Duty and Desire

  • by Pamela Aidan
  • Narrated by George Holmes
  • 11 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

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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- connie "Narrative makes the world go round."

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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- Joseph R

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-18-2008
  • Publisher: Audible Studios