Please join us today in welcoming authors Amanda Grange and Jacqueline Webb on their blog tour of Pride and Pyramids, a new Austenesque sequel to Pride and Prejudice that takes Elizabeth, Darcy and their family to Egypt. Leave a comment to enter a chance to win one of three copies of the book available.
Welcome Amanda and Jacqueline…
Amanda: I’d long wanted to write a sequel to Pride and Prejudice, but there were already a lot of sequels available and I didn’t want to repeat the usual story of Elizabeth and Darcy settling down at Pemberley. I didn’t want to write about the Darcys having marital problems either, since I firmly believe they live happily ever after, but a book needs incident in order to make it interesting, which created a dilemma. Then one day I was emailing Jackie, whose first book was set in Egypt, and something clicked, because it reminded me that Egyptology was a huge craze in the Regency era. The wealthy young men of the eighteenth century often extended their Grand Tour of Europe to include Greece, Turkey and Egypt, and interest was heightened in 1799 – when Jane Austen was writing Pride and Prejudice – because of the discovery of the Rosetta Stone. The Stone was brought to England and it was displayed in the British Museum from 1802 onwards. Interest continued to grow and Belzoni’s account of his adventures in Egypt, in 1815, (which was very useful for our research!) added more fuel to the fire. So it seemed a perfect setting for a sequel which would be new and fresh, but at the same time accurate for the period. I was very excited by the idea and suggested we write it together because Jackie had researched Egypt intensively for her previous book and had all the relevant research books at her fingertips.
Jacqueline: When Amanda suggested we collaborate on a Jane Austen sequel I was delighted. My first book The Scarlet Queen is based in Egypt about a young woman searching for an elusive cache of treasure in the Valley of the Kings, so I had already done a lot of research around this topic. My novel was set in the Edwardian era, about a hundred after Pride and Prejudice, but Egypt had been popular with the Europeans since Georgian times. Elizabeth, Darcy and their growing family were well-off and had enough leisure time to make the journey seem plausible and it was the kind of thing wealthy Europeans would do, although it would have been adventurous. However that aspect fit in well with the characters of Elizabeth and Darcy and allowed us to imagine them in a whole new environment, as well as meeting up with some old faces.
Amanda: Yes, we wanted to include some of the minor characters from Pride and Prejudice in Pride and Pyramids, as well as introducing some new ones. As the book starts in London, then moves to Pemberley, before heading off to Egypt, we get a chance to catch up with Jane and Bingley. Then Lizzy and Darcy find they see rather more of Mrs Bennet than they intended! They have six lively children by this time, as the book is set fifteen years after their marriage. They’re still recognisably the characters from Pride and Prejudice, but we see them in their role of parents as well as in their interludes as a couple. And, of course, there are tombs and pyramids and an eerie little doll, which causes quite a bit of trouble! It was a lot of fun to write and I hope Pride and Pyramids will be just as much fun to read. It’s Elizabeth and Darcy as you’ve never seen them before!
Amanda Grange was born in Yorkshire, England, and spent her teenage years reading Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer whilst also finding time to study music at Nottingham University. She has had over twenty novels published including six Jane Austen retellings, which look at events from the heroes’ points of view. Woman said of Mr Darcy’s Diary: “Lots of fun, this is the tale behind the alpha male,” whilst The Washington Post called Mr Knightley’s Diary “affectionate”. The Historical Novels Review made Captain Wentworth’s Diary an Editors’ Choice, remarking, “Amanda Grange has hit upon a winning formula.” Austenblog declared that Colonel Brandon’s Diary was “the best book yet in her series of heroes’ diaries.”
Amanda Grange now lives in Cheshire, England. You can find out more by visiting her website Amanda Grange. You can also find her on Facebook as Amanda Grange Author.
Jacqueline Webb lives on the Wirral, which is near to Liverpool, England, with her husband, two sons, two cats and one dog. She is a teacher of French and English and she has had two historical romances published by Robert Hale – The Scarlet Queen and Dragonsheart. She has also just had a paranormal romance e-book published by Lyrical Press Sophronia and the Vampire, under the name Jacqueline Farrell. She has always enjoyed writing but didn’t get really serious about it until she was in her early forties. Her sons were very small and she was working part-time and feeling as though she was just rushing from work to babies without any time doing something she enjoyed. So she joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association and submitted a novel to their New Writers Scheme. Although she didn’t get anywhere with that submission she was given some great advice and wrote another novel which did get published.
