“I found,” said he, “as the time drew near that I had better not meet with Mr Darcy; that to be in the same room, the same party with him for so many hours together, might be more than I could bear, and that scenes might arise unpleasant to more than myself.”
(Mr Wickham: Pride and Prejudice, Chapter 21)
In chapter 21 of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice Mr Wickham makes a charming apology to Elizabeth Bennet over his prior absence from the Netherfield Ball. The reader later discovers the truth of this situation; that Mr Wickham was keen to avoid Mr Darcy that night – for it was entirely possible that he could have faced (entirely justifiable) retribution from Mr Darcy if he had attended. The reader – and Elizabeth – are unaware at that point in the novel of Mr Wickham’s true, deceitful nature – and, of course, no one in wider society is aware of Mr Wickham’s scandalous behaviour concerning Mr Darcy’s younger sister.
However, in this alternative narrative, the reader is shown how events could have varied in Pride and Prejudice if Mr Wickham had thrown caution to the wind and had instead attended the ball on that fateful evening. In this re-telling of the famous story, events start on the evening of the much anticipated Netherfield ball, and Elizabeth quietly frets to herself over the potential for her family to create a public scene. She knows very well that Mr Bingley’s conceited sisters hold her family in contempt, just as she is very aware of Mr Darcy’s obvious disapproval. She dreads the prospect of enduring her promised dances with Mr Collins, and is appalled at her mothers’ blatant matchmaking efforts.
However, with the one pivotal change – of Mr Wickham being unexpectedly present at the ball – Elizabeth’s night, and her prospects for an enjoyable evening, change completely. And as a consequence of his attendance at the ball, the events of the novel begin to differ from there onwards as well. The neighbourhood of Meryton is entirely scandalised when Elizabeth takes a dance with the gallant Mr Wickham – and Mr Darcy is beside himself with rage to see the woman he secretly admires dancing so merrily with his arch enemy.
‘Elizabeth looked up at Mr Wickham’s face as he spoke, and realised, as she followed the direction of his pointed gaze, that he had locked eyes with Mr Darcy across the space of the crowded ballroom. She had not noticed before that Mr Darcy was observing them; though it was clear that Mr Wickham had known exactly where Mr Darcy was within the room – as well as having been entirely aware that Mr Darcy had been watching the two of them. The air seemed to spark between the two men, and Elizabeth could not fail to notice the palpable tension which flowed in waves between them. She saw the scornful sneer that Mr Wickham shot towards his enemy – and Mr Darcy bristling in return.’
In fact, Mr Darcy is so unsettled by the sight of Elizabeth dancing with his enemy, and so jealous, that he acts immediately to separate them. Unfortunately for Elizabeth, this is only the first of a series of humiliating experiences that she is to face that evening – and the consequences of Mr Darcy’s actions are to cause a scandal which will unavoidably change her future.
Pride and Prejudice Regency forced marriage scenario. Mr. Bennet suddenly dies in a carriage accident. Elizabeth is faced with a chance to save her family with a renewed proposal from someone she considered the last man in the world whom she would ever marry.
On seeing her, he stood immediately to his feet. “Allow me to help you,” he said. Darcy took the heavy tray from her. Elizabeth cleaned her father’s desk from the books and Darcy put the tray there.
Elizabeth was silent as she fixed the tea for him.
“Milk and sugar, if I remember correctly,” she said.
“Yes, thank you.” He took the cup from her, touching her hand lightly in the process.
“I am afraid that we can offer you only a plain cake,” she said apologetically.
“It is quite enough, I assure you.”
Darcy drank his tea, his dark eyes wandering over the room.
“I can see that you are in the process of moving,” he stated the obvious.
“Yes, we are,” Elizabeth confirmed. “I am still looking through my father’s personal archive. Mr Collins plans to move here before the end of the summer and my mother is determined to move out before it happens.”
“That is perfectly understandable.”
They enjoyed their tea in silence. Elizabeth was hoping that the visit would come to an end soon. After what had transpired between them that afternoon at Hunsford, she had not thought to see Mr Darcy ever again. His visit today was utterly unexpected.
