Mr. & Mrs. FDarcy Discussion

**Let’s keep the discussion going! Why limit it to 2 measly days anyway? Originally posted as part of my Launch Fete for Loving Mr. Darcy, the discussion of Mr. & Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy was a hit and SO much fun! I’ll keep it open here on this link indefinitely so feel free to join in. I shall do my best to respond appropriately in a reasonable period of time, so check in every so often to see what new points have been raised. Thanks! Sharon**

Good morning everyone! Awake? Espresso in hand? Ready to start talking about Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One? I hope so! As planned, we will be having 3 fun-filled days of entertainment to celebrate the official release of my second book in the Darcy Saga series, Loving Mr. Darcy: Journeys Beyond Pemberley.

 Today I am opening up the extravaganza with a discussion. I will be checking in throughout the day, staying even closer to the trusty MacBook laptop than I usually am, so that I can answer your questions or engage in the discourse in a timely fashion. All topics are free game, as long as they are focusing on the first book. Later we will chat about the future novel expectations.So I will start by advancing a couple of points that I think discussion-worthy and will bring up other topics as the days progress to keep the momentum going. But feel free to go anywhere you want. Historical question? Curious about a fact? Wonder why I did what I did in some place? Confused? Whatever you want, as long as it is polite, have at it!

Point 1 – What did you think of Mr. Darcy as a virgin?
Point 2 – Did the duel work for you and keep you on the edge of your seat?

36 Comments for Mr. & Mrs. FDarcy Discussion

  1. Nancy, I am happy that you enjoyed my book. Thank you for that. I, however, am more than a "little confused" as to why you deem it inappropriate for a church library. Considering that God created man and woman, instituted the sacred bond of matrimony, devoted a significant portion of Scripture to discussing marriage and family, inspired the wisest man (Solomon) to write an entire book glorifying romantic and sexual love, and likened His relationship to His church as a groom to a bride, Christians should comprehend and welcome the themes of my novels more than anyone. In fact, of the several dozen Christian women I know both in my church and elsewhere who have read my novels and purchased them as gifts for others, including their younger daughters, NONE have been offended or considered the Saga inappropriate or out of line for God’s design of a healthy marriage. We, as Christians who fully know the beauty and purpose of marital love, should shout it from the rooftops! In my small way I am attempting to do just that.

  2. I did enjoy the book. I also realized very soon that this bood would not be donated to my church library. I am a little confused that you would add some of the content but in your acknowledgment "give all praise, glory, and thanks to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."

  3. Michaela, You mom is spot on! So happy you both enjoyed it. I really appreciate the positive feedback. Hope to see you joining with the Launch Fete for My Dearest Mr. Darcy. Mom too!

  4. Hey Sharon. I’ve read TSBO many times over and I absolutely LOVE it! It’s the best sequel to Pride and Prejudice EVER!

    My mom read it and she told me that, that is what a marriage should be like. That this was the way God intended it. So she loved it too. I’ve read Loving Mr. Darcy, loved that one and I’m really looking forward to the third one coming out. Keep up the awesome work.

    Lotto love,
    Michaela.

  5. Thank you, Kate. I, obviously, agree wholeheartedly on what I feel most women would want to find in their marriages. As well as what I would imagine all readers of P&P would anticipate for Lizzy and Darcy. It is my great pleasure to present that possibility for lovers of Jane Austen.

    IF – and this is a massively HUGE IF – a movie is ever made, I will be sure to let ya’all know! In fact, I am certain the shouts of joy would be heard across the globe! LOL! Anyone close personal friends with a producer in Hollywood? Ha!

  6. Hello!!!
    OMG I just loved your book and I thank you so much for writting it! On the virgin topic I think that it is one of the reasons i adore this book. It is a book that illustrates everything I (and i think many other woman) want in their marriage! Thank you so much for publishing it and I am looking everywhere and please tell me if their is a planning movie because I would by it instantly!
    Love

    K

  7. HOORAH!! At least for Eastern time-
    Now all I need is an all-night bookstore! Why oh why didn’t I preprder (she says as she kicks herself in the…)
    Congratulations Sharon, No, Congratulations Us! You already know what happens next.

