Monday 9th September
"I left London today and met Bingley at Netherfield Park. I had forgotten what good company he is; always ready to be pleased and always cheerful. After my difficult summer, it is good to be with him again. ..."
The only place Darcy could share his innermost feelings was in the private pages of his diary...
Torn between his sense of duty to his family name and his growing passion for Elizabeth Bennet, all he can do is struggle not to fall in love.
Mr. Darcy's Diary presents the story of the unlikely courtship of Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy from Darcy's point of view. This graceful imagining and sequel to Pride and Prejudice explains Darcy's moodiness and the difficulties of his reluctant relationship as he struggles to avoid falling in love with Miss Bennet. Though seemingly stiff and stubborn at times, Darcy's words prove him also to be quite devoted and endearing qualities that eventually win over Miss Bennet's heart. This continuation of a classic romantic novel is charming and elegant, much like Darcy himself.
Pride and Prejudice has inspired a large number of modern day sequels, the most successful of which focus on the rich, proud Mr. Darcy.
Praise for Mr. Darcy's Diary:
"Absolutely fascinating. Amanda Grange seems to have really got under Darcy's skin and retells the story, in diary form, with great feeling and sensitivity." Historical Novel Society
"Written with charm, elegance and style, Amanda Grange's excellent retelling of Pride and Prejudice, Mr. Darcy's Diary, will make you fall in love with Fitzwilliam Darcy once again!" Single Titles
"Mr. Darcy's Diary is an enjoyable journey into the mind of one of the most popular characters in literary history...a gift to a new generation of Darcy fans and a treat for existing fans as well." Austenblog
|Edition description:||New Edition|
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Mr. Darcy's Diary
By AMANDA GRANGE
Sourcebooks, Inc.Copyright © 2007 Amanda Grange
All right reserved.
Monday 1st July
Have I done the right thing in establishing Georgiana in London, I wonder? The summer is proving to be very hot, and when I visited her this morning, I found her lacking her usual energy. I think I will send her to the coast for a holiday.
Tuesday 2nd July
I have instructed Hargreaves to look tier a suitable house in Margate, or perhaps in Ramsgate, for Georgiana. I wish I could go with her, but it is proving difficult to find a new steward to replace Wickham and I cannot spare the time.
Wickham! It is strange that one name can summon up such contradictory feelings. My father's steward was a man I admired and respected, but his son is a man I hold in contempt. I can hardly believe that George and I were friends when we were children, but George was different then.
I sometimes wonder how it is that a boy who had every advantage, who was blessed with good looks, easy manners and a good education, and who was the son of such a respectable man, could turn out so badly. When I think of the dissipation he has indulged in since his father's death ...
I am glad I have not heard of him recently. Our business dealings last year wereunpleasant. When he asked me for the presentation of the living my father had intended for him, he resented my refusal to give it to him, although he knew full well that he had relinquished all claims to it, and that his character made him entirely unsuited for the church.
Fortunately, a sum of money settled the matter. I feared he would approach me again when it ran out, but I have finally convinced him that tie will get no more help from me. For the sake of the friendship we once had I have given him much, but I will not help him any more. The only man who can help George Wickham now is himself.
Saturday 6th July
Hargreaves has found a house for Georgiana in Ramsgate, and Georgiana's companion, Mrs Younge, has been to inspect it. She finds it suitable, and so I have taken it. Ramsgate is not too far away, and I will be able to join Georgiana whenever my business allows. I feel sure the sea air will revive her and she will soon be in good spirits again.
Tuesday 10th July
I had not realized how much I would miss my sister. I have grown used to calling on her every day. But she is in good hands, and l am persuaded she will enjoy herself. I dined with Bingley this evening. He is still in town, but he will be travelling north to see his family next week.
'I think, you know, Darcy, that I shall take a house for the winter,' he said after dinner.
'No. In the country. I have a mind to buy an estate. Caroline is always telling me l should have one, and I agree with her. I mean to rent a property first and, it I like it, I will buy it.'
'I think it is an excellent idea. It will stop you racketing all over the country,' I said.
'Exactly what I think. If I had a house half as fine as Pemberley I would not always be going from one place to another. I could invite company to stay with me, instead of travelling the length and breadth of the country to find it,' he returned.
'Where do you mean to look?' I asked him, as I finished my drink.
'Somewhere in the middle of the country. Not too far north, and not too flu south. Caroline recommended Derbyshire, but why should I live in Derbyshire? If I want to visit that part of the country I can stay at Pemberley with you. I have told my agent to look for something in Hertfordshire, or thereabouts. I rely on you to inspect it with me when he finds me something.'
'If you go ahead with it, then I will be glad to.'
'You do not think I will?'
'I think you will change your mind as soon as you see a pretty face, whereupon you will decide to stay in London,' I said with a smile.
'You paint me very fickle,' he said with a laugh. 'I thought you were my friend!'
'And so I am.'