“I trust that your family is in good health taking into consideration the circumstances,” he said.
“They are. We are slowly accustoming ourselves to our changed circumstances. My mother does not admit guests for the time being.”
He nodded his head. “Of course. I expected no less.”
Elizabeth bowed her head, allowing herself a small smile, hearing relief in his tone and expression. She could easily believe that Mr Darcy was not eager to see Mrs Bennet.
“May I ask what are your plans after leaving Longbourn?” he asked.
“That is not a secret. My mother owns a house in Meryton which she inherited from her father. It is adequate for us.”
“May I ask for some more tea?” he asked.
Elizabeth smiled. She refilled his cup.
“Thank you,” he said. He took a sip before putting the cup back on the tray. He rose to his feet and began pacing the room, raking his fingers through his hair.
Elizabeth watched him from her seat. A feeling of unease filled her heart. What was the true purpose of his visit?
“Miss Elizabeth, I cannot be silent. You must allow me to speak freely. I cannot allow you to live in poverty. Neither can I allow myself to live without you.”
Elizabeth opened her pink lips, staring up at his towering form, standing over her.
“Allow me to resubmit my offer of marriage, Miss Elizabeth,” he said, his features etched with determination and resolve.
Elizabeth felt that all the strength momentarily left her body. The teacup which she held in her hands fell onto the carpet, spilling the rest of the tea on her black dress. She watched Darcy, who knelt in front of her, picking up the cup and saucer, which were thankfully not broken.
“Have you burned yourself, Miss Elizabeth?” he enquired gently, gazing into her eyes.
She shook her head.
He sat back on the opposite chair.
“I am awaiting your answer,” he reminded her.
She cleared her throat. “I am not certain if I understood you correctly, sir,” she spoke weakly.
He leaned forward and reached for her hand, encompassing it very gently within his. “I will speak more plainly then. I still love you and wish for you to become my wife.”
Elizabeth looked at her hand, lying in his. She shook her head.
“It cannot be,” she whispered.
“I assure you that I know my mind very well. I beg you to consider my offer once again.”
Elizabeth swallowed, looking up at him. “I cannot give you an answer now.”
“I understand. May I return tomorrow?”
“Yes. No.” She shook her head. “Let us meet at Oakham Mount,” she proposed. “At midday."
Darcy may have been forced to marry Elizabeth Bennet — but nobody could force him to live with her.Enraged at the Bennet family's manipulation, Darcy takes his new wife to Pemberley and leaves her there. He returns to London, with every intention of every intention of making his life apart from her.
But as time goes on, he cannot avoid the feeling that he has left something very special in Derbyshire. Perhaps it is not just Pemberley he misses?
Estranged from her family, and now trapped in a marriage she never wanted, Elizabeth must make a new life alone. With her husband's family against her, she needs to take drastic measures if she is to find a way through this.
The only question is, does she want to escape from Darcy, or to him?
Can a family's betrayal ever be forgiven? And when a marriage starts without love, can love ever be found?
A Life Apart is a sweet and clean Regency Romance of 94,000 words.
Saved from scandal...but ruined by love?Elizabeth Bennet is shocked when the unthinkable happens at the Netherfield ball. And no, she is not referring to proud, pompous Mr. Darcy asking her to dance—though that was a surprise, as was his fine dancingas his fine dancing ability.
But when Elizabeth takes a moment to cool herself on the verandah outside, Mr. Wickham shocks her by crashing the party—and then attacking Elizabeth!
He's madly intent to ruin her in front of her friends, family, and most especially Mr. Darcy. But when Darcy is the first to discover Elizabeth and Wickham in what appears to be a compromising position, the master of Pemberley shocks her and saves her—by claiming Elizabeth has promised to marry him!
Lizzy can't be content with a forced marriage, even one that saves her and all the Bennets from scandal. But as she slowly grows to know Mr. Darcy, she realizes she's in danger of losing her heart...
To a haunted man who can never love her back.
