Today I am delighted to welcome author, Kathryn L Nelson
Her book Pemberley Manor, a sequel to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice releases next week from Sourcebooks.
Pemberley Manor by Kathryn L Nelson
Jane Austen’s heroine Elizabeth Bennet has an innate faith in her own judgment, and is not easily swayed by facts that contradict her beliefs. Fitzwilliam Darcy is equally, if not more, sure of himself. Both are prone to leap to conclusions, but only Elizabeth has the ability to laugh at herself. Drawn together by a passion that overrides logic, it is certain that sparks must fly during their first tumultuous year of marriage, as the rough edges are worn off of these two flinty lovers.
Kathy Perschmann at Armchair Interviews writes: “Nelson has created an excellent back-story for Darcy, and re-creates the feel of Jane Austen’s witty dialogue and deep characters with great success. If you love Austen, you will most certainly love this story!”
Thanks for inviting me to appear as a guest on your blog. I’m on an adventure this month as Pemberley Manor finds its new home at Sourcebooks and on bookstore shelves. It’s great fun to think back over the journey – three years in the writing, five years of hiding under the bed, the discovery of the genre of Jane Austen sequels that led me to friendships with Diana Birchall and Jane Odiwe and an initial publication by Egerton House. The book’s journey started in 1995 with the BBC/A&E miniseries of Pride and Prejudice, but I’ve imagined myself to be a writer since I was very young, even failing any evidence to support the theory.
A love of sarcasm, the appreciation of a snappy wit, those come directly from my mother. But the traits that drive me to write stories come from my father: raging curiosity and an analytical temperament. Every complex personality that I come in contact with stirs up a craving to understand. What are the forces in a person’s life that drive them in a certain direction? How do the genetic streams flow together to create something new? What allows us to finally understand our own motives and blind spots?
Jane Austen’s characters, especially Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy, are irresistible to me as well as to others. For some of the hundred or more authors who have written sequels to her books, there’s a longing to spend more time, go forward in the lives of these characters. For others it’s a burning urge to delve into the secrets of their sex lives, forbidden as that topic was in the original works. For me, it means trying to understand what created a man like Fitzwilliam Darcy. He is abrupt, and self-absorbed; his arrogance leads him to suppose that Elizabeth will accept his hand in marriage even as he is maligning her entire family and admitting that he separated his friend Bingley from Elizabeth’s sister, Jane.
Fitzwilliam Darcy stands by his principles, even when they interfere with his passion, solid as a rock, until, in the flutter of lashes of a pair of very fine eyes, he throws over his best judgment and pursues a path of social ruin. Interesting. And Elizabeth Bennet, equally sure of herself, holds strong to her own righteous indignation just up until the moment when she catches a glimpse of his fine estate. Hmmm.
And so, after reading Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice several times, and watching the mini-series until the tape turned fuzzy, I set out on a journey to uncover the key to Darcy’s past, and to imagine how it would impinge on his future. How would Elizabeth’s stubborn and witty optimism fit into his world at Pemberley? And when might the two of them begin to really understand each other, and themselves?
I’m sure Miss Austen meant for us to think about that question and come to our own conclusions. In fact, I’m sure she is stirring up the waters around Pemberley’s trout stream, amusing herself with the struggles of writers trying to catch her wit and her elegance. Let the sequels continue, each following their own path, until Jane herself is satisfied that we’ve understood it all. What do you think?
Thanks Kathryn for being my guest!
Readers, you can learn more about Kathryn and her books by visiting: http://www.klnelson.net
So, what do you think of Jane Austen sequels?
Kathryn also made me wonder about your favorite couples in general…do you ever wonder what happens to your favorite characters beyond the last page? Ever make up your own “sequel” to a favorite romance?