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|Read Ebook õ The Last Man in the World õ What if The last man in the world she could be prevailed upon to marry is her husband In Jane Austen s Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennet tells the proud Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy that she wouldn t marry him if he were the last man in the worldBut what if she never said the words What if circumstances conspired to make her accept Darcy the first time he proposes In this installment of Abigail Reynolds s acclaimed Pride and Prejudice Variations, Elizabeth agrees to marry Darcy against her better judgment, setting off a chain of events that nearly brings disaster to them both Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy, originally published as The Last Man in the World in 2007, is an engaging and clever variation of Pride and Prejudice If you have not yet had the pleasure of encountering this series, The Pemberley Variations, by Abigail Reynolds, it is collection of Pride and Prejudice re tellings that asks the question what if In these variations we see how one small change in the plot can alter the course of Pride and Prejudice This is one of my favorite variations by A Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy, originally published as The Last Man in the World in 2007, is an engaging and clever variation of Pride and Prejudice If you have not yet had the pleasure of encountering this series, The Pemberley Variations, by Abigail Reynolds, it is collection of Pride and Prejudice re tellings that asks the question what if In these variations we see how one small change in the plot can alter the course of Pride and Prejudice This is one of my favorite variations by Abigail Reynolds, I love how heartbreaking and emotional the story is The slight change that sends Pride and Prejudice on its ear in this variation is Mr Darcy kissing Elizabeth before she can refuse his offer of marriage and that kiss being observed by Colonel Fitzwilliam and Rosing Park gamekeepers Now Elizabeth finds herself in a difficult situation as Darcy and Colonel Fitzwilliam are under the impression that she has accepted Darcy s addresses and if she were to correct their assumption it would jeopardize not only her reputation, but also the reputations of her sisters Even though Elizabeth never gets to proclaim to Darcy that he is the last man in the world whom she could ever be prevailed on to marry, she strongly despises him for what he s done and her outlook for her a happy future is very bleak.In Pride and Prejudice the flaws of pride and prejudice are played upon In Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy these flaws are still represented but added to them are selfishness and deception Mr Darcy selfishly believes that Elizabeth s answer to his proposal could only be yes, and Elizabeth decides it best to deceive her husband into believing her happily married instead of being truthful about her feelings for him One of the reasons I love Elizabeth and Darcy is because they are flawed and they make mistakes No one is perfect and in the literary world sometimes we tend to idolize our heroes and heroines It is a nice change to see them feel insecure, embarrassed, or misunderstood I believe even Elizabeth Bennet has times when she lacks confidence or jumps to the wrong conclusion.Abigail Reynolds is a very talented and gifted author that clearly loves Jane Austen and Pride and Prejudice with a passion I am delighted to own both this book and her self published version of it The Last Man in the World After reading Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy and scanning through my copy of The Last Man in the World, I did not find many changes in the plot, and I would venture to say that the only changes were grammatical So if you already own The Last Man in the World you might not want to buy this book, however, if you are like me, you wouldn t mind having this lovely book grace your shelves twice In addition, I would like to warn readers who don t enjoy intimate and romantic scenes between these characters that there are a few included in this book However, the romantic scenes are very infrequent and are not overly explicit I highly recommend this novel for people who are interested in seeing Pride and Prejudice travel a different course Austenesque Reviews This Pride and Prejudice variation asks readers What if Elizabeth Bennet had accepted Mr Darcy s first proposal After reading this question in the book s description my first reaction was, ACK, why would she Like the two other novels by this author that I have read, the story begins on familiar ground at a certain point in Austen s novel and then quickly takes a left turn changing the course of the plot and the characters lives In this case it starts at a very critical moment, the first pr This Pride and Prejudice variation asks readers What if Elizabeth Bennet had accepted Mr Darcy s first proposal After reading this question in the book s description my first reaction was, ACK, why would she Like the two other novels by this author that I have read, the story begins on familiar ground at a certain point in Austen s novel and then quickly takes a left turn changing the course of the plot and the characters lives In this case it starts at a very critical moment, the first proposal scene when Mr Darcy so arrogantly assumes that the less socially endowed Elizabeth Bennet would jump at the chance to accept his generous offer of marriage Reynolds Lizzy is still repulsed by the thought of this man as her husband and frozen with disgust Since Austen s last sentence in Elizabeth s refusal contains the title of this novel, I was all anticipation of reliving Elizabeth s famous put down From the very beginning from the first moment, I may almost say of my acquaintance with you, your manners, impressing me with the fullest belief of your arrogance, your conceit, and your selfish disdain of the feelings of others, were such as to form that groundwork of disapprobation on which succeeding events have built so immoveable a dislike and I had not known you a month before I felt that you were the last man in the world whom I could ever be prevailed on to marry But no this is where the road veers and Reynolds twist begins Darcy misinterprets Elizabeth s hesitation as acceptance and kisses her, witnessed by his cousin Col Fitzwilliam and a gamekeeper Unaware of her true feelings, Col