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An Assembly Such as This: A Novel of Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman Paperback – Jun 6 2006

4.6 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; 1 edition (June 6 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743291344
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743291347
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 2.5 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 399 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #216,084 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Booklist

Aidan retells the now iconic story of Pride and Prejudice through the eyes of Fitzwilliam Darcy as he visits Netherfield with his good friend Charles Bingley and his sisters. The austere Darcy takes life very seriously, and is at a loss as to how he became friends with the amicable Bingley. Darcy has escaped many marriage-minded mothers and their daughters, which is why he initially disdains the Bennet family. Once he gets to know Elizabeth, however, he realizes his mistake, but his attempts to apologize to her only make him act even more awkwardly in her presence. The first in Aidan's planned trilogy of improvisations on Jane Austen concludes with the infamous Netherfield ball. Austen fans will relish the tale's retelling from Darcy's perspective as well as new characters, including Fletcher, the insightful and amusing valet who apparently approves of the charming Miss Elizabeth Bennet. Patty Engelmann
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

About the Author

Pamela Aidan has been a librarian for thirty years and a fan of Jane Austen even longer. She is the author of two previous books in the Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman trilogy: An Assembly Such as This and Duty and Desire. She lives with her husband in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.

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First Sentence
Fitzwilliam George Alexander Darcy rose from his seat in the Bingley carriage and reluctantly descended to earth before the assembly hall above the only inn to which the small market town of Meryton could lay claim. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I do not wish to discourage anyone from buying this book, which I feel is one of the better Austen adaptations or sequels available today, and certainly among the best that I have read.
However, it is important to point out (as another reviewer has done) that Aidan covers only the first third of Jane Austen's novel, roughly upto the point that Mr Darcy leaves Netherfield and just before his visit to his aunt Lady Catherine in Kent.
Pamela Aidan's version of Mr Darcy is fairly true to Austen's Mr Darcy, although his self-absorption might displease some Austen purists. The most interesting part of Aidan's version is her filling in the details about Darcy's life outside of the original novel. This includes not only the goings-on in Ramsgate (with his sister Georgiana and Wickham) but also his relationships with other members of his family such as Col. Fitzwilliam and some close friends. Darcy's valet Fletcher is a memorable secondary character.
Aidan's explanations help us understand what Austen left out. Jane Austen assumed that her readers would know the social conventions (for example, when to visit, when not to visit) as well as practicalities (for example, the burden imposed by relatives in trade or vulgarity among near relatives; the problems of a small dowry in the face of lack of gentility or family connections). Readers who are fully conversant with Regency-era society might understand all these points, but for many other readers, Aidan's version of Pride and Prejudice might be a gentler and entertaining introduction to Austen's work.
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Format: Paperback
This is the first of a must read P & P based trilogy! I would love to give this 6 stars!

Of course it is not Jane Austen writing, but the language used is very beautiful and compelling! The author keeps true to the original Pride and Prejudice, but deftly weaves into it the thoughts and feelings of Mr Darcy. She expands on the original novel not to recreate it, but to add to it. This is a very adroit complement to the original!

It is quite satisfying for the very informed modern reader to finally get a deep and personal insight as to what Mr Darcy is thinking and feeling, and as to what motivates his actions.

The original novel is only about the length of one of the books in this trilogy, but haven't we all always felt like we wanted so much more!

Well, here is more! Relive it all, and take your time with it! Thoroughly relish Darcy and Lizzy falling in love all over again!

Very well done P. Aidan!
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Format: Paperback
Wow! I must say, Pride and Prejudice has been my favourite since I was 10 and read a little comic version of the story. Since then I'm sure I've read the original at least 100 times. This new book by Pamela Aidan was fantastic. I might even go so far as to say it rivals Austen's masterpiece itself. I think I enjoyed the deeper characterization of the literary man I've grown to love all these years, and I am amazed that I was able to love him so completely before this book. Really-- and excellent read! A MUST have! ;)
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By Karoline TOP 500 REVIEWER on Nov. 10 2009
Format: Paperback
Like I've been saying with most Austen spinoffs, I always proceed with caution. I don't like being disappointed and I certainly don't like it when my beloved classic have been ripped to shreds, and especially when it's done horribly. Fortunately! this book has passed and I don't regret reading this book. I actually quite liked it and I found myself laughing over parts of the book which were cleverly written and provided a lot of good humor. It was certainly nice seeing Mr Darcy's daily life in more detail besides just hearing his thoughts and his behavior. I actually liked how this book put in little bits and pieces added to the main Pride and Prejudice plot to add more color and life to Mr Darcy. We usually see him as a brooding solitary figure which immediately we think of how boring he might be. In reality, well, Mr Darcy just doesn't like gatherings and parties period. That's just his nature and what's even better, he's a bookworm! this is one of the main reasons why I liked reading this book. Mr Darcy isn't seen as boring, silent in his corner with his stormy thoughts. Although yes, it's romantic but seeing a different side of him, where he's able to show a sense of humor towards Mr Bingley (even having a moment where Bingley throws a cube of sugar at
him) makes Mr Darcy seem much more real and twice as likable. (We Darcy fanatics can all sigh in relief here!).

I'd have to say though, the plot was a little too slow to come to action and if you're one who needs to have their attention captured right away, this might be a deterrent. I would suggest, stick with it. Especially if you're a huge Pride and Prejudice fan.
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Format: Paperback
This novel is yet another of the Jane Austen prequel/sequel/alternate view genre. Most of the novels in this genre are only mildly tedious. Some are so far off from the characters, spirit and language of the original that they are farcical. An Assembly Such As This, though, is one of the better ones. The characterization of Mr. Darcy is not too far off what most have imagined in their heads. And the language doesn't grate or seem forced or unauthentic. Yet, it doesn't really provide any new insights into Darcy's character, or really provide much reason for its existence except to sate the appetite of all those who only wish that Jane Austen had lived to produce more than 6 complete novels.

One caveat - this book is part 1 of a trilogy covering the events from Darcy's first meeting with Elizabeth in Meryton to their eventual marriage. So, if you read this one, you will probably feel a need to read the others. Was a trilogy seriously necessary, though? Jane Austen covered the same material so eloquently in only one novel.

Also, some scenes, such as an early one where Darcy et al. arrive at the ball seems like it was ripped straight from Andrew Davies' magnificent screenplay for the 1995 BBC movie of Pride And Prejudice.

That being said, I enjoyed reading the novel - once. Despite my inevitable disappointment with Austen take-offs, every time the library gets a new one I take it out and read it. It's like Samuel Johnson said - `it is the triumph of hope over experience."
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