Don't forget to read any posts from couple weeks you might have missed as it has been busy! There are many opportunities for upcoming drawings including double giveaways from Kara Louise, Becky Thumann, Sharon Lathan and Shannon Winslow; as well as the posts from Gayle Mills, Jan Ashe, Stephanie Hamm and Krista Bagley. Read ALL of them and don't forget to comment! Comments are your entries to WIN those giveaways!
June 29--Pam Dixon
July 3--Jennifer Petkus
July 6--Karen Aminada
July 10--Marilyn Brant
July 13--Meredith Esparanza
July 17--Lori Smith
July 24--Barbara Tiller Cole: Christmas in July
July 27--Amy Cecil
July 31--Maria Grace
August 3--Wendi S.
August 7--Moira B.
August 10--Barbara TC and the DBF
August 14--Colette S.
August 17--Regina Jeffers
August 21--Sally Smith O'Rourke
August 24--Amber Godat
And Many more to come!
Laurel Ann's details the specifics for being entered into a contest to win one of her books within her post below. So you will have to read it and follow instructions in order to win! Comments on her post will also enter you into the monthly drawings here at Darcyholic Diversions. Winners will be selected along with other June winners, at the beginning to July. Entries will be based on comments on blog posts; but additional chances will be given for joining this site, tweeting this post, Joining this site as a member via Google Friend Connect (GFC) (See the left hand column on the blog to join!), sharing this on Facebook or your blog, Friend me on Facebook, clicking 'like’ on Barbara Tiller Cole, Author's Facebook page, Join Darcyholic Diversions Facebook Page or following BarbTCole on Twitter.
What’s the Big Deal about Mr. Darcy?
Being introduced as a Jane Austen enthusiast can have its challenges. Recently, I met a very eligible gentleman. Single, handsome, well-educated, and rich. Mrs. Bennet the husband hunting mother in Pride and Prejudice would have been in vapors. His first question to me (expressed in a very sarcastic tone) was, “What’s the big deal was about Mr. Darcy?” I was stunned into numbing silence. My first impression was what an arrogant jerk! Where should I begin? How could I explain to him why Jane Austen’s hero from Pride and Prejudice is the most renowned literary romantic icon ever created? And, did I want to?
It was indeed a loaded question. I doubted whatever my defense of the merits of Mr. Darcy was that he was really not interested in knowing. This was just a male pissing match thing. He was just irked that so many women have elevated a fictional character to their ideal man. Feeling a bit like I was experiencing Elizabeth Bennet’s introduction to the fine, tall, handsome, noble, rich and arrogant Mr. Darcy, I inwardly laughed at the irony, and then in proper Jane Austen style, I tempered my own indignation with a calm double edged reply. I told him that there were many reasons; a few of which were key to winning a lady’s heart. That really got his attention. As his eyebrows rose in interest I knew that I had him just where I wanted him. Coyly, and with the sweetest of innocent smiles, I replied that if I revealed the secrets of Mr. Darcy’s charms, then he could emulate them, and then how would he know if the lady he was wooing loved him or Mr. Darcy?
Ladies, I would not try this approach if you are sincerely interested in attracting the attention of a man. Even though sparing with Mr. Darcy’s intelligence worked wonders for Austen’s heroine Elizabeth Bennet, it is not very often that we encounter a Mr. Darcy: a man who is challenged by impertinence and attracted to conceited independence. It could backfire on you. Men do appreciate strong women who speak their minds, but even spirited and outspoken Lizzy Bennet pushes Mr. Darcy to the limit. I am amazed at Austen’s persistent character development to the very end! Even after his second proposal she still can’t let it rest and must know when he fell in love with her.
Elizabeth's spirits soon rising to playfulness again, she wanted Mr. Darcy to account for his having ever fallen in love with her. “How could you begin?” said she. “I can comprehend your going on charmingly, when you had once made a beginning; but what could set you off in the first place?”
