Mr. Darcy hopes Christmastime will help him to forget the pair of fine eyes that he left behind in Hertfordshire. When Elizabeth Bennet appears unexpectedly in London, Darcy decides to keep his distance, resolved to withstand his attraction to her. But when he learns that Wickham is threatening to propose to Elizabeth, Darcy faces a crisis.
For her part, Elizabeth does not understand why the unpleasant master of Pemberley insists on dancing with her at the Christmas ball or how his eyes happen to seek her out so often. She enjoys Mr. Wickham’s company and is flattered when he makes her an offer of marriage. On the other hand, Mr. Darcy’s proposal is unexpected and unwelcome. But the more Elizabeth learns of Mr. Darcy, the more confused she becomes—as she prepares to make the most momentous decision of her life.
It’s a Yuletide season of love and passion as your favorite characters enjoy Christmas at Darcy House!
Review, Guest Post, Excerpt, & Giveaway | Christmas at Darcy House: A Pride and Prejudice Variation
Like in Pride and Prejudice, when it comes to Elizabeth's two suitors—if you could even call them that—in Christmas at Darcy House, one has got all the goodness, and the other all the appearance of it. Jane takes a fall and hurts her ankle, so Elizabeth is left to go to Cheapside instead. She has a busy Christmas when she has not one, but two men visiting her at her aunt and uncle's place.
Wickham is pursuing her, courting her, to eventually ask for her hand in marriage. But if you're familiar with George Wickham, you'll know this man won't do things unless he has something to gain. And Darcy knows that. He feels it's his responsibility to alert the Bennets and the Gardiners of Wickham's ways, but when he tries to tell them about it, it only seems to make them think less of Darcy instead.
While the story goes a different way than it did in the original, it still takes a long and eventful way for Darcy and Elizabeth to reach their happily ever after. Darcy is more straightforward, and he did some things that made him look worse than Wickham. I could feel his desperation when he saw he might lose Elizabeth forever. I didn't particularly agree with his action, but he redeemed himself soon enough.
Caroline is more ruthless in her pursuit of Darcy, using ways only a desperate woman would use. She's delusional if she thinks Mr. Darcy would ever choose her. All I can say is she got what she deserved.
Christmas at Darcy House was an interesting take on Pride and Prejudice but still very reminiscent of the original. A perfect, slightly quick read for the holidays.
Tropes: Hate to Love
POV: Third Person
Happy Holidays, Nissa! And thank you for having me visit.
People frequently ask me where I get the ideas for my stories, and often it’s hard to retrace my “steps” mentally to remember what the first inspiration was. However, I do know that I’ve been wanting to write a Christmas story about this particular part of Pride and Prejudice for a while. Darcy and the Bingley party leave Hertfordshire in November, and he doesn’t see Elizabeth again until around Easter at Rosings Park. But, I wondered, what would happen if she encountered him in London at Christmastime—when all the hurt over Bingley’s abandonment of Jane was still fresh and when she firmly believes Wickham’s lies? Bringing Wickham into the story allowed me to create an outright rivalry between Darcy and Wickham which the original P&P does not have.
Devoted P&P fans like me hate to admit that Elizabeth was ever credulous enough to believe Wickham’s lies for months on end or that she ever found him attractive. But Austen is quite clear on both points. I see her belief in Wickham’s lies and eventual disillusionment as part of Elizabeth’s journey as a character. She puts too much faith in her own powers of discernment (Pride) and allows her negative opinion of Darcy (Prejudice) to influence her belief in Wickham’s story. Recognizing and correcting these failings is part of her evolution—just as Darcy evolves to become a more empathetic and open person.
However, there is no doubt that in the December following Darcy’s departure from Hertfordshire, Elizabeth would have been a firm believer in Wickham’s story—which is a bad situation for Darcy, but provides some interesting conflict for the plot of Christmas at Darcy House!
Mr. Darcy’s entire body turned to face her full on. “George Wickham is not a good man,” he stated baldly. “His character is deceitful and dissolute. You cannot rely upon anything he tells you.”
Elizabeth stiffened and then grew very hot as if her skin itself was boiling. How could Mr. Darcy blacken the man’s name further after treating him so horribly? He was the reason Mr. Wickham could not join the clergy and was forced into the militia.
