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An Assembly Such as This: A Novel of Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman [Paperback]

Pamela Aidan
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
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Book Description

June 6 2006 Fitzwilliam Darcy Gentleman (Book 1)
"She is tolerable; but not handsome enough to tempt me."

So begins the timeless romance of Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice. Jane Austen's classic novel is beloved by millions, but little is revealed in the book about the mysterious and handsome hero, Mr. Darcy. And so the question has long remained: Who is Fitzwilliam Darcy?

In An Assembly Such as This, Pamela Aidan finally answers that long-standing question. In this first book of her Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman trilogy, she reintroduces us to Darcy during his visit to Hertfordshire with his friend Charles Bingley and reveals Darcy's hidden perspective on the events of Pride and Prejudice. As Darcy spends more time at Netherfield supervising Bingley and fending off Miss Bingley's persistent advances, his unwilling attraction to Elizabeth grows -- as does his concern about her relationship with his nemesis, George Wickham.

Setting the story vividly against the colorful historical and political background of the Regency, Aidan writes in a style comfortably at home with Austen but with a wit and humor very much her own. Aidan adds her own cast of fascinating characters to those in Austen's original, weaving a rich tapestry from Darcy's past and present. Austen fans and newcomers alike will love this new chapter of the most famous romance of all time.

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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.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
I absolutely love Jane Austin novels. I've read a few books based on Pride and Prejudice that continue the story where Austin left off but this one is by far the best! Much of the novel is like re reading P & P as the scenes and senarious are the exact same..this time instead of reading about Elizabeth youre reading about Mr. Darcy. The only thing I dont like is that the other 2 books in this series have yet to be published so I feel like im just hanging mid story. I recommended this to many friends who also fell in love with this book! I really urge you to read it...however if youre like me an unfinished ending will drive you crazy! may want to add it to your wish list and wait to read it when the 2nd and 3rd book finally comes out. A MUST READ!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant for P&P fans and nebies alike! Jan. 20 2006
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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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4.0 out of 5 stars A great insight on Mr Darcy! Nov. 10 2009
By Karoline TOP 500 REVIEWER
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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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Retelling Pride & Prejudice through Darcy's eyes? What a novel idea!...
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. Read more
Published on Aug. 4 2009 by Valancy Stirling
4.0 out of 5 stars entertaining
a good view of the story we know, but from the Darcy angle. Starts as Bingley moves to Netherfield & ends as Miss Bingley & the Hursts follow Bingley & Darcy back to London to help... Read more
Published on March 2 2007 by K. Cheetham
3.0 out of 5 stars Great story but not so great writing
I wanted to LOVE this book because I am a passionate fan of Pride and Prejudice. Unfortunately, there is only one Jane Austen and she hasn't been reincarnated as Pamela... Read more
Published on March 12 2006
5.0 out of 5 stars Pamela Aiden continuations
Pamela Aiden, in my opinion, not only captures the spirit of Pride and Prejudice, but exceeds all expectations in a continuance. Read more
Published on Sept. 28 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable
I just finished reading this book and enjoyed it. It's cleverly done. I'd like to read it again in conjunction with Pride and Prejudice so that I'm getting both perspectives at... Read more
Published on July 1 2004 by Rachael
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book with a different point of view
I enjoyed this book, and while it doesn't come close to reproducing Austen's quality of writing, it does satisfy the reader. Read more
Published on June 28 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Austen sequel
With the proliferation of Austen sequels out there, readers must be discerning in their selections. "An Assembly Such as This" is a rare find, in that it is true to... Read more
Published on June 24 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST for Austen Fans!
This is truly a wonderful book! Being both a doctoral candidate in 18th-century literature and a hopeless romantic, I was extremely gratified to find that this book satisfied both... Read more
Published on June 23 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read!! Hear what Mr Darcy is thinking!
An excellent story - this series of 3 books occurs at the same time as Pride and Prejudice but from Mr Darcy's point of view. Read more
Published on June 16 2004 by Mudturtledove
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