Wednesday 3 July 2024




Thank you, Maria Grazia, for inviting me to guest blog today. For many years I’ve wondered what it would be like to be friends with the lively, witty, intelligent Elizabeth Bennet of Pride and Prejudice, even after her marriage to Mr. Darcy, when she is a mother and the mistress of Pemberley. We know from Jane Austen’s novels and letters just how challenging and frustrating it was to be woman in a man’s world during the nineteenth century. My new novella, Something About Lizzy: Family Secrets Post-Pride and Prejudice, is my ode to Elizabeth Darcy née Bennet—her emotional journey as a married woman, her love and relationships and secrets.

Can you imagine Mrs. Darcy taking a shine to you and requesting that you call her Lizzy? What an honor that would be! That’s what happens to my narrator, Sofia-Elisabete, the sixteen-year-old daughter of Colonel Fitzwilliam (his love-child from Portugal), who is mentored by Lizzy in all things domestic. Sofia greatly admires Lizzy, thinking her perfect, and wants to know everything about her and her children, as do we. If you haven’t met my character Sofia yet, she is a sparkling young lady with a distinctive voice. Passionate, funny, and brave, she is, unfortunately, trouble prone. Abandoned by her mother during the Peninsular War, she grew up in an orphanage, until Colonel Fitzwilliam found her when she was four, gave her his surname, and brought her up English.

Just how difficult is it to be married to Fitzwilliam Darcy? I have come to believe that Darcy doesn’t change completely, despite Elizabeth’s ongoing attempts to influence him for the better. So even though we see Darcy become more sociable and less prideful at the end of Pride and Prejudice, I wondered if, nevertheless, he still can be insufferable at times? I’m sure that he is. My story takes place during one of the hottest summers on record in England, shortly after the financial crisis and panic of 1825 when many banks closed. Darcy is not in a good mood, to be sure.

What is the tension that Sofia observes in the Darcy marriage? In my story I explore the clash of men’s and women’s spheres as it may have happened post-Pride and Prejudice. Lizzy has come into her own as the powerful mistress of Pemberley. But does Darcy always get the last word in matters of import? Sofia has been invited to spend the summer in a sun-soaked Pemberley, where everything seems perfect and the days are easy. Soon, however, she discovers that not all is right at Pemberley House. She has her own secrets, too, which get tangled up with those of Lizzy’s.

Intriguing, mysterious, introspective—this highly immersive dramedy, Something About Lizzy, will keep you riveted until the end. I hope you enjoy it!

Robin Elizabeth Kobayashi


Book Blurb


To be mistress of Pemberley is certainly something…

Derbyshire, Summer 1826. Sofia-Elisabete, the sixteen-year-old daughter of Colonel Fitzwilliam, is initiated into the idyllic, genteel world of her cousin-in-law, Elizabeth Darcy, mistress of Pemberley and mother of five. Lizzy, as she prefers to be called by her intimates, seems happily established in domestic country life and, naturally, still in love with Mr. Darcy. With beguiling candor, Sofia narrates how the two ladies quickly become close friends—despite the misgivings of Sofia’s father.

…but there are secrets in all families, you know.

Soon, however, Sofia witnesses the trials of parenthood and signs of simmering conflict in Lizzy’s traditional marriage to Mr. Darcy. She senses that things are not quite right. The mystery deepens when others reveal tidbits concerning a connection between Lizzy and Sofia’s uncle, Lord Scapeton, who has sorely wronged Sofia herself in the past. As the ladies’ lives and secrets intertwine that long, hot, sultry summer, Sofia discovers something about Lizzy that threatens to upend their newly blossoming friendship.

This novella can be read as a standalone or as part of the series, Sofia-Elisabete Stories.




(In this scene Darcy is trying to make up with Elizabeth, with a little help from his relations.)

Darcy promptly sat down at the French writing-desk to compose a letter to his wife. He gave it to the colonel, who read it aloud:

“‘Be not alarmed, dearest Elizabeth, on receiving this letter, by the apprehension of its containing any repetition of my sentiments which were so upsetting to you, namely, that while the nursery may be a mother’s proper sphere, the education of a son afterwards is that of the father’s.’”

The colonel made a face. “Coz! Have you not yet learned how to write a proper love-letter to your own wife?”

