The Darcys & the Bingleys: Pride and Prejudice continues

The Darcys & the Bingleys: Pride and Prejudice continues

by Marsha Altman

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A Tale of Two Gentlemen's Marriages to Two Most Devoted Sisters

Three days before their double wedding, Charles Bingley is desperate to have a word with his dear friend Fitzwilliam Darcy, seeking advice of a most delicate nature. Bingley is shocked when Darcy gives him a copy of an ancient, illustrated book of sensual secrets—but it does tell him everything he needs to know.

Eventually, of course, Jane finds this remarkable volume and in utmost secrecy shows it to her dear sister Elizabeth, who goes searching for a copy in the Pemberley library...

By turns hilarious and sweet, The Darcys & the Bingleys follows the two couples and the cast of characters surrounding them. Miss Caroline Bingley, it turns out, has such good reasons for being the way she is that the reader can't help but hold her in charity. Delightfully, she makes a most eligible match, and in spite of Darcy's abhorrence of being asked for advice, he and Bingley have a most enduring and adventure-prone friendship.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781402233227
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication date: 09/01/2008
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 484,579
File size: 941 KB

About the Author

Marsha Altman is an historian, and is an expert on Jane Austen sequels, having read nearly every single one that's been written. She has worked in the publishing industry with a literary agency and is writing a series continuing the story of the Darcys and the Bingleys. She lives in New York.

Read an Excerpt

Excerpt from Chapter 1: The Deal

Charles Bingley, a man in possession of fortune and of good standing, had been for several years now in want of a wife. Now he stood at the culmination of his efforts and found it almost alarming.

For the first time in many years, the shooting season had passed, and Charles Bingley didn't give it a second thought. He had to look his best at all times for the numerous guests that were filling his hours. Normally, hosting was something he did gladly, but other forces were pulling him in directions away from his abominable guests and well-wishers.

This must be how Darcy feels all the time, he mused, and allowed himself a rare smile-rare in that it was at the expense of his friend. For he had no doubt that whatever sufferings he was enduring at Netherfield by having the flux of people and priorities keep him from his beloved Jane, Darcy was probably feeling them more, because Darcy went into the intense period of social events with a predisposition against them. As a guest in Bingley's estate, he was normally entitled to all of the privacy he wished and could hide in his room with a pile of books for all Bingley cared. But that was not the case when one was engaged in what was looking to be a rather controversial wedding.

Perhaps controversial was not the right word, but Bingley chose it anyway, at least in his own mind. Certainly, there were those who opposed it, but none that he and Darcy were not willing to stand up to. He could never have imagined his unshakable best friend bending to the will of his aunt and marrying Anne de Bourgh, but then again, he also could never have imagined his friend falling in love with someone deemed below his station by the world at large. If anything, the master of Pemberley was more than aware of his station and the social standing that he was required to maintain, something Bingley would not wish on himself for the doubling of accounts that it would bring.

So, it seemed, life was full of surprises, because Darcy was quite possibly more in love with Elizabeth than Bingley was with Jane, even if he was being subtle about it and apparently had been since the moment they met. Only after much teasing and a persevering interrogation did Fitzwilliam Darcy admit to falling in love with her at first sight, of all places and times, and he only admitted it with a passion in his eyes that indicated that, if Charles Bingley were not his best friend and companion, he would be inclined to thrash him with his walking stick for asking such a question.

But even all of his purported and very real hauteur and intimidating posture and grace could not save poor Mr. Darcy from the necessities of prenuptial social business. There were the trips to Longbourn that were not frequent enough and the various well-wishers (and non-well-wishers) streaming into Netherfield that were all too frequent. He also had to travel to London no less than three times in a month for reasons of finance management and general legal wedding preparations. Bingley, a man of smaller fortune, only had to go once and entrusted to his steward that all the rest would be well.

In fact, it had reached such an extreme that standing in his room, waiting for the appearance of his waistcoat, Charles Bingley could not think of two or three words he had spoken to Darcy in the past day, despite living under the same roof. Not that he was totally unaccustomed to absences, and not that he was helpless without the person whom he would never bring himself to call-to his face, anyway-a sort of elder brother, but he could think of no better way to idle away the time which they were forced to be away from their respective fiancées by social circumstance than talking, even if it was idle chatter that would result in Bingley quite knowingly running his mouth off and Darcy impatiently rolling his eyes. That, at least, would be a bit relaxing in its own way.