Giveaway chance for Pride and Pyramids
Enter a chance to win one of three copies of Pride and Pyramids by asking either author about their research and writing experience, or, which of Jane Austen’s original characters from Pride and Prejudice you would like to fall victim to the mummy’s curse by midnight PT, Wednesday, July 11, 2012. Winners to be announced on Thursday, July 12, 2012. Print edition shipment to US and Canadian addresses only. Ebook edition internationally. Good luck!
Pride and Pyramids, by Amanda Grange and Jacqueline Webb
Trade paperback (320) pages
© 2012 Amanda Grange & Jacqueline Webb, Austenprose
I am very excited to read this new book about the Darcy’s! I am a big Jane Austen fan, and so is my Egyptian fiance!
In regards to the writing process:
Why did you chose to set it 15 years after they have been married when they have 6 children? What did you do to learn more about Egypt, reading about the British Empire there at the time, going to museums, or visiting Egypt? Also, how did/did you address the subject of religion. Christianity, of course is very important based on Lizzy upbringing, but there are few churches in Egypt and even fewer that were/are not Coptic. Most of the non-British upper class is/was Muslim, how did that affect the Darcy’s?
I love reading new takes on P&P! This one sounds terribly interesting, and I look forward to getting my hands on it, one way or another. How did you two go about with your research? I can only imagine that it would have been a two-fold challenge, researching Regency mannerisms as well as period Egypt. But rewarding, I’m sure! Were you able to split the responsibility down the middle, or did one of you focus on certain aspects while the other looked into the rest? So many questions to ask, but I’ll stick with those :D
This book sounds really intriguing and fun! I love the unique premise and I always love to hear more about the Darcy children. I’ve always been interested in religions and cultures, so I’m interested in the Darcys’ views and how they will explain/discuss these differences with their young children. As for the mummy’s curse, it’s hard to say, since I don’t know how everyone turns out in this story but Wickham is usually a deserving recipient, right?
Thanks for the giveaway!
This book sounds fascinating and what a unique setting— Lizzie and Mr Darcy in Egypt! I am so intrigued! I’d love to be entered to win!~
Love the idea of taking the Darcy
family to Egypt! I look forward to
I like that one of the reasons Amanda chose this plot was that she did not want to write a sequel about the Darcys having marital trouble. I knew that there was a great interest in Egypt during the regency, but I don’t know much about nineteenth century Egypt. This one sounds fascinating.
This looks like a fun P&P version! I love Amanda’s other books so I am really looking forward to this one! Thanks for the giveaway!
I had watched a film that showed some of the generic history of things during the regency period and cultures that had a lot of interest. I think this is a fascinating way to come up with a plot. I also like that it’s not just a general sequel as there are alot out there. I like amanda’s other books as well. I’d love to read this.
This looks like a really interesting read – looking forwards to it!
As for questions… in this sequel to P&P, do you try to mimic Jane’s style of writing, or keep to a more modern grammar?
Hi, and thanks for all the great comments! Jillian, one of the things that has always interested me about the Darcys’ future is their family and I could see trouble brewing because they were educated in different ways, with Darcy (and Georgiana) being sent away to school, and Lizzy being educated at home. So I wanted to see how they would handle the inevitable problems and who would win the day. Setting the book fifteen years later allowed for older children as well as younger ones, and that interested me. As for religion, we didn’t really touch on it. This wasn’t by design, it just didn’t seem to appear on the page.
As for learning more about Egypt, extermiteach, that was a whole variety of things including watching documentares, visiting the British Museum and reading relevant reference books, buit my favourite form of research was – as always – reading a lot of books written at the time. I think this form of research captures outlooks and attitudes very well, and includes a lot of small details which are useful to a novelist but missing from other forms of research. My favourite book was probably Travels in Egypt and Nubia by Giovanni Battista Belzoni.
As for mimicking Austen’s style, we wrote the book in a style that would be compatible with the Regency, rather than deliberately mimicking the longer sentences, language etc. There’s nothing in the book that will jar, but at the same time, I think it’s more accessible to the general reader than a genuinely Regency style.
Uhhhh Caroline Bingley for one mummy’s curse please.
What interesting stretch of imagination; well done to the authors for going beyond the tranquil comforts of shaded country houses and instead tossing that pair into new adventures!
