Monday, 17 May 2021

Fitzwilliam Darcy, In His Own Words by Shannon Winslow - Guest Post and Excerpt

Book Cover: Fitzwilliam Darcy... in his own words by Shannon Winslow
Today I’m happy to be welcoming Shannon Winslow back to Babblings of a Bookworm with her new book, Fitzwilliam Darcy, In His Own Words, which as the name suggests is a book from Darcy’s point of view. Read on for the blurb, followed by a guest post from Shannon and an excerpt of the story. 

Book Description

What was Mr. Darcy’s life like before he met Elizabeth Bennet? – before he stepped onto the Pride and Prejudice stage at the Meryton assembly? More importantly, where is he and what is he doing all the time he’s absent from the page thereafter? And what is his relationship to a woman named Amelia?

With Fitzwilliam Darcy, in His Own Words, the iconic literary hero finally tells his own story, from the traumas of his early life to the consummation of his love for Elizabeth and everything in between.

This is not a variation but a supplement to the original story, chronicled in Darcy’s point of view – a behind-the-scenes look at the things Jane Austen didn’t tell us. As it happens, Darcy’s journey was more tortuous than she let on, his happy ending with Elizabeth in jeopardy at every turn in his struggle between duty and his heart’s desire, between the suitable lady he has promised to marry and the woman he can’t stop thinking about.

Guest Post from Shannon Winslow 

I knew I wanted to write a story from Mr. Darcy’s point of view, expanding on but not changing what we know from Pride and Prejudice (same as I have with my other P&P novels). So of course I started with the original novel, reading it yet again and careful noting everything Jane Austen told us about the man himself: his character, words, movements, personality traits, along with Elizabeth’s early assumptions about him.

Then to fill in the blanks – where he was the rest of the time, what he was doing, and especially, what he was thinking – I had to get inside Darcy’s head.

I thought a lot about what Darcy’s youth must have been like. We know he was taught to think well of himself compared to others. He must have been made very conscious of duty by the heavy expectations placed on his shoulders. And I believe early trauma and losses left him emotionally guarded. These things shaped the boy into the 30-year-old man we meet in P&P. That man is good but flawed, intelligent but reserved and socially awkward, highly principled but rather arrogant. 

The same influences would also have informed Darcy’s ideas about the sort of woman he should marry. One thing is certain; he would not have set out looking for someone like Elizabeth Bennet! According to my theory, in fact, he had a completely different woman already in mind, perhaps even having committed himself to her. So when he meets Elizabeth, it creates tremendous inner conflict between duty and desire: what he believes is the right thing to do – the woman he ‘should’ marry – and the woman his heart unexpectedly falls in love with.

That’s what Fitzwilliam Darcy in his Own Words is about, that and how he nearly missed Elizabeth altogether, as you will see in this excerpt.

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Book Cover: Fitzwilliam Darcy... in his own words by Shannon Winslow
Prologue

I still occasionally suffer that recurrent dream – a nightmare, really. I awake at Darcy House in London. Morning light is filtering through the diaphanous draperies at the windows, painting ghostly shadow patterns across the opposite wall. I feel a great sense of wellbeing at the start of a new day. All is right with the world, or at least my portion of it.

Then I turn toward the other side of the bed and see… not Elizabeth, as I expect, but the Honorable Miss Amelia Lambright. Only of course she is no longer an honorable miss, not when she has spent the night in a man’s bed. Then I suddenly remember why she is there. Her name is Miss Lambright no more; she is Mrs. Darcy now. My heart lurches and I break into a cold sweat, not because the former Miss Lambright is so horridly unappealing, but because she is not Elizabeth.

I tell myself it surely must be a hallucination or some trick of the light. So I shake my head to clear any cobwebs, rub my eyes, and blink. Still, the wrong woman is before me. Please, God, let it be a dream!

I fight to awaken, to claw my way back to the world where I belong, the world where Mrs. Darcy has not blonde but dark, satiny hair and sparkling eyes. My throat constricts; I cannot breathe. I cannot find my voice to call out. Elizabeth, where are you? I must find her! My life depends on it.

When on these disturbing occasions I at last come to myself, it is many minutes before my heart and breathing return to normal, and longer still until my mind can quiet itself. Even after I have verified that Elizabeth is indeed beside me where she belongs; beheld her face, a peaceful portrait of repose in whatever meager light offers; pulled her warm, familiar form to fit close against mine; and heard her sleepy but unmistakable voice murmuring my name with affection…

Even then my soul quakes within me for how close the vision from which I have just awakened came to being true, how close I came to missing Elizabeth altogether. Then she and I would have been only two ships sailing the same stretch of sea, perhaps even passing within sight of each other occasionally but never happening to come into a common port together, at least not until it had been too late.

My happier outcome depended on the slimmest thread of unlikely circumstances being precariously strung together without error. At any one of a dozen junctures, the course of my life could have carried me in a completely different direction.

When I consider this, I shudder. Then I thank God for His providential care in guiding me safely through. I thank Bingley for Netherfield. And Wickham. Strangely enough, now, years later, I can think back with some philosophy, enough to acknowledge the part he unwittingly played. Were it not for Wickham and his nefarious but timely interventions, I would likely be married to Amelia Lambright today.

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Author Bio

Author Shannon Winslow

Shannon Winslow says she was minding her own business - raising two sons and pursuing a very sensible career - when she was seduced by the writing bug a dozen years ago. Stirred by the novels of Jane Austen, she set out to produce more stories in the same vein, beginning with a sequel to her favorite, "Pride and Prejudice." "The Darcys of Pemberley" (published in August 2011) quickly became a best-seller, praised for being true to the original's characters and style. Several more Austen-inspired novels have followed. "Winslow is one of the few authors who can channel Austen's style of prose so well that I could not tell the two apart if I tried," reports one reviewer. A life-long resident of the Pacific Northwest, Ms. Winslow resides with her husband in the log home they built in the countryside south of Seattle, where she writes and paints in her studio facing Mt. Rainier.

You can connect with Shannon via her websiteFacebook and Twitter.

Book Cover: Fitzwilliam Darcy... in his own words by Shannon Winslow
Buy Links 

Fitzwilliam Darcy, In His Own Words is available to buy now in Paperback, Kindle and Kindle Unlimited. It will also be available in audio later this year.*

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Note about comments: If you have any problems adding your comment please contact me and I will add your comment for you :)

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9 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for inviting me to visit and share about the new book, Ceri. Much appreciated!

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  2. Replies
    1. Thanks! I'm glad it grabbed your attention. :D

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  3. Now, this sounds good. I'll need to get to this one b/c I love getting Darcy's POV and fun that it includes his backstory.

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  4. I think I shall enjoy this new perspective once I get my hands on it!

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