Friday, 9 May 2014

A Walk in the Meadows at Rosings Park by Mary Lydon Simonsen

After being recently surprised that I could enjoy short stories, I could not believe my luck when I stumbled upon this collection of three short stories by Simonsen. They are absent of any angst, absent of Wickham and his maligning of Darcy's character. In essence they are centred mainly on Darcy and Elizabeth with a sprinkling of Jane, Bingley, Anne and the Bennets. Each story is a battle of wits between the two, his cleverness, her cleverness, his witty comments, her witty comments, I think you get the picture.

The first story is the longest about half the book. Elizabeth meets Mr Darcy at Rosings but he does not remember her. Mr Darcy left Hertfordshire right after the Meryton assembly and has been in Ireland for the last two months. However Elizabeth certainly remembers him as she has not forgotten the gentleman after he slighted her at said assembly. For Darcy it is love at first sight or should I say second. The tables are reversed as Elizabeth is the one who understands they are from different spheres and is adverse to anything developing between the two of them, due to the difficulties they would face. Elizabeth's objections more or less mirroring the objections Darcy related in his proposal in the original P&P.
Elizabeth and Charlotte have a lovely friendship, full of girly laughter and chat and the two of them are very funny,  it was nice to see a lighter side to their relationship. Charlotte is quite content with her situation and through her Mr Collins does not seem all that bad, his character is somewhat kind. Anne and Darcy have a great relationship and I like to see Anne character expanded on. With his cousin Anne's counsel will Darcy manage to convince Elizabeth to over look such objections, oh the irony!

“Other than passing the gentleman in the park, I have only seen Mr. Darcy up close on one occasion whilst in church, which, by the way, he does not like. He wears a scowl throughout the service.” “In that case, I might very well recognize him,” Lizzy said, laughing. “He had a similar look at the assembly.” “But when he is not frowning! My goodness he is a handsome man with green eyes, a strong chin, good height, and a broad chest. Again, I surprise you, Lizzy. Although I am content with Mr. Collins, it does not mean I cannot admire a handsome man when I see one,” she said with a chuckle - Mary Lydon Simonsen

The second story is called the language of the fan, I really enjoyed learning all the different ways you can use a fan to communicate. We find Elizabeth caught in the library having to hide behind a chair while listening to Darcy and Bingley's conversation about Jane and herself. Elizabeth gets to witness Darcy giving Bingley a lesson and demonstration on the language of the fan!! Absolutely hilarious, I can see his time at Cambridge was well spent. I need to practice this art as you never know when it may come in handy!

"Bringing the handle of the fan to his lips, Darcy demonstrated a signal he would never see from Elizabeth Bennet: kiss me." - Mary Lydon Simonsen

In the last tale Darcy finds out Mr Collins has designs on making an offer to Elizabeth. On hearing this, feelings stir within him and he realises he cannot bear to see Elizabeth married to anybody, let alone Mr Collins! Mr Darcy is on a mission to thwart Mr Collins plans. Although he believes Elizabeth would most probably refuse the man, he cannot take the chance that she might to save her family from the entail.

Darcy’s choice of attire was not lost on Charles Bingley. “You look dapper tonight, Darcy. I see you are wearing your favorite waistcoat. Is there any particular reason for donning your most elegant apparel?” “One buys clothes for the purpose of wearing them, Bingley,” Darcy answered, dismissing Charles’s implication that there was a secondary reason for his choice of attire. Charles chuckled under his breath. “I shall ignore that, Bingley” Darcy said, clearly annoyed with his friend - Mary Lydon Simonsen

I really enjoyed these stories, they were relaxing and enjoyable. Great for a lazy Sunday afternoon. Although I read them of an evening and could not put it down, so a word of warning, in the first story you are at risk of what I call 5am Colonel Fitzwilliam, in other words if your up in the early hours of the morning you may risk waking somebody up with your chuckles.

This book is worthy of 4 hearts - Mr Bingley!

As always it is a pleasure to hear your thoughts!


  1. I have this book but my version only has two stories in it :-( It doesn't have the second story. I agree with you regarding the others, they are nice aren't they. I really like Mary Lydon Simonsen's portrayals of Darcy, he's always lovely in her books!

  2. Hi Ceri, oh that is a shame, it is called The Language of the Fan, but it only seems available on Kindle in the USA. I have found that with a few books recently I do not know why Amazon UK and US have to be different in regards to what titles are available on Kindle. Yes I agree I love Simonsen's Darcy too!

    1. Amazon said I had the book with the three stories so I dropped them an email and they sent the updated version to my kindle. Language of the Fan used to be available separately here too. Good job I read your review or I wouldn't have known they were now combined in the one book :)

    2. You are definitely an accomplished woman, I did not think of that, glad to see your not just a pretty face! :)


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