Darcy's Story
by Janet Aylmer
Paperback - 240 pages (September 3, 1999)
Copperfield Books; ISBN: 0952821028

Group Read

Paperback - 288 pages (August 15, 2006)
Harper Paperbacks; ISBN: 0061148709

Paperback - 240 pages (September 3, 1999)
Copperfield Books; ISBN: 0952821036

Paperback - 288 pages (August 3, 2006)
Harper Collins Canada; ISBN: 0061148709

         Response by Lisa on  Dec 31, 1996 (18:14)
I was just visiting the old P&P2 Bulletin Board and was pleased to discover that a new paperback entitled "Darcy's Story" has been published. It is not a sequel to Pride & Prejudice but Pride & Prejudice told from Darcy's perspective. It has been favourably endorsed by the curator at Jane Austen House and by Andrew Davies. It is 240 pages and is a success in the U.K.

        Response by Bernie  Jan  6, 1997 (11:34)
I have read the book and found it enjoyable. It has a drawing of Lyme House aka. Pemberley on the cover.

       Response by amy2 Jan 16, 1997 (19:55)
I confess, I read it from cover to cover Monday night, and thoroughly enjoyed it! What I like: it's incredibly faithful to Austen; it quotes much of her dialogue verbatim, and incorporates the new material very seamlessly. Definitely the best "during-quel" of P&P I've read, and so much better than the dreadful sequels!

        Review by Lisa, January 18, 1997
 Well I just finished Darcy's Story and all I can say is BRAVO Janet Aylmer!  I was totally captivated by Darcy's feelings, pains and wishes. My heart cried for at times.  I agree with Amy, the fact that the story remained so faithful to Jane Austen and that it quoted from P&P verbatim were added bonuses that made it comfortable and I believe more enjoyable.  In addition, JA's (Janet Aylmer not Jane Austen --maybe Janet Aylmer is a reincarnated version of Jane Austen?) scenes were romantic and enchanting.

I have to say that so far one of my favorites passages is when Mr. Bennet tells Darcy that he wants to repay him for his involvement in bringing about Lydia's marriage. Darcy's replies the following: "I have, as I believe you know, Sir, more than sufficient means, so that the expenditure is of little concern to me.  But even if I had been in a different situation, I would have done everything just the same, for Elizabeth's peace of mind.  In all that I had to do, to bring the marriage about, she was always in my thoughts.  I did nothing without her being foremost in mind.  And without her beside me, there can be no happiness for me in the future.  So let there be no more talk of repayment, I beg of you.  Your consent to our marriage is more than enough compensation for me."

Thank you Janet Aylmer for giving Darcy, our hero, a romantic voice and for letting his side of the story be heard.

        Response by amy2  Jan 19, 1997 (14:18)
I must confess I read Darcy's Story again, and enjoyed it even more the second time. It really is a very masterly piece of work. Bravo to the new JA for bringing us a continuation of P&P we do not have to blush for!

        Response by Inko   Jan 27, 1997 (17:01)
 Lisa, you asked for first impressions! I liked the story very well indeed because it's pretty much what I've always thought Darcy was thinking and he seems to be the kind of person I'd imagined him to be.

But I do have a caveat - a good proof-reader could have done wonders!! There are inconsistencies in a place name and at least one word is quoted wrong. But a pencil while reading helps in such cases as these!!;-)

        Review by Sharon Decker, February 3, 1997
 This book has the same plot, basically as the original Pride and Prejudice, only from Darcy's point of view.  So you don't have a lot of stuff that is going on at Longbourn, since he is not there.  There is a lot of the conversation that is taken right out of Pride and Prejudice.

The story begins the summer before Darcy and the Bingleys go the Netherfield, when the near elopement of Georgiana and Wickham almost happens. The author does give a little more background (her view) of Darcy's family.  But actually, this author does not go much deeper into what is going on from Darcy's view than Jane Austen did from Elizabeth's point of view.  In other words, there is still plenty of room for our speculation.  There may be some points, though, in which any one of us may not agree with the way Janet Aylmer has taken some things, but it doesn't spoil the other aspects of the book, and that just leaves us more to debate about.  Then she writes just a little more detail at the end of the story which Jane Austen just touched over.

