Mar 202019

Darcy As A Passionate Artist Trying to Keep In His Muse’s Good Graces

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Source: Review Copy from Author

In her creative and expressive Pride and Prejudice novella, Maria Grace makes one slight change to Jane Austen’s beloved tale: Mr. Darcy is an accomplished gentleman artist! *swoon* While Fitzwilliam Darcy is often kept busy with estate business and his many responsibilities, his one true passion and the activity that preoccupies much of his mind and soul is painting. But lately Darcy feels like his muse has left him. Is it because of what happened in Ramsgate that his creative well has run dry? Is it Lady Catherine’s increased insistence about announcing his engagement to Anne? Or is it because his muse wants him to enjoy a change of scenery…

There are many stories published that detail and retell the events of Pride and Prejudice from Mr. Darcy’s perspective, and in Inspiration readers will once again see the story solely through his eyes. But the one significant change being Mr. Darcy has an artistic eye. His habit of staring is now revealed to be because he is studying the features and forms of the people around him, and his lack of conversation is explained because he is busy trying to commit all his artistic observations to memory. Darcy being a gentleman artist truly does fit well with his character, doesn’t it? You could even surmise that some of his taciturnity comes from being frustrated with his art or his uncooperative and mercurial muse.

What I enjoyed most about this novella and what made me want to read it was seeing Mr. Darcy portrayed as a gentleman artist. I love when authors give a new trait or interest to Mr. Darcy’s character. I especially enjoyed observing all of Mr. Darcy’s artistic musings – his rhapsodizing observations about Elizabeth’s beauty, his frenzied activity when inspiration struck, and his emotional turmoil when his muse abandoned him. Ms. Grace’s talent for evocative prose and descriptive language were on brilliant display in this story:

“At first, it had been a delightful tension of anticipation – a new work in progress, the thrill of the creative, generative act. The wonder at what it would become, what new secrets would he learn from the images that formed beneath his brush. But as the weeks passed, the sweetness slipped away, replaced by bitter frustration.” (page 13)

“The frost wind that carried her words tore the heat from her body and the air from his lungs. A more gentleman-like manner… The way those words reverberated through his being, he might never cease hearing them.” (page 73)

One quibble I have for this story would be that I wish it delved deeper into Darcy’s feelings as they developed for Elizabeth. (SLIGHT SPOILER ALERT!) Darcy’s muse is often portrayed as its own entity. And while I thought it interesting (and at times amusing) that Darcy felt his muse was in control and that “she” would often reward or punish him, I wasn’t so fond of the fact that Darcy felt led to propose by his muse rather than his own feelings of regard and affection: “His muse would not be satisfied without her constant presence. The only way to obtain that was to make her his wife.” (page 67). I would have preferred seeing Darcy fall in love with Elizabeth for other reasons rather than her being a source of inspiration.

In addition, I have long been an admirer of Maria Grace’s splendidly inventive twists when it comes to Pride and Prejudice characters and story-lines. I was slightly disappointed to see that this story stayed very true to course and didn’t have as much original content as her other works. I would have enjoyed seeing the art component of this story cause greater change or take things in new directions. Especially since a lot of the dialogue and events of this story remained the same as they do in Pride and Prejudice.

With Inspiration, Maria Grace has crafted another inspired and inventive story for readers to enjoy! An evocative and sensitive tale that displays creativity, perception, and humor!

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Today Maria generously offers ONE copy ebook of her newest release – Inspiration for me to give away to ONE lucky winner!

To enter this giveaway, leave a comment about my review!!

  • This giveaway is open worldwide.  Thank you, Maria!
  • This giveaway ends March 27th!
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  37 Responses to “Inspiration – Maria Grace + Giveaway!!!”


    Great review. This book is on my to read pile. Please don’t enter me because I have already purchased.


    Enjoyed your review. I am also intrigued when Darcy is given an extra trait and feel that a gentleman artist is appropriate as I can see him in this role.


