An Unequal Marriage
Or, Pride and Prejudice Twenty Years Later [LARGE PRINT]
by Emma Tennant

Library Binding - 263 pages  (March 1995)
MacMillan Publishing Company; ISBN: 0786204184
Paperback - 186 pages (21 Sept 1995)
Sceptre; ISBN: 0340628065

Paperback - 208 pages (21 Sept 1995)
Sceptre; ISBN: 0340628065
Audio Book

        Review by Rachel Schneider, October 13, 1997
Let me say to all the Darcy fans in the audience:  Never read this book!  You will despise the author!  It will offend every particle of Darcy-smitten-ness that you have in your body!

To borrow from a review of Pemberley from this page (Linda's review to be exact,) "The plot resembles a badly written soap opera."  In this book, (among other things) Darcy's son marries barmaid (or some character like that), Col. Fitzwilliam (who has apparently never married and lives in some cottage, still pining for Lizzie) marries a noblewoman who is cattier than the Queen of
Spiteful herself (Caroline Bingley.)  Another touching plot twist: Darcy's steward is in love with Lizzie.

Darcy metamorphoses completely from the Fitzwilliam we all know and love from Jane Austen.  He changes into this cold, scheming, arrogant, haughty man that he appears to be in the beginning of Pride and Prejudice.  This time, he really (supposedly) is that way.

My advice:  Don't even look at this book.  The characters we all know and love in Pride and Prejudice totally are butchered in this horrific novel.  It is so bad, I cried at the sad ending (spoiler) where it turns out that Darcy and Lizzie are in an unequal marriage (Lizzie is superior, and her father's statement rings true,) and Lizzie no longer cares for her Fitzwilliam.

        Review by Danielle, December 22, 1997
Though I read it two summers ago, I still remember An Unequal Marriage with feelings of revulsion and disgust.  The plot was screaming for the wit of Jane Austen and the 'disagreements' between the Darcys were forced and immature.  To imagine Elizabeth as being possibly unfaithful to her Darcy or Darcy as an unreasonable husband and father...I think not.  Don't waste the money on the novel and please do not support such attempts at emulating the wit and intellect of the irreplaceable Jane Austen.

        Comment by Emmy on January 8, 1998 at 20:39:12
I don't really know if I'm sending you anything that you need, I just wanted to say that, it the space for "comment" in the area about An Unequal Marriage, by Emma Tennant, you should put, "really, really bad" on my behalf.

       Comment by Yvette on Wed, 20 May 1998 22:40:43
Pemberley and An Unequal Marriage -Emma Tennant
Did not really like these at all. I disagreed with Tennant's interpretation of Elizabeth's character (and actually, all the other characters as well). All the familiar characters seemed like strangers. I didn't even bother to finish these books.

        Review by Donna, 19 December 1998
This was one of the silliest things I have ever read.  The characters of Darcy, Elizabeth, everyone really were brutally portrayed.  I was really disappointed in her view of Darcy.  In the book he was a merciless, cruel and horrible father.  If Ms. Tennant had thought about it, and tried to reason the book with Jane Austen's own, she would have surely formed the conclusion that if he can be a guardian to his sister and help her rebuild her life after the Wickham scandal, and be also a sort of  guardian to Bingley, he would make an excellent parent.

Altogether I would advise people if they want a sequel about Darcy and Elizabeth as parents, they would do nothing wrong by sitting down and writing their own.  Anything was better than this.

       Written by Tracy C. (7/14/99 12:14 a.m.)
Started out all right, but then progressively the characterizations grew more outrageous, more extreme... and more ridiculous. some of the dialogue didn't ring true at all- especially the ones that had to do with Darcy and Lizzy. I also felt Lizzy had become a very bland one-dimensional character, as did all the others.

        Written by Jen D (7/14/99 6:16 p.m.)
I just finished An Unequal Marriage today, and I thought it was horrible.
 While I'm ranting about  Pemberley , I thought I might as well cleanse myself of all the disgust I feel for An Unequal Marriage.

        Review by Ree, 18 July 1999
To quote Mr. Knightley -- Very badly done indeed!

I read this book hoping only to possibly redeem Ms. Tennant in the slightest way for having written the tripe that is  Pemberley .  In that way, I suppose, all my expectations were satisfied.  The best thing I can say about this book is that it does not descend to the depths of vulgarity to which Pemberley sank.  (The insipidity and dullness Tennant instills in my dearest, loveliest Elizabeth, however, still reigns supreme in  An Unequal Marriage.)

The rave review blurb by Lady Antonia Fraser featured on the covers of both books -- "Emma Tennant's exploration of the marriage of Elizabeth Bennet to Mr. Darcy is both authentic and convincing as a sequel to Pride and Prejudice and as up to date as a description of the marriage of the Prince and Princess of Wales"  -- leads me to believe either that Lady Antonia Fraser has never read Pemberley and An Unequal Marriage, or that she has never read Pride and Prejudice.

