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In An Assembly Such as This, Pamela Aidan finally answers that long-standing question. In this first book of the Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman trilogy, she reintroduces us to Darcy during his visit to Hertfordshire with his friend Charles Bingley, and reveals Darcy's hidden perspective on the events of Pride and Prejudice.
As Darcy spends more time at Netherfield supervising Bingley and fending off Miss Bingley's persistent advances, his unwilling attraction to Elizabeth grows, as does his concern about her relationship with his nemesis, George Wickham.
Setting the story vividly against the colorful, historical, and political background of the Regency, Aidan writes in a style comfortably at home with Jane Austen, but with a wit and humor very much her own. Aidan adds her own cast of fascinating characters to those in Austen's original, weaving a rich tapestry from Darcy's past and present. Austen fans, and newcomers alike, will love this new chapter of the most famous romance of all time.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Douglas on 08-09-09
The Spirit of Austen Enchanted
First off, yes, the narrator is odd, perhaps the oddest reading I've ever experienced; ah but thankfully second, give the story a good hour of listening, suspending your judgment, and you will find that you have become quite fond of the narrator, almost as if an eccentric and favored uncle (who flunked oh-so-veddy-pro-pah British butler school, but has retained the diction) is reading to you (while alternating bites of tofu noodle soup). But the story and characterization is the true gem here, as Ms. Aidan absolutely never fouls the spirit of Austen, never presents Darcy out of character, and even casts some new flashing crystal glimmers upon Lizzie, perhaps presenting her a little more intoxicating (if possible) than in "Pride and Prejudice." Many mysteries are solved as we experience Darcy's knotted anxieties as he falls in love despite himself, even in spite of his almost supernatural self control). The language is beautiful, and the novel is fully realized (despite this being Part 1 of 3), and a few new oddly eccentric characters come ice skating into the story. Unlike so many modern novels that attempt to extend classic stories, this one by Pamela Aidan does not sneer at the original work, but throughout is respectful and imaginative in building on a beloved tale, and even more beloved characters. Art et Amour Toujours
13 of 13 people found this review helpful
By Joseph R on 05-17-09
Elizabeth Bennet, A Tolerably Beautiful Woman
While this book purports to be about Fitzwilliam Darcy, Elizabeth Bennet is omnipresent. She intrudes upon every line. This work represents a thorough and a thoroughly pleasurable analysis of Pride and Prejudice and Jane Austen's world. The P&P story is placed in context of period customs, domestic strife, war, international intrigue and the last gasps of feudalism.
Ms Pamela Aidon weaves Darcy's story fugue-like around P&P. The melody of her story alternately rises above then falls below after touching P&P for an instant. She is always near the original and remains true to the Austen language and sensibilities. In true Austen fashion, discussions of books, ideas, art and music permeate this work along with a lively wit and social commentary.
The highly educated and well informed Miss Austen had no need to provide a historical context for her stories or explain contemporary social norms to her readers. Her focus was the soft feminine world of the drawing room with its choreographed mating rituals. Ms. Aidon's more masculine focus makes clear to 21th century readers, the motivations of the P&P characters and the rules governing their conduct. This is a splendid book. The author treats Miss Austen's work with respect and real understanding. The conceit and arrogance often found in such works is absent here.
In this first volume, the characters of Miss Georgiana Darcy, Col Fitzwilliam and Mr. Bingley are rounded out and their relationship with Darcy explored. In addition, three memorable characters are introduced, a hound named Trafalgar but called Monster by Darcy; Fletcher, a Shakespeare quoting, matchmaking, P.G. Wodehouse, Jeeves style valet; and Darcy's close friend Lord Dyfed (Dye) Brougham who should be watched for more than one reason. Both hound and men play interesting and often amusing roles.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Tracy on 01-22-11
Darcy Falls In Love.
I have read all three books in the Novel and very much enjoyed this one. The Author gives us a wonderful insight into the heart and mind of Mr Darcy and leads us through his joy and pain as he meets and falls in love with Miss Elizabeth Bennet. A thrilling listen for any Pride and Prejudice fan.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
By English Dave on 07-12-09
An Assembly Such as This
This book, in general, is a very good continuation of the work of Jane Austin. The charactorisation is good and the view of the relationship of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy from a different angle is interesting. Unfortunately the author is lacking in knowledge of a gentlemans passtimes in the late 18th and early 19th centurys. A fowling piece is a smooth bore shot gun not a riffle and as such has no sights. Hunting was done on horse back with a pack of hounds. A shooting party would have been shooting birds driven by beaters towards the guns. A gentleman would have had a gun dog not a hound. A gentleman of Darcy's wealth would have taken a string of horses for hunting to a country house visit not just the one. I don't know weather these criticisms are due to a lack or research or to transatlantic misunderstanding.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful