Hi friends! Happy Friday! I am so excited to welcome a new author to Austenesque Reviews today! If you haven’t already met Alice Isakova, she has recently published a sequel to Pride and Prejudice titled Georgiana Darcy: A Sequel to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. And I am really excited about this sequel because I love seeing Georgiana Darcy’s character fleshed out more, but what is also great about this story is that it looks like it will spotlight Miss de Bourgh too!! A 2-for-1 secondary character special! I cannot wait to read it!
Hello readers, and thank you, Meredith, for hosting me on Austenesque Reviews. The following excerpt from my book is part of a drawing room scene that takes place in Kent. Georgiana and a number of other guests have gathered together after dinner, and as was customary in those days, the young ladies in the room are providing the musical entertainment. What begins as an innocent display of accomplishments quickly turns into a much deeper rivalry.
~ Excerpt from Georgiana Darcy: A Sequel to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice ~
As Georgiana was sitting down at the pianoforte, she caught sight of Mr. Grey. He was gazing at her intently with a mixture of admiration and affection. Not wishing to encourage a passion she could not return, she quickly averted her eyes from his.
Georgiana was not the only one who noticed his tender look; Miss Villiers saw it too, and tittering inwardly, she thought to herself contemptuously, “What a fine couple they would make! The princess and the pauper!” Aloud, she said slyly:
“Mr. Grey, would you do us the honour of singing with Miss Darcy while she plays? The two of you are so well-matched for a duet!”
“Nothing would give me more pleasure,” replied Mr. Grey, “but unfortunately, I have no talent for singing.”
“Oh, what a pity!” said Miss Villiers with genuine disappointment.
“Sir Matthew, perhaps you would care to sing for us instead?” suggested Mrs. Townsend. Then, turning to the others, she added, “Sir Matthew has an excellent voice. He and Miss Darcy sing charmingly together at Kleistringham.”
The gentleman was happy to oblige, and as he came to join Georgiana, Miss Villiers thought she would burst from vexation. Everything had turned out exactly the opposite of how she had wished, and now she must sit back in the shadows while everyone’s attention, and Sir Matthew’s in particular, was fixed on Miss Darcy, who was her inferior in everything! It was as incomprehensible and unjust as when the dazzling sun is eclipsed by the pale moon!
For her performance, Georgiana chose a simple Scottish air. Sir Matthew’s clear, melodious voice blended with her sweet one, and together they sang with joyous hearts. He directed his look at her, and his eyes held special meaning when he reached the words:
I ne’er can so much virtue find,
Nor such perfection see;
Then I’ll renounce all womankind,
My Peggy, after thee.
All this Priscilla Villiers observed with envy. Resentment and fury gathered in her breast as she watched and listened until she could restrain herself no longer. At the conclusion of the song, she waited for Georgiana to rise from the pianoforte, and drawing near to her rival, Miss Villiers said, “That was lovely, Miss Darcy, really it was,” and then, dropping her voice, she added, “Of course, I played that tune when I was twelve. Since then I have moved on to greater things.”
Taking Georgiana’s just vacated place at the pianoforte, Miss Villiers selected a composition by Ignaz Pleyel that she deemed worthy of her talents and asked, “Sir Matthew, would you be so kind as to turn the pages for me while I play?” As she spoke, she smiled at him in an inviting manner and widened her eyes coquettishly.
As the music started, tears of indignation welled up in Georgiana’s eyes. Rarely did she ever feel anger towards anyone, but in the present instance, Priscilla Villiers was doing her utmost to provoke her. Why did she always find it necessary to make snide remarks aimed at injuring her, to try to outshine her in everything, and worst of all, to flirt with Sir Matthew at every opportunity?
Miss Villiers’ performance was respectable, but at the same time flat and rather dull. Yet, the performer seemed to think it very fine and looked very pleased with herself while she played. Although the listeners did not find her rendition of the piece to be displeasing, neither did anyone listen with more than polite attention, and partway through, Mr. Lawson (who had been rendered torpid by overindulgence at the table) began to doze in his chair.
Hearing nothing that he considered worth listening to, Mr. Villiers took the opportunity to say a few words to the hostess:
“May I congratulate you on a most excellent dinner, Mrs. Beauchamp. The turtle soup deserves particular mention—I do not believe I have ever eaten such delicious turtle soup in my life!”
