Hello Fellow Readers!
Today I have an excerpt of ‘The Coming Of Age Of Elizabeth Bennet' By Caitlin Williams.
I would like to thank Claudine at Just Jane 1813, for her instrumental part in bringing this blog tour to fruition and to Caitlin for providing an excerpt that had me buying the book straight after!
The Coming Of Age Of Elizabeth Bennet Blog Tour
A coming-of-age story told in four volumes between Austen’s infamous couple; savor the story of the prideful man and the girl prejudiced against him, as they meet much earlier in this rethinking of Jane Austen’s masterpiece, Pride & Prejudice. Could this ‘disobedient little hellion’ one day become mistress of Pemberley and the keeper of his heart?
Caitlin Williams, author of the highly-praised book, Ardently, tours the blogosphere from June 13- June 26, 2016 to share her newest release, The Coming Of Age Of Elizabeth Bennet. Fourteen book bloggers, specializing in Austenesque fiction and romance stories, will share excerpts, guest posts, an exclusive interview with the author and book reviews from this highly awaited Austen-inspired novel. Eight ebooks are also being included in our giveaways and entry is available to anyone who participates in this blog tour.
Elizabeth had felt almost normal, as if she had slept her cold off when she had woken that morning, but by the time they reached their destination, she began to shake and shiver again and had never been so glad to quit her mount. She only wanted to sit and recover, but supposed she would not get any peace until she appeased Mr Darcy by standing in awe of the view they had come so far to see, if only for a few moments. So she climbed the tor, looked out and although now felt very bad indeed, was able to admire it. The rough, rugged landscape of Derbyshire was laid out before her for miles ahead and it was a beautiful spot. She was the first to turn away though and her heavy legs stumbled down towards the picnic spot where she almost fell upon the rug.
The refreshments did something to revive her, though she was quieter than usual, and let the conversation flow over her head, but her attention was required when Georgiana began to speak directly to her. “We are right in the middle of the country now, Elizabeth. You could not be further from either coast. You must take Elizabeth to the coast one day, Brother, when you return, for she has still never seen the sea.”
Mr Darcy got to his feet without a reply and wandered away and Elizabeth wrinkled her nose in disgust at his rudeness. She had no illusions or hopes as to his ever taking her anywhere, let alone on a trip that would give her so much pleasure, but he might have at least given Georgiana a polite reply.
The Colonel smiled too brightly, “and Darcy will soon see far more of the sea than he could ever have hoped for. I confess after my last voyage home, I have no longing to go aboard a ship, or near any vast expanse of water, for a good long time.”
“I am guessing you were always bound for the Army, Colonel?” asked Miss Temple. “The Navy would not have suited you then?”
“You assume correctly. All that salty air and strong wind, it cuts a man’s youth and vigour most horribly; a sailor grows old sooner than any other man,” the Colonel said jovially and patted his cheeks. “I am plain enough looking as it is - a sea-faring life would have been the death of all my romantic hopes. Imagine me all knocked about and exposed to every climate. I would not be fit to be seen. Dreadful profession, I can’t think why any man would choose it, lest he was a complete fool.”
Silence reigned and the smile fell from the Colonel’s face as he looked about in confusion at the pained faces of the three ladies.
Elizabeth spoke, hardly knowing what she said, something about both the Navy and Army having everything in its favour. “Heroism, travel, bustle, fashion, soldiers and sailors would always be acceptable to me; nobody can wonder that men chose to be soldiers and sailors.”
Miss Temple rushed away as Elizabeth was still speaking, but in a different direction to the one Mr Darcy had taken.
“Miss Temple was once betrothed to a young man of the Navy who died at sea,” Elizabeth explained to the Colonel.
His face crumpled and saw he might have cursed himself had she and Georgiana not been present. “Shall I go after her, do you think? Is it my business to? Should I apologise?”
“She is the sweetest soul in the world, Colonel, and will not be cross with you,” Elizabeth told him, “but I do always think there is everything to be gained, and never anything to be lost by the issuing of a genuine apology.”
He got very slowly to his feet and limped away.
