Women of Pemberley (Pemberley Chronicles #2)
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Women of Pemberley (Pemberley Chronicles #2)

3.8 13
by Rebecca Collins
     
 

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The Women of Pemberley follows the lives of five women, some from the beloved works of Jane Austen, some new from the author's imagination, into a new era of post industrial revolution England, at the start of the Victorian Age. Vast changes are in motion, as they were throughout this dynamic century.

The women, like many of Jane Austen's heroines, are strong,

Overview

The Women of Pemberley follows the lives of five women, some from the beloved works of Jane Austen, some new from the author's imagination, into a new era of post industrial revolution England, at the start of the Victorian Age. Vast changes are in motion, as they were throughout this dynamic century.

The women, like many of Jane Austen's heroines, are strong, intelligent individuals, and the depth and variety of the original characters develop into a series of episodes linked together by their relationship to each other and to Pemberley, which is the heart of their community.

The central themes of love, friendship, marriage, and a sense of social obligation remain as do the great political and social issues of the age.

"The stories are so well told one would enjoy them even if they were not sequels to any other novel."-Book News

"Yet another wonderful work by Ms. Collins."-Beverly Wong, author of Pride & Prejudice Prudence

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781402211546
Publisher:
Sourcebooks
Publication date:
04/01/2008
Series:
Pemberley Chronicles Series, #2
Pages:
274
Sales rank:
635,879
Product dimensions:
6.74(w) x 9.54(h) x 0.87(d)

Read an Excerpt

Excerpt from Chapter 1: Emma

AS EMMA WILSON TRAVELLED back to London, her mind was in turmoil. As for her heart, well, that had been left behind with her family and friends at Pemberley. Her two daughters, still weary from enjoying themselves so thoroughly, had fallen asleep.

Their nurse, equally exhausted as her little charges, had nodded off as well.
While she was herself rather tired, she had stayed awake, trying to read, but the movement of the carriage would not let her concentrate.

Sitting across from her, James Wilson was immersed in his papers, which he had explained related to his client's business and were very dull indeed. Dull they may have been, but Mr Wilson applied himself to their study most assiduously, Emma noticed.

There was little left for her to do but contemplate the passing countryside.
As twilight overtook them, even this was difficult, and Emma was wondering what she could do to pass the time when her brother-in-law put his documents away and said cheerfully, "It is too dark to read, so we may as well talk."

He changed his seat to sit beside her, and Emma, surprised and pleased, said, "What would you like to talk about?"

She half expected some polite enquiry about the children, and she was quite surprised when he said, without hesitation, "Tell me about Pemberley and your friends and family. I enjoyed very much meeting them on Saturday, but there was so little time and so many interesting people." Emma laughed. "I thought you would have remembered most of them. They were all at my wedding," she said.

James looked abashed as he admitted that he was not very good at recalling names, and anyway, there had been such a crowd at that wedding, he would never have met them all.

"I was busy being best man, remember? I do recall Mr and Mrs Darcy very well-they are such a handsome couple-but hardly anyone else, except your parents and your brother Jonathan, of course. I had also met Fitzwilliam at Westminster when he was in Parliament some years ago; he was a member of the Reform Group. But you must tell me about the others. It is quite clear they all love you very much. They were obviously delighted when you arrived with Victoria and Stephanie. I was very glad I had taken you. I believe I acquired some immediate popularity with your family," he said lightly.

Emma smiled and acknowledged her debt to him, thanking him again for his kindness. "I cannot tell you how much joy you gave us, especially to my dear parents, who had quite given up hope of seeing us there."

James Wilson begged her not to thank him for what had been a genuine pleasure and asked only that she tell him more about the people he had met at Pemberley. "I can truthfully say I have never met so many attractive and interesting people in one place before," he declared.

Relating some of their stories, Emma was surprised at how much he had noticed in so short a time-like Fitzwilliam's obsession with Palmerston, Rebecca Tate's preoccupation with education for girls, the sound common sense of Mr Gardiner, and how deeply Richard and Cassandra loved each other.

"Theirs must have been a great love story," he said, and Emma agreed.
"What made it perfect was that it brought great happiness to everyone in the family, especially their parents, who are the closest of friends. Yes, Richard and Cassy are special," she said, a little wistfully. "Until their marriage, Pemberley had not shaken off the gloom of William's death. Even the birth of Julian, a few years later, did not seem to help much. William remained in all our thoughts each time we visited Pemberley. Aunt Lizzie certainly had not recovered from the loss; it was as if she would never stop grieving after losing him so suddenly.

"The wedding of Richard and Cassandra was the first occasion on which we noticed a change. They were so much in love and so keen for everyone to share in their happiness that it seemed to splash over all of us like the water from a fountain, and it brought back some of the magic that had been lost.

"I shall never forget watching them walk from the church through the crowds of people, frequently stopping to thank particular persons and then standing with their parents on the steps of Pemberley House. I thought at the time, 'Today is the day on which we can let go of our dear William at last and share the happiness of Cassy and Richard.' So you see, they are a very special couple and mean a lot to us."

"Indeed, I can and I understand why. I knew of William's death, of course, but I did not know how deeply it had affected the family," James said quietly.

"He was everyone's favourite-a very gentle boy, and with so much talent. He wanted to be a concert pianist. My parents were distraught, and Jonathan blamed himself for not having stopped the boys from riding out that day. You see, the Fitzwilliams lost young Edward on the same day. Oh, it was a dreadful time for all of us!"

