Posted by Linda on July 17, 1997 at 16:45:54:
Presumption: An Entertainment A sequel to Pride and Prejudice by Julia Barrett, 1993, ISBN 0-226-03813-0 (pkb)
I found this book to live up to it's title as entertaining. The authors (Julia Barrett is Julia Braun Kessler and Gabrielle Donnelly) try to imitate the Austen language and style. They do a pretty good job, but fall a little short of the mark.
Almost all the P&P characters make an appearance during the story. Again, they attempt to keep them in character, but again, they do not quite make it. Georgiana is the main character here. She is not very shy, but the authors attribute that to her association with Elizabeth. Throughout, I saw evidence of plot points and dialogue that were borrowed from JA.
Elizabeth was not completely accepted by many of the Derbyshire neighbors. When Mr. Darcy was away on business, she carried herself with head held high and never complained to her husband. Elizabeth "encountered coldness, if not genuine ill will". Also, she missed her home and family. This felt right to me.
Georgiana's suitors seemed to be modeled on Lizzy's in P&P. The Bennet family endures a terrible scandal and it is one of the men who is interested in Georgiana who saves the day.
This occasion also allows Mr. Collins to write another of his infamous condolence letters.
As I proceeded through the book, I decided that perhaps the authors were writing with tongue-in-check; e.g. Lady Anne Darcy was renamed Lady Susan. With that in mind, I found a little more humor than I had at the beginning. Following are a couple of noteworthy examples.
Lady Catherine was pensive for a full moment, but mere fond memories were powerless in the face of her present purpose, which was to pursue the improprieties she had but two evenings before observed all about her. This was a subject near to her heart; one upon which she fancied her judgement incontestable, and the effects of her reproofs upon those guilty altogether remedial, no matter to whom her denunciations were presently addressed.
Mary (about Mr. Darcy):
"Certainly not," said she. "But since their marriage, I myself have had the opportunity to converse at length with our brother, and I have discovered him to be an uncommonly learned man. What a pity that such a one has been enticed by mere brilliance of wit into a marriage that time will only prove inadequate to his intellectual powers. Had he but thought," with a meaningful glance, "when making his choice, to look beyond pleasantries to someone who holds reason more dear than good humour, how happier might his situation be now!"
In summary, I enjoyed this book and recommend that others give it a try. However, please remember that this is not Jane Austen! not even close.