Fitzwilliam Darcy and Colonel Richard Fitzwilliam are cousins and friends in Pride and Prejudice. While Mr. Darcy is rich, proud and reserved, Colonel Fitzwilliam is the second son of an Earl, poor and lively. In Darcy and Fitzwilliam, this friendship is explored.
Volume I, Fitzwilliam Darcy: A gentleman, the story of Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth continues directly after their marriage. Colonel Fitzwilliam has come to visit his beloved cousin after returning home from the Napoleonic war. While Elizabeth and Darcy are happy, Darcy is saddened at the breach between himself and his Aunt Catherine. Fitzwilliam helps Elizabeth to understand the importance of Lady Catherine to Darcy’s life, and Elizabeth learns that Lady Catherine, Mr. Darcy, and Fitzwilliam are really one big dysfunctional family. They may have more money than the Bennets, but they also have their own faults.
Elizabeth also learns about Mr. Darcy’s unsavory past with Caroline Bingley. Elizabeth grows quite enraged and smashes crockery and ruins furniture. I thought this was quite out of character for her and didn’t really like it.
Volume II is entitled Colonel Richard Fitzwilliam: An Officer. Fitzwilliam has returned from war a celebrated hero. He vows to find himself a rich heiress to wed, but instead falls in love with a lovely American widow named Amanda. Amanda cannot remarry as she will lose the custody of her young son because of the conniving of her late husband and her mother-in-law. Fitzwilliam pursues her anyway and the two try to find a way to be together.
I was annoyed throughout the text by Colonel Fitzwilliam continuously calling Mr. Darcy “brat” for a nickname. It seemed out of character for them both and rather jarring whenever it was put into the text.
I loved the cover of this novel. I thought it was quite a good looking cover, although I can’t really imagine Mr. Darcy running after Colonel Fitzwilliam like that!
Overall, I thought the novel was rather uneven. I really liked some aspects of it, such as Colonel Fitzwilliam’s love story. I also thought it did the best job of any book I’ve read of really humanizing Lady Catherine. On the other hand, other aspects of it seemed very out of character such as Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth’s very spirited fighting and Caroline Bingley’s waywardness.
Book Source: Advance Review Copy from Sourcebooks. Thank-you!