    If I move from editing P&P variations to writing them, I’d appreciate your in depth review..


    Darcy as a passionate artist sounds wonderful! Congratulations on your new release!


    “Darcy felt led to propose by his muse rather than his own feelings of regard and affection” – this would certainly account for a horrible proposal, seeing as he wouldn’t be proposing on his *own* behalf.


    I love reading from Darcy’s perspective. This is definitely on my wish list!


    I think that it is an excellent premise that Darcy starred because he was studying his “muse” and others I wonder if Elizabeth ever sees the paintings and question why she is in them? And, what does Caroline do if she see them? I can see her taking a knife and slashing the works. Thank you for the review and generous giveaway.


    I started reading this in installments on Maria’s blog/website and thought it had great promise! I didn’t get that far into the story so I’m so glad it is published now. Just what is a person’s Muse? I wondered, in the short couple of chapters I read, if Darcy was just not owning up to his feelings, kind of just separating himself from ‘his Muse’ and blaming it for his actions. Like I said, I didn’t get too far into it, so what you have revealed really gets my attention! Looking forward to reading the whole story. I love Maria’s stories. Lovely giveaway.


      I’ve seen the term ‘muse’ applied two ways. Sometimes as a real person that inspires someone else, and sometimes as a personified force that can inspire or effect a person’s creativity. I’ve seen both Cat Gardiner and Abigail Reynolds both refer to their muses when writing WIPs. 😉


    I also began reading this on Maria’s website. I am anxious to finish. When I stopped, I do not think Elizabeth was aware of Darcy’s interest in her either as inspiration or as a wife. I was occasionally confused because I had always thought of a “muse” as a real person who inspired the artist. However, this muse seems to be a part of Darcy’s thoughts.


      Thanks so much for reading my review, Mary! I hope you get the chance to finish this story soon. I’ve seen people refer to a muse as both a real person and as a personified force. In Darcy’s case, it is almost like an imaginary, judgmental conscience. 😉


    Sounds like an interesting read. Adding it to my list.


    I’m intrigued by the gentleman artist element, too. Glad to get your thoughts on this one. I know many who loved it, too.


    Thank you so much Meredith, lovely review!
    I have this book on my list for my next shopping spree and look forward to reading it all. I did enjoy the chapters I read earlier and now want to see how it continues.


    I have not yet read this story although I do plan to do so. So thanks for a chance to win. I look forward to reading it, one way or another.


    Thanks for sharing your opinion with us Meredith, it was curious to see that in this particular book our thoughts were exactly the same 🙂


    Very interesting review. I enjoy reviews that give both the wonderful aspects of a story, as well as the “I wish there was more of…” In this case more of Darcy’s feelings rather than the thoughts of his muse. It would be awesome to win this e-book.


      Thanks so much for reading my review and I’m so happy to hear that you liked the style of my review! 😀 Since there are so many wonderful Austenesque stories out there in to enjoy, I try to give a fair assessment of what I read in hopes that it is helpful for any readers trying to decide what they want to read.


    I love reading your thoughts and learning some spoilers from Maria Grace’s latest novella. I find Darcy quite selfish in wanting to own Elizabeth and paint her to his heart’s content when he proposed to her. No wonder Elizabeth turned down his offer.


      Oh no, do you think my review has some spoilers, Sylvia? I definitely don’t want to spoil the story for anyone, I’m so sorry if I inadvertently did that for you. If you let me know which parts you think includes a spoiler, I’d be sure to include a warning in my review…or maybe rewrite it if need be.


    I have not yet read this book, but from your review, am anxious to do so. Thank you for the chance to win a copy.


    Thank you Meredith for this review and alook into on how love developed between the couple. Like you I would have loved it better if Darcy, with just a little prodding from the Muse realized, it or come to open his mind/heart that he loves EB .

    Thank oyu for this chance of winning this books.

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