Mr. Darcy’s Motivations, or a WIP by Abigail Reynolds — 138 Comments

  1. I think he would not take her serious worried that she did not fully understand the consequences he may try to explain the need for them to marry. Knowing Elizabeth she would find it insulting thinking that he thought that she a mere country girl did not understand propriety. I could also see Darcy thinking it odd (perhaps even saying so) that she does not jump at the chance to marry the master of Pemberley. I am not sure how much information Elizabeth has about him at this point but those are just my thoughts. Love the idea and I know you will over come the 10,000 word mark and write another delightful story about my favorite characters.

  2. I think Mr. Darcy would not to take her refusal seriously and just ignore her protestations. And either she will, when the storm suddenly abates, run out into the storm and Mr Darcy will chase her and he will collapse from his head injury and they will be stuck in the hut longer. Or The storm will abate and as she runs out from the hut still,protesting she would not marry Mr. Darcy if he were the last man on earth, she is spotted by Wickham who is part of the search party her Mother had harried into being.

    Hope this helps get the creative juices flowing, this has the beginnings go an enjoyable story.

    • I love the idea of Wickham being involved. It seems like the perfect opportunity for him to continue his campaign to defame Darcy’s good name. Later, when he runs off with Lydia, he can say he was just following Darcy’s example!

  3. Mmm, As he has a mild concussion, blood loss, low sugar level, he is a bit slow in comming to understand her reaction. The last five years he has lived in fear of just this kind of situation and now that he wished for it, it doesn’t work. He will be blunt (pre hunsford) She angry (not toreable), But the big rift caused by his action against Jane hasn’t happened yet. So they will talk, and because they are not in a ballroom, they will talk about books, plays, etc. they will talk about everything but the compromising. The longer they are stuck, the more there being together seems natural. He begins to understand her (and her family), She begins to see the man behind the mask. And then Big Bad Wickham shatters everything and they have a commen enemy to fight.

  4. I would think, whether he liked her or not, that he would be determined to marry her because it’s the honourable thing to have done, so if anything I think he’d be angry at her slight to his honour, and also he will feel angry with himself that he doesn’t feel relieved at her refusal, even though he should.

    Loved the excerpt by the way, I hope this story sees the light one day!

  5. I would like it if he didn’t take her refusal seriously as she is obviously distressed at their circumstances. He also has a concussion still so he is probably very fuzzy in his thinking and most probably not up to processing info so well. Who knows what he will even remember? Doesn’t his head ache still? Perhaps, a slight softening and reliance on Elizabeth is necessary for Darcy. Or foolishly, he tries to act as protector and savior to her in terms of getting food, fire, etc while too I’ll to stand. Elizabeth would laugh at that while forcing him to be taken care of for a change. Maybe she would like taking care of the wounded Mr Darcy?

    I love the idea of this story and hope it makes it past the 10,000 word mark.

  6. I’m happy to see that you are at it again! This story has real promise! I like the thought of D trying to take care of E while they are in the cabin, but is unable to, so E does it. During their sequestration they are able to talk and understand each other a little more. Or, perhaps, Wickham comes up on them in their cabin with a little side piece from the village, or even just hears him talking to a felow officer about his vices while they are searching for E and D, and E sees what he is really about without D having to explain. I hope that you make it past your “wall”. I would love to see another story from you. Maybe another fund raiser so I can have my name in another book? Teehee.

  7. It may be slightly off-topic, but I really like the idea of “Next came a tale where Darcy’s parents were still alive and annoyingly meddlesome, but that got put aside because I had too much trouble trying to write Darcy’s parents as anything different from the delightful young couple they had been in The Darcys of Derbyshire”.
    Perhaps if you changed that to only one meddling parent but only in the positive sense?
    You could keep the Darcy’s as they were in “the Darcy’s of Derbyshire”. Anne has passed away already and George knows he is dying. He is very worried about his children (Ramsgate and Hunsford) and when he meets with Elizabeth when she comes to Pemberley on her tour with the Gardiner’s, he invites her to stay, begging her to give Darcy a chance. And who can refuse a dying man?

    • I do want to get back to that story, but as it’s set up, I need Darcy’s parents to interfere with his desire to marry Elizabeth. But the idea of a father who meddles positively in Darcy’s love life is an interesting one!

  8. I enjoyed the excerptand am looking forward to reading the finished work. Perhaps the storm should go on for 2 more days and Elizabeth has tried to stay awake so as not to be curled up against Darcy again. She finally is so tired she lays down and ends up curled against him. in the meantime the storm finally abates. the cottage is supposed to be unoccupied and so the steward of the property notices the smoke from the chimney and notifies the landowner. he sends the steward in another servant to discover what is going on. 2 of the regiment have been sent to make sure all is well among citizens and run into the steward and join them in checking out the cottage. they find Darcy and Elizabeth curled up together and bring them back to the landowner. the two soldiers go off and when returning to the regiment start talking about finding Darcy and Elizabeth together. When Darcy and Elizabeth enter the house it is found it Mrs Phillips and Mrs Bennett were snowed in there. of course since they are the biggest gossips in Merton we know this will be kept quiet plus servants gossip. Mr Bennet shows up Mr Darcy tries to talk to him and explain what happened. he calls in Elizabeth, speaks to her, and demands she marry Darcy in order to save the reputations of her sisters because of all the gossip that will ensue.

    • Ah, yes! It could get very interesting if they are discovered and Elizabeth continues to refuse Darcy. I can’t let it resolve too quickly, though, or it’ll end up as another novella and not a novel. 😉

      • My favorite of your works, From Lambton to Longbourn, Impulse and Initiative, By Force of Instinct, and the first novella in A Pemberley Medley were where the reader could follow their transition from misunderstanding to understanding, not just in the one another but in the qualities in themselves that needed to be reformed (The pride and prejudice of Pride and Prejudice) to be worthy of the other. Most P&P variations resolve the issues between them before the engagement, In Last Man in the World, you started from the point that they became engaged and needed to resolve the issue after marriage. I think this idea has the possibility of them being in the position of being forced to marry in a manner where society will assume the worst of Miss Elizabeth, and their growth in understanding and overcoming their presumptions could happen over time before and after the marriage. Indeed it may be while creating a unified front against the condemnation of society that they develop this understanding, and it may take Darcy a while to realize and appreciate that Elizabeth is the last person who would have desired to entrap him and how wholly different she is to every person who has desired his attention since he entered into society. Only then would he see the need to truly reform himself, and not just seek resolution to challenges as they come up. One thing that this will also do is give opportunity to make Elizabeth’s understanding of him more gradual, instead of one “flip the switch” moment where Elizabeth goes from despising Him to admiration of him. It could extend the revision of her prejudices over a number of scenes as happens in P&P.

