The Diary of Henry Fitzwilliam Darcy
by Marjorie Fasman
Paperback Revised edition (April 1998)
New Leaf Pr; ISBN: 0966077814

        Posted by Heide on July 25, 1998 at 10:12:38:
I've read the book and have found it the best sequel/ prequel out there. This one shows much more humor than the others and provides some insights into how Darcy's character evolved. The author states she was influenced by Colin Firth's portrayal and she uses scenes both from P&P2 and the book. (She's got the pond scene in it!)

There are some quibbles. Among them, Bingley is the same age as Darcy which can not be true and there is a problem with Georgiana's age when she elopes with Wickham compared to the timeline as we know it. Without giving anything else away, though, let me say that she continues the story through the first year of the Darcys' marriage and that is very satisfying indeed.

        Review by Heide, July 27, 1998
  The Diary of Henry Fitzwilliam Darcy may offend absolute P&P purists.  Then again, it may delight.  Marjorie Fasman's Darcy is a more physical creature than has ever been put to print before but the story is never in bad taste.  Starting with Darcy at age 10, we see his character evolve from a lonely childhood through his reserved young adulthood and then the blossoming of his love for Elizabeth Bennet.

During the time period also played out in Austen's classic, Fasman blends scenes from both the novel and the BBC/A&E production thus representing in print many of our favorite images from the series. Since this is from Darcy's point of view, we are privy to our hero's reflections.  His confusion at his attraction to Elizabeth and his ultimate surrender to it are strongly illustrated throughout.  From a scene during Elizabeth's visit to Netherfield to care for an ailing Jane, Darcy, on horseback, comes across Elizabeth walking the grounds.  "As she tilted back her head, there was opened to my gaze the full curve of her white throat.  I wanted to dismount and to put my hand there, wanted it so badly that I had to bite my lip."   Breathe easy, Darcy remains a gentleman.

Very satisfying is the continuation of the story through the Darcys' first year of marriage.  Certainly not graphic, but still sexually evocative, the Darcys are portrayed as, shall we say, a very loving, healthy couple.  "I fall to sleep with Elizabeth close to me, but it is not long before I awaken in torment for want of her, so I rise, and thus I commune with you at length, Diary."

There are several "glitches" which I consider minor but may disturb others.  There is a discrepancy with the time frame surrounding Georgiana's aborted elopement with Wickham and the author chooses to make Bingley the same age as Darcy which I disagree with.  My biggest beef however, is not with the story, but with the book cover.  When will the publishers of these sequels break down and just put a photo of Colin Firth on the jacket instead of these horrid drawings?  Elizabeth's rendering is quite grotesque as well.

As lovers of Austen's Pride & Prejudice, we each have our own interpretation of Darcy's character so not all of Fasman's explanations will satisfy.  However, the romance of the story along with a hearty dose of wit and charm carried me through these minor obstacles.  A strong recommendation.

    Review by Tate, September 4, 1998
This is not the diary of the Mr. Darcy that we know so well. This is the diary of Darcy as written by Lydia. Or Barbara Cartland.  I did manage to make it through the entire book, and found the last half less awful than the first half, but not by much!

"The Diary" starts out with Darcy a young boy, about 10. We're led to believe he had a formal and unhappy childhood, with a distant, brooding – almost cruel – mother. Although I'm quite sure young men of that day, of a similar station in life, had a more formal upbringing than boys today do, we know from Darcy’s conversations in P&P that he ran to the village for horse chestnuts and he played happily as a boy with Wickham. This book paints a completely different picture, claiming he had an immediate hatred of Wickham, even as a boy. And the preoccupation with sex! If we are to believe “The Diary”, It's a wonder the poor man could function in polite society, particularly when in the presence of Elizabeth.

It's a shame that this book comes off like a cheap romance novel (and cheap it isn't, at $29.95, plus shipping!)  I've often wondered how two people who were obviously so passionate about each other would have conducted their intimate relationship during this time period.  On a scale of 1 – 10?  The first half (Darcy as a boy and young man – with a crush on Bingley’s mom???!!!), a minus 10. The second half, a 4. You do the math – save the time and money, and re-read P & P. Your own imagination is better than this.

        Review by Cheryl Sneed, September 8, 1998
 This book opens in 1795 on Darcy's tenth birthday and ends in 1814, a little over a year after Darcy and Elizabeth's wedding.

If you can accept the conceit of Darcy keeping a diary it does offer some satisfactions.  The childhood relationship with Wickham is fleshed out,  though the crucial time just before and after Ramsgate is dealt with in a cursory fashion.

Where this is most satisfying is in detailing his love for and courtship of Elizabeth.  The first year of the marriage where these two very strong personalities learn more of, and how far they can go with each other is fun to read.  And there is plenty of romance.  I still smile when I recall Mrs. Reynolds speaking to Elizabeth upon her descent from the master suite one week after the wedding, "We welcome you most heartily to the first floor, Mrs. Darcy."

The author was obviously inspired by P&P2 in that there are several Davies inventions in the book; swimming in the pond (as a child and before meeting Elizabeth at Pemberley), fencing, etc.

