[17 November 2008]
Following in Jane Austen’s footsteps…
Sometimes after spending my days poring over management texts and improving my understanding of those oh-so-fascinating research methods, at the end of the day I just need a little fluff in my reading.
My easy-on-the-brain fiction of the moment is Linda Berdoll’s Mr Darcy Takes a Wife (2004), a story that picks up where Pride and Prejudice left off. Diving headfirst into the married life of the Darcys, Berdoll uses exaggerated period language to describe decidedly un-Regency-era action. If you ever wished that Elizabeth and Mr Darcy weren’t quite so chaste in their courtship, in Berdoll’s fiction you’ll find that these beloved characters get some private time - as man and wife, naturally - to explore the depths of their mutual passion.
I first encountered Berdoll’s tale when it was published in 1999 under the title, Bar Sinister, now out of print. Apparently this antiquated English phrase for a child born out of wedlock did not sufficiently describe the contents of the novel, and so the book has taken on a re-invented name and is now marketed with a cover more reflective of the contents – an oil painting depicting a dark haired gentleman kissing a brunette in a flowing evening gown. There is even a volume two of Berdoll’s extension of Austen’s beloved novel, entitled Days and Nights at Pemberley (2006). I have yet to come across a copy, but why not let the fun continue? Elizabeth and Mr Darcy seem to have such a perfect marriage, it’s delicious fun to see what obstacles they’ll have to overcome now that they’ve said their vows and start getting to know each other’s little secrets. The perfect antidote to the nonfiction I should be perusing in order to get that term paper properly researched.
Any tasty fiction you would recommend for those times when you don’t have the brain power left for challenging reading?