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Lizzy Bennet’s Diary: Chapter One – by Cassandra Grafton — 74 Comments

  1. Getting inside Elizabeth’s head and reading her thoughts as pertaining to those scenes was fun. I did note their eye contact in that movie ( thought it well done by Knightly & McFadyen) and like how that entry was written in that she acknowledges an attraction, but tries to ignore it. Nicely done. Thank you got sharing this early work.

    • I really enjoyed this perspective on the film rather than the novel. What a brilliant idea!! I’m going to have to go back to P&P2005 to be able to follow your story as it unfolds. Gives me a good excuse ;0

  2. The 2005 movie is a favorite of mine…I think I can nearly quote parts of it. 🙂 So, picturing what Lizzy is writing about here was easy and delightful. One of my all time favorite scenes in the movie is when she throws his words back at him!

    I like how her diary must know she is attracted to him even if she denies it. (All the hints are there to the observant and willing watcher.) And she thinks Darcy bears a grudge? 🙂

    Thanks for sharing this.

    • I agree, Eileen. Lizzy herself is very prejudiced against Darcy. Her good opinion once lost (at their first meeting) is nearly lost forever.

      • I appreciate both of you commenting on that aspect! Lizzy has no perception right now of how prejudiced she is or how critical of others. This is a learning experience for her and I am hoping I can show the changes in her as the extracts from her diary progress.

        Thank you both again for sharing your thoughts! Much appreciated! 😀

  3. Thank you, Eileen!

    I became entranced with the film too and I know what you mean about quoting! I like to think of it as a delicious snack you can enjoy any time, whereas the 1995 series, which I also love, is more of the full course dinner to be enjoyed at a more leisurely pace!

    • I could only handle one WIP at a time, so I’m reading this all in one sitting. I tend to think of the 2005 as a fanfiction story in film!
      I am enjoying your story!
      Roxey

  4. Wow, Cassandra. What else can I say? Thank you, thank you. I can see that my Serafina has been suffering from a serious lack of ink. I wonder if her mother gets her a new supply she can learn to communicate more fully. As a 6-year-old she wrote very little indeed, and merely continued that habit. Lizzy, on the other hand…. she is such a perceptive young woman. I’ve been considering rewatching the movie, which I haven’t seen since it came out. I think now that I must watch it. By the way, I do have the 1995 version memorized, having seen it numerous times.

  5. Oh, so pity!!! :(((( I would love to read something new from you, I so love your writing Cassandra, but 2005 version was so awful for me even when i read something which is based on this truthless adaptation… i just cannot like it…. faces of Keira or Matthew in my mind spoil the fun unfortunately…. sad 🙁

    • Sorry you aren’t able to give this a try, Meg, but I’m working on a new book, so hopefully I can share that with you soon!

    • I remember thinking when I traveled a distance to view the 2005 movie, as it didn’t show in our local theaters, that it was “a cacophony of sight and sound” and how offended Jane Austen would be as her scenes just brought proper British reticence to my mind and, of course, I was influenced by three movies before that one was released. Greer Garson’s and Sir Laurence Olivier’s version, the 1985 and the 1995 versions were just so much more sedate! So, although the ending (which was changed for American audiences to include a kiss) was pleasing, I also prefer the earlier versions. I own all and have watched them repeatedly.

    • I didn’t much like it at first either, I missed Firth and Eile too much! But then I watched the Directors Cut and figured it was a fanfiction that had to be cut quite a bit to fit in a normal movie time span
      Roxey

  6. To rule delightful breakfast reading. Very easy to mentally picture the actors playing their parts. Great covers, by the way. We have to wait a whole week for more?

  7. Fun Friday morning fare! I love the 2005 version for the reason you mentioned, it’s a P&P snack vs. multi course undertaking. I was quoting Mr. Hurst from this film yesterday after a particularly wasted endeavor. Damned tedious waste of an afternoon (evening). LOL Thanks for sharing, I look forward to the next installment.

  8. Dear Cassandra, Thank you so much for this lovely story and giving us so much of Elizabeth’s delightfully expressed point of view! I love the way you express the heartfelt feeling and emotions of our favorite characters, and look forward to the next installment with great anticipation! I shall have to re-watch the 2005 P&P to be more tuned in, as I wondered when you mentioned him looking at her upon entering the Assembly and then later her stating, “With what relish did I later fling Mr Darcy’s words back in his face!”

