Story Title: An Endeavour at Civility
Author Name: Jennifer Ray
Story Url: Story Link 1
Alternate URL: Story Link 2
Content Rating: All
Length: Currently novella length
Story Summary: Elizabeth was able to swallow her anger during Mr Darcy’s first proposal and endeavoured to be civil in her answer.
I adore this story and I re-read it frequently for a pick-me-up. When Mr. Darcy proposes at Hunsford, Elizabeth tries to act as Jane would and responds to him with gentility and compassion, in spite of her fury. From there the story progresses with both good humor and introspective moments of self-study, all of which are very canon-consistent, but which give us a more in-depth view of individuals such as Mr. Darcy and even Mr. Collins than we were granted in canon. Of course, the portions with Mr. Collins are those I refer to as providing the humor, while the portions with Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy provide the introspection. 🙂
I like the way the author approaches this fascinating premise. Initially I anticipated that such a demure reaction from Elizabeth would take her out-of-character. However, the author skillfully handles this in such a way that it doesn’t feel OOC at all. We’re reminded of many other times in canon when Elizabeth was able to hold her tongue and respond to insults with kindness, so it is understandable that on an evening when Elizabeth’s thoughts were much focused upon Jane, that she would attempt to mimic her sister’s manners and behave as Jane would wish her to during such a tumultuous, upsetting occasion. In the end, instead of it feeling unlike Elizabeth to have restrained her temper, I feel like I came to better understand the potential she has in canon and all that Mr. Darcy admired about her. I really, really love this!
My Only Critique: The story is incomplete (last updated July 2009) and, while I know the author is working hard to finish it eventually, I am recommending it as is, on its own merits, whether or not it is completed. There is still quite a ways to go to complete this beautiful tale, as best I can gather, and my personal experiences in fandoms over the years have taught me not to place the pressure of heavy expectations on an author after so much time has passed, as it can be very hard to complete such a story, particularly given some of the specific, frustrating circumstances the author has mentioned facing, bless her heart! As the plot stands, the biggest hurdle has been overcome and, if this story were a play, one might say that Act One is completed and Act Two has yet to begin. However, as Act One is very well written, and we aren’t left with a cliffhanger, I’m very happy with what we have been given, regardless of what else may or may not be posted someday.