Darcy’s Struggle by Kelly Dean Jolley

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We have a surprise, and you are going to love it! Author Kelly Dean Jolley’s new Pride & Prejudice novel, Darcy’s Struggle, is available for preorder today! You heard correctly! Click on this link and grab your copy from Amazon.

Some of you may have followed Darcy’s Struggle online at fanfiction.net. If you did, then you know what a great story this is. It touched me in many ways. I felt what the characters felt. What about you?

Darcy’s Struggle Blurb

Brilliant, sensitive, and private, Fitzwilliam Darcy finds himself at the Meryton Assembly, consciously troubled by recent events in Ramsgate and unconsciously troubled by himself.  He insults Elizabeth Bennet, at whom he has only glanced.

It is not until she appears at Netherfield—full of life, skirted in mud, and eager to attend to her sick sister—that Darcy truly looks at her. When he does, he knows she is the woman he has been searching for, the elusive her of his heart. He falls for her completely…despite her apparent unsuitability to be the Mistress of Pemberley and his half-hearted efforts to convince himself he can live without her.

Shortly before Elizabeth leaves Netherfield, Darcy apologizes for what he said at the Assembly. Will that apology and the depth of his sudden but durable feelings give him hope with Elizabeth? Might George Wickham’s arrival frustrate his hopes, especially after Darcy blunders into a marriage proposal to Elizabeth? 

Romantic, reflective, and ironic, this is a story told from Darcy’s point of view, a story of the struggle from intellect to heart—a deliberate character study and a delicate love story.    

The Darcy in Kelly’s book resonates with my understanding of Jane Austen’s Darcy. In Austenesque variations, we read of him portrayed in many ways; rude, arrogant, shy, intelligent, besides being rich and handsome, of course. I felt like there was more to him than all of these descriptives, more than meets the eye, if you will. But we had to peel back the layers to get to that more, his true self, that Miss Austen slowly revealed to us in her narrative.

After Kelly sent me the link to his posts online, I started reading Darcy’s Struggle. I was fascinated. Kelly had so eloquently put into words my vison of Darcy. One day I asked him about his version of Darcy and why he wrote him like he did. He will tell us some of the whys below. Kelly, the floor is yours.

From the Author

Writing Mr. Darcy

This book is a character study of Darcy as well as a romance. I’ve been asked why I interpret Darcy as I do. 

Before I answer, I should say that I do not offer my interpretation as definitive. Not at all; Darcy can be interpreted in many ways.  My interpretation is meant to be responsive to what we are told of Darcy in Pride and Prejudice, but it is by no means the only possible response. 

We are told that Darcy is clever.  I oriented myself on this claim. 

I take this to mean that not only is his mind quick or dextrous but that he is brilliant and well-educated. (As well as a trifle overfond of four-syllable words.)  I tried so to present him in both dialogue and introspection. I didn’t want him simply to drop names of books or authors from his wide reading and classical education, but to have reflective, penetrating things to say about the books and authors, someone who reads to live, who tries to incorporate what he reads or to apply it.

Mostly, I wanted to present him as deep and serious, as taking life seriously, his own life seriously. A man of fixed moral and religious convictions, and marked sensitivity. A man thoughtfully alive. I also wanted his introspection to be psychologically apt:  full, as all introspection is, of contradictions, varieties, repetitions, hesitancies, and crooked progress. 

In the novel, he struggles with both internal and external oppositions and problems:  His pride, and his self-dissatisfactions; Ramsgate and Georgiana, the worrisome state of Elizabeth’s affections, his commanding love of her, the domestic derangement of the Bennets, the poisonous clinging of Caroline Bingley, the dark malignancy of Wickham. Darcy’s struggle is from intellect to heart: moving from the acceptance of principles to the habits of feeling necessary for keeping to them in daily life. In particular, he struggles to understand the upheaval of falling in love. 

