Mr. Darcy's Daughters
by Elizabeth Aston

Paperback -368 pages   ISBN 0743243978
Touchstone Books; (May 6, 2003)
Simon & Schuster Inc;   May 2003
Touchstone edition (July 1, 2003)

        Written by millicent (4/26/2003 9:24 p.m.)
O.K. I read the whole thing! I agree with the notion that Mr. & Mrs. Darcy would never have left their head-strong daughters with relatives in London. I also wonder that the daughters (some, anyway...don't want to give away too much)would have behaved the way they did having Elizabeth and Darcy for parents...???

It can be an enjoyable read if you miss the Darcys and will accept any excuse to re-visit that time and place.

The ending is a happy one, though rushed and oversimplified. Don't waste your time if you are a "purist" Austen fan.

        Written by Nicole (4/29/2003 6:35 p.m.)
Mr. Darcy's Daughters is great!     I adore this sequel! I am a huge Pride & Prejudice fan, and I totally agree with the poster who noted that true "purists" might find Astons' take on the Darcy daughters a bit light. But I think the book is such a fun read, and she does     such a nice job with the daughters and with the plot that it doesn't even matter. Nothing's going to be as good as the original, but if you always wondered what Elizabeth and Darcy's children would be like, this is a great romp of a way to see one author's take. 

         Written by Anna (4/30/2003 1:36 p.m.)
The style is very good but the idea of sending Elizabeth and Darcy to Constantinople spoiled all the fun for me. As a "Daughters of Somebody" or even a "Daughters of Anybody" it is a very good (really good) Georgian romance but when I'm reading P&P sequel I     want to read about Lizzy and Darcy (and not in Istanbul or some other exotic place)! 

            Review by Linda Waldemar, 1 May 2003
The action takes place 20+ years after the marriage of Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy. They have been sent to Constantinople on a diplomatic mission and leave their 2 young sons at Pemberley. Their 5 nearly grown daughters are left in the care of their relatives in London.

Letitia, 21, is beautiful, but a serious, moralising worry wart. Camilla is 19, intelligent and witty. Isabella is 17, a dazzling fair beauty who is frivilous and fun-loving. Her twin sister, Georgina, has much the same personality, but is a dazzling dark beauty. Alethea, 16, is headstrong and passionate about music. A few of Jane Austen's characters are present in name only; their personalities do no resemble the originals.

The girls stay mainly with Colonel (now an MP and a "Mr") Fitzwilliam and his wife, Fanny. They are sometimes with the Gardiners who have another daughter, Sophie, who is of their age.

Most of the story is about the amourous adventures of the Darcy girls (except Alethea) and Sophie Gardiner. Alethea is not yet "out", but still manages to get into mischief. The twins are much like their Aunt Lydia, wild, determined flirts and caring only for a good time. Lydia, after the death of George Wickham in the war, married Lord Pollexfen. They are famous for their routs and often count "Prinny" among their guests.Their society is decidedly decadent and not fit for young, innocent ladies.

The Darcy girls are quite a handful and cause no end of problems for the Fitwilliams and the Gardiners. Luckily, by the story's end, they have managed to be safely extricated, for the most part, from their dangerous adventures.

As long as you do not expect Jane Austen, and as long as you are willing to forgive all the anachronistic phrases and situations, this is a fairly entertaining tale. Very early on, I figured out who the heroine and hero would be. From then on, I was wondering how the author would manage to get them together. But she did, although it required a few forced circumstances that were mildly plausible.

Do I recommend this book? As I said before, as long as you do not expect it to be anything like Jane Austen, you may find it a pleasant read.

        Written by Tarn (5/3/2003 5:51 p.m.)
I just finished reading 'Mr.Darcy's Daughters' an hour ago. No doubt, if you don't have much of an expectation it is quite a fun read. But I agree that Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth would NEVER raise such flaky and flirty daughters as 'Day' and 'Night'. In addition, Letty is such a bore!  No, In my imagination, Mr. Darcy would only have daughters just like Jane and Elizabeth, and Sons like himself. I don't mind reading a sequel like that sometime.

        Written by Cathy (5/6/2003 12:08 a.m.)
Hello, I am new to this site. Mr. Darcy's daughters is the first P&P sequel I have read. I enjoyed it very much. I liked how the author shuffled the original characters around among the five daughters. The eldest daughter Letty is more like the prissy mary but with the beauty of Jane. The second, Camilla, is like the original Lizzie. The third and fourth are twins who are more like Lydia and Kitty. The youngest is like Jane and plays a similar role to Camilla. This shuffling around was kind of interesting because of the way it changed the family dynamics around. Letty, who is as prissy as Mary is more at a liberty to control her sisters then Mary. My issues with the     book lie in how the author dealt with the original characters of the Gardiners, Fitzwilliam, and Miss Bingley. I felt these characters lacked the complexity they had in P&P. Since these are original characters, it is only natural to expect that they would retain their original qualities. It seemed to me that Fitzwilliam who had be so pleased and interested in Lizzie was reincarnated into the form of Mrs. Bennet, the Gardiners into the Lucases, and Miss Bingley...perhaps a Catherine de bourgh.

