Thursday, April 6, 2017

My Mr. Darcy & Your Mr. Bingley Blog Tour ~ Guest Post, Excerpt & #Giveaway

Hello, my friends! For my stop on the My Mr. Darcy & Your Mr. Bingley Blog Tour, Linda Beutler stops by with a delightful guest post! 

Be sure to read to the bottom of the post for giveaway details! 

My Mr. Darcy & Your Mr. Bingley & Our Georgiana!

Thank you, Candy, for being the second stop on the My Mr. Darcy and Your Mr. Bingley blog tour, and giving me the opportunity to once again speak directly to the So Little Time… readers. My new novel first appeared as a posted story, “Your Mr. Bingley”, at A Happy Assembly. When it came time to publish, my editor agreed there was a dinner at Darcy House referred to in the story that should appear as its own fleshed-out chapter. That’s how I came to write this unique dinner party. I enlivened the intimate evening by following it from Georgiana’s point of view.

Here’s an excerpt from Chapter 8, Georgiana Darcy Observes Her Brother:

Thursday, 20 February 1812
Darcy House

…Darcy stood a few feet inside the front door, adjusting the sleeves of his blue coat. [Georgiana]She thought he looked like a discomfited young boy—all anxiety and awkwardness—and wondered why. She was not the sort of girl to question her brother, at least not aloud. She stood pondering him until he noticed her.

“What troubles you, my love?”

Georgiana emitted a startled giggle. “You! It is you who is troubled. Do our guests give you cause for worry?”

Darcy sighed. “I have not been forthcoming in all that I know about our guests.” The admission appeared to pain him.

“I suspected as much. You are no better at withholding all you know than you are at creating a deceit out of whole cloth.” She looked down to hide a small smile she knew would discompose him with its audacity.

Darcy cleared his throat and stood straighter. “Yes…well. The Gardiners are more than just a pleasant new acquaintance with connections in Lambton. I did mean what I said about that. But my childhood was so different from yours, and I feel it keenly that you may not hold Pemberley and its environs as dear as I do. I would have you hear more of Lambton, though perhaps it is not a necessity that you should. One day you will marry, and you could make a new family quite far from me or… or from Derbyshire. All the same, I believe you will enjoy Mrs. Gardiner and her recollections.”

“How can you say such a thing! I know I must come out one day and find a husband, but I love our home. What can you be thinking?” Georgiana drew her brother into the drawing room and closed the door. “And I have not considered leaving Derbyshire when I marry.” Hearing her own words and knowing that as recently as the past summer she had considered marrying and following a certain man blindly, she sputtered and went silent save for a blush that spoke much. Gathering her breath, she continued. “I…I mean now. Now that I have had some months for reflection, I believe I should like a husband who will not keep me forever in London, prefers the country, and has his own ties to Derbyshire.”

Darcy nodded. “I am eager to change the subject, if we might.” He seemed stern.

“Good.” Georgiana brightened. “What more need I know of these Gardiners?”

“I mentioned a Miss Elizabeth Bennet in a letter from Netherfield?”

“You did, and I replied I should like to meet her.”

“I do not know whether you will or not, but it is more certain that you may meet her elder sister, Miss Jane Bennet. Bingley is courting her, as I understand it.”

“He has returned to Netherfield without you?” Georgiana made a close study of her brother. He had seemed a little gayer as he introduced the topic of Elizabeth Bennet, but now his countenance lost its light at the mention of Charles Bingley. She recollected that her brother had not mentioned Mr. Bingley in some weeks. After having Bingley at hand throughout the festive season, it was indeed strange to suddenly recall his absence. “Is there some estrangement?” she blurted.

“Any breach is entirely my fault, and I am doing all I can to repair it.”

It was a confusing business to know how candid he would allow her to be. Georgiana shrugged and smiled. “To my benefit, it has spared me calls from Miss Bingley.” This sally met with no response. She trod another path. “Do you disapprove of Miss Bennet?”

“Of the eldest Miss Bennets, I shall say this: they are very pretty, high-spirited with little silliness, and disposed to be pleased with each other. One rarely encounters sisters so devoted and with so little rancour or competition between them.”

Georgiana thought her brother must be comparing these sisters to those of Mr. Bingley. “Ah, then I should like to meet them both!”

“Perhaps one day you will, should Bingley carry the day. But short of that, I can offer you the Gardiners. Mr. Gardiner is the brother of the Miss Bennets’ mother.” He paused. “He is a pleasant fellow, and I believe both sisters have been well influenced by their aunt and uncle.”

Georgiana detected there was still more to come and schooled herself to appear encouraging. Was feeding the Gardiners part of a rapprochement with Mr. Bingley?

“Mr. Gardiner is in trade,” Darcy explained. “It appears quite successfully so. Hence, we are a small party at dinner.”

