Thank you, Maria, for inviting me here today to tell your readers a little about Miss Georgiana Darcy of Pemberley. I can hardly believe that I now have five novels published! Each one has been a delight to write and share; each one has presented new and interesting challenges!
Georgiana Darcy is a fascinating creature, and I had already been thinking about a way to expand on what I had written about her in The Darcys of Pemberley when the idea for this novel occurred to me. I felt she deserved more space on the page than I had been able to devote to her in that earlier book, which focused primarily on Darcy and Elizabeth. So, that’s what started me off. I decided I would write a companion piece, retelling the story, this time from Georgiana’s point of view.
I had never written this kind of book before. Sequels, yes, and a variation on Jane Austen’s own life (The Persuasion of Miss Jane Austen), but never a retelling. I expected it would pose certain difficulties, but at least I was uniquely qualified for the job since I had written the original myself! Even though I knew The Darcys of Pemberley backwards and forwards, however, I had a couple of surprises in store for me when I reviewed it once more with a mind to writing its companion.
First, I was amazed how different things – various events and what people said – appeared through an alternate point of view, which is as true in real life as it could be in any work of fiction, I’m sure. Examining it all through Georgiana’s eyes for a change, I began noticing how infrequently anybody consulted her for an opinion and how often she was left out altogether – left out of the conversation, the decision, the excursion, etc.
There was no malicious or even conscious intent to do so – not by Darcy and Elizabeth when they behaved that way, and certainly not by me when I wrote it. We had slighted Georgiana by thoughtlessness, not design. And despite the fact that she’s supposed to be very modest and mild mannered, it had to hurt.
So this became one of the themes of the book: Georgiana’s struggle to be respected as a competent adult. Here’s a brief excerpt as an example, told in her own words:
Whatever was taking place in the library behind closed doors, I could have no part in it. Did they think me disinterested? No, more likely I had been disqualified on the basis of my age. The colonel had said to me less than two weeks before, “When you are grown…” implying I was still a child. Now here was more evidence that I was not yet to be taken seriously. I was to be sheltered and set aside rather than being consulted on adult matters for a mature opinion.
The second thing I discovered was how little of Georgiana’s “world” I had taken the trouble of constructing in my mind before. I knew what had been necessary to write the first book and little more. But that would not be nearly enough this time around. To do her justice, to tell her story in full, I needed to thoroughly know Georgiana’s history and what made her tick. What aspects of her past had shaped her character, and, just as importantly, what had she been up to all that time she was “off camera” in The Darcys of Pemberley? I realized I had no idea!
Unlike many authors, I generally don’t do a detailed outline for a book in advance. I usually have only a vague idea where I’m headed, and then I ‘discover’ the rest of the story along the way – a perilous but exciting way to work! It was different this time, though, since the earlier book served as a solid framework which I had to respect. More structure than I was used to, and yet there were gaping holes left to fill, vast tracts of uncharted territory to explore.
It presented a new challenge for me and a new point of view. What fun I had ‘discovering’ the rest of Georgiana’s story! I hope you will too when you read Miss Georgiana Darcy of Pemberley.
About the author
Shannon Winslow specializes in writing fiction for the fans of Jane Austen. Her popular debut novel, The Darcys of Pemberley, immediately established her place in the genre, being particularly praised for authentic Austenesque style and faithfulness to the original characters. Since that bright beginning, the author has followed with two more Pride and Prejudice sequels (Return to Longbourn and Miss Georgiana Darcy of Pemberley), a stand-alone Austen-style story (For Myself Alone), and a novel starring Jane Austen herself (The Persuasion of Miss Jane Austen). With no shortage of inspiration, Winslow promises more romance and happy endings to come.
Her two sons now grown, Shannon Winslow lives with her husband in the log home they built in the countryside south of
Seattle, where she writes and paints in her studio facing . Mt. Rainier
Learn more at
Shannon’s website/blog (www.shannonwinslow.com). Follow her
on Twitter (as
JaneAustenSays..) and on Facebook.
What’s Georgiana Darcy’s story? Jane Austen tells us so little in Pride and Prejudice that we’re left to wonder. How did the early loss of her parents shape Miss Darcy’s character? And what about her near-disastrous affair with Mr. Wickham? Is that the true source of her shyness? She adores her brother and his new wife Elizabeth, but will their guiding influence be enough to steer Georgiana clear of new trouble as she comes of age and falls in love again?
This work is intended as a companion of sorts to The Darcys of Pemberley (sequel to Pride and Prejudice), with the timelines of the two running parallel. Both novels are unique and complete in themselves, but together they supply a richer reading experience than either one alone. The earlier book focused primarily on Darcy and Elizabeth’s relationship during their early married life. There was a third Darcy represented in the title, however. Now she and her courtship story take center stage in Miss Georgiana Darcy of Pemberley.