Story Title: The Confident Mr. Darcy
Author Name: BethW
Story Url: Story Link
Content Rating: All Ages
Length: 3,000 words
Story Summary: Fitzwilliam Darcy’s perspective is changed after the early death of his previous friend. Free of his conceit, he is able to come to his happily ever after much sooner (and without any angst).
This was such a wonderful story. It was also quite unique. I’ve never seen another story which does quite the same job of zooming in on the elder Mr. Darcy’s deficiencies as a parent – specifically, in favoring George Wickham and failing to teach his son the value of evaluating one’s character over their pocketbook – as a crucial, root cause in Fitzwilliam Darcy’s problems during P&P. Maria Grace’s story, “Given Good Principles” does touch on this idea, but goes about it from a very different angle. BethW’s short and sweet story cuts to the crux of the matter during the pre-P&P canon portion of this fic, and then fast-forwards to the Meryton Assembly to see how those changes impact Mr. Darcy’s behavior on that pivotal evening. The scene that evening becomes much less one of regrets, irritation and frustration, and more one of great humor and wit, when more than one character gets the chance to put their best foot forward. I giggled at the surprising role Mr. Hurst plays in that funny scene, but – Oh! – the oblivious antics of Miss Bingley at that Assembly!
In short, “The Confident Mr. Darcy” is warm-and-fuzzy, very funny, very pointed, very poignant, and very well written. The concisely written cause-and-effect situation is so deftly managed that it impacts just enough, but not too much. In the end, the story left me imagining the elder Mr. Darcy doing a face-palm from Heaven (What, fictional characters don’t go to Heaven? How dare you!) as he sees how things could have been, had he been as perceptive as BethW in seeing where he was going wrong.
My Only Critique: I got nothing. Oh, wait! BethW, could you please write a novel-length story next time, so that there is a better statistical chance of a few typos slipping past your keen eyes? It’s terribly difficult to claim to be objective and impartial when you give me nothing to criticize! (There, does that count as critique? 🙂 )