Story: A Walk in the Meadows at Rosings ParK
Author: Mary Simonsen
Story URL: Story Link 1
Alternate URL: Story Link 2
Story Length: 150 pages
Summary: Lizzy is in Kent visiting Charlotte. She learns that Darcy is visiting his aunt at Rosings Park. She has not seen him since the night of the assembly as he left the following day.
What a sweet and heartfelt story! I was swept away by Elizabeth’s wit and vivacity in this fic, just as much as Mr. Darcy was. His retelling of Elizabeth’s discussions with Lady Catherine, along with his account of how he and his cousins reacted to Elizabeth’s remarks, makes it quite easy to see why he falls in love with Elizabeth. His improved manners and general awesomeness make it easy to understand why Elizabeth returns his feelings.
This story lived up to Col. Fitzwilliam’s canon reference to Darcy as, “lively enough in other places,” because we see here a Darcy who is not immediately tongue-tied and awkward around Elizabeth, while at the same time he’s in an environment where he is more at ease, supported by his trusted cousins. His representation is, therefore, completely consistent with canon, but different enough that it’s easier for Elizabeth to question her first impression of him the previous fall.
Elizabeth’s side of this encounter is what really captivated me, though. She is quickly brought back to her very first impression of him in Meryton – before he opened his mouth – when she thought him a handsome man. And when a handsome man of 10,000 a year begins to show interest in her at Rosings, how is she to respond? There is the crux of the issue. Without the same sense of pride and prejudice between these two, merely one bad introduction months before, how great is the divide between them? I loved finding out the answer to that question.
My only critique: Mr. Darcy took seriously his first walk with Elizabeth. But I was a little bothered that it took his cousin to remind him precisely how seriously he needed to take it. On the other hand, it strikes me that the author managed to nicely set up a contrast there between Anne the advisor/Darcy the lovesick, heedless fool and Darcy the advisor/Bingley the lovesick, heedless fool. In which case, please forget my grumblings towards Darcy for not fully using his brain and, instead, applaud the author for her wit in cleverly illustrating Charlotte’s film quote, “We are all fools in love.” My only other comment isn’t actually a critique, but merely an observation that for the purpose of the story the author has aged Georgiana a bit, making her 18 in this story instead of 15 or 16. As a mom, I can appreciate the elimination of that “ick” factor in which a 15-year-old Georgiana was involved with a late-20s George Wickham. That might’ve been common in Jane Austen’s era, but in the 21st century we call that statutory rape.