Ever wonder what Darcy was feeling during Pride and Prejudice? Thanks to Austen’s superb storytelling, we are not left wanting regarding how Elizabeth feels towards Mr. Darcy. However, we never quite know the exact series of events that make Darcy view Lizzy as the sole object of his affections instead of an insignificant person unworthy of his time. In Darcy’s Passions: Pride and Prejudice Through His Eyes by Regina Jeffers, we get a glimpse at what Darcy must have truly felt and get to view the emotions swimming through his head whenever he was with Lizzy. In short, it is the story of a man who has captured the hearts of millions of readers, and spawned countless works dedicated to the enigmatic and dashing Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy.
Darcy and Bingley arrive in Hertfordshire to move Bingley into his new estate, and while there they decide to attend the Meryton assembly, a local ball. There Darcy meets Miss Elizabeth Bennet, who he states is “not handsome enough to tempt him”, although we all know how he changes his mind. Jeffers continues telling the story of Pride and Prejudice, except this time through Darcy’s eyes. Thanks to Jeffers we now know how Darcy felt throughout his pursuit of Elizabeth, their eventual courtship and marriage.
I’ve read other novels that Jeffers has written and one thing always stands out to me about her writing: her ability to get inside the characters’ heads. I think it’s safe to say that after Elizabeth says no to Darcy’s first proposal, his mind is filled with doubt. He has doubts about who he is, feels anger over not getting Elizabeth, and in the end experiences turmoil over how to move on from this situation. Jeffers writes her Darcy with the perfect blend of all of these emotions and then some, as we play the back-and-forth game over whether Darcy should pursue Elizabeth or not. It was a retelling of Pride and Prejudice that, in my opinion, got Darcy spot-on.
Another point I really enjoyed about this retelling is that it gives us a glimpse of the Darcy’s married life. Jeffers writes a few chapters that delve into the first months of their new life together, and she shows us that their marriage isn’t perfect, but quite realistic. These are two people with very strong character and personality traits. Anyone who writes them experiencing a perfect marriage isn’t doing justice to who they are as individuals. Sure they love each other, but they’re both strong-willed and stubborn people who have a hard time yielding to others.
For those of you looking for a refreshing look at Pride and Prejudice, I would highly recommend Darcy’s Passions. It also provides nice closure to a story so close to many of our hearts. If you read Darcy’s Passions and enjoy it, Jeffers followed it up with Darcy’s Temptation. (Which I would also recommend!)
4 out of 5 Stars
This is my twenty-third completed review for the Historical Fiction Challenge