“Is it this that makes you nervous? I hardly think you court scandal by entertaining a tradesman and his wife if they are well spoken and fashionable. I am told everyone is doing it.”

Darcy laughed abruptly. “I must confess that I was once determined not to like them, so there is less merit in my motives than you can suppose.”

“Not more? For your liberality?”

“No, simply that I am homesick for Pemberley.”

Writing Georgiana Darcy

In selecting this snippet, I’ve realized just how wide-ranging are the treatments of Georgiana Darcy throughout Jane Austen Fan Fiction. Jane Austen wrote her as a timid creature following her near disastrous encounter with George Wickham. The implication is that Georgiana was not always timid, and Darcy hopes (however unrealistically) that somehow she might be restored to her pre-Wickham cheer and innocence. We also know from Georgiana’s introduction to Elizabeth Bennet, that Darcy has spoken of Elizabeth.

In JAFF, that pre-knowledge of Elizabeth is treated in different ways. It seems a set feature of fanon (as opposed to canon) that Darcy has mentioned Elizabeth in letters from Netherfield. Further, Georgiana is written at times as nearly catatonic, without humor, and constantly in fear for her reputation—transferring her brother’s worries to herself—to such an extent she becomes merely an extra, like Anne de Bourgh. We assume she might not like Miss Bingley, as much for her gossiping as for her constant snide, gratuitous simpering. 

I can never be pleased with a malicious Georgiana, either. I’m of the “give Georgiana some credit” school. She is, after all, a Darcy. We can choose to assume she is well educated (like her brother), is observant (like her brother), has a sly wit (like her brother), and is capable of deep, loyal affection (like her brother). Granted, she has made an “off stage” staggering error in judgement, but so does her brother in his dealings with Elizabeth Bennet. In the first half of Pride and Prejudice, Darcy has not realized his mistakes. Georgiana, in the same time period, has had time for reflection and healing from her misplaced trust.

If we buy into those assumptions—and I do!—we have a young woman devoted to her brother, but perhaps not blind to his faults. She has lived with relatives with a peerage, as well as families in the ton, so has perhaps formed opinions about how they treat those perceived as their betters or inferiors. She might have her own strong opinions, influenced by her brother’s reputed liberality. Georgiana will have seen the best and the worst of Darcy, no matter what he thinks he is withholding or revealing.

In chapter 8 of My Mr. Darcy and Your Mr. Bingley, Georgiana gets the chance to know her brother as a little boy through the remembrance of another. She observes the happily married Gardiners and sees Darcy’s regard for them.  She witnesses her brother’s compulsion to encourage mentions of Elizabeth. Is it the pleasure of their company, the tie to his childhood, or their relationship to Elizabeth Bennet that holds his interest? 

I’ll leave the readers at So Little Time… to judge for yourselves! But if those familiar with my other novels follow my several portrayals of Georgiana Darcy, they will see I hold her in high esteem as one who adores her brother warts and all (of course Mr. Darcy doesn’t have real warts, only figurative ones), and is hyper-aware of his emotional state at any given time in a profoundly sympathetic manner. She wants him to be happy, and if this Elizabeth Bennet—about whom she hears so much said—is the lady to guarantee it, Georgiana is ready to extend her every benefit of the doubt…and every encouragement!

Thanks again, Candy, for letting me natter on and for being a most generous hostess!

Linda, it was a pleasure to have you here! I enjoyed your thoughts on Georgiana!

Book Blurb: 

Jane Bennet had a heart to break after all, and I am a party to it. —Fitzwilliam Darcy 

One simple, uncharacteristic subterfuge leaves Fitzwilliam Darcy needing to apologize to nearly everyone he knows! When Charles Bingley reaps the sad repercussions of Mr. Darcy’s sin of omission, Elizabeth Bennet’s clear-eyed view of the facts gives her the upper hand in a long-distance battle of wills with Mr. Bingley’s former friend. By the time Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth meet (repeatedly) in the groves of Rosings Park, neither knows the whole truth except that somehow, someway, their future is inextricably linked to the courtship of Charles Bingley and Jane Bennet. 

In this Pride and Prejudice “what-if”, the additional dash of backbone and “far-sighted” action to the character of Mr. Bingley begs the question: how is Mr. Darcy to impress Elizabeth Bennet if Bingley does his own matchmaking? And how is Elizabeth Bennet to trust Mr. Darcy when even faith in a most beloved sister falters? 

Includes mature content

Buy: Amazon US • Amazon UK
Add to Goodreads.

FTC Disclaimer: Link to Amazon US. I am an Amazon Associate. Should you purchase a copy of the book through the link provided, I will receive a small commission. Thanks!