        Response by Becks  Feb 11, 1997 (23:10)
 Finished it......Loved it, Loved it, Loved it!

      Posted by Ira on May 11, 1997 at 13:59:04:
If you haven't already read Darcy's Story, I'd suggest you get a copy. Janet Aylmer does a great job of telling the story through Darcy's eyes. In this book, Darcy tells Georgiana about Elizabeth before their meeting at Pemberley.

        Posted by Ann on May 11, 1997 at 15:26:21: I would say that Aylmer did a passable job, not a great one. We have some stories on the Guild that are much better.

        Posted by Arami on May 11, 1997 at 16:43:09:
I must agree with this view. Aylmer simply re-worked the book from Darcy's point of view adding very few original or indeed revealing passages. I felt irritated and rather cheated reading it.

        Posted by Michele on May 11, 1997 at 21:22:00:
I agree with the above opinions. I read Darcy's Story and also thought it was just okay. I especially didn't like the way she directly paraphrased some of the original Austen dialogue, in particular when Lady Catherine related the details of her conversation with Elizabeth to Darcy. Very awkwardly handled, I thought. I also feel that the stories in Fan Fiction were superior to Darcy's Story; in fact, they were what inspired me to write my own stories. They had been in my head for a long time, but I feared they were too soppy! But after reading the other stories, I realized there was an audience for them here.

        Posted by JacqueJ on May 12, 1997 at 22:09:59:
I, too, was disappointed in Aylmer's book. I thought she had some good ideas, a well thought out structure, and a sound approach -- it didn't bother me that she folded in Austen's dialogue. Where I think she failed was in the execution. I found the book very dry and clinical, much as if it had been written by Darcy's caseworker. She did not really examine the transitions and turning points in his life

in any sort of depth -- and those are the bits that are the most interesting. (There were one or two points I particularly disagreed with, but I think that would happen no matter who was writing and who was reading -- as I'm sure it does in The Guild. We all have opinions about Austen's characters and there will always be differences of opinion).

In Janet Aylmer's defense, she was working within a limited schedule and a limited number of pages, while trying to tell a whole story that can conceivably stand on its own. (Though I expect that everyone who reads it will have read P&P). Those of us writing in the Guild have the luxury of only writing the bits we want, without working within the practical limits of x number of pages and a publication date. We are limited only by our imaginations and the time we have to devote to writing.

I would further add that her book was unsatisfying enough that it challenged me to carve out some time to do some writing of my own -- something that I had been wanting to do for some time. I'm afraid it is a back-handed compliment, but I thank her for that!

        Review by Anna-Karin Schander, May 12, 1997
I also read the book and thought it well readable but not more.  I got annoyed with the fact not that she repeated much of P&P but the fact that she did not try to get into Darcy.  I mean he seemed rather wet.  I did not get the impression of him I got in P&P but that is not saying that using the same technique today is good.  But Janet Aylmer does not try to go so deep into Darcy as one would wish.  I see little explanation in her text for his feelings for Lizzy.  We get to know that he is sure very attracted to her, but all is repeated rather calmly . He goes to London with Bingley apparently thinks of Lizzy rather often.  Goes to Rosings and suddenly decides he loves her and proposes. I mean where in the story is the struggle, passion, desire ... I mean in his proposal he talks about that he has struggled in vain and that his feelings will not be repressed and in his letter to her he speaks of the utmost force of his passion (for her) which have made him forget all considerations which even have made him warn his friend for marrying into her family.  I get very little impressions of this feelings in the book, Darcy's Story.  Not that I want the book to be wallowing in feelings like some soap operas, but....... At least in P&P2 you got the impression of his struggle and rather passionate feelings and Lizzy's emotional and physical impression on him.  You get very little of it in Aylmer's book.  I also missed things about his childhood and youth and what has made him sometimes rather cynical and critical of the world in general.  His relations to his parents, Wickham, Colonel Fitzwilliam, women in general, his own social class and the life within it, etc.