There are, however, quite a few glaring mistakes in things like dates and ages (Bingley is the same age as Darcy and has five sisters!), spelling (Maria Lucas, Elizabeth Bennett), so if these things grate on your nerves, you may want to think twice before reading!

I was also disturbed by the author's characterization of Darcy's parents, portraying them as cold, severe and thoughtless of their children's emotional needs.  However this is a possible explanation for Darcy's own coldness and rigidness in the early stages of P&P.  Ms. Fasman playes up this aspect and indeed, it runs throughout the book.

       Comment by Anna-Karin on Sat, 12 Sep 1998
So people have begun to read the Diary of Henry Fitzwilliam Darcy now. Ii have just read it. Luckily I have borrowed it from a fellow Swede so I did not have to buy it. I was rather disappointed even if it is funny at times.

        Written by lucie on Sunday, October 11, 1998, at 8:28 p.m.
I finished this book last night but can't make up my mind about it. She told about  the love and passion between Lizzie and Darcy very well, and she depicted his insecurities well too. She also did well with his struggle against loving Lizzie and his feelings of superiority and shock at her treatment of him and by her refusal of his first  proposal. On the down side she made his parents very cold and indifferent. I got the feeling that his mother didn't even like her children and considered them a nuisance more than a blessing. She also had his father precede his mother in death, which is contrary to J.A. I'm still  trying to decide about it but will go back and read it again after I finish Lions and Licorice.

            Comment by Lucie, Tue, 15 Dec 1998 18:43:37 -
On the whole I liked it especially after the marriage of Lizzie and Darcy.  I didn't like her portrayal of Darcy's parents though, she made them too cold and distant. I got the feeling that they didn't like their children very much.  She had his father dying first, too, that was all wrong.  It is worth the money though.

        Review by Ann Pacifico, March 29, 1999
 I read The Diary of Henry Fitzwilliam Darcy  by Marjorie Fasman and was very disappointed. Frankly, I am schizophrenic when it comes to Jane Austen; I want more and more of her characterizations and yet I am unwilling to have the essence of her characters changed.  It is obvious that the author had the A&E adaptation and Colin Firth in mind as she fantasized (her word) and gave Darcy a voice.  The book, written as a diary, is a wonderful vehicle for that voice but Ms. Fasman tries too hard to lay a groundwork in childhood (The Darcy's, a dysfunctional family?) to explain her portrayal of Darcy as a brooding, aloof adult and Her portrayal of Georgiana as withdrawn.  It is probably the author's background as a 20th century screenwriter that compels her to develop and reveal  Darcy's sexual side from childhood to adulthood.  Somehow, it all seems out of place in a sequel to an early 18th century novel, especially one written by Jane Austen.  I would loved to have taken an editor's pencil to this book.  The handsome young actor who read excerpts (wisely selected I now realize) at the book fair peaked my interest in the book; the author could not sustain that interest.

        Review by Lynn Lamy, 17 April 1999
Despite the obvious addition of an unnecessary first name, (for which there seems to be no purpose) this is a 'diary' purportedly written by Darcy.  It begins when he is 10 years old, and finishes more than a year after he has married Elizabeth, and describes all his feelings and his major life events during those years.

The first few years are a bit difficult to read, mainly because the entries are disjointed and seemingly unrelated, but the style is easy, and this portion is goes by quickly.  The majority of it relates to his relationships with his parents, which are not close.  His mother is very distant, not caring to embrace her son or show him any affection.  His father is autocratic and overbearing.  The young Darcy is not allowed to have a puppy for a pet (the one thing he wants most in the world at ten years old) because it is considered improper for a young gentleman of his stature.  From there, things with his parents get worse, and Darcy is exposed as a child who yearns for affection from his parents.  Not finding it with them, he receives it from Nurse Reynolds (and later, when leaving for school, is reprimanded for embracing Nurse Reynolds).

The school and university years are gone through quickly, but include an introduction to Bingley and his family (and Darcy's crush on Mrs. Bingley), Darcy's brush with acting (which he loves, but his father forbids him to do) and the death of both Darcy's parents.  Darcy returns home to take over the running of the estate.  Things progress quickly from here, and he is soon in Hertfordshire meeting Elizabeth Bennet and falling in love.  The book continues even after their marriage, and describes their first year of married life.

This was a fun read.  Despite the fact that I didn't really feel the Darcy in the book to be the Darcy I picture when I read Pride and Prejudice, it was still interesting to see how one author developed Darcy's character, and where in his childhood that author based his future opinions and actions. Darcy's longing for his mother's love and affection and her rebuffs manifests itself in his inappropriate proposal to Elizabeth.  His father's stern warnings about the proper behavior for a gentleman transform him into a man who is not easy in company.  The entries pertaining to Darcy's childhood, which seemed disjointed when I first read them, do have a purpose later in the book, in allowing the reader to see how Darcy got to be the man he became.  The glimpse into the Darcy's first year of marriage is interesting as well.

It is obvious that the author had seen the most recent television adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, because she lifts some scenes directly from that production.  Darcy sees Elizabeth playing with the dog, and this is developed into a story line within the plot.  There are inconsistencies, however.  The dates of events in this book do not always match up with the dates of events in the original novel, and there are a few scenes the author creates which do not, to my mind, match up with the characters Jane Austen creates.   I also did not care much for the unlikely deaths of both Bingley's parents.

