Propriety and Passion

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Pride and Prejudice is a staple of the literary canon. Many of you peers will have read it at some point in their school careers and most likely sat through a watching of one of the film versions, held hostage at the hands of a “friend.” The story that Elizabeth tells is the one we all know, but Regina Jeffers’ Darcy’s Passions illustrates the story from Darcy’s perspective.

Helping his friend, Mr. Bingley, navigate the social scene and niceties involved in letting a countryside estate, Mr. Darcy must be more sociable than he’s accustomed to. In attending a ball, his comment about not finding any suitable dancing partners slights Elizabeth Bennett, and he laments his words for weeks to come. With the limited society in the countryside, Darcy is thrown in to situations with Elizabeth frequently and he finds her quick wit fascinating. Eventually, as we P&P readers are well aware, the two patch up their turbulent past and wed. Their life together is full of both love and biting comments as fitting for their personalities.

Though the book utilizes a common tactic for a retelling of a classic story, it fills in the enigmatic character of Mr. Darcy that many readers yearned to see. For the most part, the narrative matched well with Austen’s, but there were newer elements, such as the happy honeymoon period, where readers were permitted a more twenty-first century glimpse into their bedroom life that would likely not have been included in such detail. Seeing Darcy’s emotional upheavals from the inside perspective, I am less enamored with him as I was with Austen’s more occluded presentation of him. This narrative has me wondering more Austen’s thoughts behind Darcy’s character motivations.

Overall, I’d give it a 3 out of 5 stars.

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