Thank you, Jan, for the new chapter. You are still killing me, but I am hopeful that the pain will be over soon. Sorry to be so dramatic. I, too, hope that Peter Darcy is alive and well and talkative. Please post soon!!!!! Cindy
Goodness. Soooo close to the truth! I can hardly contain myself! Very good chapter, Jan. Thank you!
Oh, The agony continues. Great chapter!
Thank you for another wonderful chapter!!! Thank you for letting us see a little of what Darcy has been thinking and doing. Thank you for Mr G's communication to Lizzy "Because I strongly suspect that Mr. Darcy no longer believes you are his sister".
Lizzy has been through so much (as we your readers)and she needed some help from Mr. G to see a little light at the end of her very dark tunnel. We atleast know that we can trust you for a happy ending.
I can't wait until your next chapter. Please let Peter have married Lizzy's mom in a true love union and let him now discover that he has a daughter. Don't let it be that he abandoned her and her mother.
Please, please, and pretty please give us plenty of Darcy and Lizzy together after they confess their love for each other.
Exquisite torture Indeed!!
Please update soon!!
Jan, as always a wonderful chapter full of suspense and beautiful writing and character rendition, even as we step ever closer to the truth.
I have been reviewing chapters over at DWG (as Sandra P.) pretty much, although I did try hard to review in both places at first but I'm sorry to say I have found time constraints of late interferred...
Anyway, as mentioned in my review over there, I wonder, based on your stunning Prologue, whether Lizzy's father (who I think might be Peter, although I'm still happily open to whatever you bring us - I trust you well enough on past stories to know it won't be George! LOL) knew his child survived the death of his lover? I think not. I do also wonder deep down if he knew there was a child at all? Was the supposed death a cover; after all, Mr Bennet was told Lizzy's mother died in childbirth, not a fall...
My other reason for suspecting it might be Peter as the father is the guidance offered by the other person in the church that night, who suggested that the devastated man "allow Him to work His will in your life."
This for me suits the fate of a man who turned his back on his old life for his church/religion...
So... if Peter IS Lizzy's father yet he never knew she existed, it would explain his never seeking her out.
But all the speculation aside, I continue to just enjoy the ride, and look forward very much to reading more from such a talented writer, Jan. Thank you very much for sharing your wonderful ability to spin a great tale.
And Renee, thank you so much for the high standard of talent that your site represents. It's a place one never fears to come in search of excellent story telling! :D
And Renee, thank you so much for the high standard of talent that your site represents. It's a place one never fears to come in search of excellent story telling!
Thank you, Sandra! And Thank you too for your thoughtful comments on the stories. The authors appreciate that so much. But who could understand that beter than you, since you're one yourself.
"But you must consider it."
"No, I must not!"
Does he mean he doesn't have to consider that Uncle Peter may not know anything, or that he dares not consider it? Because we must consider it, in a way this may be the most painful cliffhanger yet.
Arrgghhhhh. the agony, so close and yet so far.Excellent cliffhanger.
Yeah........I survived the boat trip & didn't fell off the edge...and now joining D&E hunting the clues again...oh such agony..I hope the uncle saw one look of Elizabeth and know who she is and confess straight away and marry them off ....ha ha....such happy reunion...such high hopes...
I do hope the happy reunion will not happen at the last episode...Jan ..there is simply not enough loving between the two non-siblings (I am sure of it)))
Thanks for the chappie...lovin it
Well, the beginnings of hope are in this chapter. I agree with Mr.G that Darcy doesn't believe Lizzy is his sister, and I just applaud his determination!!! He won't give up and just cannot accept that it could be true. He knew his father well, and he isn't taking Lady C's word for it, which is so great!!
I believe that Lady C and Caroline B are conspiring somehow. I don't know if Caroline really understands Lady C's reasons, but she's helped her somehow. Maybe she's the one that found the diaries and turned them over to Lady C, who ripped out the pages? Who knows, but I think Caroline has helped her, with Lady C giving her notice in society as payment.