Author Biography

Linda Beutler’s professional life is spent in a garden, an organic garden housing America’s foremost public collection of clematis vines and a host of fabulous companion plants. Her home life reveals a more personal garden, still full of clematis, but also antique roses and vintage perennials planted around and over a 1907 cottage. But one can never have enough of gardening, so in 2011 she began cultivating a weedy patch of Jane Austen Fan Fiction ideas. The first of these to ripen was The Red Chrysanthemum (Meryton Press, 2013), which won a silver IPPY for romance writing in 2014. You might put this down as beginner’s luck—Linda certainly does. The next harvest brought Longbourn to London (Meryton Press, 2014), known widely as “the [too] sexy one”. In 2015 Meryton Press published the bestseller A Will of Iron, a macabre rom-com based on the surprising journals of Anne de Bourgh.

Now, after a year-long break in JAFF writing to produce Plant Lovers Guide to Clematis (Timber Press, 2016)—the third in a bouquet of books on gardening—we have My Mr. Darcy and Your Mr. Bingley bursting into bloom. 

Connect with Linda Beutler

Tour Schedule

  5 April  My Jane Austen Book Club; Vignette, Giveaway
  6 April  So little time…; Guest Post, Excerpt, Giveaway
  7 April  Half Agony, Half Hope; Vignette
  8 April  Obsessed with Mr. Darcy; Review, Giveaway
  9 April  My Vices and Weaknesses; Character Interview, Excerpt, Giveaway
10 April  Austenesque Reviews; Vignette, Giveaway
11 April  Tomorrow is Another Day; Review, Giveaway
12 April  Savvy Verse and Wit; Guest Post, Giveaway  
13 April  Just Jane 1813; Review, Giveaway
15 April  Interests of a Jane Austen Girl; Character Interview, Excerpt, Giveaway
17 April  From Pemberley to Milton; Review, Giveaway
18 April  Diary of an Eccentric; Review, Giveaway
19 April  Darcyholic Diversions; Author Interview, Giveaway 
20 April  Babblings of a Bookworm; Vignette, Giveaway

* * * GIVEAWAY * * *

It's giveaway time! Linda Beutler is generously giving away 8 e-copies of My Mr. Darcy & Your Mr. Bingley to 8 lucky winners! Enter through the Rafflecopter below. 

  • This is a group giveaway given by the blog tour.
  • One e-copy of My Mr. Darcy & Your Mr. Bingley per winner.
  • Eight different winners will be picked.
  • Open Internationally
  • Readers may enter the drawing by tweeting once a day and daily commenting on a blog post that has a giveaway attached for the tour. (1 comment/blog post) Entrants should provide the name of the blog where they commented (which will be verified). You may enter once by following the author on twitter and once by following the author on Facebook. 
  • Remember, tweet daily and comment once per post with a giveaway to earn extra entries. 
  • Each winner will be randomly selected by Rafflecopter. 

Good luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Many thanks to Linda Beutler for visiting with us, and for her generous giveaway! THANK YOU! 

Also, thank you to Janet Taylor @ More Agreeably Engaged for organizing this blog tour! 

I hope you enjoyed the excerpt and thoughts on Georgiana as much as I did! How do you like to see Georgiana portrayed?  


  1. I love Bingley with a backbone. : The cover is so sweet, Janet.
    Thanks for the giveaway.

    1. Thank you, Kate! The cover idea was all Linda's. It was my pleasure to attempt to capture it.

    2. Not only did Janet capture it, she far exceeded my expectations for how pretty it is! But I should have known, having worked with her before! And thanks, Candy, for the opportunity to visit with you and your readers again!

    3. I love a Bingley with a backbone, too, KateB!

      You're welcome, Linda! I'm so happy to be part of this tour! Congratulations on your new book! Another one to add to my TBR pile! :D

  2. Wonderful excerpt. You have me quite curious¡ Thank you for the giveaway.

  3. Thanks for a most interesting post, Linda. Myself, I much prefer Georgiana as someone with a bit of a backbone. Yes, she took a knock over the Ramsgate incident, which would have taken some getting over but I think she would have bounced back eventually especially once she met Elizabeth. At fifteen/sixteen, not yet "out" in society, her social contacts would have necessarily been relatively limited to school, family and close friends only.

    Jane Austen's early descriptions of her at the inn at Lambton say "but the observation of a very few minutes convinced her that she was only exceedingly shy" and "but there was sense and good humour in her face, and her manners were perfectly unassuming and gentle". I like to think that the exceedingly shy only applied to people she didn't know, or like (the Bingley sisters) and that with her brother (and the Colonel) in particular, she'd be more forthcoming. Then the next day at Pemberley, the shyness is more apparent in the presence of Bingley's sisters "Miss Darcy looked as if she wished for courage enough to join in it; and sometimes did venture a short sentence when there was least danger of its being heard." She's anxious to please her brother when he arrives "Miss Darcy, on her brother's entrance, exerted herself much more to talk" but then when Miss Bingley has to open her big mouth about the militia in that snide remark to Elizabeth, everything falls apart again "Georgiana also recovered in time, though not enough to be able to speak any more."

