More historical parallels: Presumption

Since I’ve just finished a week of presentations and exams I’m enjoying a lazy day off :). I figured it was time for another Pride & Prejudice sequel review; this time I’m reviewing Presumption: An Entertainment by Julia Barrett (a pseudonym of two writers). 

presumption-an-entertainment-by-julia-barrett-1995-x-200First of all, this book was a very enjoyable read! It is written in a way that reminds the reader of Austen’s own writing style without trying too hard, while it is still an easy read and interesting enough to make you want to read it all in one sitting. However, I’m not too happy with the overall storyline, which I’ll explain in a bit.

The novel has Georgiana Darcy, Mr. Darcy’s younger sister, as the main character. She’s come of age and is expected to marry soon, but she’s having some trouble finding the right man… Meanwhile, the reader gets to see what happened to many of the Pride & Prejudice characters after the original novel ended. In short, Mr. and Mrs. Darcy have been married for two years already and are throwing Georgiana a coming-out ball. Lady Catherine de Bourgh and her daughter Anne (the authors lovingly gave Anne are more elaborate and pleasant character description than the original novel did) return as characters as well as the Bingleys, the Collins, and the Wickhams.

Interestingly, this book is already quite old. I don’t know about you guys, but Jane Austen sequels make me think about fan-fiction, and I see fan-fiction primarily as a 21st century-thing. Many sequels (to any classic novel/series) that are published start off online, after all. This book, however, was published as early as 1993.

What I don’t like about this book, is that it, again, draws parallels with the original Pride & Prejudice story. SPOILER ALERT. Georgiana Darcy falls in love with somebody who turns out to be a jerk, and then marries the guy she thought was a jerk, but turns out to have been the real gentleman all along. Remind you of something? Also, all of a sudden the family’s reputation is threatened when Aunt Phillips is accused of theft! (weird plot twist, by the way) Déjà vu? This repetition of history seems to be used in many Pride & Prejudice sequels. I’m not a fan of this, because it is utterly predictable and just not very original. However, this novel still manages to pull off the storyline a lot better than Mr. Darcy’s Daughters, which I reviewed here.

In short, this is a nice read, but nothing spectacular overall. Next post I will be reviewing Mrs. Darcy’s Dilemma by Diana Birchall, which I’ve already read and was also quite enjoyable. 😉 After that, the COLIN FIRTH SAGA :O:O:O (oh no, I can’t believe I’m going to have to rewatch the entire series for the umpteenth time, how terrible!)

1. Pride and PrejudiceJane Austen (1813)
2. Mr. Darcy’s Daughters, by Elizabeth Aston (2003)
3. Darcy’s Story, by Janet Aylmer (1996)
4. Mr Darcy’s Diary, by Amanda Grange (2006)
5. Pride and Prejudice BBC/PBS miniseries (1980)
6. Presumption: An Entertainment: A Sequel to Pride and Prejudice, by Julia Barrett (1995)
7. Mrs. Darcy’s Dilemma, by Diana Birchall (2004)
8. Pride and Prejudice A&E/BBC miniseries (1995)
9. Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife, by Linda Berdoll (2004)
10. Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy: The Last Man in the World, by Abigail Reynolds (2010)
11. Pride & Prejudice Universal Studios film (2005)
12. Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart, by Beth Pattillo (2010)

On another note, I’ve been re-watching some old South Park episodes (I’m being a bit nostalgic lately; I’ve also started re-reading the Harry Potter series!) and came across one that made me discover 1950s American ‘Duck and Cover’ atomic bomb educational videos. Watch and be amazed by the utter uselessness:

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