Other characters from P&P also show up in reincarnated forms such as Mr. Collins, Wickham, Darcy, Fitzwilliam.

Well, I really did enjoy this book. It is an amusing read. 

        Written by Michelle Annette (5/6/2003 7:42 p.m.)
I just finished this one, and have a lot to say about it, so I hope you don't regret you asked!

There were several parts of this novel I thought were out of place. For instance, there are some pretty direct references to sex. Nothing too explicit, but (for example) a lot of the men spent a lot of time gazing at the girls' chests. I'm sure that back then men did that a lot, with women in those low-cut ball dresses, but Jane Austen would NEVER have mentioned it!

In addition, Camilla is something of a feminist, and spends a good deal of time pondering the restrictions placed upon women in her society. One of the female characters (I won't say who) even cross-dresses to escape the constraints placed upon her. It's true that Regency society confined women mainly to the home, but to question that is a modern thing to do. Austen never really addressed it in her novels, at least not as a problem.

Maybe it's silly of me to expect anyone to write like Jane Austen, but Elizabeth Aston is specifically imitating Austen's style and even using the same characters. I wouldn't mind the anachronisms in an ordinary historical novel, but an Austen sequel ought to read like Austen... at least more than this one did. (No one will ever live up to Jane!)

Overall, this one was not bad, just disappointing. What does everyone else think? Maybe I'm just too prissy,and can't appreciate a good sequel.

        Written by Stephie Lynn (6/16/2003 12:50 a.m.)
Mr. Darcy's Daughters (review or tirade, you be the judge). I just finished reading the novel, and I have a few non-spoiler complaints.

Elizabeth and Darcy are not in the book AT ALL. Even their letters home from "a diplomatic mission to Constantinople" aren't printed in full, merely paraphrased in the other characters' dialogue. The only character from P&P given any actual page time is Col. Fitzwilliam who is made out to be an overbearing, unsympathetic, almost Lady Catherine-like personality.

If Elizabeth and Darcy were to leave England, surely it would have been better to leave their daughters in the care of their aunt Jane. I also can't fathom how dear Lizzie and Darcy could raise such children. Only Camilla (a smart, uniquely attractive, second-born like her mother) even remotely resembles her parents' personalities. Wouldn't their particular experiences with Lydia prevent them from allowing their daughters too much free reign at too young an age?

I didn't find Aston's style at all Austen-like. I saw the Fitzwilliams in bed, heard private converstaions between servants, and learned about early 19th century sodomy laws. Not what I was expecting.

I'm unfamiliar with the Emma Tennant novels, as this is my first expereince with the Austen sequel genre. Maybe my expectations are too high. I couldn't personally recreate anything so lovely as Jane Austen did, how can I make such demands of others? 

        Written by graceac (6/18/2003 8:52 p.m.)
I just finished Mr. Darcy's Daughters. I was disappointed with the characters she included (Lydia would be nowhere near these girls) and the way she developed the older characters ( I totally don't believe that Colonel Fitzwilliam would act this way). Where were Jane and
     Charlotte? Lots of things were too hard to believe (could this really be the first trip to the theater and London for these wealthy privledged girls?). I could go on and on but I won't.

I think if you don't mind the 'bodice-ripping' type romance, The Bar Sinister is at least more true to the original characters with lots of Lizzie and Darcy (agree R rated). It is a much more satisfying read even with some of the misspellings! 

        Written by Shanan (6/26/2003 12:39 a.m.)
I just read this book too and I agree. I was very very disappointed. And I could not figure out why the author the Gardiners and the Fitzwilliams rich all of a sudden. One of the points in P&P was the difference that class and situation make on your choices and she completely erased that. And I was so surprised by the sodemy laws thing, too. That was so out of left field for me.
I missed JA voice. I did not think that any of the dialogue was memorable where as I can quote many memorable lines from P&P and I did not think that any of the characters were as enchanting (even Camilla) as Elizabeth and Darcy. Also I really don't think that everyone would be okay with someone suddenly marrying their cousin's fiance. I think that would be a real problem for somebody, but here it is completely okay.

