Monday, January 14, 2013

The Pride and Prejudice Bicentenary Challenge

I suppose it's rather scandalous that I have yet to make any mention of the 200th anniversary of Pride and Prejudice's publication. There is no excuse for such negligence on a blog supposedly  devoted to all things Jane, so I will make no attempt to justify myself. The year will, I trust, bring ample opportunity to celebrate, and what better insurance than committing myself on the aficionada level (9 to 12 reviews/selections) to participation in The Pride and Prejudice Bicentenary Challenge hosted by Laurel Ann Nattress of Austenprose. I loved participating a year ago in her Sense and Sensibility Bicentenary Challenge, and as I managed to complete my goal of 12 review AND have a baby, I think I should be able to so much again. I have not yet made any final choices regarding what to review, but I am pretty sure I'll include those P&P films I have not reviewed before (which is all of them but the 1980 version, the review for which you can read here), the revised and expanded version of David M. Shapard's Annotated Pride & Prejudice (so glad this came out when it did, as my copy of the first edition has been so well loved that it is now on the verge of falling apart), and the two P&P continuations I actually managed to find a few blissful hours to read over the holidays: The Three Colonels by Jack Caldwell and The Disappearance of Georgiana Darcy by Regina Jeffers. To kick it all off, I thought I would make mention of some of my very favorite P&P based novels that I have reviewed in the past. Perhaps these will provide some inspiration for other challenge participants:

Young Master Darcy: A Lesson in Honour by Pamela Aidan
     Note: I wrote reviews for Ms. Aidan's Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman trilogy. Maybe a    rereading is in order so that I may repair that omission.

The Mr. & Mrs. Darcy Mysteries by Carrie Bebris

Twilight of the Abyss by Casey Childers

Rainy Days by Lory Lillian

Master Under Good Regulation by Kara Louise
     Note: I never did a review for Something Like Regret, which I adored. Perhaps it too will be part of the challenge.

Mr. Darcy's Obsession by Abigail Reynolds
     Note: Never reviewed From Lampton to Longbourn, which presumably now has some other title, and it is one of my very favorite "What if?" stories.

As I made this list, I realized how many more fabulous books I never reviewed, far more than can be noted here, but the most glaring are omissions are Lydia Bennet's Story by Jane Odiwe, A Match for Mary Bennet by Eucharista Ward, and Mr. Darcy's Little Sister by C. Allyn Pierson. There is also the issue of the many new novels that came out over the past 19 months and slipped past my radar, so consumed with baby have I been. If anyone wants to bring to my attention particular books that truly are must reads, I would love to hear your suggestions!


  1. I'm so very excited to see you are participating, my friend! I have missed discussing Austenesque novels with you and swapping reviews greatly! I look forward to seeing what read and review in celebration this year!

    As to what would I recommend? Hmmm...I did a post on my favorites from 2012 - that might be of some help.

    1. Thanks, Meredith! I've missed you too. Darcy's Decision is one I definitely want to read, and your award clinches it. I'll put it in my shopping cart today. I feel pretty daunted jumping into this, but one of my New Year's resolutions was to reclaim my reading time. I've missed so many books this past year and a half!

  2. Hi Alexa, thanks for joining the challenge. Can I suggest that you read one of the P&P sequel classics like Mr. Darcy's Diary, or Letters from Pemberley? If you want to go back even farther, what about Pemberley Shades or Presumption? There are just so many choices it boggles the mind! Have fun. I look forward to your selections.

    1. Hi Laurel Ann! I have actually read all of the books your mention, but I have not reviewed them all. Though your answer in no way affects the veracity of my previous sentence, I'd like to ask which Mr. Darcy's Diary you are suggesting. I did review Letters from Pemberley at some point, which is such a sweet read. Presumption is my favorite of Julia Barrett's books, but it's the only one I haven't reviewed, oddly enough. I would certainly save some money if I reread those books I already own. Perhaps this challenge will end up being almost entirely retrospective for me.

    2. Oh! The Darcys Give A Ball should also be on this list.

  3. You have some good books on your list there! I've read some of them but will look forward to your reviews of them. Have you read "The Unexpected Miss Bennet" by Patrice Sarath? That is about Mary and I thought it was worth reading.

    I am planning to join in the challenge but I've not been organised enough to plan my reading yet. I have two books that somebody lent me though, so I guess I should start there! I have Death Comes To Pemberley by P D James and another I can't remember.

  4. Hi Ceri! The Unexpected Miss Bennet. I will have to check it out. Thanks for the recommendation. I enjoy Mary stories.

    Good luck with the challenge. This will be a lot of fun!