No, there would be no return to normalcy. In three days, they would no longer be eligible bachelors who were the talk of every ball. Bingley's beloved sister would no longer be batting her eyelashes at his best friend (or, at least, Bingley hoped she wouldn't), and he would not be returning the favour with dismissive witticisms. All right, Bingley admitted he was a bit oblivious at times, but he was not dim-witted, even if he had missed Darcy's obsession with Elizabeth Bennet. But then again, everyone had missed that, probably including Darcy himself. Darcy was jubilant when writing to his sister of the arrangement, and he took great pains to make his face even more unreadable than usual when he gave the grave news to Caroline Bingley. It was a masterpiece of a performance and went well with Charles's considerable relief that he didn't have to do it himself. All cousins, sisters, distant relatives, attendants, hired planners, paperwork officials, and local guests made two matters particularly vexing for the normally unvexible Charles Bingley. First, and most obviously, despite the many trips to Longbourn, he could not get nearly as much time with Jane as he would have liked, but he was assured that he had the rest of his life to make up for it. The second matter was more pressing, if less emotionally invested: he needed Darcy, alone.

It took him several weeks to admit even to himself that he had questions that were better answered before the wedding and that Darcy was the best person to answer them. He was lacking a father-though that would have been an awkward situation anyway-and Mr. Hurst was, he decided, with all of his good manners and intentions, the last person he wanted to ask. That left his friend, confidant, and evermore-experienced-at-everything brother figure. If he could just get him alone long enough to properly work up the courage to ask the appropriate questions, then all would be well. Darcy wouldn't answer, of course. He would look indignant and find some reason to stomp off or find no reason at all and still stomp off. Or maybe, maybe, he would actually have some advice that could be pried out with excessive trying.

And Bingley was ready to try.

