The Darcys & the Bingleys
Subtitled A Tale of Two Gentlemen’s Marriages To Two Most Devoted Sisters, this novel begins a few days before the joint weddings of Jane and Elizabeth Bennet to Bingley and Darcy. When Bingley confesses his “innocence” and asks advice from his most cosmopolitan friend, Darcy responds by giving Bingley a copy of the Kama Sutra. Most of the characters from Pride and Prejudice appear, including the reprehensible Wickham, who is disposed of in a most ungentlemanly way by Darcy and Bingley. The two families settle down in Derbyshire close to one another, and married life progresses apace. There are births, engagements, and marriages, but not all goes smoothly. Darcy is shot in the back, for example.
Ms. Altman has written an amusing supposition of what might have been. Jane and Bingley mature but remain true to character, as does Mr. Bennet. A more confident Elizabeth rules a somewhat weak and besotted Darcy, which is a less plausible outcome.