An Assembly Such as This by Pamela Aidan

This is the first book of a trilogy in which Pamela Aidan retells the story of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.  The original book follows the point of view of Elizabeth Bennet;  in contrast, Aidan takes us into the mind of Mr. Darcy, illuminating how he gradually began to love the woman he once considered beneath his notice.
Though Aidan’s book elaborates on Austen’s novel, she does so without contradicting anything of the original story.  The action seems entirely logical and consistent with the characters Jane Austen delineates.  Not only is Aidan steeped in the novel, she is also clearly influenced by the well-known BBC production starring Colin Firth.  In an interview reproduced at the end of the book, she admits that Firth’s portrayal of Mr. Darcy’s change of heart helped her to understand how it might have happened within the events of the original novel.
Aidan takes three books to get through the action of Pride and Prejudice, which may seem a bit drawn out, but she does send Darcy on several adventures  during times when he is away from Elizabeth.  Darcy compares his other acquaintances with his memories of Elizabeth and gradually comes to see how she might fit into his life.  Aidan introduces us to several new characters:  Darcy’s mysterious friend Lord Dyfed Brougham and also Darcy’s charming and hilarious butler, Fletcher.  We also learn more of other characters, such as his sister Georgiana, who are only briefly sketched in the original.
All in all, this is an intriguing journey through possibilities merely hinted at in Austen.  Aidan does not contradict the original but rather embellishes it in interesting ways.  So relax, Austen fans, and just enjoy the fun!

Find a copy of this book in our catalog.


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