***

Thank you, Kelly for sharing your thoughts with us. What do your think? What are your thoughts of Darcy? Do you think Jane Austen may have purposely led us slightly astray in the beginning, allowing us to discover the man himself, as her story unfolds? Do you like Kelly’s interpretation? I do and when you read this book, you will see his Darcy, you will see him for the man he is.

Let’s take a look at the cover for Kelly’s book.

The drawing of Darcy on the front cover is another drawing by Syd Edwards. His work and the details are exquisite. Syd is an extremely talented artist.

The blues in the background have significance in the story. When you read it, you will understand about the shades of blue.

The back cover drawing is of Lizzy’s fine eyes, courtesy of JT Originals.

We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Are you eager to read the novel? Let’s start with an excerpt.

Excerpt

The thought of her so near after he had spent a day of feverish daydreaming did not bode well for Darcy’s rest. His nighttime dreams. The barriers—at least the physical barriers between himself and Miss Elizabeth—seemed almost permeable to him, as if they could not keep him from her or her from him.

He stood and gave himself a frustrated shake of his head and shoulders, trying to establish the reins on his hungry imagination. Instead of picturing her abed, hair disheveled, he forced himself to remember and reconsider her comment to him in the library, after he had awkwardly confessed the need to regulate his passions. I am proving it even now. She had not only remembered the location of a Rambler quotation on resentment—a peculiarly apposite one—but she had expressed her surprise that the passion he confessed to was not pride.

Her remarks had struck him dumb. To engage in banter with Miss Bingley was one thing; Darcy had known her for a long time and felt nothing for her beyond a common concern due to his best friend’s sister. But to banter with Miss Elizabeth felt beyond his powers. It had taken only a few encounters during the day for him to realize that when she was near, he seemed to be able to manage only to stare, to blurt, or to be silent. Perhaps tomorrow I will do better. He had, at least (in fairness to himself) offered a few worthwhile general remarks on the Rambler. 

Her surprise that he had not mentioned pride made him almost certain that she had heard what he said to Bingley at the Assembly. He squeezed his eyes shut in regret and annoyance. Recalling that moment led to recollections of his overall behavior at the Assembly, and he realized that Miss Elizabeth would not have needed the additional evidence of his comment about her to accuse him of pride and to hint that she thought his pride improper.

He sat on his bed again, his elbows on his knees, his chin in his hands.

He wondered again at the trace of self-consciousness in her eyes when she talked of resentment. More proof, he assumed, that she had heard him at the Assembly and a tacit acknowledgment of how his stupid remark had affected her. She resented him for it.

He thought of her severe frown beneath her bonnet in Meryton. Resentment kept her from meeting my gaze. And she must have told her sisters; that would explain Miss Lydia’s sticking out her tongue. 

But Miss Elizabeth had, in the library, agreed with Johnson’s characterization of resentment and had admitted that no resentment was proper. Perhaps there was hope that she had overcome it or was struggling to overcome it.

He needed to apologize. He would apologize. All he needed was a moment with her. Alone.

The thought of being alone with her spurred his imagination to slip its reins again and spread her unpinned chestnut hair once more upon her white pillow. Disarray.

He sighed.

As he blew out his candle, he finally understood what she had meant about “nicely” having many shades of meaning. She had been ahead of him during the entire conversation. He had been chasing her.

How can a woman I am so far behind be so beneath me?

The Netherfield darkness offered no answer.

Did you enjoy the excerpt? We want to hear from you. Feel free to talk with Kelly about the excerpt or the book in the comments below.

Universal Buy Link

Darcy’s Struggle

It’s a Giveaway

Meryton Press is giving away an eBook of Darcy’s Struggle to one lucky reader. Tell us your thoughts about the blurb, the excerpt, the cover, Darcy or all four in the comments below. We want to hear from you! The giveaway is open worldwide and will end at midnight central time on June 15th. Good luck to everyone.

