Mr Darcy’s Diary by Amanda Grange

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Who would have thought Mr Darcy would keep a diary? Not me. However, Amanda Grange’s novel Mr Darcy’s Diary, has the taciturn hero of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice recording his version of events for posterity.

If Jane Austen had given her readers so much detail about Mr Darcy in Pride and Prejudice he would have lost a great deal of his appeal. As a romantic hero I found him far more attractive when I knew less about how his mind works. In My Darcy’s Diary the reasons for his behaviour are fully explained at every turn. Most of this is to his credit, but some girls (okay, me) like a bit of mystery.

A great many more conversations take place between Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet (Mr Darcy never calls her Lizzie) and are recorded in Mr Darcy’s Diary than in Pride and Prejudice. Apart from the additional conversations, there isn’t a great deal of substance to this novel. Mr Darcy seems intelligent enough, but he is very often tongue tied by Elizabeth and his first attempt at proposing marriage to her is even clumsier and ruder than Jane Austen’s version.

Lydia is more of a hussy than I ever realised. George Wickham’s character is also less likeable when you learn more about him based on Darcy’s experiences. Anne DeBourgh’s character is also slightly expanded.

I recently read Captain Wentworth’s Diary by Amanda Grange and enjoyed this book far more than Mr Darcy’s version of Pride and Prejudice, probably because Captain Wentworth’s Diary expanded on Persuasion by telling of events before the hero and heroine met in Austen’s story.

Despite my complaints, the character’s voices are captured very well, and Mr Darcy’s Diary is an enjoyable read. This book is ideal for the Pride and Prejudice readers who aren’t quite ready to let go of their obsession with Mr Darcy.

Mrs Darcy. Mr and Mrs Fitzwilliam Darcy. Fitzwilliam. Dear Fitz. William. Will. Bill. Hmmm. That would make me the ideal reader.

Who Is Your Favourite Jane Austen Hero?

Mr Collins

Okay, I’m going to cut straight to the chase here.

My favourite Jane Austen hero is… drum roll please….

Captain Frederick Wentworth.

Why?

In my opinion, Captain Wentworth is the ultimate hero. Millions of Mills and Boon heros have been modelled on this bloke. Captain Wentworth has the good sense and taste to fall in love with the deserving heroine of Persuasion (my favourite Jane Austen novel, in case you were wondering). He never, ever wavers in his affections, regardless of being dumped by his true love. Not only that, in the next eight years, Captain Wentworth goes off and makes something of himself. I might be judging Captain Wentworth and his fellow by the standards of today, but hey, I am a woman of my time, so I like a self made man. What a hero.

The other choices are as follows:

Mr Darcy (not Colin Firth as Mr Darcy who is of course my first choice from all television and movie adaptations of Jane Austen novels, I’m only human after all), but the character from Pride and Prejudice the book. Mr Darcy has inherited wealth (my point here is that he didn’t earn any of his dough himself) and bad manners. Would Lizzie fall in love with him if he wasn’t rich? I doubt it.

Mr Bingley from P & P, who is good tempered and easily led. In today’s world, Charlie B would probably get ripped off in some ridiculous internet scam. Still, he can probably afford it.

Mr Knightley from Emma, who is older and superior to his heroine. In real life, Mr Knightley would be the type of person who had already been there, done that and bought the t shirt. Poor Ems, I don’t think she will have much fun with Mr Knightley.

Edward Ferrars from Sense and Sensibility. Fast Eddie is a fool who allowed himself to become engaged to someone other than the heroine. Luckily he gets his act together in the end and wins the true heroine, but he owes that more to good luck than good management.

Colonel Brandon from S & S. Unfortunately, Colonel B is a sucker for a pretty face (like most men, it’s true). His beloved, Marianne, is much younger than him and not all that substantial in her character. Other than being led by his you know what, Colonel B seems like a good bloke, honourable and sensible.

Edmund Bertram from Mansfield Park. Another man who falls for someone other than the heroine. Say no more.

Henry Tilney from Northanger Abbey. To be perfectly honest, Henry also seems like a good bloke, but he is going to get bored with his heroine, the young and silly Catherine Moreland at some point, and then what? How do you spell affair?

Mr Collins. Relax, I’m only joking, he isn’t actually on the list. His name only came up because he’s got shelves, and we all know how attractive that is, don’t we?