Have you caught the wedding fever? Were not the posts on the joining of Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet exquisite? But have no fears!! We will NEVER leave you “begging” for more. There are too many talented writers on this site to leave our readers wanting.
Join us tomorrow for the announcement of the winners of the Anniversary Giveway #2 prizes. Our purpose today is to announce the third set of prizes up for grabs. This giveaway will run from November 17 – 23. To enter, leave a comment on one of the posts during those dates. To increase one’s chances of winning, do not forget to use the Rafflecopter option to connect the posts to Social Media.
Here are the prizes for the third giveaway…
An eight-book autographed set of novels by Regina Jeffers, donated by Ulysses Press
- 1996’s Emma (donated by Sharon Lathan)
- 2008’s Becoming Jane (donated by Sharon Lathan)
- 2008’s Persuasion (donated by Regina Jeffers)
- 2008’s The Duchess (donated by Mary Simonsen)
- 2005’s Pride and Prejudice (donated by Regina Jeffers)
Jane Austen Jigsaw Puzzle by Potter Style, donated by Susan Adriani
A copy of The Wicked Wit of Jane Austen by Dominque Enright, donated by Sharon Lathan
An eBook version of Compulsively Mr. Darcy, donated by Nina Benneton
An autographed copy of Searching for Captain Wentworth, donated by Jane Odiwe
A three-book set of Alternate History Austen-inspired novels, donated by Sourcebooks
- Pemberley Ranch by Jack Caldwell
- Searching for Pemberley by Mary Lydon Simonsen
- Darcy’s Voyage by Kara Louise
**In Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen does not say where the Darcys spent their wedding night. It could have been Netherfield, or the Darcy townhouse in London since that would have been close. Unfortunately, it could not have been Pemberley due to the distance from Hertfordshire. When inspired to write my sequel series, I wanted the Darcys to begin life at Pemberley, so hastened to move them north, meaning that their wedding night needed to be creative! This is my vision, edited for space and to remain PG, but essentially as it appears in Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One.
For their first night together as a married couple, Darcy secured lodging at the White Stag Inn near Bedford. Located a few miles off the main thoroughfare to London from Derbyshire, it was the perfect resting point for the two-day carriage ride from Pemberley. That trek was one he had completed more times than he could remember, the White Stag discovered years ago and so frequently stayed at that the owners, Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton, knew him well. They were ecstatic at the idea of hosting him and his new bride.
Arrangements had been made in advance, Darcy thorough in his planning. He secured the largest suite of rooms, those situated on the topmost floor of the sturdy red-brick building and toward the rear with a stunning view of the small lake and park. Aside from comfort and aesthetics, these rooms offered the most privacy. With travelers lighter this time of year, the inn and public rooms would see fewer customers, but Darcy was taking no chances. Everything must be perfect for this night he had awaited with breathless anticipation for a seeming eternity. Never in his life had any evening been so tremendously and lovingly contemplated.
Elizabeth slept during the carriage ride from Netherfield. This bothered Darcy not at all. The joy of holding her in his arms and gazing upon her sleeping face was greater than he ever would have imagined. And after the chaotic activities of the past days, he definitely appreciated the advantage of his new wife regaining her strength before they arrived at the inn! Besides, waking her with gentle kisses was a highly pleasurable experience. Continue reading →
This is part of a little series I’ve been writing to give new insights into Bingley and Jane. In P&P, we see Jane interacting with her family, especially Elizabeth, and we have Bingley interacting with his family and Darcy. What we don’t have much of is what these two characters say to each other. That got me to wondering – what do Jane and Bingley talk about when they’re alone? Here’s a link to the vignette just before this – Bingley and Jane Discover They Have Something in Common – which shows their developing relationship after the engagement.
The decision where to spend their wedding night had not been an easy one for the Bingleys. Clearly, staying at Netherfield would have been more familiar and comfortable for Jane, but after a few hints from Mrs. Bennet that she might need to “check” on her darling daughter, the bride-to-be decided that London seemed infinitely more attractive.
