I have 2 new books out at the moment, Dear Mr Darcy, which is a retelling of Pride and Prejudice in epistolary form, and Pride and Pyramids, which is a sequel to Pride and Prejudice. Both books feature Mr Darcy, but at different ages, as Pride and Pyramids is set 15 years after the end of Pride and Prejudice.
As Misty said she was open to silly as well as serious posts, I thought it would be fun to see which Mr Darcy is better, the younger or the older version. And who better to conduct the argument than the gentleman himself?
Mr Darcy the younger: I am undoubtedly the better man. I am younger, fitter, stronger and better looking –
Mr Darcy the mature: Not so. As Amanda Grange clearly states in Pride and Pyramids, age has improved me and I am, if anything, more handsome.
Mr Darcy the younger: But do you still look wonderful in a wet shirt?
Mr Darcy the mature: Oh, come now, Fitzwilliam, you know we never swam in the Pemberley lake, that was just a fevered dream invented by an over zealous screenwriter. I do, however, look astonishingly handsome amidst the golden sand dunes of Egypt; something you, in your youth and immaturity, have not yet experienced.
Mr Darcy the younger: I see you have not lost your conceit, no matter how much Amanda tries to persuade us that you are less arrogant than formerly.
Mr Darcy the mature: But of course I have. When I think of the way you proposed to Elizabeth the first time, I cannot believe you were ever so arrogant or so foolish.
Mr Darcy the younger: I think you have lost too much of your pride, Darcy. Just think of the way you treat your children. They are not confined to the nursery, as they should be in any well regulated household. Instead, they invade your room in the mornings and speak freely in your presence.
Mr Darcy the mature: I would not have it any other way – and nor would you, when the time comes. You still have that pleasure ahead of you. And what a pleasure it is.
Mr Darcy the younger (curiously): There are six children, I believe?
Mr Darcy the mature: Yes – so far! Beth, the eldest, is named after her mother but in fact is like Jane Bennet in personality. William, the heir of Pemberley, is exactly as we were as a boy: proud and honourable. John takes after Col Fitzwilliam and longs to join the army. He is a credit to us. Laurence . . .
Mr Darcy the younger: Yes, what about Laurence?
Mr Darcy the mature (with an exasperated smile): Laurence is . . . lively.
Mr Darcy the younger (with a groan): By which you mean he is like his aunt Lydia.
Mr Darcy the mature: There is a resemblance, I must admit. He wanted to bring a crocodile home from our Egyptian adventure to keep in the Pemberley lake. And Jane, his younger sister, is very like him.
Mr Darcy the younger: You see, I am the better man. I would never have let the children run wild.
Mr Darcy the mature: Wait until you meet them. You will love their lively spirits. And when you meet Meg, the youngest, she will wrap you round her little finger. But you still have those joys ahead of you.
Mr Darcy the younger: Nonsense. I will learn from your mistakes and make sure my sons are sent away to school at the earliest opportunity and I will make sure my daughters are schooled into decorum by the best governesses. There will be no talk of crocodiles in the Pemberley lake when I am a father.
Mr Darcy the mature (laughing): If you think Elizabeth will allow you to follow such a plan, you have a lot to learn! But you will have fun learning it, I can promise you.
Mr Darcy the younger: But enough of you as a father. What about you as a man? Are you a good husband to Elizabeth? Because I can assure you, I am.
Mr Darcy the mature: You are, yes, and for a time she will be content. But Elizabeth has a lively and adventurous nature. After fifteen years of marriage she was ready for a trip of a lifetime: not to Derbyshire or the Lakes or Brighton or anywhere so tame, but to the land of the Pharaohs. You have given her the splendours of Pemberley, but I have given her the splendours of the desert, with picnics at verdant oases and moonlit trips down the Nile.
Amanda Grange: So Mr Darcy . . . Mr Darcy . . . have you decided which of you is the better man?
Mr Darcy the younger and Mr Darcy the mature (in unison): I am.
Dear reader, if you would like to see which of these Mr Darcys you think is the best, then read Dear Mr Darcy and Pride and Pyramids and decide for yourself!
NOTE FROM MISTY: Keep an eye out... Just saying. ;P