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Wednesday, June 17

Giveaway contest for The Private Diary of Mr. Darcy

Hot off the presses this week is the US edition of The Private Diary of Mr. Darcy by Maya Slater. In this retelling of Pride and Prejudice through Darcy's eyes, we are privy to his innermost thoughts, feelings and experiences as a Regency gentleman. Here is the publisher's description:

Have you ever wondered what Mr. Darcy was really thinking? Find out his secrets in this captivating novel of love, pride, passion, and, of course, prejudice. Mr. Darcy's intimate diary reveals his entanglements with women, his dangerous friendship with Lord Byron, his daily life in Georgian London, his mercurial mood swings calmed only by fisticuffs at Jackson's-and, most importantly, his vain struggle to conquer his longing for Elizabeth Bennet.

Read an interview of the author Maya Slater as she shares her insights on Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice and its characters, and how they influenced her new novel. Here is an interesting excerpt.

If I had a conscious aim, it was to be absolutely true to how a man of Mr. Darcy’s age, class and education would have lived in Georgian or Regency times. And his diary was to be an honest, unexpurgated account of his most intimate moments – he had promised as much to his mother before she died. So as my research progressed – and I did do a lot of research for my novel – I found that in his private diary he was revealing a secret life. Being a young man about town, his interests, his pursuits and the company he keeps are not what the young ladies of Longbourn would expect. Furthermore, being a man and writing for himself alone, he is not bound by the proprieties that had to be observed by Jane Austen as a lady novelist. He goes his own way – and as none of his acquaintance sees his diary, nobody will be shocked.

Giveaway Contest: Enter a chance to win one of two copies of The Private Diary of Mr. Darcy by leaving a question for the author here, or at my co-blog, Austenprose before June 24th. Winners announced Thursday, June 25th here at Jane Austen Today.

Read my complete review of The Private Diary of Mr. Darcy and discovery how a skeptical Janeite was won over and enjoyed this novel thoroughly.

Cheers, Laurel Ann, Austenprose

19 comments:

Lynn said...

I think Darcy's diary would be full of opinionated and judgmental passages until the dressing down by Elizabeth at the time of his proposal.

I would be interested to read what punishments he would have liked to have carried out on Wickham, but didn't...and pages and pages of his love and adoration for Elizabeth and the vain struggles by him to extricate her from his passions, thoughts and feelings.

Unfortunately, only whimsy and imagination can capture these possibilities since Jane Austen never did !

Christine said...

Ms. Slater: You say you did research for this novel. Where did you begin? How did you know where to start? What did you use for your research? Did you get to travel any?

(I know I won "Pemberley Manor" last book giveaway, so it's okay if I'm not eligible. This is still a fascinating concept!)

Merinitta said...

I'm really excited about this book.

Ms Slater:Since the novel is from the perspective wealthy and worldly Regency man, did you consider involving him in any of the many political movements happening at the time? I heard that Byron is in it: is it just fantastically bad Bryon or is it also the wannabe reformist?

Melanie said...

I would love to see whether Darcy was really in love with Elizabeth, or if it was just some sort of infatuation. I've always thought that was a likely possibility, with her being probably the only woman who would have the guts to refuse him.

This sounds like a fantastic read!

Deb said...

I confess this is one of the Mr. Darcy books I'm interested to read. What I'd like to know is whether Maya visualized any of the actors who've played Mr. Darcy as "her" Mr. Darcy as she was writing or whether she deliberately tried not to make one of them "her" Darcy? Of course I'm one of those Colin Firth "purists" when it comes to Darcy portrayals since he so closely captured the Darcy I'd always imagined so I'm really curious to know. Thanks for the opportunity to interact with the author!!!

Keira of LoveRomancePassion said...

Lynn, you're so right! The whole idea of the novel has me tickled pink.

My question:

How did Mr. Darcy surprise you during the writing of his diary?

Lois said...

So very cool, always love to get inside the mind of Mr Darcy! :) But hmm, questions. . . I know, how hard was it to get inside his mind, since in P&P it's 99.9% of Lizzie's perspective? One would probably think, you have this blank canvas to work with, and you can come up with whatever you want. . . but it is really that easy? :)

Lois

luthien_84 said...

I'm so excited waiting to read your book.
My question is what or who gives you the inspiration to write this novel and how long did it take you to write this novel from the moment you thought of this idea until it was accepted to be published?
Thank you.

(P/s: fyi, I'm not from USA or Canada so if this competition is not for worldwise audience, please don't enter me into the drawing as I don't want other eligible participant to be deprived of a chance to win)

Maya said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Merry L said...

Ms. Slater:

I imagine that (re)writing one of literature's most famous and beloved leading men must have been daunting--we Janeites aren't always the most forgiving bunch when our favorite characters aren't written what we consider "right"! Was it hard to stay true to your own vision of the book, knowing you might face so much criticism for innovation?

Maya said...

