Please join us today in welcoming author Jan Hahn on her book blog tour in celebration of the release of An Arranged Marriage, a new Pride and Prejudice “what if” novel just published by Meryton Press.
Can a marriage of convenience ever lead to true love? Immediately after Elizabeth Bennet refuses Mr. Darcy’s proposal at Hunsford, her father dies, leaving Longbourn entailed away and little fortune to sustain his widow and daughters. Six months later, the Bennet family receives a visitor with a most unusual offer that promises to save the family from financial and social ruin. Elizabeth’s sense of duty forces her to enter into an arranged marriage with a man she does not even like. Told from Elizabeth’s point of view, An Arranged Marriage is a compelling twist on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Can Elizabeth overcome her feelings of anger, resentment, and suspicion toward her new husband and – the most bewildering sensation of all – a growing attraction for the last man in the world she ever wished to marry?
Thank you, Laurel Ann, for inviting me to post a blog at Austenprose for my first novel, An Arranged Marriage. I am delighted to be with you and to share my love for Jane Austen with like-minded friends.
The idea of being forced into a marriage of convenience has always fascinated me. Today, it would seem horrific to imagine a woman spending her life with a man she did not choose, but we know such unions were common in Regency England. If you were Elizabeth Bennet, however, and if the man was tall, handsome, and rich, would that make you more amenable to such an agreement? Elizabeth’s views on love and marriage were way ahead of her time. After all, she dared to challenge convention by refusing two proposals, so what would she choose?
In my story, immediately after Elizabeth refuses Darcy’s proposal at Hunsford, her father dies, leaving Longbourn entailed away and with little money to sustain his widow and daughters. Six months later, the Bennet family receives a visit from a gentleman with a most unusual offer that promises to save the family from financial and social ruin, and Elizabeth is torn between her sense of duty and her dislike of the man, Fitzwilliam Darcy.
What if Elizabeth and Darcy had never met at Pemberley? What if she had thrown aside the letter he composed at Rosings? What if she didn’t know that he had been the means of saving one sister while injuring another? How would she react to a proposed match? And what would ever make her accept Darcy as her husband?
These questions inspired me to write An Arranged Marriage. I spent a great deal of time considering Elizabeth’s dilemma while soaking in a tub of hot water, which for reasons unknown, inspires creativity in me. After toweling off, I slipped my feet into Elizabeth’s shoes and conjured up a story that would thrust Lizzy and Darcy together, even though she believed that he was the last man in the world she could ever marry.
A lady’s maid who Elizabeth begins to suspect is more to Darcy than a servant, a distrustful, repressed Georgiana, intrigue, and even danger intrudes into the Darcys’ new marriage, causing Elizabeth to battle between anger towards her husband and a growing attraction for him.
An Arranged Marriage is written in first person from Elizabeth’s point of view. I found that process both enlightening and frustrating, but I discovered that it suited me. I absolutely love stories set in the early 19th century. I will always be grateful that I wasn’t born into that life, but I find its manners, customs, and fashions utterly romantic. Writing in first person enables me to feel as though I am present at Longbourn, London, and Pemberley—and I’m married to Darcy! It is an escape I treasure, and one I can’t help visiting again and again.
I appreciate all of you who have supported me through the years with your generous encouragement for my stories. I hope you will enjoy owning a copy of An Arranged Marriage.
Jan Hahn left the world of business and plunged into her love for writing. She has created stories since childhood, spending hours entertaining friends with her tales. For years, she has been enlisted by various local organizations to write skits and dramas. Until recently, she recorded, edited, and published oral histories. Currently, she is working with her editor on The Journey, her second novel to be published in the fall. She is blessed to have five children and to have been married to her own Mr. Darcy until his death in 2008. She lives in Texas, but in her heart, she longs to spend a season in Derbyshire. An Arranged Marriage is her debut novel. Visit Jan on Facebook or at Meryton Press
An Arranged Marriage, by Jan Hahn
Meryton Press (2011)
Trade paperback (232) pages
Cover image, book description, guest blog, & author bio courtesy of Meryton Press© 2011, text Laurel Ann Nattress © 2011, Austenprose.com