Darcy and Elizabeth Forever
by Sharon Lathan
The more I surround myself with Austen authors the more I see the wealth of ideas these clever writers come up with. It is truly amazing! It is also wonderful to see many of them tackling Austen’s other novels—you know, those ones that aren’t Pride and Prejudice! Every one of Jane Austen’s six published novels is fantastic and worthy to be read and paid homage to. Yet as plentiful as the Emma or Persuasion fan fiction is becoming, Pride and Prejudice remains the clear favorite.
Why? Good question! And it is the one that Lori asked me to answer. Specifically, “Why do you think Darcy and Elizabeth are Austen’s fan-favorite couple as opposed to Col. Brandon and Marianne or Emma and Knightley?”
Yes, it is a good question although I am not sure I have a good answer. I suppose it must come down to the characters themselves and why readers have been drawn to Darcy and Elizabeth so strongly. That I think I can answer and hope the Colonel or Emma will not be offended!
Mr. Darcy, quite simply, is an enigma. I honestly believe that is at the root of our love for him. His character and background are sketched ever so slightly by Austen, leaving a vast amount open to interpretation. Thus we can create this man to fit the image we desire in our hearts and who is to say we are wrong? Adding to that delicious mystery, what we are told about him is intriguing and desirable.
Most will point to his arrogance, broodiness, and detachment; and somehow Elizabeth “changes” him into Mr. Wonderful. I don’t agree at all. It is quite clear that Darcy is a man who struggles with his emotions, has a conscience, and is a decent man. His displays of intelligence and humor are all through the text, even when he is behaving badly.
The reader is forced to look beyond how Darcy talks or acts to what he does, thus seeing a man women dream of. He is steadfast and loyal, even when making a mistake as he does with Bingley. His love, once fixed, does not waver. We see that with his sister, with Bingley, and of course with Lizzy. We want to know that our man will forever love us, will be faithful and devoted, and will strive to do what is best for us.
Although I don’t believe Darcy changed in essence since I think the clues are all there that he is a good man from the get-go, it is clear that his love for Lizzy induces him to re-evaluate. He is inspired to improve, no matter the outcome with her, out of an honest awakening to his soul. What woman isn’t melted by that idea?
Lizzy, conversely, is crystalline on the page! We love her spunk, intelligence, wit, and strength. She is who we wish we could be and few of us are. At least I am not like her! Better yet, even with all those attributes we admire, she is a flawed person, and that is something every last woman on the planet can relate to. I think it is unconsciously forgotten that the prejudice and pride is as rampant with Lizzy as it is with Darcy. Or maybe we simply forgive her quicker because she is endearing from the beginning whereas Darcy takes some warming to! However it is those flaws that make her human and loveable.
Lizzy is admirable not only for her liveliness but also for her humility. She too undergoes a radical transformation when the error of her assumptions is made clear. She re-evaluates, is inspired to improve, and is awakened by the reality of love.
It is then that we come to recognize how similar Darcy and Lizzy are and how honest their love. The magic is in the belief that once together she will unlock Darcy’s hidden nature and that he will grow to love her more. That is beautiful.
Do we see that with the other Austen couples? I’ll let you answer that question for yourself!
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If only everyone could be as happy as they are…
Darcy and Elizabeth are as much in love as ever—even more so as their relationship matures. Their passion inspires everyone around them, and as winter turns to spring, romance blossoms around them.
Confirmed bachelor Richard Fitzwilliam sets his sights on a seemingly unattainable, beautiful widow; Georgiana Darcy learns to flirt outrageously; the very flighty Kitty Bennet develops her first crush, and Caroline Bingley meets her match.
But the path of true love never does run smooth, and Elizabeth and Darcy are kept busy navigating their friends and loved ones through the inevitable separations, misunderstandings, misgivings, and lovers’ quarrels to reach their own happily ever afters…
About the Author
Sharon Lathan is the author of the bestselling Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One, Loving Mr. Darcy: Journeys Beyond Pemberley, and My Dearest Mr. Darcy. In addition to her writing, she works as a Registered Nurse in a Neonatal ICU. She resides with her family in Hanford, California in the sunny San Joaquin Valley. For more information, please visit http://www.sharonlathan.net/. You can also find Sharon at Austen Authors – http://www.austenauthors.com/ and Casablanca Authors – http://www.casablancaauthors.blogspot.com/.
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And now for a GIVEAWAY! The lovely Danielle Jackson at Sourcebooks has offered a copy of In the Arms of Mr. Darcy to TWO lucky readers! Pride and Prejudice lovers, you don't want to miss this contest!
To enter, simply leave me a comment and let me know if you agree with Sharon's take on why Darcy and Lizzy are Jane Austen's number one couple - - and if not, why do you think fans are so obssessed? That's all! Leave me a comment with your name and email address and you're entered to win your own copy of In the Arms of Mr. Darcy!
U.S. and Canada only (my apologies to our overseas friends) and no P.O. boxes.
NO EMAIL ADDRESS WITH YOUR ENTRY = NO ENTRY!
Contest to end on Friday, October 29, 2010 at 11:59 P.M. PST and the lucky winners drawn by randomizer.org on Saturday, October 30, 2010.
Faithful readers, stay tuned as my review of Sharon Lathan's In the Arms of Mr. Darcy is coming soon!