A coming-of-age story told in four volumes between Austen’s infamous couple; savor the story of the prideful man and the girl prejudiced against him, as they meet much earlier in this rethinking of Jane Austen’s masterpiece, Pride & Prejudice. Could this ‘disobedient little hellion’ one day become mistress of Pemberley and the keeper of his heart?
Caitlin Williams, author of the highly-praised book, Ardently, tours the blogosphere from June 13- June 26, 2016 to share her newest release, The Coming Of Age Of Elizabeth Bennet. Fourteen book bloggers, specializing in Austenesque fiction and romance stories, will share excerpts, guest posts, an exclusive interview with the author and book reviews from this highly awaited Austen-inspired novel. Eight ebooks are also being included in our giveaways (check the rafflecopter form below this post)
Welcome readers to the launch of the blog tour for Caitlin Williams’ newly released book, The Coming Of Age Of Elizabeth Bennet. We would like to extend our gratitude to Maria Grazia for welcoming us to her wonderful blog and for helping us launch these virtual visits with fourteen popular book bloggers, who feature Austenesque and romance fiction, as they share guest posts, giveaways, excerpts, book reviews and an interview with Caitlin Williams along this journey.
The Coming Of Age Of Elizabeth Bennet takes readers back to when Elizabeth Bennet was a highly-spirited and immature fifteen-year-old girl, as she finds herself facing the most heartbreaking situation of her young life; Mr. Bennet has passed away and Elizabeth must go to Derbyshire to live with her new guardian. You’re probably curious who this new caretaker is! It is none other than Mr. George Darcy, Mr. Bennet’s old friend, who has agreed to raise her alongside his own daughter, eleven-year-old Georgiana Darcy.
But first, they have to get her to Pemberley, right? Well, that’s not such an easy task! We know Elizabeth Bennet is a ‘disobedient little hellion,’ and when twenty-three-year-old Fitzwilliam Darcy is forced to traipse through Hertfordshire to find her and bring her to Pemberley, he’s in for his first taste of what it will be like to have the impertinent Elizabeth Bennet in his life.
This new JAFF story explores Elizabeth’s youth from the time she is fifteen to twenty-one years of age, where there will certainly be stumbles and trips along the way. But could this ‘disobedient little hellion’ one day become mistress of Pemberley and the keeper of Fitzwilliam Darcy’s heart?
Since this book will explore Elizabeth’s childhood, wouldn’t it be simply lovely to spend a little time remembering someone who was very special in Jane Austen’s own childhood; the infamous Frances Burney! Fanny Burney was one of the most influential writers of Jane Austen’s own work, and today Ms. Burney celebrates her 264th birthday. Did you know that many people claim that Fanny Burney was the first English woman novelist to achieve international success? No wonder Austen found her work so inspiring!
“Fanny Burney later Madame D’Arblay (June 13, 1752-January 6, 1840) was an English novelist and diarist. She published her first novel Evelina anonymously in 1778. The revelation of its authorship brought her immediate fame. She published Cecilia in 1782 and Camilla in 1796. Her three major novels, much admired by Jane Austen, are about the entry into the world of a young, beautiful, intelligent but inexperienced girl. She was born Frances Burney, daughter of Dr Charles Burney, at King’s Lynn, Norfolk. Her mother, Esther (nee Sleepe) was granddaughter of a French refugee named Dubois. Fanny was the fourth child in a family of six, who was largely self-educated.”
Burney's life was quite remarkable; she was a protégée of Samuel Johnson, a lady-in-waiting at the court of George III, later wife of an emigre aristocrat and stranded in France during the Napoleonic Wars, she lived on into the reign of Queen Victoria. Her journals and letters are now widely read as a rich source of information about the Court, social conditions and cultural changes over her long lifetime.
Similar to Jane Austen, she spent a lot of her time learning at home and spent a liberal amount of time reading, where she also wrote some juvenilia of her own. Burney’s mother’s early death and her father’s subsequent marriage left her bereft, so she sought refuge in her journals, learning the craft of writing witty dialogues. Cecilia, Burney’s second novel, was a favorite of young Jane Austen’s, where Burney displayed her talents for being an acute observer. The title of Austen’s most famous book derives from a passage in Cecilia:
“The whole of this unfortunate business,” said Dr Lyster, “has been the result of PRIDE and PREJUDICE.” (1)
Austen’s name is listed as a subscriber to Burney’s third novel, Camilla.
During Jane Austen’s lifetime, Burney was a far more popular writer, perhaps because Austen wrote more about everyday life and Burney was better versed with the fashions and the amusements of the day – her novels would probably have made better popular literature.
However, it’s Jane Austen who is considered the first great female writer and one of the pioneers of the novel. Her wit and depth in depicting the human character are beyond comparison. Writers such as Fanny Burney helped to pave the way for Jane Austen and certainly contributed to her success as an author.
