Third excerpt from my new book! — 57 Comments

  1. I am really enjoying this Abigail and hoping that Elizabeth’s opinion of Darcy continues to improve. I would love to see them as a team defeating the French. As for title, well I can’t think of anything at the moment but will let you know in the unlikely event that I do 😊

  2. Will we see the French thrown out or curtailed in some significant way, for example no more hanging or guillotine threats? I know that sounds fanciful, but as the saying goes, “There will always be an England”. Or are you saving this idea for a separate, more fanciful book? I’m not sure I could work this in but I would like to see a nice, quiet rebellion. Ha! In any event, I’m looking forward to more.

  3. I’m lying in bed with a cold and what happened in Berlin gives me the chills, too… and then I get to read your wonderful post – Thanks for that bright spot in my day!

    It’s so wonderful to see how our two lovebirds react to one another when they have to focus on other things than their pride.

    Well the first title that jumped at me was “The French Disease” … But I’m not sure, how many people would buy a book by that name 😉
    I’m mulling over some other titles, but…well…they might not be the right thing for the rest of the plot we don’t yet know. Here’s a selection…:
    Darcy’s war,
    Darcy’s Disguise (reveals too much?),
    A Thistle’s Prickles (perhaps too much of a double entendre?)
    Something with Titania perhaps? Titania’s Task? Telling Titania?
    The essence of things (…because all the danger and problems cause them to focus on the essence of things..on what is really important in life…family, love, respect, loyalty, trust, …)

    I’m looking forward to next Thursday! Merry Christmas to all of you!

    • I’m sorry you’re sick, and even sorrier about what happened in Berlin. It is a great tragedy for all of us, but especially for those of you in Germany.

      You did make me laugh with The French Disease! I like your other ones, too. Darcy’s Disguise is on my shortlist of titles already, but I’m going to add these! Thanks!

    • Thanks for letting me know, Jeannine! When comments go down dramatically from chapter to chapter, it’s hard for me to know whether people are just happily reading or whether half of the readers have lost interest, so I appreciate your taking time to comment!

  4. This is such an interesting variation. As I come from a country where being dominated by another invading nation and having to bear the malevolence of the oppressors aas well as to deal with the collaborant issue has been a historical reality many times, the Soviet army being the last recent one, I am intrigued to see how Darcy and Elizabeth deal with these problems in this story. I think Elizabeth’s tendency to form snap judgments on people’s patriotism and her way of seeing everything in black and white is very much in character, as well as Darcy’s efforts to protect everyone and to find a way to serve the good of the country and the people between conflicting moral and political issues. Poor man, to feel he has sacrificed and lost so much!

    Darcy and Elizabeth’s meeting among the bluebells and puppies was such a beautiful and angst-relieving scene, as well as Jane and Bingley’s budding romance.

    Did people feel the contagious nature of tuberculosis so much back then as to isolate family members in a barn? Or was it seen as a somewhat exaggerated idea, to prevent people from visiting, enhancing the seriousness of Jane’s disease? After all, she might have been an invalid in the house as well, couldn’t she? Did other people also know that Jane lived there? Or was it mainly arranged so as to avoid Jane having to pretend all the time (because not all in the family could be trusted)?
    Another question: how could anyone go through a marriage ceremony with a French officer if he was known to be married at home? This brings to mind, what sort of marriage was legal in this AU? Was it a secular civil marriage? Surely even Napoleonic law didn’t condone bigamy? What happened to Church of England in this situation, btw?

    • It’s challenging to try to write an occupation without getting too dark, but thinking about it has given me new appreciation for how it must change people.

      TB wasn’t thought to be contagious yet. Jane has to keep certain family members believing she is ill, so she claimed she needed quiet to recover. Longbourn isn’t good at quiet, so the tack rooms were a good solution.

      The marriage situation is an unholy mess which complicates the story later on. The French have imposed their civil code, so church weddings aren’t valid without the civil ceremony before. On the other hand, were English law to be reimposed, those civil ceremonies wouldn’t be valid… see, the complications are huge. Bigamy, of course, isn’t permitted, but if a French soldier insists he isn’t already married, Englishman is about to argue with him.

      Thanks for reading!

  5. Mr. Darcy’s Loyalties?

    Loving this story. Happy that (as expected) Bingley met Jane…and an added and unsurprising introduction between Georgiana and Jane. I keep having worries that someone might be watching the house – that Renard is just such a sly character!

    This is a story I already am prepared to buy – I read these WIP and then want the rest of the story. Punishing myself but they just draw me in and tease me.

    Thank you for this chapter. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy New Year.

  6. My grandfather Croft died of TB in the 30s and his eldest daughter was sent to a sanitarium in Carlsbad TX for the “cure”. She lost the upper lobes (sp?)of her lungs to surgery; I presume she got TB from nursing her father.

    As to Lydia ‘marrying’ a French soldier who had a wife and family in France – most likely they are Catholic so that is his true family. When he is recalled to France, Lydia will A. be cast off to return to her family or B. go to France to be his mistress. This is, of course, just my opinion as to what might happen.

  7. Maybe Mr. Darcy’s Dream if the Midsummer Night’s Dream theme continues. Or Mr. Darcy’s Queen.
    You could go a whole different direction with Under Mr. Darcy’s Care, or Conceit and Concealment. Good luck!

  8. Abigail,if your delightful book was available due purchase right now,I’d be in the very long queue waiting patiently to download and read it!

    I love it! To see the little flirtations between Darcy and Elizabeth brings a smile to my face,all the more as Darcy doesn’t seem tto be able to help himself!

