These Three Remain is the third book in the Fitzwilliam Darcy Trilogy, written by Pamela Aiden. (The first two books are An Assembly Such as This and Duty and Desire) The trilogy tells the story of Pride and Prejudice from Darcy’s eyes, filling in the gaps of what Pride and Prejudice left out.
These Three Remain, the story of Fitzwilliam Darcy, gentleman, continues with Darcy and Colonel Fitzwilliam arriving for their annual visit to Rosings Park . Darcy’s mind is still completely fascinated by Elizabeth Bennet but is beginning to realize that he will most likely never come in contact with her again. He vows that he will begin to try to forget her and try to move on with his life. To his surprise he comes to find Elizabeth Bennet staying at the parsonage near Rosings. The two are thrust into each others company, much to Darcy’s pleasure/displeasure. Pleasure because he is hopelessly in love with her and displeasure because it’s not right for a man of his social standing to even think about marrying a woman of Elizabeth’s class. After much soul-searching Darcy decides to buck the social conformities and begin courting her. He meets Elizabeth for walks, visits the parsonage, and tries to engage her in conversation while at Rosings. He has absolutely no idea of Elizabeth’s true dislike of him, and even begins to think that she is enjoying his company. Darcy, unable to contain his feelings any longer, proposes to Elizabeth, only to be shockingly rejected. Hurt, angry, confused, and humbled he writes Elizabeth a letter, gives it to her the following day, and then leaves Rosings to return to London. He realizes that almost all of the things Elizabeth confronted him with were truths about his personality. He understands that what he believed to be pride in his family name and social standing was indeed arrogance and conceit and that he did in fact look down his nose upon those not in his class. Darcy vows to begin making changes in himself, and in his life.
“Any idea of her love as his reward must be put aside. Even where they to meet, it must be as indifferent acquaintances. But no matter! He would honor this woman who had scorned his station and state to her own hurt and brought him to see himself. He would do it, he swore, by striving hour by hour, unseen and unremarked, toward a conduct of his life that would have gained Elizabeth Bennet’s approval.”
Months later, as fate would have it, he arrives at Pemberley a day earlier than expected, to find Elizabeth Bennet and her aunt and uncle wandering the grounds. He puts much effort into showing Elizabeth that he is a changed man and the two begin anew.
Aidan does a great job with These Three Remain. I was SO disappointed with the second novel, Duty and Desire that I have to honestly say I was not looking forward to reading this one. The first novel, An Assembly Such as This was great! Great insight into who Darcy was and what was going on in his head. These Three Remain was definitely back to the same great writing that was present in the first of the trilogy.
My two favorite parts about These Three Remain were more about the characters of Darcy’s Shakespeare-quoting valet Fletcher and his good friend Dy Brougham. These two characters really added a lot to the story. They acted as the voices of reason for Darcy. If he was doubting himself or Elizabeth and questioning what to do/say next, they always would appear, ripe with advice.
I would definitely recommend the series. I would however tell you to skip the 2nd book Duty and Desire. The storyline was so different with witchcraft, killings, stolen babies, dead baby pigs, suicides – it was just a random bunch of mish-mosh. I skimmed through most of it because the plot was just ridiculous and I still made it through These Three Remain unconfused. These Three Remain is a great novel for Austen enthusiasts that like reading things that stay true to Austen. The novel follows the path that Austen started, just on the other side of it and through Darcy’s eyes.
4 out of 5 stars