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Darcys & the Bingleys 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 96 reviews.
KarebearKH More than 1 year ago
I am I guess what you would call a Pride and Prejudice/ Jane Austen Purist. I hate it when authors destroy what Jane Austen created over 200 years ago. I have read several continuations of P&P and there has yet to be one that I have read that I have not liked, that was until this one. I tried to read it twice and I could not get beyond chapter 3 of section 2. Ms. Altman has destroyed the characters of Bingley, Darcy, Elizabeth, and Jane. The fact that she has Darcy bring Bingley a copy of the Kauma Sautra shows how little she knows the true characters. I will say the one good part of the whole book was when Darcy and Bingley threw Wickham out of the window. Overall I was extremely disappointed with this book and wish that I had spent more time researching it then I did. Because if I knew then what I know now I never would not have bought it. If you are looking for a good p&p continuation to read then I recommend Darcy's Story or Mr. Darcy's Diary, both do a much better job of staying true to Austen's Style and to the characters that we have come to know and love. I will not be reading any of the sequels in this series or any other book that Ms.Altman writes ever again.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ok, so I have to say I am a big fan of Fanfiction and Jane Austen. I have a lot of Pride and Prejudice sequals and when I read and saw this book I pre-ordered it. What a waste. The book was ok for the story, however i wonder if Ms. Altman has every read Jane Austen. The way she depicts the characters is so out of character. I never would have pegged Darcy as a drunk, and Bingley so clueless that he has to go to Darcy about everything. Anyway, the story line was basically about Miss Bingley finding the right husband. Every now and then you saw Jane and Elizabeth. There were parts of the story that were very unbelievable about the Jane Austen's characters.
LisaMR More than 1 year ago
When people said they laughed out loud I totally didn't believe them. This story was simply wonderful. Darcy was a funny little stiff character who had issues resolving hiw he should act with his wife in public. Bingley really came into his own as a man and the head of his family. Jane and Elizabeth had a wonderful time teasing their husbands. They were all ridiculous in a good way the whole way through. I will really be reading this one again. I just wish it had some saucy scenes ;D
Erialnj More than 1 year ago
If you simply can't get enough of P&P fiction, you'll have some fun with this book. The plot is very improbable but amusing. Hinting at sex more than Jane ever would but not steamy, the romantic scenes bring smiles rather than blushes. The characters are only 2-dimensional versions of the originals and there is too much drunkeness to fit the characters or overall social world that Austen created. The attempt to develop Miss Bingley's story and build a mystery into the tale falls flat. I'd call it a harmless beach read if you can borrow and not buy it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The writing style was mediocre and the plot very contrived. Nothing that I wouldn't have been able to find on written by a fifteen year old
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this story to be a wonderful, light and easy read. It follows the Darcys and Bingleys well after their wedding and is full of humorous dialogue and some nail-biting moments as well. If you are an Austen purist then this is probably not the book for you, but if you love anything P&P related, and are open to just about anything, then you'll enjoy this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BORING!!! The respectable taciturn Darcy getting drunk at every chance and throwing up in anything handy is entertaining? After being so smitten with Elizabeth for so long, on his wedding night he is downstairs stuffing his face full of mutton? Jane Austen's hideous Caroline Bingley was practically the heroine? Altman really missed the mark!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book had an interesting take on what happens to the Binglys and Darcys after their marriages. The flashbacks to Darcy and Bingly at University were somewhat entertaining. However, the author needs to do a little more research in a few areas. Most notably, her reference to "Noah's daughters". I'm assuming the author is really referring to the biblical account of Lot and his daughters, since Noah is not on record as having any daughters and there are no accounts of egregious behavior with his three daughter-in-laws, either before or after the flood. Also, her reference to Middle English is not completely correct. Middle English is not the same language as Modern English. There are more differences than just regional dialect and spellings between the two. Middle English, much like Anglo Saxon (Old English), is considered a completely different language. Even with "modernized" spellings, people who are not familiar with Middle English are most likely not going to understand the language.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was awful. The women, mostly Jane and Elizabeth, seem to have only one purpose for their husband and that to bear children. Darcy is made out to be a nasty, mean and sometimes drunk. The only very good part of the story is the engagement of caroline bingely to a Mr. Maddox. It changes her to almost a nice person as usual when one falls in love.
PassionateAustenite More than 1 year ago
I think this is the book that Linda Bedroll tried to write but failed terribly! This book is more mature as it has much to do with relations, which is a perfect continuation for the sweet Miss Benets that now became wives. This book gives Austen fans a real glimpse into what setttled after the two happy couples rode off in the carriages. I found this book sexy but not erotic or perverse or even pornographic as was "Mr.Darcy takes Wife".
Seriosuly, if you are like me and you hated that book, and you LOVE Pride and Prejudice, this is a great book to follow up with. One of many great sequels.
Ginya More than 1 year ago
Since it has been over 30 years since reading Jane Austen I'm not real sure of the trueness of this as a continuation. But I really liked it. The plot seemed to float around, more like two separate tales. A very restful curl up with a glass of tea book. Makes me need to go back and read Jane again .
Guest More than 1 year ago