    That's my feelings on the subject.

    1. Anji, I agree completely with your take on canon Georgiana. More than one character in my story curses Caroline Bingley! But I do have a long range plan for someday writing a more likeable Caroline. Thank you, Anji!

    2. I agree with you, Anji! I think she would grow more confident as she got older, and much more so with Elizabeth's guidance. Thanks so much for sharing your feelings on the subject!! I loved it. :)

      Linda - A likeable Caroline! Ha! That's always a hard one for me! I just want to see her get what's coming to her! ;) Lol! But I know it can be done, if written well. Good luck! :)

    3. I love Georgiana growing up too. The best stories for me are the ones, where Elizabeth helps Georgie use her Ramsgate experience as a step to maturity.

  4. I love a Georgiana who is sweet, devoted, and smart. Loved the excerpt and look forward to the book!

    1. This is my fourth novel, and the fourth where we see a Georgian who "is sweet, devoted, and smart." If it ain't broke, don't fix it, they say, and I agree with you whole-heartedly about Georgiana!

  5. Linda, my feelings about Georgiana are the same as yours. I don't like to see her portrayed as a petulant or hateful young woman. I think you 'pegged' her perfectly! Thank you for the excerpt and for sharing your thoughts on Georgiana. I enjoyed this part in the book and the rest of the dinner party scene!

    Thank you for hosting, Candy! Excellent post, as always!

    1. Ha! The dessert from this dinner party would have been my second choice for the back cover, had our team not have all fallen in love with the Jerningham Wine Cistern! And yes indeed, thanks again to Candy!

  6. I much prefer a Georgianna like the one portrayed above. An almost female
    Darcy, but she is not as jaded as he is about the ton and such things.

  7. Thanks, Patty! In this story, Georgiana does all she reasonably can to get her brother and Elizabeth together, helped by Col. Fitz, Jane, and a totally unwitting Caroline Bingley. And Elizabeth's confessions are not safe with Georgiana, not one little bit! ;-}

  8. This sounds like a lovely book!! I dislike it when authors portray Georgianna as being meek, fearful, or even bratty. To me, she seems like a lovely, kind, albeit shy young girl that has a lot of potential. Would love to read this book.

    1. Georgiana does roll up her sleeves and get to work here!

  9. "Hence, we are a small party at dinner.” Is Darcy still ashamed of 'socialising' with a tradesman.

    1. You could read it that way...worried about what his family would say. Hence, it makes a more public and accidental meeting with the Gardiners later in the story all the more a statement of Darcy's improvements. Like in canon, he starts to "get" things.

  10. Great excerpt. Sounds really interesting, I can't wait to read!

  11. Agreed. I don't like a mousy Georgiana. Shy and reserved I imagine, but hardly mousy. Just like her brother, LOL! Looking forward to reading this! Thank you for offering a giveaway.

    1. Best of luck with the giveaway, and I do hope you enjoy the story. Jane proves a little inept at being courted, and some reviewers have not liked her. But I think she redeems herself.

  12. Excellent, Linda. Couldn't agree more (I also feel this way about Lydia, but that's a story for another day!)

    1. Beau, we should have a great Lydia debate someday. In this story my editor made me write Elizabeth forgiving her. It wasn't included in the version posted at AHA.

    2. This would be an interesting discussion, I think! As would a conversation between Georgiana and Lydia. Gee could look at Lyddie and say "there, but for the grace of God, go I"

  13. I really enjoy those stories that have Georgiana in them, she was such a central figure in P&P even though she was only briefly in the actual story. It was her attitude towards both Darcy and Elizabeth that really helped them to see new sides in the other.

  14. Danielle, you are perfectly right and she fills that role here, and then some. Best of luck with the giveaway.

  15. Congrats on your newest release! I love a strong Bingley & Georgiana too! I can't wait to read it!

  16. Thanks, Dung! This blog tour, certainly including the stop here with Candy, has been a great exercise in taking a deeper look into the characters as others see them, as well as how I wrote them. There is more coming up with Jane, the theatre scene (which is really crucial for Lizzy's development, more so than Darcy at that point), and a conversation between Georgiana and Darcy that doesn't appear in the book. Stay tuned!

    1. You're killing me with all the great excerpts and cliff hangers on your blog tour Linda, but I love it!

  17. Really liking the excerpts! Definitely whets the appetite!

  18. For me Georgiana is a secondary character very versatile, you can make her a spoiled child or a fine young Lady and she will always have her importance in the story. After reading a lot of variation I prefer her as the love of captain Fitzwilliam or as a reinvented character.


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