  9. Pleased you enjoyed it, Carol. Yes, they do have an eye-meet when he first arrives and then she let’s him know she overheard his slight of her. I hope if you get chance to re-watch it will make a bit more sense! 😀

    Have a lovely weekend.

  10. Cassandra, I love having anything with our couple in it to read on a morning. Had not read any diary but have seen the movie so this was a new story for me. And a very pleasing one. Thank you for the joy of another on-line tale to follow.

    One question: early on your story states that the Bennets are married for 20 years. (Papa does so like to tease Mama, and twenty years of married life remain insufficient to teach her what he is about. ) I remember Elizabeth relating to Lady Catherine’s inquiry that she “was not yet one-and-twenty” while at Rosings. And with an older sister, Jane, the Bennets would have had to have been married more than 20 years. But did you change her age for this story?

  11. LOL, no I didn’t Shelia! That’s a really good point – I think it should say more than 20 years otherwise it might imply something that isn’t! 😉

    I’ll tweak it, so thanks so much for pointing it out!

    have a lovely weekend

    • Oh, I am happy to help but you could just change her age also. It is something that would have rattled around in my brain so I had to ask. Hope I didn’t offend. I do appreciate all the hard work you authors put forth and am thankful you are all blessed with such creativity for us readers to enjoy. Have a lovely weekend! I am off to a Jane Austen Day in Philadelphia tomorrow, traveling with a friend by train so we are starting early. We will hear thoughts on JA’s unfinished works, Watsons and Sanditon with a panel of Austen scholars; Jocelyn Harris, Janine Barchas and Michael Gamer. So I am excited to have this day on my favorite author!

  12. The 2005 film is my least favourite, too many inconsistencies, and why have that alternate North American ending – all non Region 1 holders will know what I mean

    • The story follows the screenplay, Vesper, but also includes nods to the book and a few scenes I have created later in the story. I think it can be read with any of our favourites in mind, Darcy, Lizzy or adaptation if you love the story itself. 😉

  13. Lovely first chapter, Cassandra. I agree with your statement that it can be read with any ‘Mr. Darcy’ in mind. (or Lizzy, for that matter) Regardless of which version it follows, it is still a P&P rendering and visualization is in the eye of the reader! Lizzy’s writings about her initial impression were great. It felt good to read her admitting those stirrings in her diary. I love your writing. It is so beautiful with such an easy flow. Your use of the language of the time is outstanding. Thank you for a lovely first chapter and I eagerly anticipate the rest of them!

    • Thank you, Janet. I am glad you enjoyed it and that you feel it can be enjoyed with any Darcy or Lizzy in mind. That’s what I feel too – after all, it’s Pride & Prejudice, the story, that is the key here. 😀

  14. The British version was released first and then the explanation was that the ending was changed to please the Americans’ tastes but the British audience then demanded that ending also….I don’t know if it was re-released in The United Kingdom or not but the DVD I own has the American ending with the kiss at Pemberley. True to Jane Austen vs more romance and passion being shown????

  15. Ahhh Cassandra, there are just too many wonderful lines in ‘Lizzy’s Diary’ to re-quote here. Just know that I love being inside her head! The 2005 version of P&P is not my favourite for many reasons either, one being that Colin and Jennifer will always be the ideal visual for me of Darcy and Elizabeth. Now I do think that the Jane character was perfectly cast as she was ‘angelic’. Regardless, I so enjoyed this.

    Not to get off topic, but I finally got and read all three of your books and absolutely loved them. So looking forward to your next one! In the meantime, I look forward to each post of Lizzy’s Diary….

    • Thank you, Carole, for giving me a chance here even though you are not a fan of the film! 😀

      I genuinely believe anyone who loves P&P can enjoy this with any Darcy and/or Lizzy in mind, despite it following the screenplay. I do refer to some things from the book as well.

      Thank you also for letting me know you enjoyed A Fair Prospect! You have made my weekend 😀

  16. This is delightful, Cassandra! You do a great Lizzy-voice. 🙂 I’ve seen p&p05 a few times but it’s been awhile. I didn’t really like it, but I feel like watching it again and doing a better job of focusing on what I do like about it (I remember the cinematography of the Netherfield Ball scenes being particularly good) instead of what I don’t. I don’t ever imagine MM & KK in my mind when I read JAFF but I did this time, for a change lol.