        • You bring up an excellent point, which is that if they resolve their misunderstandings now, Darcy’s pride will remain intact and he’ll have no motivation to change. Changes like that take time. Thanks for your thoughts!

  9. As to what goes through their minds elizabeth is stubborn as usual but Mr Darcy tries to convince her that it’s not just her reputation but her sisters’ involved as well and even if no one else knows they both know and not only would it be on his conscience it would also be on hers eventually even if no one else knew but them it would bother her conscience. I can see him being frustrated and possibly becoming angry and this would not be good for his head either.

  10. I enjoyed this beginning. Being very practical, I think Darcy should try to stand to make his point and the headache sends him back to his knees. Elizabeth concern has her helping him again and the marriage issue is tabled for a few moments while she is busy caring for him. He can then bring the subject up again during her ministrations. Someone has to find find them and I would prefer Mr. Bennet. Don’t give up it is too good an idea and I am ready to read it.

  11. I could imagine that Darcy and Elizabeth, trappend in the hut and with nothing else to do, have a nice long talk, during which Elizabeth gets to know Darcy better and even starts to understand his character and his actions (especially those regarding Wickham). When the snowstorm abates they can leave their shelter undiscovered but are left with a lot to think about. Elizabeth with a completely different (better) picture of Darcy and Darcy spurred on by Elizabeth’s (former) dislike of him, begins courting her

  12. I think he would have to be patient, he knows that she is not like Caroline and all the rest. But Lizzy has been compromised and it will probably be found out. If they are trapped there will I expect be plenty of time to talk and get to know each other and she might reconsider later

    • It does seem likely it will be found out or at least suspected. The question is what Lizzy will do about it if that happens. Would she be willing to go back to Darcy and say she needs to take him up on his offer, or would her pride stop her from doing that?

  13. Oh, dear! I might be the wrong person to ask because Mr. Darcy’s Refuge is one of my top 5 JAFF reads and I might direct you too closely to that scenario again. But, I must have my share of the conversation, so here goes!

    Since she only refused marriage due to compromise, and not a true proposal, I don’t think she is showing signs of anger or hostility. It gets a bit tricky without knowing if Bingley is still around and if Wickham has told his tale, but she certainly wouldn’t know about Darcy interferring with Bingley if he is actually gone, so it’s unlikely that she is angry beyond all measure at Darcy. She simply doesn’t like him. Like others I can see him simply not taking her seriously. I could see him not even broaching the topic with her again and simply announcing it to the world when they are rescued or discovered, even if they end up getting to leave separately. He might simply show up at Mr. Bennet’s door later and explain the whole matter. Perhaps it’s something he doesn’t even quite understand himself, but just a feeling of refusing to let her go and being selfish enough to take her choice away.

    Now, if they continue to be trapped then there is more opportunity for them to talk, for her dislike to lessen and his affection to grow. He liked her caring for Jane, imagine how he feels when she cares for him! I beg you, if you trap them for days please make them talk!!

    Hmm…or he could still be a little confused because of his injury and kiss her senseless later on. I like your Darcys that do that.

    I hope you work it out, Abigail! I’ve tossed a few around 10k words too.

    • I’m glad you like Mr. Darcy’s Refuge so much! You’re right; Elizabeth isn’t hostile at this point because he hasn’t insulted her family like he did at Hunsford, and he is saying the right thing, after all. She just doesn’t want anything to do with it, and she hates the idea of being trapped.

  14. Love the excerpt and will patiently await the denouement and publication. If I had the chutzpah to speculate on a course, I like the suggestion of
    Daniela (getting to know each other better) with the complication of Wickham being part of the party that discovers them, and perhaps attempting to get money for his knowledge and offering for money to marry Elizabeth. So long as that lasts for less than a chapter, I can stand a little angst. just not too much

  15. What if he just withheld a response because he was confused and didn’t know if she was being serious? His injury could cause him to rely on Elizabeth showing a softer side to his character. The truth about Wickham could be revealed through a feverish rant from Darcy. It would then be up to Elizabeth to overcome her prejudices and discover the full truth when he awakens/recovers.

  16. Due to his concussion, he is more bold in his address to her and a little slow in understanding her discomfort and refusal. But I see him not taking her refusal serious. He may be willing, once in his right mind, to try to hide her ruined reputation,but not willing to give her up. He does the honorable thing. It just takes some convincing to get Elizabeth on board.
    Great story.

    • Thanks, Becky. He’s definitely saying a few things he might not under other circumstances! You’re right; he has no reason to take her refusal seriously. This is one of those rare circumstances where a lady might try to refuse out of a desire to be fair to the gentleman in question, which would only improve his opinion of her.

  17. I rather like the idea of the storm not abating and Darcy getting feverish and blurting his innermost thoughts and secrets to her. When he awakes, she is all moon-eyed in love with this complicated man, and then they talk, really talk about what they want and need. I am all for some angst too, but not too much. I prefer my angst to be of the health kind. Trapped, Darcy almost doesn’t make it… blah blah. 😉

    • I like your suggestion very much. The angst could be Elizabeth’s doubt he meant anything he said when they escape. By then, she is hopelessly in love though and Darcy is as awkward as ever.

        • This was rather where my thoughts were going, that they come to an understanding as Darcy gives away his innermost thoughts during a relapse but then the problem could be Mr Bennet not being happy about a marriage between them. it can’t be all plain sailing can it! Whatever it is, we obviously need this one finished…please!

