Since the publication of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice in 1813, Mr Darcy has been the romantic hero par excellence, fancied by ladies of all ages all over the world. Who better than him could write a guide to the seduce the opposite sex?
Now, in his Guide to Courtship, he offers advice to make you successful in love but, be warned, he wrote this book before been mellowed by contact with Miss Elizabeth Bennet. So, please, imagine the Darcy you met at Meriton Assembly, which means all pride and prejudice, as the author of this little precious book.
If you want a sample of what expects you, ladies and gentlemen, here you are:
"Some believe that where the yearnings of the heart are concerned, we all have a better guide in ourselves than any other person can be. Nonsense. In truth, you can have no better guide than this book, and I congratulate you for advancing your cause so unreservedly by your purchase of it"
For two hundred years, the mere mention of Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy has caused hearts to flutter and bosoms to heave.
The feeling has not been reciprocal.
The tone is pleasantly ironic, which makes reading great fun. Darcy, through his devoted amanuensis's , Miss Emily Brand, detailed work, bestows tips and good advice to both sexes on the rules of courtship, including: making oneself agreeable, identifying an appropriate partner and escaping the unwanted attentions of rogues and fortune-hunters. You'll also find, beauty tips from Miss Caroline Bingley, the improper courtship techniques of Messrs Wickham and Collins, reflections on spinsterhood from Miss Emma Woodhouse, how to pen an effective advertisement for a spouse, Mr Darcy's counsel to correspondents - including Lord Byron, Mr Willoughby and the Duke of Wellington.
Whether you are interested or not in being a hit suitor, an irresistible romancer or a very charming accomplished lady, you'll learn a lot about Jane Austen's world leafing through this lovely guide. And don't forget you'll have the privilege of seeing that world from a very unique perspective, that of its most eligible bachelor, Fitzwilliam Darcy.
Old House Books has already published Mr Darcy's Guide to Courtship in the UK and is going to launch it in the US market by the end of the month. The book is the result of Emily Brand's thorough research on the conventions, beauty, fashion, manners and moods of Jane Austen's time based on a very interesting bibliography, inlcuding the complete work of Miss Jane Austen.
|Colin Firth as Mr Darcy - Pride and Prejudice 1995|
Check out My Jane Austen Book Club on July 24 for a special session of "Talking Jane Austen with ... " Emily Brand will be my guest!