        Posted by Ann on May 12, 1997 at 20:45:38:
In reply to review Darcy's Story by Anna-Karin on May 12, 1997

I agree that Aylmer copped out on a lot of stuff. All she did was rewrite the story from Darcy's perspective. She never went beyond what was in the Austen. The only exception is the way Darcy confided in Georgiana. Aylmer seemed to actively be avoiding making any choices about what he would be thinking or doing when not around Lizzy, and avoided examining his passion for EB. I was very disappointed, and thought she added nothing new to the story. And one more thing: Hunston??!

        Posted by Linda on May 13, 1997 at 15:21:35:

] All she did was rewrite the story from Darcy's perspective.
But that is all that she claims to do.

] And one more thing: Hunston??!
The editorial errors and typos did bother me a lot, though.

        Review by Lynn Lamy, September 4, 1997
 Perhaps you have read this, as so many people on the boards have.  I liked it in general, but thought there wasn't enough detail, which seemed to be the consensus.  Some of the Fan Fiction is much better, but it was fun to read. Most of the story is 'stolen' from JA directly, which can get boring for some.

       Posted by Tom on January 04, 1998 at 10:13:00:
Yes, I do recommend that you read Darcy's Story.  It's a good companion piece to the original story, and worth the price to any intense JA fan.

        Review by JudithB , May 2, 1998
I ordered Darcy's Story because of the rating (7) on this page.  Do I have the rating scale backwards?  I thought a 7 meant pretty good.  Boy, was I disappointed.

The book added little to Jane Austen's depiction of Mr. Darcy.  At least 70% of the book was directly lifted or paraphrased from P&P.  I don't understand why Janet Aylmer has not since been charged with plagiarism.  The few deviations from the original that were attempts to "illustrate" Mr. Darcy's character were contrived, affected, and poorly written. I would not recommend this book to any Austen fan.

I'm "sorry to be so hard on one of my sex but..."

Thanks for listening!

        Review by Douglas Owen, June 13, 1998
I have finished reading Darcy's Story with Pride and Prejudice to Ann.  We both enjoyed it. Correcting the English added interest on my part, and I am amazed how quickly Ann can alter a sentence to sound as if JA wrote it.  Nevertheless I thought the characterisation of Darcy was 'spot on'.  Perhaps we ought not to be too critical of the author when she provides us with entertainment. If I had to examine a thesis with such English, I would blame the supervisor, rather than the candidate, and try not to get too upset.

        Review by Yvette, September 4, 1998
Darcy's Story is exactly what it claims to be. It is a retelling of the story of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice from Mr. Darcy's point of view. The novel begins shortly before Georgiana's adventure at Ramsgate with Mr. Wickham. We see Darcy as a caring elder brother and a good friend to his close acquaintances. The story follows the original closely throughout and ends shortly after Elizabeth and Darcy's marriage.

After hearing so much about this novel, I was a little disappointed when I read it. Janet Aylmer is definitely very faithful in her account of Darcy's side of the story. The dialogue is exactly the same and much of Jane Austen's commentary is also taken directly from Pride and Prejudice. However, Darcy's Story is definitely a companion novel to Pride and Prejudice. I do not think that it can stand on its own. If I was not an avid fan of Pride and Prejudice, I doubt I would have appreciated the significance of the Elizabeth and Darcy's relationship.

From reading Darcy's Story alone, it is difficult to understand why Elizabeth would refuse to marry Mr. Darcy after his first proposal. Darcy's character before "the transformation", as portrayed by Janet Aylmer, is actually quite agreeable. His pride and arrogance are not really evident. Since all his actions are explained logically, they seem sensible. As a result, the reader is often left unaware that Elizabeth, who is unable to read Darcy's thoughts, would see his actions as unreasonable.

I found that there was too much narration in Darcy's Story. Perhaps Janet Aylmer went a little overboard in trying to explain Pride and Prejudice from Darcy's point of view. She spends a lot of time stating and describing his feelings instead of showing us his emotions by his actions. For instance, just before the Hunsford proposal, Darcy slips out of Rosings to go and look for Elizabeth:

His feelings of anxiety as he slipped out of the house that afternoon were not based on any apprehensions that his application to Miss Bennet might be rejected.

They related, first, to the fact that she might not be well enough to receive him.

