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Duty and Desire

Duty and Desire

A Novel of Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman

  • reading group guide
³There was little danger of encountering the Bennet sisters ever again.²

Jane Austen's classic novel Pride and Prejudice 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?

Pamela Aidan's trilogy finally answers that long-standing question, creating a rich parallel story that follows Darcy as he meets and falls in love with Elizabeth Bennet. Duty and Desire, the second book in the trilogy, covers the "silent time" of Austen's novel, revealing Darcy's private struggle to overcome his attraction to Elizabeth while fulfilling his roles as landlord, master, brother, and friend.

When Darcy pays a visit to an old classmate in Oxford in an attempt to shake Elizabeth from his mind, he is set upon by husband-hunting society ladies and ne'er-do-well friends from his university days, all with designs on him -- some for good and some for ill. He and his sartorial genius of a valet, Fletcher, must match wits with them all, but especially with the curious Lady Sylvanie.

Irresistibly authentic and entertaining, Duty and Desire remains true to the spirit and events of Pride and Prejudice while incorporating fascinating new characters, and is sure to dazzle Austen fans and newcomers alike.
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  • Touchstone | 
  • 320 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780743291361 | 
  • October 2006
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Reading Group Guide

Reading Group Guide: Duty and Desire
By Pamela Aidan


Summary

In Duty and Desire, Darcy struggles privately with his desire for Elizabeth Bennet but still must fulfill his roles as landlord, master, brother, and friend. This second book of a trilogy covers the "silent time" of Austen's novel, giving greater shape to the personal world of Fitzwilliam Darcy as he deals with his servants, including a valet with aspirations of sartorial triumph; his sister, who is only just emerged from a crippling depression; and his cousins, the squabbling Fitzwilliam brothers. Then, when Darcy pays a visit to an old classmate in an attempt to replace Elizabeth's haunting memory with a more properly suited woman, he is set upon by husband-hunting society ladies and friends, all with designs on him -- some for good and some for ill. He and his Shakespeare-quoting valet, Fletcher, must match wits with them all in order to survive the Season's most gruesome scandal with reputation in tact.

Set vividly against the colorful historical and political background of the time of the Regency, Aidan revisits the events of Pride and Prejudice, remaining faithful to Jane Austen's beloved characters while introducing her own fascinating cast as she weaves a rich tapestry from Darcy's past and present.

Discussion Points

1. Darcy's deep love for Pemberley, his family estate, is echoed by all around him, from neighbors to tenants to relative see more

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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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