  18. It sounds like Darcy’s sense of humor is engaged in the comment about Miss Bingley. I think he is relaxed (as relaxed as one can be trapped in a hut with a woman you are attracted too), and his manners are open and unreserved. I think that he would take Elizabeth’s refusal as an opening of negotiations. I don’t see him as a man who would take no as an answer. Had he already spent time with her at Netherfield? If so, he knows her penchant for argument. I can see it being a great chance to know each other as they are stuck for longer than one night.

      • I like that idea, that he would try and debate it with her, using what he knows she likes against her – how she could roam the grounds of Pemberley and get her petticoats 6 inches deep in mud as often as she likes; describe the gorgeous library; remind her how far away she’d be from her mother… lol

      • Suspect he has decided there is no choice. In his mind, they will be married. No society crowd staring at him, can he be thinking she is playfully teasing him, so why not? Relax as he would at Pemberley and play along with his future wife. Is he ever in for a surprise!

  19. I think this, in part, hinges on how ill Darcy becomes, and, as others have said, how much EB has to attend to him. Let’s hope they are stuck there for a few days, and at least arrive at a truce. Unfortunately, they are also likely to become short tempered from lack of food (at least I would).

  20. I’m guessing he is disappointed at being refused by Elizabeth and would like to know why. But he won’t press the issue because of his concussion and isn’t thinking straight and confused. He’s figuring out a way to turn around the subject and make their situation less awkward than it is. Then they start talking and she sees a better side in him. Then they are discovered and Darcy will do the right thing and offer his protection even though Elizabeth is not ready to marry him yet.

    I wish you every success in the story, Abigail. I would love to read the final product when it’s finished.

  21. Really enjoyed the excerpt, Abigail!
    As for Darcy’s reaction, I can’t help but think that he’d be irritated…and inquisitive, just as he was in the original text, after his first proposal, although perhaps not quite as angry as that. More perplexed, though. I’d think he’d try to press Elizabeth into explaining the reason for her refusal, which may or may not be different from the original in your variation 🙂 .

  22. While reading the other comments I have another option. We are al agog about the cuddeling, but the big quistion is HOW mr. darcy is hurt in the first place. It is not accident, but the result of the Bloody Murdering Vicar from Hunsford aka mr. Collins. As he is raving about the beauties of Rosing, is intent is to own it. He plans to marry Anne deBourgh. But hearing lady deBourgh talking about Mr. Darcy he knows he has an rival, a problem and problems for mr Collins don’t live a long life. As Darcy and Elizabeth are stuck in the cottage they are realising that somebody is trying to kill them.and to survive they must work together.

  23. I would think that something happened at the wedding, and EB felt she had to flee the scene (of course just witnessing Mr Collins and Charlotte marry would be upsetting enough). FD naturally had to go after her, esp. since a storm was brewing, and perhaps the lack of visibility led to his injury (the back and forth “you are not supposed to be here” shows that they certainly did not intend to be together). Thus, EB knows that she must bear the brunt of the responsibility for this entire situation. This alone may cause her feelings to soften a bit as she spends more time with Darcy and ramifications stemming from his head injury. How fitting to be reading this as we experience yet another snowfall in this never-ending winter.

    • I’d written out the plot line of this story a couple of years ago, but I started to write it while housebound during a blizzard earlier this year. It set the scene quite nicely! One of the interesting things I realized while writing this is that Elizabeth was upset after Charlotte’s wedding; I’d just never looked closely enough at that scene to realize it before.

  24. I think her refusal accentuates her appeal to him. Given we all know him to be proud. That she would risk her own ruin so he could marry properly as expected shows her understanding of their social differences. Plus it is the oldest story ever told. You always wants what you can’t have more

  25. Am going to wear my Darcy hat just for brainstorming.

    Darcy is probably thinking, Finally! I have this woman in a situation where we can talk and not have a hundred interruptions that occur in society functions! He is at ease if slightly woozy. As master of Pemberley he has been in hundreds of complex negotiations. He sees her resistance as simply maidenly embarrassment and some confusion of unfamiliar feelings. This is the first time she has been in a warm, safe embrace of a man, somewhat like she experienced with her father as a child. Confusing to her. (arrogant? sure! would you expect less from him at this point?)

    Darcy has been awake for some time, enjoying the snuggle immensely. While she slept, he has analyzed all the combinations and permutations of their predicament. His path is clear. He will marry Elizabeth. Wonder if he will feel differently when his head clears?

    How to negotiate the end result when she is still in denial. He must reason with her and discuss any reasons she can bring up until she accepts the inevitable. They have lots of time to get to know and trust each other. Make personal disclosures. Eventually as the day wears on, Elizabeth will compromise and settle for a courtship, thinking she can bail on that when out of the present circumstance. Darcy knows better but agrees.

    If she is adamant, Darcy can simply tell her that he will discuss the compromise with BOTH her parents.
    Yes, in his arrogance he really would say that! She may like to argue, but he knows she would eventually be happy married to him.

    Don’t blame me! Darcy is the one thinking that way! LOL
    He’s going to learn the meaning of termagant up close and personal!

    • Dave, I can see why the authors choose you to write readers reflections on the Darcy brothers story – I like very much your suggestions for Abigail! And you wrote it out in such logical manner too- your reasons why darcy would act as such was exactly what I was thinking. Great comment!

      • Hi Grace! Thanks for the comment – Sunday in the Guest Reader posts, Maria Grace posted about Darcy’s personality type – the same as mine . Now Abigail is in total terror that I guessed right! 🙂

        The consolation is that he is super at hiding his true feelings – I am betting on him being able to see her point of view, if she will actually tell him what bothers her. He will take her needs into consideration – if he knows what they are! Otherwise he will assume her needs are in sync with his desires.

        Lack of communication is a key part of these stories. I keep muttering, ‘geez, just tell her!’ LOL
        Of course if she did, we would have few novels and tons of novellas.

        Am really enjoying all the points of view – all of them have merit!!

    • LOL, Dave! I can always count on you for some great suggestions. I think you’re spot on for what Darcy is thinking as he is lying there with Elizabeth in his arms. Arrogant indeed! But he still has a strong voice in his head telling him it’s his duty to his family to make a better marriage, so he’s headed for a conflict when he realizes she means her refusal.