Other Books by Kelly Dean Jolley

Kelly published two other books with Meryton Press, both non-Austenesque, Big Swamp and The Vanishing Woman. Both are available on Amazon. Mr. Jolley’s modern spy novel, Pride, Prejudice, and Pretense will be published by Meryton Press later this year.

53 Responses

  1. Betty
    | Reply

    Looking forward to reading this.

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      Betty, maybe you will be a winner. Thanks for stopping by.

    • Kelly Dean Jolley
      | Reply

      Hope you enjoy it if you get a chance to read it!

  2. Ree (Marie) H
    | Reply

    I can’t wait to read this! I have been hoping for another P&P variation from Kelly, whose work as Newton Priors and ‘Balter’ greatly impressed me. I’ve also read Big Swamp, and The Vanishing Woman is waiting for me in my Kindle library—I’m a little behind in TBR stack these days. The image on the cover is a perfect impression of what I see in my mind’s eye for scenes where Darcy is in his study trying to figure out some pressing matter. Congratulations on your new release. I really look forward to reading it. I do love your writing style.

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      Kelly’s writing is impressive. I loved this story, but then, I have enjoyed all of his books. Maybe you can read The Vanishing Woman soon. It is excellent too. Syd Edwards did a fantastic job drawing Darcy. He is a talented artist. Good luck in the giveaway and thank you for visiting and commenting.

    • Kelly Dean Jolley
      | Reply

      Thanks, Ree! Syd calls that cover “Contemplation”. I wanted a picture of Darcy absorbed in thought. Thanks for the kind words about Balter! My TBR stack towers a bit too!

  3. Glynis
    | Reply

    I like the blue on the cover, more striking against the black and white drawing. I also like this representation of Darcy and especially that he’s planning on apologising to Elizabeth for the remark at the Assembly. I hope he succeeds and that Elizabeth doesn’t believe any lies Wickham might tell. Added to my list.

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      Isn’t the blue pretty? I like it too. The drawing is so good. Syd is talented. Maybe Darcy will succeed . I hope he does too. Good luck!

    • Kelly Dean Jolley
      | Reply

      Darcy’s apology plays a key role in the unfolding of the book. Thanks so much for the comment! I love the blue cover with the black and white too!

      • Amanda Paragon
        | Reply

        I look forward to reading this one!

  4. Kelly Miller
    | Reply

    Congratulations and best wishes for your new release, Kelly! I love the cover, front and back!

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      Thank you, Kelly. We’re happy to hear you love both covers of the book. We appreciate your support.

    • Kelly Dean Jolley
      | Reply

      Thanks so much, Kelly. Glad you like the cover! I hope to read your newest soon!

  5. Jennie
    | Reply

    I would like to read this story! Please enter me in the giveaway.

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      Hi Jennie. We hope you get to read the story soon. It will be available before you know it! Thanks for visiting.

    • Kelly Dean Jolley
      | Reply

      Good luck! I hope you get a chance to read it and that you enjoy it!

  6. Gail W
    | Reply

    I am intrigued by this interpretation of Darcy and I look forward to reading it. I like all of Kelly’s covers shown – the B&W drawings with colored borders. They are all striking.

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      I agree with you on the black and white drawings being striking. They give his books a distinctive look, don’t they? We appreciate you coming by, Gail.

    • Kelly Dean Jolley
      | Reply

      I hope you find this Darcy compelling. Thanks for the comment on the covers. My good friend, Syd, drew the cover pictures and Janet Taylor designed the covers. I love the look of them too!

  7. Robin G.
    | Reply

    It looks intriguing, thank you for the excerpt and giveaway. Congrats and best wishes on the new release!

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      Hi Robin. The story is intriguing. I think you will love it. We are happy you came by and commented.

      • Kelly Dean Jolley
        | Reply

        I hope you will be intrigued by the story. Best of luck in the giveaway!

  8. Sarah P.
    | Reply

    Love the cover, especially the picture of Elizabeth on the back cover.

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      Thank you, Sarah. We’re glad you do. That pleases all of us.

