Maya Slater’s Mr. Darcy’s Diary

So I’m reading Maya Slater’s Mr. Darcy’s Diary, which I picked up at the Carrefour book sale I promised I wouldn’t go to. Like I said, I end up picking up books I wouldn’t normally buy at the usual price–like this one. I generally like retellings, but it seems to me that a lot of P&P retellings aren’t worth their salt (or pages).

I’m nearly chalking this one up as one of those you shouldn’t even bother borrowing. I haven’t given up on it yet, but I’m nearly there–and I’m not yet even half of the book. I’m skimming through the book, at the least. I’m not an expert of that time period by any means, so I’ve no idea how accurate some details and situations and habits are for that period–so don’t ask me about that. The characters are generally the same in terms of personality, and it seems to me that they included some dialogue from the 1995 BBC production with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle, which is a plus for me: I loved that miniseries.

But I couldn’t care less about Darcy being… well, a man. At the risk of sounding like a prude, I didn’t care about the inclusion of Darcy’s intimate relations in the book; or of him having any with random people. Oh, they’re not “scandalous”; the first few instances, a friend had gotten him inebriated enough to spend an evening at a bordello; the ones after that were with a servant girl in Netherfield. If you can stretch your imagination, they even seem to be slightly according to Darcy’s personality, i.e., he wouldn’t have anything to do with the second girl while the Miss Bennets were in Netherfield due to Jane’s illness.

That is, if you can stretch your imagination far enough to imagine Darcy going to a bordello, or tumbling a serving girl in his friend’s house. “Darcy” does not write about the details of the encounter, thank goodness, but he does praise the first girl’s form along with mentioning, in passing, a word that feels “dirty”–although I’m not aware if it is a crude word. I’m just assuming it is, as there is a crude-word equivalent in modern vernacular.

It’s rather disturbing to think of Darcy tumbling random people, that’s all. Granted, he’s only done two in the time frame so far of the novel (and as he’s now rather in love with Lizzy, I assume there will be no more), but I’d much rather prefer that he had none whatsoever. Darcy is Darcy! You don’t have to have a man have intimate relations with serving girls et al to prove that he’s a man.

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