      • Hmm. Not sure he is worrying about family duty much when she is snuggled up against him…
        Let’s see, 26-28 years old so hormones raging versus family duty… Hmm such a difficult choice. LOL

        Family duty or not, she is compromised and his honor will supersede duty.
        Even if no one else knows, he does. He will have to find a way.

        How about he provides her with a courtship settlement of 20,000 pounds, with the written agreement they court three months and then marry in three months. That way she is not a penniless gentlewoman. And of course he will control/invest the sum for her over the six months.
        He always has this as a last resort: If Mrs. Bennet knows, it’s a done deal!

        Some really grand ideas posted today! Wish there was a ‘like’ button – would have used it a lot!

        • Dave, I so love having your point of view. I’m sure you’re right about the hormones. My husband-who really likes Pride and Prejudice but wouldn’t be caught dead near “FF”–asked me the other day if all of these novels were all about Darcy, since they are all written by women. I corrected him on both accounts – they are not all written by women, and the topics certainly go far beyond Darcy.

          • Maybe your husband could be weaned into FF slowly. It was Pamela Aidan’s books that drew me in. That and running out of Georgette Heyer novels. 🙂 Possibly one from Darcy’s perspective would be of interest. If, no, WHEN your husband does something where he needs to get back in your good graces, stick a FF book in his hands – pick well and I bet he will be hooked by the end. 😉

            • As we say in Italian, “magari” (would to God). I am “trying” to write a novel set in 17th/18th-century Italy, England and America. It would be so much easier (in terms of context and characterization) to write a Pride & Prejudice FF instead, where I already “know” the characters and their environments [coming up with the right plot is another story]. I do find that one of my main Italian characters is starting to act a bit like Lizzy, and she does certainly light up a room; I’m trying to imagine her future English husband as appealing physically as is Darcy, as I don’t yet have their chemistry right at all, but he’s really quite shy, and does not come from a wealthy family. Yet in no way is he a “Bingley,” even though he is in trade (English merchant in Venice). More than anyone on THIS site wants to know.

          • Beth, For the English husband… Actually one of my favorite characters in P&P for character is Mr. Gardiner. Quiet and unassuming, but a solid support for the dysfunctional Bennet family and a superior father/husband for the Gardiners. Now if he looked more Colin Firth Darcyish….
            Good luck on your novel!

            • Well, I have a feeling he will be very “Gardiner-like” when he’s older. Serafina and her future husband do meet at a social event, a musical soiree at her mother’s house, but all on Serafina’s initiative (given that’s he’s just about the only other young person in the room it’s understandable). I have yet to figure out their courtship, but I know they will eventually marry in Venice, live for a time in London, and then travel to Baltimore in 1750. I would also love for the husband to show her Swaledale in Yorkshire before they leave England, but don’t know if that will happen. I believe everyone should see Swaledale at least once in their lives.

        • That’s my feeling about his sense of honor. It’s very powerful, but for a young man with raging hormones and the woman he thought he couldn’t have in his arms, there’s only so far honor can take him!

  26. What if… (I’m gonna go far fetched on this idea but humor me)

    What if they are trapped for days because of a rare blizzard. What if in caring for mr darcy’s health Elizabeth take a fever and loses touch with reality.

    Side note. We know at the time of charlotte’s wedding Elizabeth still fancied wickam despite her understanding of miss king’s situation.

    What if in her fevered delusion she believes herself with wickam though never saying so out loud leading darcy to believe her fever brought out the honesty of her adoration for him.

    I will leave the level of compromise to the expert. Darcy is still first and foremost a gentleman, but one who is violently in love.

    This could lead to a long road of misunderstanding and angst.

    • And with darcy having insisted they marry and Elizabeth thinking she is with wickam and not darcy alone and engaged liberties are taken.. Perhaps when her fever breaks she is alone. Darcy went off in the snow (post-liberties) after weather began to improve to seek help.

      Elizabeth thinks herself engaged to wickam and darcy thinks hinsrlf engaged to elizabeth.

      • Wow, that would certainly be a setup for lots of conflict! Especially since Darcy, while a gentleman, is also human, and there’s only so much a man can take when he finds himself alone for days with a willing woman whom he’s madly attracted to and thought he could never have. 😉

        • what can I say? I love painful angst. Keeps me turning the pages and staying up all night to finish the book. Plus its a storyline I’ve not read in any JAFF yet. Like I said at the start. It was a very far fetched plot direction

            • That’s probably why it was my favorite book of yours. The angst that it nearly unbearable is what keeps me up all night waiting and hoping it all works out for my favorite couple. You never know. One day you might write another extremely torturous novel. lol

              I love them all regardless though so angst or not I’ll still buy and love your books. no worries

  27. I would imagine he wouldn’t take her seriously. A man of pride and ego, wealth and status who knows Elizabeth is intelligent. Why on earth would she refuse him when it is blatantly clear she has been compromised in the view of society and would know the shame and misery that this would bring on to her and her family. I would think Elizabeth would have a certain amount of fear in this situation. She is alone with a relatively strange man with no one in the vicinity and this is a highly unusual circumstance that she will have no codes of behaviour for. What happens when she needs a wee?!! xx

  28. Hi Abigail!

    Looking forward to this one 😀 Methinks the more (accidental) cuddling the better!
    I like the suggestions posted here, but here’s something different:
    of course he is surprised by her refusal, he never thought she wouldn’t want to marry him.

    He knows it’s enevitable however (seeing the situation they find themselves in), which gives him confidence he wouldn’t otherwise have. confidence to tease her, woo her while she has nowhere to run to.
    making her crazy and confused. she’ll keep the stubborness up for a while, until he wears her out and she let’s her guard down a bit.. (or whatever)

    I’m sure you’ll find a way for them to be discovered, seperated and eventually brought back together again after that 😀

  29. I think, how Darcy reacts to Elizabeth’s refusal depends (with strong emphasis on the depends) on what was his previous dealing with her. From what I’ve read and what you’ve describe, this scene is almost just like at Hunsford in the original, Darcy was shocked to discover that Elizabeth refuse his hand, because he didn’t know Elizabeth thought lowly of him. So, in your story, does Darcy know what Elizabeth thinks of him?