As for Lizzy, she is just protecting her heart as best as she can. She's in love with Darcy, and as far as she knows, he's her brother by blood. She is trying to help him understand that it's a possibility that they won't find out the answers they need, but he won't accept that and is so determined. It must be so scary!!!
I'll be honest, this story is one of the best fanfics that I've ever read!! It has all the right elements and is written to give us just enough hope, but with all the angst to help us feel exactly what Lizzy is feeling. Brilliant!!!
My guess is that Peter is Lizzy's father. I think that Linton Willohby separated E's parents with a bold faced lie about her falling down the stairs to get him away from her. I don't think they knew of her condition at that time, based on the time frame of his disappearance in March, and Lizzy's birth in December. I think that once it was known that she was pregnant, there was no way to contact him since he disappeared without a trace. I do think they were married by the Catholic priest though, and not just having sex.
I'm probably way off base, but I just hope that if Peter is E's father, he has the joy to meet her before he dies!!! If he isn't, I just hope he is alive and can shed light on the mystery!!
Roses and chocolates to all of you for your very dear, gracious comments! I can't think of a better readership to write for than the JA community. You are intelligent, sharp, insightful, careful readers, and I only wish I was half as clever as most of you. Some of your plots are fantastic, some are wishful thinking, and some leave me no room for surprises.
I want to say a special word of thanks to Sandra and others on this board who also take the time to comment at DWG. That's going beyond duty. I wish DWG was set up whereby I could reply to comments there without hogging the board and pushing stories off.
I also must thank Ali for her excellent and generous input in this chapter and the others that take place in Ireland. Sharing her knowledge of the country added more than I can say. Of course, Ellen G, Linnea, and Debbie S continue to help me with each and every word I write, for which I am always grateful.
Don't miss next week's chapter. I think it will make things better. And as to the length of this thing - it's expanded to 18 chapters, and I'm really hoping that's it.
Oh Jan, a happy chapter on the horizen? I'm glad that it's going out to 18 chapters, hopefully filled with lots of D&E mush!!
I keep thinking about this story and the sleuth side of my brain does not rest when there is a mystery to be solved. It's so funny that this story is dealing with a subject that is very personal to me. I was adopted as a baby, and did my own investigative work about 17 years ago that unravelled my own mystery- and what shock and suprises met me at the end of my journey Needless to say, I understand Lizzy very well
Anyway, I keep coming back to the fact that old Mr.D took care of everything concerning baby Lizzy. The Willobys' just dumped her off, and this strikes me as odd if there wasn't sufficient proof that Lizzy was a Darcy. I don't think the Darcy family would get entangled in such a mess otherwise. I'm not positive why old Mr.D didn't just raise Lizzy as his niece though. Since Sir Lewis helped with the adoption, I'm sure that nosey Lady C had to know everything too.
Gosh, I wish we could have another chapter today!! I guess all we can do is hold our breaths until next Sunday, but it is so long to wait!!!
It's so funny that this story is dealing with a subject that is very personal to me. I was adopted as a baby, and did my own investigative work about 17 years ago that unravelled my own mystery- and what shock and suprises met me at the end of my journey Needless to say, I understand Lizzy very well.
Oh, my, I bet you have a story you could write yourself! My best friend's daughter is adopted, and she has toyed with the idea of finding her birth mother but never followed through with it. I admire everyone involved in such an endeavor, the birth parents, adoptive parents, and especially the child. So many emotions involved, and many that call for selflessness. I hope I have portrayed the subject in a sensitive manner, as I would not wish to offend anyone.
Thanks so much for sharing that with me.
Hi Jan, just replying to your last post. You have portrayed the subject very well and with such respect. That's why I enjoy the story so well.
Adoption and unravelling the story behind why a person gives up a baby is very personal and affects everyone involved in the adoption. It evokes all kinds of hidden feelings that are very scary, and each person is different so deals with it differently.
My own story was quite incredible, and my birth father wrote a book many years ago that has a little of our story in it. I've met both of them and even though I had been communicating with them for years, only met my b-mother this April and my b-father about 11 years ago. There's a really good organization on the web called PACER that has chapters all across the US that helps people involved in adoption. They have great resources and can be a great help for people if they just need others to talk to, or actually plan a reunion (not everyone is interested in this).
