Legacy of Pemberley (Pemberley Chronicles #10)

Legacy of Pemberley (Pemberley Chronicles #10)

by Rebecca Collins

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Legacy of Pemberley (Pemberley Chronicles #10) by Rebecca Collins

Return to the halls of Pemberley one last time

"Romance and intrigue are on the menu as theywere in all Jane Austen's novels." -Book News

It has been fifty years since Mr. Darcy took Elizabeth Bennet as his bride, and through half a century of both true happiness and difficult trials, their love has never faltered. When Charles Bingley's declining health forces Darcy and Elizabeth to travel with their dear friends to Europe, it will fall to the next generation to continue the legacy of love and family their parents have spent a lifetime establishing.

Reunions of old friends go hand in hand with the introduction of new adversaries, and long hidden secrets come to light. But as this chronicle comes to a close, the sadness in parting is tempered not only by splendid memories, but the knowledge that the legacy of Pemberley will live far beyond the written page...

What readers say about The Pemberley Chronicles:
"A 'must own' for your collection! This is a book...to be read and enjoyed again and again."
"If you love Jane Austen and her characters...pick up Rebecca Collins's Pemberley Chronicles. You'll be glad you did."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781402246531
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication date: 11/01/2010
Series: Pemberley Chronicles Series , #10
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 493,513
File size: 643 KB

About 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.

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.

Read an Excerpt

From the Prologue

Jude Courtney was certainly not the kind of young man whose conduct might be expected to provoke an outbreak of controversy around the breakfast table at Pemberley House.

Quiet, unfailingly courteous, and blessed with an amiable disposition, he was the least likely member of his family to cause consternation among his relations.

Yet, on a pleasant morning in early Spring, as Mrs Darcy read over a letter from Doctor Francis Grantley passed to her by her husband, she exclaimed and expressed her exasperation at the conduct of her young cousin.

"I cannot believe this. What on earth has possessed him? Surely, he must realise that in the present circumstances in which his family finds itself, this offer provides him with a splendid opportunity? To refuse it makes no sense at all," she declared, without any fear of contradiction.

Looking up from another document he held in his hand, Mr Darcy appeared to listen and comprehend, but withheld that immediate accordance that his wife clearly expected. His countenance gave nothing away either, which

Elizabeth found rather vexing.

"Do you not agree?" she asked pointedly, "do you not believe that the offer of a scholarship for Jude Courtney to study theology at Oxford under the tutelage of Dr Grantley, with the prospect of a future position in the church, is one that is unlikely to be matched?"

On this, Mr Darcy readily agreed. "Oh, indeed I do. I cannot see that he could expect a similar proposition from any other source. There are not many people with Doctor Grantley's capacity or his inclination to make him such an offer," he said.

"Well then? Is it not unthinkable that Jude should refuse it?" Elizabeth persisted. "I had not thought him so lacking in judgment nor so incapable of discerning his own interest."

It was at this point that the controversy erupted, for Mr Darcy had just

been reading a second letter, this from young Jude Courtney himself, in which he had explained in simple but unapologetic words his reasons for turning down what he acknowledged as a most generous proposition.

I have discussed this matter in great detail with Mama and believe I owe you and Mrs Darcy the clearest possible explanation for my decision, he wrote, and there was no doubting his sincerity.

Understanding his wife's frame of mind, Mr Darcy proceeded to read to her that part of Jude Courtney's letter that was relevant to the subject under discussion, having first asked for her indulgence. "I think, my dear, before you condemn him further, you should hear what he has to say on the subject. He writes:

"While I am deeply grateful for the kindness that has led Doctor Grantley to make this most benevolent offer and appreciate very much its value, I feel that it is not something I can accept at this time.

"It is not that I am in any way averse to the study of theology, but that I do not believe in my heart that I am a suitable candidate for this scholarship.

"First, I have not an academic or philosophical turn of mind, which can derive the most benefit from such study.

