From the desk of Christina Boyd:
A campy, madcap adventure story, Mr. Darcy’s Great Escape is Marsha Altman’s third book, in her Pride and Prejudice Continues series. The year is 1812, seven years after Elizabeth Bennet and her devoted sister Jane married Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley respectively, and the families are all returning to Longbourn for the wedding of Kitty Bennet, daughter number four. Within the first 100 pages, Elizabeth Darcy finds herself immersed in the intrigues of the Napoleonic War as she races across the continent to the rescue of Mr. Darcy, who has become imprisoned in a medieval cell in Transylvania! Unbelievable? Quite, but hang on . . . there’s more.
Licentiously diverting is Altman’s treatment of her own original character’s as well as Jane Austen’s canon characters. Altman’s Mr. Darcy was half brother to George Wickham who he apparently killed in a duel in Book 2, The Plight of the Darcy Brothers: A Tale of the Darcy’s and the Bingley’s. And, Darcy’s other illegitimate brother Gregoire, by his father’s dalliance with his mother’s French maid, is now a monk in Austria and favors prominently in this bold undertaking. Mary Bennet is now the mistress of Longbourn, although having been compromised while on tour of the Continent. (also in Book 2) Oh, and there is also an utterly convoluted entail of Rosings that deems Darcy as heir apparent, regardless of the fact that Anne is now married to Colonel Fitzwilliam. And, if that is not enough action there is also an insane Oriental assassin en route to Pemberley. This is all cleverly forged to create an eyebrow raising, humorous, 486 page saga.
Wild? Far-fetched? Contrived? Yes, to all. But Marsha Altman bravely undertakes this continuation of Pride and Prejudice and makes it entirely her own. Although inspired by Jane Austen’s masterpiece, little if any of Austen’s original is obvious in this series. However, that’s not to say that readers won’t enjoy this fun romp. In the same vein as the British ITV series “Lost in Austen,” those that want more of the Darcy’s and the Bingley’s might find this wicked tale a satisfying joke. “I can hardly write for laughing.”
3 out of 5 Stars
Mr. Darcy’s Great Escape: A Tale of the Darcy’s & the Bingley’s by Marsha Altman
Sourcebooks, Naperville, IL (2010)
Trade paperback (496) pages
Cover image courtesy of Sourcebooks © 2010; text Christina Boyd © 2010, Austenprose.com
hey, did you see, that the title on the pic of the book says ‘bigley’s’ instead of ‘bingley’s’ ?
I agree with you. It is a fun romp with many twists and turns, but “pure JA” it is not. I enjoyed it!
Hi Emmeline, yes! Thanks. You have sharper eyes than the publisher and myself. It has been fixed. ;-)
This book sounds like a lot of fun. Count me in. Mary
The story with the cover is that it was a typo by someone in the art department as far as we know, and – get this – a fan actually caught it on the Amazon site, wrote me, and I contacted Sourcebooks just in time to change it. Big kudos to my reader for taking initiative.
Oh. And don’t enter me in the contest. ;)
Sounds like loads of fun. I love to read all adaptations no matter the twist that they put on the story. I will have to get this one and give it a read.
I haven’t read any Altman yet, and she sounds like alot of fun! Enter me too!
The Calico Critic
CalicoCritic at gmail dot com
Thanks for the comments and interest. Would love for you all to come back here and let me know how you enjoyed it after you’ve read it.
Good review from Christina! This series is totally new to me, but it does sound fun. Not sure about a plot taking us to Transylvania, but I’m willing to give it a try! :) I’ll look for these!
I really enjoyed this one. I like that it’s different from the other Austen sequels I’ve read in the past.