My guest today is Kara Louise, whom I've had the pleasure to interview not long ago in one of my "Talking Jane Austen with ... " sessions. She's here to present her new Pride and Prejudice variation, "Only Mr Darcy Will Do", as well as to discuss with us the idea of a ... modern Mr Darcy. Read and enjoy! Sourcebooks have kindly granted US and Canada readers, who will leave their comments to this post, the chance to win a copy of the book.
Maria Grazia invited me to drop by today to talk about my new book, “Only Mr. Darcy Will Do,” and she also asked me my opinion of what a modern-day Darcy would look like (or whether it’s even possible to find one!
First of all, the easy part. Let me tell you about my book. “Only Mr. Darcy Will Do” is a variation of “Pride and Prejudice” in which Mrs. Bennet’s greatest fear has come to pass. Shortly following Elizabeth’s return from Kent (and after refusing Mr. Darcy’s proposal), her father dies. Mr. and Mrs. Collins soon move into Longbourn, forcing the Bennet ladies to move out of their home. Jane and Elizabeth become governesses in London while the rest of the family move into Meryton with Mr. and Mrs. Phillips.
Elizabeth is governess to 6 year-old Emily Willstone and she is enjoys her position. She enjoys imparting wisdom and guidance to this precocious little girl. When Mrs. Willstone’s sister, Rosalyn, comes to visit, she and Elizabeth become good friends. But Elizabeth soon comes to learn of a secret affection Rosalyn has had for years – none other than Mr. Darcy.
As Elizabeth comes to terms with her lower station in life, she struggles with the prospect of being thrown into Mr. Darcy’s presence, of Rosalyn coming to hear of his offer of marriage to her, or worse yet, her refusal.
An invitation to visit Pemberley is extended to the Willstones by Mr. Darcy and his sister. The Willstones are convinced it is because Mr. Darcy wants to further his acquaintance with Rosalyn, and Elizabeth is convinced it is going to be the most discomfiting two weeks of her life. She wonders if the invitation is merely to show her what all she turned down or that perhaps he does have his eyes set on Rosalyn. Or both.
From the moment they arrive at Pemberley, Mr. Darcy reassures Elizabeth that she has no reason to feel awkward and everything is behind them. But as she begins to see him in a new light, she finds herself falling in love with him. She readily sees in him the traits of a man who is everything she has ever really wanted. At the same time she realizes that she is much more beneath him now and cannot ever expect him to renew his offer.
Will the two of them find their way to happiness with each other? Hopefully you will read it and find out!
Now, let me address the more difficult question. What would a modern day Mr. Darcy look like? I did write a modern story that is currently self-published. It is called, “Drive and Determination” and the Darcy character is Will Denton, CEO of a coffee company. He is obviously wealthy and handsome, but is a very private person who doesn’t like the attention put on him when he was chosen as one of the top 50 eligible bachelors in the country.
Of course the Elizabeth Bennet character (Elyssa) misunderstands him and assumes he is arrogant, a workaholic, and cares little for others. In time, she obviously comes to discover that what she perceived about him is wrong and he is actually very down-to-earth, compassionate, and caring.
I think some of the traits of a modern day Darcy would be that he is refreshingly polite (a true gentleman), a man of integrity, a man with the right priorities, respectful, and one who is willing to listen to criticism and seeks to improve himself if needed.
There can be a lot said on trying to find your own modern day Mr. Darcy, and instead of trying to answer that myself, I thought I would direct you to a Wiki-How website I found that does a great job addressing this!
It tells you things to look for in a man, things to avoid, but also puts some responsibility on your own shoulders as to your own behavior.
I thought it was great and I could not improve on it. Go check it out if you are looking for your Mr. Darcy or if you just want to smile. I would be very interested in hearing whether or not you agree with what this article says – or if you think it is even possible.
Thanks Maria Grazia, for allowing me this visit!
Many thanks to you, Kara for this lovely guestpost and good luck with your "Only Mr Darcy Will Do". Now it is your turn, dear readers. Karen and I are curious to know your opinion on a modern Mr Darcy. If you want to be entered the giveaway of one copy of Kara Louise's new novel, remember to add your e-mail address. The giveaway is open to US and Canada readers only and ends next Wednesday 23rd March.
You can follow Kara Louise on her blog
and on www.AustenAuthors.com