Pride and Prejudice is told from the point of view of its heroine. As we read the novel, we relate completely to Elizabeth and we believe what we are told. So, her views and, dare I say it, prejudices about Darcy become ours. It is only through her eyes that he is redeemed for us.
Mr. Darcy’s Diary attempts to change all that. It is the story of the great love affair, but told from the point of view of the man involved. If you are a lover of the original, it is fun and it is interesting. What it is not is great literature.
Let’s begin with the obvious -- Amanda Grange had the plot and the majority of the dialogue already written for her. This book has whole sections that are simply cut from the original, especially the early conversations between Elizabeth and Darcy. What Grange does is intercut these conversations with Darcy’s thoughts and private reactions.
And, this is where the fun comes in. Seeing the events we know so well told from the opposite point of view is, in its own way, illuminating. Darcy is, no surprise here, not as proud as we have been led to believe. He is, in fact, a bit shy and repulsed by the idea that a woman would only love him for his money.
We also get a chance to see those events that are only hinted at in the book. The whole Georgiana/Wickham romance, Darcy’s friendship with Bingley and how he convinces him to give up Jane, Darcy’s involvement in the Lydia/Wickham affair are gone into in great detail. It works, for the point of this story is what makes Darcy tick. All of these tales are hugely illuminating to his character.
The other thing this novel does is go into detail about the characters lives after their HEA. The final section of the book is Christmas at Pemberly with every one of the characters gathered together for one last hurrah. As you can imagine, Darcy and Elizabeth are blissfully happy and, times having moved on, Grange makes it clear that they are having sex at every possible opportunity.
If you are a fan of the novel, you will enjoy this. It is not very substantial and it is not very long (I read it one rainy afternoon), but it is an interesting view into Darcy’s thoughts and reactions as he becomes one half of a great love story.
ChrisB is a freelance writer who spends more time than she ought in front of a television screen or with a book in her hand.