Reading Group Guide
Reading Group Guide
These Three Remain
by Pamela Aidan
These Three Remain, the thrilling conclusion of Pamela Aidan's Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman trilogy, takes readers through the climactic final events of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. His proposal of marriage to Elizabeth Bennet thoroughly rejected, Darcy must come to terms with her evaluation of his character and a future without her. These Three Remain recounts Darcy's painful journey of self-discovery in his quest to become the gentleman he always hoped he would be, and the kind of man of whom Elizabeth Bennet would approve. A chance meeting with her during a tour of his estate in Derbyshire offers Darcy an opportunity to prove his changing character to Elizabeth, but the activities of his nemesis, George Wickham, interfere once more in a way that may ruin everyone's hopes for happiness -- unless Darcy succeeds in putting his newfound strengths to the test.
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.
- What first led you to suspect that Lord Brougham's feelings for Georgiana Darcy went beyond protectiveness on behalf of her brother?
- Dyfed Brougham becomes a more developed and complicated character in this novel than he was in the previous two. How do you feel about the spy plot twist? What kind of foil does Dyfed serve for Darcy?
- Compare and contrast the formality and tradition-drenched ambience of Rosings to the atmosphere at the Collins' Hunsford home and the scenes that unfold there.
- Lady Catherine seems symbolic of a bygone era as far as "decorum" goes. Do you think the clash between her value system and what she sees as the "lack of propriety" in Darcy's generation is similar to the recurring "generation gap" that still persists in our culture today?
- Is it merely a moment of drunkenness or something else that pushes Darcy to confess his torment to Brougham? Why do you think, of all his acquaintances, it is Brougham to whom he finally opens his heart?
- In this novel, Darcy continues to carefully shield and guide his younger sister, Georgiana. Why is it so difficult for Darcy to see Georgiana as the incredible young woman, by Lord Brougham's account, she has already become? What finally opens his eyes?
- What did you suspect were Lady Sylvanie's motives for visiting Georgiana? Were you surprised when Dyfed appeared, incognito, to whisk Darcy away? Why or why not?
- Darcy often finds himself interpreting "messages" from Elizabeth, both verbal and physical. Do you think he misreads her during their walks alone together at Rosings?
- Discuss the ways in which duty and desire are at war with each other in this novel.
- Darcy holds himself responsible for Lydia's entanglement with Wickham because pride caused him to remain silent about Wickham's character to those in Meryton. Do you agree that he is responsible for what happens?
- Though it takes liberties, there are carefully designed moments of intersection between These Three Remain and Austen's Pride and Prejudice -- more importantly, Aidan's novel gives readers a behind-the-scenes look at certain events, such as Darcy's intervention regarding Lydia Bennet and Wickham. How do these connections contribute or detract from your reading experience?
- With a wider cast of characters than Austen's novel, These Three Remain serves to tie up far more loose ends. When all is finally revealed, do you believe that everyone has received his or her "just desserts?"
- Now that you have seen the world through Darcy's eyes, is Elizabeth's estimation of his character accurate?
- What does each of the titles in the trilogy reveal about the Darcy within it?
- Since the trilogy is now complete, what would you like to see Pamela Aidan tackle next?
Enhance Your Book Club Experience
- The renowned poet, Lord Byron, is mentioned in the novel as a somewhat scandalous introduction to the drawing rooms of high society. Shakespeare and Milton are quoted often in the novel as well. For your next meeting, bring a poem or sonnet you feel one of Pamela Aidan's characters would enjoy and discuss the reasons behind your selection. Or if you really want a challenge, write an original piece in the voice of Mr. Darcy or the other characters!
- As one of the world's most celebrated writers, Shakespeare's plays are performed with regularity throughout the United States. Find a local performance of Much Ado About Nothing, or rent Kenneth Branagh's 1993 film rendition, to watch a couple who spar with as much wit as Elizabeth and Darcy. You can even make a night of it with members of your Book Club!