    There’s another thought I have, and I’m sorry if I burst your bubble, but didn’t Jack Caldwell wrote a story similar to this that he posted on Austen Authors website previously? The plot of being stranded together and therefore forced to marry due to society’s rules seems to be an old plot that’s been used many times. I actually thought your other ideas such as the elder Darcys being alive was more interesting than this one.

    There, I’m done playing devil’s advocate, hopefully you’ll find my comments constructive. I want you to know, I adore (emphasis on adore) your writing and you’ve always wrote interesting P&P variations. I think that’s why I’m holding you to a higher level of standard 🙂

    • Given that I just read Jack’s story yesterday afternoon, it’s certainly fresh in my mind. As is their stranding in “Rainy Days.” But I think each “stranding” can lead to different results.

      • “Rainy Days” is one of my all time favorites. One big difference on this stranding is the potential for it to be multiple days – or discovered at the cottage. The sleeping arrangements for the second night could be telling. If they snuggle a second night for warmth, how can Elizabeth deny a compromise in her own mind. Do agree that each stranding can follow different paths – all interesting!

    • Thanks! And thanks for your comments. Jack did write a snowbound novella, and there have been several others done online over the years. He and I discussed prior to it that we were both working on snowbound stories. Our stories will be quite different apart from the common element of snow. There are only so many plot alterations possible in the P&P world, and most have been done repeatedly. Some authors enjoy going far off track from canon to write their stories, but I prefer to stick to just one or two main alterations to the P&P line. If it’s any comfort, this isn’t going to end up as a forced marriage scenario. I’ve already done that one. 😉

      This scene isn’t going to be much like Hunsford because their positions are so different. Elizabeth knows Darcy is doing the right thing by offering to marry her; she just doesn’t like the idea, but she doesn’t hold it against him. He hasn’t insulted her family, at least not yet, and she hasn’t heard from Colonel Fitzwilliam that Darcy prides himself on separating Jane and Bingley. Darcy is still more ambivalent about marrying her, so on both sides, there’s less animosity. She isn’t rejecting him because he’s the last man in the world she could be prevailed upon to marry, but because she doesn’t want to be forced into marriage. That’s a lot less personal.

      • Yes, it’s important to keep in mind everything that hasn’t happened yet. I must say that I am a sucker for these versions when D & E get to know each other better much earlier. Thanks for giving us another one.Your variations were the first I read, but I now have many more (too many?) under my belt.

  30. Darcy is angry at Elizabeth’s refusal. To burn off energy, after they argue about their responsibilities, he goes to get wood or do something useful and since he has a head wound and a concussion, he falls and hits his head. Elizabeth takes care of him and in his delirium, he thinks he and Elizabeth are already married. Since they had come from Charlotte’s and Mr. Collins’ wedding, Darcy is confused and thinks it was he and Elizabeth’s wedding. Elizabeth doesn’t realized Darcy thinks they are married, but can’t believe how kind, attentive, and open Darcy actually is. They are found, after several days of “wedded bliss” and Darcy still thinks they are husband and wife. Once Darcy comes to his senses, he insists they marry. Elizabeth has already fallen in love with the unguarded Darcy, but she thinks he is only marrying her out of duty because of their compromised situation.

    • That would be quite a misunderstanding! Both wanting the same thing, but staying apart out of pride.

      Darcy must assume Elizabeth is going to fall in his arms and gush her thanks, so I can see why he’d be angry that she isn’t praising him to the skies. A little later that day, I do have a Darcy hunting for wood scene, though he manages to make it back safely.

  31. As to his holding his hand out to her ~ he is just trying to hand her a hairpin that was on the pallet and he notices E’s embarrasment and rightly assumes what she had been thinking. As to what he is thinking at this point ~ he seems in a playful mood (a little fogginess/delirium from the concussion?) so I can imagine, as she has her back to him while standing at the window fretting, his voice rings out with hearty laughter. He is amused that she thinks she can avoid marriage and still keep her reputation. She assumes he is laughing at the absurdity of the 2 of them becoming married and a typical “teasing with malice” conversation begins, escalating into anger. Darcy tries to stand but is clumsy from the concussion, falls and his health situation takes a more serious turn ~ possibly resulting in amnesia? I can envision them getting help from someone who is very willing to keep quiet and, if Darcy has amnesia, Elizabeth is left to struggle with her inner thoughts alone.

  32. Thank you for the lovely pictures of the Abbey. When I was in Scotland in 2008, we went to Inchmahome Priory (on a little island in the middle of a lake) in Scotland. It was one of the most peaceful and beautiful places I have ever been.

    As to your story, not knowing how Darcy was injured (by Wickham?), I would think that Darcy though lucid when they wake, starts developing a fever in which Elizabeth will have to care for him. Though she doesn’t want to be forced to marry him in their comprised state and protests to such, being intelligent she will have to accept that they marry. Accept but with conditions…that he courts her to make sure they can actually come to care for each other but over a specific period of time (3-6 months?). If after this time period they cannot tolerate each other then Elziabeth has the right to withdraw. Once this is agreed upon, and she hears his ramblings and secrets in his delirium, she realizes there is much to learn about Darcy. Then once discovered, Darcy is still in a fever. How others take over and control the situation (not well) and force them to marry immediately after Darcy recovers. Then the angst begins. I’m not one for angst either but maybe the two can work together to find out who injured Darcy. Going even further, now that they are married, Elizabeth’s life is also now in danger. This should help bring them together.

  33. The Fountains Abbey photos look beautiful. I will have to add it to my list of must see for my next trip to England.

    The storyline is already intriguing me, but I can see the dilemma of figuring out which way to continue the story. There are so many options! What if, since Darcy has taken an injury to the head it causes him to suffer short term memory loss of the time in the cottage? So he doesn’t remember his behavior or the event. Only Elizabeth knows what truly happened…

    Whichever path you choose I am sure it will be a delight to read.

