I have been asked many times what possessed me to take on a sequel to one of the most beloved novels in the English language. The true reason was that I was so swept away by the BBC/A&E mini-series of Pride & Prejudice that I simply could not bear to have the story end. In my quest for more, I read and reread all of Austen's other novels and several biographies. But it was a book of her letters to her sister Cassandra that really intrigued me. As I began to read other nonfiction about the Regency era, I was struck, not so much by what Jane Austen told us, but what she did not. As remarkable a writer as she was, Miss Austen wrote only of what a respectable unmarried woman in Regency society would be privy to. Her books end with the wedding ceremony.
For many of us, that is not the end, but the beginning of life's story. Regrettably, in ending P&P on the cusp of what undoubtedly would be a marriage of unrivaled passion, she has left many of her readers with a case of literary coitus interruptus.
This is the long-awaited follow-up to Linda Berdoll's best-selling Pride & Prejudice sequels, Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife and Darcy & Elizabeth: Nights and Days at Pemberley.
Linda Berdoll does not pretend to be a Jane Austen expert. She began to write her first sequel only to satisfy her own longing to know what happened to Darcy & Elizabeth. In doing so, Ms. Berdoll has birthed a new literature genre - Jane Austen sequelists. Readers of these sequels seem to fall into two categories--those who yearn to know what Darcy might have whispered into Lizzy's ear in their nuptial chamber (and just where his long, pliant fingers caressed her as he did) and those who fall into a swoon at the notion of such heresy.
The author suggests that if you, gentle Reader, happen to fall into the latter category, please heed her caution before reading any of my sequels: Hold on to your bonnet, you are in for a bumpy ride.