    • I think the cinematography of the film is one of the things I love most about it (though I’m rather partial to the score too!)

      I am so pleased you are willing to give the story a try, Monica, even without the film being a favourite. Though it follows the screenplay, I do believe it can be read with any Darcy/Lizzy in mind – after all, it’s still Pride & Prejudice, isn’t it? 😉

    • So do I, Susan! Abigail did a fab job of turning my photo into a lovely banner. I am so grateful to her!

      I do love the detail in the photo as well – a few little nods to Jane, too. 😀

  17. How beautiful! I really enjoyed this first chapter of Lizzy’s diary and I am looking forward to reading the next chapters 🙂 I loved the way you gave voice to Elizabeth’s feelings, Cassandra. And although I know the whole story by heart, I am very eager to read more!

  18. Love reading other peoples’ diaries! I’ve seen more ‘Darcy Diaries,’ so this is an entertaining twist! You mentioned 12 chapters…will this be the complete story?

    • Yes, Leslie – 12 chapters for the whole story. As I say, it’s ‘extracts’ rather than a day by day exact recounting of everything, but I hope it will flow well enough. It’s complete (I wrote it years ago and have just tidied it up a bit) so I don’t foresee any delays! 😉

      Thank you for commenting, hope you continue to follow the diary!

  19. Fantastic! I like the idea of getting Elizabeth’s point of view! I still can not read any of her words without hearing Jennifer Ehle’s voice. I am not a fan of Miss Knightly so have not seen that version.
    I really like the dialogue! The way you keep with Miss Austens style is wonderful!

    • Thank you, Angie. I am so pleased you can hear Jennifer Ehle’s voice! That means a great deal – this was my very first attempt at a historical (and Regency) voice of my own and it’s good to know that you can ‘hear’ that through Lizzy.

      I hope that, despite not having watched the film, it makes sense to you as it goes along!

  20. Thank you, this was so lovely! I really enjoyed this perspective of the 2005 movie, which I admit to be my favorite, and which I saw before seeing any of the 1995 version. I just can’t get into the 1995 one (despite the appeal of Colin Firth), though it’s more accurate and has a more accurately irritating Mrs. Bennet. The 2005 movie, while not as faithful to the book, I think is faithful to how I imagine the spirit of the characters to be. I always thought that when Lizzy threw Darcy’s words back at him at the end of the Assembly, that she seemed near tears at the fact that he had really hurt her feelings with what he said. Looking forward to reading more of Lizzy’s diary!

    • Thank you, Kathy. So pleased you are enjoying Lizzy’s point of view of everything through her (rather biased) eyes – at least at the moment! 😉

      I did love that the casting reflected the ages better for the Bennet sisters (though I still have a bug bear in how old Mr and Mrs Bennet are cast in every adaptation!) and I thought they all did a good job with their roles.

    • Ah, Ginna – a title! Now you’ve got me! The hardest thing I ever have to think up is a title. Perhaps I should do a Poll and ask for suggestions, which would be fun with no one knowing what it’s about yet! 😉

      The story I am working on is P&P inspired once more but it has a bit of a mystery to it as well.

  21. I watched the 2005 version just recently. It followed on from reading one of Regina Jeffers’ blog posts focussing on all the little moments between Elizabeth and Darcy that might not necessarily be noticed at first watching. The exchange of glances at the Meryton Assembly was one I had picked up on. Like many, this isn’t my favourite version. Any new dramatisation will, I think, always be measured against 1995. Your comment about the casting of the Bennet sisters in this (actual age range 15 to 22-ish) and the casting of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet in general is well made. The latter would probably have been in their early to mid forties at the time of the novel. Donald Sutherland, fine actor that he is, was just made to look far too old. Benjamin Whitrow was much better (and truer to character) but still a good 10 years older than I believe he should have been.

    I think CF brought off Darcy’s awkwardness in company, showing as pride and haughtiness, better than MM, who just looked awkward (to me anyway). I saw it first in the cinema at a multiplex some miles away. Husband and son went to see a different film while I saw this. I wasn’t the only woman seeing it on her own!