  8. No problemo, Cindy. I have dealt with some of the "sensitive" questions in the past. But, instead of going into a long essay here, I will direct you to a couple places. First, here on the blog I wrote an essay called "Gardez L’eau!" and another called "Personal Hygiene Miscellany."You can look them up in the archives.

    Some of those questions are impossible to answer. I know I searched around once, more out of curiosity, to answer the leg shaving question. I could find nothing definitive about the Regency practice, but in general women did not shave until more recent generations. There is an amazing website that is my front line place for research: Deb’s Historical Research Page @ http://home.comcast.net/~dflawson/
    Links to just about everything can be found there. She has it divided into sections, such as Medicine, Sexuality & Family, Science, and so on. The Victorian Dictionary is another great one – http://www.victorianlondon.org/ – obviously written and compiled a few decades later, much of the information is useful to get an idea how our ancestors lived their practical daily lives.

  9. Alrighty then! Cindy has her list all ready! Whew.

    1. Poor Lydia! The short answer is, no, I don’t hate Lydia at all. Essentially I found throughout all the saga that it was very hard to include everyone while keeping the focus on the Darcys. There are a TON of characters in Austen’s novel! OMG! I know folks have criticized the dearth of secondary character mentions, and I really did try, but it is very hard to give them all a moment in the sun. I had to pick and choose. This first novel especially suffered (from a certain point of view) in that it exclusively happened at Pemberley. As L &D travel away, more characters are included.

    Wickham was only mentioned to shed light on Darcy’s childhood. I did decide early on that I was not going to go the JAFF cliched avenue of having Wickham reappear to cause trouble. That is why I created Orman. It isn’t that I refused to ever deal with Wickham and Lydia (and I do eventually, hint hint), but I did not want to do it then.

    2. Suzy Orman – hahahaha…. That is great! No, not at all! Here is the story: Originally I gave the various inhabitants of Derbyshire names that belong to true ancestral families in the area. i.e. – Vernor = Vernon; Cole = Coke; Orman = Ormand, etc. I thought it was fun to do so. When I ended up decided to try the publishing route, and had made "Ormand" a villain, I figured it might possibly annoy any living ancestors if they stumbled across my story! So I changed the names.

    3. Yes, Lizzy had met Col. Fitzwilliam at Rosings during her visit with Charlotte. Austen shows them chatting several times during walks and visits at Rosings. She hints strongly that they got on well. In the movie there is only the brief encounter. Presumably, as I wrote it, she would have met him a time or two after she and Darcy were engaged, at least at the wedding. But of course they would not be close friends as yet. That evolves over time in my Saga until eventually she and Richard are very close, as cousins would be.

    On to your remarks: I might argue with the "most men" statement. While it is certainly true that finding willing partners for sex has never been all that difficult, paid or not, just because we know it was done does not mean it was a requisite or standard operating procedure! It isn’t like there was a law or something.

    Glad you liked the duel! Yeah, I love those Conan sword and sorcery movies so would have LOVED to envision Darcy wielding a massive broadsword! But that just isn’t how it was done. In fact, the norm for those duels that were still occurring in those days despite the attempts to outlaw the practice was to use pistols. Not that swords weren’t used, so historically it was still accurate, but "pistols at dawn" was more common. But, if I was going to tackle a duel it had to be with swords! And give poor Orman a break – he was a nasty fellow but pretty tough! LOL!

  10. Sharon…..sensitive question; but we’re all adults here.

    I understand whole "chamber pot" thing.

    BUT; on women’s grooming.

    Did they shave legs/armpits back then? Was that a part of the women’s toilette?
    Several European nations still turn up their noses to this practice..no pun intended.

