Thursday, 10 October 2013

Mr Darcy's Guide to Courtship by Emily Brand




Scandalous! And extremely amusing. It almost makes me wish Austen had delved more into Darcy's personality and that he'd been more like this.
Make no mistake, he's an appalling individual, as Caroline Bingley would have said, "Sir, you are shocking!" And indeed, Mr Darcy makes no effort to hide his disdain for his inferiors (basically everyone who is not is sister), and all his ideas as to how to deal with the fairer sex (and his opinions on the fairer sex) are as deplorable as they are funny.

Not to say that some of the advice isn't sound...

"As the early season of courtship is crucial in determining the potential success of a match, time should not be wasted in sighing, fainting away, refusing food or breaking into song."

"Though [love] manifests itself in heavy sighs and the composition of nauseating poetry rather than putrid boils and sweating fevers, I daresay the effect is no less offensive for observers."

Mr Darcy's opinions on the female gender even arouse the anger of one Miss Emma Woodhouse, who writes to him (and whose letter is included).

And one can see how is earlier courtship of Elizabeth was doomed to fail:

"While giving gifts ensures success with a particular type of female – just as a dog will favour any man who gives it treats (...)

Entirely Appropriate Presents:
· Hints towards improving herself
· Time in your presence
"

On the whole it was incredibly entertaining - and historically accurate, apart from some of Mr Darcy's more scandalous subjects (obviously inappropriate for fine society). And in the vast universe of Austen tie-ins and published fanfiction this was a decidedly excellent addition. 


Emily Brand's official site

Buy Mr Darcy's Guide to Courtship
@ The Book Depository (with free worldwide delivery!)

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