I think the reason George didn't raise Lizzy as his niece had something to do with why he told Sir Lewis to keep it quiet: because Anne was in delicate health and would be disappointed if she knew. We know she liked Peter, so would she have been mortally disappointed if she had known he had fathered a child, either in or out of wedlock, but probably out of the Church of England? Maybe, even though it seems extreme.
But nothing the Darcys did is as extreme as what Linton Willoughby did, lying to the man in the prologue (Peter, I believe) that Elizabeth had died in a fall downstairs, when she was alive and living practically next door, at Bridesgate.
Jan, thank you for the promise of more hope in the next chapter, and of extra chapters!
I really tried to resist this story until it was completed, but I shamefully succumbed to temptation yesterday. My theory is that Peter is Elizabeth's father, and she wasn't illegitimate. I think her parents' sylvan trysts were at least initially catechetical in nature, and in light of Anglo anti-Catholicism, converting to "Papism" and marrying one to boot was probably considered just as wicked (if not more so) as having a baby out of wedlock. I realize that a legal marriage at the time would necessitate a CofE ceremony (with the license or the posting of banns, etc.), but for devote Catholics, the sacrament of marriage is religious rather than civic, and if a priest were to marry Peter Darcy and Elizabeth Willoughby, they would have considered themselves married regardless of the legal niceties.
So that's my prediction, and I won't feel at all cheated if I'm proven correct! I'm enjoying the story immensely and eagerly await the next installment. I may be way off on this, but I couldn't help but feel there was a bit of a "Brideshead Revisited" homage in the name of Bridesgate Manor. Am I wrong?
JTorres, I still think you've got a story of your own to write - sounds fascinating. Thanks for the name of the organization on the WEB. I'm going to pass that along to my friend.
Carol, I agree with you on Linton Willoughby. I believe he's the worst character I've ever created.
RAM, it's wonderful to see a new reader brave enough to plunge into this thing. Thank you for your comments. Ah, Brideshead Revisited - I haven't seen that in such a long time. I didn't consciously think of it when I named Bridesgate, but I can't vouch for my subconscious. A reader at DWG commented on the name of the inn at Cashel being Fitzgerald's. She said that was in Ballykissangel, which pleased me, as I loved that show. Actually, I've sprinkled a lot of names from Ballyk throughout this story.
And Annabella, don't feel alone about being confused. You have no idea how many times I've had to go back and read what I've written to keep it all straight, especially when I consider readers' possible plots. Someone recently said Peter Darcy is a priest as though it is a fact. I had to check my writing to see if I'd ever said that. Nope, just someone's creative imagination.
Thanks again, everyone, for each one of your messages.
Just to let you now I am still loving your story.
Chapter 14 is up, my dears. Enjoy!
"Ah, yes, the flowers never fail to entice us away from the path we are on, as well they should. ... "
Beautiful symbolism, Jan.
OMG, as I said on the what's new page, I'm totally overwhelmed.
Not only because of the story development, but because of the beauty of your narration too, Jan.
R~ <-- very very impressed
Awesome...totally awesome!! I knew she had to be someone else's daughter! Jan, you are my hero!
Another wonderful and beautifully written chapter. I’m so happy for Elizabeth – she has found her parents at last. I hope she is going to have an opportunity to talk to Peter, to get to know each other only if a little.
But we have still 4 chapters to go and I have learned in the world of JAFF that is long enough to cause trouble and pain for our characters and for readers.
Darcy’s attitude and obvious resignation is terrifying. Until now he was the one to take an action, to search, to fight, to not give up.
Darcy, Darcy do not run away. Not now. I fear you will have to leave Elizabeth with Peter Darcy – they have to talk, but Fitzwilliam Darcy is going to go to Pemberley or London and will try to fight with his feelings for Elizabeth, using not only few glasses of brandy.
