Tiny Navajo Reads: Duty and Desire

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March 15, 2019 by TinyNavajo

Duty and Desire (Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman #2) by Pamela Aidan

 ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

*Published October 3, 2006*

duty and desireThis is the second in the Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman series and in this one we won’t see many familiar characters from Pride and Prejudice, except for Darcy and his younger sister, Georgiana. This is a very interesting volume, but it shows more of Darcy’s personality and I think that it’s something that we need to see.

³There was little danger of encountering the Bennet sisters ever again.²

Jane Austen’s classic novel Pride and Prejudice is beloved by millions, but little is revealed in the book about the mysterious and handsome hero, Mr. Darcy. And so the question has long remained: Who is Fitzwilliam Darcy?

Pamela Aidan’s trilogy finally answers that long-standing question, creating a rich parallel story that follows Darcy as he meets and falls in love with Elizabeth Bennet. Duty and Desire, the second book in the trilogy, covers the “silent time” of Austen’s novel, revealing Darcy’s private struggle to overcome his attraction to Elizabeth while fulfilling his roles as landlord, master, brother, and friend.

When Darcy pays a visit to an old classmate in Oxford in an attempt to shake Elizabeth from his mind, he is set upon by husband-hunting society ladies and ne’er-do-well friends from his university days, all with designs on him — some for good and some for ill. He and his sartorial genius of a valet, Fletcher, must match wits with them all, but especially with the curious Lady Sylvanie.

Irresistibly authentic and entertaining, Duty and Desire remains true to the spirit and events of Pride and Prejudice while incorporating fascinating new characters, and is sure to dazzle Austen fans and newcomers alike.

In this volume, we see what’s happening during the time when Darcy and Bingley have gone from Netherfield. We see Darcy try to justify to himself that what he did to Bingley was for his own good, and has absolutely nothing to do with getting as far away from Elizabeth as possible. This is also the time when we see Darcy try to forcibly remove Elizabeth from his mind and life by trying to find a wife.

What stands out most about this time for me is that we see how much Darcy clings to Elizabeth, almost like a talisman rather than a person. This is helpful, especially as things start to get dicey at the place where Darcy has decided to start looking for wife. The more time he spends at this old castle where things are going to pot, the more he realizes that he couldn’t have chosen a worst place to start. Superstitions and magic seem abound and as the week draws to a close, Darcy draws the conclusion that he needs to leave and leave now.

Here is where we start to see how much of a idiot Darcy is acting because he wants to forget Elizabeth. He is rude to Georgiana, is a bad friend to Bingley, and he walks into a serious situation. Granted, he is doing all of this with what he believes to be good intent, expect being rude to Georgiana. But in trying to uphold his role of being protector, brother, landlord, master, and friend Darcy starts to stretch himself too thin and it rubs him wrong. It’s why he starts to admire Elizabeth, as he feels he has someone who can support and be a friend to him; it’s also why he tries to push Elizabeth away, as he views her and her family as below his station and unfit to mix with society should he decide to marry her.

Do you like seeing a character shown a mirror of themselves? Do you think this helps them grow? Comment below and let me know!

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