Launch of Convincing Mr. Darcy, a Novella, by Mary Lydon Simonsen — 91 Comments

  1. I adore Henry Tilney. To me he is the most endearing of Austen’s heroes. He’s a jovial metrosexual who does not think it is beneath him to interest himself in his sister’s interests, and while he knows that Catherine is a little silly (OK, maybe more than a little), he loves her without judgment. He’s honorable, kind, and practical. Just a really good guy.

  2. Give me Colonel Fitzwilliam any day of the week, and twice on Sunday. He is smart, clever, amusing, and a perfect foil to the rest of his family. He is what he is and makes no bones about it. I always love any story that features the Colonel, and I have always admired his handling of Darcy and Lady Catherine. He outmaneuvers them both quite easily, and could charm anyone out of anything.

    • Mari, I couldn’t have said it better and I agree with you. Col. Fitzwilliam is the very best, he’s a good sport and I would so like to join him (well.. apart from battlefield…)!

      Congratulations, Mary, Convincing Mr. Darcy sounds good!

      • Hi Nicola. The character of Col. Fitzwilliam has so much potential. He was an important character in my novel, Another Place in Time. Thanks for commenting.

    • Hi Mari. I would love to know more about Colonel Fitzwilliam, but JA was clever in not having a minor character outshine Mr. Darcy. The colonel was an important character in my novel, Another Place in Time. Thanks for commenting.

    • Capt. Wentworth is one of my favorites. Jane’s brother was an officer in the Navy, and perhaps she drew some of Wentworth’s characteristics from her brother. I grew up in the Navy. Wentworth reminds me much of those years with his take control, albeit subdued, attitude. His ability to be patient and somewhat removed while waiting for his lady are wonderful endearing qualities. Thanks for letting me share.

  3. I would have to say that outside of our dear couple, my favorite character would be Captain Wentworth. I find it very touching that so stern and disciplined a person could carry a torch for Ann Elliot for eight years. His letter to her moves me every single time.

    I must admit to being partial to the 1995 BBC film version, with Ciaran Hinds. In his portrayal, Wentworth clearly loves Ann in spite of his efforts not to, and it is very satisfying when he finally gives in to his heart.

    • Hi Florence. Good choice. I love Captain Wentworth and Ciarnan Hinds. To wait 8 years for Anne! Sigh!. Thanks for commenting.

  4. Mr Collins is quite special for me, his dunce qualities such a unaware character. Jane must have met a few in her time, as she can describe them pretty well. His proposal to Elizabeth is one of the funniest in her books, he just cannot see why she would not want to marry him (poor guy).

    • Hi Terri. I agree! I think Mr. Collins is brilliant. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the 1980 P&P, but the actor who plays Mr. Collins is a gigantic buffoon. He owns that role. Thanks for commenting.

  5. I am so excited that you have written another book and have purchased it and look forward to reading it with the greatest of pleasure. I have read almost everyone of your published works and have had hours of enjoyment with all of them.

  6. Although she will likely never be a character to merit (my) sympathy, I would like to know how on earth Caroline Bingley became such a social climbing, mean spirited bundle of nastiness. Surely someone tripped her in front of a large audience, causing her to fall and expose her pantaloons to God and Country. How defensive can a young woman be?

    • Hi Katherine. Caroline is really nasty. Makes a nice foil for Elizabeth. I think her character may have influenced Thackery’s Becky Sharpe, and she influenced Scarlett O’Hara. Thanks for commenting.

  7. I like Mary Crawford: beautiful, stylish, and clever, she has enough good principles left in her to admire them in Edmund. I would love to see Edmund and Mary happily wed. Of course, we would have find a proper husband for Fanny (certainly NOT Henry Crawford).

    • Hi John. You are one of two who chose Mansfield Park. It’s rare to see someone stick up for Mary Crawford. Thanks for commenting.

