The True Darcy Spirit

Written by Elizabeth Aston
Review by Myfanwy Cook

Cassandra Darcy is disgraced, penniless and an outcast from her family. She is determined to earn her living in Regency London by using her talent as an artist and trying not to fall prey to the dangers that beset attractive, unchaperoned young women. Horatio Darcy, Cassandra’s stepfather’s lawyer and Lord Usborne both set out to challenge her ambitions for very different reasons.

The author has interwoven the Darcy family and other characters such as Bishop Collins from Pride and Prejudice seamlessly with her own. Miss Griffin, the writer, Petifer, Cassandra’s loyal maid and the dashing Horatio Darcy are examples of the lively characters, which dovetail exactly with the historical background. The delightful description of what is on offer for three shillings and sixpence at the pleasure gardens at Vauxhall, and the scene at the Theatre Royal in the Haymarket are captivating.

This novel is written with grace, charm and wit all the qualities that were prized during that period. It is an entertaining, engaging and engrossing romp through Regency London that sparkles like the champagne which is opened at the end of the novel.