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Pride, Prejudice & New Adventures Vol. 1

Rapture and Rebellion:
A Pride & Prejudice Reimagining


by Ney Mitch

Rapture & Rebellion by Ney Mitch

It’s a tale as old as time,
that a mother with so many daughters,
in a small provincial town in Regency England,
will always be in pursuit of marrying them off!

All Mrs. Bennet cares about is marrying off her five eligible daughters. After sending them all over England to meet eligible men, her plans are thwarted as they return home and still have not received proposals. However, the second of her eldest daughters, Elizabeth, has unknowingly made an incredible discovery. While in London, she met a handsome stranger whose name she did not catch, but to whom her heart became attached.

When two men arrive in town, Elizabeth is overjoyed to learn that one is the man she met in London, Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy of Pemberly. Elizabeth immediately prepares to be on good terms, only to find that something has changed, and he is quite cold and rude to her. Elizabeth is angered with his proud and conceited nature at first. Yet, little by little, Mr. Darcy begins to open up to his already existing attraction to her, but can they resolve the disagreements between them both, or will they forever remain at odds? Moreover, will Mr. Darcy be able to recover from all the mistakes that he has made, or will Elizabeth be unable to forgive him for all the wrongs that he has committed?

Follow the two most beloved characters of the regency world as they embark on a new adventure that we all know—or thought that we knew.


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Release Date: September 18, 2018
Genre: Historical | Regency


Excerpt

Chapter One

It’s a Truth

 

With caution and ease, I looked around myself and beheld the peace that came with my solitude. For here, in the dense collection of woods that bordered my father’s estate, I was able to find the tranquility that comes with the state of being surrounded by none other than tree, rock, twig and leaf.

In seeing that I was alone, I smiled to myself, gathered the hem of my petticoat in my left hand and then began to climb up the trunk, making sure to step on the sturdiest of branches.

Higher and higher I climbed until I reached the very top of it and was over thirty feet above the ground. I gazed above the top of the trees and beheld the sun as it was in the middle of the sky.

“Beautiful!” I said to myself, for it was always and would always be a sight to behold. For indeed, to look upon the world above and from such a height, makes one feel far away from the woes or everyday news and comings and goings that perplex the people whom you dwell amongst.

La! If I had to sit in the parlor and hear my Aunt Phillips tell my mother news that was of little consequence, when in truth, there was tension rising between Britain and America once more—I would secretly wish to groan out impatiently. My mother, indeed, cared more for a person falling and staining their dress than about the problems that have arisen with the impressment of American soldiers, or America’s continual pursuit of Canadian land, or the madness of King George, or the inability of the Prince Regent to understand how to rule our country.

And while I enjoyed the gaiety that came with the fun news of a ball occurring, of an assembly, or the pleasure of making a new acquaintance and meeting fascinating individuals, my curiosity didn't just end there and there only.

And to possess the liberty of being away from it all! And not to have to hear my mother shouting Lizzy! Or Elizabeth always!

“Miss Elizabeth!”

I closed my eyes in frustration but sighed in acceptance when I realized that it was our maid, Hill. I did my best to climb down as quickly as I could, but Hill found me as I just managed to get to the last branch.

“Ah,” Hill said, “look at you.”

“Yes, I know I am a sad sight to behold.” I laughed as I jumped onto the ground. “And yet do you promise me what you always promise me?”

“Aye, I do miss, and I won't tell your mother anything.”

“I love your sense of discretion,” I replied as I smiled and walked with her, “for it is my findings, and I believe that I am not alone in thinking so, that a good maid understands that sometimes the best thing she can do is not tell the mistress of the house everything.”

“And by that, you mean your mother.”

“Every daughter can have her secret if the secret is innocent.”

“Well, Miss Elizabeth,” Hill said, touching my shoulder affectionately, “I daresay that I am a good servant, and a good secret I can continue to keep.”

Hill was always nice to me, and it was a constant comfort.

“Hill, I love every deceptive bone in your body.”

“Of course, you do, Miss.”

We walked back to the house where my mother was awaiting me.

* * *

When I entered through the back door, Hill went directly to the kitchen, and I progressed to the parlor. The door was closed slightly for some reason—a reason that I knew.

My mother, with all desires to keep appearances as they should be, closed the door to keep privacy, but also left the door ajar ever so slightly to make sure the servants could accidentally hear anything and everything.

Her skills at appearing private while being very public about something were quite an art of hers.

I looked through the crack of the doorway and saw my sister, Jane, sitting down while my mother and Aunt Phillips were discussing plans and a letter that had clearly been sent by my Uncle Gardiner.

“Oh, Jane!” our mother cried. “It is the most wonderful news. Your Uncle Gardiner has sent word that he has received an invitation to go to Almack’s, for a ball with the most prestigious and illustrious persons in all of London. You shall be able to mix with all the best of society and meet the wealthiest men, who I am sure, will be struck by your charms.”

“I am indebted to my Uncle Gardiner, truly,” Jane said demurely. “And I am very fortunate.”