It was certainly possible that Mr. Wickham had misrepresented some aspects of the other man’s character; after all, every story had two sides. But it could not mitigate the fact that Mr. Darcy had treated the other man abominably with no possible justification.
“He has suffered so much by your hands, and now you undertake to also denigrate his character?” she cried.
“Oh yes, his suffering has been great.” Mr. Darcy rolled his eyes and clenched his fists in frustration.
“And at your hands.”
Holding himself rigidly, he took a deep breath before speaking slowly and precisely. “I do not know under what circumstances Wickham imposed himself upon you, but I can assure you that his tales were falsehoods.”
Now it was Elizabeth’s turn to roll her eyes. Mr. Darcy did not know what Mr. Wickham had said. How could he be certain the words were lies?
“I have no desire to engage in idle gossip and speculation. It is unbecoming for a gentleman to be involved in such accusations,” he continued. “And there are tales which must remain confidential. But Mr. Wickham is unsuitable company for a lady—or anyone of character. Your family must beware.” There was an almost pleading quality to his voice which engendered a pang of guilt in Elizabeth’s heart. “You must believe me when I say that Wickham is not to be trusted, and he has brought any misfortune upon himself.”
Elizabeth’s nascent sympathy for the man evaporated. Why must I believe him? He has done nothing to earn my trust—only belittle me and treat me with disdain. Should I be grateful that he has deigned to dance with me?
If only she could tell the man what she truly thought of him! But a ball was not an ideal location for a prolonged conflict, and Mr. Darcy was Mr. Bingley’s friend. If there were any hope of reuniting Jane with Mr. Bingley, she should not poison his friend’s opinion of the Bennet family.
She pressed her lips together, trying to push away her anger. “I thank you for this information and for your concern about my family.”
“You will share my words with the rest of your family?” he asked. The hope in his eyes was so evident that she was tempted to believe him—or at least that he believed what he said.
She nodded slowly. “I will tell them what you have said.” Although they were no more likely to believe it than Elizabeth was.
Mr. Darcy’s entire body relaxed; no doubt he was relieved to be finished with an awkward conversation. “That is all I can ask, thank you.” They stared at the garden for a few uncomfortable seconds, then his countenance lightened. “Perhaps you would honor me with another—”
Elizabeth shivered violently. She could not dance with the man again. Although he was an excellent dancer, his company strained her nerves. What excuse could she use to decline his offer?
They both started at the sound of her Aunt Gardiner’s sharp voice. She regarded them with narrowed eyes and arms folded over her chest. “You should come inside. I would not want you to catch a cold.” She raked Mr. Darcy with a scathing look, demonstrating that she did not consider him to be an appropriate companion for her niece.
Mr. Darcy stepped away from Elizabeth sheepishly. “Indeed, you should go inside where it is warmer.”
“And where there are more people,” Aunt Gardiner snapped. Did she suspect Mr. Darcy of inappropriate motives? That was one thing Elizabeth did not have to fear from him. He would do anything to avoid being found in a compromising position with her.
“I beg you to excuse me.” With a nod to Elizabeth, Mr. Darcy stalked toward the ballroom.
Aunt Gardiner gave Elizabeth a searching look, but she shrugged, having no desire to repeat Mr. Darcy’s words—which amounted to nothing more than an assertion of Mr. Wickham’s bad character without any form of proof.
When I return to Longbourn, I will share Mr. Darcy’s words with Jane, and we will puzzle out what to share with the family. Mr. Wickham would hardly be a danger to them while he remained in London.
The whole dispute was so strange. Obviously the two men had had some sort of disagreement, but why was Mr. Darcy so intent on blackening Mr. Wickham’s name? Was it possible he was jealous? No, that was silly; Mr. Darcy had wealth, power, and the regard of good society. What could possibly spur jealousy?
Giveaway time!!! Ms. Kincaid has generously offered a copy of Christmas at Darcy House to one lucky reader! Giveaway is open internationally, and the winner may choose between a print edition or e-book copy. To enter, simply share the post and comment on this blog post before the end of the day on December 30th, 2017.