Amanda Grange, author of Mr. Darcy, Vampyre
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Darcy and Lizzy on Halloween
Hi and thanks for having me here! Because Halloween is very soon, and we’re talking about my chilling new book, Mr. Darcy, Vampyre, I thought it might be fun to imagine how Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet might have interacted on Halloween. In Pride and Prejudice, they meet in the middle of October and we know they soon meet again on a number of occasions which Austen glosses over, but which could have included a Halloween party in Meryton. Here’s my vision of what it might have been like, which might have given some more insight into Darcy’s strange behaviour… (which I reveal more of in Mr. Darcy, Vampyre!)
It was already dark by the time Darcy’s party arrived at Lucas Lodge. Outside were turnip lanterns, carved into ghastly faces by the young Lucases and filled with flickering candles.
‘I am surprised at you wanting to come here, Charles,’ said Caroline Bingley to her brother. ‘A Halloween party is even more vulgar than an assembly ball.’
Mr. Bingley said affably, ‘I think it is perfectly charming.’
‘You, Mr. Darcy, do not think so, I am sure,’ said Caroline. ‘You cannot enjoy mixing with such people and in such a way.’
‘I have no intention of mixing with anyone,’ said Mr. Darcy.
‘Really, Darcy, I do wish you would not be so fastidious,’ said Mr. Bingley. ‘There is a great deal of fun to be had if you will only join in.’
They were welcomed by the Lucases and went into the drawing-room, where a strange sight met their eyes. The carpet had been rolled back and a barrel of water, with apples bobbing on its surface, had been set down.
‘Are those not the Bennet girls?’ asked Caroline.
She looked across at the barrel of apples. Kitty and Lydia Bennet, their hands clasped firmly behind their backs, were bobbing for apples. There was a lot of noise and splashing and laughter as they
dipped their faces into the water and tried to catch an apple in their teeth.
‘They will make charming sisters-in-law for you and for Georgiana,’ said Caroline to Darcy. ‘And where is the object of your affections, Eliza of the fine eyes? Ah, there she is, with one of the officers.’
Darcy ’s attention was caught and his eyes followed Elizabeth as she curtseyed to the officer and then, giving in to the entreaties of the young Lucases, joined her sisters at the apple barrel. She moved with uncommon grace and he found himself watching her as she knelt by the barrel. Charlotte Lucas joined her and together with the younger Bennet girls they began trying to catch the apples in their teeth.
‘What fun if I catch the first apple!’ said Lydia noisily. ‘Lord, what a lark!’
But it was Charlotte whose practical approach to the business won her the first apple. Seizing it neatly between her teeth she lifted it out of the water, to the laughter of everyone present.
‘Miss Lucas will be the first one married, if these old superstitions are to be believed,’ said Caroline in a droll voice. ‘And I am sure she hopes they are, for she must be thirty if she is a day.’
But Mr. Darcy was not listening to her. He was watching Elizabeth.
Lydia seized the next apple, and then Jane joined her sister at the barrel. They caused much merriment when they both caught their apples at the same moment.
‘It seems you will have to wait a long time for your bride,’ said Caroline to Mr. Darcy. ‘You must first wait for the spinster and the fifteen-year-old girl to be wed!’
Mr. Darcy listened to her with perfect indifference. He had grown accustomed to Caroline’s taunting him about marrying Elizabeth. ever since he had been unwise enough to reveal his admiration of her, and he made no comment.
Mr. Bingley, who had been watching Jane just as eagerly as Darcy had been watching Elizabeth, came up to him now and said, ‘Come, Darcy, you must not stand about by yourself in this stupid manner. Let us go through into the ballroom. Some of the other guests are going there. I believe there might be a dance.’
Having seen Elizabeth go into the ballroom, Darcy agreed, but when he and Bingley entered the room they found that it, too, had been transformed. Over in the corner was Mrs. Phillips disguised as a fortune teller, and Elizabeth and Jane were sitting a few feet away from them, looking into hand mirrors.
Lydia was saying, ‘Can you see your husbands’ faces yet? You’re meant to be able to see them on Halloween. Here, let me have a turn.’
Jane, seeing Bingley’s reflection in her mirror, became confused and handed her mirror to Lydia, saying, ‘It is all nonsense, just superstition, you know.’
Elizabeth, sensing her sister’s confusion, turned round, to see Mr. Bingley standing there, and beside him, Mr. Darcy.
Then his reflection must be in my mirror. I suppose this means I will marry Mr. Darcy! she thought laughingly to herself.
But when she turned her eyes back to her mirror she felt a queer sensation, for even though he was just behind her, there was no reflection.
Nothing at all…
© Amanda Grange, 2009
If you want to read more about a paranormal Darcy, then join Darcy and Elizabeth on their wedding tour in
Mr. Darcy, Vampyre!
Mr. Darcy, Vampyre—In stores NOW!
Sourcebooks Landmark, the leading publisher of Jane Austen-related fiction, is excited to announce a major release: Mr. Darcy, Vampyre by international bestselling author Amanda Grange.
Amanda Grange, bestselling author of Mr. Darcy's Diary, gives us something completely new—a delightfully thrilling, paranormal Pride and Prejudice sequel, full of danger, darkness and deep romantic love…
Amanda Grange's style and wit bring readers back to Jane Austen's timeless storytelling, but always from a very unique and unusual perspective, and now Grange is back with an exciting and completely new take on Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet.
Mr. Darcy, Vampyre starts where Pride and Prejudice ends and introduces a dark family curse so perfectly that the result is a delightfully thrilling, spine-chilling, breathtaking read. A dark, poignant and visionary continuation of Austen's beloved story, this tale is full of danger, darkness and immortal love.
About the Author
Amanda Grange is a bestselling author specializing in creative interpretations of classic novels and historic events, including Jane Austen's novels and the Titanic shipwreck. Her Jane Austen sequel Mr. Darcy’s Diary is a bestseller in the US and the UK. She lives in England. For more information on Amanda and her books, please visit http://amandagrange.com/. For more information on Mr. Darcy, Vampyre, please visit Amanda’s blog and the Sourcebooks Spotlight Page. Interested in reading an excerpt? Follow us on Twitter the week of Halloween!