Welcome to a new feature on Austen Authors! Part of our giving back to the JAFF community is opening our doors to fresh faces you may or may not have found in your search for another Austen-inspired read. Some of these authors have many books for you to learn about, some have a debut. But either way, we know you will be as excited as we are to meet a new friend with a Jane Austen addiction! Our first guest post is from an author with 5 Austen-inspired titles, including her newest one: Darcy + Lizzy. Please give a warm welcome to author April Floyd!
-Elizabeth Ann West
Finding Love in Spite of Ourselves
Elizabeth Bennet has always appealed to me as a modern woman although our dear Jane wrote her witty, wonderful story over 200 years ago. Elizabeth’s wit and intelligence easily translate to today’s setting in my mind and her idea of marrying for love and esteem is the standard many of us set for ourselves.
“My feelings in every respect forbid it. Can I speak plainer? Do not consider me now as an elegant female intending to plague you, but as a rational creature speaking the truth from her heart.’‘
In one of my favorite scenes from the book, Elizabeth takes great pains to persuade her cousin of the sincerity of her refusal of his proposal. She did not love him nor would she pretend such. I’ve never been accused of mincing words, even as a child, so naturally her plain speech impressed me from the outset. And the courage of her convictions, while it might have cost herself or her family dearly, was never something she would compromise. Refusing Mr. Darcy’s first proposal was as exemplary of her mettle as her refusal of Collins.
There have been many times in life when I might have gone along to get along but in the end, facing myself in the mirror has never allowed me to compromise my beliefs. I hope my sons learned this lesson above all else – Don’t change who you are to please others because it won’t work out well for either party in the end.
Elizabeth also rushed to judgment on several occasions. Of course, her opinion of Mr. Darcy was aided by his own behavior and her acceptance of Wickham was aided by his calculated artifice and charm. As much as I hate to admit a kinship there, it does exist. In my younger years, if you got on my bad side you could count on remaining there. Always with the hot temper, quick to anger with a slow burn until all was forgotten. Guilty as charged. But if you were dear to my heart, I would walk across hot coals with a smile on my face if it meant your happiness was guaranteed. Just like Elizabeth did for Jane when she was certain Mr. Darcy had ruined her sister’s future happiness.
I like to think that as Elizabeth grew to understand Mr. Darcy and realized her errors in judgment, she provided an excellent example to the woman I am today. While I married a man I respect deeply and love with all my heart, I can still have moments of judging him wrongly. I am human and that fiery temper still lurks at times. But my Mr. Darcy is patient and kind, loving and forgiving. It just isn’t his nature to ascribe motivation.
I imagine Elizabeth and Darcy living happily ever after with growing pains as they learned to polish and perfect their own failings. I believe there is no perfect person, only one who is perfect for you. Jane Austen gave us a truly beautiful example of finding love in spite of ourselves.
My love for Darcy and Lizzy and their perfect imperfections, as a favorite song boasts, has caused me to imagine them in a contemporary setting along with their family and friends. I would invite you to take a moment and read their story on my blog and see if you too can find a place in our modern world for the world’s most-loved couple.
April Floyd lives in Alaska with her husband and youngest son. She loves happy endings, nice people, and reading great stories. Once upon a time, she was an Army wife and a phlebotomist and recently ran a successful ebook deals site for four years. Historical fiction, Jane Austen, and fantasy/dystopia are her favorite genres.
You can check out April’s books at AuthorAprilFloyd.com and April is offering the readers of Austen Authors an opportunity for 20 readers to get her latest book FREE! The first 20 readers to click here: http://dl.bookfunnel.com/ivy5vl4xzf will be able to download Kindle or Nook (epub) formats! Just follow the instructions on the page! 🙂
If YOU would like to guest post on Austen Authors, you can apply right here! Apply to Guest Post!