Story: Silver Dust
Author: Ellen G
Story URL: Story Link
Word count: 77,700
Summary: The milieu of this story will be familiar to anyone who has ever seen the old American TV show “Bonanza.” Gold Hill was the lesser sister to Virginia City, Nevada, where much of the show’s “in-town” action took place. A saloon in that show was named the Silver Dollar. Pemberley is meant to be roughly the size of Ben Cartwright’s Ponderosa ranch, described on Wikipedia.org as being 1,000 sq. miles – over six hundred thousand acres, or over 2,000 sq. kilometers. So think of Darcy as Ben Cartwright…only younger and much, much better looking. I am indebted to the fascinating book Saloons of the Old West by Richard Erdoes for many of the particulars that will appear in this story.
This was an interesting, well-written story. It’s not Regency era; it’s set in the 1870s in Nevada with most of the canon characters in similar roles. Elizabeth is absolutely great in this story. I love her Levi’s-wearing, gun-toting characterization. The adaptation of the Regency-era characters to the culture of the Old West was well done, too. The story is a lot of fun, and I really got a kick out of it. I wish there were more fics like this one out there!
My Only Critique: The bold, passionate sexuality displayed by Darcy (and, occasionally, Elizabeth) startled me, and for some canon purists this may be a sticking point. While I can’t comment much about the accuracy of Nevada culture in that era, I can say without a doubt that the easy welcome of lascivious behavior would not have been acceptable for a young lady in Texas during that time period.
And lest those critiques sound harsher than intended, allow me to emphasize how extremely well-written and entertaining this story is, and how much fun I had in reading it.