Hello friends! I’m very excited to welcome back one of my long-time favorite authors, Karen M. Cox, to Austenesque Reviews today! I’m pretty sure everyone here knows who Karen is, but if you don’t – she is a talented Austenesque writer that pens some wonderful Austen-Inspired retellings (a.k.a. Austen-Inspired stories taking place in other eras). Karen is here to celebrate a special re-release of one of her Austen-Inspired retellings – Undeceived, which is a Pride and Prejudice retelling that takes place in the 1980s!
We hope you enjoy Karen’s visit!
Hello, lovely readers! Thank you to Meredith for inviting me here to Austenesque Reviews.
I’m Karen Cox, the author of the upcoming re-release of Undeceived: Pride and Prejudice in the Spy Game. It’s a Cold War Era spy novel variation—an extension of a story that means so much to me.
I love the way Jane Austen can delightfully entertain us while giving us advice about the human condition. I don’t know if any other author does that with quite the same light and easy touch, all with a side-helping of satire and humor.
Austen’s themes were what made me want to extend her characters into other eras and stories. For me, the themes were always what mattered most.
And following where the characters led me was fun, an exercise in curiosity. I can hardly ever resist one of those!
So, put on your meta-thinking caps, my friends! We’re going to mull over the …
5 Best Universal Themes in Pride and Prejudice
- First impressions can mislead you.
Especially for our beloved Lizzy B, this is the biggest lesson learned and the most universal theme in the book, IMHO. Basically, Ms. Austen advises us, through her nearly-perfect narrative, to be judicious when expressing our initial gut reaction to someone—not necessarily because it is completely off-base (after all, Mr. Darcy IS prideful and arrogant at first), but because we may not know the whole story. In short, judge slowly.
- If you don’t communicate what you want, it’s quite possible you won’t get it.
Here, I’m thinking about Jane Bennet. She likes Charles Bingley, a lot, but Charlotte Lucas is right (one of a few times she calls it in this book)—if you don’t find a way to communicate your heart’s desire, there is a distinct possibility it will not happen. Yes, I know Jane’s hands are tied by Regency society rules, but Charlotte says she “there are few of us who have heart enough to be really in love without encouragement.” (As an aside, I happen to think Austen was informing her readers about Darcy as much as about Bingley and most of the rest of us. After all, later on Darcy remains “really in love” without any encouragement. In fact, until he gets to Pemberley, he has endured active discouragement.)
- No one likes conversing too much with a know-it-all, and if you come off as one, everyone is probably laughing at you behind your back—or avoiding you.
Lots of examples here: Think about Mr. Collins, Lady Catherine—think about poor Mary Bennet. Yes, I remember Mr. Darcy’s line: “…where there is a real superiority of mind, pride will be always under good regulation.” He thinks himself above human folly and foibles (part of his character growth in the novel) but I think he does make a good point in that—at least, ideally—a real superiority of mind, under good regulation means one uses his or her knowledge to benefit and lift up others. Good regulation also means if you’re not sure what to say, you tend to hold back until you get the lay of the land, so to speak.
- If you want a Mr. Darcy you have to act like an Elizabeth Bennet, and vice versa.
Elizabeth Bennet is charming and witty, but she also demonstrates humility when she is shown to be wrong. She is genuinely concerned for the people she loves, and Mr. Darcy remarks on this quality in her. The Master of Pemberley is full of arrogance and pride, but after his failed proposal and a period of self-examination, he changes his behavior. He works behind the scenes to repair the damage his pride may have cost the Bennets. Which leads us to theme number 5…
- Everyone makes mistakes—it’s how you respond that matters.
Wonderful post, Karen! Thank you for sharing! It always amazes me how universal and timeless Jane Austen’s characters and stories are! She truly did understand human nature at a profound level.
Of all the themes you’ve mentioned the last one – Everyone makes mistakes – is one of my most favorite to read about. I love reading about characters with flaws and seeing them learn to become a better person!
How about you, readers?
Do you have a favorite universal theme to read about?
Connect with Karen
Undeceived Book Description
…if I endeavor to undeceive people as to the rest of his conduct, who will believe me?
–Pride & Prejudice,Chapter 40
Elizabeth Bennet, a rookie counterintelligence officer, lands an intriguing first assignment—investigating the CIA’s legendary William Darcy, who is suspected of being a double agent.
Darcy’s charmed existence seems at an end as he fights for his career and struggles against his love for the young woman he doesn’t know is watching his every move.
Elizabeth’s confidence dissolves as nothing is like she planned—and the more she discovers about Darcy, the more she finds herself in an ever-tightening web of danger.
Unexpected twists abound in this suspenseful Cold War era romance inspired by Jane Austen’s classic tale.
Release Date: July 23rd!!
But…you should PREORDER it today because it is only 💲0️⃣.9️⃣9️⃣‼️
This price will soon change!
MY REVIEW of Undeceived (first edition) – I believe the only changes between the two are grammatical edits and a handy spy glossary (second edition)
Also, we are celebrating Karen’s book re-release with a Facebook Party tomorrow!
Feel free to come check it out and virtually celebrate with us!
Group Name: Mr. Darcy’s Extensive Readers
Event Time: July 23rd 8:30pm EST (you can visit and participate the next day if the timing doesn’t work well for you!)