  8. Mary, I just love your books. So glad to see you’ve written another and included Darcy’s parents. My favorite character has always been Mr. Collins outside of Elizabeth and Darcy! He’s such a people pleaser and someone proud of his accomplishments and he bumbles around making indelicate comments to everyone. You have to laugh but also feel bad for him sometimes.

    • Hi Serena. I agree! Mr. Collins is brilliant. Usually when a character is so self-centered, you hope for reform, but not with Mr. Collins! He’ll bumble his way through life never knowing how ridiculous he is! Thanks for commenting.

  9. I’m so glad you have a new book finished.

    One of my favorite Austen characters is Mr. Knightly. I like the way he calmly & subtly helps Emma Woodhouse become a better person.

  10. I love your books and purchased this as soon ass it was released. I will soon be reading it and leaving a review. Thank you for another wonderful story.

  11. Thank you both for another book to enjoy but the insight into your marketing and publishing. As a budding author those insights are valuable. Most all of Austen’s characters are memorable and many are favorites but I would have to say that Lady Catherine stands out in my mind for she shows Darcy how well qualified Elizabeth is to cope with the snide remarks of the ton, how pride and condensation can harm one, and frankly she is so ridiculous that she is comic relief. Without Ledy Catherine our favorite couple might not have come together in the end!

    • Hi Meg. I think JA created a masterful character in Lady Catherine. After witnessing her obnoxious behavior to Lizzy, I’m hoping that Darcy revised his harsh opinion of Mrs. Bennet. As far as book promotion is concerned, I published 4 books with Sourcebooks, and each book required a lengthy blog tour. I don’t think there is one thing left for me to say about my books or me! But if I were just starting out, I’d use every bell and whistle. I’d even figure out Twitter. My husband recently went into semi-retirement, and we have more time for travel. Best of luck on your career.

  12. Congrats on your new release, Mary! This sounds fantastic. Thanks for sharing the excerpt; it definitely got my attention. Mr. Knightley is one of my favorite Austen characters. I love how he is such a good friend to Emma and sees the good in her even when she is being a bit awful.

    • Hi Anna. I agree with you about Knightley. I hope Emma is worthy of him. But then she really is young. Always good to hear from you.

  13. I love Colonel Brandon but must admit being swayed by Alan Rickmans portrayal. The sad part is Marianne is not a favorite of mine but I like to think he makes her a better person. I look forward to reading your novella!

    • Hi Constance. If I had my druthers, I’d have Brandon end up with Elinor. I agree with you. I thought Col. Brandon was a dullard until I saw Rickman’s portray. So sad that he’s gone. Thanks for commenting.

  14. My favourite male character is Colonel Fitzwilliam, although very little is known about him, I presume that he is an honourable man, and as he is more sociable and interesting than Darcy he is the person I would rather spend time with.

    • Hi Vesper. I wrote about Colonel Fitzwilliam in Another Place in Time. I agree that he is a character who cries out for more! Thanks for commenting.

  15. My 2nd favorite book of miss Austen’s is Persuasion. Both Anne and the good captain rate almost as high as Darcy and Elizabeth.
    Anne is so kind, thus thought to be easily bent. But she has some steel in her backbone that she learns have to use !
    As for captain wentworth, his heart is as large as his courage. Once he lets down that guard, his allies ambe back in.
    This novel gives hope to all who has lost some one .
    Congrats on the new work!

  16. Mary
    I do so love your stories and enjoy reading your works. I agree with Carol. MY next favorite to Darcy and Elizabeth is Anne and Captain Wentworth.
    Thank you for sharing your gift.

  17. Congrats on your new release, Mary. I love your books and this one looks very interesting. I wonder if Darcy is going to learn from his father’s mistake, or if he is going to follow I n his footsteps.
    My favorite character is Caroline Bingley, such a great character to play with for our JAFF writers. From one with some redeeming qualities to an ultimate villainess. And she provides so much amusement as well. 🙂

    • Hi Kate. Caroline is a finely crafted character and such a spoiler! Unfortunately for Caroline, I’m always mean to her! I’m nicer to Louisa. Thanks for commenting.

