Jan, first I have to say that I am so thrilled to see a new story from you!
Ah, Darcy! I can see the past 2 years have taught you nothing! To take the word of the likes of Caroline Bingley before knowing the truth. I suspect that the child is Lydia's and she died in childbirth or shortly thereafter.
That Darcy would think Elizabeth would end up with Wickham after everything he told her would be the height of insult to Elizabeth.
This is still a haughty and arrogant Darcy and here Elizabeth is trying to do right for her sister's child. What would Darcy have done if it had been Georgiana's child and he was left to care for it? I mean he just attended her wedding and it seems she made an excellent match!
However, I do wonder what has happened to Wickham and just when will he show up again?!!
Ohhhh...I can't wait to see how this is all going to pan out. But I have no doubt that excellent writer that you are, it will be a truly memorable read. You always have such wonderful plotlines and such excellent stories.
Thanks Jan for another hit!!! I'm hooked and anxious for more!
Ah, such a great beginning Jan.
Nothing like angst from the start.
Elizabeth was upset because she thought Darcy was recently married, and Darcy because he thinks Elizabeth bore Wickham's babe.
There is going to be some good rapartee here, I can tell.
Excellent, thank you.
As Abigail has stated your writing is some of the best.
Ok, so the first misunderstanding is resolved. Darcy is not married. For a split second I thought that he was but then thought, 'Nooo, Jan wouldn't do that to us.'
Now comes the second misunderstanding. I'm assuming little Fan is Lydia's and she died in childbirth. So when will D and B find out or will it take a while? In the meantime, we will see E&D bickering at each other due to D's misconception of Fan's parentage.
It seems as though D is still arrogant and prejudiced against the Bennets. Has he learn anything during these past 2 yrs? I think not! And Elizabeth, still jumping to conclusions and misjudging.
Jan, it is a great beginning and I am intrigued by this story. Please post often.
Oh my, I didn't realize Renee had already posted these chapters - what a surprise!
Thank you Sandy, Amy, Marina, Lucy, Terry, Teb, and, of course, the lovely Renee. Your encouragement means so much to me. And Abigail, I have to especially thank you for taking the time to leave me a note. As you know, you're the reason I began writing fan fiction way back in 2002. I was so blown away by your stories, and I rejoice with you in your success as a "real" author. I always knew you could do it.
I must also thank my dear betas, Debbie S and Linnea Eileen, who are so good to help me clean up my work.
Marina, if RL allows, I intend to post once a week until this thing is finished.
Caroline is such a witch, distorting the truth.
Gee, I really thought Darcy had married, glad it was Georgiana.
Little Fan, Lydia and Wickham's child. Where is Wickham? He has to rear his ugly head sometime.
More please, Irene
Goodness, has it been almost nine years that I discovered the JA fandom after having watched P&P 1995 at last, and wondered there were more fruitcakes such as me who were totally and utterly in love with it? LOL
Anyway, Abigail, you were one of the first I discovered, and later Jan and many others, including authors of modern twists. The addiction was complete...
Love the story already, Jan, and count on a happy ending, will endure the angst you've already had in store for us and certainly will have in the chapters to come, willingly and happily.
I love your writing and I'm so happy to find your new story.
As other I think that this is Lydia's child.
Don't torment to much our D, but he deserves a bit of torture because he had no confidence in E.
What excellent, excellent news! When Jan H. mentioned she had a new story in the oven I didn't expect to have the change of reading it so soon. And it's also refreshing to find a story from Darcy's p. of v., which is not so very common.
Thank you for giving us another one of your wonderful stories. I can't wait for the next instalment.
What a start you gave me, thinking Darcy was married; nearly gave me a heart attack. But I can relax now and enjoy the rest of the story.
Have any of your stories ever come out in book form? I certainly would buy them.
Darcy does indeed deserves a bit of a rough go for having so little confidence in Elizabeth, and for believing Caroline!
Sounds like Mary is lucky for finding a husband, and a clergyman at that, given the family's circumstances. It will be fun to watch Darcy struggle with himself over such a connection -- maybe he *has* learned something since Huntsford? Will he manage to make it through to an understanding with Elizabeth without completely insulting her again? Or will he realize the truth about the child in conversation with her and then recover before sticking his foot in his mouth? I don't see you letting him off that easy, that would get us to far too quick of a resolution!
I'm curious whether we will discover what Elizabeth is thinking. But the Darcy POV is intriguing and well done.
Thanks Jan for such a delightful way for me to start the week. I can't wait to read what you have in store for your characters (and us). I love your stories, your prose flows well and is always enjoyable, and you are skilled at creating and extending the tension that drives so many good works of JAFF. Looking forward to the next installments...
Thank you Nicole, Beta, Astrid, Maria, and dear Sandy (fortified with drinks and chocolate ) for reading my story and taking the time to comment.
Nicole, you and I agree on dreading Wickham's return. Astrid, you're right about missing out on Elizabeth's thinking when I write from the first person viewpoint. Makes me have to work harder to reveal her thoughts. And no, Maria, none of my stories have been published as books, but thanks for asking.