Now they had come to it, the moment he dreaded. ¿We are to marry in nearly two days -¿ ¿It has not escaped my notice, I assure you.¿ ¿- and I find myself in need of some . . . advice.¿ Mr. Bingley & Mr. Darcy, The Darcys & the Bingleys And so gentle readers, begins the premise of the latest sequel to Jane Austen¿s novel Pride and Prejudice, entitled The Darcys and The Bingleys. In this debut novel by Marsha Altman the story is centered on the friendship of Charles Bingley and Fitzwilliam Darcy, elevating Mr. Bingley to co-protagonist with his future brother-in-law. We are immediately reconnected to the original story as Charles Bingley, that amiably good natured friend of the commanding Mr. Darcy ruminates over their approaching marriages to the Bennet sisters, Jane and Elizabeth. Endearingly true to character, Mr. Bingley is not quite sure of himself or how to resolve a pressing matter. After much deliberation he determines that his closest friend Mr. Darcy is the best man to approach on the delicate subject of martial relations and entreats his advice. Mr. Darcy responds by presenting him with a wedding gift ¿ `the book¿¿ an illustrated and transcribed ancient Indian text of the Kama Sutra. Not only is Charles Bingley concerned about his wedding night performance, his future bride Jane Bennet is in turn confused and alarmed after the obligatory mother-daughter chat on wifely duties that her mother unloads on her and sister Elizabeth the day before the wedding. Luckily their aunt Mrs. Gardiner was also present to smooth the waters so-to-speak, but even cool and clever Elizabeth is befuddled by the vagueness of the information and asks her fiancé, Mr. Darcy for reassurance. As the invited guests arrive for the wedding, we are re-acquainted with many familiar characters from Pride and Prejudice Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner, Rev. Mr. Collins and wife Charlotte, Mr. & Mrs. Bennet and their daughters Kitty and Mary, Lydia Wickham, Anne de Borough who has escaped from Rosings and the clutches of her mother Lady Catherine, Colonel Fitzwilliam, Georgiana Darcy, Mr. & Mrs. Hurst, Caroline Bingley, and one uninvited guest, George Wickham who is unceremoniously pitched out the second floor window of Netherfield Park and into a manure pile by Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley. The men folk then proceed to throw a stag party, and Mr. Darcy has a bit too much to drink. We are also privy to a snipet of the back story on the friendship of Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy many years before ¿Netherfield Park is let at last¿ when Pride and Prejudice begins, enlightening us further on their personalities and relationships. Bingley and Darcy became fast friends at Cambridge University after Bingley rescued him from a scandalous situation after their introduction at a faculty soirée. A nineteen-year old Mr. Darcy was deep in his cups, seduced by a disreputable young lady and found in another student¿s dorm room incoherent and disheveled. With Bingley¿s help, the matter was swiftly smoothed over, but since it was so unlike his friend¿s usual reserved manner, he continues to chide him about it whenever he needs to privately put the grand Mr. Darcy of Pemberley in his place. At the conclusion of the wedding ceremony and dinner, the Darcy¿s and the Bingley¿s depart for there respective townhouses in London, and hopefully on to connubial bliss. Like Mr. Darcy¿s new bride Elizabeth, we see a more relaxed and casual husband after the ceremony. This Darcy makes jokes with his new wife. ¿I shall do my best to be an upstanding gentleman, ignoring your presence almost entirely in company, and never endeavour to gaze upon you or whisper private jokes in your ear at parties_ ¿ Her response was to kiss him. Well, to kiss him and to climb on top of him, the ultimate assertion of authority. ¿That is not what I prefer, Mr. Darcy.¿ ¿Then we are in agreement. I will treat you with great love and compassion in front of guests and as a wanton wench i
samantha.1020 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
From the back cover:Three days before their double wedding, Charles Bingley is desperate to have a word with his dear friend Fitzwilliam Darcy, seeking advice of a most delicate nature. Bingley is shocked when Darcy gives him a copy of The Kama Sutra-but it does tell him everything he needs to know. Eventually, of course, Jane finds this remarkale volume and in utmost secrecy shows it to her dear sister Elizabeth, who goes searching for a copy in the Pemberley library...What a fun book this was to read! Just that little excerpt gives you an idea about what the book is about but it also about so much more. The reader is drawn into the upcoming marriages and then the married life of both couples. I was enchanted with this book as I got to see how the relationships between Charles and Jane and Darcy and Elizabeth grow and mature. One thing that I liked about this book was their was so humor thrown into the story and I couldn't help but laugh at a few parts. Elizabeth had a dry sense of humor that I could relate to and I really liked her as a character. The book also encompassed Charles' sister Caroline and her possible marriage prospects. I honestly wasn't sure if I would like this book and was pleasantly suprised when it turned out to be a great read. Now that I've written the basic review and my thoughts I have something to share: I've never read Pride and Prejudice. Aack! When I requested to review this book...well...I wasn't so sure about it for this reason, and now that I think about I'm not sure what I was thinking. But I had read a really good review on another book blog and it made me want to give it a try. Boy, I'm so glad I did. It has inspired me to read the original Pride and Prejudice just to see how this whole story started. I've been wanting to read Jane Austen (yes, I haven't read anything by her) for some time and this may be the key to me picking up this book. Who would of thought? Anyways, I really ended up enjoying the book and am glad that I gave it a chance!
dasuzuki on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this book even more than I had expected. In the past I have read ¿sequels¿ to Pride and Prejudice but found them lacking in either not staying true to the original characters or just not having a very interesting story. I thought Marsha Altman did a wonderful job in this book in not only keeping to how I pictured Darcy, Elizabeth and the other characters but also adding a good does of humor. I always enjoy a book that makes me smile or laugh out loud while being clever.The story begins not long before the wedding and then moves along quickly as we see both Elizabeth and Jane settling in with their respective spouses. The reader will also get glimpses into what happens with other characters such as Caroline, Mr. Bingley¿s sister, Colonel Fitzwilliam as well as a few other characters. My favorite parts involve the on-going joke between Darcy and Bingley over a certain ¿educational¿ book that Darcy gives Bingley as a wedding gift. If you are a fan of Pride and Prejudice I think you will find this to be a satisfying sequel and Marsha Altman will soon be having a second book coming out next month in the series.