Dear Jan, what have you done? I’m afraid to have hope now, I’m afraid to feel relief, I’m afraid there is still pain to come…
hey, I'm practically dying here! the story is up to chapter 13; it won't go to chapter 14 when i click on it; even the page ends at 13.
Refresh your page, dear. That should do the trick!
i checked again.... things got right!!!!
Be prepared for a ridiculous amount of quoting! It's all so good!
Jan, what a wonderful piece of writing. Your talent as a story teller goes before you; we’ve all read and loved your stories, but I have to say that you’ve reached new heights for me in this one.
This chapter is giving us so much: angst, humour, and oh thank the Lord, ANSWERS! (Yes, I know there might well be more angst yet to come, but this has been such a welcome respite).
QUOTE: I felt his eyes upon me. "And you, Elizabeth? Do you not wish me luck?" I raised my eyes to meet his. "Of course, sir, and, even more, I hope that what you find will grant you peace."
Oh my, such a goosebumps moment!
QUOTE: So, I simply lifted my head, assumed my best imitation of Miss Bingley, and waved him away.
QUOTE: We strolled in silence, the moon glistening on the rippling surface. The water lapped against the pier, and I knew I should have loved being there in that setting, if not for the anguish on Mr. Darcy's face.
How heartbreaking… I was thinking the same thing myself, what a peaceful, romantic setting for such awful anguish.
QUOTE: "I want more than that." He turned and faced me. "I want...oh, my dearest girl, I need someone...anyone...to tell me that my father is not your father."
Oh Lord! This was just heartbreaking too. You write their emotions so painfully well, Jan, that it brought an ache to my throat as I read it. I feel so sad for them, but seeing Darcy's resistance to the inevitable fading later is just so very painful.
QUOTE: "But I must be honest and confess that is not my heart's desire. I want..." "No, do not say it! You must not say it, sir.
I know she’s right, but oh how I wished he could!
QUOTE: The sadness rose up between us like a deep chasm over which no one crosses.
Achingly beautiful writing; gorgeous.
On a random side note, I have missed somewhere in this wonderful story the reason for Peter not having long to live… I kept seeing reviewers refer to hoping Peter Darcy was still alive by the time they found him, but what is wrong with him?
QUOTE: I prayed fervently that my brother
Wow! That made me blink! Is that the first time Elizabeth has actually intentionally referred to him as her ‘brother’?
QUOTE: If Mr. Darcy drank to excess, my uncle never made mention of it, but then, he had always possessed a modest affinity for spirits himself.
LOL. Jan, dear Jan – you have that wonderful talent that any good writer needs, the ability to bring in some gentle humour even amidst all the angst!
QUOTE: Bishop of Shrewsbury
Hah! I liked this. I originate from Shrewsbury (England), so it was fun to see the name pop up in your story! :D
I was so pleased that Lizzy met Peter Darcy, and I did like that he had adopted an Irish accent!
QUOTE: "No, not Bennet...Willoughby. You are Elizabeth Willoughby...Darcy."
Argh! At last! Even better than I had dared to hope! (And part of me was thinking, yes, she soon will be!)
QUOTE: You are mistaken, for Elizabeth had no child.
I knew it! He never knew, he would never have left her. Willoughby's evilness is revealed in all its awful truth.
Oh Jan, what a chapter you have given us! Poor Darcy. His determination swept from under him, after his intent being so clear as we opened the chapter, and then later he was clearly in a state of depression for much of the remainder. Lizzy was demonstrating her strength so well, but she is so shocked, bless her.
I can see that the next few chapters are going to have us all on the edge of our seats. What a fantastic ride this WIP has been, Jan. Thank you so much for sharing your talent with us, you have made my week. I don’t think I’ve ever been quite so content on a Monday at work before! :D
What will Mr. Darcy say?!? Poor Father Peter - I hope he's alright after she ran out on him! Can't wait to find out what happens next!
Wow I’ve never had a chance to reply but this story has had me hooked.
And after the last chapter this fic my mind has gone into overdrive YES YES Lizzy found her parents and she’s not Darcy sister YES.