  34. Well I also seem to be of the opinion that Darcy does not take her seriously when she refuses. but I think the concussion loosens Darcy’s tongue a bit and Elizabeth gets to see a more relax side of Darcy but more importantly she would get a chance to see his real feelings for her, she let’s slip her dislike – that she heard him insult her…. Darcy must then try to change her opinion of him – certainly a position he has not found himself in previously with other women always throwing themselves at him.. He of course does not do a stellar job of it as would be expected… As for angst perhaps Wickam is stuck somewhere with Lydia and now she is compromised as well?

    • You must have used x-ray vision to see some of what’s on my hard drive. There’s already a scene where she tells him no one will think he compromised her because they all know she isn’t handsome enough to tempt him. 😉

  35. I think he should force her to marry him. It’s still snowing, they are snowed in for another day, no more logs to keep a fire. They must stay close to conserve all warmth. They fall asleep and are found the next morning by her father and Mr. Bingley. Marry they must.!!!

  36. Wait, you have to rewind back to the beginning of your post — you actually DITCH stories that aren’t working??? Are there any other readers out there besides me who are thinking about figuratively rummaging through your recycle bin in search of a half-written Abigail Reynolds story??

    OK, I think everyone has provided such great ideas I don’t have much to add. I guess I go back to the idea that Darcy has a head injury, and for most of us, that would cause a lot of memory, concentration, and reasoning issues. I would imagine that he could simply not take “no” for an answer, and that Elizabeth, somewhat alarmed at his personality change, goes along with it to humor him because he’s becoming difficult or distraught. Then as she’s playing along being Mrs. Darcy as they’re stranded, he reveals more of himself and she learns more about him in a positive way. He also has to learn about her so that he’s more tolerant of her family, too. Although I’m a little confused as to the timeline here and what she already assumes about Darcy, and how much Wickham has poisoned the well.

    Anyway, my 2 cents, and please, don’t abandon those poor, stunted stories in the future… they will find a good home, I promise! 🙂

    • Totally agree on the ‘ditch’ into a recycle bin! Hopefully Abigail has them in an e-file recycle bin where a quick search could mine out a gem in the making. Someday, maybe, she can be persuaded to show us some that were pushed aside… It would be interesting – partially finished to a polished stage – partially in outline – completed snippets. A peek at the sequence a novel follows, or does each follow a different path? I think these questions are what would be discussed in a writer’s workshop.

  37. I have several thoughts, not necessarily connected, although they could be.

    Darcy thinks Elizabeth is just prevaricating. She gets so frustrated she tells him what she really thinks of him, a Hunsford awakening of sorts for Darcy.

    They get into a heated intellecutal debate about society and its expectations, personal responsibility, the definition of compromised, the inequity of gender roles etc. They are both of very decided opinions and their interpretations of these things would appear to be at odds, but if they look close enough they also have things in common.

    What if Wickham made an appearance at some point and got stranded with Darcy and Elizabeth? Things could become even more awkward, especially if Darcy had to see Elizabeth and Wickham getting on well. He might even expose his history with Wickham right then and there, in person. Then anything eventuate, even Wickham and Darcy coming to blows (Darcy could still be affected by his injury and behave a bit out of character).

    I do also like the idea of a feverish Darcy, as mentioned by someone else. Making Elizabeth aware of his true feelings, and him being unaware of it.

    Questions after reading your excerpts would be: How long are they likely to be stuck there together? How did Darcy get injured and will Elizabeth find herself having to patch him up?

    I hope you’ve got lots of inspiration from everyone’s comments. I enjoy your takes on these characters and how they come to be together.

    Beautiful photos by the way!

    • The blizzard starts in the afternoon of the first day, then ends sometime during the following night, so they’re going to be stuck there for two nights. It seemed unrealistic to have a blizzard that lasted longer than that, even if it makes for an interesting story. Darcy’s injury is the result of spending too much brain power trying to avoid thinking about Elizabeth Bennet and not enough on his horse’s reaction to snow in its eyes. No great drama there, I’m afraid! But if Wickham were stranded with them, that could make things very interesting indeed!

  38. Everyone has such great ideas!! I couldn’t add anything helpful after all of them, except to say that I can’t wait to read how it all unfolds!!

  39. I wish I could take the walk around Fountains Abbey for you, Abigail!  It’s less than half an hour’s drive from where we live and, being members of the National Trust (= free entry), we visit there quite often.  Did you visit St Mary’s Church, up on the hill above the lake?  What about the Valley of the Seven Bridges on the opposite side of the lake from the Water Gardens?  Both are well worth the walk.  Sadly, my walking is somewhat limited right now, so I can’t do it for you.  I took a stupid tumble last week, ending in two cracked ribs and movement is somewhat uncomfortable not to say getting in and out of the car.

    Anyway, to the task in hand! I’m assuming that everything up to this point is as per the original, though I don’t think Darcy was still at Netherfield at the time of Charlotte’s wedding.

    The first place Elizabeth would be missed from would be Longbourn, so it’s logical that any seach for her would start from there, not Meryton.  Would her father be part of that party or just (presumably male) staff from the house and immediate tennants.  Darcy would be missed from Netherfield so a search party might also be sent from there.  In P & P, it’s obvious that Meryton lies between Longbourn and Netherfield, so the two search parties may, or may not meet.  A lot depends, possibly, on where the “few miles from Meryton” is.

      I’ve dwelt on this in order to determine who would be in the party that discovered them, should any discovery be made.  If it was the Longbourn party, especially if it included Mr Bennet, then I think that he would insist on a marriage, despite any protest of his daughter, whereas he hadn’t in the case of Mr Collins.  If it was the Netherfield party,  then gossip would surely ensue amongst the servants, which would eventually get out to Meryton, leading to the Bennets’ social ruin.  The two parties could also come across each other in Meryton and enlist the help of the militia. Then E & D could be discovered by Wickham who then could use the opportunity for some blackmail if he really is as strapped for cash as before. “Pay me £xxxx or I’ll tell everyone about this AND Georgiana”

    As to Elizabeth’s decision and Darcy’s reaction, she may not want to take advantage of his offer if she thinks his mind is somewhat disturbed and he may be confused for the same reason. Though the comment he makes about Caroline shows that there is a sense of humour still there.

    Should E & D agree to an “understanding” of some sort, such as his being allowed to court her, then they could put pressure on Mr Bennet to prevent Lydia going to Brighton and the whole elopement scandal.