I haven't even taken the time to start reading yet (shame on me, I'll try to post a proper review once I've read the chapters) but I wanted to tell Jan how excited I am to see a new story! I've had the page bookmarked for a few years, periodically checking back, and I've got the existing stories copied to my Kindle so I can read them whenever I want!
Anguish! Anguish from beginning to end! But you know what? I'm inordinately happy that the truth about the child is out already, when I was preparing myself for a long ride of angst for Darcy about it. Not that the man is any merrier, though, but the shock of the disclosure is still too recent.
What drives me crazy is the way they always take the blame! But, hey, they wouldn't be our same beloved characters if they didn't, would they?
Needless to say, I loved the update! (I've been checking the website like a possessed during the last few days, all in anticipation )
Bingley, in my book, is fast becoming a rake! This makes twice he has paid Jane marked attention then leaves. And what's worse is the fact that he feels himself so noble by leaving so his sister can make a good marriage! Fool!! He hasn't figured out that Caroline only wants Darcy so she won't accept anyone else no matter what he does!
If he only knew the lies his sister sent in her letter to Jane and what she did to stop him from having a good marriage....and then the lies she deliberately told to Darcy to make him think it was Elizabeth's baby. And Darcy is stupid enough to believe her! He's an even bigger fool!
Just who is supplying Caroline with her information. She deliberately didn't send word of what was happening to the Bennets, even though she knew, and now she is insinuating all sorts of things about Elizabeth and I'm certain that she knows exactly who the baby's mother is! Witch!!!
And Darcy...to believe Caroline enough to accuse Elizabeth of such behavior! She was right to let him have it when she saw him. Their lives might have been better if he had confessed everything to Bingley but no...he only thought of himself and then ran away and took Bingley with him.
And his behavior...
I saw the lovely view that the bodice of her dress provided. Motherhood certainly had not altered her figure, for it pleased me even more than before. In truth, one could not tell that she had ever given birth.
I wanted to smack him for his wicked thoughts. Still the haughty, arrogant man comes through...he thinks only of himself and how her figure pleased him. Bah!!!
I'm actually glad he now has his guilt to keep him company! It certainly brought him down off his high horse a bit! And what will he think when he realizes how much his own promptings have played in Bingley abandoning Jane, again?
Well, I'm hoping that Jane finds a good man (not named Bingley), and Caroline falls flat on her pointy nose (preferably in the mud), and takes her rakish brother with her.
Boy..these guys really got my dander up! I can't wait to see how thing progress from here...now that they plan to run away...again! Fools and Cowards!
Right now, these two don't deserve any of the Bennet sisters. Give me more, Jan!!! I love your stories and this on is going to be another favorite, I can tell. Weave your magic and bring our couple together...though how you're going to do it, I have no idea!!!
I totally agree w/Sandy on the Jane/Bingley situation. I think Jane deserves so much more than Bingley. What will he do when he finds out all that Caroline has done and said, will he dis-own her, I surely would. She is evil of the worse kind. First hiding that Jane was in London and then portraying Elizabeth as a fallen woman who brought her own family to such a lowness. She doesn't deserve to be married to any gentlemen that would have her.
And shame on Darcy, it is as if he hasn't learned anything. Now what we he do w/his absense to Elizabeth, please don't tell me he will go and look for Wickham after all this time. You would not dare subject that baby to such a father. Or will he make a false wedding contract between Wickham & Lydia - I think it is a little too late.
I for one do think it was partly Darcy's fault what Wickham did, as a gentleman of standing it was his duty forewarn a town of his debts and the society of his rakish ways. He should feel guilt and I hope he does to the fullest.
I'm glad Elizabeth let him have it, she should have slapped his face after what he said to her.
How will Darcy ever get out of this one and bring things to right?
Even as misunderstandings (and arrogance) abound, I'm choosing to be hopeful! The Darcy POV here is wonderful Jan - it appropriately accentuates feelings and reactions while staying in character. Looking forward to the next...
At first I got upset at Elizabeth. I thought that she jumped the gun getting all riled up towards Darcy without provocation, as if she was extremely mad at him. I believed she had forgiven him for Hunsford.
Then my ire turned towards Darcy and Bingley. I agree w/ Sandy, both are fools and cowards. Bingley is certainly a rake; played w/ Jane then left her, then do the same thing all over again. Ha! What a jerk...and he feels he needs to explain himself. If I were Jane, I would slap him hard and kick his butt out of town.
And don't get me started w/ Darcy. Definitely an arrogant fool. Checking her out 'how good she looks' then thinking she is not good enough to marry. Then, questioning her on 'how could she elope w/ Wickham?' speech. Fool and stupid is what he is to believe a shrew like Carolina. Believing Caroline?? Pleaaasse!!
Guess both deserve to suffer. Jan, how are you going to fix this, I have nooooo idea.
I loved how Darcy's choices shaped the future. Not meeting Elizabeth at Pemberley changed everything. It remains to be seen how Darcy feels now that he knows that the baby was Lydia's. The Bennets are still ruined. Is Wickham gone from the story? I expect him to come back to cause more havoc.
