Tag Archive: Mr. Darcy’s Guide to Courtship

Pride and Prejudice blogfestcover, Pride and PrejudiceThese are the contexts of the quotes tweeted from @sueannbowling between December 5 and December 11, 2013. Those from Mr. Darcy’s Guide to Courtship were tweeted as if Mr. Darcy were the author.

“In such cases as these, a good memory is unpardonable.” Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen. Elizabeth is speaking to Jane for the first time about her change of feelings and engagement to Darcy.

“Do anything rather than marry without affection.” Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen. Part of the same conversation of Jane with Elizabeth, Jane speaking.

“These violent young lovers carry everything their own way.” Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen. Mr. Bennett, after he realizes what Darcy has done for Lydia.

Cover, Mr. Darcy's Guide“I have no inclination to expend effort on those who have not taken the trouble to learn to read.” Mr. Darcy’s Guide to Courtship, by Emily Brand. As a writer, I have to agree with Mr. Darcy here, though of course he did not have access to audiobooks.

“In plain words, there should be no ‘falling in love,’ except with suitable persons.” Mr. Darcy’s Guide to Courtship, by Emily Brand. Clearly Darcy wrote this before he met Elizabeth!

“No matter how extensive your income, they will always exceed it.” Mr. Darcy’s Guide to Courtship, by Emily Brand. Part of Darcy’s description of the “artful female” who marries for money. (Of course he has no such strictures on the man who marries for money.)

“No sense staying in bed.” Tourist Trap, by Sue Ann Bowling. Penny’s thought when she wakes while Roi and Flame are still asleep.

Pride and Prejudice blogfestWhen I first saw this title (by Emily Brand) in a BBC catalog my immediate response was, which Mr. Darcy wrote it? After all, the proud, status-conscious male chauvinist Elizabeth starts by despising would hardly have written the same advice as the man whom she eventually married.

Cover, Mr. Darcy's GuideI was curious enough to get the Kindle edition for my iPad, and decided at once that it had to have been written very early in Pride and Prejudice. Darcy is, frankly, every bit as conceited, proud, and aware of his social position as Elizabeth first imagines him.  On the other hand, he has met the Bingleys, actually allows Caroline to write a chapter of advice to women (a chapter which would have had Elizabeth giggling) and is beginning to interfere in Charles’s affairs. Certainly he sees no place for any mixing of classes, and he puts himself very near the top of those not actually royal!

He starts with the assumption that “An eligible gentleman not in possession of a wife is assailed from every quarter with a fervour bordering on  derangement.” He clearly regards himself as so far above the average that he may wed any woman who comes up to his exacting standards – an attitude that he retains in Pride and Prejudice until Elizabeth refuses him. (His stricture that “there should be no ‘falling in love’ except with suitable persons” seems to have been discarded somewhat earlier.)

In fairness I must say that his advice is not toward seduction as leading to a light affair; his advice is clearly toward finding a wife who will produce the next generation of a noble family. But I cannot help but imagine how he himself would have reacted to much of the advice in this book a year later in his life.