The Pemberley Chronicles (Pemberley Chronicles #1)

The Pemberley Chronicles (Pemberley Chronicles #1)

by Rebecca Collins


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"Those with a taste for the balance and humour of Austen will find a worthy companion volume."-Book News

The weddings are over.

The guests (including millions of readers and viewers) wish the two happy couples health and happiness. As the music swells and the credits roll, two things are certain: Jane and Bingley will want for nothing, while Elizabeth and Darcy are to be the happiest couple in the world!

The couples' personal stories of love, marriage, money, and children are woven together with the threads of social and political history of nineteenth century England. As changes in industry and agriculture affect the people of Pemberley and the neighboring countryside, the Darcys strive to be progressive and forward-looking while upholding beloved traditions.

Rebecca Ann Collins follows them in imagination, observing and chronicling their passage through the landscape of their surroundings, noting how they cope with change, triumph, and tragedy in their lives.

"A lovely complementary novel to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Austen would surely give her smile of approval." -Beverly Wong, author of Pride & Prejudice Prudence

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781402211539
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication date: 04/01/2008
Series: Pemberley Chronicles Series , #1
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 371,852
Product dimensions: 9.54(w) x 9.54(h) x 1.08(d)

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. Thoroughly researched and beautifully written, this series has been extremely successful in Australia with over 80,000 books sold.

Read an Excerpt

Excerpt from the Prologue to The Pemberley Chronicles

THE WEDDINGS ARE OVER. There are rose petals everywhere. Jane and Elizabeth Bennet have been married to Mr Bingley and Mr Darcy on a shining Autumn day, and everyone is smiling with the joy of sharing in their happiness.

"They looked more beautiful than princesses," said the little maids, Caroline and Emily Gardiner, who with Kitty Bennet and Georgiana Darcy had assisted the brides.

"Could anyone have looked happier than Lizzie?" asked her aunt. "Not unless you looked across at Jane, who seemed as if she was all lit up like a candle," said Colonel Fitzwilliam. Both bridegrooms looked extremely well. Mr Bingley was the favourite, of course, being universally charming. But even those who had reservations about Mr Darcy, thinking him proud and reserved when he first came to Netherfield, could not deny how well he looked: tall and very handsome, his countenance suffused with delight as he and Elizabeth stepped out into the sunlight.

Sir William Lucas said over and over that we were losing the brightest jewels in the county and Mr Darcy was a real dark horse, because no one had guessed he was in love with Lizzie, whereas everyone knew, he said, from the very first evening they met, that Mr Bingley had lost his heart to Jane. Sir William even claimed credit for the match, having been the first to call on Mr Bingley and invite him and his party to Meryton. He was boasting of his success to Mr and Mrs Gardiner, who knew a good deal more of these matters, being particular friends of both Mr Darcy and Elizabeth, but they just smiled and let him chatter on.

Later, on the way home they would comment that, had he known it was at the reception at Lucas Lodge that Mr Darcy had first noticed Lizzie's beauty and found himself wanting to know her better, Sir William might have become quite impossibly conceited about his role in their marriage, too.

Jane and Charles Bingley are gone to London, where Charles wants to show off his beautiful wife, while Lizzie and Darcy have left for Oxford en route to the estates on the borders of Cheshire and Wales that are part of Darcy's family inheritance. Mrs Gardiner, who helped Lizzie and Jane pack for their journeys, says Lizzie is longing to see Wales, never having visited the area before. They are all to meet in London some six weeks hence to dine with the Gardiners.

The servants gathered up the debris on the lawn, and the guests began to leave. Some of them seemed more reluctant to go than others. Mr Bennet looked as if he would like them to be gone, but Mrs Bennet would not stop talking, endlessly, to Mrs Long, Aunt Philips, Lady Lucas, and anyone else who would listen, detailing her joy at having her two most beautiful daughters so well married and settled. She was full of news too about Jane and Charles and their journey to London and bemoaned the fact that she knew so little of
Elizabeth and Darcy's plans, except the couple were to be at Pemberley for Christmas. She was still too much in awe of Mr Darcy to ask him outright.