MAYA’S ANSWERS

Lynn

I think what you suggest would be a valid approach to the psychology of Mr Darcy, but my Darcy didn't come out like that. By the time he had started objecting to Bingley's romance with Jane, I had come to feel so much empathy for him that I couldn't force him to be harshly judgmental.
For Wickham, Mr Darcy had to curb his rage out of consideration for Georgiana. As for his love for Elizabeth, I found that he fluctuated from day to day - now despairing, now angry, and experiencing a welter of other emotions, even – sometimes - the occasional ray of hope.
Christine
For me, research wasn’t a frightening prospect, as I was a university teacher for years, and regularly published research articles and books. I read a lot of books and papers, and used the invaluable Georgian London website. The best part of my research was travelling. I scoured Derbyshire for suitable houses for Pemberley, as I needed to have a picture of the house in my head before I could write about it; and I spent some time exploring Byron’s country seat, Newstead Abbey, where Mr Darcy goes on an extended visit. I also did more eccentric bits of research, like finding out about Derbyshire dialect, and asking a friend who lives for her horses all about travelling by horse and carriage between Derbyshire and London.
Merinitta
Politics interested Mr Darcy, and he mentions in passing: the Napoleonic Wars, the Luddite movement, and the doings in parliament, and other contemporary events.
Byron is an old schoolfriend of Mr Darcy’s. I see him as bad, mad and dangerous to know, but sensitive underneath and, despite his delinquencies, quite a touching figure.
Melanie
That could be an interesting approach, but it isn’t mine. My Mr Darcy gradually becomes completely besotted with Elizabeth, can’t get her image out of his mind – so much so that he’s almost hallucinating, picturing her everywhere.
Deb
I did try not to visualize any particular actor, but I have to say that Colin Firth is the one that I keep coming back to. In fact, my picture of what I wrote is looking out through Darcy’s eyes, so I’m not constantly aware of what he looks like from outside. He has an aquiline nose, so in that respect he is not like Colin Firth. I think that came from the lovely Charles Brock illustrations of the 1890s. Do you know them?
Keira
The most surprising thing was the way he took over and chose the direction the book had to go. I rarely stopped and thought ‘what comes next?’
Lois
It wasn’t easy at all. I felt quite lonely, being responsible for Darcy’s daily life for most of the book, without any help from Jane, as Mr Darcy and Elizabeth spend so much of the book apart. The hardest parts came when I had to stop going my own way because Mr Darcy’s story rejoined Pride and Prejudice, and I had to make the transition convincing.
Luthien_84
Inspiration came almost by accident from something a friend said. I explain this in my interview with Laurel Ann – have a look. It took me about 2 years to write and revise, from the first unformed idea to a satisfactory completed draft, and another year at least before it was actually published.
Merry L
Would you believe that while I was writing I didn’t give a moment’s thought to what others might think of it? I wrote this book entirely for my own enjoyment. If I had stopped to worry about all Jane’s devoted – and well-informed – admirers, I’d have been far too scared to write anything! As it was, I was quite uninhibited about giving my own vision free rein.

Lynn said...

Wow Maya,
Thank you for such a wonderful response. Isn't that the wonder of a Jane Austen novel ? Our own whimsy, imaginations and take on the characters and story can make a whole new story and world built for each of us to visit when we read them.

I look forward to reading yours !

Maya said...

Maya wwrites:

Lynn

I hope you enjoy it! Let me know.

Kristen said...

i'm excited for this book.

i would be interested to read more about Darcy's relationships with his family. what was a typical day in the Darcy house? did he have a mother that cried about her nerves and a father that hid in the library? :)

Maya said...

Kristen

Poor Mr Darcy! No home life with parents. As Jane herself tells us, his mother died when he was about 12, his father when he was in his early twenties. He feels their loss keenly. Bringing up a young sister (whe's just about sixteen) is a heavy responsibility, and he longs for a wife to help him cope with her.
He remembers his mother as a gentle and affectionate presence, and recalls the last time he spoke to her before she died giving birth to Georgiana. His father too was a good and caring man.

Aranel said...

I discovered Jane Austen through my book club and began by reading Sense and Sensibility. When did you first become acquainted with Jane Austen?

Maya said...

Aranel:

I really couldn't say. My mother was a great fan, and introduced me to Jane some time during my childhood. I loved the stories then, but it wasn't till I was much older that I appreciated what a fantastic writer she is.

laura said...

This book looks so good! I also love seeing other points of views to a story :).
My question For Ms. Slater is: It says in the interview that you did quite a bit of research. What kind of research did you do? (Austen-related, historically-related, etc...)

Maya said...

I read a lot of what you might call history-book stuff - the Napoleonic wars, parliament, the Luddites, the madness of King George and so on. It was harder to find out about everyday life in those days – what they ate for breakfast, exactly how they dressed, how they managed to make ice cream without an ice-box, and all sorts of details. Things kept occurring to me, and I would look them up and put them in if they appealed to my imagination: the popular lectures on science, the wild animals on show, and some unusual events I found in the newspapers of the time, like a long tunnel which took ten years to dig. I read some wonderful biographies of Byron too, since he was a schoolfriend of Darcy’s (cue more research into Harrow School in the late 18th century!).
My research into Austen was limited, as I was writing a separate, different novel, narrated by a man. However, books and articles on her did help with more ‘feminine’ subjects like cooking and housekeeping – though of course Darcy, as a wealthy young gentleman, wasn’t much concerned with such things.