Darcy’s Story

Written by Janet Aylmer
Review by Helene Williams

Unsatisfied with Jane Austen’s exposition of the changes wrought in Fitzwilliam Darcy, the hero of Pride and Prejudice? Do you wonder why he is so uptight, arrogant, even (dare I say) proud early on, becoming a quite different character at the end as he graciously, even laughingly, accepts Elizabeth Bennet, her family, and her lack of status, as the path to true happiness? For those Austen fans who want to know more, here’s one answer. In one of the few formerly-self-published-books-made-good, Janet Aylmer’s tale delves into Darcy’s heart and mind to reveal some of the reasons behind his actions and his transformation. Aylmer deftly recalls the reader to Longbourn, Netherfield, Rosings, and of course Pemberley, showing what happened outside of Elizabeth Bennet’s view. The world of late-18th century British manners and manors are on display in the interactions of Darcy with the Bennet family, Bingley and his sisters, and his sister Georgiana. The latter turns out to be far more sensible, and sensitive, than Austen ever let on, and she has as much to do with the changes we see in Darcy as those caused by Elizabeth Bennet. No, this book isn’t quite like reading “real” Austen – there is an effort at wit and verbal sparring interspersed with quotes from the original book – but it makes for a delightful afternoon escape from the 21st century.