"Second, while my faith is strong and I am eager to help the many people in need I see around me, I do not believe that I can best help them from a position within the church. Indeed, were I to accept such a position in the Church of England, as might follow the course of study suggested by Dr Grantley, I should inevitably be cutting myself off from the poorest and most needy and neglected people in this community, whom I wish most desperately to help-for they are mostly people of the Catholic faith, who have little or no access to the services provided by our parish churches.

The exclamation that escaped Elizabeth's lips at this point, though rather unusual, did not prevent Mr Darcy from continuing to read:

"There is also the important matter of the care of my dear mama, for who would look after her if I were to go away to Oxford? Mrs Darcy and you have both assisted Mama for many years, as have my uncle Richard Gardiner and my aunt Caroline, and I must place on record my deep appreciation of your help. Yet, it is surely her children who must care for her at this time. It is a duty that my sister, Jessica, has carried out without complaint for many years, and it would be unfair indeed to expect her to continue to bear this responsibility alone.

"Perhaps at this point I should make it very clear that Mama has, in all our discussions of this matter, urged me to make my decision without taking any account of her situation; she insists that she is well able to manage here and I should do only what is best for myself.

Elizabeth interrupted, unable to contain her feelings, for it was exactly this matter that had been closest to her heart. "Why then can he not see that if Emily could be persuaded to come to us at Pemberley, where she could have the best of care, with no undue strain upon Jessica at all, every concern of his should be settled?" she cried, at which Mr Darcy held up a hand and proceeded:

"Besides, and perhaps most importantly, I find I have no inclination, no genuine calling to be a clergyman, and surely this should be the primary reason for accepting such a position. Were I to allow myself to be persuaded for financial reasons alone to follow such a course, I should feel I have practiced a most unseemly deception upon the church and those whom I seek to serve.

"I trust, sir, that in view of all these reasons, which I have honestly and openly laid before you, Mrs Darcy and you will understand and accept my decision.

"I have written in similar vein but not in as much detail to Doctor Grantley, begging him not to misconstrue my refusal and asking that he explain my reasons to his colleagues. I should not wish them to believe that I did not fully appreciate the honour implied in the offer that had been made to me.

"Yet, I cannot help but feel that some degree of disquiet may follow, and I hope I am not presuming upon our relationship by asking that you reassure Doctor Grantley of my most sincere appreciation.

"I remain sir, most sincerely yours,

"Jude Courtney"

Laying down the letter, Mr Darcy looked directly at his wife. "How do you answer that, Lizzie? Is it not the honest account of a young man of integrity with a strong sense of duty, who will not place his own pecuniary interest before his principles?" he asked and he saw that there were tears in her eyes.

Elizabeth had no words to respond to her husband's question. She knew that Jude was perhaps her cousin Emily's most beloved child and so like his mother in character and temperament, the words may well have been her own.

Recalling Emily's early days in Derbyshire, when she had fallen in love with Paul Antoine and married him to care for him, knowing he was dying from tuberculosis, Elizabeth knew that Emily must surely have agreed with her son and nothing anyone could say would change Jude Courtney's mind.