As we were to learn later, while the Bingleys headed for London, Darcy hoped the time and the environment of the lovely border country would give Lizzie and himself a chance to be alone together as they never could, amidst the bustle of friends and families at Longbourn.

They broke journey and spent their first few days at a very pleasing hostelry outside the university town of Oxford. At Oxford, Darcy, a Cambridge man himself, took his wife to meet an old friend, a clergyman, who had spent some time at the Kympton living in Derbyshire prior to returning to continue his theological studies at Oxford. Dr Francis Grantley was two years Darcy's senior, learned and witty with it, not at all sombre and pompous as some clergymen one could name! "Poor Charlotte," Elizabeth sighed for her friend as she recalled with a shudder the silliness of Mr Collins. Dr Grantley was quite another matter, said Elizabeth in her letter to Mrs Gardiner, written before the couple left Oxford:

I am sure, my dear Aunt, that you would like him very much indeed. He is Mr Darcy's dearest friend and they have known one another for many years, since Dr Grantley was assistant to the curate at Kympton, the picturesque little parish we visited in Derbyshire last Summer. We spent all day with him, visiting some of the wonderful libraries and College Chapels, including his own college, St John's, which has a renowned Chapel choir and delightful gardens. Mr Darcy has invited Dr Grantley to return to the living at Kympton, which is now vacant, during his sabbatical and I for one would welcome it; we could do with another gentleman of education and taste at Pemberley!

Elizabeth was interrupted at this point by her husband, who came in to dress for dinner, having given instructions for their journey to Bristol on the following day. In a touching gesture, he had brought her a rose, picked fresh from the garden, taking her by surprise, as he would do often in the future. Recounting the incident to her aunt, Elizabeth confessed she was more pleasured by these unexpected and spontaneous expressions of affection, than by the ritualised courtliness affected by many men in smart society.

She let him read her letter while she completed her preparations. It was the first time she had let anyone other than Jane see any of her letters, and she was conscious of what it signified between them. That he was pleased with what he read, she knew from his smile as he handed it back to her and the warmth with which he embraced her before they left the room to go to dinner. There would be an openness between them that would enhance the intimacy of their marriage, and she was excited by its rich promise for their future together.

Later that night, Elizabeth rose quietly from bed as her husband slept, and finished her letter to Mrs Gardiner:

You will be happy to learn, dear Aunt, that my dear husband approves of my excellent judgement-not only with regard to my appreciation of Dr Grantley but more especially in my love and esteem for himself-as expressed earlier in my letter; both feelings, he assures me, are returned in full measure. I need not say again how very happy we are, but I almost fear that were I not to say it, you may not know how completely certain I am of the correctness of my decision to marry Mr Darcy. I know my dear father had his doubts, but you, I am sure, did not share them. Indeed, in your letter to me after Lydia's dreadful faux pas, relating the part Mr Darcy played in resolving the problems caused by Wickham and Lydia's stupidity, you were most generous in your praise of him, and had I not already realised that I loved him, I would certainly have been persuaded to look again at this paragon! I am so glad, however that I needed no such persuasion; having come to understand how deeply I cared for him, it was good to have your confirmation of his virtues. Since then, every occasion that we have been together, whether alone or in company, has only served to confirm my good opinion of him. Dear Aunt, he is a most generous and honourable gentleman and as I have discovered since our marriage, a truly loving husband.

Thank you again, my dearest Aunt and Uncle, for your part in bringing us together; for persuading me to visit Pemberley on that beautiful morning. We have spoken often of those Summer days in Derbyshire, and Mr Darcy agrees with me they will forever be part of our most precious memories. He sends you his love and best regards.

Table of Contents


Front Cover,
An Introduction ...,
Prologue to: The Pemberley Chronicles,
Part One,
Chapter One: Reunions,
Chapter Two: ... To make a celebration,
Chapter Three: A seal upon thine heart,
Chapter Four: Letters,
Chapter Five: Relations and friends,
Chapter Six: Family matters,
Chapter Seven: New beginnings,
Chapter Eight: Of heirs and graces,
Chapter Nine: New vistas,
Chapter Ten: By fortune truly blest,
Chapter Eleven: Angry voices and honourable gentlemen,
Chapter Twelve: England's green and pleasant land,
Part Two,
Chapter Thirteen: A marriage of true minds,
Chapter Fourteen: To build Jerusalem,
Chapter Fifteen: Tides of change,
Chapter Sixteen: And time, perchance, to start anew,
Chapter Seventeen: To make the nations free,
Chapter Eighteen: "As steady ships strongly part the waters ...",
Chapter Nineteen: And why has happiness no second Spring?,
Chapter Twenty: The grinding agony of woe ...,
Chapter Twenty-One: No coward soul is mine,
Chapter Twenty-Two: The dower of inward happiness,
An epilogue ...,
About the Author,
Back Cover,