    Can’t wait for the next chapter! I’m utterly fascinated by it! 😌

  9. Maybe Mr. Darcy’s Dream if the Midsummer Night’s Dream theme continues. Or Mr. Darcy’s Queen.
    You could go a whole different direction with Under Mr. Darcy’s Care, or Conceit and Concealment. Good luck! I can’t wait to read the 4th chapter!

  10. Captain Renard has not shown up! Let’s hope he doesn’t arrive with Wickham! Enjoyed this chapter and how Bingley gets to finally meet his angel. What about the title ‘Darcy’s Deception’?

  11. I am really really liking this variation Abigail! I’m already hooked by this Darcy and Elizabeth. For me the enjoyment of a P&P variation can be immediately known if I take to the D & E, and I’m so enjoying them already. Your imagination is amazing and I can’t wait until Darcy and Elizabeth are together, I’m hoping it’s soon! Titles are so hard, will be anxiously awaiting your choice!

  12. What an excellent chapter, Abigail. Your glimpses into the backstory raise even more questions in my mind. I believe this Darcy to be a troubled soul and Miss Elizabeth will be the saving of him. I look forward to your next post. And the next. And the next…

    • Thank you, Dawn! It means a lot that you like it. The amount of backstory in this is truly enormous, and it’s tempting to just give it all in info dumps in the text, but I’m really trying to work it in gradually and only what’s necessary. I’m also worried that I’ll leave out some important piece of it!

  13. How about a title like “A Mid-summer’s Night Scheme”? Or perhaps depending on events in the timeline “A Mid-Winter’s Night Scheme” would work better… Or maybe I’m just projecting my own hopes on to your story and wishing that Bingley wisks Jane to Greta Green (because you KNOW the Scots are still rebelling!) after the Bennets fake her death…

    I am adoring this alternative history take on P&P and especially the ramifications that were revealed this chapter. It makes one wonder how things like the Luddite movement and even Scottish and Irish independence would be affected.

  14. this is my first chapter read. I did not think I would like a version under oppression of the French how wrong was I.

    Very interesting take on a much loved story and I will go back to read to read the other chapters now.

    As for title Oppression & Obsession is my suggestion.

    Thanks looking forward to reading the whole

    • Terri, thanks for taking a chance on the story even though it didn’t sound appealing. I think a lot of people are expecting the book to be about war or combat or lots of history, but it’s really just Elizabeth and Darcy against a different background. Opression and Obsession has a very nice ring to it!

  15. I LOVE the three chapters!!!! Truly unique plot….very intriguing! “Darcy’s Allegiance” is the title that comes to my mind. I love that Darcy and Elizabeth come to trust one another quickly and share a mutual loyalty, protection, and love of family. I am hooked and can’t wait to read the entire book!!!!

  16. Abigail, this is wonderful. The chapters are exciting, and I’m looking forward to reading the entire book. “England’s Obstinance from French Oppression” would certainly be an underground movement. The British people are too proud of their Kingdom’s rule and history to take the French oppression with grace. I can see Darcy having a “private and secretly planned” meeting with Renard and Wickham. Has to have a HEA ending, right?

  17. I am enjoying this so much. Are the servants spies for the French? What is Darcy’s secret? All is not as it seems. Besides Bingley had someone else been in the stables? What will happen to this group of t friends? Will Jane be found out? So many more questions than answers. Thank you for sharing. Looking forward to the next chapter.

  18. I wonder if Darcy senior was responsible for getting the princess to Canada. I could explain why he was declared “dead” so that the remaing family could stay alive.

  19. I am really enjoying this “alternate” history. (Renard/Renyard the Fox just constantly goes through my mind. I loved his adventures when I was a little girl.) Alternate history is really difficult to do well and you are keeping your hand subtle, which is the way to go IMNSHO. My title suggestion: Titania’s Heroes

    • Thank you! I really don’t want this book to be about the alternate history, but rather about the characters we know and how they react to the changed circumstances. Titania’s Heroes? I hadn’t thought about using TItania in the title, but now I’m wondering!

  20. Wow, I absolutely loved this chapter–and the unique premise for this story. Thank you so much for sharing it with us here, Abigail!! 🙂

    Tuesday seems like such a long time to wait for the next installment, but the holy days will make it go by quickly. 😉

    With warm Christmas regards,
    Susanne 🙂

  21. Another fantastic chapter Abigail. Can all of the servants at Longbourn be trusted? Could Captain Renard have a mole installed there, to report on anything unusual? Would trays of tea for more than two people count as unusual, I wonder. They’re going to have to be sooo careful with Jane’s influx of visitors.

    And Darcy’s now having shall we say, “racy” dreams about his Titania. Yes, he’s definitely fallen overboard!

    As to a title, I’m really rubbish at that sort of thing but I’m glad to see that my fellow commenters aren’t. The best I can come up with is “Disguise is my Abhorrence” as a paraphrase of Darcy’s comment from canon.

    • Thank you, Anji. In occupied Meryton, it’s hard to trust anybody. Could the servants be bribed, threatened or blackmailed into betraying the family? It’s a real possibility.

      I keep coming back to that comment as well. Usually I have a terrible time coming up with a tag line for a book, but this time it was easy – “Once disguise of every sort had been his abhorrence. Now Darcy could hardly recall when he had not worn a disguise.”

  22. VERY interesting chapter! The first thing that came to mind was Mr Darcy’s Treason, but I’m liking the alliterative theme others have come up with to echo Pride and Prejudice….hmm….something to think about…Subversion and Treachery? Mm, maybe not that one, but the words are great by themselves. Duplicity and Deception? Ok, I’m stopping now, I promise!

  23. Very exciting! So Jane and Bingley have met and Miss Darcy fences. How fun! I am curious to know more of Darcy’s story, but I know that will come out. Gosh, I’m not sure I like this AU where the French rule. I only hope you have a plan to defeat them. Yes???

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