  9. Jan Hahn
    | Reply

    Love this author’s way with words! He is gifted. I’m glad to read a man’s view of Darcy’s story. When I wrote a book from his viewpoint, I felt out of my depth most of the time, so it’s interesting to read Jolley’s take on the character. Don’t have any idea whether or not Austen purposely led us astray in the first part of P&P, but many friends of mine really disliked him when reading the beginning. If that was her intent, she was successful.
    Congratulations on another good book from Meryton Press!

    • Kelly Dean Jolley
      | Reply

      I’m a fan of yours! A thought about Austen leading us astray in the first volumes of P&P. There’s a great old essay by DW Harding in which he argues that Darcy in the first two volumes is a caricature, not a character. He’s right, I think, but he mistakes who is responsible for the caricature. It’s Elizabeth, not Austen. Austen’s narrative voice often takes on the coloration of characters. The famous opening line of the novel, for instance, takes on a different color if we think of it as an expression of a thought of Mrs. Bennet’s (in which case it is true and exciting) or if we think of it as an expression of a thought of Elizabeth’s (in which case it is ironic and amused, arch). The presentation of Darcy in the first two volumes takes on the coloration of Elizabeth’s attitudes, and she caricatures Darcy. That’s one reason why his letter is such a shock — it isn’t just that she’s gotten facts wrong, it’s that she took herself to be sketching his character realistically when all she had done was to turn him into a kind of cartoon, a caricature. The kind of sketching she had been doing was not what she understood it to be. — Thanks so much for the kind words! I appreciate it!

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      Thanks for stopping by and supporting Kelly. I agree with you. He is a gifted writer. Thanks also for responding to the question asked.

  10. jeannette
    | Reply

    This author has captured “my Darcy”, introspective, thoughtful, and intelligent. I hope it does not take too long for Elizabeth to understand the man behind the mask–the one who wants to be loved for himself and not his wealth. I’m happily anticipating the release of this new gem. Thanks for putting it on KU. Congratulations on publishing another great story.

    • Kelly Dean Jolley
      | Reply

      I hope you enjoy it when you read it. And thanks for the congrats!

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      Hi Jeannette. We are happy you stopped by and commented. I love this author’s Darcy. I think you will like his Elizabeth too. I like your sentence, “happily anticipating the release of this new gem.” It won’t be long! Good luck in the giveaway.

  11. KC Cowan
    | Reply

    Wonderful cover — the artist captured the characters brilliantly.
    The story looks like a good one, too!

    • Kelly Dean Jolley
      | Reply

      Yes, the covers are arresting. Thanks so much for sharing your reaction to them!

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      Thank you, KC, and the story is a good one. Hope you get to read it soon.

  12. DarcyBennett
    | Reply

    Enjoyed the excerpt. Congratulations on the release!

    • Kelly Dean Jolley
      | Reply

      Thank you!

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      We are glad you enjoyed. Good luck in the giveaway.

  13. Kelly Dean Jolley
    | Reply

    Yes, the covers are arresting. Thanks so much for sharing your reaction to them!

  14. Sheila L. Majczan
    | Reply

    I put this on my Wish List, planning to borrow it through KU.

    • Kelly Dean Jolley
      | Reply

      Thanks, Sheila! I hope you enjoy it!

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      Hi Sheila. We are happy to hear this is on your Wish List! Maybe you will win it in the giveaway! Good luck.

  15. Glory
    | Reply

    Congratulations on the new book. Love the blue of the cover & that it is from Darcy’s POV.

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      Good luck in the giveaway, Glory. Thank you for visiting.

  16. J. W. Garrett
    | Reply

    I remember the first time I read P&P. I was right there with Elizabeth in my dislike of Mr. Darcy. Austen did NOT write Darcy’s thoughts or perspective [except in his speech]. Like Elizabeth, I was fat dumb, and happy in my prejudice against him. I still remember the shock and horror when Elizabeth read Darcy’s letter. OMG! I was stunned at the depth of duplicity displayed by a rogue who had lied and taken advantage of everyone [Darcy, his father, Georgiana, Elizabeth, and even the citizens of Meryton]. I was livid.