        Written by Liz M (December 17, 2003 )
Has anyone read this Austen sequel? I'm about four chapters into it and I'm about to give up in disgust. So far, it has been all Regency atmosphere (young ladies writing notes on elegant sheets of hot-pressed paper, reading La Belle Assemblée, and getting "the headache," that kind of thing) and no Austenian wit or incisive observation. The daughters of the title (all five of them!) are reproductions of the Bennet sisters in a slightly different order. The author has also played havoc with the timeline -- this sequel is set three years after Waterloo, which would be 1818, and it's meant to be 20 years after the events of P&P, which would then have occurred in 1798?? I thought it was (for the most part) agreed that P&P happened in an 1812-1813 time frame. In other words, my impression is that it's a fair-to-middling Regency romance in which the characters just happen to have the same names as the Austen characters. Unless someone has a better opinion of it that might convince me to give it a try for a few more chapters, I'll probably put it aside in favor of rereading PamelaT's book again. ;-)

        Written by Inko (December 20, 2003 )
Plowed my way through it. I found it pretty terrible -- the time line was completely wrong and the characters weren't anything like JA made them, especially Col. Fitzwilliam. Where did his sense of humour go??? I found the whole thing pretty annoying and unsatisfying.

        Written by Mary K. (December 17, 2003 )
You got further than I did! I read the last couple of chapters (amusing) and gave up on the middle. I don't have much patience for that sort of fiction anyway. The book has a nice cover, doesn't it?

        Written by Vania (December 18, 2003 )
Nice cover, yes ..but beyond that, I can't recommend it. My patience was tested, I finished it, but I wasn't in a very good mood after. =)lol.

        Written by Rebecca Lynne (December 17, 2003 )
 Bad, bad, I hear! The book has a nice cover, doesn't it? Yes, and that is precisely why I purchased the book for my good friend, who (though he reminds me far more of Bingley) claims to be a Darcy-esuqe individual. I have not yet read the book, but the review from him claims it to be interesting but disappointing, full of very "modern" approaches to characters and relationships that JA never would have used. So there you have my oh-so-reliable second-hand review. I intend to post one of my own when I finally read it; I just wanted to let you ladies know that you're not alone in your opinions!

        Written by Helena (8/24/2004 2:38 p.m.)
I've read Mr. Darcy's Daughters, which I thought ok as its own book but not as a sequel--it really has so little to do with P&P.

        Written by Skylar B (8/24/2004 3:30 p.m.)
I thought this one was fairly well written (which is more than I can say for most sequels), but for some reasons the characters just never captured my imagination; I never came to care deeply about what might befall them. 

        Written by Melanie Z (8/25/2004 9:55 a.m.)
I have to confess I was not disappointed and did like Aston`s writing style, but wasn`t able to see these girls as descendants from Lizzy and Darcy. The whole basic position was to unlikely and some of the old P&P characters were changed in a strange way...

        Written by Geri-Lynn (8/29/2004 9:30 a.m.)
I'm finding it difficult to reconcile myself to the Darcy's having five daughters, but that obstacle aside, I believe that the book is well written, and somewhat enjoyable.

        Written by Felicity S (1/4/2005 5:24 a.m.)
Possibly the best sequel to P&P that I have read. If you haven't I urge you - the main character Camilla is worthy of Austen.

My only gripe is that Mr (Colonel) Fitzwilliam is drawn a little badly - too lechy and mean. I'd love to hear any other views!

          Written by Deborah d'Bajor (1/4/2005 7:34 a.m.)
I quite enjoyed it. I think it's because it doesn't feature Lizzy and Darcy much Aston can't do anything to really irritate us! I thought it was enjoyable and liked Camilla, but thought it's not something Austen would have written. More Heyer, I think.

        Written by Tori Marie (1/4/2005 11:09 p.m.)
While I thought this was a well-written book, I didn't much care for it as a P&P sequel. The biggest reason is that I didn't at all believe that Lizzy would leave her daughters with the Fitzwilliams for that long period of time, particularly for the reason given--that she couldn't bear to be away from her husband. Maybe I'm just hopeful that she learned from her parents' mistakes ;-) but I can't imagine her leaving girls of that age for what is essentially selfish reasons.

There was also a feeling I had throughout that the parallel phenomenon--where the sequel's action mirrors the original--was just too forced. I kept thinking the author was trying too hard.

In general I enjoy JA sequels, but this is one of those that I liked least.

        Written by Namrata (February 26, 2007 )
It was on clearance for $4 so I picked it up a few weeks ago. Has anyone else read this book and would like to discuss?

The beginning was okay. Not too bad. However, as it progressed I had a lot of trouble with it. The editing was poor. You'd skip from one point in time to quite another and the issue that was being discussed in the previous chapter is now completely resolved and done with. Um, how? There were no details at all.

And quite frankly I had a hard time believing some of the sub plots. Alethea (sp?) is the youngest daughter and a talented musician. She is sneaking out of the house dressed as a boy on a regular basis, to go play in orchestras. How did no one notice? What was Miss Griffin, the governess, doing?

