An Assembly Such as This
I have always enjoyed Jane Austen and particularly the story of Pride and Prejudice. I was delighted when I came across this book, An Assembly Such as This. The first in a trilogy, each book takes on one of the three “books” that make up Pride and Prejudice and writes from the viewpoint of Mr. Darcy. A whole new light on the old classic and wonderfully done.
Unlike most other attempts at romance in historical fiction this one actually pays more than a passing nod to the conventions of the day in regards to relationships and the social morality of society at that time. It whole heartedly embraces them and does an excellent job of being true to the era in historical events, social niceties and expectations placed on a gentleman in the class Darcy was born into.
She is tolerable; but not handsome enough to tempt me.”
The beginning of the novel was a bit stiff. It followed the events of Pride and Prejudice to the letter with Darcy not experiencing or feeling anything other than what we already knew from Elizabeth’s perspective. A few chapters in when we were finally at a point where Darcy didn’t have to share the stage with Miss Elizabeth things finally took a turn for the interesting.
The attention to detail in his world and the introduction of new characters to reveal more and more of Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy (both his character and take on things) makes the book a joy to read. Both its first and second reading were finished in only a day. It is that hard to put down.
Even if you have never read Pride and Prejudice you could get away with reading this book and still fully appreciate the story on its own merits, and have a healthy dose of well researched history thrown in as well. Those who have read Pride and Prejudice will appreciate the goings on in the original classic in a whole new light.