To the authors:
* A point of interest…
Did you feel the characters blindly followed where your pen would have them, or did you occasionally face downright mutiny and stubborn reluctance, forcing you to change directions in your plot? After all, these are personalities drawn and quite set in their ways these 200 odd years since initial conception.
* And a bit of a puzzle…
Aside from the obvious ease of identification with it’s mothertale, was there any other reason for naming it Pride & Pryamids? Certainly sounds jolly enough, but was that all? One would have thought that after 15 years, any undue pride (or prejudice as well for that matter) had been overcome. Or does the pride in this version stretch to cover other areas?
***Nb. I did not mean to thus enter the draw, mind you. There are more deserving on which such chance should settle.
* …and that above should be “its” of course. I find that my fingers often have minds of their own…
I never realized the finding of the Rosetta Stone was around Jane Austen’s time. I wonder if your research at the British Museum allowed you access to Egyptian artifacts not usually available to the public? They must have a large catalog of items stored due to space limitations.
As for the mummy’s curse…Mr Collins?
Thanks for all the interest. We split the writing fairly equally, by writing a chapter each more or less and then sending it backwards and forwards. Mandy is the real Jane Austen expert, having written so many great booka round the subject. I had written a book set in Edwardian times in Egypt so I had already done a lot of research for that area. Of course Napoleon had really opened Egypt up to the rest of Europe with his 1798 campaign and what, for me, made the book so interesting to write about was that it was still fresh and exciting for Europeans at that time. I added the spooky element as I can never resist a touch of the supernatural!
First, thank you for your give-away promotion. How do you harmonize your egos when writing a collaboration? I couldn’t think of anything more difficult because writing a work of fiction is so intensely personal.
I’m curious as to how the Darcy children take after their mother and father because Darcy and Elizabeth have such divergent yet complimentary personalities.
As for the mummy’s curse, wouldn’t it be delightful if Mr. Collins could be cursed with common sense?? Imagine that….
I think it’s a wonderful coincidence that I read and am responding to this while watching “Pride and Prejudice” on TCM! Hopefully it’s prophetic as well, as I’d love to win and read this book. I’m also curious as to how two people can combine and create a book. Is it as easy as one writes one chapter and the other the next chapter, or do you split it up by characters?
This sounds like an intriguing book and one I’d love to read. I, too, am curious as to how two authors worked together. I’d like to hear your comments on that question. Send Wickham, Caroline, or Collins in for the mummy’s curse!
Oh wow! I love Egypt and Ive never heard of a P&P adaptation set there! Egyptology has always fascinated me. Thanks fornthe giveaway opportunity! =D This book sounds like a must read ^_^
What great ideas for curses! Caroline Bingley? Surely she’s already been cursed! No one could be so snooty without paranormal help.
Theresa, I didn’t have access to anything special, I’m afraid, in fact I never thought to ask, there are so many treasures on display anyway, and my imagination is so overactive that I only have to see one item to have a hundred ideas bubbling away,
Jeffrey, that’s so interesting, your comment about ego took me right back to my first book. I couldn’t bear the thought of anyone altering it, I didn’t even like my editor making suggestions, it was my precious novel and I couldn’t bear the thought of altering a single word. Now, 20+ books later, I love having someone to write with, I’m excited by other ideas and I’m not nearly so territorial as I was. As for Mr Collins being cursed with common sense, the mind boggles. Lady Catherine wouldn’t know what to make of it, that’s for sure. What would she do without all that toadying? Probably die of shock!
As for writing together, it was surprisingly easy, but I think that was because we have fairly similar styles and we liked each other’s ideas. I wrote a bit then sent it off to Jackie, who continued the story then sent it back, and so it went on. Of course, it needed more editing than usual as we smoothed out the differences in style, but now I can’t always tell which one of us wrote which bit. I can sometimes remember, but sometimes I read a passage two or three times and think, Did I write that, or was it Jackie?
Glad everyone’s excited by the idea of the Darcys and Egypt, I was seized with enthusiasm writing the book. Jackie will be along later to chat.
The Darcys in Egypt? This is so original and the premise is interesting enough.
I hope Lady Catherine falls victim to the mummies’ curse because she has no right to criticise other people so let her taste her own medicine for once. But then again I don’t know whether she’s still living because 15 years has passed when this novel is set.