Gentle readers, please note that my past books have featured our dear couple in quite intimate scenes. This particular Pride and Prejudice variation focuses on the blooming love and emotional connection between Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy and Miss Elizabeth Bennet. (Alright, and a few fiery confrontations!) But the newlyweds DO share heated, sensual moments, as well. Get ready for a deliciously scandalous adventure!
In the wilds of Hertfordshire, Caroline Bingley knew that she was without equal--especially as the reputed "Bennet Beauties" failed to hold a candle to her beauty, fashion, and comportment. So why did she have to watch the gentleman of her dreams, Fitzwilliam Darcy, find himself ensnared by a pair of "fine eyes"? Even worse, it was not only Mr. Darcy that had been ensnared, but her brother as well, by the beautiful Miss Jane Bennet. The situation did not improve, to Caroline's dismay, as Miss Bennet's dinner invitation ends in her illness and the arrival of her impertinent sister, Miss Eliza.
It is on the last night of their stay, that tempers flare, and then cool with the knowledge that the Bennet sisters shall soon be gone from Netherfield, and away from Charles and Mr. Darcy.
Soon thereafter, rumours begin to spread of Miss Eliza and Mr. Darcy being seen in a compromising position at Netherfield! To Caroline's dismay, Mr. Darcy and Miss Eliza become engaged almost immediately, yet she cannot find it within her to accept defeat.
Join Elizabeth and Darcy as they ask themselves the most important questions that pertain to marriage, love, and family, while also making new friendships, and discovering each other's true character in a time of adversity.
This is a forced marriage novel that is approximately 80,000 words.
This novel contains approximately 1,00 words of a sample short story, that is currently untitled.
In marriage-minded Regency England, one simple word can ruin your life. Compromise! can bring down a virtuous maiden, like Miss Elizabeth Bennet, and her entire family along with her.When Elizabeth finds Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy outside Netherfield, aloerfield, alone and at his most vulnerable, she must make a quick decision to bend the rules of propriety to help him or turn her back on someone in need. Her tender heart reaches out to him and his wounded one grabs hold of her well-intentioned support. Discovery changes the course of their lives as Elizabeth is forced to accept a reluctant proposal of marriage from this man whom she has just barely begun to respect. Can Jane Austen’s most beloved couple reach a compromise that might turn a tenuous friendship into a loving marriage? Will it survive as desperate, unscrupulous, and foolish people alike set compromising machinations into motion for their own greedy ends?
Follow Elizabeth and Darcy in this novel-length Regency romance as J. Dawn King takes them through a sweet variation of Pride and Prejudice where compromises abound and outcomes will surprise you.
By the author of Amazon bestsellers A Father’s Sins and One Love, Two Hearts, Three Stories.
BONUS PREVIEW INCLUDED: The Trouble With Horses by Elizabeth Ann West
A forced marriage. When Elizabeth Bennet’s reputation is ruined, Mr. Darcy feels honor bound to marry her. The problem is, Elizabeth despises him and Darcy won't let her go. Excerpt: Elizabeth laughed, but it was not a pleasant sound. “You are i are incredible, sir. If I had ever for one minute considered marrying you, your actions today would make me change my mind.”
Darcy was dumbfounded. “I don’t understand.”
“No, I don’t think you do. I don’t think you are capable of understanding. You act like one of the Greek gods, doing whatever you want, regardless of the consequences. At first, I thought it was because I am a woman and many men think women are of no importance, that we are silly, irrational creatures and cannot make decisions for our lives. But no, you don’t think you are superior only to women. You think you are superior to everyone. Tell me, is it lonely on Mount Olympus?”
Darcy flinched. “I do not think I am superior. I merely saw what needed to be done and did it.”
Elizabeth countered, “Without consulting me!”
“I am consulting with you now.”
“No, you are not. You are telling me what you have already done.”
Darcy’s Folly is a variation of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, a novella set in the Regency Era.
Pride and Prejudice Regency forced marriage scenario. While visiting her friend Charlotte at Hunsford cottage Elizabeth finds herself in a compromising situation with Mr Darcy. Forced by the unfortunate circumstances she had to reconsider his offer of marriage. Will she find happiness in a marriage to the man whom she professed to hate?
“I wish to apologize for my aunt’s behaviour,” Darcy said. “It was uncalled for.”