(Darcy's Story, Aylmer, p. 94)

Although I am interested in learning about Darcy's anxieties, I would have been even more interested in hearing some of Darcy's specific thoughts instead of reading a description of them.

The same criticism applies to the dialogue, which is sometimes also a bit lacking. Again, I would have preferred to hear Darcy's comments directly instead of reading an account of the contents of his speeches. A good opportunity arose during the Hunsford proposal scene:

...he considered her silence sufficient encouragement to continue, and went on to avow all the affection and attachment in his heart, which he had long felt for her.

However, in fairness to himself, he went on to add his sense of her inferiority, of its being a degradation, of the family obstacles that his judgment had always opposed to inclination.

He concluded with representing to her the strength of that attachment that, in spite of all his endeavours, he had found impossible to conquer; and with expressing his hope that it would now be rewarded by her acceptance of his hand.

(Darcy's Story, Aylmer, p. 95-96)

At this point, I would have loved to hear Darcy's words to Elizabeth as well as some of his thoughts as he spoke them. As it is, the text is almost exactly the same as the parallel paragraph in Pride and Prejudice:
This he considered sufficient encouragement; and the avowal of all that he felt, and had long felt for her, immediately followed. He spoke well; but there were feelings besides those of the heart to be detailed, and he was not more eloquent on the subject of tenderness than of pride. His sense of her inferiority - of its being a degradation - of the family obstacles which judgment had always opposed to inclination, were dwelt on with a warmth which seemed due to the consequence he was wounding, but was very unlikely to recommend his suit.

(Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen, Chap. 34)

The author seemed very reluctant to add in much original conversation. In another example, during Lady Catherine's visit to Darcy in London (after her confrontation with Elizabeth near the end of the novel), Aylmer has Lady Catherine repeat Elizabeth's rebuttals almost verbatim. I would have preferred a less strict and more creative approach. Since we can assume that most of the readers of Darcy's Story have read Pride and Prejudice, it is unnecessary to tell us exactly what Elizabeth said. I am much more curious about how Lady Catherine's mind would reinterpret and skew Elizabeth's comments in order to try and convince Darcy. Although repeating Jane Austen's text shows great respect for the original novel, it does not really work in this context and Lady Catherine's speech to Darcy seems stiff and contrived.

Despite my criticisms of Darcy's Story, it is still an interesting read for enthusiastic fans of Pride and Prejudice. Janet Aylmer is very faithful to the spirit and all the details of Jane Austen's popular novel. However, the novel often goes a little overboard in its faithfulness and becomes too similar to Pride and Prejudice. The result is that without a thorough knowledge of the original novel, Darcy's Story is really only half a story.

        Written by Angélique on Thursday, May 27, 1999, 5:52 p.m.,
I just read the book from Janet Aylmer "Darcy's Story" and i liked it very much.  anybody else know that book?

        Written by Laura on Friday, May 28, 1999, 9:41 a.m.
 It was terrible! But my opinion. I don't think I even finished it, it was so bad.

        Written by Julie P. on Friday, May 28, 1999, 10:43 a.m.
I have read it several times, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Yes, the grammar and spelling were atrocious (I am among those peeved at the Hunston reference), but Aylmer's take on Darcy is somewhat similar to my own. The biggest exception to my general liking of the book is at the end, when he refers to Mr. Collins' proposal. I can understand that he might have been thinking this, but to have said it out loud was, IMHO, most un-Darcylike.

         Written by JudithB on Friday, May 28, 1999, 9:16 p.m.
I read it about a month ago and share your opinion. The book is dreadful. Very little substance to the very few fresh passages. The author credit should have read: by Jane Austen, heavily and poorly edited by Janet Alymer.

        Written by Gianna (6/6/99 1:15 p.m.)
Darcy's Story by Janet Aylmer tells the same story, but from the hero's perspective. It explains things about his character we were left only to ponder in P&P. I highly recommend it.

        Written by AJLaban (6/6/99 1:51 p.m.)
I found  that Darcy's Story was amazingly true to the images created in my mind by JA about Darcy's thoughts and  motivations.

        Written by Nancy S (7/16/99 2:18 p.m.)
I've also read Darcy's Story, which, while not bad, was a bit slow and didn't add as much to his character and whereabouts when not "on-stage" in P&P as I had hoped.