    But I digress. I’ve come across several Darcy Diaries in the past few years but never a Lizzy one so this is a refreshing change. Being able to read her innermost thoughts is a great idea, Cassandra, and you do it very well. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. I might have to re-watch my DVD of this version as the weeks go by! My copy has the alternative US ending as one of the Special Features, so at least I don’t have to endure that every time.

    I love your analogy of 2005 being a quick snack as against 1995’s full course dinner. It’s ok if you only have time for that quick P & P fix, but for me at least, it always leaves me wanting more. I’m actually working my way through 1995 right now and thoroughly enjoying it yet again. It’s a good job you can’t wear out a DVD! Yes, I too can quote passages from this version. Our son was only small when it came out and we have several mis-heard lines (from his point of view) to remember as well, which always bring a smile to my face.

    Gosh, what a load of waffling I’ve done! Better stop now before I get carried away any further.

  22. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, Anji! I never mind the waffle, I’m pretty good at it myself! 😉

    I love the story of P&P so much, I can pretty much take it in any guise, but I do know that the 1995 is (and probably always will be) a hard act to follow. 😀

    I hope – despite following the general screenplay of the film – that people will give this a try and simply imagine their own favourites in the roles. I have tried to enhance it with some nods to the book and there are a few scenes of my own added too later on.

    I love that you have such lovely memories of your son quoting variations of lines! That is something I would treasure very much!

    Thank you so much for commenting 😀

  23. I love hearing and feeling what Elizabeth is actually thinking and going through throughout the original story. Cassandra, you got it right by pouring her thoughts and observation in her diary so that we can have a glimpse of her point-of-view. I’m so looking forward to the next entry. When it’s complete, I hope you will publish it on the free books section.

  24. Thanks for the chapter Cassandra! Very enjoyable to ‘be’ in Elizabeth’s head! Her reactions to her mother arriving at Netherfield will be interesting, plus I wonder what she thinks of Darcy’s obsession with looking out windows. Does she realise he is watching her in the glass reflection? Looking forward to more chapters!

  25. Thanks, Dave, though I suspect you will be disappointed! This is quite a truncated story as it follows in general the 2005 screenplay – not much chance for Darcy to look out of windows, he didn’t have time in this one! 😉

      • And absolutley no room for any kidnappings unless there’s a deleted scene or Easter egg that’s not on my copy of the DVD!!!

        • OK Anji, no ‘napping, but if we are talking about the same script, what about that long walk from Pemberley to Lambton? If Lizzy walked, what – five miles?? She left first so when Darcy followed and he approached her – did she leap into the shrubbery to avoid him? Would that count as a deleted scene?

          • Oooo, hadn’t thought of that! Plenty of scope for all sort of things to happen there. I’ve always wondered why they played that scene like that. However, from what Cassandra has said earlier, I think that all gets explained in the Diary. Shame!

          • How I would love to incorporate THAT scene!!! Sadly, it’s not a work in progress (I already have a massive one of those on my plate) so you’ll have to content yourself with what I deliver and continue to fill in the gaps with your wonderful imagination!!!!

  26. Aaah…can you hear my contented sigh, Cassandra? That’s the way your writing affects me. It’s just like I’m in the middle of Lizzy’s world and she’s telling me all that’s taken place in her life with that subtle wit of hers (yours). I adore your talent with words, and I love this re-telling of my favorite Austen story!

  27. Pingback: Lizzy Bennet’s Diary: Chapter Two – by Cassandra Grafton |

  28. This story (which I initially read at the Pen & Ink site) was my first introduction to your talents as a writer…and I was hooked. A Fair Prospect is my favorite, but Lizzy’s Diary will always hold a special place.
    Through all the reincarnations/reinventions of the Darcy character in countless P&P versions, your Mr. Darcy (for me) is the standard; and when Lizzy (eventually) sees him for what he is and falls in-love with him, it makes perfect sense. I think that’s where other P&P authors fall short, it’s in the character development.
    So, Thank you, Cassie, for Darcy and for tapping -so accurately- into the psyche of the Lizzy we love and showing us through your words why she continues to hold our attention.

  29. You are very kind, Marilyn. I really appreciate you taking the time to comment, and I am so pleased you enjoyed the diary as well as A Fair Prospect.

    I have been doing a little editing to the diary as I post each chapter so hopefully it will flow a bit better than the original online version did!

  30. Pingback: Lizzy Bennet’s Diary: Chapter Three by Cassandra Grafton |

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