Although moving to Bingleys’ home in town meant traveling on the day of the wedding, they would have more privacy and the potential for both spending time alone and enjoying the delights of London. Caroline and the Hursts would have to choose between staying at Netherfield and moving to Hurst’s family townhouse. This option also had the distinct advantage of installing Caroline, who had so far been maintaining a thin civility toward her future relatives, in another household. Bingley secretly hoped it might set a precedent. Perhaps, she would continue to spend more of her time with the Hursts and less with her brother and his new wife although he knew in all probability that was a futile hope.
The Bingleys arrived at the townhouse early in the evening on the day of the wedding. During the long carriage ride, the groom had refrained from ravishing his bride more from sheer exhaustion than any sense of propriety, although a sleeping Jane snuggled against him had proven to be more than a small temptation. Once at the townhouse, he used up what was left of his self-control to prevent himself from seizing her and rushing up the stairs to their rooms. Although he was always concerned he might alarm Jane with his ardor, he was delighted to find she seemed equally as eager as he to be alone.
Once they had settled in, a light meal was served, but neither the bride nor the groom had much appetite for food. Bingley fed small bites to Jane urging her to keep up her strength, but both were too anxious to even taste the fine fare prepared especially for them. Finally, although slightly embarrassed at the early hour, they decided to retire for the evening and let the servants think what they will. Continue reading →
The church in Meryton was ancient. Constructed of grey stones, darkly painted oak pillars and ceiling beams, and arched stained-glass windows depicting scenes from the Bible, it was modestly outfitted with the necessary Anglican implements, and simplistic in design. Nevertheless, it was a lovely chapel with plenty of room for the assembled witnesses. The adornment of autumn flowers, ribbons draped over the pews, and lit candles enhanced the natural beauty of the sanctuary, as well as proclaiming the unique purpose of this day’s agenda.
A wedding was to occur!
The two eldest Bennet daughters were to be married to the two most eligible bachelors ever to grace Hertfordshire society. The double ceremony was a noteworthy rarity, but the fervor surrounding the wealthy gentlemen who were the grooms increased the excitement. Tiny Meryton had never seen such an extraordinary happening, everyone discussing the topic whether they were invited to the nuptials or not.
Charles Bingley and Fitzwilliam Darcy were blissfully unaware of the scuttlebutt. Like every groom since the dawn of time, they nervously stood on the dais beside the rector, waiting in anticipation while struggling to hide their nerves and present a calm, dignified appearance before the gathering crowd. Dressed in new, impeccably tailored black suits, freshly shaven, hair trimmed and styled precisely, they were the epitome of high style and elegance. The refined exteriors impressed the guests, and served to remind each young man to maintain composure as they waited. Nodding and smiling at friends and family as seats were taken aided in distracting from fears of fumbling their vows or tripping on the steps. To a degree, that is.
Neither man cared a whit about the decorations, barely noticed them in fact, their concentration focused on the door where the women they loved would emerge. After what honestly felt like a million hours, the main chapel door closed and a woman took her place at the organ.
“Breath, Darcy,” Bingley whispered.
“Same to you, Charles.”
And then the chords of the wedding march rang out and they both forgot to heed the whispered advice. Continue reading →
For at least the third time, Charlotte Collins felt an elbow poke itself into her ribs. Her sister Maria was beside herself with excitement at attending Lizzy and Jane’s wedding. Her parents were puffed up with pride as well, and her mother was no doubt taking note of every detail so that she could report on it later to her friends. Most of their neighbors were green with jealousy since only family members had been invited to the ceremony. Charlotte felt a distinct sense of satisfaction at knowing her family’s invitation was owing to her connection to the Bennets, not because of her father’s position.