Nor he or Miss Temple came back for quite a while. For so long in fact that Elizabeth began to wonder whether all was well and was concerned something had happened to them. Mr Darcy returned in the meantime and kicked at the dirt for a while and then began to speak of returning home. Elizabeth observed that he was a man who lacked the ability to be idle. He could not sit in the same position for long; his mind was constantly active, always wondering what to do next. She felt weary just watching him.
The servants packed up and made them ready for the off. When Miss Temple and the Colonel did appear, the Colonel gallantly handed the governess into the carriage and then looked around at Elizabeth. “Why do you not ride back in the carriage too? You look dreadfully pale, you are sickening for something I am sure of it.”
“Stop fussing, Richard. She’s a country girl, very hardy. You’ll come and ride alongside me, Elizabeth, there are some views I would point out to you,” Mr Darcy said.
The Colonel looked at her as if he were waiting for her to protest. Why she didn’t, she could not actually say, but she supposed she just wanted to get back to Pemberley as quickly as possible, where she might ring for a mug of chocolate, find a shawl and doze in the library. Robert helped her into the saddle and they set off. It was just the three of them and two grooms trailing behind. Georgiana, having been allowed the luxury of choice, had opted for the carriage for the journey back.
She and Mr Darcy rode mostly in silence, side-by-side, for long stretches at a time, the Colonel going on ahead. Mr Darcy would point something out occasionally and she would take notice of it and nod her head, but she had not the energy to answer him. He looked crosser with each passing minute and with each mile she grew more fatigued and light headed.
The Colonel came back to them after a while and she heard him speak to Mr Darcy, saying something about stopping, letting the carriage catch them up. Her name was mentioned and then there was the sound of Mr Darcy’s baritone, shouting to her. “Have control over the reins, Elizabeth, that horse may take you anywhere it pleases,” and then there was nothing, it was all darkness.
Thank you for sharing the excerpt, it ended with me shouting 'no, no, no! I must know what happens' and purchasing the book post-haste!
The very worst has happened. Mr Bennet has died, leaving his wife and five young daughters bereft. The family estate, Longbourn, is now lost, entailed away and fifteen-year-old Elizabeth Bennet is to go two hundred miles away to live with strangers. George Darcy, repaying a debt of gratitude, has offered to take her to Pemberley, to live under the mantle of his care and be raised alongside his own daughter, Georgiana.
But on the day she is to leave Longbourn forever, young Elizabeth, grieving and confused, runs off into the Hertfordshire countryside. Fitzwilliam Darcy gives chase, telling his father he will have her back in an hour or two. Luck and fate, however, are not on his side and capturing Elizabeth Bennet turns out not only to be more difficult than he could ever have imagined, but events conspire to turn her little adventure into his worst nightmare.
The prideful man and the girl prejudiced against him, meet much earlier in this rethinking of Jane Austen’s masterpiece. Elizabeth grows up under the ever-watchful eye of Mr Darcy, from fifteen to twenty-one. She errs and falters, there are stumbles and trips, but could this ‘disobedient little hellion’ one day become mistress of Pemberley and the keeper of his heart?
Blog Tour Schedule
June 13/ My Jane Austen Book Club/Launch Post/“Happy Birthday Fanny Burney & The Coming Of Age Of Elizabeth Bennet” & Giveaway
June 14/ So Little Time... / Book Excerpt & Giveaway
June 15/ Just Jane 1813/An Exclusive Interview with Caitlin Williams
June 16/ Pemberley to Milton/Book Review & Giveaway
June 17/ Margie's Must Reads/ Book Excerpt & Giveaway
June 18/ The Calico Critic/Book Review & Giveaway
June 19/ Babblings of a Bookworm/“The Education of a Young Lady” Guest Post & Giveaway
June 20/ Half Agony, Half Hope/Book Review
June 21/ More Agreeably Engaged/ Book Review & Giveaway
June 22/ My Kids Led Me Back to Pride and Prejudice /Book Excerpt & Giveaway
June 23/ Liz's Reading Life / “A Nod and A Wink to Austen” Guest Post & Giveaway
June 24/ Diary of an Eccentric/Book Review
June 25/ Laughing With Lizzie/ “The Young Master” Guest Post & Giveaway
June 26/ A Covent Garden Gilflurt’s Guide to Life/ “A Most Scandalous” Guest Post