P&P: Behind the Scenes – Gardiners Compare Opinions of Mr. Darcy — 25 Comments

  1. I loved this. I could see the Gardiners having this discussion and, typical for his species, Mr. Gardiner is totally oblivious to what was happening right under his nose. All he could think about was….fishing. But, oh so sweet. Such a different relationship than Lizzy’s parents had. A beautiful example for Lizzy. Thank you so much for this missing chapter.

    • So glad you enjoyed it, Deborah! And, yes, how lucky Lizzy has the Gardiners’ beautiful example. Their’s is the one happy, functional marriage in the book. Your comment reminds me of the opening line of chapter 42:

      Had Elizabeth’s opinion been all drawn from her own family, she could not have formed a very pleasing picture of conjugal felicity or domestic comfort…

  2. Thanks for this Shannon. I love reading these extra scenes so much. Perhaps someone should reissue P&P and include all of them. I really like how the Gardiners are so caring of Elizabeth especially when Mr Gardiner is put in the picture!!!

    • You’re very welcome, Glynis. I enjoy writing these extra glimpses so much – an excuse to spend more time with the people I know and love so well! And we, the authors here at Austen Variations, do have plans for these extra scenes. Stand by!

  3. Shannon, your portrayal of the Gardner’s is perfect, I have always thought that should they have been Elizabeth’s parents how her life would have been different, having a quieter home with an positively attentive mother. Mr. Gardner is a good hearted mad, but a bit single minded about the fishing and missed an opportunity to observe the goings on between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy below the surface. I would like to know what he thought of the behavior of Mrs. Hurst and Miss Bingley towards Elizabeth.

    Thank you for this chapter, and I agree with Glynis a reprint of P&P with the additional insights would be interesting.

  4. Thank you for your comments, Melanie! An interesting thought. Elizabeth might have been a very different creature if she’d grown up with the Gardiners as parents. I wonder if we would have liked her as much.

  5. Oh Shannon,
    How many times must we all have thought about what conversations would be going on behind things. This and all of then are wonderful. !

  6. Lovely! And I am attempting to ponder if Elizabeth could still overhear the conversation despite the couple keeping their voices low. I always did love Mrs. Gardner – her insight and wise words keep flustered emotions under control. Lizzy is blessed to have them in her corner. Thank you for this excerpt.

    • I’m delighted to hear so many people have a deep fondness for the Gardiners, you included, Sheila! I have plans to feature them in an upcoming book.

      • OH, that will make for a great book. I don’t think I have ever read one which featured them. Although one author had Aunt Gardiner, like her sister-in-law bent on marrying Lizzy off to her idea of a perfect situation.

  7. What a delightful conversation!! I quite enjoyed Mr. Gardiner’s report of Mr. Darcy rather abrupt abandonment of the fishing expedition the very moment that Mr. Gardiner mentioned that his wife and niece were calling at Pemberley!! 😀

    Thank you, Shannon, for a lovely scene!! 😀

    Susanne 🙂

    • Thanks for your comments, Susanne! I so enjoy the challenge of taking what JA has given us and expanding on it, not deviating from it – in these segments as well as my books. The inspiration for the part you refer to is found in chapter 45:

      He [Mr. Darcy] had been some time with Mr. Gardiner, who, with two or three other gentlemen from the house, was engaged by the river, and had left him only on learning that the ladies of the family intended a visit to Georgiana that morning.

  8. Love this Behind-the-scenes chapter. Oh Lizzy is so loved – the Gardiners and Darcy. Lizzy and Georgiana are already forming a bond, and poor Darcy, his eyes and face says it all. Edward Gardiner is a typical male answering his wife with the remarks about fishing. Sly man, he knew what she asking. Love these two. Jane and Elizabeth were lucky to have them growing up. It would be horrific to have five Lydia’s running around Longbourn.

    • We do love our P&P, don’t we, Carol! And I like your idea that Mr. Gardiner wasn’t really that clueless after all, that he was really just teasing his wife by going on about fishing when he knew she was eager to hear about Mr. Darcy. Entirely possible!

  9. Perfect! I’ve always loved Mrs. Gardiner, especially. She comes prepared to like Mr. Darcy in spite of Elizabeth’s stated objections, and she is not disappointed. Love this scene where she observes so astutely what is happening! I know once she has that tour of the gardens by phaeton, all will be right in her and Elizabeth’s world! I liked the “First Impressions” nod, as well.

    • Yes, Julie, I think Mrs. G. would have been predisposed to like Darcy because of knowing his father by reputation, and especially if there were any chance he might be falling in love with Elizabeth!

      It is a lot of fun to drop in those “insider’s” references – first impressions, the phaeton and ponies, etc. – when I write. 😉

  10. Wonderful chapter! I can imagine how hard it was for Mrs. Gardiner to hold it all in until they were alone. And the. To have Mr. G talk about the fish and prolong her agony…Brilliant! I loved this portrayal of the Gardiners and the references to canon as well as your own work. Thank you!

  11. Pingback: The Play’s the Thing | Shannon Winslow's "Jane Austen Says…"

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