  18. My favorite JA character is Captain Wentworth. I love how he couldn’t stop loving Anne even though he was rejected and tried to move on with his life. His letter to her is my all-time favorite moment in a JA book.

  19. Well, for heroes…my favorite Austen man is Knightley. He is a friend who wants Emma to be the best she can be and takes so much care of his family that he moves into Hartfield after they marry. What a man! As for ladies…I’m always saying that I grew up an Emma (without the actual fortune) but thankfully became a mix of Elizabeth and Elinor. Elinor is one of my very favorites. She is strong and practical and has a self-possession that keeps her from throwing Lucy under a passing carriage. She works diligently to keep her family from over-spending despite the wishes of her mom and sister and is a good friend to not only ladies of her circle, but men as well. Can you tell that friendship and integrity rank high with me? LOL Congrats on the new release!! I think I have them all (well, excepting this one of course). 😉

    • Love your comments. I was a Harriet, not an Emma, but became more assertive in my late twenties. I really like Elinor. She has so much integrity and handles difficulties with great dignity. Always good to hear from you.

  20. I love your stories and am looking forward to reading a new one. I would have to say that one of my favorite characters is Mrs. Hill, any one who can bear being a servant for the Bennets has got to be a saint! Her character is versatile, steady, dependable and loyal. Great traits not only for a servant but also for a person.

    • Hi Elissa. That’s a good pick. Maybe it’s because my grandmother was a “domestic,” I’ve always been sympathetic to the servants’ side of the story. So glad you enjoy my stories. Thanks for commenting.

  21. Admiral and Mrs. Croft are wonderful characters. It always feels like Anne has finally found kindness and comfort in them, as surrogate parents almost. They see, enjoy, and value her. I feel relief for her when they enter the story, and when they show up in bath, and happiness that she will have them as in-laws.

    • I never thought of the Crofts as surrogate parents, but it’s a good point as they do provide comfort. And Sophia is solidly in her brother’s corner. Thanks for commenting.

  22. Colonel Fitzwilliam! I love any story that gives him page time and brings his personality to light. Congratulations! Looking forward to your new story.

    • Hi Becky. I agree. Colonel Fitzwilliam is an excellent character. I enjoyed writing about him in Another Place in Time. Good to hear from you.

  23. Both Captain Wentworth and Colonel Brandon are up there for me. Both endure much pain but are also dealing with love lost…and then found even though it is not the same person for the Colonel. And both went through many years before they found their happy ending.

    • Hi Sheila. I love Captain Wentworth b/c he’s so devote and solid. I’m fortunate to have a husband just like him. Thanks for commenting.

  24. IMO, Mrs Bennet, as a woman who knew what the future could be to a lady with no connections or fortune, and a mother whose purpose is to “secure” her daughters’ futures. Her statement “…that would put the other girls in the paths of other rich men” clearly communicates that she is not looking for her own future comfort (she would have stopped after getting one daughter married rich), but her daughters’. Also, none of them turned out to be vile, (need I name names?) although not properly educated, which I think should be credited to Mrs B.
    BTW, congrats on your new book.
    Huge fan…albeit a lazy one…to leave a comment. :S

    • As someone who had a very serious mother, I had problems with Mrs. Bennet until I saw Brenda Blethyn’s performance. She hits home what you are saying about Mrs. Bennet making sure that her daughters are married. It has taken over her life. Thanks for commenting.

  25. I love your books and enjoy reading them in print or as e-books! Today my favorite Austen character would be Anne Elliot. Her ability to stick to her principles even when she’s terribly hurt has always impressed me. Tomorrow I might have a different choice….

  26. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I think my favorite character other than Elizabeth and Darcy is Mr. Collins. He’s just so ridiculous. He makes me laugh and shudder with revulsion at the same time. I have to give credit to David Bamber’s performance in the 1995 P&P. He was perfect as Mr. Collins.

