An Assembly Such as This: A Novel of Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman Paperback – Jun 6 2006
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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.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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!
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.Read more ›
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."
Most recent customer reviews
This is by far one of the best Pride & Prejudice variations that I have read. Very much better than the Sharon Latham books. Read morePublished 4 months ago by lorna smith
The first book in the trilogy and the P&P characters ring true and put me into the story almost as well as Jane Austen herself. Read morePublished 19 months ago by NotMe
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 morePublished on March 1 2007 by Teapotlid
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 morePublished on March 12 2006
Pamela Aiden, in my opinion, not only captures the spirit of Pride and Prejudice, but exceeds all expectations in a continuance. Read morePublished on Sept. 28 2004
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! Read morePublished on July 15 2004 by pamelars24
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 morePublished on July 1 2004 by Rachael
I enjoyed this book, and while it doesn't come close to reproducing Austen's quality of writing, it does satisfy the reader. Read morePublished on June 28 2004