In the course of the editing process for Two Shall Become One ~ Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy there were several passages that needed to be rewritten. Luckily I never had to completely delete anything! Thanks Deb!! Most of the paragraphs or passages that were revamped were due to copyright issues since I could not quote verbatim or describe precisely from the movie. A few others were sections that Deb felt did not work for some reason, needing more clarification or contained some aspect not one hundred percent true to the Era. In all cases, even if I did not completely agree, it gave me the chance to enhance the details and approach a part with more creativity. Anyway, I thought I would share some of those passages with you from time to time.
The first is from Chapter 1. Deb had questions about the inn the Darcys stayed in. I researched further, gave it some thought, and came up with additional info that would both describe the inn and tell how Darcy went about choosing it.
He and Lizzy had previously agreed that they would make their escape as soon as good manners would allow. Darcy had secured lodging at the White Stag Inn near Bedford. He had discovered this superb establishment years earlier while still at Cambridge. Located only a few miles off the main thoroughfare to London—on the turnpike to Cambridge, in fact—it was secluded enough to fulfill his preference for quiet while traveling, but also popular enough as a halting place for those journeying to Newmarket for the races, or on to Suffolk for the sea, that it was well maintained.
It was also the perfect resting point for the two-day ride between London and Pemberley, a trek he had completed more times that he could remember. He had stayed at the White Stag so frequently over the years that the owners, a pleasant couple named Hamilton, knew him well. They had been ecstatic at the idea of hosting him and his new bride for the initial days of their married life.
All arrangements had been made in advance and, to ensure their privacy, he had rented out the entire second storey. Luckily, the late time of the year meant the road would be lightly traveled, with hired coaches rarely passing and passengers minimal. Even the pub would see few customers, although it would not matter greatly, as their suite was to the rear of the sturdy red-brick building and well away from the public rooms.
Next was the passage in chapter 4 relating to the landscape painting Darcy acquired for Lizzy. For one, it could not describe the movie scene precisely but had to be vague. Second, Deb rightfully pointed out that having an artist paint the scene would not only probably not work in such a short period of time, but would also be difficult to keep a secret in such a small community as Meryton. Here is how it was altered.
However, Elizabeth noticed none of this initially, because her eyes were immediately captured by the painting on the wall above the vanity. She gasped and her trembling hand touched her mouth as tears filled her eyes. She was speechless.
“William … how … where … I do not understand …”
He was beside her, one arm around her waist, an expression of incomparable exhilaration on his face. “Do you like it, my darling? I discovered it in a gallery in London, quite by accident. It instantly reminded me of Hertfordshire and the meadow near Longbourn where we met on the day you accepted me.” His voice throbbed with emotion.
It was a landscape that uncannily resembled her childhood home. The field of knee-high green grasses almost appeared to wave in the sun-kissed air. A small stream cut crookedly through the middle, a narrow stone bridge spanning one edge. In the distance stood a house of beige bricks obscured by the faint wisps of English mist hugging the ground. The work was exquisite, but even if it had been of poor quality, she would have been tremendously moved.
Lizzy could instantly understand why the painting had struck her husband. It was not the moor near Longbourn where they encountered each other that fateful day in late September, drawn to each other as if by magic, but stunningly similar. She could almost see their figures in the haze, finally speaking openly of the love they shared.
The final one I will share at this time is the famous ‘Mrs. Darcy’ balcony scene. Again, I could not quote the words or paint a precise rendering of the movie scene. My goal was to evoke the scene in one’s mind, keep the essence intact, but make it my own. I think I succeeded fairly well!
She sat before the fire, reading for some time, but began to feel sleepy, so she went outside onto the balcony. The view was stupendous, even at night. The torches were still blazing, casting reflections over the water. She wished William were with her, yet her joy was such that she could not feel too depressed. It was a cold night, but Lizzy was warm in his robe. She sat down on the padded bench and contented herself with waiting.
Darcy returned in such a state of haste that he only paused long enough to allow Samuel to remove his boots, stockings, jacket, and waistcoat. He washed his face and hands quickly, splashed on a drop of cologne, and then rushed into their bedchamber, untucking his shirt as he went. Elizabeth was not there, but he saw the open balcony door.
“You are back!” she said happily. “Is everything all right?”
He bent down and kissed her lips. “Yes, it is now,” he replied. “One of my best broodmares was having a difficult birth. The foal survived, one of Parsifal’s many offspring, as a matter of fact. The mare, however, had to be put down. I hate having to do it, but on occasion it cannot be avoided.” He sighed sadly.
“I am sorry, William. I know how much your horses mean to you.”
“Thank you, my love. It is disturbing, but one of the unfortunate occurrences when one breeds horses, or any animal for that matter.” He shook his head. “Anyway, it’s done now. Why are you out here, Elizabeth? It’s quite cold.”
“Enjoying the view while I waited for you.” For a time they remained silent, both enjoying the breathtaking scenery. Elizabeth unconsciously began caressing his leg.
He looked down at her. “You are still wearing the pearls,” he noticed.
She smiled winsomely. “I like them. I thought you might enjoy seeing me wear them … and only them.”
He smiled one of his devastating smiles, glanced away briefly, and then sat beside her with long legs stretched on the opposite side from hers. He clasped her cool hands within his warm palms, and said, with his voice low and husky, “How are you faring this evening, my dearest?”
“Excellent, especially now that you are back with me.” She smiled, fingers interlacing with his and caressing tenderly. “It is so beautiful here, William. I feel at home already.”
“You are home, Mrs. Darcy. Forever Pemberley shall be where you belong.”
“I love hearing you call me ‘Mrs. Darcy.’ You say it with such tenderness and happiness.”
He laughed softly, his eyes sparkling. Reaching to feather strokes over one soft cheek, he whispered, “I am happy. Happier than I have ever been, and it is all due to your presence in my life, Mrs. Darcy.” He shook his head slightly. “I shall never tire of calling you such.” He leaned forward, kissing her nose lightly. “Always, eternally, my Mrs. Darcy.”
Lizzy exhaled a gentle laugh, closing her eyes and basking in the feel of his breath and warmth so near her face. Every sense was assaulted, tingling and alive as he bestowed tiny kisses on every feature, interspersing them with breathy endearments.
He paused and their eyes met. Her lips were parted and her breathing uneven, awaiting the pressure of his mouth upon hers. Surely she would die if he did not kiss her soon! He stroked her chin with his thumb, adoring the perfection of her face.
“Mrs. Darcy,” he whispered, so soft as to be almost inaudible, as with deliberate patience he slowly approached her mouth, kissing her with a nearly imperceptible touch. He lingered, lips feathering hers, taunting her with languid restraint. She pressed into him but he retreated slightly, maintaining a gentle pressure and movement on her mouth. She moaned and he smiled against her lips, delighting in the ability to inflame her. She wrapped her hands around his neck, pulling him to her while at the same time arching toward his chest.
And, you all know where it goes from there! There you have it for now. I’ll treat with a few more peeks into the published novel at a later date. But, as I hope you agree, the alterations are few and I think an improvement. Comments are always welcomed!