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Legacy of Pemberley 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Kimberly_Book_Addict More than 1 year ago
The Legacy of Pemberley is the tenth and final novel in the acclaimed Pride and Prejudice sequel series by Rebecca Ann Collins. The ten novels in the series cover the fifty years following the wedding of Elizabeth Bennett to Fitzwilliam Darcy. It is by far the most complete series of sequels that I've had the pleasure of reading. Beginning with a controversial engagement similar to Elizabeth and Darcy's, we are thrust back into the lives of the Darcy, Bingley, and Gardiner families. Continuing fifty years after the Darcy's marriage we delve deeper into the lives of their children and grandchildren through marriage, death, friendship, love, conflict, etc. As their childrens lives take center stage in the narrative Lizzie and Darcy make the difficult decision to travel to Europe with Jane and Charles Bingley in the hopes that it will restore Charles and Lizzie's health. With their departure as main characters, Collins is afforded the opportunity to focus on the characters she created and complete their storylines. Character mysteries are solved, new romances begin budding, deaths are grieved, and much more. This is only a sliver of the storylines that exist within The Legacy of Pemberley. If this book was given to me without an author, I can honestly say that I might think that Austen herself wrote it. Collins is without a doubt the only author I've read that has not strayed far from Austen's style. She is a true gem in the world of Jane Austen fan fiction, and it's sad to see her Pemberley Chronicles series conclude. They have afforded many Jane Austen purists an escape back in to the Regency world of Pemberley and into the Victorian-era. Yes, the genre of Jane Austen fan fiction affords one the pleasure of exploring other characters and situations that would have definitely not existed in Austen's original works, but Collins' writing seems to transcend that. Although it is an extrapolation of Darcy and Lizzie's life it doesn't feel like it. We can grow along with them and feel as if we are there with them watching their children grow. The series not only offers the reader the chance to feel like one of the family, but it gives insight into the social, political, and historical England of the period. The Legacy of Pemberley takes place during the middle of the Victorian Era, where we can see the beginnings of the Christmas tree tradition that Queen Victoria and Prince Albert started making popular, as well as the beginning of trains and coal. Collins has created such rich lives for the characters that over the course of 50 years they've had children who have gotten married and have had their own children. There are so many characters and so many storylines that I do have to warn you: if you haven't read the other novels you might want to wait and read them in order. It will definitely enrich the novels having knowledge of the characters from start to finish. While all good things must come to an end, they do sometimes leave a "legacy" behind. In the case of The Legacy of Pemberley and Collins' entire Pemberley series, the legacy they inherit is a story with rich characters who teach love, family, friendship, honor, humility, courage, and much more. If Austen were alive today, I think she would be proud that the themes so prevalent in her own novels continue to thrive in the works that emulate her own. Kimberly (Reflections of a Book Addict)
Amy_D_Z More than 1 year ago
And so it is with a heartfelt post script, that author Rebecca Ann Collins closes her ten-book series, The Pemberley Chronicles, with "The Legacy of Pemberley." I have been thrilled to be privy to the lives of the characters that Collins both borrowed from Jane Austen and created on her own. With my "extended Derbyshire family," I've experienced many emotional highs and lows. I will say that early-on in the series, Ms. Collins dropped a bombshell, which left me devastated for quite some time. And it was not without some feelings of PTSD that I opened her subsequent volumes (constantly fearing what additional surprises might lie ahead). Unlike some of the earlier books in the series, "Legacy" took me a good while to read. not because the plot moved slowly, and not because it's Holiday Season, which is always very busy. I think that I subconsciously prolonged my reading, because I was not yet ready to say goodbye. "Legacy" brings us back into the daily lives of our friends the Darcys, Bingleys, and Fitzwilliams, as well as their now grown children and grandchildren. Sadly, we must bid farewell to some of our favorite characters. But the story does not become weighed-down by their losses. Instead, Ms. Collins once again shows a gentle sense of humour, and once again reveals herself to be a standard-bearer for redemption and comeuppance. As it ties up nearly every loose end that had heretofore existed in The Pemberley Chronicles, "Legacy" serves as almost a homily for rewarding the good and punishing the bad. Those who sow the seeds of pride, prejudice, and greed, are ultimately dealt the fates that they deserve. And those characters whose lives are ruled by the values of love and loyalty, who spread good will and serve as role models for the community are rewarded with happiness and contentment. We see also that the younger generation has both the character and skills to continue the great traditions that are the real "Legacy of Pemberley." On nearly the last page of the book, series patriarch Fitzwilliam Darcy sums it up best as he addresses his wife of many years: "I think, Lizzy my dear, we may safely entrust the future of Pemberley to our children. Do you not agree?" Needless to say... she agrees.
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