Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife

Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife

by Linda Berdoll, Jane Austen

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781402202735
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication date: 04/28/2004
Series: Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife Series , #1
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 476
Sales rank: 647,921
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.19(d)

About the Author

Linda Berdoll is a self-described "Texas farm wife" whose interest in all things Austen was piqued by the BBC/A&E mini-series of Pride and Prejudice. Four years and much research later, her effort, Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife (originally titled The Bar Sinister) appeared, to the acclaim of readers and the horror of Jane Austen purists. This is Berdoll's first novel, but she has since published a humorous book of euphemisms and is now at work on a sequel to the sequel. She and her husband live on a pecan farm in Del Valle, Texas. Although she admits that she eloped in a manner similar to Lydia Bennet's, to her great fortune it was with Darcy, not Wickham.

Read an Excerpt


The renowned (if occasionally peevish) lady of letters, Charlotte Brontë, once carped of fellow authoress Jane Austen's work, "...she ruffles her reader by nothing vehement, disturbs him by nothing profound: the Passions are perfectly unknown to her...what throbs fast and full, though hidden, what the blood rushes through, what is the unseen seat of Life and the sentient target of death-this Miss Austen ignores."

It is forever lost what Jane Austen might have made of Jane Eyre, hence we shan't dally with such a conjecture. And however we are moved to defend Miss Austen's unparalleled literary gift, we cannot totally disregard Miss Brontë's observation, for it was quite on the money. Jane Austen wrote of what she knew.Miss Austen never married, it appears her own life passed with only the barest hint of romance. Hence, one must presume she went to her great reward virgo intactus.

As befitting a maiden's sensibilities, her novels all end with the wedding ceremony. What throbs fast and full, what the blood rushes through, is denied her unforgettable characters and, therefore, us. Dash it all!

We endeavour to right this wrong by compleating at least one of her stories, beginning whence hers leaves off. Our lovers have wed. But the throbbing that we first encounter is not the cry of a passionate heart. Another part of her anatomy is grieving Elizabeth Bennet Darcy.

Part One

As plush a coach as it was, recent rains tried even its heavy springs.Hence, the road to Derbyshire was betimes a bit jarring. Mr. Darcy, with all gentlemanly solicitousness, offered the new Mrs. Darcy a pillow upon which to sit to cushion the ride.

It was a plump tasselled affair, not at all discreet. His making an issue of her sore nether-end was a mortification in and of itself. But, as Elizabeth harboured the conviction that she had adopted a peculiar gait as a result of her most recent (by reason of matrimony) pursuits, her much abused dignity forbade her to accept such a blatant admission of conjugal congress. Thus, the cushion was refused.

Dignity notwithstanding, the unrelenting jiggle of the carriage demanded by the puddles bade her eye that same pillow wistfully as its soft comfort lay wasted upon the empty seat opposite them. As she clung to the handgrip, she knew it was indefensibly foolish not to admit to her husband that he was justified in suspecting that she needed it. But at that moment, not making a concession to him was a matter of principle.

Suffering both from the road and from knowing herself unreasonably miffed, she submitted to the silent chastisement that she must learn to accept the perversely quixotic turns of her new husband.

As each and every muddy mile they travelled diminished the distance betwixt Elizabeth and the awesome duty that awaited her as mistress of such a vast estate as Pemberley, she became ever more uneasy. It was not that she had only then fully comprehended what awaited her, for she had. At least as comprehensibly as it was possible.

Hitherto, there had been the excitement of the wedding, and moreover, the anticipation of connubial pleasures with Mr. Darcy that buffered her from the daunting devoir that lay ahead. In soothing her newly appreciated trepidation, her husband was of no help whatsoever. Indeed, they had no more than stepped from their matrimonial bedchamber before he had reclaimed his recently relinquished mask of reticence. And with it, that maddening hauteur. One peculiar only to him.

It was only subsequent to their engagement that he had ceased addressing her as "Miss Bennet" in lieu of her Christian name. Delightful as that transfiguration was, her previous understanding in regards to her name was usurped in the throes of passion. For in the considerable heat generated the previous evening, he had repeatedly murmured "Lizzy" in her ear.

To her dismay, their re-emergence into company bade the Master of Pemberleyserve compunction by abandoning that much-appreciated endearment. This disappointment would have been less egregious had he not insisted upon addressing her as "Mrs. Darcy" not only to the help, but privately as well. Her alteration from Lizzy to Mrs. Darcy had been vexatiously abrupt. Therefore, Mrs. Darcy was profoundly aggrieved and sat in petulant silence much of their trip.