How did the twins, Belle and Georgina, become so giddy and silly? I can't imagine their parents raising them that way and not trying to educate them properly. And how come no one is upset at Georgina's marriage. She's 17 - too young. And she ran away. And everyone is so happy for her that she's married. How is that even possible? And how come Darcy a nd Elizabeth are not upset? And neither has returned!

I could go on for more, but I won't. I was just wondering if anyone else read this and perhaps saw something more in it than I was able to.

        Written by Deborah Y (February 26, 2007 )
I thought this was an enjoyable light (make that feather-light) read. My advice would be: don't think about it too hard. Let it wash over you entertainingly. Forget about any alleged Jane Austen connection. It's a melodramatic romance novel whose characters happen to have the same names as characters in a far better book by a far better writer.
        Written by Lele (February 27, 2007 )
Beach read! I first read Mr. Darcy's Daughters a couple of years ago and have read it several times since. When I first read it I did find it hard to believe that Darcy and Elizabeth could produce such silly and defiant daughters at Althea and the twins, or even Leticia. Col. Fitzwilliam was also quite a departure from JA's Fitzwilliam, IMHO. However, I must say that with each new read the book becomes more enjoyable. As Deborah Y said, if you forget about the P&P connection, it is a fun and entertaining story.
        Written by Lele (3/26/2007 5:26 p.m.)
Mr. Darcy's Daughters is also entertaining.

        Written by Felicity S (3/26/2007 5:14 p.m.)
I also liked Elizabeth Aston's 'Mr Darcy's Daughters.' Much more like Heyer than Barbara Cartland!

        Written by sherri b (4/22/2007 1:13 p.m.) I finished Mr. Darcy's Daughters and it left me a little numb. For many of the same reasons already mentioned, particularly Col. (Mr.) Fitzwilliam's narrow-mindedness and the timeline. I don't see Mr. and Mrs. Darcy so carelessly leaving their daughters alone.

I did like the details such as the crushes at Almacks' and importance of purchasing ribbon but there was not enough for me.

The ending seemed tacked on, having to marry off Letty and Camilla at the same time. Although Letty was a prig I don't feel she deserved to be fobbed off as she was. I never felt she really loved her husband but relented so the book could end with a double wedding. I also have to question the character of Camilla's husband, for his first engagement, how quickly and easily it was broken and with no consequences.

I'd recommend this book only to someone who likes regency romances but doesn't know or care much for Austen.

        Written by Lele (May 30, 2007 )
Mr. Darcy's Daughters was also entertaining but only as a light read. It is not very true to Austen, IMHO
        Review by Amanda Lee (6/28/2007 1:40 a.m.)
I would like to begin by saying that I do believe the novel is well written and in historical context. And quite frankly, an enjoyable read.

The novel is about the Darcy's five daughters. In the story, Elizabeth and Darcy leave their daughters in the care of the Fitzwilliam's, in Lobdon, while they travel abroad. I, like so many other reviewers, believe that there is no way the Darcy's would leave their headstrong daughters in the charge of others for so long a time, especially at the very beginning of the season.

There are a few things about the novel that I did not like, including the fact that very mature subjects are discussed. Not at all like our dear JA. But the most severe problem is the mischaracterizations of JA's characters. I do not believe that most of the characters are consistent with the way JA wrote them to be.

The entire novel goes on with story after story about how the girls very nearly disgrace their family name at every turn. Furthermore, the Fitzwilliams do not control them properly. And, I do belive the frm. Col. FItzwilliam, presently Mr. Fitzwilliam to be completely out of character. I sincerely do not recognize him in this novel!

As for the Darcy girls, they all exhibit the "headstrong Darcy spirit", but they all resemble the five Bennet sisters entirely too much. And sadly, they seem to take no personality traits from their Aunt Georgianna.

I will give credit where credit is due. I believe Elizabeth Aston's portrayal of the fmr. Miss Bingley, presently Lady Warren, was very much indeed like her portrayal in P&P. And furthermore, I believe that it portrays her the exact way she would be twenty years later.

Overall, the novel was entertaining. I did after all read it in two days. As long as you do not mind feeling as though you do not recognize any of our old friends, it is a good enough read. But, as many before me have said, if you are a JA purist, you may not be able to laugh off it's short comings.

        Written by Deborah d'Bajor (6/28/2007 4:25 a.m.)
I enjoyed it for what it was, but I thought Col Fitzwilliam and the Gardiners were off in characterisation.

Some things were perhaps a bit improbable, but then I didn't much regard them, probably as I've read MUCH worse!

        Written by Amy 4K (7/2/2007 2:43 p.m.)
I did not like this sequel.