It had been a revelation for her to return to Meryton as the future mistress of Longbourn. People who had little time for her in the past made an effort to ask her opinion on various matters. After years of being viewed as nothing more than the plain spinster daughter of the former mayor, now she had a position of her own in society and an enviable future. She had never realized before the extent to which she had been disregarded by many people. This was a definite improvement.
Of course, if the change in her status had been a shock to her, it was nothing to what Lizzy must be experiencing. In a few short minutes, she would be Mrs. Darcy of Pemberley. No longer would she be Mrs. Bennet’s least favorite daughter, the one whose liveliness had more than once caused people to whisper behind their hands that no man would ever take up with the likes of Lizzy Bennet. Now she would be the one they would go to, hat in hand, to beg a favor, that she put a word in the right ear, that she use her influence for this or for that. It was fortunate that Lizzy was not the gloating sort. Continue reading →
Caroline Bingley rolled her eyes heavenward and leant closer to her sister. “Double disaster, more like,” she whispered. Although she had no choice but to attend this farce, she did not have to make believe she liked it.
Her brother’s choice of bride was truly a disaster. He might have married a girl from one of the best families, someone who would have enhanced the prestige of the Bingley name… and perhaps added to the family’s fortune as well. What had they all been working for, after all, if not to raise themselves to where nobody would ever remember their humble origins again? Louisa had done her part, at great person sacrifice. But Charles! He was this minute throwing his one chance away on a nobody, and there was nothing she could do about it.
Caroline could not bear to watch her brother disgracing himself, but she did hazard a glance in Mr. Darcy’s direction… and a sigh. Were there any justice in the world, she would have been the one standing up beside him now, the one he was regarding so tenderly, the one to whom he plighted his highly covetable troth. It was unaccountable – and patently unfair – that after all her efforts, all her attentiveness, he should also prefer a Miss Bennet! It was not to be borne!
Had Darcy determined to marry Miss de Bourgh over herself, she might have understood, for then she would have been beaten by the undeniable claims of a noble bloodline and a superior fortune. But what did Miss Eliza Bennet have to boast of… except for those notorious “fine eyes”?
It was indeed a harsh blow, and one that was not to be recovered from anytime soon.
Happy for all her maternal feelings was the day on which Mrs Bennet got rid of her two most deserving daughters. With what delighted pride she reflected on the day’s events as she and Mr Bennet sat amongst the detritus left from the celebrations in the dining-parlour.
‘Mr Bennet, did you ever attend such a wedding? What a remarkable day! I think it all passed off exceptionally well. I am excessively pleased with everything. Everyone behaved prettily and I never saw so many onlookers gawping at the church gate. Mrs Long’s nieces seemed enraptured, in particular. Of course, those poor girls will probably never see a wedding of their own. They cannot help being so very plain but I like them well enough for it. Plainer even than Charlotte Lucas – not that I think her exceptionally so, but then she is such a cherished friend. Next to Jane, anyone would be at a disadvantage. I said to Lady Lucas and Mrs Long, “Did you ever see a more radiant bride?” and, of course, they concurred.’
‘How could they do anything else, my dear?’
‘And I know you are not fond of discussing lace, Mr Bennet, but our girls’ lace marked them out with distinction. Elizabeth’s veil has been in the Darcy family since the time of good old Henry, I believe. I daresay, Anne Boleyn herself saw it grace some noble head.’
‘More than likely. And before she lost her own, I presume.’
‘Mr Bennet! Nothing you say will vex me today.’
‘I am glad to hear it!’
Smiles decked the face of Mrs Bennet. ‘And dear Bingley is so good-looking and everything a gentleman should be even if he has not quite the consequence of dear Darcy.’ Continue reading →
Never comfortable in large gatherings, Darcy accepted the congratulations of each guest with as much civility as anyone recalled his doing previously. Being always no more than an arm’s length from Elizabeth throughout the gathering calmed his heart. His arm often slipped around her waist to keep her close to him, and she rewarded Darcy with enticing smiles. A squeeze of his hand reminded him in a few minutes more they would be alone on the road to London. Each time she did so increased the intensity of Darcy’s gaze directed exclusively toward Elizabeth.