This lack of conversation he did nothing to mitigate.

Indeed, it was a repetition of the ride from their wedding to their London honeymoon nest the day before. She had convinced herself hitherto that his quiet could be attributed to nerves (owing to the compleat lack of reserve that night). Presently, she had not a clue.

Upon thinking of that lack of reserve and the resultant kindness done upon her person, it bade her not to think so meanly upon her husband, silent or no. If he had truly been disquieted in apprehension of their wedding-night, might not his present reticence come from unease? It occurred to her that the more firmly he seemed in his own charge, the greater was his perceived threat to it. Hence, his wall of defence. At one time, she might have been amused to think herself such a disconcertion to the arrogant Mr. Darcy. But no more.

Impetuously, she took his hand. In no manner did she want him to believe her a peril to his well-being.

The carriage, evidently unhindered by the weightiness of her ruminations, endeavoured on. Hence, she wrested her attention from them and peered out the window as they ambled down the fashionable avenues of Mayfair. There, even so fine a carriage as theirs excited few heads to turn and watch as they passed.

But once upon the road north, a legion of staring eyes could be detected through the obfuscatory yellow fog that clung persistently to the streets.Unaccustomed as she was to being the occupant of such an elegant coach, Elizabeth was a little off-put to be the object of such general scrutiny. Mr. Darcy, however, as was his habit, practised an impervious gaze just at the horizon, reflecting neither distaste nor notice of the gawking.

They broke their journey for a spare midday meal at a plain but tidy inn. This rest occasioned the innkeeper and his wife into whimpering subservience, thus enlightening Elizabeth to the extreme deference she must weather as Mr. Darcy's wife.

The brevity of their stop was in all probability ultimately a good thing, blessedly truncating as it did the publican couple's display. The next fit of veneration from a person of lesser birth than the Darcys (i.e., just about everyone) would not be so unexpected. Elizabeth promised herself that she would practise Darcy's patrician inscrutability and elude the urge to tell those servile persons they had undoubtedly mistaken her for someone else.

Whilst still partaking of their meal, Darcy apologised unnecessarily upon the austere winter dressing of his county.

