Top critical review
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on 1 July 2013
At the end of Pride and Prejudice, Jane and Elizabeth both marry their heroes - on the same day, it is hinted strongly. A year has passed, and Elizabeth is not yet pregnant. Jane, on the other hand, is about to give birth to child number two, and already has a daughter who is running in and out of rooms! Lydia has been married a few months longer than her sisters, and in that time has managed to produce FOUR children, all under the age of four, apparently.
More reproductive aberrations: In his final letter to Mr Bennet in P&P, Mr Collins tells him that Charlotte is expecting a child. At the start of this book (or, four children later, for Lydia), Lady Lucas is delighted to tell Mrs Bennet that Charlotte is expecting a child. Her first child. No mention of any concern because of previous pregnancies that did not end happily.
These howlers right at the start of the book did not give me confidence, and nothing that came subsequently changed that. We have a lachrymose Elizabeth Bennet who behaves more like Fanny Price at the start of Mansfield Park, married to a cardboard cut-out Mr Darcy about whose character and personality the new Mrs Darcy seems to have some sort of amnesia, and a load of pantomime characters who are depicted without wit or personality. Emma Tennant has lifted a few witticisms from the original text and recycled them (killing them dead in the process).
Only the names are the same, in short. I picked it up very cheap, so didn't waste much money. I strongly advise Jane Austen fans to steer well clear.