    And what did women do/use during their "monthly visits"?? In turn of the century (20th) Appalachia; women used old clothing torn into strips of cloth sewn together; or old diapers and washed/bleached them by hand during their "visitations".
    (My grandmother sewed old newspapers together to make a mattress pad for her at home births so she wouldn’t ruin the feather beds)

    Did you stumble across any of this in your research??

    /the ever-thinking
    Cyn

  11. Okay…here’re MY questions: /ahem

    1. in Mr&MrsFD; you mentioned Jane a couple of times…and mentioned the others at home; but never once said "Lydia’s" name…and Wickham was mentioned 2-3 times.
    Other than her being a true idiot; Do you dislike Lydia Bennett-Wickham, that much?

    2. The "Marquis Orman"; devilishly compared to "self-titled" financial guru; Suzy Orman?? /perhaps

    3. I faintly remember Elizabeth being introduced to Col. Fitzwilliam….but hadn’t they already met at Rosings? Whilst Elizabeth visited Charlotte Lucas-Collins (still shivers thinking of Mr. Collins)

    On your questions of:

    Point 1 – What did you think of Mr. Darcy as a virgin?

    Odd, most men of that era was either initiated by a housemaid; woman of ill repute in their "-shire"; or taken to Ton/town by their fathers to a ‘bordello’.
    Sweet–esp. in this day and age! Many of our young people, where I live, have taken the ‘silver ring oath’ for abstinance before marriage.

    Point 2 – Did the duel work for you and keep you on the edge of your seat?

    Oh I loved that Darcy chose short swords; not only did he give the little pip-squeek half a chance. He was proper to a fault (actually to an-‘aside’). If he’d chose long swords; it would have been HILARIOUS imho. I can see little the little worm dancing all around the grounds trying to balance the sword! Imagine Bugs Bunny and the "Singing Sword"!

  12. Thank you Louise. All of that back story just flew out of me. I am pleased with the idea of him having a happy childhood. It makes for a sharp contrast to the empty years after his parents died and why he would yearn for and then appreciate a complete life with Lizzy.

    No problem Esther! Now folks have a hint of what is to come and will hopefully be even more anxious.

    Ha, May! You crack me up! Put the skepticism aside, my friend. As you said, he is a man among men!

    No, no Julie – I want the discussion to continue on as long as possible! It is so fun and I love answering the questions.

    I actually remembered a scene in the BBC miniseries – I know, shocking! – but it is the one where Darcy (C. Firth) is thinking of Wickham’s antics while at college, a sort of flashback moment for him after Lizzy’s accusals. The look of disgust on his face was so intense. It struck me that a man who was so repulsed by that sort of behavior would not be so swift to act even remotely similar. I know that does not translate into necessarily being totally chaste, but it was an interesting scene that stuck with me.

  13. Sharon,

    I hope it’s ok that I’m posting this a day later? It was very busy in my house yesterday and didn’t get a chance to add my thoughts.

    On Mr. Darcy being a virgin: I thought it was fitting and appropriate that Darcy had remained a virgin until he married, due to his character, high morals and upbringing. Indeed, he told Lizzy that he did not approve of Wickham and his ilk’s disrepectful behavior with women, as he (Darcy) said his Father "raised him better than that." I especially liked how you wrote how his admitted he didn’t consiously plan to stay celebate, however the way his life panned out especially after his father suddenly died and left him with a great responsibility, he had alot of disipline and fortitude and he wanted to save himself for "the one." So, no I was not very surprised he remained chaste until marriage and I thought better of him because of that decision.

    As far as the duel went, I so enjoyed reading that and was on the edge of my seat. You did such a wonderful job with this Sharon, I could really "see" it happening as if I was there myself, and also thought Darcy very brave, cool and capable of winning to defend his beloved’s honor. Well done you!

    Julie C.

  14. I actually love the flashback to the second proposal and what happened after Darcy had spoken to Mr Bennet – so sweet. Not sure about Darcy being a virgin though, but he is a man among men so perhaps he was!

