tricked into buying the book.
It was not until I read Jane Dawkins' introduction at the beginning of the book that I started to appreciate this book. I realised what she was trying to achieve was a small 'patchwork' of writings that enhanced the original 'frock' (Pride & Prejudice), and she was not aiming to embark on a 'sequel' as it will be 'a brand new frock' altogether. With this new prospective in mind, I read on and found the book much more enjoyable and felt that Dawkins have fulfilled fully what she intended to do.
The book is split into a series of short but detailed letters, which is very handy, this makes it a very light, leisurely and pleasing read. Good for less mature readers as well as regular readers. Rather than being a 'sequel', it is like a collection of additional little extras, which makes the original book more appreciable.
Throughout the book, Dawkins had made a great effort to use Jane Austen's language. Her attempts were very successful, and sometimes created the illusion that this book had actually come from Austen's own pen.
She also stayed true to each of the original characters' natures and personalities. Elizabeth, as always, was sparking with immense intelligence and liveliness. Darcy's character continues to develop from haughty to amiable, as from where Jane Austen left us.
It was also evident that Dawkins had studied the novel carefully before writing her own. There were accurate references to the original plot that made 'Letter from Pemberley' an excellent, heart-warming and seamless addition to the original.
For me personally, 'Letters from Pemberley' is just like a personal collection of affectionate little letters that people keep.
A very worthwhile read if you are a big 'Pride & Prejudice' fan or just someone looking for something light and entertaining to follow 'Pride & Prejudice'.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 10 June 2000
Reviewer: Allison from Chicago, IL I just discovered this book after searching many Jane Austen sites. I immediately ordered it and have found it so delightful, that I want to tell you all. Ms. Dawkins' writing is the closest to Austen that I've seen in a long time. Of course, no one can be Jane herself, but this is almost as good. I always wondered what happens to Lizzy and Darcy, Jane and Bingley and, of course, dear Lydia. What a delight to read further into their lives, without any jarring 20th century interruptions. This is a fascinating read and I heartily recommend it to one and all!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 24 April 2002
A very sweet book, not Jane Austen, of course, but nevertheless, entertaining and light. Austen is, as the author states in her introduction, a never-ending fascination. We readers are hungry to learn more about Elizabeth, Darcy, Jane and the irrepressible Lydia. I would like to have seen letters written back to Lizzy, from Jane, Lydia and the others, but in spite of that I found the book lovely in every way. In dedicating her book to Austen, author Dawkins acknowledges the "countless hours of reading pleasure" she attained from our most famous Jane.
Letters from Pemberley adds more than a few wonderful moments from that charming time!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 30 October 1999
An impressive Jane Austen sequel I loved this sequel to Pride and Prejudice. Pride and Prejudice is my favorite book and as always I want to know what happens after the book ends!! I found Letters From Pemberley to be very true to Jane Austen's style of writing. I also enjoyed the story, everything that I had ever hoped would happen for Lizzy and Mr. Darcy happened and there was a very happy ending!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 4 September 1999
Jane Dawkins has done herself proud in this continuation of Austen's wonderful novel, Pride and Prejudice. She tells us about Elizabeth Bennet Darcy's first year as mistress of Pemberley through a series of letters to her sister, Jane. Enjoyable reading which captures the essence of Austen. One of the best!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 12 June 2001
I read this book on the heels of Jane Austen's masterly work and feel that it suffered somewhat as a consequence. It is a good book, nicely written and the story is very pleasing. What is lacks is depth. The characterisation is sparce and Mr Darcy comes across as somewhat two dimensional. As for Lizzy, she lacks some of the spirit we all love her for - despite heavy references to her 'satirical eye' there is not much evidence of her satirical tongue! However, nothing could come close to the original and this is perhaps about as close as it is possible to get. I would recommend the book but - Jane Austen it isn't!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 10 August 1999
"Letters From Pemberley" is an exquisitely structured epistolary which engages the reader, through delightment, in the possibility that Austen is not only alive, but penning another essentially English tale. Jane Dawkins, as author, has a gentle sense of humour which pervades the entire storyline. Readers will enjoy the familiarity of descriptions, characters and dialogue that have been interwoven throughout. Each letter of the new mistress of Pemberley sees her gaining in confidence as a wife befitting Mr. Darcy should become. She is faced with the concerns that would naturally have presented themselves to a lady of her station. A never ending fascination with Jane Austen is not only happily acknowledged in the introduction, but confirmed by this avid reader of all things not only English, but Austen, and definitely captured by Dawkins in "Letters From Pemberley."
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 7 February 2000
What better way to spend an afternoon than reading this continuation of Pride and Prejudice. Jane Dawkins has done a superlative job of capturing the essence of Austen in her portrayal of Lizzy Darcy (nee Bennet). I would not hesitate to recommend it to all Austen fans.
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on 6 July 2012
I really enjoyed reading Elizabeth's letters to her beloved Jane in this volume. It was also fun to spot all the 'Austenian' characters and phrases borrowed by the author in this 'patchwork', as Ms Dawkins describes it in her foreword. In her letters, Elizabeth gives her beloved Jane insights into her new life at Pemberley - from developments at the grand estate of which she is now mistress, to new friends and acquaintances, and of course to her marriage to Darcy. I especially enjoyed Elizabeth's retellings of some of her special moments with Darcy - subtly and sweetly told, with a charm that comes from the clever re-use of many of Austen's trademark phrases. Elizabeth is as witty, charming, lively and spirited as ever. The genuine affection between Elizabeth and Jane comes through beautifully in the letters, as does the strength of the attachment between the newlyweds, which is exactly what all 'Pride & Prejudice' lovers want to see.

My one quibble with this book was that sometimes Elizabeth's attitude towards her family, which based on my reading of 'Pride & Prejudice', I like to think of as 'fond sarcasm', seems to be more like 'scathing scorn and disdain'. Her complaints about her mother and younger sisters are sometimes a little too cutting, and even a little resentful and petty. While I recognise that Elizabeth found many of her mother and younger sisters' antics tiresome, and liked to mock them now and then, they were still very much a part of her family, and like most of us, she loved them warts and all and bore the burden of their often frustrating behaviour with a certain level of equanimity. I feel the author of this book gave the impression sometimes that Elizabeth would happily cut herself (and Jane, and her father) off from the rest of them if she could.

Also, whatever happened to Darcy's quest to engage the services of the elusive portrait artist? I enjoyed that thread quite a bit and was looking forward to the eventual resolution, but it never came.

Apart from those points, I very much enjoyed this collection of witty, sweet letters, and I am very much looking forward to reading the sequel.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 21 February 2002
...I have been very disappointed. While I was expecting a story that told of the relationship between Elisabeth and Mr Darcy after their wedding, I met with a collection of letters full of empty pleasantry. Half of the book is comprised of Elisabeth's yearning for the company of her dear sister; her meetings with Austen's majors characters from her other novels (Emma, Sense and Sensibility) offers nothing exciting. It's just the repetition of the facts from those novels and full of "I found Morland Sisters (Eleanor and Marianne from Sense and Sensibility) very agreeable" or Daleys (Mr Knightley and Emma from Emma) are the happiest of couples". There are very few details about Eliza and Darcy's relationship, the letters are just a narrative of ordinary everyday events. Unlike Jane Austen's style, they include no dialogues;there is not the shadow of her witticisms and although I read the book from beginning to end in a very short time, I didn't find it interesting or exciting at all! Also I am surprised that Eliza is so anxious about the opinions of Darcy's acquaintance and she is so diffident! It's not like Lizzy at all. As a whole, I find "The Sequel to P&P" rather weak and without spirit.
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