by Rebecca Ann Collins
Paperback - 304 pages
The Pink Panther
Review by Matthew
Pampling, September 24, 1998
The Pemberley Chronicles is just a continuation
on from the end of Pride & Prejudice though with a few extra
characters added along the way, mainly to provide matches for the unmarried
characters in Pride & Prejudice (though poor Mary Bennet is
still left out at the finish).
The good thing about this book is that the author doesn't attempt at
all to emulate Jane Austen's style of writing. The story is still written
largely in the third person, but without regency period language from the
narrator. I found this to be much better than Presumption (which
is the only other sequel I have read). The story is better, too, and the
characters more like I envisage them from Pride & Prejudice
(though others may disagree of course).
The author seems to take pains to eliminate all the less likable characters
early on, so Mr. Collins and Mrs. Bennet both fall off the mortal coil
quite quickly, leaving their long suffering spouses to enjoy their absence
for years afterwards. All the popular characters survive and become very
happy; so happy, in fact, that a lot of space is taken up on every third
page or so telling us just how happy they are (which became very tedious
after a while to me, though more sentimental readers may enjoy it).
Overall though, it is a very good read and almost a worthy sequel to
Review by Carey,
July 16, 1999
It is a must read sequel. It is long but very enjoyable.
The characters remain essentially true to the impressions Jane Austen left
us with, although I personally feel she would not have agreed with the
events in Lizzy's life at the end of the book.... I'll say no more so as
not to give it away!
The language the author uses is not sloppy (like Desire & Duty)
but does not try to imitate Jane Austen, either.
Of all the sequels I've read to date, this one rates in the top 3!
Comment by Jenny Scott, October 29, 1999
Whilst I enjoyed PEMBERLEY CHRONICLES, it did have an awful lot of
births, deaths and marriages towards the end which were a little confusing.
By this time I had drawn up my own family tree and reveled in the characters.
I think that it is a great pity that these books have not been published
worldwide as I feel they could have been best sellers.
Comment by Jenny2, November 2, 1999
I liked the books, although they are not my favourites.I think they
are a little bit too massive. Too many characters and all kind of plots
are involved. The relationship between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy is in the
Comment by Claudia Taylor, November 9, 1999
If I may be permitted to do a short burst of applause for a very much
better quality piece of work- try Rebecca Ann Collins The Pemberley
Chronicles and The Women of Pemberley, if you want a truly loving
continuation of the stories of Darcy and Lizzie, Jane and Bingley and many
others. All your favourite characters behaving as you and I expect them
to do, in the context of a changing world- Britain in post napoleonic Europe,
with the industrial revolution and the expansion of the empire as the background
to their lives. Its far more exhilarating stuff. I loved it .
Review by Linda
Waldemar, March 20, 2000
The Pemberley Chronicles is exactly what the title advertises;
a chronicle of the life at Pemberley. The narrative starts immediately
following the wedding of the Bingleys and Darcys and continues until 1840.
We follow their lives and the lives of the Gardiners and Fitzwilliams,
and to a lesser degree, the Collins's. All these families eventually
end up in Derbyshire.
There is no destruction of Jane Austen's characters. Jane Bennet
Bingley remains calm, loving, considerate and always thinking the best
of everyone. She and Elizabeth remain extremely close and share all
their happiness, sadness, joys and concerns. We see little of Elizabeth's
wit, but the narrator tells the reader that she frequently teases her husband.
All the couples we meet have happy marriages and wonderful children.
The main characters are all good, caring and understanding, and Mr. Darcy
is a paragon! The few mentioned who are not good (including Lydia
and Wickham) are only bad with no redeeming characteristics. In fact,
I found all the characters to be one dimensional.
It is a very pleasant chronicle which includes many marriages and births
and some deaths; all in the natural order of things.
While pleasant, I did not find this to be an easy read. I do recommend
this book but you may need to make notes or a family tree in order to keep
the characters straight. I must reread and do just that before I
can tackle the next book in the series.
Kathreen (5/20/2002 5:30 p.m.)
I have read the first two P&P sequels by rebecca collins and I
didn't care for them at all. They were not realistic, everyone was sickenly
sweet she just kept going over and over how nice everyone was and what
wonderful marriages they had. all of the main characters children marry
each other and their children marry each other. You almost need to draw
a pedigree chart to keep everyone straight. She does touch on issues of
the times but not in a realistic way.
(4/2/2003 9:00 p.m.)
The other series of P&P sequels I've tried is the Pemberley Chronicles
series by Rebecca Ann Collins. These are fine, but there are some flaws.
The Pemberley Chronicles was written in a way that, initially it appears,
it meant to be the only book, but there have been 5 more, each focussing
on a different member of Lizzie's family (cousins, sisters, nephews, even
daughter). Lizzie, Darcy and families seem constantly beset by tragedy
and towards the end of the series you have to suspend disbelief as the
years go by well into the 1850's and you wonder how some of the older characters
can even be still alive. Not bad, but not great, either. If you're really
a fan, they're worth a look.
Jo Keenan (4/2/2003 9:00 p.m.)
The other series of P&P sequels I've tried is the Pemberley
Chronicles series by Rebecca Ann Collins. These are fine, but there
are some flaws. The Pemberley Chronicles was written in a way that,
initially it appears, it meant to be the only book, but there have been
5 more, each focussing on a different member of Lizzie's family (cousins,
sisters, nephews, even daughter). Lizzie, Darcy and families seem constantly
beset by tragedy and towards the end of the series you have to suspend
disbelief as the years go by well into the 1850's and you wonder how some
of the older characters can even be still alive. Not bad, but not great,
either. If you're really a fan, they're worth a look.
Lynne Robson (4/14/2003 3:59 p.m.)
I got the Pemberley Chronicles Series after it was recommended by a
friend. I felt after reading the first two books that I had totally wasted
my money. They are more like reading a History book with P & P characters
added to them, I must say I was really very disappointed with them as they
do not tell you much about Darcy, Elizabeth, Bingley and Jane's family
life but talks too much about life in England at the time.