  15. OOPS!!!!! Sorry Sharon. I guess I should have pulled the book out for a refresher! One good point; now all your fans won’t have to wait much longer to read my slip up. Sigh. Darcy & Lizzy – hmmmmmmmm!

    Esther

  16. I actually really enjoyed your story of Darcy’s parents’ love; and how that influenced his search for a wife, and the relationship he was holding out for. Although I had never thought about it this way before, it made a lot of sense once I read it in your book. Thanks for a wonderfully enjoyable book; i cannot wait for the next tome.

  17. Hey Esther, I guess I did a few more flashback moments than I remembered! Ha!! Of course, the ones that occur at Darcy House are in Loving Mr. Darcy. You have inadvertently given a sneak peak! As you said, you have read it so many times you have it memorized. I do the same thing, actually, sometimes having to think real hard in what book a certain event of scene occurred!

  18. Hi Sharon!

    I’ve enjoyed reading all the comments about which parts of the book we liked most. I enjoyed the flashback parts. They enabled us to see in between the scenes. My favorite flashback was at the grotto when Lizzy and Darcy were remembering the second proposal and what happened in the garden after Mr. Bennett gave Lizzy his approval. I also enjoyed "Meeting the Matlocks" and how Lizzy referred to William as a "fine bottle of wine" and when she lost her temper when they were at his house in town thinking Darcy disdained their affection towards each other. How William "faded into the shadows" to preserve Lizzy’s honor when her Father came looking for her. We got to see the human affection between Lizzy and Darcy. I liked how you filled in all the blanks for us.

    I have read TSBO so many times I can almost quote your writing verbatim.

    Thank you, dear friend, for taking the time to "converse" with us. Best of luck to you on the release of your book tomorrow.

    Take care and God Bless.

    Esther

  19. Betty Jo, I am so glad you brought up the historic significance of giving hair. Truthfully I cannot remember if I had uncovered that detail when I thought up the idea of Lizzy’s gift. After so long and so much information my mind gets a bit cloudy on the timeline! LOL! But it is very true that the gifting of hair was very common. We see shades of that today in how we keep the first clippings from our baby’s hair. It is a very personal relic. I do remember clearly that when I was researching the concept of wedding bands for men I found numerous references to lovers creating rings out of hair that would be worn by both sexes. And I also know I have seen the gesture in movies, although my mind is blanking on naming one. Maybe someone with better recall than me may think of it!

    And feel free to bring up any topic you want! That is the whole point of this discussion.

    I love the "prime bull" reference too. Not sure if you have read my confession before, but when I first wrote that part I called him the "prime steer." Luckily a kind person pointed out that a steer is a castrated bull! LOL! NOT the image I was going for. I may live in the country but I know zip about farm animals. 🙂

  20. Sharon I’m glad we can bring up other points here. I may not get the time to give my thoughts until all of todays excitement has passed to other topics. I love the things that you wrote.
    The idea that Darcy feels he is the "prime bull" and is finally off the market makes me smile. I can vividly see him walking into a ballroom or party with Elizabeth by his side and truly being able to enjoy himself. I would have hated to hear the same tattle about my wealth everywhere I went. No wonder he didn’t talk to anyone beyond his close friends. Even Caroline thought the same things about him.
    I also find the locket of hair from Lizzy to William touching. She never had the means to just go out and purchase extravagant gifts. I’m sure she was use to giving gifts from her heart to her many sisters. Also,
    during that era and for a long time after, people had tapestries, jewelry and other items made out of their loved ones hair after they DIED. To have a memento as simple as Hair is quite sentimental and it lasts forever-just like their love…awe!!!

  21. Thank you SO much, Jana! I am thrilled to hear from you and very happy you loved my book. And thanks for sharing your personal experience. There are MANY couples where one or both remained chaste before the wedding. Others that perhaps weren’t virgins, but waited until married to take that step in their relationship. I know quite a few personally, my own included, as well as folks who have written me. It is not the oddity some think and the sexual aspect of the marriage is just fine for not having "practiced" or receiving that "education" prior. Don’t mean to preach or say it must be so, only saying that it CAN be so.