    Congrats on your newest book! It sounds great!

    • Pam, I agree. I love Mr. Collins. I’m very partial to David Bamber’s performance, but I like Tom Hollander even better in the 2005 movie. I think partly b/c he’s so short! And he has that big ego. Thanks for commenting.

  27. I love to hate on Caroline Bingley, at least in JAFF. I enjoy seeing how she gets retaliated on, by her ‘victims’. Just deserts, and all that.

    On another note, I get kind of anxious when Lady Catherine and her nastiness are featured heavily. My grandmother was Lady Catherine (or maybe, Lady Catherine was my grandmother – I’m not sure), and I’ve had enough of that. I so very much wish that someone in my family were into JAFF, so that we could commiserate!

    • Hi Ginna. I didn’t have a Lady Catherine as a grandmother, more like my mother’s sister, who scared the dickens out of me. Unlike you, I have plenty of people to commiserate with. Yes, Caroline is nasty, but she makes a good foil for Lizzy. Thanks for commenting.

  28. I guess I’ll go for Cpt. Wentworth. He is so steady, and has endured much for the love of Anne. Best wishes with your new novella. I’m sure it will be great!

  29. Congratulations on your new book! I will be glad to review it on Amazon as soon as I can! I just started back to school, online, and I’m having quite a fight with the computer part! I’ve done nothing but read JAFF for so long, like Mr Bennet, that it’s so easy to say, I’ll just read for 15 minutes.. X yeah, right!
    I must put in a good word for Charlotte and of course Colonel Studmuffin Fitzwilliam! I love when they end up together, and I’m laughing with glee when Caroline and Collins are forced to marry! As they SO deserve each other!!

    • Hi Roxey. I’m surprised that you are the first person to mention Charlotte. I think she’s a great character. Thanks for commenting.

  30. Oh, it’s so difficult to choose, even when limiting myself to P&P, including the variations, which can be equally entertaining. Colonel F would probably be my choice in both the original and in the variations. However, those variations which present Anne in a more lively role, after daring to leave her mother’s control, are appealing.

    The new book will be a welcome treat. Thank you.

    • Hi Maclaney. I have always felt bad about Anne, so in The Perfect Bride for Mr. Darcy, I gave her an important role in bringing D&E together. It’s not her fault she has such an awful mother. Thanks for commenting.

  31. My favourite characters?? Well obviously Darcy and Elizabeth! But as I am not allowed to choose them I will go with Mr & Mrs Gardiner. Especially for their care of Jane and Elizabeth. And their part in helping ODC to get together. I look forward to reading this book.

  32. I like the dialogue between father and son. It was very cleverly done so I am wondering how Darcy responds when he is asked to be introduced to Elizabeth. I like Caroline Bingley – I know – who would have thought! She is just so evil and always trying to show Elizabeth up but then never understands why she fails. Thank you for the giveaways.

  33. I’m going to add my vote to Col Fitzwilliam. He’s more like a brother to Darcy. Smart, witty, charismatic, and has leadership. Love stories about him or when he has a more in depth role in Darcy life in JAFF.

    Congrats on your newest release Mary, I can’t wait to read it.

  34. I have to say I love Captain Wentworth – maybe a touch more than Mr Darcy himself. No matter how much Anne hurt him, he never stopped loving her and waiting for her until she was ready and making something of himself. What love and patience. What more could you want. I adore Rupert Penry Jones’s poryrayal of him

    Mary, I’m a big fan of Anthony Fitzwilliam and hope to read more of him. I’m sorry about the trouble you had with the pricrs of your paperbacks. It’s sad. As much as I love ebooks, you can’t beat the feel of a book

    • Hi Debbie. As I’ve grown older, I’ve become a big fan of Persuasion. Eight years is a long time to wait for someone, but I’ve been married for 40 years, and I’d wait for my husband forever! So glad you enjoy Antony. He’s my favorite character to write. Thanks for commenting.