They were standing close together, whispering endearments, when the Bingley sisters approached. “Miss Eliza,” Caroline Bingley said falsely, “you look lovely today.”
“Thank you, Miss Bingley. Being the recipient of Mr. Darcy’s regard makes it easy for one to appear lovely.” Elizabeth smiled prettily, but Darcy noted the slight smirk in her tone.
“Congratulations, Mr. Darcy.” Disappointment laced Caroline’s tone. Darcy felt a twinge of guilt. Although he never encouraged Miss Bingley’s affection, he had not fully discouraged it either.
“Thank you, Miss Bingley,” he said sincerely, but when Darcy noted the lady’s grimace, he could not avoid a pointed reply. “I agree with you: Mrs. Darcy is beautiful. Of course, I always thought her eyes as fine. They pierced my soul.” Darcy’s smile encouraged Elizabeth’s response. It spoke of their close connection.
Caroline bit her words. “Yes, I recall your saying as such on several occasions.”
Elizabeth turned to her new husband and feigned innocence. “Did you, Fitzwilliam?” Continue reading →
“This is the last time we will do this, you know,” said Lizzy. “From now on your maid Molly will be fixing your hair.”
“Lizzy, don’t be a goose. We can do this again when we visit,” Jane replied trying to cheer her sister.
“But it will not be the same.”
Just then, Kitty and Mary swept in, giggling as they gathered around.
“What do you think of our new dresses?” asked Kitty, twirling in a circle to display her new pink gown to its fullest advantage. “Mary, show them the beautiful lace on yours.”
Mary was usually the last one to be looked at or admired, and so when her sisters turned to look at her dress, the attention made her blush. Then they realized that something was different about her.
“Mary, you look lovely!” Jane exclaimed. And in fact, she did. Her hair was done more softly around her face making her look less severe. Lavender-colored ribbons, the same color as the flowers on her muslin dress, were wound artfully into her hair.
“Please stop talking about me as if I were not here,” Mary said, clearly embarrassed at the compliments she was receiving. Continue reading →
With the moment of the wedding approaching, and the two eldest Bennet daughters getting ready upstairs, the household was in a joyful uproar. Mrs. Bennet spent her time wringing her hands, rushing up and down the stairs, pointing out bits of lace, jewelry, and attire to the maids who assisted the brides, and directing Mrs. Hill and the other servants to “make haste, make haste!” in setting the table for the wedding breakfast that was to take place soon afterwards. She then stood fussing over every tiny detail, commenting on the servants’ performance, the condition of the plates and cutlery, and the setting out of fine spotless glasses—until Mr. Bennet gently took her aside, and they sat down together “to catch a breath” in the nearby parlor.
“Oh, Mr. Bennet! I am expiring! I am departed! How I shall be driven to distraction! And they are not even wed yet!” his wife exclaimed, collapsing on the sofa, but continuing to fidget with nervous energy. She was worrying her handkerchief, the same one that she had managed to carry with her everywhere these past few days—not unlike a small pug, it occurred to Mr. Bennet with amusement—and it was apparent the bit of muslin was soon to be in tatters.
“Now, now, my dear; no need to be driven to anything, at least not yet—not until a quarter of an hour. At that point the wedding carriages will be doing the driving, and you will be spared that odious duty normally given to horses or conveyances.”
“Oh! You make jest now, Mr. Bennet, how can you! Our two eldest are about to be married to the finest gentlemen in the realm! How can you sit so calmly now?”
“My dear, if you prefer, I shall stand or march in place. But I do not believe it will make any difference for my own peace of mind.”
“Stand, sit, gallop—do whatever you like, Mr. Bennet! Our daughters are getting married to ten and five thousand a year!” Continue reading →