  22. Hi, Sharon. I just wanted to let you know how much I loved your book. I have two shelves full of P&P spinoffs. Your book is by far my favorite. Luckily I just discovered and read your book six weeks ago so I didn’t have to wait long for the next book.

    I loved the fact that Darcy was a virgin. There is nothing dysfunctional about remaining a virgin until marriage. My husband was 28 and I was 21 when we married (both virgins). We have had a very happy and satisfying 22 year marriage. I just can’t see Mr. Darcy having sex with anyone other than a beloved wife. He is much too honorable and proper.

  23. Glad I tricked you, Diane! A writer’s job well done!

    I originally was not intending to do a flashback, feeling that my goal was to move the story forward. Up until that point I had rarely delved into movie moments. But someone had once asked me if I had ever thought of what took place in between the sunrise proposal and Mr. Bennet’s approval, and the truth was that I had! I just did not feel that it fit into the story anywhere, so it was left tucked away into my brain for many months with no purposeful intention to ever write it.

    Then as they finally found the time to visit Darcy’s grotto (as I knew they would eventually) the scene and story just naturally flowed. Suddenly I saw it as the perfect place to recount what happened. I did not even plan it until Darcy sees the sunlight flickering over Lizzy’s face as she slept. My personal vision of what transpired after the sun rises on their proposal, that beautiful moment in Joe Wright’s movie, came back in a flash! I knew it would blend in perfectly with what was only intended to be a sensual, refreshing interlude in the glade after the previous trials.

    I wrote An Intimate Conversation as a short story, primarily to tell of Darcy’s past and why he was a virgin. I later incorporated it into the main story. So it was a very early vision of Darcy! Even then I loved the concept of this normally shy, stoic, reserved, arrogant man who was undone by the emotions of being captured by love.

    The difference between breeches and trousers is just the length. By late Regency breeches were gradually declining in popularity for the mid-calf pantaloons and the longer trousers. And yes, it was largely due to the increasing height of tall boots. But also because the longer pantaloons snugly fit those manly legs better!

  24. Well I am so glad you went with your idea!!! and that critic did not get you at all. I love that your characters are so human, so true to themselves, so real to me.

  25. Hi Seli! You know, I can never think of the lock of hair gift now without thinking of you and Roberto! And for those of you who do not know what I mean, go to the blog archives and click on "A Tale of True Love."

    The lock of hair was just one of those mysterious ideas that pop into a writer’s head. My first reaction was much as Lizzy’s! It seemed silly and trite. I almost didn’t go ahead with the idea. But then I figured it fit the themes of my story with Darcy being the sentimental guy I had written him to be.

    Thanks for the comments about the chapters leading up to the duel. I am proud of them, I must say. One critic said that was the end for her because I had made Darcy cry! All I could think was how sad that a person would consider it a deal breaker that a man cried when he thinks his beloved wife may die.

    Melanie, I am sorry I forgot to address your question on research for the duel! Yes indeed it took a great deal of research. First into the legalities and history of dueling in that age. Then into the weaponry that would have been used. Then into the art of fencing to make the sword play realistic. I pored over my fantasy novels, reading sword fighting scenes, and rewatched a number of movies to get the feel of the movements. I wrote an essay a while back on some of the facts as I learned them. It is titled "En Garde!" and can be found in the archives or by a website search.

  26. Hi Sharon,
    Thanks for the insight. I knew that Remington was more Wild West and thought that maybe Ferrier was the English version from the previous century. You had me fooled into thinking he really existed!

    I forgot to mention the happenings at the end of the book! I love how you filled in the time after the second proposal. I had always wondered about the "your hands are cold" and thought surely there must be something more meaningful than that to be said! 🙂

    And finally, because I really am having a hard time narrowing this down, I thought it was very endearing when Darcy is waiting impatiently at Netherfield for the carriage to arrive and is pacing a hole into the carpet and just about yanks the door off the hinges in his haste to be reunited with Elizabeth! I also liked Bingley’s reaction to Darcy’s behavior. I’m sure he had never witnessed anything similar from Darcy to that point.