  35. I very much like Fanny from Mansfield Park. She stands up for her beliefs of Henry Crawford’s lack of character in the face of everyone at Mansfield, including Sir Thomas and even her beloved Edmund. She’s right, and she knows she’s right, and she refuses to cave, even when sent home to endure the poverty of her actual family as a supposed “lesson.” And when Fanny is proven correct, she does not gloat or even smile with superiority; she’s merely grateful to be restored in her adopted family’s good graces and to help them in their time of extreme need. That’s the kind of character who is both meek and strong at the same time, and is worthy of admiration.

    I hope to win an e-book as this e-book looks amazing! (Crossing my fingers and wishing hard!)

    Susanne 🙂

    • Hi Susanne. You are the only person to comment on Mansfield Park. You made a good case for Fanny. Thanks for commenting and good luck.

  36. I’m sorry to say that I have never read any of Ms Simonsen’s books, altho’ this will assuredly be the first. My favourite Jane character — well, I have several, but if I had to pick one it would be Catherine Morland. Northanger Abbey is my favourite Jane book because Catherine has such a wonderfully vivid imagination, yet she seems so innocent! And she sees through Isabella’s miserable treatment of her brother. And she wins the heart of Henry Tilney. Best of luck with your new book, and if I win a copy I will surely review it for you. (I’ll review it even if I have to buy a copy!)

    • Hi Janis. I really enjoyed reading Northanger Abbey. It helped to know that she was poking fun at Gothic novels. Thanks for commenting.

  37. I would love to see more expansion of the secondary characters of the stories. Col. Fitzwilliam, the Bennet sisters, Caroline, Fanny, Fanny’s sister, and so on. I especially love to read the expanded stories of these characters as without them there really wouldn’t be the main story now would there? I enjoy all the stories that you all write. Thank you for your talent.

    • Hi Sandra. I agree with you about secondary characters. I did quite a lot with Anne and Georgiana in The Perfect Bride for Mr. Darcy and Colonel Fitzwilliam in Another Place in Time. Thanks for commenting and supporting my writing efforts.

  38. Hi Mary, so excited you have a new novel coming out. I love all your books so have had withdrawal symptoms. My favourite character after Mr Darcy is Colonel Brandon. Have a huge soft spot for him x

    • Hi Michelle. I love Col. Brandon, esp. as played by Alan Rickman. I just hope he is happy with Marianne. Thanks for commenting.

  39. I find it hard to choose my favourite. So I will go with the Crofts. I like the way Admiral and Mrs Croft are written in Persuasion they seem to speak in the right helpful way to both Anne and Captain Wentworth and help bring them together.
    Congratulations on this Novella look forward to reading it

    • Hi Ann. I like the Crofts a lot. A commentor mentioned that she felt the Crofts were almost like parents to Anne. Thanks for commenting.

  40. I’m excited to see a new story from you, Mary, and I like what appears in the prologue to be a reflecton of Darcy and Elizabeth’s relationship in that of his parents.

    My favourite non-Darcy and Elizabeth character would have to be Anne Elliott. I feel that she’s got a relatively complex and deep story.

  41. Congratulations on your new book! And I’m SOOOO glad to read more about Antony, he and his evil wife are hilarious.

    Your question is tough because I feel like I’ve also read so many variations it’s hard to find a Jane Austen character that hasn’t been influenced by another author’s portrayal. Even characters that are generally rotten and slimy get treated in a sympathetic way by some author. I think one of the characters I’m most fascinated by, and want to like, is Georgiana Darcy. I imagine her life was probably so sheltered, and she was so shy, that it’s more devastating that she was taken advantage of at such a young age by Wickham and Mrs. Younge. I’m really sympathizing with how a 15-year-old can have such terrible judgment (it’s universal! both in Regency times and now!). I imagine that she and Darcy were probably pretty lonely, and it was nice to imagine that their lives were livelier once Elizabeth joined the family.

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