Dialogue with Darcy

Written by Janet Aylmer
Review by Chiara Prezzavento

We have all wondered at least once about Lizzie Bennet’s married life as Mrs. Darcy, haven’t we? Well, Janet Aylmer must have too, and she imagines Elizabeth’s first months as the lady of Pemberley, where apparently match-making is everyone’s first concern. Mr. Darcy is dead set on seeing his sister Georgiana married to their cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliam – an idea neither involved party relishes. Fortunately for everyone, Elizabeth is there to change her husband’s mind while both Georgiana and Fitzwilliam find happiness elsewhere.

Ms. Aylmer brings together Jane Austen’s beloved characters and her own from previous books, and engages them in a good deal of visits, luncheons, housekeeping, piano-playing, estate management, family matters and romance. Jane Austen’s world is lovingly recreated, and woven into something that is hardly a story, plodding along at a gentle (and slightly repetitive) pace, with not much happening, and everyone – except Lady Catherine de Bourgh and Mrs. Bennet but including a very tame Elizabeth – being impossibly pleasant and even-tempered. Still, the atmosphere will delight lovers of Regency stories.