Jan 042010

What if Lizzy Didn’t Reject Darcy’s First Proposal?

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Source: Purchased

Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, originally published as The Last Man in the World in 2007, is an engaging and clever variation of Pride and Prejudice. If you have not yet had the pleasure of encountering this series, “The Pemberley Variations,” by Abigail Reynolds, it is collection of Pride and Prejudice re-tellings that asks the question “what if?” In these variations we see how one small change in the plot can alter the course of Pride and Prejudice. This is one of my favorite variations by Abigail Reynolds, I love how heartbreaking and emotional the story is.

The slight change that sends Pride and Prejudice on its ear in this variation is Mr. Darcy kissing Elizabeth before she can refuse his offer of marriage and that kiss being observed by Colonel Fitzwilliam and Rosing Park gamekeepers. Now Elizabeth finds herself in a difficult situation as Darcy and Colonel Fitzwilliam are under the impression that she has accepted Darcy’s addresses and if she were to correct their assumption it would jeopardize not only her reputation, but also the reputations of her sisters. Even though Elizabeth never gets to proclaim to Darcy that he is “the last man in the world whom she could ever be prevailed on to marry,” she strongly despises him for what he’s done and her outlook for her a happy future is very bleak.

In Pride and Prejudice the flaws of “pride” and “prejudice” are played upon. In Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy these flaws are still represented but added to them are “selfishness” and “deception.” Mr. Darcy selfishly believes that Elizabeth’s answer to his proposal could only be yes, and Elizabeth decides it best to deceive her husband into believing her happily married instead of being truthful about her feelings for him. One of the reasons I love Elizabeth and Darcy is because they are flawed and they make mistakes. No one is perfect and in the literary world sometimes we tend to idolize our heroes and heroines. It is a nice change to see them feel insecure, embarrassed, or misunderstood. I believe even Elizabeth Bennet has times when she lacks confidence or jumps to the wrong conclusion.

Abigail Reynolds is a very talented and gifted author that clearly loves Jane Austen and Pride and Prejudice with a passion! I am delighted to own both this book and her self-published version of it The Last Man in the World. After reading Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy and scanning through my copy of The Last Man in the World, I did not find many changes in the plot, and I would venture to say that the only changes were grammatical. So if you already own The Last Man in the World you might not want to buy this book, however, if you are like me, you wouldn’t mind having this lovely book grace your shelves twice! In addition, I would like to warn readers who don’t enjoy intimate and romantic scenes between these characters that there are a few included in this book. However, the romantic scenes are very infrequent and are not overly explicit.

I highly recommend this novel for people who are interested in seeing Pride and Prejudice travel a different course!

Coming Soon: Interview with Author Abigail Reynolds January 26th!

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  12 Responses to “Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy: The Last Man in the World – Abigail Reynolds”


    Wonderful review, Meredith. I have heard of this series but have not read it (yet). It is most definitely on my TBR list though.

    Will be around on the 26th for your interview. 🙂


    it sounds like an interesting twist on the story. Looking forward to the interview!



    What if Lizzie had accepted Darcy’s first proposal? we’d have a short story instead of a novel and we’d lose much of the fun! But she seems to have accepted here… It sounds a very good read. Great news, also: you’ll host the author, soon. Looking forward to the interview.


    Thank you all for the lovely comments!! I am very excited about the upcoming interview because I am an admirer of Abigail Reynold’s work and I look forward to having answer some of my questions!!!


    I am so glad I found this blog!

    Here is a little something for you, come on over and check it out 🙂



    I’m so excited you are doing an interview with Abigail Reynolds! Almost as excited as I am about Sourcebooks republishing this book! Do you know if they are going to rerelease all of the Pemberley Variations? I love these books (though The Last Man in the World is my least favorite – it is so heartbreaking!); they directly inspired my work. I can’t wait for her new book, Mr. Darcy’s Obsession, to come out, though its plot sounds a lot like Something Like Regret by Kara Louise, which I really liked. I’m even more anxious for the book she is currently writing to be complete, in which Elizabeth refuses to accept Darcy’s letter.


    Thank you, Alexa! I am just as excited as you are! I do believe they are publishing all her books but I think it won’t be all at once. We’ll know for sure during the interview, as that is one of the things I asked her!

    I have only read two of Kara Louise’s books, I need to get to the other ones. Which was your favorite?


    Master Under Good Regulation is excellent.


    I just finished this one a few days ago and loved it, too! I wasn’t quite sure what to think when I started, but I was very impressed and happy with the way Reynolds took the story. Very romantic! SWOON!


    Enjoyed this book as the first copy came out. I don’t know if there’s many changes with the rerelease.


    I really enjoy most of Abigail Reynolds books. I think I have them all now. I just finished “Master Under Good Regulation”. it’s good. No explicit sex scenes etc. Definitely one for those who enjoy pets I think.

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