Wow, this is such a great idea for a book! My only questions are, whose idea was it to bring the characters to Egypt, and how did you reconcile that to the time period as well as the characters? Thanks for doing the interview and giveaway–I can’t wait to read it! :)
Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy!
I would also like to know what research you did in regard to museums and if you were able to go to Egypt. Also, were you able to visit Highclere Castle or did you study much about Lord Carnarvon?
I agree with Jeffrey that Mr. Collins should absolutely be the one cursed!
This sounds more interesting that I had initially thought. Please enter me in the give away. Mr. Collins, Wickham or Lydia need to be cursed.
I read and liked Pride and Pyramids. The Darcys in Egypt are really an unexpected, totally new take on Austen P&P. Mystery and exotic elements added to a lovely Austenesque romance, a delightful blend. :-)
Congratulations to Amanda Grange and Jacqueline Webb.
My review is up on my blog
I would love to read this book. The mummy’s curse? How about Mary? She needs something interesting to happen to her.
I would love to have a copy of this wonderful book.
Sounds like a fun read!
I’d have to vote for George Wickham to fall victim to the mummy’s curse. Or Henry Crawford.
I know Henry Crawford in not in P&P, Just would like to see him get his due. :)
How is researching egyptian history and culture different from researching other s history and culture???
I see some of my questions have been asked so I’ll just say this sounds awesome. I love Egyptology and paring it with the Darcys and their children just sounds like a very fun read.
Thanks for sharing!
Sounds fascinating! I would like Caroline to get the mummy’s curse.
I think this concept is fascinating … and just love that fact that two of my favourite themes – P&P and Egypt – are combined! Can’t wait to read it. I will be off in search of your first book Jacqueline too! Ever since I studied Egypt at high school I longed to go. So my question is to Jacqueline … how many times have you been to Egypt and what was your favourite place? Mine was Luxor …. lt was like stepping back in time!
ps. I would love to be entered into the ebook international edition please.
Hi Mr Rochester, does Jane know you’re here? As I suspect you know, because I’m sure you didn’t always do what Charlotte wanted you to – you seem like a very rebellious character to me – characters sometimes want to do their own thing. Mrs Bennet certainly wanted to do her own thing and refused to be left behind. As for the title, the publishers came up with it. That was a first to me, as I’ve named all my other books until now, but I loved the title so I was happy with it.
Katie, it was a joint idea really to take the characters to Egypt, the sort of magic that can happen when you’re sparking ideas off someone else. Luckily, it was easy to reconcile it to the time period because the wealthy classes in Regency England were fascinated by Egypt and often went there as a part of their extended Grand Tour. I’ve been talking about it in more detail on my Facebook page.
Jennifer, no, I didn’t go to Egypt, it can actually be distracting to go to places today when I’m writing about the past as things can creep in that don’t belong there. I did research Lord Carnarvon, and in fact the little scene with the false door comes from his experiences.
Trish and Felicia, I think your ideas of cursing Mary and Henry Crawford can be combined, we will curse them to marry each other!
Patricia, researching Egyptian history isn’t really very different to researching other historical periods. It involves a lot of time spent with books and photographs, and a lot of time reading contemporary documents, looking for the nuggest of information that will make the book accurate and provide illuminating glimpses of the past, without overhwelming the novel with facts.
Oh, this sounds like a great summer read. I never imagined that the Darcy’s would head out on an Egyptian adventure, so I can’t wait to get my hands on it. And it looks like others are fascinated by the subject in reading all of the comments. Most of my questions have been answered. So I’ll give a go at the mummy’s curse – Wickham, Mr. Collins, and Lady Catherine. Not just one, but all three. They need to be “troubled” by something that can’t be ignored. How delicious that would be!
My question is how common was it for families to take a big trip like this during this time period? I always thought the grand tour was for the youg adults finished with their education but not quite ready to settle down. It will be interesting to see how you have the Darcys handle travel as a family with young children.
Why hillo there Ms Grange,
Would but Janet know my whereabouts!
As for characters… Oh, I was anyting but a gentleman in that respect (and many others, come to think of it). But that genial little writer had her way with me in the end. No better hand for such a licentious nature as mine.
Aside from your answer, I must thank you for the immense amounts of advice shared on your own Page. Alllot of useful information on the subject of characters, plot, pace and developement. An enlightening read.
Best of luck with Pride and Pyramids!
