The Heiress: The Revelations of Anne de Bourgh (A Pride and Prejudice Novel)

Written by Molly Greeley
Review by Anna Bennett

Greeley’s The Heiress is a triumph! In this reimagined classic, Pride and Prejudice’s Anne de Bourgh is cleverly pulled from the obscurity of her mother’s shadow into the limelight.

Anne, only child of the esteemed Lady Catherine de Bourgh, has been sickly all of her life. Childhood lawn games were observed through a lethargic laudanum reverie; anxieties and daily stresses suppressed by the warmth of a soporific haze. An only child, and one considered too weak to develop society’s traditional set of accomplishments, Anne is adrift when her father’s sudden death leaves her the heir to his vast fortune and their estate, Rosings Park.

Summoning her courage, Anne heads to London and her cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliam, to seek a treatment for her lifelong ills. Once ensconced for the Season, she is determined to experience all that London has to offer—glittering society events, romantic interludes, and shopping galore.

Anne’s transformation does not please everyone, however, and the time comes for Anne to face her inimitable mother. Will Rosings Park welcome her home? Or will the transformation be too much for her old life to adjust to?

Greeley traces the life of Anne de Bourgh fluidly, highlighting Regency society and family life while exploring the darker side of 19th-century medicine. A slower read, The Heiress will captivate Austen fans with Greeley’s potent combination of a rarely viewed lens into a beloved tale and an independent story of hope, strength, and self-realization.