Monday 17 June 2024



Explore the world of Fitzwilliam Darcy like never before with Kelly Dean Jolley's new novel, Darcy's Struggle. This romantic and reflective story offers a fresh perspective on the classic tale, probing deep into Darcy's internal conflicts and emotions as he navigates his feelings for Elizabeth Bennet. In the following excerpt, we witness a pivotal moment where Darcy's perception of Elizabeth begins to shift, illuminating his struggle between intellect and heart.

 About the Book

Brilliant, sensitive, and private, Fitzwilliam Darcy finds himself at the Meryton Assembly, consciously troubled by recent events in Ramsgate and unconsciously troubled by himself.  He insults Elizabeth Bennet, at whom he has only glanced.

It is not until she appears at Netherfield—full of life, skirted in mud, and eager to attend to 

her sick sister—that Darcy truly looks at her. When he does, he knows she is the woman he has been searching for, the elusive her of his heart. He falls for her completely…despite her apparent unsuitability to be the Mistress of Pemberley and his half-hearted efforts to convince himself he can live without her.

Shortly before Elizabeth leaves Netherfield, Darcy apologizes for what he said at the Assembly. Will that apology and the depth of his sudden but durable feelings give him hope with Elizabeth? Might George Wickham’s arrival frustrate his hopes, especially after Darcy blunders into a marriage proposal to Elizabeth? 

Romantic, reflective, and ironic, this is a story told from Darcy’s point of view, a story of the struggle from intellect to heart—a deliberate character study and a delicate love story.    


 Read an Excerpt

Darcy finally stopped staring.

It took an act of will. Normally, Darcy had willpower in abundance. This time, it took all he had.

When he turned, Miss Bingley was staring at him. She had been staring at him staring at Miss Elizabeth. He realized Miss Bingley had been aware of his staring since it began—since Miss Elizabeth had entered Netherfield.

Bingley’s sister always strained the world through his reactions, and he had forgotten that. His reactions normally determined hers.

Behind him, he heard Miss Elizabeth's voice, now fully contrite and containing no trace of the challenge that had been in her eyes. She spoke softly to the servants. “I am sorry. I tried to clean them before I knocked on the door and believed I had, but the November mud is like glue.”

“It’s no problem, ma’am,” one of the servants said, responding softly in kind.

Miss Bingley turned as Darcy reached her, shaking her head in disapproval. “She walked here. What would she be about?” 

Darcy glanced at her, but only after he finally looked away from Miss Elizabeth. “She has come to help care for her sister. An errand of kindness.”

She went on shaking her head.


Darcy could now hear the question in his voice—in foro interno, as it were: the voice of conscience.

Did I say that? Was I that insensible? That inattentive? That mistaken? 

He replayed the scene at the Assembly in his memory again. He had noticed Miss Elizabeth before Bingley pointed her out, and he had glanced at her several times during and after his exchange with him. But Darcy had not actually paid attention to her—he had noticed the peculiar brightness of her eyes, and that was all.

Tolerable? Like saying Shakespeare had a minor gift for phrases. 

He had seen her now—truly seen her—and he would not judge so poorly again. She might have inadvertently trailed mud into Netherfield, but she had also brought life into it.

“Go and sit down, Mr. Darcy. Join the others.” Although Miss Bingley managed a faint smile, her tone was tense, hovering between request and command. “I will go back and see that Miss Eliza finds her way to Jane's room. The apothecary remains there.”

He nodded. He did not glance back at Miss Elizabeth until Miss Bingley was walking toward her and could not see.

When he entered the drawing room, he realized his hands were clammy.

It was a new sensation.


His personal copy of Johnson's Rambler was open on Darcy's lap and his eyes were fixed on the page, but he managed to read nothing.

He remained distracted.

Miss Elizabeth. Her. Her?

Darcy had never had any patience for those who believed that regard, love, could spring from a first interview or show itself before two words had been exchanged. A fantasy.

He had always believed, to the contrary, that love was the result of less interesting but more promising modes of attachment: knowledge of character, esteem—or even, perhaps, gratitude. These were trustworthy foundations of love.

If any love was possible before two words had been exchanged, it would have to be love without knowledge of character or love without esteem, a house built on sand, the result of passion outstripping virtue, taking reason hostage.

His parents had loved and esteemed one another, learning to do so during a long courtship, and their example of wedded harmony had shaped Darcy's hopes, creating his understanding of connubial bliss.

He knew Christopher Marlowe’s lines—Where both deliberate, the love is slight: Who ever loved, that loved not at first sight?—but he rejected them. He expected a deliberate love, like his parents’. A fine, stout love, solidly three-dimensional, capable of withstanding the contradictions and varieties of life.

As a result, he had never imagined meeting her as involving immediate recognition, of a vision with sudden, compulsive power. He had expected to come to know her as her, as the woman, slowly, over time, after first discovering that she satisfied his demands for her situation and connections, that she was eligible. Eligible for Pemberley. Perhaps she would even have a title. Only then could he begin to ascertain whether she was the woman for whom he was searching. Unfortunately, all the eligible women he had so far met had quickly proven not to be the woman he was looking for.

He had not known what she looked like, but experience had taught him a great deal about what she did not look like. The words of one of his Cambridge tutors came to mind: “Plato asks the question that became the Learner’s Paradox. If you don't know what you are searching for, how can you recognize it when you find it, and if you do know, why is searching necessary? Either way, learning seems impossible.”

But when Miss Elizabeth tracked muddily into Netherfield with November on her hair and in the color of her cheeks, eyes aflame, what Darcy saw had sudden, compulsive power. She was herself a lesson. It was her. He had not known who he was searching for, yet he knew it was she.

But it could not be. She was ineligible.

Did you enjoy this excerpt? Grab your copy then and immerse yourself in this delicate love story and character study, where every glance and gesture holds significance. Darcy's Struggle is a tale of transformation and self-discovery, perfect for fans of Pride and Prejudice and anyone who enjoys a deep, introspective romance. Don't miss out on this compelling new release! 

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 Darcy’s Struggle

About the Author

 Kelly Dean Jolley, a professor at Auburn University, has penned several novels. His first, Big Swamp, is a detective novel, which he followed with a Christmas mystery, The Vanishing Woman. He also composed a book of poetry, Stony Lonesome.

        Using the pseudonym Newton Priors, he released three additional novels: Balter (A Retelling of Pride and Prejudice)Tides of Bath (A Retelling of Persuasion), and a Western, Heaven and Hell: A Romance. 

        Professor Jolley has made contributions to many academic publications as well. He is the author of The Concept 'Horse' Paradox and Wittgensteinian Conceptual Investigations, the editor of Wittgenstein: Key Concepts, and has published over forty academic articles. He is a past Alumni Professor and currently the Goodwin-Philpott Endowed Chair in Religion and Professor of Philosophy.  

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 Other Meryton Press Books by Kelly Dean Jolley

Big Swamp

The Vanishing Woman

Coming Soon from Kelly Dean Jolley and Meryton Press

Pride, Prejudice, and Pretense (A spy novel, a romance, and a character study)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this! KDJ