“I cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or the look, or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun.” Mr. Darcy
“Now, be sincere; did you admire me for my impertinence?”
“For the liveliness of your mind, I did.”
“You may as well call it impertinence at once. It was very little less. The fact is, that you were sick of civility, of deference, of officious attention. You were disgusted with the women who were always speaking and looking and thinking for your approbation alone. I roused and interested you, because I was so unlike them. Had you not been really amiable, you would have hated me for it; but, in spite of the pains you took to disguise yourself, your feelings were always noble and just; and, in your heart, you thoroughly despised the persons who so assiduously courted you. There — I have saved you the trouble of accounting for it; and really, all things considered, I begin to think it perfectly reasonable. To be sure, you knew no actual good of me — but nobody thinks of that when they fall in love.” Chapter 60
She asks him when it began? When did he fall in love with her? And then proceeds to answer for him! I have always admired Elizabeth Bennet’s cheek, but gosh darn it, let the man speak for himself.
I first fell in literary love with Mr. Darcy in 1980 while watching the BBC/PBS adaptation of Pride and Prejudice staring David Rintoul as the romantic icon. In retrospect, I now realize that I loved Darcy because he loved Elizabeth, the smart and witty woman that I have always wanted to be.
As I stated to my arrogant new acquaintance, there are many reason why Mr. Darcy is a big deal. I admire his honor, his intelligence and his kindness. And anyone who claims they were not moved by his beautiful grounds at Pemberley, which are a reflection of the man himself, is in co-dependent denial. What about you? What is it about Mr. Darcy that turned your head and opened your heart? Why is Mr. Darcy such a big deal?
A life-long acolyte of Jane Austen, Laurel Ann Nattress is the author/editor of Austenprose.com a blog devoted to her favorite author and the short story anthology Jane Austen Made Me Do It, released by Ballantine Book in October 2011. She is a life member of the Jane Austen Society of North America, a regular contributor to the PBS blog Remotely Connected and the Jane Austen Centre online magazine. Classically trained as a landscape designer at California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo, she has also worked in marketing for a Grand Opera company and at present she delights in introducing neophytes to the charms of Miss Austen’s prose as a bookseller. An expatriate of southern California, Laurel Ann lives in a country cottage near Snohomish, Washington where it rains a lot. Visit Laurel Ann at her blog Austenprose – A Jane Austen Blog, on Twitter as @Austenprose, and on Facebook as Laurel Ann Nattress.
Enter a giveaway chance for Jane Austen Made Me Do It
Enter a chance to win one signed copy of Laurel Ann’s new Austen-inspired short story anthology, Jane Austen Made Me Do It, which includes seven stories inspired by Pride and Prejudice, by sharing with us the reasons why you think Mr. Darcy is a romantic literary icon or what qualities you admire in his character. The contest is open to all US residents and ends at 11:59 pm PT on July 5, 2012.
Jane Austen Made Me Do It: Original Stories Inspired by Literature’s Most Astute Observer of the Human Heart, edited by Laurel Ann Nattress
A new short story anthology, this delightful collection inspired by Jane Austen—her novels, her life, her wit, her world—features an introduction and twenty-two never-before-published stories written by twenty-four authors including:
Lauren Willig • Adriana Trigiani • Jo Beverley • Alexandra Potter • Laurie Viera Rigler • Frank Delaney & Diane Meier • Syrie James • Stephanie Barron • Amanda Grange • Pamela Aidan • Elizabeth Aston • Carrie Bebris • Diana Birchall • Monica Fairview • Janet Mullany • Jane Odiwe • Beth Pattillo • Myretta Robens • Jane Rubino and Caitlen Rubino-Bradway • Maya Slater • Margaret C. Sullivan • and Brenna Aubrey, the winner of a story contest hosted by the Republic of Pemberley.
Available in print and eBook from Ballantine Books
© 2012 Laurel Ann Nattress