MR. DARCY’S UNDOING
Rating: 5 out of 5
One Sentence Summary:
What if, when Darcy finally brings Bingley back to Hertfordshire, he finds that Elizabeth has accepted the proposal of another man?
I really do love these what-ifs series. Not that I don’t love the original, but seeing the characters in different scenarios kinda feels like we’re getting to know them more. Don’t you think?
Anyway, as in the summary above, Elizabeth accepts a marriage proposal from a Mr. Covington before Darcy gets the chance to try and win her when he and Bingley comes back to Hertfordshire. A good first part of the story deals with Darcy’s despair and jealousy in reaction to this, and Elizabeth’s surprise in finding that she’s developing feelings for Darcy. Inevitably though, Elizabeth ends the engagement partly because of Lydia’s disgrace, but mostly because of Darcy (though he doesn’t know this). In the rest of the story, we see Darcy endeavoring to get Lizzie (who now stubbornly believes that she is unmarriageable) to marry him.
What can I say? It’s hot. It’s steamy. It’s agony. And it’s awesome. For the most part, I felt like Darcy could be singing with the princes (Aaaaagonyyyyyyy!) in Into the Woods. Both Darcy and Lizzie have acknowledged their feelings for each other— more than verbally in fact. But due to perceived social constraints, Lizzie doesn’t believe they can act on it.
While frustrating, it’s actually a legitimate issue back in those days. And Elizabeth sums it quite nicely that the rules of marriage for a woman are the same as in a dance… Once you’ve refused one, or rather reneged on one, you can’t dance for the rest of the evening. Publicly anyway, that’s why Mr. Collins and Darcy’s proposals don’t count, as I understand it… And I am again thankful that I didn’t live in Regency England. But one thing is still the same though, now and then. And that’s if you have money, these things don’t matter as much. If you have money, you have acceptance.
What I Loved:
- Darcy’s dreams. Abigail Reynolds knows how to turn on the steam while still making it classy, not at all raunchy. From imagined acts to actual acts, she gives just enough to not overload the senses.
- The tame tigers of Pemberley. It’s a pretty fun metaphor actually, and the poem by Blake is actually a favourite.
- Georgiana opening her feelings to Elizabeth about her brother’s behavior and her past. I love it that this issue was tackled. Not to sound like Mary, but the loss of virtue for a woman is a big deal. I’m not attaching a woman’s worth to her virtue, not at all. But Georgiana’s statement that it’s only women who feel the repercussion of the action is kind of timely, don’t you think?
What I Didn’t Love:
- Colonel Fitzwilliam’s situation. There are a lot of stories out there where Colonel Fitzwilliam actually develops feelings for Lizzie. I don’t hate it. But I do feel sorry for the guy.
All in All:
This is another one for the shelves ladies and gents. It’s a hot and fun read while still having gravity enough to give you important lessons.