I can't wait to see what happens next you have managed to build the tension fantastically
Ohhhh, I am so excited and exhausted! I stayed up half the night after discovering this story, and loved every word of it. However, to discover it is a WIP was very disappointing. How often do you post? I can't wait to get to the next part and to keep reading. I was thrilled, however, to learn that Elizabeth is NOT George Darcy's daughter - almost as much as she was, and not nearly as much as D. will be when he finds out. Please, please post soon.
Oh, what a satisfying chapter Jan!! So wonderful and now I can't wait for Darcy to learn the whole truth. Such a wonderful turn of events after poor Darcy finally gave up hope. I can't wait for our lovers to finally be able to express all they feel for eachother. Please provide extended mush to make up for all the angst!!
Father Peter and Lizzy were WRONGED by Linton Willoghby!! Poor Elizabeth Willoghby Darcy must have thought that Peter abandoned her!! She suffered all those months knowing that she would have their child, and then died!! Horrible, horrible man!!
Lady C will have a lot to answer for as well. I'm sure Caroline played a part, and I can't wait for her set down as well.
Oh, I can't wait until next Sunday!! I just hope that poor Father Peter doesn't drop dead from sheer shock!! He must be worried for Lizzy as well, after she just got up and ran away like that. I'm just glad they have some time together and the truth is finally out. What a shock, but a good one.
I would think that Father Peter and E.Willoghby's marriage must be registered at the Catholic Church at Pemberley. This has all kinds of implications, since he didn't abandon her at birth and she is a litigitimate Darcy. How wonderful it all is.
I would beg for a chapter before next week, but I know it will fall on deaf ears. I'll still give it a shot though: OH WONDERFUL AND GRACIOUS AUTHORESS, PLEASE GIFT US WITH A CHAPTER EARLIER IN THE WEEK!??!! PRETTY PLEEEEEEEASE?!?!
WOW, what a wonderful, amazing, superb chapter.
You have made my day, I cannot wait until Elizabeth takes Darcy's hands and tells him that His father is not her father.
I hope she gets to spend some time with her father, please don't have Darcy rush off in dispair, they could be married by her father. Still I am getting ahead of myself the way the story enfolds is up to you.
A truly engrossing story, I have been hooked since the beginning.
Please post again as soon as you can.
Thank you, for this happy outcome to find out she had a real mom & dad at one time! Great way to start the day! Looking foward to the outme of this lovely story
wonderful wonderful wonderful! Thank you Jan, You made my day.
Over at DWG I said the following re your current chapter:
I almost ran out the room screaming with the following:
"He sat down beside me, leaned forward, and held his hat between his legs. “I learned from Lord Killaine that Peter Darcy could not be your father, for he is a Catholic priest.”
But, I see Lizzy by way of channeling my love of crime fiction, put on her trenchcoat with her felt hat cocked ace-deuce and searched for clues, albeit inadvertently, to remove the impediment to her marriage to Darcy. I look for the who, what, where of her parents story as well as a Lady Cat beat-down.
What I left out of my comments at DWG is the hope that you might take the story rating above the PG level at some future point. It just seems to me that the high level of obstacles to overcome and attendant passions are in line with a higher rating? Just a humble request--regardless of the rating I am still on board for the ride.
Ooooooooooooooooooh this is just too good!
Oh, wow! I would have spilled the beans a lot sooner if I'd known how happy it would make you. These responses just show how determined all of us are that Darcy and Elizabeth absolutely must be together. Thank you so much for the kind comments.
Sandra, you made my head swirl with all your quotes. As a wonderful writer yourself, you know how we love to hear our words repeated (unless it's by one of my betas saying, "Surely, you didn't mean to write that!"). You also asked when it was mentioned that Peter Darcy was very ill. Back in Chapter 9 after E has met Willoughby and is shattered by his behavior, D finds her in the park. While comforting her, he tells her of his Uncle Peter. Here's the passage about his uncle's health:
Eventually, however, George Darcy and, subsequently, Mr. Darcy himself kept apprised of his general location through the priest at the church in the wood.