She raised an eyebrow. “Your aunt’s behaviour?”
“Yes, indeed. She has offended you gravely and you did nothing to deserve such treatment. I have never been engaged to my cousin. Neither did I ever have any romantic intentions towards her. I have never cared for the rumours that might have circulated about us. I have never denied them, though. I can see now that my attitude could have created the impression for some people, my aunt included, that I was willing to marry Anny one day. That has never been the case, I assure you. My intentions towards you were always honest.”
She cocked her head to the side. “Should I thank you then that you were noble enough to offer me marriage and not a position of another kind, as your aunt suggested to me?”
“You must be aware than many men in my position would have acted quite differently towards a young woman of your station. But no, I have never thought of offering you the position of my mistress.”
Elizabeth wrapped her hands around her middle and took a few steps away from him, murmuring to herself but loud enough for him to hear. “How very considerate of you.”
“You must be aware that you simply cannot leave for Hertfordshire before the two of us come to an understanding,” he said.
Elizabeth turned to face him. “Mr Darcy, I do not deny that we both found ourselves in a most unfortunate situation. My hope is that we shall come up with a solution which shall satisfy both parties.”
“Miss Elizabeth, I do understand that you were not expecting my initial proposal. You must see your good fortune now when the initial shock is gone. It is highly improbable either for you or your sister to ever encounter a man of my station in life willing to marry one of you.”
Elizabeth closed her eyes for a moment. Mr Darcy was stubborn. He refused to accept her decision. “Mr Darcy, I think that your aunt would be more than willing to forget about everything if only…”
“If only I married Anne,” he finished, interrupting her. “It is out of the question.”
“If only you said to Lady Catherine that you did not wish to marry me,” she continued, her voice patient, “I am certain that she would be more than happy to forget about all of it and silence all the gossip about our supposed secret meetings and engagement. I will return home and no one will ever hear anything about it. My reputation shall be saved, and we shall all forget about this most unfortunate situation.”
She stared into his face almost pleadingly, waiting for his response.
“You refused the money,” he said. “My aunt offered you a small fortune if only you were to leave silently. You refused. Is that true?”
“Why did you do it?”
“Is your intention to offend me even more than your aunt did, Mr Darcy?” she asked sharply.
He took a step towards her and looked deeply into her eyes. “Perhaps, after all, you did not wish to lose the very last chance of reconciliation with me.”
Elizabeth chuckled mirthlessly, shaking her head. “Your presumptuousness is truly astounding, sir. Do you truly think that everyone can be bought? I do not care for your fortune, Mr Darcy. I am not one to be bribed or bought.”
His only response was his gaze switching from her eyes to her mouth.
A childish prank forced them to marry. Now, Elizabeth and Darcy must make the most of their union, only Lizzy is convinced her husband could never love her.Is convinced that it is really Anne, the daughter of Lady Catherine de Bourgh, whom he loves.Brgh, whom he loves.
But with the holiday season comes a chance to truly begin their marriage…if only they can escape the machinations of those with ulterior motives…and if Darcy and Elizabeth can finally admit to each other the depths of their affection.
Her Husband's Gift is the second passionate novella in the After the Wedding Series, vignettes reimagining what may have happened with Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth at Pemberley after they married. These stories will not necessarily be told in chronological order or even feature the exact same Darcy & Elizabeth. Each short will include a tastefully written steamy sensual scene which enhances the exploration of marital intimacy between ODC. Variation #1 in this series is Her Husband's Affection. If you crave tales depicting the passion, angst, and temper of ODC as they navigate tumultuous but loving marriage, you will enjoy the After the Wedding shorts.
Download now for an emotional, romantic tale of the passions and struggles of marriage.
People will talk.When Mr. Darcy left Netherfield, he thought he would never see Elizabeth Bennet again. But a chance meeting brings them closer together. After an accident, he saves her life, only to ruin her reputation. Elizabeth still dislikes hh still dislikes him and fears that becoming Mrs. Darcy will be a fate worse than death.
Darcy's Winter Wedding is a variation of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice set in the Regency Era.