    Oh, one final question regarding breeches and trousers – breeches are more dressy and trousers were tucked into the tall boots?

  27. I have alot of favorite parts!! But the one that is the closet to my heart is the pretend grotto, anniversary surprise, when Lizzy gives him a satin pouch with her braided hair and she tells him he will have a small part of her with him even if she is not there. Ohhh I loved it and so my question is "Was it something you read in a novel or a family tradition. It seems so wonderful. My husband, of course, still has my string of hair in his wallet. LOL

    I loved the duel and all the chapters leading to it, the suspense, the worry, Darcy actually showing how very human he is and how close to his sister he is. The love the Darcy has for Lizzy really comes thru in these chapters leading to the duel.

    Thank you Sharon

  28. Now, to Diane’s other questions!

    The Ferrier statue is one of those rare places where I totally made it up! Usually I go to great pains to search out an artist or writer of the day when making such references, but not always. I knew what I wanted the statue to be, so rather than searching endlessly for a sculptor who MAY have done something like it, I just fabricated a name and made him famous enough to be known instantly by Richard and Lord Matlock.

    I looked up Remington because I have never heard of him! Wikipedia lists Frederic Remington – whom I assume you are referring to. His life is from 1860 onward, so would not have worked in my story, but the image of his Bronco Buster statue is almost precisely what I imagine Darcy’s statue to be! Wow! Thanks for that, Diane!

    A ‘second’ was basically the back up guy. Duels followed strict codes, usually. The time was set in advance – again, usually – and the second was the fellow who would follow through with the duel if something happened to the duelee. Let’s say he grew ill or died the night before – yes, extreme, but you get the idea – then the second would stand in his place. Therefore it was a serious obligation because the second could then feasibly die for a cause not his own. Plus he was the assistant who double checked the weapons, made sure no one cheated, etc.

    Women wore shifts (chemise), sometimes stays (which were basically corsets only of a lighter material, an early bra essentially), and maybe pantaloons (pantalettes) and/or a petticoat. In the movie you see Jane and Lizzy in their undergarments when they are preparing for the Netherfield Ball. However, Regency gowns were meant to be free flowing, light, and form fitting. Wearing pantaloons or a petticoat created bulk that was not wanted so were not a 100% necessity.

    Men wore smallclothes (also just "smalls") that were the boxerbrief of the day! They were not a requirement necessarily as the breeches and trousers of the Regency were VERY form fitting, thanks to the Prince Regent and Beau Brummel. This actually led to some men wearing padded false calves to make their legs look more muscular!

  29. Hi Diane! Thanks for mentioning the humorous bits. Humor is a big part of my story as I believe it is a normal part of life. We like to smile and laugh, even stoic people like Mr. Darcy. The specific moments you mentioned were some of my favorites. I actually dreamt the scene where Darcy’s arm falls asleep on their first night of sleeping together. I woke with this scene and his internal musings crystal clear in my head. I think it may have been the first time that happened for me.

    Darcy being a man who kept mementoes was another spontaneous idea. Originally I was only going to have the books and his journals in the locked cabinet. Then the idea of Lizzy finding tangible artifacts of his youth occurred to me. I loved the idea, but it sure took me a long while to think of all the items!

    Indeed I do think of Darcy as the exception, in all ways. But again, not in a bizarre, weirdo kind of way. I think there are more men like him out there then the doomsayers of the world would have us believe. Which leads me to Melanie’s question….

    How rare would his virginity have been in that time period? Difficult to answer then or now. Certainly as a culture we are far more sexually active now than in the past, but does that mean that EVERY young man and woman have lost their virginity at an early age? Today we have polls and so on to give us some statistics, but I don’t think they had an 18th century equivalent of Masters & Johnson going around taking polls! Yet in the years since such statistics have been kept we have seen a frightening increase in all areas of sexual activity. Thus, one logical conclusion is that frankly explicit sex outside of marriage would have occurred even LESS some 200 years ago.

