Pemberley Shades
by Dorothy Alice Bonavia-Hunt

Hardcover - 318 pages (1949)
Allan Wingate, London
Folcroft Library Editions   1977   ISBN=0841499470

        Posted by eva on September 17, 1996 at 14:02:36:
Pemberley Shades was somewhat better for me, probably would have been more enjoyable had it been novel that stood on its own and not as P&P's sequel .

        Posted by Marie on September 18, 1996 at 02:55:47:
Of the P&P sequels, I think I enjoyed Pemberley Shades the most, though I no longer remember which it was.

       Response by Anna  Jan 10, 1997 (00:24)
 The best P&P sequel is said to be 'Pemberley Shades' by Dorothy Alicia Bonavia-Hunt, but that was published in the 1940s and I haven't been able to find a copy (it seems to be available in some US libraries according to AustenL).

       Response by amy2 Mar 10, 1997 (11:20)
 I've also read SHADES OF PEMBERLEY [Pemberley Shades]. Yech.

         Response by amy2 Mar 16, 1997 (20:07)
I think I mentioned above that I've read Pemberley Shades and it's not good. Not good. That must be the reason for no reissue. . .

        Posted by Amy2 on June 03, 1997 at 11:56:55:
The Tennant books are bad - bad! Pemberley Shades is slightly better, but not by that much.

        Posted by Lynn on June 03, 1997 at 19:52:41:
The Tennant books are perfectly awful, but Pemberley Shades isn't too bad - at least in that one they acted relatively like themselves.

        Review by Lynn Lamy, September 4, 1997
Far and away the best Austen sequel.  The characters act true to form, the conflict within the book is believable, and there is a little bit of a mystery (which I had figured out before the end, but still...).  It was a very enjoyable read.  The language was pretty true to form, too.  It's tough to get a hold of, though.

        Review byLinda Waldemar, October 24, 1997
I heard about Pemberley Shades many, many years ago.  And, of course, after reading P&P, one wants more.  So, I have searched and searched for this book, always failing to find it.

Recently, I learned about Inter-Library Loan from Lynn.  Hallelujah!! Pemberley Shades was the first novel that I asked for.  I was thrilled when it arrived at my local branch about a week later.

What did I think about the book after all these years?  I loved it.  I thought that the book was very well written in it's own right.  The plot was reasonable and contained the requisite amount of suspense.  The language used by the author was quite Regency-like, I thought.  Though I must admit that the Austen wit and irony is, for the most part, missing.

Now, the hardest test. What about JA's characters.  While they are not identical to those in P&P, neither are they complete strangers.  I found them to be quite plausible.  Darcy is authoritative and serious, sensible and fair.  Lizzy is not quite so lively as in P&P, but reasonably so. The relationship between the two of them is loving and trusting, frequently playful, always affectionate; much as I would imagine it to be.  Also present are Georgiana, Mr Bennet, Kitty, Mrs Gardiner, Jane, Bingley, Lady Catherine and Anne De Bourgh.  All are believable.  There are a few new characters who are quite well developed.

I enjoyed this story very much.  I think that it is worth making an effort to find.

        Posted by Julie P. on Wednesday, December 9, 1998, at 8:51 a.m.
I first read it in college (my college library still has it, 20 years later!), and have re-read it on several other occasions. It's obviously not P&P, but it is a lot of fun, and is actually somewhat satisfying.

       Posted by Julie P. on Monday, December 14, 1998, at 3:01 p.m.
What is interesting to me is that I normally detest sequels. I refused to have anything to do with the GWTW sequels; I refuse to see movies with Roman numerals (except for Henry V or Richard III). But, for some reason, this book appeals to me. I think it's because I've always believed that it could stand on its own as a fun read. This is something which cannot be said about most sequels. Another reason could be that I was not expecting it to be as good as anything JA herself would have written. As such, I was not disappointed.

       Written by Carey (6/14/99 12:41 p.m.)
I've read several sequels now (Pemberley, Consequence, Pemberley Shades, Diary of HFD,Presumption) and I'd have to say that so far, my favorite is Pemberley Shades. I thought the author did a good job of keeping the characters true to P&P (especially Lizzy) unlike Pemberley which is by far the worst sequel I've read yet!

