Monica is a longtime admirer of Jane
Austen and likes to write down her fantasies about living in the Regency
period. Her first novel was AN IMPROPER
SUITOR, a humorous Regency romance. Since then, she has written two
traditional Jane Austen sequels: THE
OTHER MR. DARCY and THE DARCY COUSINS
(both published by Sourcebooks) and contributed a sequel to Emma in Laurel Ann Nattress's anthology JANE AUSTEN MADE ME DO IT (Ballantine). STEAMPUNK DARCY is a post-apocalyptic tongue-in-cheek
Jane Austen spin-off. Her new series, THE DARCY NOVELS, are traditional Pride and Prejudice ‘what-if’ variations.
The first, MR. DARCY’S PLEDGE, reached number one in Kindle Classics Romance.
MR. DARCY’S CHALLENGE is the second in the series.
Monica is part of the blog Austen
Variations along with a baker’s dozen of authors who also write Jane
Austen adaptations and was a member of the team writing the popular Reader’s
Choice serial THE DARCY BROTHERS, featuring the charismatic Theo Darcy.
Monica Fairview’s real claim to fame
is that she lived in Elizabeth Gaskell’s house in Manchester as a teenager,
when it was faded and neglected, so you could say she has the smog of NORTH
& SOUTH in her blood. After that, Monica lived in the USA for many years,
where she taught literature to captive victims (not necessarily captivated).
She now lives in Surrey within the Greater London area and loves visiting
historical properties when it isn’t raining.
BBC Emma Episode 4 and Pride and Prejudice Question 26
Well, the new BBC interpretation of Emma is over. Just when I was really getting into it! As I don't want to introduce any spoilers (as if everyone doesn't know what happened!) I won't talk about it in any detail except that I found it very satisfying. Jonny Lee Miller could never rival Mr Darcy for romance, but he plays his role as Mr Knightley admirably. Certainly this is the most romantic production of Emma I've seen. I really loved the way Garai's Emma developed gradually from a really naive, overconfident young woman into a responsible adult who recognizes that people's lives are not to be trifled with, and realizes the very serious consequences of doing so.
I can't help marvelling at the versatility of Sandy Welch, who can move from the dark grit of Gaskell's North and South and the intensity of Jane Eyre to produce a light and airy piece like Emma.
My overall evaluation: Too slow at the beginning (personally, I'd cut the first 20 minutes), and perhaps too rushed at the end, but a very memorable production and one that I know I'll be watching a few times! I learned a lot about Emma from it. This is a very cheerful and heart-warming interpretation, not for the stricter Jane Austen purists, perhaps, but nevertheless a very original and insightful approach.
Pride and Prejudice Question 26
Speaking about romance: It’s been said of Jane Austen: “she refuses to romanticize romance”. What do you think of this statement? What does it mean? Do you agree with this perspective?