Pride and Prejudice at 20: The Scene That Changed Everything

It's been twenty years since BBC tossed Colin Firth into a lake and had him walk about in clinging white shirts (for plot!).

Twenty years. I was dropped out of college stealing cable and ran across costume drama and stopped immediately, because when one is both an Austen and Regency fan, one can identify adaptations of classic works on a glance.

(Forbidding, brooding sexy (yet subtly awkward) male in pantaloons, woman with ironically raised raised eyebrow looking at him archly, silly older woman in background, wait...and way too bouncy girl runs by showing too much bosoms chased by red coated officers....

I said, "Hey, that's Lydia." And sat down.)
Currently watching iconic Darcy Swims! scene from Pride and Prejudice. There is still nothing funnier than imagining the period of time between bravely running away in his wet breeches and running after her in an excess of really fast dignity. Mostly it was probably his manservant desperately trying to make sure he wore clothes that matched and didn't sprint down with his pants undone.

The more I watch, the more convinced I am that had Lydia not intervened with her--adventures, Elizabeth would not have made it out of Derbyshire unengaged, possibly not even unmarried.

This entire review is brought about by Linda Berdoll's novels, which are fanfic of this version of Pride and Prejudice in so many ways. So. Many. Ways.

When I recommended them before, I hadnt' finished re-reading and forgot that the books, though uniformly of the light hearted melodramatic variety (that I love), there are some parts that are not that at all.

Warning for triggering content below: specifically, the death of a child and sexual assault. If you have these particular ones and plan to read the books, please consider the below, as the rest of the books are far lighter and more humorous, so it might come as a shock.

spoilers for all three Berdoll novels )

Right, after finishing all three, more generally.

three novels of intrigue! )

Also, these are a romp. A rompy-romp.
Mr Darcy Takes a Wife by Linda Berdoll is up for Kindle at $1.99.

I did a review of the books here to give you an idea of what--you'll be getting. But now I can safely state that what this book and its sequels are that I did not have quite the right vocabulary for in 2006.

This is Pride and Prejudice erotic(ish) id-fic, by ten. This is the id-vortex itself of Pride and Prejudice spin-offs. This is also the definitive proof of the awesome of fanfic; I would not have liked this as a regency romance about random people, but Darcy and Elizabeth rock it like whoa. So I honestly get a kick out of reading something that literally could have been posted online and in fangirl context, would have probably hit the entirety of fandom like a tsunami. It's fanfic I am very, very happy to pay for.

It's pretty unapologetic about what it's doing. I mean, there is great literature and there is good literature both pro and fen and there is candy and then there is this, which is like, IDK, a eight course dinner for the id, with candy. You can't read this as a purist; if you go in like that, you will hate it. But if you read it like a fangirl id-ing it up, it'll work like you would not believe.

My grammar and sentence construction concerns continue; you will, I promise, get used to the style and it will be invisible within about fifty pages, but it is an acquired taste to want to because what the id wants, the id wants. And it's worth it. And at 1.99, I figure this is a good time to test it.

There are two sequels, Darcy and Elizabeth (AKA Darcy and Elizabeth: Days and Nights at Pemberley) and The Ruling Passion (AKA The Darcys: The Ruling Passion) and they're about as id-rompy as the first. And I will say without apology they are fun reading. Jane Austen would not have written this, no, but I think she would have laughed herself sick and enjoyed reading where this author went with her work.

I do like this a lot more than most Austen sequels--if not all of them with a few specific exceptions--because no one is Austen; her voice and her vision were extremely unique and only look easy to replicate until you read people trying and you realize how razor-sharp not only her prose is, but the mind that created this that understood that making fun of something doesn't mean not loving it, and she understood how to draw sympathetic characters and villains with a complexity and skill that the more I re-read her books, the more I'm surprised how deftly she practiced her craft. And how freaking subtle her sarcasm is.

Linda doesn't try to write Austen's style, which I mean, no, her natural style is not, um, even close. So instead, she does it in her own, and then hits the gas like she's forgotten the meaning of brakes and that shit works.

I haven't read The Ruling Passion before, so let's say I'm excited.

Currently finishing Mr Darcy's Secret by Jane Odiwe, which so far I'm enjoying a lot, though they pretty much broadcast the entire plotline and resolution fairly fast; however, how they'll get there makes me curious, and it's a very fun, light-hearted read.

My squee is very id-dy.

ETA: Id and Id-Vortex references, Slash shock, shamelessness, and a rec. by [personal profile] ellen_fremedon. Remember when you used to find meta on every online streetcorner and everyone hyperexamining their writing and reading and arguing genre until it was All Bellybutton Lint, All the Time and you're like, no more? Yeah. I revise my stance and encourage everyone to examine their meaningful writing thoughts right now, even if they are talking about your feelings for the use of 'and' and the second person pov as narrator stand in. I miss it. Like, after reading this, a lot.
This one is by the same person who wrote Jane Fairfax that drove me so absolutely nuts. Just a warning. I think the review is under this tag.