I think Wickham should fall victim to the curse. I’d love to win a copy because I like books set in Egypt, especially historical ones. I’ve read all the Amelia Peabody mysteries by Elizabeth Peters. That’s what got me interested in Egyptian stories.
Amanda, I’ve read quite a few of your Austen sequels and enjoyed them. I still have a couple to read.
Quite a few years ago I went to an Egyptian exhibition at the Toledo (Ohio) Museum of Art which featured artifacts from the British Museum. I remember there was a HUGE lion that had been inscribed to someone (King Tut, I think). When you see something that heavy you wonder how they move it.
I remember hearing that they used to have mummy unwrappings in the 1800’s and sometimes mummies were ground up and put into medicines or tonics.
Jacqueline, have you ever been to Egypt?
This sounds like a great read; I’d love to win a copy.
Lynn, Lady Catherine has already been cursed because Elizabeth now pollutes the shades of Pemberley. As for Wickham and Mr Collins, I curse them to spend an evening in each other’s company!
Sally, it wasn’t common for families to take the tour, although it wasn’t unheard of. As you say, it was generally taken by young men who needed something to do after finishing university. It was seen as educational but it was also seen as expedient at times – a wild young man could be wild abroad without embarassing his family. But the Darcys have never been conventional so Jackie and I thought we would have them do something unconventional in their sequel.
Glad you enjoyed the writing tips, Mr Rochester. Does this mean you’re going to follow in Ms Bronte’s footsteps and write a novel of your own?
Michelle, if you like Amelia Peabody, I think you’ll like Pride and Pyramids. I know what you mean about the artefacts, many of them are huge and very heavy. I’ve been chatting about them on my facebook page (AmandaGrangeAuthor), also about some other historiical points to do with Egypt and the Regency.
LOL Amanda! Wickham and Mr. Collins stuck in a room together for eternity? What a delicious notion. ;-)
I just wanted to drop by and thank everyone for their comments and thank Laurel Ann for hosting us, it was fun :)
I am so excited about this book. I have always been fascinated by Egyptology. Now I can combine it with another favorite, Jane Austen!
Hello again – sorry to be so late in replying. I have never been to Egypt, I just always loved the idea of going there. When I was young one of the first Victoria Holt books I read was set in Victorian England and Egypt and she made the place so glamorous and exotic I was transported. I think it helped that I read it during a cold wet rainy summer, so the idea of somewhere hot was very enticing. The idea of going into dark, mysterious tunnels and discovering untold treasures has always fired my imagination as well, and adding a supernatural element is a sure fire way to get me to want to read a novel.
I agree with Amanda that the idea of writing a book in conjunction with someone else would have seemed weird and uncomfortable when I first started writing. – you do tend to think of them as your babies and the idea of allowing someone else to take over is unthinkable. But having someone else to bounce ideas off is actually very liberating and I always looked forward to reading Amanda’s segments. In fact it was almost like having the best of both worlds in that I got to write a book and yet read it as a reader for the first time as well – if that makes sense!
This sounds like sooo much fun!! I can’t think of any other question that hasn’t already been asked and answered… I agree ROFL Mr. Collins and Mr. Wickham stuck in a room together for eternity! Thanks for the opportunity to win~~
Very much looking forward to the Darcy adventures in Egypt.
I’ve been out of town — fabulous scenery but miserable WiFi service in the Yellowstone area! — and am working to get caught up. Collaborative writing is a tricky business, but it looks like you have pulled it off. :)
As to which Austen character should get it, Wickham gets my vote. But a novel should never be too predictable … so what if (gasp) Elizabeth is the one to be haunted? Which is kind of what would happen if Wickham came along with the family to Egypt!
This sounds like a fun read.
Let’s give the mummy’s curse to Mrs. Bennet. Maybe it’ll cure her nerves!
Fun idea for a story, I look forward to it.
I vote for Lady Catherine!
Thanks for the giveaway. The book sounds intriguing.
Hmm, mummy’s curse??? Ooh the possibilities, I would vote for Lady Cat, but 15 years later, hopefully she would finally be giving everyone some peace from her eternal slumber.
I have to agree with everyone else, the story being set in Egypt is fun and an interesting change from the normal JAFF. Looking forward to reading!
Love the original setting for the most beloved characters in literature! Wondered if the two of you have considered future collaborations? It would seem that together, you could bring a new generation of readers into the fold of those who love the Darcys and can never get enough.
Thanks so much for the giveaway.