"When Fitzwilliam Darcy visits Hyde Park with his sister, he expects nothing more than a quiet walk on a fine day. Instead, he meets a young woman who challenges his ideas and pulls his sister out of her melancholy. He soon realizes Elizabeth Bennet is the only woman in the world with whom he could spend the rest of his life.
Elizabeth, clever and self-assured, refuses to change for the sake of gaining a husband, a prospect she finds impossible regardless. With wit and independence rather than fortune, she is entirely convinced no sensible man would have her, and she cannot respect a fool. Can Darcy prove to be this impossible man? Or is a figure from his past an insurmountable obstacle to a future with The Gentleman’s Impertinent Daughter?
This was previously posted on various forums in a draft as St. Michael's Little Summer."
I chose this excerpt because it’s one of my favourite conversations between Darcy and Elizabeth. In this scene, although very newly acquainted, Georgiana asked if they might convey Elizabeth to Netherfield in the Darcy carriage as they all happened to be arriving on the same day.
Georgiana and Mrs. Annesley were able to sleep after their scheduled stop. Darcy took advantage of the relative privacy. “Miss Elizabeth,” he began, “I believe you promised me a debate.”
She grinned at him. “Indeed, sir! Well, I will allow you to choose the subject then.”
“I have been accustomed to ladies going first.”
“And I have been accustomed to allowing those at the disadvantage to lead.”
Darcy raised his eyebrows, “You perceive I am at the disadvantage? Even after knowing I out ranked your father?”
“I am confident, sir. I have found gentlemen always hold back when competing against a woman. I am convinced it is because when they lose to me they can then falsely congratulate themselves on not performing to their best ability and pretend to be able to keep their pride.”
Darcy laughed at the image she created. “I can see you will be stubborn about this so I shall humour you. Your words just now have decided the topic for me. Let us debate faults and virtues.”
“And shall you list yours, Mr. Darcy?”
“It is not for me to consider my virtues but I can list my faults well enough, I believe.”
“You find yourself blind to your goodness but exceptionally aware of your flaws? That is rather singular. Most suffer from a conceited opinion of self-worth.”
“I am not self-deprecating but I do enjoy the study of philosophy and theology and believe in meditating on my character. I had previously thought my greatest fault was an implacable resentment; my good opinion once lost is lost forever. However, I have recently realized I am guilty of pride and vanity as well."
“You did not list obstinacy as a fault, sir.”
Darcy smiled, “I think you begin to understand me. I consider it more of a virtue, in my case.”
“I wonder if you mean obstinacy or conviction. Are you so reckless as to adhere to your opinion out of obstinacy once your conviction is gone?”
“On occasion as a master I have had to face a decision in which I held no overwhelming certainty in my choice. To waver when a matter must be decided upon is to mark it for failure. I would rather remain steadfast in my previously made plans, even if I am not perfectly convinced of their correctness, than to sit in indecisiveness.”
“As a leader of men I see that would be a necessary quality. If you are later convinced that your prior belief was incorrect, do you make amends?”
“Of course. I am guilty of pride and vanity, but not arrogance and conceit. As master it might wound my pride to admit an error but it would be dangerous to lose the respect of my servants and tenants out of conceit.”
“As I see it your virtues then are wisdom, benevolence and steadfastness. I would think now, sir, it is time to evaluate my own faults.”
“Miss Elizabeth, you are without fault, I am perfectly convinced.” He spoke with all seriousness but she did not perceive it.
Laughing merrily Elizabeth replied, “I did not know you could tease, sir! Without fault, indeed! Last evening I spoke on many of them. I am impertinent and outspoken and you may infer I am perhaps too self-assured in my opinions."
"I stand by my statements of last night; I do not find you impertinent. I admire the liveliness of your mind and I find myself quite sick of deference.”
Elizabeth blushed and before she could reply Georgiana awoke then and the threesome conversed about their favourite activities.
**GIVEAWAY - ends Sunday 10th August **
Rose has provided me a giveaway! Two lucky winners will receive an ebook copy of The Gentleman's Impertinent Daughter. This giveaway is open internationally.
To enter, leave a comment below and the winners will be picked randomly.
Please leave your email address and which format you would like for the ebook. If you are one of the lucky winners, I will pass on your email to Rose who will be in touch.
Thank you again to Rose for this giveaway! I wish you all the best with this story as well as the future ones! As I said, watch for my review in the next few weeks!
Your affectionate friend,