Overall, however, this was fun to read (and I may have to go back to reread it before it gets returned to its proper owner!), and is worth the time and effort.  There are few good sequels or companions to Jane Austen novels, but this may be one of the better ones.

        Written by Andrea on Tuesday, April 6, 1999, at 5:16 p.m.
The book is a good read. I finished it in a couple of days. But I agree with Myretta that is was not close to what I knew of Darcy in the book and in P&P2. Still, it is an entertaining version of Mr. Darcy's life.

        Review by Linda Waldemar, May 17, 1999
Although this book has only 262 pages, it was the longest book that I have read in may months. I thought that it would never end.  I will admit, though that it got a little better around the second proposal, but that improvement did not last.

This novel consists of Mr Darcy's diary entries from age ten to nine and twenty, or thereabouts. There is little change in the manner of expressing himself during this 10 year period.  He was a precocious child, of course.    The diary also does not reflect the changes in his attitude between the two proposals.  To own the truth, this diary just does not seem to be written by my Mr Darcy.

It appears that the author is trying to explain Darcy's pride and snobbishness by giving him a cold, unloving mother and a detached father.  This is just never the way I have pictured the senior Darcys.   She has Lady Anne surviving her husband by almost six months.  I always felt that she died first and that her death occurred when Georgiana was quite young.  Of course, JA tells us nothing about Darcy's mother's death, so it is all left to our imaginations and mine is certainly different from Ms Fasman's.

He writes little about Georgiana, who is 10 years his junior.   I always thought the difference in their ages was closer to 12 years. There is almost nothing about Colonel Fitzwilliam; no mention of the joint guardianship.  Wickham is mentioned frequently from childhood on, and always with disdain. He meets Bingley at school and they seem to be about the same age.  Darcy always refers to Bingley as Charles.  I think that they always called each other by their respective surnames.

Then, there are a lot of little things that bothered me.  For example, Georgiana callher brother "Darcy".  Another, Elizabeth says that she is glad that she is not a part of the gentry.  I always felt that she was.  "In marrying your nephew, I should not consider myself as quitting that sphere. He is a gentleman; I am a gentleman's daughter; so far we are equal."

There were a couple of things that I liked or rang true.  He notes that, although Mrs Bennet and the younger sisters are embarrassing, Elizabeth is fond of them.  And, after their marriage, Darcy becomes fond of Mary and enjoys her seriousness.

There are entries that record an incidenet of discord in the Darcy marriage but I did not understand why they were at odds with one another.  Other than the one incident, that first year together was blissful.  That part I liked.  I was glad when he decided that he no longer needed the diary because of the wonderful relationship that he had with his wife.  I thought this book would never end!

While I always feel that each person should form her/his own opinion of these sequels, I cannot recommend this book.

        Written by MelanieHope (5/9/2000 5:08 p.m.)
No. I know I should not talk about sequels here but I did not see it moved to another board so I will quickly say not to bother with this book. It is horrible and not worth the pages its printed on. Save your money for another one. Bye

        Written by Lynne Robson (June 14, 2003 )
I bought this book last year it is'nt as good as Darcy's Story or The Confession of Fitzwilliam Darcy.

It starts when he he is a young child and makes out that his parents are very hard unfeeling people who do not like their children. As he gets older the entries don't always seem to get older with him as he still seems very child like in the way he has written them. After the       marrage between him an Elizabeth I found that the entries were a lot more interesting I particularly liked the bit where Mrs Reynolds says to Elizabeth "Welcome to the first floor Mrs Darcy" as it was the first time she had been their since her marrage which was about a week to fortnight before and they had stayed in their rooms above stairs all that time.

I must say that it is not a bad read and includes the swimming scene from P & P 2. I prefer The Confession of Fitzwilliam Darcy a lot better as this is more like the Darcy in Jane Austen's Book. 

        Written by Amber D. (8/29/2003 9:25 p.m.)
Excessively Diverted isn't bad either, nor is Diary of HFD, which I saw you mention - and for those who disagree on DoHFD, my only excuse is that I love Darcy irredeemably, and I thought it was sweet. 

Who is Henry? ;)   Written by Vania (5/21/2004 8:04 p.m.) in consequence of the missive, re: 'The Confession.....', penned by LynneRobson

 I thought this was a joke. I actually laughed at some of the phrases Darcy uttered here. =) He did sound like a child from one end of the diary to the other. No ounce of maturity came through. I would have expected less formality than in his letter to Lizzy, but his tone was so different.

        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. The Diary of Henry Fitzwilliam Darcy - who could know he had the education of an American high school boy and a weird desire to be an actor? I think the author, whose ignorance of British history and customs is something monumental, was trying to reverse-engineer him back into Colin Firth.

        Written by Nuria (6/8/2007 3:52 a.m.)
The Diary of Henry Fitzwilliam Darcy by Marjorie Fasman – not good enough prose, Darcy´s voice not recognisable and a few stupid inventions about Darcy.