Monday, 12 August 2013

Mr Darcy's Noble Connections Abigail Reynolds

Another entertaining read from Abigail Reynolds. I really enjoyed the insight into lords, viscounts, earls and marchionesses. Getting to observe Darcy in the company of people who were richer and higher in rank than himself and holding his own was a pleasure to see. Elizabeth as per usual handled herself very well indeed. Lady Bentham who Elizabeth is staying with is a typical lady of the ton, She lends Elizabeth some gowns and accessories during her stay, as she does not want Elizabeth to look a disgrace in front of her guests. Although a rather condescending gesture, Elizabeth is grateful as she observes that their guest's travelling clothes are better than her best gown, I can imagine how that must feel, I certainly would not want to feel that I stood out. In Pride and Prejudice we know that Elizabeth and her connections are far beneath Darcy, gentleman's daughter or not, but this book really highlighted just how beneath she was, making the honour of Mr Darcy singling her out all the more great.

 I love it when authors explore the idea that Elizabeth was remorseful for the mode of her refusal at Hunsford.

"she had not even thought that a man like him could have vulnerabilities, as if his pride and his fortune would do away with any human frailties" - Abilgail Reynolds

As usual the characters Abigail creates are lovable and even Lord Charles who is a rake, turned out to be my favorite! Anne Dowager Marchioness of Bentham is Darcy's great aunt and could easily be Catherine's twin, but her love for her granddaughter makes her likable. Although superior in her attitude, her demanding nature makes me laugh.  Darcy and Elizabeth are not the only ones to learn lessons in this book as no one is excluded from having Pride and Prejudice.

"Charles, you will come with me below stairs to speak to the remaining servants. Most of them will not know me, and I will need your authority.” “I cannot imagine why,” Charles muttered. The dowager gave him her haughtiest look. “I beg your pardon?” “Madam,” said Paxton with a laugh, “you have just given orders to a Marquess, an Earl, a Viscount, two gentlemen of property, Lord Charles, and the butler, and you are worried about whether the kitchen staff will listen to you?” She favored him with a dark look. “You are supposed to be writing a letter, young man.”- Abigail Reynolds

This book really explored the rules and games within the society of the ton and I find it fascinating when authors give us an insight to what it was like around that era. The art of entrapment, the code of honour among men and mistresses as a result of unhappy marriages all for the sake of connections and wealth are the order of the day.
I appreciated the usual twist and turns in order to facilitate the angst of will they won't they, but I must say as much as I know it will end well Chapter 11 had me in a state of anxiety, it was quite discomforting in a "you've got me hooked kind of way". I really felt Elizabeth and Darcy's pain and as a result literally wanted to cry. The different love stories within the book were endearing, especially as it seems to be the exception in this era.

Darcy and Elizabeth have Austen's essential qualities but with an Abigail stamp on them, I really enjoyed a passionate and jealous Mr Darcy! Seeing how determined Mr Darcy was to have Elizabeth was thoroughly entertaining.

Lastly and if only for this reason alone, Austen spoke of Hackney cabs and that is where I was born and raised until moving to Huntingdon. Austen also mentions Huntingdon in Mansfield park and in Mr Darcy's Noble Connections there is a character by the name of viscount Huntingdon. I truly fell honoured lol!!

I dearly look forward to reading more from Abigail Reynolds and I must insist on one more excerpt as Abigail has a great sense of humour. -

 "Deliberately she turned away to face Sir William. Laying a hand on his arm to gain his attention, she pointed to the ragout and began to loudly praise its merits." - Abilgail Reynolds

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