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69 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another classic from Birchall
Diana Birchall's previous offerings in the literary world have been the delightful pieces on Mrs Elton and her highly acclaimed biography of her " Bad Grandmother " the first Asian American novelist Winifred Eaton.
Reading Mrs Darcy's Dilemma is rather like returning home to old friends after living abroad for 25 years. Although the main characters from Pride and...
Published on 2 July 2004 by B. Benneworth

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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Mrs Darcy's dilemma
How disappointing. The behaviours of all of the characters from Pride and Prejudice were so at variance with Jane Austen's portrayal that it made me wonder if the author had in fact read the original book or simply skim read it once to get the names. The actions of Elizabeth and Darcy were even at odds with real-life behaviours. I know of no mother who when faced with...
Published on 2 April 2008 by D. Hodgson


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69 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another classic from Birchall, 2 July 2004
This review is from: Mrs Darcy's Dilemma (Paperback)
Diana Birchall's previous offerings in the literary world have been the delightful pieces on Mrs Elton and her highly acclaimed biography of her " Bad Grandmother " the first Asian American novelist Winifred Eaton.
Reading Mrs Darcy's Dilemma is rather like returning home to old friends after living abroad for 25 years. Although the main characters from Pride and Prejudice are here they have matured , they have children and fresh acquaintances and new troubles. We know the family members as well as if we too had attended a ball at Pemberley.
Mrs Darcy though some 25 years older and a mother of three is as delightful and caring as ever she was, Mr Darcy has lost none of his charm and magnetism. The greedy sensuous Lydia has become older but sadly no wiser, indeed she appears to be adopting all of her mothers bad traits whilst sadly ignoring her finer points.
One feels that the crux in any Pride and Prejudice sequel is the arrival of Mr Collins on the scene . A character who can so easily be overdone and descend into parody , here he is his truly ghastly oleaginous self once more .
We are introduced to the Darcy children, Fitzwilliam the oldest son and a keen follower of the turf. Henry, serious minded , yet fun loving and destined for the clergy , and finally the Darcy's daughter Jane. Beautiful, intelligent and charming with all of the finest character attributes of her mother.
Lydia's daughters Bettina and Chloe soon enter in to the household and events begin to unfold.
There are no blurred or ragged characters in the book , all are drawn as sharply as the originals indeed it is as if Miss Austen herself has returned to take up her story. The simple and regular movement of the narrative , and the naturalness and vivacity of the dialogue make this book a joy to read. The author's imagination brightens every sentence with the aptest fancies and the happiest turn of phrase.
As Mr Bennet might say "A book that may be highly recommended, even to young clergyman and flighty daughters" .
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fitting Sequel to Pride and Prejudice, 4 July 2004
This review is from: Mrs Darcy's Dilemma (Paperback)
Diana Birchall writes well and this book is most entertaining.
The Darcy family has moved on 25 years and there have been a number of births, deaths and marriages and even a promotion for Colonel Fitzwilliam!
The plot is realistic and you really can believe that this is what might have happened to Elizabeth and Darcy.
If you have never read an Austen sequel, start here. If you have read others, this could well prove to be your favourite.
I look forward to more from this author.
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19 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Pleasant Read, 27 Aug 2004
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This review is from: Mrs Darcy's Dilemma (Paperback)
I enjoyed this book, but the only thing that spoilt it was that I could not imagine a son of Mr Darcy and Elizabeth gambling even though it was only occasionally on the horses. I liked the new characters especially the Lydia's daughters, the eldest remined me of Lydia herself and the younger was to me like Jane in many ways. The story its self remined me of Mansfield Park in some areas.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Mrs Darcy's dilemma, 2 April 2008
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D. Hodgson (Cambridge, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Mrs Darcy's Dilemma (Paperback)
How disappointing. The behaviours of all of the characters from Pride and Prejudice were so at variance with Jane Austen's portrayal that it made me wonder if the author had in fact read the original book or simply skim read it once to get the names. The actions of Elizabeth and Darcy were even at odds with real-life behaviours. I know of no mother who when faced with the choice of visiting her dying father or dying son, would choose the father. Neither can it be thought probable that Darcy would chose to visit his dying father-in-law and leave his son too. This is one example of many.

The new characters introduced were single dimensional and stereotypical. The new characters do not develop as the story progresses. The English history was poorly used and clichéd rather than accurate (rather like assuming all Americans eat hamburgers).

I read many Pride and Prejudice adaptations and am not an Austen purist; I appreciate the diversity of new ways of looking at the characters. However, the characters described in this story are so shallow and misconceived that I found this book very un-enjoyable. I would not recommend this book.
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9 of 36 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars HOW COULD THEY, 23 Sep 2005
This review is from: Mrs Darcy's Dilemma (Paperback)
Why, why, WHY? Jane Austin's masterpiece was complete as it stood, it may have left alot of questions unanswered but that was part of the genius of the book. In real life no one knows the full story or has written guide to people, so why does a book that is as much a commentary on life and society as a work of fiction require an abundance of prequels and sequels that are based on conjecture and little more than intellectual theft.
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Mrs Darcy's Dilemma
Mrs Darcy's Dilemma by Diana Birchall (Paperback - 17 May 2004)
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