What Would Elizabeth Bennet Do?
Jane Austen is my literary idol. It’s amazing how the characters and plots she wrote in Pride and Prejudice have stood the test of time. Somehow they manage to adjust to contemporary life just as easily as they fit into their original Regency setting. That’s why there are so many fun retellings, continuations, and what-ifs.
Elizabeth Bennet is an inspirational character. She’s witty and wise without taking herself too seriously. But she’s also tough. She turns down Mr. Darcy’s ego-drive proposal and spars with Lady Catherine. She’s the type of strong woman that I’d like to be.
So when a difficult situation arises, I sometimes ask myself this question: what would Elizabeth Bennet do? After all, Jane Austen ought to be consulted on all matters of importance, like the best way to take coffee:
Sometimes, when I ponder what Elizabeth Bennet might do, my imagination runs wild. That’s how Live, Love, Longbourn came to be.
Recently, the barn where I board my horse (whose name is Darcy, btw) was threatened by a neighboring town. This particular town planned to incorporate into an official city and drew its boundaries to include my nearby community. The problem? The city planners had ulterior motives. They wanted to get their hands on the undeveloped farmland and forested land so they could profit from it. They didn’t care what the people of the rural community wanted. And the people of this small community didn’t want to be part of a city. So they fought to keep their land.
As I watched my barn owners battle to retain their way of life, I couldn’t help but note the similarities between their incorporation struggle and the financial straits the Bennet women faced in Pride and Prejudice. One day, Mr. Collins would inherit their family home. At that point, Mrs. Bennet and her daughters would lose their home and income. Though the details were not quite the same, the Bennets’ situation wasn’t so different from what I watched take place in my area. People in my community risked losing their family land and the ways they earned their living.
And that’s what got me wondering what Elizabeth Bennet would do if she found herself in this position….
Live, Love, Longbourn
The town-incorporation plot of Live, Love, Longbourn is loosely based on the events that took place in my nearby community. My plot is a highly fictionalized and exaggerated version of what happened. Any similarity between the characters in this book and real people is a total coincidence. (I sure hope there’s not a real Mr. Collins lurking out there somewhere!)
Elizabeth’s dream of refurbishing Longbourn Farm and opening it as a quaint mountain inn is on the cusp of coming true. But when the nearby city of Rosings threatens the future of her small farming town, Elizabeth must swallow her pride and ask for the help of Liam Darcy, the man who offended her and then disappeared years ago.
Successful sports marketing exec Liam Darcy returns to Meryton in the hopes of claiming his inheritance and escaping town quickly. But his plans change the moment he encounters Elizabeth Bennet, the only woman who might have tempted him to stay. When he discovers that his own aunt Catherine de Bourgh and her henchman Arthur Collins are threatening the future of Meryton, he decides he must not allow it.
Together, Elizabeth and Liam must fight the overreaching grasp of the city of Rosings before it destroys not only the town of Meryton but the future of Elizabeth and all the Bennet sisters.
Live, Love, Longbourn is the first book in the Bennet Sisters Series, a modern retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice in three parts. Each book focuses on one of the Bennet sisters who played a prominent role in Pride and Prejudice: Elizabeth, Jane, and Lydia. Set in the quaint mountain town of Meryton, Georgia, this series is like Jane Austen meets the Hallmark Channel.
So if you love small town romance, modern Jane Austen retellings, and Hallmark movies, check out Live, Love, Longbourn.
About the Author
Jennifer Becton worked for more than twelve years in the traditional publishing industry as a freelance writer, editor, and proofreader. In 2010, she created Whiteley Press, LLC, an independent publishing house. She is a die-hard Jane Austen fan. While she loves Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet, she has a not-so-secret fondness for Austen’s minor characters like Charlotte Lucas and Caroline Bingley. She always wondered what happened to those characters next. So she wrote her own version of their stories. She also writes mysteries under the name J. W. Becton.
Modern Austen Short Stories
(A compilation of stories originally published in the Holidays with Jane series.)
Modern Austen Novels
The Bennet Sisters Series
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* * * GIVEAWAY * * *
It’s giveaway time! Jennifer Becton is giveaway two e-copies of Live, Love, Longbourn!
- One person will win an e-copy of Live, Love, Longbourn!
- Two winners will be randomly picked.
- To enter the giveaway, leave a comment below and include your e-mail with parentheses around (at) and (dot).
- Open Internationally.
- The last day to enter the giveaway is Mar. 31st, 2020, by the end of the day.
I want to thank Jennifer Becton for stopping by here today and for offering two of my readers a chance to win an e-copie of Live, Love, Longbourn! Also, congratulations on the release of your new book!
I recently started reading Live, Love, Longbourn, and I’m really enjoying it! I’m so glad to know what inspired this story. For me, it makes the story that much more enjoyable!
So, friends, what are your thoughts? We’d love to hear from you! Please feel free to leave any questions or comments for Jennifer below.