• Duty and Desire

  • A Novel of Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman
  • By: Pamela Aidan
  • Narrated by: George Holmes
  • Length: 11 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 07-18-08
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Audible Studios
  • 4 out of 5 stars 3.9 (242 ratings)

Regular price: $13.96

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Publisher's Summary

"The inferiority of her connections, yet never was he so bewitched!" Though Darcy struggles privately with his desire for Elizabeth Bennet, he must still fulfill his roles as landlord, master, brother, and friend.
In Book Two, the "silent time" of Austen's novel, Fitzwilliam Darcy and his personal world emerge as he deals with his servants, including a valet with aspirations of sartorial triumph; his sister, who is only just emerging from a crippling depression; his cousins, the still-squabbling Fitzwilliam brothers; and his hound, Trafalgar, who he calls "Monster" with good reason.
A visit to an old classmate in Oxford designed to shake Elizabeth from his mind sets Darcy amidst husband-hunting society ladies and friends from his university days, all with designs on him...some for good and some for ill. Darcy, and his Shakespeare-quoting valet Fletcher, must match wits with them all, but especially with the mysterious and dangerous Lady Sylvanie.
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.
©2006 Pamela Aidan (P)2008 Audible, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By connie on 07-29-08

wonderful, wonderful fluff

Either the narrator got better for part 2 of this series, or I got used to him.

I found this listen very relaxing. The author lets her imagination wander farther afield from Pride & Prejudice than other P&P homage novelists have done when writing from "other perspectives," but still stays true to Austen's plotline-- for example, Darcy's valet is inserted as a very humourous and wise chap and Georgiana becomes a stronger character. We are also teased with glimmers of the world outside polite gentrified country drawing rooms. And although Darcy sometimes comes across as a love sick puppy, he remains on the surface stoic and strong, so I was able to keep my disbelief suspended. So, from my point of view, this turns out to be almost perfect fluff (at least for a tired English teacher on summer holidays).

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9 of 9 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Joseph R on 05-17-09

The Only Cure for Love of a Woman is Another Woman

Volume II covers a period where Darcy was absent from P&P so Ms. Aidon was perfectly free to invent any story she wanted. She went for the castles, intrigues, Stonehenge, high stake cards, fabulously beautiful women including Lady Sylvanie and her strange maid: Doyle, the downfall of a lord, and Darcy's frantic search for a woman who would banish Elizabeth from his heart. Hah! As if that was a possibility!

As you know, Northanger Abbey was Miss Austen's first book and owes something of a debt to Mrs. Ann Radcliffe's Mysteries of Uldopho--I think for the feel of the Abbey in the mind of Miss Catherine Moreland. The heroine of Uldopho faced real trials and dangers while Miss Moreland's were mostly in her imagination. In The Jane Austen Book Club Riggs, who had actually read Uldolpho, when his turn came to host the group, turned his house into a Castle Uldopho gothic horror scene. While Mrs. Radcliffe's style is unusual to our eyes, I think all of Miss Austen's principled, strong women have their genesis in the heroines of Mrs. Radcliffe along with a generous dose from William Makepeace Thackerary .

All the above is prelude. In Volume II, Ms. Aidon presents a Northanger Abbey-Castle Uldopho world with Darcy taking the naive Catherine Moreland role. His rules don't apply here. This is not his world. He is as lost as the inexperienced Miss Moreland was with the machinations of John and Issabella Thorpe in Bath or General Tillme at the Abbey. Nevertheless, like her, his principles with a bit of luck and timely help from Fletcher and Dye pull him through so now we hasten toward the perfect happiness to be found at the end of Volume III.

George Holmes, the narrator, grows on one. In particular, he is perfect for the melodramatic Duty and Desire.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Anji Dale on 03-16-11

P & Ps hiatus

This is set in the nebulous time after Darcy leaves Netherfield and before he and his cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliam, arrive at Rosings the following spring.

I really enjoyed the first half but have to admit that I wanted the second half to 'get on with it' until towards the end.

Having said that, I think that Fletcher, in particular, of the 'new' characters, is brilliant and he really comes into his own in this book. I hope that the hint of a start to a happy future for him continues into the third part. I've only just started that part and will submit a review in due course.

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2 out of 5 stars
By Tracy on 01-22-11

More a "who done it" than an account of Darcy

I have just finished listening to all three the books in the Novel. Although I have enjoyed the other two I found this one to be both disappointing and unnecessary. The story that dominates this book Is based around an adventure with Mr Darcy and his Valet in a castle. The whole thing is very much along the lines of a 'who done it' in the style of Jeeves and Wooster. The Author does take the opportunity to introduce and embed a a couple of more interesting characters who feature in the last book. I would suggest that you could listen to books one and three without missing out on anything significant.

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