'And yet you think me capable of abandoning my plan? Upon my honour, I will not be so easily dissuaded, and nothing will stop me from taking a house in the country. You will come and visit me?'
'And you must bring Georgiana. How is she? I have not seen her for months. I must take Caroline and visit her.'
'She is not in London at present. I have sent her to Ramsgate for the summer.'
'Very wise. I cannot wait to remove from town myself.'
We parted after dinner. If it was still the Season, I would not hold out much hope of him fixing on a place, whatever he protests. But as London is empty of female company, then I think he may hold true to his course - unless a young lady in the north should happen to catch his fancy, whereupon he will stay at home until Christmas!
Friday 12th July
I had a letter from Georgiana this morning. It is lively and affectionate, and I am pleased I thought of sending her to the seaside. She has arrived safely in Ramsgate and writes of her pleasure at the house:
It is small compared to my London establishment, but it is leery comfortable and it has a pretty view of the sea. Mrs Younge and I are going down to the beach this afternoon as I am eager to make a sketch q[ the coast. I will send it to you when it is finished. Your affectionate sister, Georgiana.
I folded her letter away and I was about to put it in my desk with the others when I happened to notice the handwriting on one of her earlier letters. I took it out so that I could compare the two. She has made a great deal of progress, both in her handwriting and in the style of her letters, over the last few years. However, I confess that I find her earlier letters charming, though the handwriting is poor and the spelling atrocious.
As I reread her earlier letter, I remembered how worried I had been that she would not be happy at the seminary, but I need not have been concerned. She liked her teachers, and made a number of good friends there. I will have to suggest that she invite one of them to stay with her in London over the autumn. If I am to help Bingley find his estate, then a friend will provide some company for Georgiana whilst I am away.
Tuesday 16th July
I rode in the park with Colonel Fitzwilliam this morning. He told me that he had been to Rosings and seen Lady Catherine, and that she had appointed a new rector. For a moment I feared it might be George Wickham, knowing that if he had heard of a wealthy living at Rosings he might have tried to ingratiate himself with my aunt.
'What is the rector's name?' I asked.
I breathed again.
'A heavy young man with the most extraordinary manner,' went on Colonel Fitzwilliam. 'A mixture of servility and conceit. He bobs about praising everything and anything. He talks endlessly but says nothing. He has no opinions of his own, except an idea of his own importance, which is as ludicrous as it is unshakeable. My aunt likes him well enough, however. He performs his duties well and he is useful to her for making up a table at cards.'
'Is he married?'
'I believe it will not be long before he takes a wife.'
'He is betrothed, then?'
'No, but my aunt finds it tedious at Rosings with so few people to entertain her, and I believe she will soon tell him he must marry. A new bride will make a diversion for her, and then she will have someone to ... help,' he said with a wry smile.
'She likes to be of service,' I remarked, returning his look.
'And she is so fortunately placed that other people have little choice but to thank her for her advice,' he added.
We have both had a great deal of advice from Lady Catherine. Most of it has been very good, but all the same I have often been relieved that Rosings is not in Derbyshire, but that it is far away in Kent.
'How is Georgiana?' he asked, as we left the park and began to ride back to my house.
'Very well. I have sent her to Ran>gate for the summer.'
'Good. It is too hot in town for her. It is too hot for anyone,' he said. 'I am going to Brighton next week. It is a pity I will not be able to see her, but next time I am in town I will make sure I visit her. Will you be joining her in Ramsgate?'
'Not yet. I have too much to do.'
'But you will be going to Pemberley?'
'Later in the year, yes.'
'I envy you Pemberley.'
'Then you should marry. It would enable you to buy a place of your own.'
'If I find a suitable heiress, I might consider it, but at the moment I am enjoying the bachelor life.'
With this we parted: he to go to his barracks, and I to return home.
Sunday 28th July
At last my business in town is done, and I am free to visit Georgiana. I mean to go first thing tomorrow, and surprise her.
I had no idea, when I set out For Ramsgate this morning, what lay in store for me. The weather was fair and everything promised an enjoyable day. I arrived at Georgiana's house and I was pleased to find it neat and well cared for. I was announced by the maid, the establishment being too small to allow of a full staff, and found Mrs Younge in the parlour. Springing up at my entrance, she looked at me in consternation.
'Mr Darcy. We did not expect you today.'
'I thought I would surprise my sister. Where is she?'
'She is ... out ... sketching.'
'On her own?' I asked.
'Oh, no, of course not, with her maid.'
'I did not hire you to sit at home whilst my sister goes out with a maid,' I said, displeased.
"I would ordinarily have accompanied her, of course, but I was forced to stay indoors this morning. I was ... indisposed. I ... ate some bad fish ... I was most unwell. Miss Darcy was eager to continue her sketching, however, and the weather being fine I did not like to spoil her enjoyment. She asked if she might take her maid, and I saw no harm in it. Her maid is not a young girl, but a sensible woman who will see that she comes to no harm.'
