Pemberley: Or Pride and Prejudice Continued

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9780312107932: Pemberley: Or Pride and Prejudice Continued

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a married man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a son and heir...

Thus begins Emma Tennant's inspired sequel to Jane Austen's most beloved novel, Pride and Prejudice. With wit and style and genuine insight into character, Pemberley brilliantly delineates the perils and pleasures of a marriage between two people as strong-willed and prickly as Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy.

A year after wedding, Christmas approaches. As happy as she has been living in relative seclusion with Mr. Darcy and his sister Georgiana at their magnificent Derbyshire estate, Pemberley, Elizabeth is sensible that the time has come to invite her mother and sister to visit her. What begins as a small and manageable family party (although any party any includes the regrettable Mrs. Bennet will take considerable managing) soon grows all out of proportion. A gathering including the Bennets, the Bingleys, and Lady Catherine de Bourgh-as affable and condescending as ever-can only mean missteps, gaffes and hurt feelings. When Darcy becomes increasingly distant and Elizabeth falls prey to vicious gossip, the forces of pride and prejudice are at work once again.

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About the Author:

Emma Tennant, who grew up in England and Scotland hearing about her family's connection to Jane Austen (her elder half-brother was descended from Jane Austen's brother Edward Knight), is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the author of numerous distinguished novels.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Tennant (The Half-Mother, 1985) enters this fall's ``Jane Wars'' in which sequels to Austen's Pride and Prejudice vie--and is bested by Julia Barrett with her deft and entertaining Presumption (p. 948). It's Christmastime a year after Elizabeth's marriage to Darcy, and her joy in her new state is marred by her failure to conceive a child (a subject treated here with an openness that would horrify Austen--at one point, Elizabeth's mother, Mrs. Bennet, actually recommends, in mixed company, a vinegar douche as an aide to conceiving a boy). Apart from Elizabeth's personal disappointment, the fate of Pemberley is at stake: If a male heir is not born to Fitzwilliam Darcy, the estate will go to the nearest male relative, the obnoxious Thomas Roper. While Elizabeth is stewing about this, chance bits of evidence convince her that her adored husband is keeping a heavy secret from her: that a deceased Frenchwoman who once lived in the village near Pemberley was actually his mistress, and that the six-year-old boy Elizabeth once happened to glimpse in her husband's company is Fitzwilliam Darcy's illegitimate son by this woman. Meanwhile, her anxieties are aggravated by a disastrous snowbound holiday house-party during which her mother behaves with preposterous crudeness; her sister Jane gives birth; Lady Catherine de Bourgh constantly voices her august disapproval; and Darcy frigidly withdraws. By the time the story has lurched to its conclusion (the wrap-up is rushed, suggesting that the writer herself was eager to get it over with), the reader is likely to have lost sympathy with Elizabeth for entertaining such unworthy thoughts about Darcy and for showing so little sign of the intelligence, pluck, and humor for which she has been beloved in the original. Dyspeptic. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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