“Fortune is all that you deserve, my dear,” our mother said, “for none of your sisters are even half as handsome as you, and therefore are less likely to be made such a wonderful offer as yourself.”

“Mama, you flatter me.” Jane blushed. “My sisters are all quite lovely in turn and have their own different definitions of goodness.”

“Oh, you and your youngest sister, Lydia, are such a comfort to me,” our mother sighed. “For she is good-humored, and you are kind and ever so good. Yet take heart, my dear. Remember that man in London, the Mr. Samuel Edmund Brocklehurst who was quite taken with you a year ago, and he owns a very pretty estate in Surrey, if I am not mistaken. He is said to respond to both the names Edmund and Samuel because his parents alternated with calling him by both. And what was his worth?”

“Three thousand a year!” Aunt Phillips confirmed.

“Indeed, three thousand! Well, rumor has reached Hampshire, and this Mr. Edmund Brocklehurst is still very much likely to be unattached, and if you recall, he wrote you some very pretty verses of poetry once. If we could just throw you in his company more, then there is a chance that he would make you an offer of marriage this time.”

“Mama, I have no aims to be wed at all.” Jane smiled bashfully. “If the opportunity does arise, then of course, I shall do my duty to you.”

“Of course, you will my dear.”

* * *

I closed my eyes and gritted my teeth as I stood outside the parlor. I honestly did not know how Jane could stand it! And yet Jane, born with immense beauty and blessed with the sweetest disposition, made her different than my own temper and temperaments. She was too good, so terribly angelic, and such kindness and domestic tranquility in character was never something that I or the rest of our sisters acquired. I was raised in a house where the eldest of us, Jane, had been given all the good graces that a woman could desire, while the rest of us knew ourselves to be lesser creatures.

I was Elizabeth Bennet, the second oldest in the family, and there was no perfection to me. Yet, I had one thing that I believed myself strong in—or better yet, there were two things I prided myself on—my witty intellect, and ability to laugh at anything. And as I grew older and older, I prayed that those talents of mine were enough to get me through any painful situation or harsh word spoken by my frivolous mother.

Being the oldest of five daughters, the first was my sister, Jane Bennet, twenty-eight years old and blessed with the best looks of us, a handsome face, as well as a perfectly pleasing and serene personality. Then there was myself. Then came Mary, twenty years, and then Kitty, eighteen years, and then the youngest was Lydia who was sixteen. They all meant well, but Mary was the sister who was doomed to be considered the plain one, and therefore she resolved it, within herself, to be the most accomplished of us. The constant study of books and the philosophies she could extract from them was forever her objective, whenever she was not practicing on the piano-forte. Though she meant well, it led to her being, in her own way, affected and pretentious.

And then there was Kitty and Lydia. I had loved them as much as I had cherished Mary, but as in Mary's case, I would not let my sisterly affection for them cloud my judgment, and my opinion was clear. While Mary leaned too far in the direction of being bookish and proud off her accomplishments, Kitty and Lydia had heads filled with little substance, not seeming to be aware of it themselves and, also, were of the age where their minds bent more towards dancing, excitement, parties, and men to admire than it was full of anything else. And while it could not be denied that almost every young woman's head was full of such subjects, it does not follow that one should speak of such things always, or make it their sole subject of conversation, yet Kitty and Lydia did. And while Kitty proved to be blind and foolish, Lydia just proved to be wild and sometimes vulgar.

Forgive me, for I am not being attentive to the words spoken between my aunt and mother at hand. Bending my mind toward the present, I focused on the conversation once more and gleaned more insight as to why I was needed.

“And for reasons that cannot be explained other than for strange favoritism,” our mother said, “I despise favoritism of any kind, for you know I don't ever favor any of my children in particular!”

“Mama,” I sighed under my breath, “what a lie.”

“Your Uncle Gardiner has also requested for your sister Lizzy to join you. He is always so partial to her! Yet it is all for the best, for it would be best for you to have a sister of yours with you to serve as the perfect chaperone. Yet I confess that I daresay there is no chance of there being a man at this prestigious ball who would be taken with Elizabeth.”

“Elizabeth is a most wonderful companion,” Jane said, coming to my defense.

“Aye she is, when she doesn't go on in her wild ways. And yet, your Aunt Gardiner will have her eye on her.”

If there was a chance that I would get to journey into town to see our Aunt and Uncle Gardiner, then I would be fully satisfied in doing so, for not only would I have temporary escape from my mother's constant reprimands on me, but also, I would be in the presence of two people who always saw the good in me as opposed to the bad.

“Yet I doubt that there will be a single man at Almack’s who would be taken with her.”

“If there are any unattached men at all.” Jane sighed.

“There are always unattached men at balls in London at this time of year,” our mother said, “for it seems like they always come out of the woodwork this season.”

Before they continued to speak of news and other business of sorts, I took that as the opportunity to enter and announce that I had listened in to a great deal of the conversation.

“Of course,” I smiled to all their startled faces, “for it is a truth universally acknowledged, that an unattached man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife!”

 

 

 

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