Author of Enough, Emmy in Harding, After His Heart, Banff Springs Abbey, Suspiciously Reserved: A Twist on Jane Austen's Emma, Expectations: A Continuation of Pride and Prejudice, and Subgirl. This blog is dedicated to all things reading and writing.
Expectations: A Continuation of Pride and Prejudice, First Chapter
I was thinking my favourite thing to read, even on blogs, is fiction. So, I thought I'd start posting some bits from my published works, in case you also love fiction. Here's a little from the first chapter of my book Expectations: A Continuation of Pride and Prejudice.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a married
man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a son.
truth is so well known, that all families related to the man consider his heir
to be their rightful descendent and all of his neighbours await the new
dear Mr. Bennet,’ said his lady to him one day, ‘have you not considered that
it is six months since our two eldest were married?’
should I consider this?’ replied Mr. Bennet, though he daily remembered the wit
and sense they brought to his otherwise foolish household.
it is so. I have thought of little else
since their nuptials. How can you not
leave such consideration up to you, my dear.
Why should I squander my time on matters which occupy all of yours?’
my dear, you must reflect upon the fact we have had no word from either girl
since her wedding day.’
there, I have caught you in an untruth, for I see a pile of no less than five
letters from each daughter upon your writing table.’
Bennet, pity my nerves with your tiresome responses.’
dear, I could hardly pity the nerves you use to trump every conversation.’
Mrs. Bennet carried on, ignoring Mr. Bennet.
Bennet, you must know, both Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley are men of large fortunes. Why just the other day, Mrs. Long mentioned
such large fortunes must be insured by the acquisition of an heir.’
Here Mrs. Bennet’s voice dropped,
‘You know I never tell a falsehood, I
was only trying to be delicate in the presence of our two unmarried daughters.’
‘What did you say Mrs. Bennet? I can hardly hear you at so moderate a
Mrs. Bennet made an utterance of
exasperation and raised her voice to its regular volume.
‘I said, Mr. Bennet, I was trying to
be delicate in the presence of our two unmarried daughters. I should not wish to startle them with talk
of producing an heir.’
‘Now, Mrs. Bennet, do you not think
you should lower your voice when speaking of such subjects?’ Mr. Bennet admonished with a barely repressed
twinkle. ‘Especially when our unmarried
daughters might overhear you.’
At this, Kitty coughed and Mary
flipped quickly though her latest book. Mrs.
Bennet, so used to Mr. Bennet’s daily exasperations, continued on her quest.
‘If you were only to visit our
neighbours more frequently and inquire upon the visitations of their young men,
perhaps our younger daughters would be married by now rather than being present
to overhear my indelicate remarks.’
‘Heaven help us, Mrs. Bennet, for then
who would save me from such indelicate remarks?’
‘What I propose, Mr. Bennet, is a
letter from you to our eldest daughters encouraging them in the matter I
Mr. Bennet had been pushed beyond his
ability to banter and flew into a strong, though entirely brief, rage.
‘My dear, surely you jest! How do you suppose such a letter would look?’ Mr. Bennet’s face had taken on a hint of
rouge at his lady’s impropriety.
‘Of course, you would not come right
out and say what I mean, only hint at the importance of subservience and
attention to their husbands.’
Mr. Bennet returned once more to his sarcasm
‘I fear, my dear, they would not know
of which I wrote. From where did our
girls ever observe such qualities in this home?’ At this, Mr. Bennet turned from the room and
was not to be seen for the remainder of the afternoon.
‘Really Kitty, do control that
cough. You are ruining my nerves.’
Mrs. Bennet breathed quickly while Kitty tried
to apologize and return her mother to equilibrium. Mary, knowing her own attentions would only
be ignored, turned another page in her endless book. In honor of my New Year's Resolution, here is my drawing of the Bennets speaking in this scene. I copied it from Hugh Thompson's illustration from 1880.