- Duty and Desire
Duty and Desire Author(s) Pamela Aidan Country United States Language English Series Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman Genre(s) Historical, Romance novel Publisher Wytherngate Press (US) & Simon & Schuster (US) Publication date 2004 Media type Print (Paperback) Pages 280 p. (paperback edition) ISBN ISBN 0-743-29136-0 (paperback edition) OCLC Number 69423332 Dewey Decimal 813/.6 22 LC Classification PS3601.I33 D88 2006 Preceded by An Assembly Such as This Followed by These Three Remain
Duty and Desire is a 2004 historical Romance novel by Pamela Aidan. The second in the Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman trilogy, the novel examines Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice from the perspective of Fitzwilliam Darcy, the central male character of that novel.
In relation to Pride and Prejudice, on which the novel is based, Duty and Desire takes place between Darcy's initial leaving of Hertfordshire and his reappearance in Pride's narrative at Rosings Park. Following on from the events of An Assembly Such as This, the novel opens with Fitzwilliam Darcy preparing for the Christmas season with his extended family. Several events have conspired to trouble him, however; as well as his ongoing self-examination of his romantic feelings towards Elizabeth Bennet (who does not appear in the novel, but remains a significant background presence throughout), his sister Georgiana is swiftly recovering from her ill-treatment at the hands of George Wickham by embracing an interest in religion, something encouraged by her new governess Mrs. Annesley but which bemuses and troubles Darcy. Furthermore, Darcy's well-meaning attempts to dissuade his friend Charles Bingley from what Darcy sees as his ill-fated and unrequited romance with Elizabeth's sister Jane are forcing Darcy to resort to underhanded and deceitful tactics that Darcy considers unworthy of himself.
Darcy finally decides that he needs a wife, and resolves to find a woman like Elizabeth Bennet from within his own social sphere, thus banishing any lingering feelings he has for her. To that end, he accepts the invitation of Lord Sayre, an old university friend for a week's stay at Sayre's family estate, Norwycke Castle, hoping to find a suitable wife amongst the party gathered there. Accompanied by his loyal valet Fletcher, he soon discovers that the members of the party he is joining are scheming, unscrupulous and not entirely what they seem, and that Sayre himself is a gambling addict who has almost gambled away his entire family estate. Despite this, he finds himself almost drawn with unusual passion to Sayre's disliked half-sister, Lady Sylvanie, who appears to share many of Elizabeth Bennet's charms and characteristics.
During Darcy's stay at Norwycke, however, numerous unusual and increasingly sinister events begin to occur; many of Darcy's possessions are stolen or interfered with within his room, the ritualistically slain body of a baby pig is found at a nearby collection of stones imbued with great supernatural and superstitious importance by the locals, and a local child is kidnapped. Darcy and Fletcher, investigating the unusual circumstances, discover that Sayre (who is almost bankrupt) is desperate to have Lady Sylvanie married to Darcy to inherit the estate of his hated and now-deceased stepmother, and Sylvanie herself - who believes herself able to use charms and spells to direct men to follow her will - is herself eager to gain revenge on Sayre, who ruined her and her mother. Darcy manages to untangle himself from their various schemes and uncovers the culprit behind the recent goings-on - Sayre's stepmother, the former Lady Sayre, who was alive all the time and has been manipulating her daughter in an attempt to destroy her stepson. Revealed, Lady Sayre kills herself, but not before forcing Darcy to face his own darker nature and his deeply-hidden desires for revenge on George Wickham. Even more unsettled than when he started, Darcy swears off trying to find a wife within his own sphere, leaving him once more alone with his complicated feelings for Elizabeth.
Relationship to Pride and Prejudice
Duty and Desire takes place during Mr. Darcy's long absence from the plot of Pride and Prejudice, and is the most thematically independent of the "Gentleman" trilogy. Most of the plot and action are purely the invention of Pamela Aiden. However, most of the issues Darcy encounters—his struggle to understand and help his sister, his realisation of who his real friends are, his failure to interest himself in other women—are crucial to his future success in reaching out to Elizabeth.
- List of literary adaptations of Pride and Prejudice
Jane AustenGeneral Life Places People AnalysisWorks Major Minor Juvenilia CharactersElinor Dashwood • Edward Ferrars • Marianne Dashwood • John Willoughby • Elizabeth Bennet • Fitzwilliam Darcy • Jane Bennet • Lydia Bennet • Charles Bingley • Fanny Price • Edmund Bertram • Mary Crawford • Henry Crawford • Tom Bertram • Maria Bertram • Emma Woodhouse • George Knightley • Anne Elliot • Captain Frederick Wentworth • Catherine Morland • Henry TilneyAdaptations Sense and Sensibility Pride and Prejudice1940 film • First Impressions (1959 musical) • 1980 TV miniseries • 1995 TV miniseries • Darcy's Story • Pride & Prejudice: A Latter-Day Comedy (2003 film) • Mr. Darcy's Daughters (2003 novel) • An Assembly Such as This (2003 novel) • Duty and Desire (2004 novel) • These Three Remain (2005 novel) • Bride and Prejudice (2004 film) • 2005 film • Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2009 parody novel) • Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls (2010 parody novel) Mansfield Park Emma Northanger Abbey Persuasion
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