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Pemberley Chronicles 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 74 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I rarely write reviews, but I couldnt help myself. I bought this book with high expectations! I LOVE any continuations to Pride and Prejudice almost as much as I love the original. This book was so repetative I could not read past the first chapter. Every line repeated the preceeding line: they are happy, blissfully and their eyes are glowing and they are smiling and they are happy and their family knows they are happy and Mr.Darcy is happy and they are ALL perfectly HAPPY, we get it....move on!!! The first chapter and prologue just kept reinforcing and reinforcing these few words in different sentence combinations. It got annoying to the point where I had to force myself to finish the first chapter, this is not what a reading experience should be like.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The third reviewer had it spot on. This is a terribly written book and is excruciating to read. Austen's appeal is that she couples wonderful writing with protagonist characters of great sensibility and intellectual poise. Well, the prime characters of this book would never be recognized as a furtherance of characters she conceived, let alone two of her best known characters. Great paragraphs are spent with Lizzie writing to anyone who will listen about her amazement at Mr. Darcy's generosity and kind heart and on her never ending deliberation of her mean-spirited rejection of Darcy's proposal. ... and of her constant happiness and amazement at getting 'one of the most eligible young men of her day'. Elizabeth and Darcy went from being interesting well-developed characters in Pride and Prejudice, to two silly, juvenile soap opera characters. I couldn't finish the book and am going to have to go back and read Pride and Prejudice to get the flavour of this book out of my mind.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As other reviewers have mentioned, the main point of this book seems to be to describe each precious second of happiness between Darcy and Elizabeth. No plot whatsoever, and the writing- partly due to the content- seems like it came from the pages of an overly romantic 14-year-old fanfic writer.
MistiLynn Lokken More than 1 year ago
There is no focused storyline, it is like a diary skimming over a large number of years. Unhappy moments are brief and rare, it seems that everyone is happy, intelligent, successful and madly in love. Except Lydia and Wickham.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just finished this book FINALLY, it took me forever because reading it was PAINFULLY boring. Most of it is just talking about how happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy everyone is with their marriage and how TRAGIC is was for them to ever go through that hard time where Elizabeth thought Darcy to be unbearable.... Also the Author states about 10000000 times "how highly Elizabeth and Darcy esteem the Gardiners." Take those parts out and the book would have been 200 pages shorter. Also the little parts about politics that went nowhere? UGH!!! The author turns Elizabeth from an intellectual young girl into a gossip monger OBSESSED with who is going to marry who, and who's in love with who, and thinks it's her business to insert herself into everyone's love lives. She essentially turns into her mother. Which leaves me disappointed and wondering how the heck this book got published. There was absolutely NO climax until the second to last chapter in which the author creates a tragedy and then kills off a few of Austen's main characters with one sentence and marries about 5 other couples who had little or no part in the story. This I think is a last ditch failed attempt into tempting the reader to read the other books in this series... I for one will NOT be doing that, it would be more painful than young William being thrown off his horse.
xoxkim2000xox More than 1 year ago
As a lover of Pride and Prejudice sequels I bought the first two volumes of the Pemberley Chronicles. It was a very interesting take on a P&P sequel. It included a lot of the historical background of what was going on in Regency England at the time. It took the characters of Pride and Prejudice and added in conflicts of what people in their social and political standings were going through at the time. It was very interesting and as a person who enjoys history I found it very informitave. I would recommend this book more for people who enjoy history and less for those who enjoy Pride and Prejudice.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What can I tell, there is not much I liked, Other then Darcy being a Loving Husband and some humor!! Btn the Political events that it goes ON & ON about, that i had to skip reading a couple pages. The Oh so happy events and good fortune that takes place for friend and family and then as your nearing the end a most tragic event happens for Darcy and Elizabeth!!!!
TomG More than 1 year ago