    Yes there were brothels and yes it was not unusual for men of wealth especially to take advantage of lower class women. Sex has always been around and has always been enjoyed. Arranged marriages were very common so keeping a mistress that a man actually liked and WANTED to be with was also common. Yet that does not equally translate to meaning that every man was a wanton who slept with everything in a skirt. The bottom line is that I can’t really answer your question with facts or data. I doubt a man of 28 being a virgin was the norm, but I still maintain that given the logic applied and Darcy’s nature, it isn’t a bizarre extreme.

  30. I just finished Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy a couple days ago, and I really enjoyed it! I had never really thought about whether Darcy was a virgin or not. I suppose it does make sense, keeping with Darcy’s reserved nature. My question is, how rare (or not) would that have been in that time period?

    I liked the duel. Of course, the ending wasn’t a surprise. It wouldn’t have been much of a happily ever after if he had died, or killed someone. It was intriguing to read the detail. Did you have to do much research for that?

  31. I hardly know where to start…

    There were several humorous parts that are favorites for me. Darcy’s arm falling asleep, Lizzy commenting on Darcy’s feet, Darcy’s thought that he couldn’t send a letter after their first spat, when Lizzy calls him "cute" at the ball, and trying out the books…

    The treasure cabinet was another favorite idea for me, especially the first journal.

    All of the dancing scenes were great, especially since Lizzy thought Darcy did not like to dance. And then the dance when they got home from the ball… whew!

    And regarding Darcy’s virginity, I love that you made him the exception rather than the rule for men of his time (or any time really).

    So, some specific questions for you:
    Is a Ferrier statue similar to a Remington? Apparently all the men knew what it was.

    What does a second do at the duel?

    What sort of underclothes did they wear? I figure the women wore a shift but did either sex wear what we would think of as underwear such as panties and briefs?

  32. Darcy as a virgin: Before I began writing my short story, "The Wedding Night" – when it was nothing more than vague thoughts in my head – I had no opinion one way or the other on Darcy being a virgin. As Jaclynn said, it is difficult to imagine a man that age (in any century or of any wealth) remaining a virgin. I never imagined him as a philanderer, but aside from that I truly hadn’t considered it.

    Then one day I stumbled across an ongoing discussion on an Austen forum. Someone had advanced the discussion about Darcy being a virgin. I realized then that I had no real opinion on the subject, but was curious what others thought. What struck me forcibly was the angry attitude offered by the majority of people that Darcy could emphatically NOT be a virgin; that it would be unnatural or insane or downright offensive to think he was! The firm belief was that NO man would remain a virgin that long unless there was something seriously wrong with him. I was truly stunned at the outrage expressed by some at the very idea.

    I found that I was appalled by the attitude and rose to defend the, as Betty Jo called it, choice that many young people make to remain pure for their future spouse. My husband made that choice, waiting until he was 28 (same as Darcy), and I assure you there is nothing wrong with him! I could go into a long diatribe on the subject, but that is not the point. What I decided then and there is that the Darcy in my mind had made that choice. The particulars of why and how cemented when I later wrote those chapters.

    Yes, it is rare and always has been. I acknowledge that. But, it is NOT unheard of nor is it unnatural. I stick by that decision. And, it was one of the main selling points that sold my editor on the Darcy Saga! Deb said as soon as she read those chapters, she called me up!

  33. Good morning ladies! Thanks for getting the discussion going! Remember that we can take the discussion any direction. The 2 points I brought up were to get it started, and I REALLY love hearing everyone’s opinion, but we do not have to stay with those 2 topics. But, since that is how we are beginning, I’ll share a few thoughts of my own! However, do not let that influence anyone else chiming in, even to disagree.