        Review by Kara Baker , July 24, 1999
I purchased this from amazon.com.uk due to the fairly good reviews it was receiving.  I enjoyed reading it and went straight through to the end, but overall I was a bit disappointed.  The author seemed afraid to more fully develop scenes.  Time and again, when I would have liked to have read more detail or would have liked to have a conversation take place, she passed over the chance with just a sentence or two and left me unsatisfied.  And I do not think she allowed us to truly get to know Darcy better.  She didn't go far enough in allowing him to express his feelings and thoughts.  I love JA (the original) but I will admit sometimes I would like to read more of certain scenes in her books, too, and Aylmer followed suit.

        Review by Julie Prall , November 4, 1999
I liked this the first time I read it, but did not enjoy it quite as much with subsequent readings.  I am in agreement with the folks who take offense at the bad grammar and spelling, and I also wish that Aylmer had been able to come up with more dialogue on her own rather than lifting entire passages from the original.

       Written by Hedy (12/28/99 8:39 a.m.)
I read Darcy's Story several times. I like it very much. The story is written by Janet Aylmer.

        Review by Nadine Mendoza-Province, 12 Jan 2000
There are those who would say, just read the original! Still, for those who always want more (and I am such a JA fan), this is really a harmless book that remains pretty faithful to JA -- so much so it nabs huge chunks of P&P. But Darcy's growing attachment for Elizabeth is nicely executed and for fans who just can't get enough, I'd recommend this book. I think the next story that really needs to be told is Col. Fitzwilliam! What say? But no Emma Tennnant, please.

        Comment by Carrie Müsken, Sun, 23 Jan 2000 23:12:03
I have read P&P a couple of times and did the same with Darcy's Story.  It was just like reading P&P.  Janet Aylmer wrote it to perfection. I can highly recommend it!

        Written by Whitney (2/1/2000 12:56 p.m.)
And while I'm sharing my feelings about P&P sequels, let me just mention Janet Aylmer's Darcy's Story.  I can sum up my thoughts on the book in just one word: "Bleah!" The author cut and pasted passages from P&P and interspersed them with her own bad writing and unoriginal thoughts. I gave the book away to a book sale because I didn't want it on my shelf. And I rarely get rid of books.

        Written by HazelRC (2/22/2000 5:44 p.m.)
I've read Darcy's Story and it really isn't that good. The writer "borrows" too much from Austen.

       Review by Michael Mogen, 3 April 2000
"What a great idea!" I thought. "Pride and Prejudice from Darcy's point of view!" It is a great idea, but Aylmer wastes the numerous opportunities to tell us more about Darcy as a person, to flesh out the character we meet all too briefly in Austen's novel.

Instead, we are given nearly all the text, verbatim, from the original novel with a few editorial comments on what Darcy was thinking. Nothing significant about his life outside of Pride and Prejudice. Nothing about his past, his childhood, his friends, his experiences that made him the man Elizabeth met at the Assembly Ball. Almost nothing about the torment he must have felt after his first proposal was refused. Nothing about the tremendous changes he went through to make himself into the man Elizabeth could admire. No passion! No creativity!

Here's an example: Can you imagine the conversation Lady Catherine has with Darcy after she visits Elizabeth at Longbourn? The way Aylmer depicts it, Lady Catherine simply shows up and repeats, word-for-word, every piece of dialog between her and Elizabeth. "Then she said..." (Austen's text). "Then I said..." (Austen's text). "Then she said..." (Austen's text again). This is a sad, sad effort and a terrible waste of a great idea!

        Written by Kristin (4/8/2001 9:54 p.m.)
I just got Darcy's Story in and read it, and IT WAS SO GOOD!! I loved it and he was so perfect.

          Review by Nadine Mendoza, 15 May 2001
I liked this book enough to purchase the original as well as the new "illustrated" version. Aylmer isn't telling a sequel, but rather a parallel tale from Darcy's point of view. The story/plot is identical to the original and Aylmer successfully re-renders the tale in what is credibly Darcy's "voice." For those Austen fans who cringe at the idea of anyone trying to suppose what became of the P&P characters, but are still voracious for more, this is definitely the sequel to purchase.