I've finally worked out the problems I've always had with Joan Aiken's Jane Austen sequels. She gets language right, she gets atmosphere, she has setting nailed, and she does some interesting things with the characters that occasionally does not make me cry vexedly. But she utterly, utterly lacks a sense of humor. Like it was surgically removed.

Austen's wit, both subtle and not so much, is entirely lost on Aiken, and I mean entirely. Mansfield Revisited is honestly the best of the lot she's written due to the fact it's very short, so she has minimal time for her lack of any rudimentary sense of humor to really start irritating me.

(Note: I still contend Emma's friendship with Harriet was a comedy and was intended to be one; there was just too much wrong with it, and I'm not even speaking of differences in class. From start to finish, it was combination girl crush, comedy of errors, and something very much nineteenth century Three Stooges meets Murphy's Law. When Harriet falls for Knightly, you only wonder how on earth Emma didn't see that coming.)

But nevermind. Mansfield Revisited or, how to make something so short seem to last so very, very, very, very long.

spoilers, if you haven't read the book )
So ordered Jane Fairfax by Joan Aiken last week in a frenzy of Jane Austenesque leanings. It was--odd.

joan, jane, and a weird dissimiliarity of view )

And on a lighter note: Suspense and Sensibility and North by Northanger by Carrie Bebris.

jane austen mysteries! )

I can't find the books right now to cite author but Letters from Pemberly and it's sequel? Not recommended. Boring. Oh God so boring. And more derivative than badfic. She like--I don't know how--she managed to publish boring, bad fanfic. The Pemberleans at The Republic of Pemberly could do better on a bad day. It was--I mean, sure, irreproachable editing, and all the verbs were right, but it was like reading a grocery list. Also, it says something that I got through both books in two hours. I mean--seriously. Eww.

Seriously, the racy--I'm using the word racy, how sad is that?--ones I read earlier this year beat out everything else by far.
So after setting [ profile] svmadelyn free in The Republic of Pemberley, I suspected that it would not be the last I heard of Jane Austen fanfic. Further, I have been accosted with such gems of fanficcal giddiness that I cannot even describe.

A conversation now is not complete without a quote that is almost guaranteed to make me twitch for poor Jane, who probably had no idea that one day, a host of fangirls would variate the eternal love of Elizabeth and Darcy in ways that would make both author and characters blush exceeding.

I'm still waiting for Prostitute!Elizabeth and Whoremaster!Darcy living on the wild streets of Drury Lane. I hope.

But that does lead to my last book purchases, which is kind of half-embarrassing, half-amusing, where wandering through the A-B section, I picked up Linda Berdoll's Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife and Darcy and Elizabeth: Days and Nights at Pemberley.

the word of the day is *bawdy* )

Next up, Sebastian. From Anne Bishop, I have learned more about male castration than I ever wished to know. I am curious what she will do with an incubus who is bored with sex. For an author whose first three books were rife with sexual politics, sensuality, and lust, there was precious little actual sex. No, really, think back on the trilogy--how many times did anyone actually get naked and sweaty? Penises were around a lot, but not so much what they were used for other than torture of a male, which has to say something, though I'm not sure what. I'm wondering what she can make of an incubus. Reminds me of LKH's Narcissus in Chains, where two hundred pages of foreplay managed to produce barely one good sexual encounter, except Anne is, you know, *a better writer* and her Mary Sue is at least supposed to be one by virtue of how she was created, which was a novel way to go about it and still keeps the books at the top of my rotation for re-reading.

Um, yeah, stopping now. I'm kind of on a post Darcy and Elizabeth high. That was *fun*.
In honor of wip_amnesty, since I still refuse to give up on any of my stories, though The Forest People is getting to that place where I could just put up a post saying, please take this and make it work.....

Five Metas I Will Probably Never Get Around to Doing:

fanny price, mansfield park, seriously, favorite book right now )

john sheppard, atlantis, headaches )

And—okay, two of five, I’ll post the next three later, as for some reason, they are giving me work to do.

Strange job. With the working and all.
My zen can be found in Pride and Prejudice.

I went on a minor shopping spree on Amazon, and I was saving this for my days off, but--ohh. Mr. Darcy. *Swimming*. In his trousers and shirt, even! No boots! No coat and hat! No cravat. That is totally the Regency equivalent of naked with leather straps and a whip, you know?

It's weird how your standards of sexy go through a time warp in five hours of viewing a movie where no one makes physical contact with the opposite sex. Unless they are married. Or Mr. Collins. Whose very existence explains why this rule should be enforced draconically.

Okay, I'm a little punchy. I have to work four hours Ssturday, too, and just thinking about it makes me need another shot with my DVD player.

swimming! really! )


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