“Is that why you spoke privately with the priest on the day you took Georgiana and me to the chapel?”
“It is. He corresponds with another priest near the village where Peter Darcy lives. He told me my uncle is in poor health and may not live to see another spring.”
Those of you who have delurked or become a first-time reader of this story, thank you so much for taking a chance on me. And to all those who have plodded through this thing with me, you warm my heart and keep me going. I really appreciate all of you.
What a great chapter! I really didn't expect Elizabeth to uncover the truth (as I had just assumed it would be Darcy's fate) but I find this unexpected turn most appealing! Looking forward to the next chapter!
Whew! What a chapter!
Where is Mr Darcy for god's sake?
Wow, poor Father Darcy just got the shock of his life. I kept waiting for him to clutch his heart and shout, "Elizabeth, I'm coming to join you honey!" a la Redd Foxx in Sanford and Son!
Seriously, I'm surprised he didn't start saying the Act of Contrition thinking that his long since departed loved one was escorting him to heaven.
I join the chorus demanding another chapter posting this week.
Thanks for that, Jan - I am sorry to say I missed that detail on first read through, although it saved me a bit of further angst, as I hadn't started worrying he might pop off too soon! The trouble is, I am reading so avidly when a new chapter goes up that I can't stop my eyes from rushing on to the next sentence, which is why yesterday I then went back and read the new chapter more slowly so I could enjoy the moment!
Funnily enough, I hadn't really thought - until I read some of your other reviewers here - about how it was that Lizzy found out the truth first. That was brilliantly done, because of course all the action and determination seemed to come from Darcy, yet here is Lizzy 'stumbling' upon it - very true to life, let's be honest, as we all know how the best laid plans can go.
Oh I so can't wait to see how Darcy finally hears the news!
Hello.. A lurker here... But Jan's Story has flushed me out!
Goodness, your Darcy is (hot? -too weak of a term for what your Darcy is) very desieable to say the least!
Your story is delicious and I read all 14 chapters so far posted in two sittings at the computer.. (Pray my husband does not take away my privileges!)
Great story, my dear. Great story, indeed.
Thank you for posting such a fine work of art!
I read the chapter again to soak in every word. I find that when it is first posted I rush through as fast as my heart can keep up... then think about it for a few days after, mulling over the story, dialogue, your intent, other readers opinions and ideas. It really has become such a treat to look forward to at the end of weekend or the start of a new week. I've been sharing the skinny with my husband as he has been such a sport regarding my JAFF addiction... and am certain that once the whole thing is posted, to make him read it... so he can see what all the fuss is about! Thanks so much for your efforts -- not a careless word written! One of my favorites!
Ha, Jan! You see what happens. You get really, really generous toward your readers, and they reward you by demanding Another Chapter NOW! Where's the gratitude, the patience, the grace to just ... wait ... a ... whole ... nother ... week ... ?
Thank you, Kim, Annabella, Eli, Ram, Sandra (again), Pamela, Christina, drsuebee, and Carol! I enjoyed all of your comments so much.
Thanks for delurking, Pamela. That's always a delight to see. And Ram, your picture of the poor priest is a hoot!
I’m glad you appreciated the joke. Sanford and Son is classic Americana, which I was afraid wouldn’t translate for our friends across the pond. I know that it was based on a British show, but I’m not sure if the fake heart-attacks were in the original. In the American version, Redd Foxx plays a widower who owns a junk shop in south central Los Angeles with his adult son. Every time the poor son tries to leave the business, his father guilt-trips him into staying by faking a heart attack while crying out to his deceased wife who, like Father Darcy's, happened to be named Elizabeth; thus, the show’s most famous quote became "Elizabeth, I'm coming to join you!".
Now that I’ve ruined my little joke by over-explanation, let me take this opportunity to again compliment your story and its intriguing premise. I can only wonder at the winding path your creative process must have taken you down to extrapolate a story in which Elizabeth and Darcy narrowly escape an incestuous romance by the discovery that her father is actually a priest. Dang, you’re good!
Go on and make us all happy by posting the next chapter early!