I was mollified. Mrs Younge did indeed look ill, though at the time I did not know the true cause of her pallor.
'Which way did they go?' I asked. 'I will join her. I can sit with her whilst she sketches, and we can return together.'
She hesitated for a moment before saying: 'They intended to turn right along the shore, so that Miss Darcy could finish a sketch she had already begun.'
'Very well, I will follow them and surprise her.'
I went out into the hall, but at that very same minute I saw Georgiana coming downstairs. I was startled. She was dressed for indoors and showed no signs of having been out sketching. I was about to ask Mrs Younge what she meant by such a Fabrication when Mrs Younge herself spoke.
'Miss Darcy, I thought you had gone out already,' she said. 'Here is your brother come to see you.' Then she added: 'Remember, a little resolution is all that is needed, and you will achieve everything your heart desires.'
I thought her speech odd, but I took it to mean that if Georgiana applied herself she would be able to finish her sketch to her satisfaction. How wrong I was!
'Fitzwilliam,' said Georgiana, growing pale.
She stopped on the stair and did not come down. She looked suddenly very young, and very uncertain. I was alarmed, and thought she was unwell.
'What is it? Are you ill?' I asked. 'The fish - did you eat it, too?'
'Fish?' she asked, bewildered.
'The bad fish Mrs Younge ate. Did you have some as well?'
'Oh, no', she said, twisting her hands.
'You are not well, however,' I said, noticing a sheen of perspiration on her forehead and seeing how white she had become.
I took her hand and led her into the parlour. Mrs Younge was about to follow us when I said to her: 'Fetch the doctor.'
'I don't think -' she began, but I cut her off.
'My sister is unwell. Send for the doctor.'
My tone left her no choice and she departed. I shut the door.
Georgiana had walked over to the window, and was looking paler by the minute.
'Here,' I said, taking a chair over to her and helping her to sit down.
But she immediately sprang up again.
'No, I cannot,' she said unhappily. 'I cannot deceive you, no matter what he says.'
I was startled. 'No matter what he says?' I repeated, at a loss.
She nodded seriously. 'He says that if you know about it you will stop us,' she went on miserably.
'George,' she said, hanging her bead.
'Yes, George Wickham. Mrs Younge and I met him by chance on the seashore. He is holidaying here. We fell into conversation and he told me how much it grieved him that there has been some coolness between you lately. I, too, have been grieved by it. I liked it much better when you were friends. It does not seem right that there should be anything unsettled between you. I was relieved when he told me that it had just been a silly misunderstanding, and that it had all been cleared up, so that there was nothing now to prevent us being comfortable together. He reminded me of the time he sat me on my pony and led me round the yard, and of the time he brought me a pocket full of acorns,' she said with a smile. 'He said it was fortunate that we had met as it meant we could renew our friendship. I said I no longer liked acorns, so he laughed, and said that he would bring me diamonds instead.'
'Did he indeed?' I asked. 'And what did Mrs Younge say to this?'
'She said it was perfectly proper for me to entertain a family friend. I would not have done so otherwise,' said my sister.
'Entertain him?' I asked, feeling more and more alarmed.
'Yes. He has dined here on occasion, and joined us in the day if the weather was wet. He plays chess as well as he ever did, but I am improving and I have beaten him twice.'
There was some animation in her Face as she said this, but she faltered again on seeing my expression.
'I have displeased you.'
'Not at all,' I said, striving for my composure. 'You have done nothing wrong.'
'I did not mean to fall in love with him, really I did not,' she said imploringly. 'I know I am very young, but he told me so many pleasing stories about the future that I came to look on our marriage as a settled thing.'
'Marriage?' I exclaimed in horror.
'He ... he said he loved me, and he reminded me of when I had said I loved him.'
'When did you say so?' I demanded.
'When I fell off the gate in the courtyard and he picked me up.'
'But you were seven years old!'
'Of course, it was just a childish thing to say at the time, but the more I saw of him here, the more I became convinced I was in love with him in earnest. Only I did not like to think of deceiving you. I wanted everything to be open. I told him he must ask you for my hand in the ordinary way, but he said you would not let us marry until I was eighteen, and that it would be a waste of three precious years of our life together. He said we should elope, and then send you a letter from the Lake District afterwards.'
'And did you agree to this?' I asked, stricken.
Her voice dropped.
'I thought it sounded like an adventure. But now that I see you, and know how much it grieves you, it does not seem to be like an adventure at all.'
'It is not. It is trickery of the basest kind. He has made love to you in order to gain your fortune, and in order to hurt me! To persuade you to forget friends and flintily and run away with him to your utter ruin is monstrous!'
'No!' she exclaimed. 'It is not so. He loves me.'
I saw the fear in her eyes and I did not want to go on. For her to learn that the rogue had never loved her must hurt her. But I could not let her continue under such a misapprehension.
Excerpted from Mr. Darcy's Diary by AMANDA GRANGE Copyright © 2007 by Amanda Grange. Excerpted by permission.
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