Some form of devilry has come over Mr. Darcy.
Since his father’s death, Fitzwilliam Darcy has endeavored to be reliable, responsible, and restrained. But upon visiting Netherfield Park in Hertfordshire, he finds himself weary of the struggle to be so damnably well regulated and delights in a revival of the carefree mischief that characterized his younger days.
What brings on this sudden reversal? Perhaps it is a shocking incident that takes place upon his first entering the neighborhood when he rescues Miss Elizabeth Bennet from the raging current of a rain-swollen stream. The so-called “lady” does not prefer to be rescued, and Darcy’s subsequent dunking, rather than resulting in the gratitude that is his due, is met with her confounding resentment of his interference.
This tale of Darcy’s entanglement with the mysteriously grief-stricken Bennet family is interwoven with a love story—a most delicious exchange of looks, barbs, pranks, and innuendos as Miss Elizabeth, the “lightning bolt of Longbourn,” regularly singes, frustrates, and humbles the man from Derbyshire.
Today I would like to welcome author Grace Gibson to the blog. She is going to give us a little introduction to her new release Old Boots. Thank you for being here, Grace.
Melissa, I am excited to be here to introduce Old Boots to your readers!
In most of my Pride and Prejudice variations, I am pretty hard on Mr. Bennet. His neglect of his daughters and weakness as both husband and provider have been the target of my harshest criticism.
Thinking to be kinder to the poor man this time around, I featured Mr. Bennet in Old Boots. He begins as a sad old gentleman, weighed down by regrets until fate brings Mr. Darcy into his life. In this excerpt, Elizabeth’s father is a guest at Pemberley, where he and Darcy spend most days together in the library. In these lighter circumstances, and no longer plagued by the memories which haunted him at Longbourn, Mr. Bennet’s more satirical sense of humor begins to show itself:
This left Mr. Bennet and me time to ponder the shelves in my library, to debate why the Greek literature was placed in proximity to the material I had amassed on the Roman Empire, and other friendly arguments common to men who read widely. When we were not thus agreeably engaged, we sat in total silence. We were in just such an attitude when Mr. Bennet roused from his reflections.
“I suppose I had better write Jane.”
“Have you not done so?” I admit I sounded a little shocked by his neglect.
“I should have, but I am a famous laggard when it comes to letters. My daughters would not yet be anxious at having no word from me.”
“The inkstand is just there. Would you like another lamp lit?”
I herded him toward his duty and hovered over him to assure he wrote something to his family. Mr. Bennet dutifully scribbled out a few lines.
“What do you think, Darcy?” he said a little proudly and began to read. “Pemberley is just what I think a great house should be. The rooms are chilly in winter, and there are draughts in the halls, but all such miserable elegance is overset by the liberal use of warming pans and bed drapes of imported brocades—double hung, no less. I sleep more like a mouse in a humble nest of down in the barn than the duke down the road who shivers in his palace, and I am striving to be philosophical in my disappointment.”
I smiled at him. He really was very droll, and as I had lately begun to understand him better, I could ascertain just how easily his raillery was tolerated by his children.
“Would you rather have a room in the attics, sir? That way you can write home of the rigors of a stay at Pemberley with a little more credibility.”
He chuckled, said he had gotten too old for spartan living, and returned to his letter.
I hope you enjoyed this bit of teasing between such unlikely friends! Please join me on July 19th at Jane Austen State of Mind if you would like to read more about how a pair of old boots has changed Mr. Darcy.
Author Grace Gibson –
In addition to mosaic art, which I create at Studio Luminaria, my home-based glass shop in El Paso, Texas, I enjoy writing regency romance and Pride and Prejudice variations for pleasure.
Blog Tour Schedule
07-12 Austenesque Reviews
07-14 Donadee’s Corner
07-15 From Pemberley to Milton
07-17 Probably at the Library
Meryton Press is giving away 6 eBooks of Old Boots. http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/0ca86b9b44/?
Thank you to Meryton Press for gifting me a copy of Old Boots. All opinions expressed are my own.