    Think I should stop waffling on now as it’s obvious there are far better ideas than mine above.

    • You’re quite the detective! I’ll complicate matters by adding that Elizabeth started walking from the church, not from Longbourn, and Darcy was making an unscheduled trip to Meryton, so no one knew he was coming. I wouldn’t want to make things too easy, you know. 😉

      I envy you the ability to visit Fountains Abbey whenever you choose. What a lovely place!

  40. Hmmmmm. Elizabeth really would be deep in the doo doo if this got out, so maybe she shouldn’t be so quick to refuse him.

    How about this:

    Darcy only thinks about offering to do his duty, while in his head thoughts of delightful Elizabeth battle thoughts of Mrs Bennet as thoughts of his family and friends look on disdainfully.

    Meanwhile, Elizabeth, knowing she will be in real trouble if it gets out and unable to think of another solution, reasons that if Charlotte can face a life with Mr Collins, then surely she can face being Mrs Darcy in extremis. So she mentions her possible difficulties and Darcy’s responsibility in the circumstances — it is a mortifying moment for her. She tries to make it clear that she hopes it isn’t necessary, but is ready to do verbal battle to get Darcy to accept. After all, why should she pay such a price for saving his life.

    Darcy naturally doesn’t believe her protests, certain that she sees it as a way to get what she really wants: to become Mrs Darcy. So Darcy is able to feel very self-righteous as he assures her he will do his duty if necessary. He surprises her more than a little by agreeing with her so readily, but she supposes it is only because he owes her his life.

    Irony being that she who brought it up truly hopes it won’t be necessary, and he kinda/sorta hopes it will be. He begins suggesting they do things that sound suspiciously like courting; she tries to put him off but can’t really under the circumstances. In the process he begins to understand his love of her and her dislike of him, as she begins to wonder if she really knows him and what the heck is up with all this being nice. Then there’s her good pal Wickham, the Bennets still being the Bennets, Darcy’s family, the Bingleys, Lizzy visiting Hunsford, and could it get any more complicated?!?!?! My head spins.

    Not exactly what you were asking, but there you go anyway, Abigail. You’re welcome. 😉

    • LOL, Kent! It’s wonderful to see you here. London Outskirts remains one of my all-time favorite JAFF stories (and curricles). I like your reverse approach on this scene. Definitely adds a new twist. They do have quite a few complications around them. And, as Elizabeth just blurted out in the scene I’m writing, “Why are you trying so hard to be agreeable? It is not like you.”

  41. Nice beginning (or is it?)

    It seems to me that Darcy still does not know who he is dealing with. His comment about Miss Bingley, while funny, shows a familiarity with Elizabeth that comes from either a smugness (he slept with her, after all) or a lack of understanding. We know that he does not read his Elizabeth very well, right? Then, there is this comment about the fact that, while others have tried to entrap him, he does not believe she did. How conceited can he get? This will surely not drive Elizabeth to fall in love, surely! So, we are heading for a major confrontation. But they have the day together, trapped as they are in this blizzard.

    So, say Wickham has not appeared in the story yet, all Elizabeth has against Darcy is the initial comment at the assembly (if you kept it) and his general behaviour. She will have to throw it to his face, while he will do the same with her family. But, Elizabeth being the optimistic and kind that she is will likely mellow her speech for the sake of his well being (he still has a concussion, after all). So they would exchange banalities for a while and get some sort of information about one another that will come back to haunt them later in the novel.

    I also think they will be found, but by another character than family or Bingley. Could be a priest, a tenant or a scavenger. Becoming friend or foe. Who knows?

  42. I think he would feel many things including confused which would make him a bit more defensive. He has a quick mind so all those things you mentioned would have occurred to him- offer for honor, secretly wanting her and knowing it wouldn’t do, relieved that there was an excuse to have what he secretly wanted, assumption that she didn’t see all the ramifications of the situation so not overly concerned about her refusal and yet he would be hurt personal and his pride would be affronted that she would quickly dismiss the idea. I think it would be a novel idea for him to learn that she didn’t regard him in the same light he did her.

    I think this would be the Hunsford scene even earlier. Instead of walking away, they would be forced to speak of what he had to put in a letter and she had to evaluate and respond. I could see things getting ugly before the air is cleared. This might be one of those ‘what if’s that the conflict transitions from internal to external after this crisis- not that there might not be smaller bumps and misunderstandings between the two because he won’t lose his arrogance nor she her prejudices overnight-, but that a forced betrothal would now bring their families and dissimilar circumstances into play to bring the bigger issues.

    So that’s my two cents. Hope you’re able to unsnarl things, Abigail.

    • I always guarantee a happy ending. 😉 I think you’ve got a good sense of the complexity of Darcy’s process on this. Fortunately, Elizabeth doesn’t hate him quite as much yet as she does at Hunsford, and it’s hard to be really nasty to someone who is hurt. I hope.

  43. Thanks for sharing the Fountains Abbey story, Abigail! It’s lovely, and it’s great to see what got the wheels turning with the ‘Noble Connections’ 🙂

    Can’t wait to see this one out !!

    Part of me is rooting for a ‘fall in love after marriage’ story. I guess that’s because I’ve just re-read ‘The Last Man in the World’ very recently and it really got to me, as it always does! I think this is the first story of yours I fell in love with from as far back as the DWG years! Hope I’m not making any confusions, at least I don’t think I am, because there are these two lines I remember from years ago as the most moving ones ever (“Then why does it require my cousin’s presence to show me the woman I thought I was marrying is not dead?” & “How had he, with all the advantages of his birth and intellect, come to the point where he could think of no better outcome than that he might die young?”) I’m sure you wrote just as moving ones in other stories (the migraine ones in the Noble Connections spring to mind), but these stayed with me for a long time.

    Of course, there’s the other side of the coin: you’ve done that plot line so beautifully once, so there’s no point in going down the same route.

    Not 100% sure how they’d react in the circumstance you mentioned, and I haven’t got Dave’s ‘Darcy hat’ 😀 but, same as others, I think Darcy would not take her seriously in her refusal and simply think she doesn’t realise the gravity of the situation (which I think is actually true).
    If there is any sense of relief at her refusal, it would be only theoretical lip service. Once he discovered just how it feels to wake up next to Elizabeth, I think he might have greater difficulty to give her up.