Excellent chapter. I just want to see where you lead us, Jan. I know I will not be disappointed with any direction you choose!
Hi, Geri and Lucy! I appreciate your comments, especially the fact that women were so hampered from doing anything in Regency times. It's like they have to wait for life to happen to them. And Lucy, you're seeing exactly what I was struck by when I first thought of this story - how different everything would have turned out if Darcy and Elizabeth had never met at Pemberley. I'm afraid Darcy's future choices will have even more consequences, and watch out for Wickham.
Finally, Jan, I have been able to sit down with a hot drink and some chocolate and immerse myself in the wonderful story you are creating. As you know, I am a huge fan of your writing and the stories that you craft, and I am delighted that you are posting a new one here at Mrs Darcy's.
My first reaction upon starting to read? Woo hoo, it's from Darcy's point of view!!! I LOVE it! And I love that we are a few years down the line rather than 'attached' to the original story in terms of timescale.
Another thing that I also loved (I will be using the "L" word a lot!) was that the story of P&P did in effect continue from Elizabeth's perspective, and it did not alter its path until Darcy's absence came into play. The consequences as we can see are profound and disastrous.
I also loved the misunderstanding that they both laboured under at first - Darcy married, Elizabeth bearing Wickham's child - how realistic, for we all make those sort of assumptions, jump to conclusions, let our minds deceive us - very natural in the circumstances, and I adored their reactions to revealing the truth - a jealous Elizabeth in a strop, and then Darcy actually calling her "Elizabeth" to her face when he discovers the truth!
I hate the fact that Wickham is lurking out there...
And I had been thinking, here's our sweet, loveable Bingley:
"waiting with such impatience for the servant to announce him that he almost ran over the man upon entering my study"
"he had perfected the art of fidgeting"
"looked like a starving dog that had been thrown a haunch of venison"
Wonderful descriptions, and then the bounder decides to back off from Jane AGAIN! What is he about???? Jan, you have to talk some sense into that man (but great twist!)
Sigh. Sorry at being late to get here, but thankfully I got to read 3 chapters at once - result! Looking forward very much to reading more each week.
As expected, this story has all the signs of being yet another Jan H classic, with a beautifully emerging plot, perfect characterisations and lovely dialogue. What a lovely way to spend Sunday afternoon; thank you so much, Jan.
Oh Jan...I started writing my comments as I was reading and here they are:
The child had to be removed from Longbourn, and that involved Wickham!
If I could force Wickham to acknowledge the child, remove her from the Bennets' house, and place her in a suitable position, I would assume the expense, and Elizabeth's family need never know my part in the scheme.
And this is your decision to make? Why, pray tell?
Would the Bennets release Fan to her father? Well, why should they not? Her presence was a burden and humiliation.
No, they wouldn’t! What if after your father died, someone else came in and took Georgiana away from you so you could marry well since then you wouldn’t have the 'burden' of your sister to look after?
"I could not do it, Darcy. One look in Jane's beautiful eyes and I was as lost as ever. I love her, and to speak words that would cause her pain! I was simply unable to tell her that I shall not return."
I actually cheered Bingley! He may yet be their salvation...not Darcy!
"No, you do not, for your will is your own. You shall do what you determine is best, just as I do."
Oh sure, now you say that! The Bennets might not be in this situation if you had said from the beginning!
Would I have been wiser to consider stepping in and offering marriage to Caroline?
Yes, for this is by far the first intelligent statement you have made. Please do for she is all that you deserve!
but the memory of Elizabeth's condemnation refused to vacate my mind. I downed another brandy
Go ahead Darcy...believe what you want and drink all you want...look at Hurst...marry Caroline and live the life he does!
Why did Caroline dislike Elizabeth as she did?
Good Lord...he really is dense!
We shall do perfectly well on our own."
That should have been a big clue if he was even listening to her!!
I had retreated to a corner to nurse my snifter of brandy.
Ahhh...lookin closer to Hurst all the time!
He had destroyed my greatest hopes for happiness.
Darcy has learned nothing all this time. He doesn’t tell anyone about Wickham, he removes Bingley from Jane, he finds out Jane did have feelings for Bingley so then he runs away and takes Bingley away with him and doesn't tell Bingley a thing. And then comes back to find chaos and decides to believe Caroline’s lies (she’s good at that), once again not finding out the truth before making a determination.
This is such an arrogant, self-centered, and despicable Darcy and I’m so looking forward to the day that someone smacks him up beside the head with a 2x4 no 4x4 and he suddenly has that ‘ahha’ moment! In the meantime, he is going to bring even more destruction to the Bennet family.
So, is Bingley going to be a better man and actually marry Jane and they can raise Fan and push Darcy back to his Pemberley to stay with some society woman he married for convenience who will spend his money and run his name and estate in the ground? Oh...I actually like that idea!!
Sometimes you have to sink to the deepest depths before you can begin to crawl your way back...how much further can this Darcy sink?
I know this is long Jan but I absolutely am so caught up in your story and it is so well written! This is going to be a long journey for Darcy, I can see...and it all centers on a child! Thank you so much and I eagerly await next Monday!