Thursday, August 6, 2009
Book review--The Private Diary of Mr. Darcy by Maya Slater
For those of us who love Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, this book is an excellent companion piece to that wonderful novel. This is Pride and Prejudice told entirely from Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy's point of view--written entirely in diary form. I liked this book because it gives more insight in to the character of Darcy...his inner turmoils and doubts. In his diary, he wears his heart on his sleeve and we are shown an even more caring character than we find in Pride and Prejudice and, therefore, a more suitable match for Miss. Elizabeth Bennett. We also are treated to a look at Mr. Darcy's friendship with the illustrious Lord Byron. Darcy's propriety and genuine character contrast nicely with Byron's debauchery, although Darcy is far from being of complete innocence--he is a single man after all. I found the addition of Lord Byron to the story very clever as it gives Mr. Darcy a place, so to speak, in the historical world. Some may be shocked by some of Mr. Darcy's actions in the book, but I find it refreshing as it seems an accurate portrayal of a well-to-do bachelor of the time period. What I do find ironic is the fact that the Bennett sisters are considered "unsuitable" for a high-born marriage because of their lower status in society and yet a wealthy bachelor could visit houses of ill repute, etc. and not fear for a lowering of his reputation. I guess it was certainly a man's world back then! In all, The Private Diary of Mr. Darcy is an excellent read. Ms. Slater has produced a novel that is smart and provocative. Austen enthusiasts should consider reading this, especially after reading the original Pride and Prejudice again.