An Assembly Such as This

An Assembly Such as This

A Novel of Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman

  • reading group guide
"She is tolerable; but not handsome enough to tempt me."

So begins the timeless romance of Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice. Jane Austen's classic novel is beloved by millions, but little is revealed in the book about the mysterious and handsome hero, Mr. Darcy. And so the question has long remained: Who is Fitzwilliam Darcy?

In An Assembly Such as This, Pamela Aidan finally answers that long-standing question. In this first book of her Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman trilogy, she reintroduces us to Darcy during his visit to Hertfordshire with his friend Charles Bingley and reveals Darcy's hidden perspective on the events of Pride and Prejudice. As Darcy spends more time at Netherfield supervising Bingley and fending off Miss Bingley's persistent advances, his unwilling attraction to Elizabeth grows -- as does his concern about her relationship with his nemesis, George Wickham.

Setting the story vividly against the colorful historical and political background of the Regency, Aidan writes in a style comfortably at home with Austen but with a wit and humor very much her own. Aidan adds her own cast of fascinating characters to those in Austen's original, weaving a rich tapestry from Darcy's past and present. Austen fans and newcomers alike will love this new chapter of the most famous romance of all time.
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  • Touchstone | 
  • 288 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780743291347 | 
  • June 2006
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Reading Group Guide

Reading Group Guide
An Assembly Such As This
By Pamela Aidan


Summary
In this, the first book of her "Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman" trilogy, Pamela Aidan reintroduces us to Jane Austen's Mr. Darcy -- through his own eyes. We meet Darcy during his visit to Hertfordshire to see his friend Charles Bingley at his estate, Netherfield Park. There he struggles to maintain "proper reserve" in the face of crude country manners, surprising country misses and Caroline Bingley's country plots! Revealing to us Darcy's growing fascination with Elizabeth Bennet, the book culminates with the disastrous ball at Netherfield -- where he and Elizabeth quarrel -- and his subsequent return to London with the express intention of forgetting Elizabeth and keeping Charles from ever returning to Hertfordshire.

Discussion Points
  1. Darcy notes with pleasure that he's assuming the same role of educator to Charles Bingley as his father once assumed for him. What does this insight tell you about Darcy and his relationship with the Bingleys?

  2. Charles Bingley is often found expressing his gratitude to Darcy for his assistance, advice, and various acts of goodwill. But Darcy cuts him off every time. Why do you think he does this?

  3. At the Assembly that opens the novel, Darcy claims that only the Bingley/Hurst sisters are worth dancing with or talking to. Why, then, does he take such j
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About the Author

Pamela Aidan
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Pamela Aidan

Pamela Aidan has been a librarian for thirty years and a fan of Jane Austen even longer. She is the author of two previous books in the Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman trilogy: An Assembly Such as This and Duty and Desire. She lives with her husband in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.

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