‘Pride and Prejudice without Zombies’: Elizabeth & Darcy: The Iconic Romantic Couple

Gentle Readers: in celebration of the ‘Pride and Prejudice without Zombies’ event over the next month, I have asked several of my fellow Jane Austen bloggers to share their knowledge and interest in Austen’s most popular novel. Today, please welcome guest blogger Jane Odiwe from Jane Austen Sequels blog and author of Lydia Bennet’s Story and Willoughby’s Return who shares with us her extensive knowledge of Austen’s memorable characterizations of her hero and heroine, Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet. Watch for Jane’s new Pride and Prejudice sequel Mr. Darcy’s Secret* to be released in February 2011 by Sourcebooks.

Thank you Laurel Ann for asking me to guest blog today!

Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy are perhaps Jane Austen’s most beloved characters. Pride and Prejudice was written more than two hundred years ago, yet these characters remain as fresh and irresistibly fascinating to us as they were for the first generations that read their tale, and remain the standard by which all other characters in a love story are judged.

So, why do we love them so much? Jane Austen tells their story through Elizabeth’s eyes so it’s easy to identify with this heroine who is lively, witty, and loveable as much for her faults as for her charms. We identify with her because we feel she is like us. She is capable of making mistakes, but having realised her errors, she changes and grows as a result. We see her character develop as the story enfolds.

The first time we really meet Elizabeth it is at the Meryton Assembly where the proud Mr Darcy is also in attendance with his affable friend Mr Bingley. There is a lack of gentlemen at the ball, and Lizzy has to sit out for two dances. Mr Darcy is seen to be behaving in a particularly disagreeable manner. He only dances with Mr Bingley’s sisters and ignores everyone else in the room. Everyone has heard that he is a rich landowner, but his wealth and power coupled with his anti-social manners only serve to make him appear arrogant. He doesn’t seem to care that his words may be overheard or that his speech is insulting. In fact, he is almost goading Elizabeth whom he has heard described as a pretty girl. He actually makes sure that Lizzy is looking at him before he speaks. It’s almost as if he wants her to hear, and make her aware that he can attract, and have any woman in the room.

“She is tolerable; but not handsome enough to tempt me; and I am in no humour at present to give consequence to young ladies who are slighted by other men.”

It’s a real put down, and as an unsurprising consequence, she dislikes him instantly!

Continue reading at Jane Austen Sequels

Further reading

Upcoming event posts

Day 22   July 24   Swag winners announced

*Mr. Darcy’s Secret, by Jane Odiwe: After capturing the heart of one of the richest man in England, Elizabeth Darcy believes her happiness is complete until mysterious affairs involving Mr Darcy’s past, and concerns over his sister Georgiana’s own troubled path to happiness present Elizabeth with fresh challenges to test her integrity, honour, and sweet nature as she fights her old fears and feelings of pride and prejudice. However, nothing can daunt our sparkling and witty heroine or dim her sense of fun as Elizabeth and the powerful, compelling figure of Mr Darcy take centre stage in this romantic tale set against the dramatic backdrops of Regency Derbyshire and the Lakes amongst the characters we love so well. (beautiful watercolor illustration of Darcy and Lizzy above is by ©Jane Odiwe as well!)

8 thoughts on “‘Pride and Prejudice without Zombies’: Elizabeth & Darcy: The Iconic Romantic Couple

  1. Lovely write-up of Lizzie and Darcy,Jane, and a great salute to the novel over all here. Thank you,Laurel, for doing all of this-it’s been wonderful to reexamine P&P this way!

    Also,I was inspired to write about the post modern pop culture versions of Elizabeth and Darcy we’ve been seeing lately,thanks to today’s post(and I added in linkage to both sites,of course!)-hope you don’t mind my small amount of coat tail riding:

    http://livingreadgirl.blogspot.com/2010/07/some-of-our-favorite-pop-culture.html

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  2. What a great summation of Pride and Prejudice’s beloved couple! A perfect way to end this enjoyable group read. Thanks, again, Laurel Ann, for hosting a fabulous event. =)

    By the way, where did the watercolor illustrations for this particular post come from? They are very lovely!

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    • You are most welcome Joanna. I so enjoyed your comments. The watercolor illustration is by Jane Odiwe herself! So talented and accomplished, even Mr. Darcy would call her one of the six accomplished women of his acquaintance.

      Cheers, LA

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  3. Thank you Jane for a wonderful conclusion to our Pride and Prejudice without Zombies event. Elizabeth and Darcy are undoubtedly the most fascinating and famous couple in literature. Their influence is everywhere and your analysis is so perceptive and endearing. Can’t wait for your new book!

    Thanks again, LA

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  4. Thank you, Laurel Ann, for inviting me – I really enjoyed writing about Lizzy and Darcy, and it’s always a pleasure to visit your inspiring blog.
    Thank you Lady T and RegencyRomantic for your very kind comments – isn’t it wonderful to be able to share and discuss such a wonderful book?!

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  5. Thank you, Laurel Ann, for all your hard work in making “P&P w/o Zombies” so much fun. I also appreciate the few extra days which I used to catch up and not miss out on the drawings.

    Thanks to all the guest bloggers all of whom I follow on either Facebook and/or Twitter (I’m @BettyEllis). All of your indepth articles added a wonderful richness to the overall experience.

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  6. Sounds good! But please, someone tell me darcy’s secret isn’t the fact he’s a vampire, and only then I’m running to grab this book.=)

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