mholles on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Very humerous and very well written continuation of Pride and Prejudice. There were several absurd tangents to the story which was very much in the Jane austen style.
sensitivemuse on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
There is only one regret I have for this book, and it's why did I not read this one sooner? it was hilarious! I heard myself chuckle here and there at almost every other chapter. Darcy and Bingley are central to this book as most of the humor surrounds them and their actions. Sometimes it's their playful banter, other times it's Darcy's wit and his ability to take it out on Charles. Other times...well let's just say when they drink it just gets even more funny. It was a nice side to see to these two men, I've always thought they can't always be so stuffy and formal can they? they have to loosen up sometimes during life! and this book shows the side of the two that you've always wondered about. It's definitely a fun read and a cheerful one.Aside from the wit and humor, you also see inside of both their marriages and again, it's a different face to the characters you're used to reading in Pride and Prejudice. It's amazing to see both Jane and Elizabeth take charge in their marriages and manage to get their own way when it comes to decisions. I liked seeing Darcy having to give in to Elizabeth's demands although it may seem very uncharacteristic at first as whoever thought Elizabeth could just order Darcy around and have him coiled around her little finger? (I actually never pictured their marriage to be this way but it's not that bad to read). You don't hear much from Lydia or Wickham in this book. Also Mary and Kitty have their own appearances but small ones. You also get to see a different side from Caroline Bingley (she's still catty, but she's actually got a heart) and that, I think got a little too strange and a little too different. The outcome of Caroline in the novel, is nice but I couldn't really get used to it. Perhaps because with previous Jane Austen spinoffs, Caroline Bingley was always catty, mean, and always had a snide comment here and there as a means of insulting someone "politely". It's just hard to picture her being nice and loving (yes..she was loving believe it or not). It's a different side to Caroline, yes. I suppose it's the author's way of showing that Caroline can be human too. Aside from that, the other problem I had with this book was there were times where present day English would accidentally appear throughout the dialogue. It does take the realism out of the story just a little bit. The characters and their new different "face" might take a while to get some die hard Austen fans to get used to (perhaps they might cry out sacrilege) but the storyline is wonderful, the humor is great, and I'm really looking forward to more from Marsha Altman's works.Overall a hilarious read with plenty of fun adventures. It makes you wonder what's going to happen next with the Darcys and the Bingleys. I recommend this book to those in love with Jane Austen spinoffs.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a Nook freebie. I liked the idea of continuing the stories of the Bennet sisters and the writing was good. However, it just seemed boring in comparison to Pride and Prejudice. The characters were okay, but lacked the spark and spirit of the original novel.
jt12JT More than 1 year ago
Book One begins three days before the double wedding of the two Bennet sisters, Jane and Lizzy, to the two most eligible bachelors, Bingley and Darcy. Charles Bingley is concerned about the intimate aspects of marriage and seeks advice from his best friend, Fitzwilliam Darcy. Darcy’s help for Bingley is a copy of The Kama Sutra, which he orders for him. Although  The Kama Sutra is mentioned here and other places throughout the book, there is no explicit sex depicted.  This is a fun and informative one hundred or so pages about the hectic events and happenings leading up to the wedding. Thrown into the mix is a little history of the friendship between Darcy and Bingley that goes back to their days at University. They develop a brotherly rivalry that is not always so brotherly, or then again, maybe it is. The marriage of these two couples and the year that follows was sweet, sometimes funny and made for good reading. With the birth of a child for each couple, the first book comes to a close.   Although all the main characters are still in Book Two, it centers more on a tolerable and sometimes likeable, Caroline Bingley and her new suitor. This is where the intrigue begins. There is much to discover about this man, his brother and the doctor who is helping Mr. Hurst. The means of discovery and the adventures that follow kept me turning the pages.  What I didn’t like as much about the book was the portrayal of Darcy and Jane.  I felt they were not true to character. Darcy drank too much and couldn’t hold his liquor. His past was not as proper as I would like to think that Darcy’s was. Jane was too outspoken and not so mild mannered. That said, when I read Austenesque novels, I expect there to be some deviation of character and I allow for that. I was just not as comfortable with these two transformations.  Overall it was a good book and entertaining.  I liked how the story of Caroline Bingley developed.
RunningShoeGirl More than 1 year ago
This book is the beginning of a really involved, bumpy series. There are hysterically funny moments, hardly believeable moments, and waaayyy out there moments. This is not a series for Pride & Predjudice purists. It's a really involving read, you really get inthralled with the crazy lives of the characters and want to know what is happening next, just don't hang onto P&P when you're reading this series. It's a good series over all.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Though I doubt that Jane Austen could or would picture this story to be a sequel to her Pride and Prejudice, this turned out to be a delightful book. The only chatacter that stayed "true to form" was Mr. Bennet. The rest of the characters developed more modernized personalities.
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