Furthermore, without meaning any disrespect to the late Princess, I think the comparison of the two marriages is apt when it comes to An Unequal Marriage.  This is the problem.  My Elizabeth and Darcy would not have such a marriage.  Didn't they settle it between themselves that they were to be the happiest couple in the world?

And where, dare I ask, is Georgiana?  Apparently Georgiana has been abducted by aliens and everyone's memory has been wiped clean of her, because I remember no reference to her whatsoever in An Unequal Marriage.  However, after Tennant's bad choice in making Georgiana a giggling protégé of Caroline Bingley in Pemberley, I suppose I should count that as a blessing.

The one part of this book that did bring a short-lived smile to my face was seeing Caroline Bingley a lonely, dependent spinster, getting her jollies by talking about other people's misfortunes. This smile was promptly replaced by a frown when Elizabeth fails miserably in parrying her attacks--maybe the real Elizabeth has been abducted by aliens too, and is out in the universe somewhere with Georgiana.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: thank goodness for the Republic of Pemberley and the Bits of Ivory board--and for all the folks there who show an understanding of Austen's characters.

       Written by Kim (8/8/99 1:55 a.m.)
UNEQUAL MARRIAGE was just boring. It wandered from character to character without any of them holding my interest. I gave up about a third of the way through.

        Review by Stacey Fletcher, 19 September 1999
I saw the ratings your on the page, and in the true obsession of the masochist, I went looking for the books out of sheer curiosity.  How would someone treat the wonderful original characters of Jane Austen?  I was soon to find that views matched their own.

An Unequal Marriage, however, was just truely...uh...well...very unbelievable.    And while I hate to be critical of anyone of my own sex, I just don't have anything to say to recommend this book to anyone.  The portrayals of Darcy and Elizabeth were so far from the original, that they could hardly be recognized...(with the exception of the fact that even over approximately 18 years, their appearance hadn't seemed to change in the slightest).  I perceive Unequal to be an attempt to emulate JA's style of writing, but most definitely lacking the imagination and thought that was so evident in the original.  A friend of mine, an English teacher simply cringed as he read the passages, calling it a soap opera.  I've always hated being negative about anything, but this book is just bad.

        Review by Michelle Wood, 11 October 1999

I have read many sequels to Pride and Prejudice. My mother saw Pemberley in the libary one day and borrowed it because she knew I'd like to read it. I read it and I didn't find it; too offensive at the time. I yearned to read more, so I visted Linda's page and uncovered a number of sequels at my libary. I was pleasantly pleased with all of them more so than Pemberley. Some were not quite in line with JA's characters but enough to satisfy me, who gets quite obsessive about things,  and has to read/watch more.
However, I borrowed a book from my Libary called An Unequal Marriage I was distraught. utterly and completly I read the book so fast so that I could put it down and be done with it. was not so good but this was complete tosh. Is any one else of the opinion that it completely obliterates the image of Darcy?

Review by Claudia Taylor, November 9, 1999
I have been reading your reviews of Emma Tennant's two terrible so called "sequels" to Pride and Prejudice.  How very perceptive your reviewers are. I totally agree with most of them Pemberley and An Unequal Marriage  are so far removed from the originals that they barely qualify as sequels, except that they share the location and the characters bear the same names as Jane Austens.

For the rest, both novels, which appear to have been churned out at speed, seem not to have anything to do with the characters Jane Austen created so lovingly and developed over so many years, Elizabeth and Darcy behave like characters out of Dynasty or Days of our Lives! For goodness sake, Darcy after his total reclamation in Pride and Prejudice,  reverts like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde into a terrible, arrogant cold hearted caricature. As for Lizzie, my favourite woman in all
fiction, she has gone completely crazy- allowing herself to be flattered by some nit wit and imagining, like some silly creature in a Mills and Boon novel, that her husband has been unfaithful and even accuses him of producing an illegitimate son!!!

It is difficult to believe that the author has spent even a day studying the characters she so conveniently takes over.

        Written by Alison 5/5/2000 5:22 p.m.
I read it and the only thing I got out of it that it was bad. By the way can anyone tell me where Georigina was. Or was she supposed to be dead too. And the idea that a daughter of Pemberley would have to become a governess since she will not have any money is laughable.

    Comments by Ranji May 12, 2000
It is disgusting. I wonder why the author wanted Great JANE AUSTEN's characters for this unworthy story. If Emma Tennant is brave enough to write a story like this, I am sure she could have created her own characters. She would have at least had the success of leaving 'Pride & Prejudice fans' in PEACE, had she done so.