With the release of The Coming Of Age Of Elizabeth Bennet, readers are offered an in-depth view of how young Elizabeth Bennet’s own adolescence may have unfolded if she was raised alongside Georgiana Darcy and under the critical eyes of Fitzwilliam Darcy. In a similar vein to Frances Burney and Jane Austen, Elizabeth Bennet is also an accomplished reader, who enjoys losing herself in a well-written novel, and has a deep love for the written word. Similar to both Burney and Austen, Elizabeth has been forced into a difficult situation after the death of a parent, which not only involves her relocation to Pemberley; her new situation also elevates her station and places unanticipated expectations on the young lady.
Strong-willed, smart and independent; just like Frances Burney and Jane Austen, the young Elizabeth Bennet in this new story will face numerous challenges. Throughout her struggles, she will strive to meet them with a fortitude and grace that readers will find admirable at times, and just plain reckless and spiteful at other times. Savor this reimagining of Elizabeth Bennet as you’ve never seen her before…
From Frances Burney to Jane Austen to Caitlin Williams’ The Coming Of Age Of Elizabeth Bennet… Happy Birthday Frances Burney; you started it all 264 years ago today. We stand on the shoulders of these literary giants, as we celebrate Fanny’s birthday and recognize her influence on Austen’s work, while we launch the beginning of a blog tour that welcomes Caitlin Williams back to the JAFF community with her latest book. We hope our readers find within these pages another strong, independent woman to admire and love!
“And what are you reading, Miss — ?”“Oh! It is only a novel!” replies the young lady, while she lays down her book with affected indifference, or momentary shame.“It is only Cecilia, or Camilla, or Belinda”; or, in short, only some work in which the greatest powers of the mind are displayed, in which the most thorough knowledge of human nature, the happiest delineation of its varieties, the liveliest effusions of wit and humour, are conveyed to the world in the best-chosen language.
The very worst has happened. Mr Bennet has died, leaving his wife and five young daughters bereft. The family estate, Longbourn, is now lost, entailed away and fifteen-year-old Elizabeth Bennet is to go two hundred miles away to live with strangers. George Darcy, repaying a debt of gratitude, has offered to take her to Pemberley, to live under the mantle of his care and be raised alongside his own daughter, Georgiana.
But on the day she is to leave Longbourn forever, young Elizabeth, grieving and confused, runs off into the Hertfordshire countryside. Fitzwilliam Darcy gives chase, telling his father he will have her back in an hour or two. Luck and fate, however, are not on his side and capturing Elizabeth Bennet turns out not only to be more difficult than he could ever have imagined, but events conspire to turn her little adventure into his worst nightmare.
The prideful man and the girl prejudiced against him, meet much earlier in this rethinking of Jane Austen’s masterpiece. Elizabeth grows up under the ever-watchful eye of Mr Darcy, from fifteen to twenty-one. She errs and falters, there are stumbles and trips, but could this ‘disobedient little hellion’ one day become mistress of Pemberley and the keeper of his heart?
Caitlin Williams lives in Kent, England, with her family. She fell in love with all things Regency as a teenager, but particularly admires the work of Jane Austen and the way she masterfully combines humour and romance, while weaving them through such wonderful stories and characters.
Pride and Prejudice is Caitlin’s favourite novel and she finds Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet so deliciously entertaining that she likes to borrow them from Ms Austen and enjoys the challenge of putting them in different places and situations.
Her debut novel, Ardently, was written as a hobby, usually with her laptop balanced on the kitchen worktop, typing with one hand, a glass of wine in the other, while she also attempted to cook dinner and keep her children from killing each other. The success of Ardently was as much a surprise to her, as it was to anyone else, and she has been thrilled and genuinely thankful for the positive responses and reviews it generated.
Her second novel, The Coming of Age of Elizabeth Bennet, is a portrait of a much younger Elizabeth, who is thrown into an extraordinary set of circumstances due to the premature death of Mr Bennet, and she hopes you all enjoy it very much.
Blog Tour Schedule
June 13/ My Jane Austen Book Club/Launch Post/“Happy Birthday Fanny Burney & The Coming Of Age Of Elizabeth Bennet” & Giveaway
June 14/ So Little Time... / Book Excerpt & Giveaway
June 15/ Just Jane 1813/An Exclusive Interview with Caitlin Williams
June 16/ Pemberley to Milton/Book Review & Giveaway
June 17/ Margie's Must Reads/ Book Excerpt & Giveaway
June 18/ The Calico Critic/Book Review & Giveaway
June 19/ Babblings of a Bookworm/“The Education of a Young Lady” Guest Post & Giveaway
June 20/ Half Agony, Half Hope/Book Review
June 21/ More Agreeably Engaged/ Book Review & Giveaway
June 22/ My Kids Led Me Back to Pride and Prejudice /Book Excerpt & Giveaway
June 23/ Liz's Reading Life / “A Nod and A Wink to Austen” Guest Post & Giveaway
June 24/ Diary of an Eccentric/Book Review
June 25/ Laughing With Lizzie/ “The Young Master” Guest Post & Giveaway
June 26/ A Covent Garden Gilflurt’s Guide to Life/ “A Most Scandalous” Guest Post