       Written by Tracy C. (7/14/99 12:14 a.m.)
More or less along the right track, though very wordy and a bit tedious to weave through. I felt like it was a lot of reading and a lot of wordiness in an attempt to copy JA's style,  but with not as much of her cleverness or wit. It moved very slowly.

        Review by Julie Prall, November 4, 1999
To this day, 20 + years after I first read it, it's still my favorite JA sequel.  I like it because it the author is true to JA's characters, and because the characters she creates on her own are very believable.  I liked the "mystery" even though I had an idea as to what was going to happen.  A thoroughly enjoyable book which is capable of standing on its own rather than just another JA sequel.

        Written by Sarah, March 7, 2000, 5:31a.m
I found this book unexpectedly in my university library, and as I am a huge fan of Pride and Prejudice I knew that I had to read it. And I wasn't disappointed, the author has written a well rounded entertaining book, that does does keep in line with the characters from P&P. It may not be able to match the writings of Jane Austen herself, but is certainly a good attempt.

        Written by Jama Lynn (4/3/2003 12:29 p.m.)
I've liked "Pemberley Shades" better than any other sequel that I've read. I found it at the library

        Written by Lynne Robson (4/13/2003 1:08 p.m.)
Pemberley Shades is one of my favourits I must say that it is a well thought out and a well written book.

        Written by Julie P. (4/8/2003 6:14 a.m.)
I think the characters are well done, the dialogue is good and the plot works. IMO, this is a book that can stand on its own. I first read it 25 years ago when I found it in my college library, and about 3 years ago, and had to borrow it from Interlibrary Loan until I was lucky enough to find my own (very gently used) copy at Jane Austen Books.

        Written by Amber D. (8/29/2003 9:25 p.m.)
Pemberley Shades is rare but the best. 

         Written by J. Dillehay (December 19, 2003 )
I finally got to read a JA sequel! I got Pemberley Shades from a library loan, and I loved it. I was told that most P&P fans felt that Bonavia-Hunt's sequel was the best one; that I cannot say, but it was certainly true to the characters and JA IMHO. In many ways it is similar to P&P: both end in an unfortunate marriage (Lydia and Wickham, Anne and Carlini) and in a couple of happy marriages (Lizzy and Darcy, Jane and Bingley; Kitty and Mortimer, Georgiana and Acworth); both end with one of those marriages being an outrage to Lady Catherine; both feature Darcy trying to stop or guarantee a marriage; both feature rejected marriage proposals; PS, true to JA, has at least one clergyman (2 real ones and one false one) and one military man in Major Wakeford; and of course a somewhat charming villain.

Because this is the first time I had ever read a modern sequel to a classic book, I really did not know what to expect. For instance, Bonavia-Hunt did not choose to feature or decide the fate of every character in P&P; Miss Bingley, Colonel Fitzwilliam, Lydia, Wickham, Mrs. Bennet, and Mary are scarcely, if at all, mentioned. However, Darcy and Lizzy, Georgiana, Mr Bennet and Kitty, Bingley and Jane, Lady Catherine and Anne, Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner, Mrs. Reynolds and even Mr. and Mrs. Collins (by letter) are all here, and very true to character. And some new creations: Miss Robinson and Miss Sophia, Mr. Acworth(Horace Carlini), Major Wakeford, Mr. Mortimer, and of course little Richard are all interesting creations.

As far as plot goes, I was very entertained. The numerous little spars between Lizzy and Darcy were great. I was a bit disappointed and surprised that Georgiana and Wakeford did not marry in the end, but I wasn't too disappointed since she did find the right man. IMO, Bonavia-Hunt committed what I might call the Andrew Davies error: giving away a major piece of the plot too early, rather than allowing continued suspense: i.e. he shows us Mr. Darcy going to London in pursuit of Wickham and Lydia rather than allowing us to be surprised later as Lizzy is; he also (arguably) reveals the Frank/Jane relationship ealier and more obviously than in Emma, although if I recall, JA did drop hints here and there about that. Here, she allows us to see Mr. Gardiner's letter, which reveals to us that Mr. Acworth is not really Mr. Acworth, but an imposter. Now to me, the book would have been much better had this been concealed longer, had we been kept in suspense and wondering why this guy is nothing like the description Darcy had of him, why Lizzy thinks she recognizes him, why and how he is such a good actor/impersonator, such a good violin player, such a scoundrel. However, I am a forgiving man, and since it didn't ruin the book, I forgive her. Another slight nitpick is Bingley; I could be wrong, but he seems just a tad too dimwitted in this sequel. But these are petty trifles.

