My new book, Darcy in Wonderland, comes out tomorrow! Well, the ebook does (paperbacks to follow soon). Next month we’ll have a giveaway and release party, but today I just want to step back and reflect on how much fun I had writing this book! Though the novel is both a Pride and Prejudice sequel and an Alice in Wonderland mashup, I’ve also filled it with references to other Austen novels, some more obvious than others. In particular, I had an amazing time taking the poems that occur throughout Alice in Wonderland and parodying them with a twist of Austen thrown in. Lewis Carroll’s poems are parodies themselves of verses that would have been quite familiar to his Victorian audience, so it felt like a very natural place to go a bit wild. Here are a couple of my favorites. Do you recognize the references? Also get a glimpse of some of the original illustrations by K. Wiedemann featured in the book. Share your thoughts and insights on both in the comments!
‘Tis the voice of the Lobster: In tones not muted,
‘Take no pleasure in novels? Intolerably stupid!’
Like a lady when shopping for muslins and lace,
Our minds shout agreement, even as our hearts race.
‘Little boys and girls should be tormented,’ he said,
But only so long as it is good for their heads:
‘To torment or instruct: words found synonymous.’
All precision of language has now simply gone amiss.
I passed by his garden, and to my surprise,
Something shocking indeed was happening inside.
‘Indeed! Of what nature!’ The questions were fret.
‘More horrible than anything we’ve met with yet.’
‘Good heaven! A riot? Give me peace of mind!’
‘I expect murder and everything of that kind.’
Laughing, ‘The riot is only in your own brain!
The confusion there might drive anyone insane.’
Know the scene and place? Well this one is a bit more tricky:
And mentioned me to say,
Good things about my character:
That she should hear me play.
She then sent word that I should come
And be her governess.
The offer like a cherry plum.
I gave her one, and then two more,
And yet three more in time,
Excuses, each that she ignored,
And yet I still opined.
We learned through hearsay, during tea,
Just after I gave in,
A sickly woman ceased to be
To no one’s great chagrin.
This obstacle now done away,
He only needed come,
To Mrs. Suckling’s great dismay,
I passed the cherry plum.
In wedded bliss I soon shall bask,
At Enscombe, a few miles hence.
Not of you shall I ever ask,
Nor give you recompense.
And let’s wrap up with an easy one. Everyone should get this:
“You are old, Lady Catherine,” the young girl said,
“And your hair has become very white;
Yet you improved Rosings alone, you swellhead!
Do you think, at your age, it is right?”
“In my youth,” Lady Catherine said to the girl,
“I’d command someone else to do it;
But since the first time that I gave it a whirl
I know no one more equal to it.”
“You are old,” said the girl, “as I mentioned before,
And your bones have become quite brittle,
Yet you goad your relations, prompting uproar —
Don’t you fear it will end in committal?”
“In my youth,” said her ladyship, a frown on her face,
“I’d lambaste you for speaking so shrill;
But now that death and I shall so soon embrace
I’ll simply write you out of the will.”
“You are old,” said the girl, “and your jaws are too weak
For little else other than pudding
Yet you told off the Rector, the Cook, and a Sheik —
Why so disagreeable, woman?”
“In my youth,” said the Dame, “I knew it my call,
And argued with all and sundry.
And the muscular strength, which it gave to my jaw
Allows me to keep speaking bluntly.”
For more fun, order the book from Amazon today: https://www.amazon.com/Darcy-Wonderland.