Table of Contents

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Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 307 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have to admit it is not of Jane Austen style or standing, but I didn't read it with the intentions that it would be. I couldn't put it down. Linda B did an excellent job of keeping Lizzy and Darcy together and strong. I cried, laughed, and anguished true feelings through this entire novel. Without giving it away, my heart actually raced in a certain chapters. Good job to Linda, it was an excellent novel.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was flabbergasted when I started to read this book. How someone can take the amazing characters created by Jane Austen in Pride and Prejudice and put them in a trashy romance novel is beyond me. I had to put it down on the 10th chapter. Because by then there had already been roughly 9 graphic sex scenes. This is not how I wanted to remember such beautiful characters not that they were anything like the true characters. If I wanted to read a trashy novel then I would read something else unconnected to such a great work of art.
UrbanGurl More than 1 year ago
I haven't finished this book yet and I can't help but be disappointed by what I've read so far. The author tried way too hard to imitate Jane Austen's writing style, thus making the book hard to read at times. There were some chapters where the author seemed to abandon the Austen writing style and inadvertently reverted to modern-day writing. It was like when an actor does not maintain a certain accent throughout a movie. There were too many secondary characters that really didn't contribute much to the overall story - which is supposed to be about Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth Darcy. I found myself skimming over several chapters that had no place in this novel. I also did not like the liberties that the author took with the original characters. This particular Elizabeth did not seem as intelligent or as pragmatic as Austen's. The author turned Bingley and Jane into dimwits with no passion for one another. In "Pride and Prejudice," Darcy and Bingley were the best of friends with a mutual regard and respect for one another. There was no perceived or actual rivalry between the two as the author has contrived in this book. The author made it seem as if everyone else's relationships were inferior to the Darcys. I didn't mind the sex scenes as much as some of the other reviewers. We know full and well that Jane Austen would have never written anything of the sort, or at least not in the way in which this book is written. I'll reserve the rest of my review for when I finish this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was the very first P$P sequal I've ever seen, not having gone hunting for them and I have to say I had fun! That's what this book was about to me, fun. It's not an amazing work of literature and I don't believe it's meant to be, it's all about our morbid curisoity involving what Elizabeth and Darcy do in their alone time. Come on, it's really not that bad, all the characters are there and there were a couple points where I laughed out loud startling everyone around me. Yes there were parts where I questioned just what she was thinking when she formed certain sentences and used certain words but whatever. It's fun and it's not gonna kill you to read it! Go on and have fun!
IrishLullaby More than 1 year ago
The title says it all. Mr. Darcy takes his wife in just about every room in the house. It's poorly written by someone who had a thesaurus next to her computer.
MAMB More than 1 year ago
Admittedly, I haven't finished the book yet...but I have found it disappointing in comparison to Jane Austen's work but of course nothing could compare. However, it is not so much the writing as it is the graphic sex. It's not that I'm a prude. It's just that Jane Austen had a way by virtue of great subtlety and nuance of making her books very sensual. I found Mr. Darcy to be ever so more appealing in Pride and Prejudice than in this book. sometimes what is left to the imagination is much better than having things blatantly spelled out. Maybe it is just me but I feel this book takes the glow off Mr. Darcy's and Elizabeth's romance.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Incomprehensible language. Bad story line. Not for a true Jane Austen fan.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was a huge disappointment. I was excited to read a story that continued the beautiful story of Pride and Prejudice. However, this story only continued the story of Darcy and Elizabeth's sex life. There was a sexual encounter on every page and if there wasn't, then the characters were thinking about it. I understand that the passion of Darcy and Elizabeth is a part that we would all like to know after the marriage, but I would have liked to read a book that focused on their relationship in all aspects, not just sex. I felt as if the author had taken Darcy and Elizabeth and placed them in the middle of a Harlequin romance.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's a true love story. Of course it's not going to follow Jane Austen's characters exactly but I like to believe that if she was able to write an erotic story of Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth it would be close to this. Great job Ms. Berdoll you made me fall in love with historical romance about 7 years ago along with Abigail Reynolds. These ladies are 2 of the best Pride and Prejudice continuation/variation authors around. Thank you Linda
LisaMR More than 1 year ago
I loved it! This was my first foray into the romance novel genre and to say I was surprised would be an understatement. But I love characters that show their love vocally and physically. I'm positive Jane would be speechless but frankly this book fits better for a modern audience. Pro tip: Be sure to read this one first otherwise the next one will make not a whit of sense. I read them out of order and was awfully confused through most of it. Darcy and Elizabeth have a powerful romance and I fell that Linda Berdoll does an excellent job of showing all sides of it. I just wish more would books would come out! I will say that if you want something less physical but still slightly saucy your best bet is Abigail Reynolds, but she will have you crying hysterically. This book is and will always be the top of my Darcy book list.
Guest More than 1 year ago
While I applaud the spirit of looking at the Darcy marriage in all aspects, the plot of this book is more Emily Bronte than Jane Austen. With ridiculous plot twists that are obvious and trite in nature, this story really is a disgrace to the Pride and Prejudice story. In all my history as a book lover and collector of books, this is the only book I have thrown in the trash.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a very good sequel to Pride and Prejudice. I do agree that Jane Austen probably wouldn't have taken these two wonderful characters down the road that Linda Berdoll does. It is a very good story. I enjoyed it a lot.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I forced myself through this novel until I could read no more. Once I got to the revelation of Bingley's infidelity, I had to put it down. Although I am not an Austen purist, Berdoll simply takes too much dignity away from Austen's characters.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think this book was wonderfully written. It shows what everyone wanted to know... what happened after P&P, and i think this was a wonderful addition to Jane Austen's book. The book doesnt just allow you to see Elizabeth but also her sisters and her family and what has become of them. It also shows the reader what we were waiting for in P&P... for Elizabeth to open her mouth and really say what we all knew she was thinking... this book was wonderful and i do recommend it to everyone...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is simply a great and fabulous read. I have read it many times and each time I find something I missed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awsome series!! Hope toread more!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you just want smut, that's what you'll find in this book. Smut and ridiculous plot lines that make Danielle Steele romance novels look like historical masterpieces in comparison. 
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LNT More than 1 year ago
Absolutely loved this book!  No, it's not classic literature, but it was such an entertaining and modern twist to a favorite classic. Hope Linda Berdoll will do this with others!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MegKMK More than 1 year ago
Some of it I enjoyed but there was a lot I didn't care for. I don't think Jane Austen would have been too happy with it. I think the author tried to impress her readers with some of the words she used.
crabbywoman More than 1 year ago
This book was not well-edited, but it did provide some light diversion.