Please join us today in welcoming Austenesque author Maria Hamilton for the official launch of her book blog tour of Mr. Darcy and the Secret of Becoming a Gentleman, a new Pride and Prejudice variation that was released on May 1, 2011, by Sourcebooks.
Why Mr. Darcy Still Impresses
With my first novel, Mr. Darcy and the Secret of Becoming a Gentleman being published just days after the royal wedding, I can’t help but relate the two events. It may be because I unconsciously measure all men, including the occasional real life prince, to Mr. Darcy and usually find them wanting. Like most women who love Mr. Darcy, it isn’t because he is good looking or rich (although it doesn’t hurt) but rather because his choice of a bride is emblematic of the depth of his character and good heart.
What makes Mr. Darcy still appealing to modern women is that he falls in love with Elizabeth Bennet because of her wit, independence, and intelligence. Moreover, he values Elizabeth’s opinion of him enough to inspire him to improve his character and win her regard. Jane Austen wisely makes Mr. Darcy wealthy, powerful, and attractive thereby making his devotion to Elizabeth in spite of his family’s censure all the more poignant given the endless array of women actively pursuing him. While 200 hundred years have passed since Pride & Prejudice was written, it is just as difficult now as it was then to find a good man and particularly one who understands what is required to please a woman worthy of being pleased.
There is an obvious parallel to the royal weddings with their implicit speculation of why a particular prince selected his bride. We will never truly know why Prince Charles, age 31, asked Lady Diana, age 19, to marry him, but the fact that she had an appropriate pedigree by title and religion and an unsullied past had to weigh heavily. I am old enough to have watched their wedding optimistically assuming that he also held her personality traits in high regard and that overtime their relatively short courtship would ripen into a marriage of true minds. As we know, it didn’t. It may have been that Prince Charles, to his own detriment, could not listen to the needs of his heart over the call of duty or that he couldn’t value Princess Diana’s independence as she matured into a mature women. Mr. Darcy, in a similar situation, innately understood that what a man in his position needed most was a partner that could challenge him and could, over time, inspire him through the strength of her personality to be a better man. Continue reading “Mr. Darcy and the Secret of Becoming a Gentleman Blog Tour with Author Maria Hamilton, & a Giveaway!” →