Re-Experiencing Pride and Prejudice

15 Mar

Whew! It’s been a busy few weeks. Between parent-teacher conferences and grading, I’ve had very little time to devote to reading. Yesterday I finished An Assembly Such as This by Pamela Aidan, the first book in the Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman series. I mentioned in a previous post that I am usually hesitant to read “knock-offs” – books that are based on the plot and characters of other bestsellers. As Jane Austen is one of my favorite authors, I was especially nervous to read a spin-off based on her novels. And, boy, do the Jane Austen spin-offs abound! Despite my hesitation, I believe that Pamela Aidan’s novel helped to quell my disdain for literary sequels.

In An Assembly Such as This, Pamela Aidan tells the story of Pride and Prejudice through the eyes of Mr. Darcy. The story begins as Mr. Darcy guides his friend, Mr. Bingley, through the complicated world of property ownership. As in Austen’s novel, Darcy is introduced to Elizabeth Bennet while visiting Netherfield. At first, Darcy resists the forced liaison with the Bennets; as an eligible bachelor he seeks to avoid the scheming of zealous mothers with marriageable daughters. But no matter how hard he tries, Darcy cannot force Elizabeth from his thoughts. Following the storyline of Pride and Prejudice, Pamela Aidan gives us a satisfying glimpse into Fitzwilliam Darcy’s world.

My favorite aspect of this novel was that it gave me an opportunity to “re-experience” Pride and Prejudice. I have reread Austen’s book several times, but I never tire of it. Aidan’s spin-off let me relive the introduction of Mr. Darcy to Elizabeth Bennet. Aidan’s interpretation did not provide the wit and sarcasm I so enjoy in Pride and Prejudice; however, I suspect that can be attributed to the story’s focus on Mr. Darcy’s much more serious demeanor. I read this book based on a friend’s recommendation. While I did not enjoy it as much as my friend did, An Assembly Such as This was an enjoyable read – and a satisfying remedy for spin-off-phobia.


One Response to “Re-Experiencing Pride and Prejudice”


  1. Should Be Reading: WWW Wednesdays (2) « Beautifully Alive: My Life in Books - March 16, 2011

    […] my last post, I wrote about An Assembly Such as This by Pamela Aidan. I enjoyed being able to re-experience […]

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