    I really like the idea of them being snowed in a bit longer and getting a chance to talk!

    Also, the concussion might offer some excuse for Darcy speaking without thinking, which is always good, because he thinks too much 🙂

    Not sure if this was any use, but I’m really looking forward to see where you’re taking this story!

  44. I do love so many of the ideas already stated.

    I was thinking that as Darcy has a head wound there might be some confusion with who he’s with at times. There could be moments of mistaking her for Caroline where he might discuss her families drawbacks a little too honestly (like Hunsford) or perhaps mistaking her for Anne and having a discussion of how to explain to her mother he’s chosen someone so “beneath him”.

    He would of course not remember these conversations and would be quite put out when she does not fall into his arms – although these conversations might have to have happen AFTER the second night when they again wake up cuddling.

    She would of course be furious but as she had already fallen in love with him before they took place there would be angst on both sides – something I thoroughly enjoy lol

  45. In response to your reply on my comment yesterday it would not be good for Darcy’s head to get angry at Elizabeth. I wish I had better ideas, but it I understand that it cannot resolve too quickly…maybe Lady C and Caroline Bingley work to separate Darcy from Elizabeth. Elizabeth definitely cannot be the only one to remember what happened, because she will ignore the whole thing and pretend it never happened. She needs to be prodded. Due to the head injury Darcy is able to be molded, but only temporarily and becomes furious at Lady C. & Caroline….Possibilities….but the story is yours. I have read each of your books, aand enjoyed them immensely. Can’t wait for this one.

    • Thanks, Deborah. I wish I could give a better idea of where it’s going, but with all these good ideas flowing, Darcy decided to take a sudden turn to the left and is not following his script at all. Juat because my ficitional character has a ficitional head injury does not give him the right to go messing with my story! But of course he will anyway – he’s an incorrigible scene hijacker. 😉

  46. Whoa! The second excerpt is an awesome scene – I could literally SMELL Darcy in the room 🙂 Well done! Can’t wait until this one is finished to read the whole thing! The idea of them stranded together in a snowstorm is soooo intriguing. Thanks for the wonderful excerpts!

  47. Great excerpt, can’t wait to read the full story! I think he would be half relieved that she has refused him since she is beneath him. But then he would be disappointed that he couldn’t have his cake and eat too. As this turned to anger, he would decide that she simply didn’t mean it and that she expected his continued attentions. Elizabeth would be fuming since men just don’t take her seriously when she refuses them, I.e. Mr. Collins.

  48. Thanks for sharing this scene and opening it up for ideas and comments. It is so fun to read everyone’s ideas. It is kind of like those Choose Your Own Adventure stories where the plot is different every time you read it. So many possibilities! I don’t know that I have anything good to add at this point, but I did get interested in the thought of Wickham being the one to find them. After 2 days maybe E is starting to think better of D and then she sees him interact with W and all that ground D had gained is lost (or some of it). Whatever path you choose, I am looking forward to reading more!

      • I had another idea (small) as I was drifting off to sleep last night. When D tells E that they have to marry after being trapped together because everyone will believe she is compromised, she could say to him “No one will believe you have compromised me because everyone one Hertfordshire knows I cannot tempt you, as well they know you are the last man on Earth I would be prevailed upon to marry.” That would get the conversation going!

        • You’ve been sneaking peeks at my hard drive! 😉

          “Will no one think to confirm your story?”

          “Most likely not, in all the chaos. Besides, you are the last man anyone would suspect of compromising me.”

          “Why is that?” He had the effrontery to sound puzzled.

          “Everyone already knows you do not find me handsome enough to tempt you.”

          “Not handsome enough…Why on earth would they think that?”

          His incredulity only annoyed her. “Because you said so. At the assembly in Meryton where we first met. Pray do not attempt to deny it. I was there and heard you say it. My vanity quite easily withstood the blow of not pleasing you, but it is not my favorite topic of conversation in the world, so let us say nothing more of it.”

  49. I love the idea of Darcy and Elizabeth getting stuck in a cottage together. I think Darcy would let it pass. It’d be nice for once to see him doing the entrapping instead of being the intended target of some female or another. Perhaps he might “accidentally” blurt it out in front of company. Elizabeth would have to marry him then.

  50. This looks like an interesting story. I think they would try to keep it a secret, and therefore be uncomfortable around each other. People start gossiping however, and Elizabeth angrily thinks Mr. Darcy is to blame. She accuses him of damaging her reputation in order to force her hand. Of course, he didn’t—but he has to find out who it is and then explain it all.

  51. I am way behind due to being away and not having access to a computer when all this was posted. Now trying to catch up on so many e-mails. Delightful snippets. Re: Dave’s post – I like hearing possibilities from the male POV. I like that Darcy held her in his arms, looking at her, wondering how they came to this position (he is suffering from a concussion) and then contemplating that the only option is marriage. He has always been one with honor as a priority. Don’t think he would elect to hide this event as he did the event with Georgina as in thinking it through he has to realize that with the storm still brewing they are NOT going to be able to hide this and does he want to? In Without Reserve you had Elizabeth accepting and living with disgrace because she realized she made a bad decision. So if a forced marriage is in the works, I could see her as resisting until somehow she gets to know the better side of Darcy. Whether she learns that while stranded in the cottage or during a forced courtship is up to you, Abigail. I am sure, that by now, you are way past this point – time nor tide waits for no man! So looking forward to reading the finished product.

  52. Abigail,love where you are going with this story. Would love to see them getting to know each other more and stuck in the storm for a few more days yet – the injury could be worst than first thought and she is forced to care for him and learn to know more about him. Colonel Fitzwilliam locates them, but too late, her reputation is in ruins and as she gets to know him better, will accept the courtship along with the trials and tribulations for true love.
    Love your books so i’m sure you will find a way to make this work and be as engaging as the others.

  53. INFJ = introversion, intuition, feeling, judging? Some of these acronyms throw me and I have to look on the Internet. (re-reading old e-mails in order to delete/clean stuff off my computer)

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