Cara Bristol: Violet, please tell us a bit about Betrothed to Mr. Darcy.
Violet Bedford: Thank you for inviting me to visit your blog, Cara. Betrothed to Mr. Darcy is a Pride and Prejudice variation that takes place during the few weeks between the time Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy become engaged and when they actually get married. It’s sort of like My Big Fat Regency Wedding.
Cara Bristol: Pride and Prejudice is one of the most beloved novels of all time. What are some of the challenges of writing a variation on such a well-known book?
Violet Bedford: It is a pretty bold move to tinker with Jane Austen’s work. Her writing is extraordinary. As I spent more and more time with the characters she created, I felt a heavy obligation to be true to them, while putting my own spin on their story.
Cara Bristol: I had no idea that Pride and Prejudice Variations existed and in anticipation of this interview I looked around on Amazon at all the different versions available, from erotica to pirates. Why did you choose to write about the betrothal period?
Violet Bedford: Good question! The variety of Pride and Prejudice stories is almost overwhelming. I chose the betrothal period because in the Pride and Prejudice there’s almost no discussion of the wedding or the wedding planning, so I thought I’d fill that gap. In addition, I had questions about Mr. Darcy marrying into a family that included George Wickham (who had attempted to seduce Mr. Darcy’s younger sister) and how that would affect his sister, Georgiana.
Cara Bristol: Anything else you’d like to share?
Violet Bedford: I’m very excited to share this book with readers out there. I had a lot of fun writing it and I hope readers will enjoy it.
Cara Bristol: Let’s play quick five.
If you could vacation anywhere, where would it be? I’d love to go to England and visit some of the locations that might have inspired Jane Austen.
Who is your favorite character from Pride and Prejudice? I’d have to say Mrs. Bennet. I don’t think I’d want to spend much time with her in real life, but she’s so outrageous that writing her character is just too much fun.
Do you have a favorite quote? I’ll share a favorite from Pride and Prejudice. “For what do we live but to make sport for our neighbors and laugh at them in our turn?”
What are you reading right now? Mary Bennet and the Bloomsbury Coven by Beth Deitchman
What’s your favorite food? Cookies
Betrothed to Mr. Darcy Blurb
After a year of misunderstandings, misconceptions and missed opportunities, Miss Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy have finally opened their hearts to each other and will soon be wed.
However, the path to the altar is no smoother than the path to engagement. When the loquacious Mrs. Bennet causes a scene in a London dressmaker’s shop it becomes clear to Lizzy Bennet that she will never be able to rein in her family’s improper and embarrassing behavior.
Although she has learned to live with the humiliation caused by her relatives, particularly her sister Lydia’s elopement with the scurrilous Mr. Wickham, Lizzy realizes the dire consequences of inflicting them upon Mr. Darcy and his vulnerable younger sister, Georgiana.
Mr. Darcy’s words from long ago reverberate in her brain: The situation of your mother’s family, though objectionable, was nothing in comparison of that total want of propriety so frequently, so almost uniformly, betrayed by herself, by your three younger sisters, and occasionally even by your father.
Will Elizabeth’s sense of duty, combined with her profound love for Mr. Darcy, force her to call off the wedding in order to spare him, and his sister, the disgrace of a lifetime association with the Bennet family? Or will love find a way to prevail?
Betrothed to Mr. Darcy Excerpt:
Mr. Darcy wondered that a carriage could take so long to travel a mere three miles, though a man in love is hardly the best judge of time and space when en route to visit his betrothed.
Next to him sat Georgiana, hands clasped in her lap, the picture of ladylike composure. Only those such as himself or his cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliam, who were attuned to the nuances of her gentle personality would notice that though her hands were perfectly poised, the grip was so tight as to turn her delicate knuckles white.
He was proud of his sister. Neither of them relished situations in which they would be expected to converse with people with whom they were not intimately acquainted. He knew meeting any family en masse would be a daunting task for Georgiana and a family such as the Bennets, fraught with unpredictable and often undignified personalities, presented a formidable undertaking indeed.
“Do not be anxious, Georgie. I am sure the Bennets will find you delightful,” he said.
“How could they not?” Mr. Bingley chimed in. “I am very much looking forward to this evening and I am sure that you, Miss Darcy, will find the Bennets a most amiable and agreeable family.”
“I am sure that any family of which Elizabeth is a member will be most pleasing to me,” Miss Darcy said.
Mr. Darcy looked across the carriage first at Bingley and then his cousin Colonel Fitzwilliam, Bingley eager as a Cocker Spaniel, and his cousin circumspect and composed like a Siamese cat. Although Darcy had voiced his concerns about the Bennets, particularly his apprehension of their impact upon his sister, to both gentlemen, by tacit agreement none of them dissuaded Miss Darcy from her hopes.
Mr. Darcy had considered sharing more about the Bennets with his sister, but upon further deliberation had determined it might only increase her anxiety unnecessarily. Furthermore, the idea of speaking aloud the improprieties of his future in-laws caused him no small amount of shame. He hoped, though he had not dared to hope before, that perhaps for one evening the Bennet family might rein in its behavior and his sister might be spared from the experience of Longbourn in full frenzy.
It was a fool’s hope, he knew, but it would hurt Elizabeth horribly if she learned he had forewarned his sister about her family. Elizabeth knew of their improprieties, but to taint his sister’s opinion of them was uncalled for and ungentlemanlike.
The possibility that one of them might mention Wickham remained ever present, but Darcy did not have the heart to alert Georgiana to this possibility. Any reference to the man caused the girl such trauma, he was loath to contribute to her distress. “Did you enjoy your visit with Miss Elizabeth Bennet today, Georgiana?” Colonel Fitzwilliam inquired of his cousin.
“Oh, yes. She is a most agreeable companion and I like her more and more each time I have the privilege of being with her.”
Darcy noted that while speaking of her future sister, Georgiana’s hands began to relax their grip on each other.
“She certainly has the ability to bring out the best in others,” Colonel Fitzwilliam said. “In fact,” he gave Mr. Darcy a mocking look, “I have heard that the most stoic amongst us has been known to smile and even laugh aloud under her charms.”
“My heavens, yes, ” Mr. Bingley said. “He has been so much more tolerable to live with this past fortnight. He was grouchy as a bear and prickly as a porcupine, but the affections of Miss Elizabeth Bennet have changed him, and I, for one, am grateful to her.”
“We all owe Miss Elizabeth Bennet a debt of gratitude,” Colonel Fitzwilliam said, barely containing a laugh at his cousin’s discomfiture. Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy was not a man accustomed to being the object of ribbing, no matter how light-hearted or well-intentioned. Before the subject of this banter could compose an appropriate retort, the carriage mercifully arrived at Longbourn.
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