“I wish to know what is wrong about it,” Darcy said in an offended tone.

“Only you could compose something that is so—both agreeable and disagreeable.” The colonel dipped the pen, and commenced to cross out.

This upset Darcy. “I object to that deletion! The paragraph in question was one of my best.”

“It is one of your worst,” responded the colonel, and proceeded to rewrite it.

I couldn’t help but be amused by their attempts. Why must a love-letter be so complicated? Gazing at my husband, I said, “My Mr. Munro writes the best love-letters; they come from his heart, and are engraved upon mine. And he always recites a few lines of poetry for me.”

Kitt, happily blushing, kissed the palm of my hand.

The colonel turned to Darcy. “A few lines of Byron’s should work—hey, Darcy?”

“Absolutely not,” was the firm reply.

“Keats might be a good choice.” This from Kitt.

“Who?” the other two inquired.

He explained, “John Keats, a young romantic poet who died five years ago, wrote poems that are highly expressive and passionate.”

“Oh, another modern sensualist,” grumbled Darcy.

“Hmm, but a little sensuality just might dazzle your ‘Mrs. Darcy’ into becoming your ‘Elizabeth’ again,” advised the colonel. “You will not find a suitable love poem written by a rationalist.”

After Kitt recited a few lines of Keats, the colonel chose: “Of love, your kiss,—those hands, those eyes divine.”

The letter done, and Darcy tolerably satisfied, I said good-night to everyone, for I was suddenly sleepy. “Tomorrow is a new day, Cousin Darcy,” I reminded him, stifling a yawn.

He replied, “Then I shall see you and everyone on the morrow, and hopefully Mrs. Darcy as well.”

But he didn’t see her, not until two long days afterwards.

* * *

Darcy fussed with his appearance. He scrutinized himself in the great hall mirror, arranging his hair, straightening his fob, adjusting his light brown coat over his embroidered waistcoat. He seemed entirely anxious. Twice he brusquely asked the butler where in heaven’s name his children were, for the coaches stood in readiness at the door.

Lizzy, you see, had responded archly to his love-letter.

Dear Mr. Darcy,

You say you love me for a thousand reasons. Yet, I can think of only seven that you have mentioned in the past, including my fine eyes and lively mind. Why do I suspect that someone helped you to write this letter? Was it desperation on your part, or perhaps a concession, heated as you were by wine? My “eyes divine,” indeed!

Your bemused wife,

Mrs. Darcy

P.S. Please refrain from frightening my house-maid.

“You are doubly in the suds now, Darcy,” said the colonel, when he read the letter. “Confound the fellow Keats! We should never have quoted him.”

Darcy disagreed. “Her letter has given me the courage to regain her respect. If she had truly thought that I was absolutely, irrevocably hopeless as a husband and father, she would have been frank about it.” Then, under his breath, “A road more rugged we have traveled before.”

To the Dower House we went. We took two coaches this time—the Darcy boys and their father in one, the rest of us in the other. The boys’ tutor and the girl’s governess both sat on the box. Everyone seemed in a festive mood, as though something exciting were about to happen.

Lizzy stood waiting outside the Dower House, just beyond its carriage sweep. As she stepped forward, I gasped a little. She, the married belle, was a bewitching sight in a golden-yellow gown cut low, the tops of the lace-bordered sleeves baring her shoulders. Her Leghorn hat, trimmed in blue ribbon, was plumed in a bright hue to match her gown. A red peacock butterfly fluttered hither and thither, attracted by the tall feathers, to complete her costume.

The colonel whistled low. “I was wrong, Darcy. Those lines of Keats’s helped.”


Something About Lizzy is now available on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited


About the Author

 Robin Elizabeth Kobayashi is an award-winning writer of literary historical fiction inspired by Pride and Prejudice and the classics. Two of her books have been named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of the Year. She is also a two-time recipient of the B.R.A.G. Medallion. Her latest audiobook won a silver medal in the Wishing Shelf Book Awards. She has also been published in the Copperfield Review Quarterly. Born and bred in Los Angeles, California, she lives there with her husband and an adopted dog named Buddha, a Tibetan spaniel mix. She has worked in legal publishing and information technology for many years now. Join her on Facebook and Instagram

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