        Written by Katja (7/3/2001 3:01 a.m.)
I didn't like it. It was too much of a verbatim retelling of P&P for my tastes. For example, Lady Catherine's discussion with Darcy was just awful, she repeated  verbatim everything that Lizzy had said, and Aylmer basically added  nothing we didn't already know.
        Written by Cora  & Belle 3 (4/20/2003 4:21 p.m.)
Actually we found the book extremely entertaining.
        Written by Julie P. (4/20/2003 7:18 p.m.)
I've read "Darcy's Story" and was unable to find any insights into him or his actions. I liked it the first time I read it, but it could not hold up to subsequent readings.

To paraphrase a Janeite of my acquaintance, it's difficult to imagine anyone making P&P boring. Aylmer, however, managed to do just that, despite the fact that she lifted entire passages from P&P for her book. There was simply too much of such "lifting" for my taste. As a result, there is so little that is original in this book that there is no opportunity for us to learn anything new about Darcy. 

           Written by RogerV (4/21/2003 2:43 p.m.)
Aylmer needed an editor. What drove me crazy in "Darcy's Story" were sentences that began "To begin with..." My freshman college English teacher would have clobbered me if I had dared to turn in a paper with a single, let alone multiple sentences, like that.
...   Written by Anna (6/12/2003 6:23 a.m.) If you would like to read very inept retelling of P&P without even an attempt to see situation      through Darcy's eyes and without any information about his life outside the story than you can buy it. I don't like the retelling which spoils the original text and offers nothing instead but you may think that it is worth reading. 
        Written by Lynne Robson (6/12/2003 4:03 p.m.)
I have read this book and enjoyed it, though my favourite has to be The Confession of Fitzwilliam Darcy for Darcy's side of the story. I found it a pleasent read though she quoted a lot of passages from P & P she made these quotes fit in with her story. 
        Written by Vania (6/12/2003 11:56 a.m.)
It's not in the same category as Emma Tennant since it stays with JA's P&P plot and characterizations. This is actaully the book's weakness, it has too much JA (if you can imagine such a thing!). The author lifted passages of JA's original text that I found myself thinking, Okaaayy, I know that already, but what was really on Darcy's mind? IMO, The Confession of Fitzwilliam Darcy is a better Darcy point-of-view novel. 
        Written by RogerV (6/13/2003 1:53 a.m.)
I frankly don't object to the large-scale "lifting" of passages of the original book in DS, but the author definitely needed an editor. My copy is full of red corrections, and I absolutely CRINGE every time a sentence starts with the phrase "To begin with," and there are quite a lot of them. My freshman English teacher would have boxed my ears soundly if I had used that expression so many times. 
       Written by Erin J (9/12/2003 4:41 p.m.)
I've just read "Darcy's Story" that I bought on Amazon.com. It was a really interesting insight into Darcy's transformation, although I have to agree with some critics that maybe too much of Jane's own writing features in the book. I am aware that to change the conversations would be to alter the story but I've read P&P so often that I knew the lines by heart-my own fault I suppose!
 Anyone who has ever wanted to know about Darcy's change of character or if you just can't get enough of  P&P you should consider reading it. 
        Written by Amy R. (2/16/2005 4:50 p.m.)
I just finished "Darcy's Story" and to be honest I was disappointed. The whole story was...blasé.
        Written by Kathleen Glancy  (6/6/2005 5:35 p.m.)
It seems like more of an alternative viewpoint than a sequel, a popular area. There's Darcy's Story (or "How To Publish Large Chunks of Pride and Prejudice Under Your Own Name" as I like to think of it)
        Written by Erica Lynne (6/23/2007 10:26 p.m.)
I have resently read the sequel of P&P, Darcy's Story. Since reading P&P for the first time just over a year ago I just can't get enough of anything P&P. I thought this was a great book, obviously not as good as JA, but still, I love reading other JA fans view of what they think would happen after the wedding. But this is the first I've read that was more during the time of P&P. I admit it, I so loved this book that I read it in one day. Just couldn't get enough of it. I would recommend it to and P&P fan.