    I enjoy reading stories with Darcy’s thoughts or POV. It demonstrates his feelings on the division of class. Nature vs nurture: How could he not think that way? Perhaps he spent too much time listening to Miss Bingley, her sister Mrs. Hurst, and the other jaded ladies of the Ton. On the other hand, his aunt, Lady Catherine, was spouting ‘rank must be preserved’ at every turn. Plus, he was the grandson and nephew of Earls. That alone put him in a sphere many would never see. From the day he was born, the poor boy had a bulls-eye painted on his back. I imagine the upper ten thousand were waiting until he came of age. They were primming [from the cradle] every single lady in London, or the whole of England, on ways to entrap… erm… encourage him toward matrimony. Wealth and connections were the main considerations or components of a Ton match. Love?!? It would be a business arrangement to the advantage of both. That was what he was taught. And yet, he knew it was not what he wanted. However, would he have the courage to seek something different for himself?

    I am looking forward to reading this new book with Darcy’s POV. I have also put the other books on my wish list and hope to read them. Best wishes on the success of this launch. Thanks to Meryton Press for the generous giveaway. Good luck to all in the drawing. Blessings.

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      Hi Jeanne. Your reply is awesome. I remember feeling the same way you did in the beginning, but how quickly those feelings changed after the “rest of the story.” 🙂 I also enjoy reading a story from Darcy’s POV. It can be even more interesting when reading one by a male author. The bulls-eye on Darcy’s back from birth, had to make him feel many things. I could understand his shyness or shying away from crowds, especially mothers and their daughters. Thank you for taking the time to give such a thoughtful and thought-provoking response. We hope you get to read the book soon.

  17. Patty Edmisson
    | Reply

    Congratulations on this newest release. Darcy looks pensive, yet sad. What could he be writing? Is it the letter to his sister? Or Elizabeth? Does he find the time to apologize to Elizabeth? Will she forgive him? Looking forward to reading this book.

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      I love all your thoughts! Good response to the post! Thank you for stopping by and good luck.

    • Kelly Dean Jolley
      | Reply

      My friend, who did the cover, calls it “Contemplation”. It captures that state nicely, I think. I told him I wanted Darcy to be absorbed in something, obviously in thought. I hope you get a chance to read the book, and enjoy it!

  18. Debbie Aldous
    | Reply

    I somehow stumbled upon the posting of this story online, and knew by the first chapter that this was something special. I actually read chapter one out loud twice – to my husband, and my daughter. It was the focus on the line from our dear JA about Bingley being clever, but Darcy being something more.

    As soon as I finished it, I looked up the author, and was thrilled to see it was bring published by Meryton Press. I look forward to rereading it, as well as to reading more from KDJ.

    • Kelly Dean Jolley
      | Reply

      Thanks, Debbie! I have two particular ambitons when I write: to write something that it is rewarding to read aloud, and to write something that it is rewarding to re-read, so you can imagine how pleased I am by your comment here. Thanks so much!

    • Kelly Dean Jolley
      | Reply

      Thanks, Debbie! I have at least two ambitions when I write: to write something worth reading aloud, and to write something worth re-reading. So, you can imagine how pleased your comment makes me! Thanks so much!

    • Kelly Dean Jolley
      | Reply

      Debbie, two things I hope for as I write: that it will be worth reading aloud, and that it will be worth re-reading. So, you can imagine how pleased your comment makes me. Thanks!

  19. KateB
    | Reply

    This version of Darcy sounds very interesting, I’m looking forward to reading it. Congratulations on the release of the new book.

  20. Kelly Dean Jolley
    | Reply

    I hope this Darcy strikes you as compelling. He is struggling, and with many things at once, and he is a complex man.

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