Caitlin Williams fell in love with all things Regency as a teenager, but particularly admires the work of Jane Austen and the way she masterfully combines humour and romance, while weaving them through such wonderful stories and characters.
Pride and Prejudice is her favourite novel and she finds Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet so deliciously entertaining that she likes to borrow them from Ms Austen and enjoys the challenge of putting them in different places and situations.
Her debut novel, Ardently, was written as a hobby, usually with her laptop balanced on the kitchen worktop, typing with one hand, a glass of wine in the other. She used to like travelling, the theatre, movies and fine dining, and drinking cups of tea while they were still hot – but then she had two children, and well, things changed. Some mothers, of course, are mystified at why two socks go into the laundry basket, but only one comes out – this fortunately, poses no problem for Caitlin – being a former police detective, she’s great at finding everything – except the time to write. She lives in Kent, England.
Caitlin has written two Pride and Prejudice variations, both in set in the Regency period, and is currently working on a third book that she hopes will be available in early 2017.
Caitlin’s novels ~
So much in life depends on chance and sheer luck. How much do we often owe to being in the right place at the right time? In Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennet plans to visit the Lake District with her uncle and aunt, yet ends up at Pemberley instead, just as, by coincidence, Mr Darcy also arrives home. They meet, understand one another better and all eventually ends well. But what if they did not have such luck? What if Elizabeth actually went to the Lake District and was nowhere near Pemberley, and she and Mr Darcy never met again until another four years had gone by?
Now they are very different people, altered by marriage, time and situation, although, Mr Darcy’s failed proposal in the Parsonage at Hunsford still haunts both of them in different ways. Elizabeth is a companion to her Aunt, Mrs Mountford, a widow of great standing in society who married exceptionally well and ‘Miss Bennet’ finds herself accepted in the very best of circles and able to marry whomever she might chose. Mr Darcy did his duty by his sickly cousin, Anne de Bourgh, and married her to protect her from the tyrannical force of her mother Lady Catherine. He has come to Bath, however, a widower, with his family, the Fitzwilliams, and his sister, Georgiana.
Darcy sees Elizabeth, the woman who rejected him, in the opposite box at the theatre and cannot help falling in love with her all over again. Now though, it seems there are even more hurdles to overcome for them to be together, including Elizabeth’s new suitor, the handsome and charming Mr Yorke. Mr Darcy is still a little proud, still not able to ‘perform to strangers’. Can Elizabeth see past his reserve and awkwardness to the decent man underneath? Ardently is a light-hearted mix-up of Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion, with a nod and a wink towards Northanger Abbey.
The Coming of Age of Elizabeth Bennet
The very worst has happened. Mr Bennet has died, leaving his wife and five young daughters bereft. The family estate, Longbourn, is now lost, entailed away and fifteen-year-old Elizabeth Bennet is to go two hundred miles away to live with strangers.
George Darcy, repaying a debt of gratitude, has offered to take her to Pemberley, to live under the mantle of his care and be raised alongside his own daughter, Georgiana.
But on the day she is to leave Longbourn forever, young Elizabeth, grieving and confused, runs off into the Hertfordshire countryside. Fitzwilliam Darcy gives chase, telling his father he will have her back in an hour or two. Luck and fate, however, are not on his side and capturing Elizabeth Bennet turns out not only to be more difficult than he could ever have imagined, but events conspire to turn her little adventure into his worst nightmare.
The prideful man and the girl prejudiced against him, meet much earlier in this rethinking of Jane Austen’s masterpiece. Elizabeth grows up under the ever-watchful eye of Mr Darcy, from fifteen to twenty one. She errs and falters, there are stumbles and trips, but could this ‘disobedient little hellion’ one day become mistress of Pemberley and the keeper of his heart?