My Pride & Prejudice continuation Number 4 is in the works!
When I wrote my first sequel to Pride & Prejudice, Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife, I had no idea that I invented, for better or for worse, a new literary genre - Jane Austen sequelist. I am proud to be a member of such a versatile collection of authors and aficionados.
After writing MDTAW (originally The Bar Sinister), I was content to rest on to my laurels - and dodge the bric-a-brac - with no thought of writing a sequel to my sequel. A reader asked me why I killed off some of the favorite characters from P&P. My response was that had I known I would be called upon to write Darcy & Elizabeth: Nights and days at Pemberley I certainly wouldn't have.
The success of The Darcys: The Ruling Passion, and readers' kind encouragement convinced me to take pen in hand (or fingertips to keyboard) once again. While I must apologize for being such an abysmally slow writer, I am well into the story. (At one point I had opined that I might be finished with it by Christmas - folly that.)
When last we visited the Darcys it was 1820. I take up their story in the year '35. In taking this leap, we must suppose that Darcy & Elizabeth spent the intervening years in rapturous and unfailing love.
As we would expect, Darcy and Elizabeth's marriage prospers and they prove themselves to be good and dutiful parents. The twins, however, now on the cusp of adulthood, are determined to have their freedom. The Darcys also have a spirited fifteen year old, daughter - who made her appearance - so to speak - at the end of RP. Containing Maria's determined exuberance is a delicate undertaking - an office Elizabeth does not relish.
Because Darcy's was an excellent father, he means to enjoy the same relationship with his son, Geoff. Regrettably, they are of similar, exacting natures and are therefore doomed to lock horns. In the midst of this classic struggle, Elizabeth falls ill. Her ailment is a puzzle.
I hope to wrap it up in good time, but, as the Darcys well know: The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.