        Written by Kathleen M. (December 22, 2003 )
Yes, I would agree that Bingley was a bit thick-headed, but otherwise charming. This is my favorite P&P sequel by far. I own an original edition that is falling apart, due in no small measure to the number of times I've read it! I think Elizabeth and Darcy are perfectly rendered by Bonavia-Hunt, esp. in regard to their wonderfully affectionate ironic repartees. Georgiana seems a bit too serious-minded and inflexible to suit me, and I was glad that she didn't marry Wakeford. I think he was better off without this particular Georgiana. All the other characters were wonderful, including Mr. Bennet. The only other quibble I would mention is the far-fetched plot: the Darcy that I have come to know and love would never have allowed his Elizabeth to be placed in an unsafe situation. Knowing what he came to discover about Carlini, it didn't seem believeable that he would not have ordered him off his property in order to protect his wife. Overall, a great sequel. So much better by far than any written since, IMO.

        Written by Vania (December 23, 2003 )
I found the "Acworth" (what was his real name again?) character romantic in the beginning; unrequited love/love from a distance. It occurred to me as I continued reading that he was nothing but a Regency stalker. Oh well. I enjoyed the exchanges between Darcy and Elizabeth. I can imagine CF and JE speaking those lines eventhough this sequel was written decades earler. My question is, did Elizabeth tell Darcy that "Acworth" had been in love with her? I don't recall. I doubt if Darcy would have been happy with that news at all.

        Written by J. Dillehay (December 24, 2003 )
] I found the "Acworth" (what was his real name again?) character romantic in the beginning; unrequited love/love from a distance. It occurred to me as I continued reading that he was nothing but a Regency stalker. Oh well. His real name was Horace Carlini. Yes, he was a stalker was he not? After his mad exploit with Lizzy in the woods, I knew that he had been in love with her at one time. I kind of agree with what Kathleen said, that it seems that Darcy would have gotten rid of him quicker. All of the secresy between Darcy and Lizzy was a bit surprising, but it was clear that it was not a normal thing between them. ] I enjoyed the exchanges between Darcy and Elizabeth. I can imagine CF and JE speaking those lines eventhough this sequel was written decades earler. Yes, I believe those were my favorite parts of the book. I can't remember what the occasion for it was, but there was a line in which they were discussing whether Georgiana would be attracted by a dull man (whoever it was), and Lizzy said that she (Georgiana) had not yet grown accustomed to a nonentity, to which Darcy slyly inquired what her meaning was. ] My question is, did Elizabeth tell Darcy that "Acworth" had been in love with her? I don't recall. I doubt if Darcy would have been happy with that news at all. I can't remember that she did. Surely such fact should not have been kept from her husband. No indeed, had she told him that earlier, my guess is that Darcy would have sent him away forthwith.

       Review by Kathleen O'Brien, 14 August 2004
I read through the reviews again, and I am on the side of the favorable ones. It seems to me that Bonavia Hunt is trying to tell us 
something that we're dying to know--how are Elizabeth and Darcy faring? How do they cope with Lady Catherine? What
about Georgiana? All of these questions are answered quite plausibly, and I especially liked the treatment of Georgiana's romance.
I don't think it's really intended to be a mystery. It seems that the modern sequels all have some hook to get you involved, such
as a mystery. I enjoy those, but this one seems to be allowing us to spend a little time with the Darcys and catch up with our old
friends. That being said, I don't believe it will ever become popular, but it was worth reacquainting myself with it. 

       Written by Kathleen Glancy (November 23, 2004 ) 

My favourite in the P&P sequels is one of the oldest and written by a well versed Englishwoman - Pemberley Shades by Dorothy Bonavia-Hunt.