    The duel: This was my first foray into writing action! The few brief arguments, previous encounters with Orman, and Lizzy’s crazed dash through the woods helped prepare me for writing a more dramatic sequence. But the duel took it to that higher level. Or at least I hoped to do so. I wanted the reader to be able to SEE what was happening; every parry and thrust. I wanted to convey the emotion and physical pain. And, of course, keep it historically and logistically accurate. Although I knew Darcy would be the victor, I did not want it to be comically easy.

    Betty Jo makes a good point in her question, "Did his passion cloud his judgment?" The logical answer is yes, of course he did! I probably let him off too easy, in retrospect, as Lizzy probably should have berated him harder! But it is what a "real man" is expected to do, at least in the typical romance novel and historic hero way.

    Was that a liberal stray from the man of restraint I had painted? Perhaps. I also created a man of passion, but his passions rarely override his intellect. It was a bit of a dilemma for me. In the end I felt it was too entertaining an opportunity to pass up, even if it could be argued that Darcy would not do such a thing. It came down to an artist’s creative license although I did try very hard to make it a logical decision under the extreme circumstances. Additionally, opening this door of having Darcy be a strong man of action led me down several paths, as you will see in future books.

    There were 2 reasons Orman lived: 1) I just cannot see Darcy killing anyone if he has a choice. Not in the cold-blooded way that it would have been with Orman totally at his mercy. But remember that comment for a later date. *hint hint* 2) A good villain should never be wasted!

  34. Don’t get me wrong I loved that he was a virgin. I just have a hard time imagining a man with his wealth and station in life to remain a virgin all those years- specially since he was so determined not to marry before meeting Elizabeth. Although, it is quite suiting for Elizabeth’s character that he was in fact a virgin.

    As for the dual, I’m glad Darcy took pitty and did not kill him eventhough that Orman was something else and deserved to die. But making him a coward did make me laugh out loud when reading it.

    I loved that Orman shouted "Mercy, please!".

  35. I CAN"T WAIT!!!
    When I first read TSBO I really enjoyed it. So I started reading more fanfic on the web. Literally hundreds of stories later I STILL like your (Our) William & Lizzy the BEST. It’s my absolute favorite.
    Will was a virgin by CHOICE. Anyone can take the wide easy path but it takes self control to go against the grain. It’s the one choice a person can make, no matter how difficult the temptation, male or female to have control over.
    A few points that I love about TSBO . We see that Darcy doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty. He knows that his wealth has its limits. He loves to show his love for his wife, friends and family in small ways as well as grand. He seems to be a real person. I don’t think Lizzy would have settled for anyone less.
    As for the duel…He had the power and money to have it "taken care of" but he made the choice to defend his wife, his family , and his honor himself. Did his passion cloud his judgment? Ya just gotta love that man!
    Sharon you said September would be here before we know it…It’s Here…YEAH!
    I CAN"T WAIT!

    Congrats,
    Betty Jo

  36. Ok the first point Darcy being a virgin. I love the way you have Darcy vulnerable emotional and totally open with Lizzy in the lead up into his confession to being chaste and the wonderful story you tell of how he came to be as he is. After your intricate detailing of his youth and young adulthood it gels together brilliantly and it really is the icing on the cake to find at the end of Darcy’s admissions that he is a virgin. Totally wonderful and totally believable. There are so many reasons I love your Darcy and that is definitely an important one.
    The second point you raise Sharon about the duel, yes you had me siting at the edge of my seat! The villian is vial and portrayed acordingly by your briliant words. Darcy the manliest man of all, you portray magnificently as the hero. I really enjoyed your diversion from his soft romantic caring side to show his passion in protecting and honouring his beloved Lizzy. I also love the fact that he has Richard as his companion throughout the ordeal. I felt safe knowing that even though Darcy had some scary moments Richard would come to his aid if necessary.
    The duel itself was handled perfectly. The crude jibes from Ormond at the start riled me up, but Darcy kept his cool. It appeared that Darcy would win easily until the riveting twist where he gets injured. I loved it all, you balance out the drama brilliantly.
    This is so much fun!!! Thanks Sharon.
    Luv TSBO devotee
    Vee

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