Hello, my friends! Today I have the lovely Riana Everly visiting with an interview with Elizabeth Bennet and a delightful excerpt from her new book, Much Ado in Meryton!
Be sure to read to the bottom of the page for giveaway details!
Happy New Year to everyone! I wish you all the very best for 2022. And thank you for hosting me here today and letting me talk a bit about my new book, Much Ado in Meryton.As you might guess from the title, this is a mash-up of sort of Pride and Prejudice and Shakespeare’s blistering play, Much Ado About Nothing. There are two main storylines in the play, and one of those involves the “merry war” between main characters Beatrice and Benedick. They have a past and cannot stop trading barbs and insults, until their friends step in to settle matters.
So what does this have to do with Elizabeth and Darcy? I’ll let Elizabeth Bennet herself tell you all about it.
~ * ~
Riana Everly: Thank you, Miss Bennet, for joining us today. I
always enjoy our conversations.
Riana: I hear your first encounter with Mr. Darcy was not entirely amiable.
Lizzy: (lets out a huff) No, it was not at all amiable. The man is quite dreadful. Why, at a ball full of ladies with not enough gentlemen to dance with us all, he quite refused to even look at me. I should not have minded, but then he had the nerve to offer a most cruel insult, calling me tolerable, at best. Can you imagine it?
Riana: That is quite upsetting. And how did you respond?
Lizzy: I remarked, as I walked past him, that I did not mind at all for I only dance with gentleman. And he was no gentleman!
Riana: Oh. I see. He must not have been too pleased. Did he improve upon subsequent meetings?
Lizzy: No, indeed! He grew worse and worse. He was rude and insufferable, and I dare say he had fewer wits about him than a fish has hair. Why, he could not find a single sensible thought were it on a map presented right to him, and with an arrow pointing directly to it. You cannot imagine the things he called me: Harpy, termagant, virago! Can you imagine? These words directed at me? The horror of it!
Riana: Say it is not so! And he offered these insults without provocation?
Lizzy: Well… perhaps I was not always as temperate in my own comments as I might have been. But others have always enjoyed my particular wit. Why should he not? The only possible is that he has more earwax than brain in his head. Oh, that it were not so handsome.
Riana: He is quite pleasant to look at.
Lizzy: (sighs) Alas, I must agree with you. If only the person inside matched the outside. Then he would be the perfect man.
~ * ~
Here is an excerpt from Much Ado in Meryton. I hope you enjoy it.
* * *
Elizabeth and Charlotte were sitting on the settee with Miss Margaret Robinson, talking about some diverting, if quite inconsequential matter, when Mr. Bingley and his party arrived. All rose and a series of bows and curtseys ensued, with one remarkable exception. Mr. Darcy most definitely did not offer any manner of salutation to Elizabeth. He bowed to Charlotte and muttered appropriate words to Miss Margaret, and quite ignored her very existence. It was the Cut Direct if ever she had seen one. She gaped after him as he walked on.
“I was correct, it seems,” she observed for any ears that happened to be near, “when I presumed Mr. Darcy to be no gentleman.”
To which, Mr. Darcy surprised her by turning to speak directly to her for the first time since the night of the assembly. “How fortunate then, Miss Bennet, that you are no lady to care.” He turned his back and began to move into the room.
What? The nerve of that man! How dare he insult her in such a way? She had, a small voice in her head insisted, started this particular skirmish, and ought to ignore his taunts and show herself to be the superior creature. But her pride would not listen to this quiet voice of reason and her mouth began moving almost before her brain agreed with it.
“How happy that his purse is full then, for the man himself is an empty pocket.” There. That should put him in his place. She ignored Charlotte’s gasp of horror at her side, as well as the tinge of guilt that nagged at her conscience.
He turned once more and glared at her, eyes narrow and jaw tight. “How happy that we are so distant from Egypt, lady, for your tongue is more venomous than all the asps in the Nile.”
“Darcy!” Mr. Bingley was at his side in a trice. “What are you doing? This is most unlike you. I know you have a hot temper at times, but I have never heard you speak to a lady like this. You were the one who told me always to take the higher path. What is this? Come away at once.”
Darcy sniffed and stuck his nose up into the air and walked away without another word, Bingley hissing into his ear. That man’s back was his best side, to be sure! If only his face weren’t so handsome.