It is very much in the style of Jane Austen, but with a lot of important events that were going on in England at the time. It is very obvious that Ms.Collins did a lot of research before writing these books. My only dislike was there seems to be far too much perfect happiness. When I was about halfway thru the book I felt that nobody's life can be so perfect and was waiting for something devastating to happen but it just kept going on with perfect days, perfect marriages; however, devastation did come in one of the worst ways for Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy. I would have liked to hear more about Kitty too, for she is barely mentioned after she gets married even though she lives on the grounds of Pemberly with her respectful husband.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked this book, it wasn't overly romantic or graphic, it had Jane Austen like undertones. It makes me want to read the next in the series. It has been hard for me to find a book that is a spin off of Pride and Prejudice that has been so well done. It kept with Jane's temperment and details.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Being a life long fan of Jane Austen myself, I loved this book and its companion -Women of Pemberley,not just because they continued the life stories of my favorite characters, but for the way the author transported me back to that amazing period of history. It has the authentic flavour of life in the Regency and Victorian ages and lets us see Jane Austen's characters mature as members of that community. Indeed, the lives and loves of the second generation of Darcys and Bingleys are even more interesting than the first. I can't wait to read Netherfield Park
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is not a book to be placed on the shelf, but one to be read and enjoyed again and again. Meet the next generation of Darcy¿s, Bingley¿s, Fitzwilliam¿s, and Gardiner¿s in The Pemberley Chronicles. History comes to life through the eyes, ears, and experiences of our favorite Jane Austen characters and some new friends as well. Through ¿the Chronicles,¿ Rebecca Collins brings readers into one of the most socially turbulent times in English history. We are swept up not only in the private lives of the characters as they journey through good times and bad, but also into a vortex of the political unrest and even violence which is beginning to creep onto the pastoral scenes so well-known to Austen fans. We see our friends grow and adapt to meet the challenges of their time. Set against a backdrop of the Industrial Revolution with all of its social impacts, who could have foreseen that our dear friends would show their strength and character through political activism, pamphleteering, and even as suffragists? If you love Jane Austen and her characters¿ If you love your novels peppered with history or subtle social commentary¿ Even if you simply love a really good read¿ pick up Rebecca Collins¿ Pemberley Chronicles. You¿ll be glad you did.
cyderry on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Thanks to Sandy (sjmccreary for point me in the direction of the P&P sequels.)This is the first of the series by Rebecca Ann Collins which takes the Jane Austen characters from Pride & Prejudice (P&P) and continues their story in her own particular way.In Pemberley Chronicles, the reader not only sees how Elizabeth and Darcy's lives advance, we are also shown the lesser characters of P&P and are introduced to the next generation of Darcys, Gardiners, and Bingleys. We see their joys and heartbreaks, successes and failures. This book also tries to include some historical accuracy of the issues in Great Britain of the time.Reading several of the P&P sequels and comparing the writing styles and to an extent the story content, I have to admit that even though I liked this book for what it told and I'll go on in the series, I prefer the Sharon Lathan series more - at this point.
ReadingKnitter01 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
this is readable- fairly interesting plot-writing not as good as jane Austen but who is?
ktleyed on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Dull sequel, not worth all the hype. I read this when the books were still only available directly from the author in Australia. I didn't even bother with the rest of the books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Primarily written in third person, this long listing of who did what, when was not very exciting. I gave up and scimmed to the end after 275 pages.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fun delving into the future of favorite characters
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While reading the first few chapters of this novel, I thought it's a nice little story. I did not think there was any intensity of plot. I felt perhaps there should be a little adrenaline to propel the story. I was wrong. Ms. Collins has achieved weaving an excellent continuation of "Pride and Prejudice" that draws you in, immerses you in the "Chronicles" of the Darceys spanning 25 years. Rich in the history and culture of the period, the story blends well-rounded characters and realistic events that must occur where people embrace a full life. This is a novel of love, happiness, progress, tragedy, strength and evolution. Well written!
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