Fitzwilliam congratulates Darcy while a panicked Elizabeth spins the reasons in her mind why she cannot deny it her reputation has been compromised and if she does not marry him the future happiness of her family, and her sisters prospects will be dashed Trapped, she cannot decline and agrees to marry him.Their one sided marriage begins on rocky ground Wrought with misunderstandings his cold indignation, and her fear and depression, Elizabeth is hindered in her attempts to fit in and learn her new duties as mistress of Pemberley She is not allowed to be very useful in fact, anything she does seems to anger and annoy her new husband After Mr Darcy is involved in a life threatening riding accident she dutifully cares for him day and night until she is past exhaustion During his illness she comes to realize that she really does love him and tells him so when he is finally conscious They are reconciled, until the laudanum wears off and he returns to his sour and confusing self When she learns from a servant that he is leaving for London, even though he has not fully recovered and fit for travel, she is crushed blaming his dislike of her While he is away she learns of her younger sister Lydia s elopement with George Wickham and their subsequent marriage, facilitated by her husband She is thankful to him for helping her family out of this devastating scandal, but he again misinterprets her gratitude for wifely obligation and not love Her unhappiness continues until she reaches the point where she feels the only solution to their dilemma would be her death relieving him of the disgrace of her inferior connections and releasing him to marry another.One thing that readers new to variations must embrace immediately is change The point in re inventing the plot in a what if is the experience of revisiting beloved characters in new scenarios You are not reading a sequel or a continuation of Austen s story, but a re imagining of what her characters might do if the action changed Logically those characters would exhibit the same personality traits that Austen awarded them, but that can be changed too Just think of Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz You are not in Kansas any If you are open to change and can accept tinkering with Austen s creations and complete changes in her plot, then variations are for you.In this sub genre of Austen paraliterure Reynolds reigns supreme in her level of creativity and fluent prose She is very skilled at crafting tension between lovers and can think up innumerable ways to keep them apart to prolong our anticipation Her ardent love scenes were passionately rendered, reaching the blushing point for me every time One of the major challenges I found with the premise of this story is that I did not like Reynolds Mr Darcy He was not the honorable man that Austen had crafted, nor a man that I was attracted to He had duped Elizabeth into marrying him albeit ignorantly and he is pretty oblivious to his wife s feelings, misreading her kind intentions continually Or so it would appear on first impressions The couple are at continual crossed purposes, going in circles of misunderstanding and rejection, to a glimmer of brief reconciliation, then back to total despair and unhappiness After about the third time I was as depressed as the heroine Once I got over my fixed notions of how Austen s characters should deport themselves and accepted Reynolds alternate universe for Elizabeth and Darcy, I began to enjoy their twisted, tormented souls It was like Jane Austen morphing into Charlotte Bronte, even though neither author would approve of each other s style.This audio edition of Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy The Last Man in the World was aptly read by Rachel E Hurley with entertaining variations in voice to character and scene Reynolds has crafted a clever love story and applied familiar characters to suit That dear reader is what variations are all about If you are prepared to be taken down the yellow brick road, this is a great introduction to the genre.Laurel Ann, Austenprose A friend lent me two of these books the other was From Lambton to Longbourn , gushing about how incredible they were and how she couldn t put them down I admit I was very excited about them I love what if premises and thought that the ideas had really great promise at least from what was written on the back of the book I was very stunned as I read to discover how out of character Elizabeth and Darcy were Elizabeth was no longer the witty, intelligent young woman she was in Austen s no A friend lent me two of these books the other was From Lambton to Longbourn , gushing about how incredible they were and how she couldn t put them down I admit I was very excited about them I love what if premises and thought that the ideas had really great promise at least from what was written on the back of the book I was very stunned as I read to discover how out of character Elizabeth and Darcy were Elizabeth was no longer the witty, intelligent young woman she was in Austen s novel instead she was weak and spineless Darcy was either frigid and almost cruel or like a puppy dog no wonder this Elizabeth was confused I found the storyline nearly unbelievable as well, and would have preferred anything but a forced marriage I was disappointed in the book, and the only reason I forced myself to finish it was so I could tell my friend that I had I only hope she doesn t want me to read the rest of them as well It took me two pages to realize that this is not for me It seems every p p sequel I have piled up to give myself for Christmas is garbage I must be the only person on the planet who is not at all interested in Darcy and Lizzie s sex lives You see all those classics on my booklist There s a reason for that Modern writing is 99% garbage I think I ll go pile up some Dumas and Trollope and dive in till I m up to my neck in comfort It s a good thing I don t drink cos this crappy book would It took me two pages to realize that this is not for me It seems every p p sequel I have piled up to give myself for Christmas is garbage I must be the only person on the planet who is not at all interested in Darcy and Lizzie s sex lives You see all those classics on my booklist There s a reason for that Modern writing is 99% garbage I think I ll go pile up some Dumas and Trollope and dive in till I m up to my neck in comfort It s a good thing I don t drink cos this crappy book would drive me to it