Before the good woman could answer, Lady Villiers scolded her son in a loud whisper:
“John, listen to Priscilla play!”
“In a minute, Mother. I have a question for Mrs. Beauchamp.”
Turning back to the hostess, Mr. Villiers said, “I hope I am not asking too much, but might your cook write down the recipe so that ours can make the soup in exactly the same way?”
“Of course, Mr. Villiers. There is a special ingredient that gives it that additional flavour, but I will be happy to share the recipe.”
John Villiers thanked her, and after receiving another admonishing look from his mother, he sighed and directed his ears back to the sound of his sister’s music. After a minute or two, he looked at the clock, and with a large yawn, he thought, “Oh, how much more of this must I bear?!”
At last his sister finished playing, and as she walked past Georgiana afterwards, Miss Villiers said scornfully, “Miss Darcy, if ever you should wish for assistance in your music practice, do not hesitate to ask. I am always at your service.”
Able to endure her jibes no longer, Georgiana thought to herself, “If you want a competition, Miss Villiers, I will give you one!” Her eyes flashing, she returned to the pianoforte and began to play Haydn’s Sonata in C major. Oh, how Georgiana played! Her fingers flew over the keys, from which sprang cheerful notes that danced through the air, bounced off the walls, and filled the whole room with their vibrant sound. All conversation ceased, and the listeners’ faces lit up with smiles; even Mr. Lawson was roused back to wakefulness. It was with the fondest pride that Sir Matthew looked upon his future bride. Mr. Grey looked also, but his expression was one of wistfulness; he was not blind to the attachment between Miss Darcy and Sir Matthew, and it pained him to see it.
When the music finished, the room broke into applause. John Villiers clapped louder than all the rest and took mischievous delight in the sight of his sister’s sour countenance. Though Miss Villiers would never have admitted it to anyone, even she, in the honest depths of her heart, could not deny that Georgiana’s performance had far exceeded her own. Yet, she was not one to be easily defeated. “Just you wait, Miss Darcy,” she warned under her breath, “This is not the end!”
Oooh!! I love seeing a a little bit of rivalry, I am sure someone as talented, lovely, and wealthy as Miss Darcy inspires some envy!! And I love seeing that Miss Darcy has some backbone! Good for her! 🙂 I am anxious to see more of the Villiers siblings and how Georgiana continues to handle them! Thank you for sharing, Alice! I loved this musical excerpt! 🎶
~ Book Description ~
With her temptingly large dowry, the beautiful and talented Georgiana Darcy catches the eye of numerous suitors, not all of whom wish to marry purely for love. As Georgiana navigates the treacherous waters of courtship, her story becomes intertwined with that of Anne de Bourgh, her wealthy but painfully awkward cousin, who stirs up trouble when she sets her sights on a young gentleman with a rank far below her own. In so doing, Anne encounters the opposition of her proud and domineering mother, the formidable Lady Catherine de Bourgh, and sets in motion a chain of events that brings a damaging secret to light and threatens to destroy Georgiana’s dreams of happiness. Intrigues, gossip, and elopements further complicate Georgiana’s efforts to find love and avoid the snares of fortune-hunters.
Written in a sparkling, witty, humorous style on par with Jane Austen’s own in Pride and Prejudice, Alice Isakova’s Georgiana Darcy continues the tale that has delighted readers for over two centuries.
~ Connect with Alice ~
About the Author
Born in Eastern Europe, Alice Isakova spent the latter part of her childhood in the United States before finally settling in Australia. There she obtained a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Adelaide and won multiple university prizes for outstanding academic achievement.
Alice now lives with her family in rural Tasmania. She spends her free time either writing or pursuing her passion for fitness, especially the disciplines of rhythmic gymnastics, yoga, and ballet. Georgiana Darcy: A Sequel to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice is Alice Isakova’s first book.
Today Alice generously brings with her 5 ebook copies of her new release, Georgiana Darcy: A Sequel to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, for me to give away to 5 lucky winners!!! Woot woot!! Are there any Georgiana Darcy fans out there??? 🤗
To enter this giveaway, leave a comment, a question, or some love for Alice!
- This giveaway is open worldwide. Thank you, Alice!
- This giveaway ends November 2nd!