Noting his grave expression, she stopped and said, "I did warn you they were not all happy stories."

"And your story, Emma, is it one of the happy ones?" he asked, quietly. Taken aback by his question, she was embarrassed and tongue-tied.

Seeing her discomfiture, he was immediately contrite, "I'm sorry, I did not mean to pry. It was not unkindly meant. If I have offended you, Emma, I apologise."

Emma found her voice in time to assure him that she was certainly not offended. How could she be? "I know you were not intending to pry, and I do thank you for your concern, but there is very little to tell. It was not very long after the deaths of William and Edward. I was very young, very sad, and rather lonely in London. I fell in love and married David. At the time, I believed I was the happiest girl in London. Everyone told me I was the most fortunate."

He persisted, though gently, taking her hand in his. "And are you happy now?" he asked.
One of the children stirred and glancing quickly at her, Emma gently withdrew her hand from his-but in that instant, meeting his eyes, she knew she could not lie. Uneasy, she bit her lip and shook her head.

His entire expression changed as her meaning sank in. Looking most concerned, he turned to her and said, "Emma, is there anything I can do to help?"

When she said nothing, he continued, "It grieves me that you have joined our family and you are unhappy. I would certainly like to help. I know you cannot speak of it now, but at a more appropriate time and place, will you tell me about it?" He sounded anxious and concerned.

Looking directly at him, but unwilling to speak lest the nurse or one of the children should hear, she nodded and said, "Thank you, yes," in a voice that was hardly audible.
Darkness had fallen as they reached the outskirts of London. The streets were busier and noisier. James returned to his place beside the window oppo¬site Emma, but before he moved, placed his hand on hers to reassure her. Without understanding why, Emma felt she was not as alone as she had been before. While nothing had happened to relieve her situation in any way, the merest glimmer of hope, which had resulted from their brief conversation, seemed to lift a weight from her heart as the carriage pulled up before the house in Mayfair.

They had travelled as expeditiously as possible, breaking journey only for a meal and to rest the horses, arriving around dinner time.

Mrs Wilson, who was entertaining a couple of old friends from Bath- a Colonel and Mrs Barclay-welcomed them home. She was happy to see them, especially Victoria and Stephanie, who were her particular favourites.

Meet the Author

Rebecca Ann Collins is the pen name of a lady in Australia who loves Jane Austen's work so much that she has written a series of 10 sequels to Pride and Prejudice, following Austen's beloved characters, introducing new ones and bringing the characters into a new historical era. Thoroughly researched and beautifully written, this series has been extremely successful in Australia with over 80,000 books sold.

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Women of Pemberley 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The saga continues. Our favorite characters return, but this time we see their world through mature eyes - the eyes of parents and grandparents. In Women of Pemberley, Rebecca Collins once again waves her magic wand over the heads of readers - sending them back to 19th century England, into the grimy streets of London the coal mines and pottery factories of the North the political morass whose ambitious leaders sent an ill-prepared England to war against Russia and into the hearts and minds of Irish immigrants, impoverished farm workers and other vulnerable populations. And once again our familiar cast - now spanning three generations - illustrates the depth of their character in meeting each social challenge that presents itself. And yet through all of the tumult and all of the changes taking place around them, we see the constancy of Elizabeth and Darcy. We share their joy at each new marriage and birth in the family, and we weep alongside them, as they cope with life's tragedies. We see a couple still very much in love and whose strength and devotion serve as a benchmark for all who know them. The successful relationships of next-generations of Darcys, Bingleys, Gardiners, Fitzwilliams, and Collinses are due in large measure to the standard set by Darcy and Elizabeth. But for the fact that eight more books remain in this series for me to devour, I would be very depressed that this one had ended. I'm ready for my next course!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I realize a one star review was posted several years ago, but I hope my reply to it will help other people when deciding to purchace this book. This title is the second book in this author's series. The new characters and situations are introduced in the first book. Had that reviewer read the first book in the series first, I doubt there would be as much confusion.
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Orla More than 1 year ago
This series is so captivating and wonderful. Jane Austen would love this continuation of Pride and Prejudice.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Thank you Ms Collins ( and also Amy- for your review ) for a whole new generation of Pemberley characters. There are five stories of five strong and interesting women, Emma Bingley, Cassy Darcy and Emily Gardiner,to name just three. Each one faces a significant challenge in life and how they deal with it makes interesting reading. Some people who expect a sequel to be all about couples falling in and out of bed may be disappointed, but the charming, young Women of Pemberley, together with the original characters- Mr Darcy and Elizabeth,Jane and Mr Bingley and the Gardiners- are an impressive cast in a fascinating continuation of Jane Austen's story.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was very disappointed with this book and it takes alot to disappoint me when it comes to Darcy and Elizabeth. There is no plot, hardly any speaking in this book. It is just really boring.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm struggling through this book. Ms. Collins introduces too many characters with little character building. Too much liberal politics woven into each and every chapter. She steam roles through subplots (because there appears to be no single plot) Jane Austin was able to pull you into the scenery with her picturesque descriptions. She made the heart of the heroine your heart with her descriptions of thoughts and emotions and she nurtured our love affair with the 18th century with her dialogs and letters. None of that here! Theres no intimate, realstic and subtle dialog to assist in the fleshing out of characters that should reflect the culture that was England in the 1800s. She throws out current events of the times seemingly only to prove that she did her historical research. Each event mentioned is irrelevant to the story. Writing a sequel to a respected authors work is never a good idea, but this author and editor alike should be ashamed.