Victorian mystery romance follows Pride and Prejudice

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Ryan Arias

rarias@radford.edu

Though it seems the vampire fad is just that, Amanda Grange is proving that it is something more. Following Pride and Prejudice, Mr. Darcy  and Elizabeth, who had suffered a difficult and shifty relationship, marry and seem to reach that moment of happily-ever-after Austen is known to write. In Mr. Darcy, Vampyre, however, the wedding was not so happy and fulfilling. The stories follow, much like Pride, Prejudice and Zombies, and take their romance down a different road filled with intrigue, mystery and the notable romantic drama..
Amanda Grange has already written other stories from Jane Austen’s writing such as Wickham’s Diary and Mr. Knightley’s Diary, landing her five different sequels to Jane Austen’s stories. It’s what many would call a fan fiction: a story written by fans to portray events not applicable in the original story using twists of their own devices.

Mr. Darcy, Vampyre is just this, and a very well done. In fact it has the prestige of having followed Pride, Prejudice and Zombies, which allowed it the benefit of the doubt and got it published. Publishers were hoping for a best seller by combining the public’s love for vampires with its love for Jane Austen stories.
In 2010, Mr. Darcy, Vampyre was nominated for “Best Austen inspired book published in 2009,” in the Jane Austen Awards. Not only has the story itself spread, but they now sell an Audio CD of the book on Amazon.com and for iPods.

In an extract from an article, written for the Historical Novel Society’s review magazine, it had reviewed Mr. Darcy, Vampyre, and made mention of the relationship held between a novel and its reader:

“A novel does not exist by itself, it only truly lives when a reader gives up some of their lifeforce in order to vitalize it.”

It was compared to like giving a gift to the reader when they continue to read the story and refuse to let it go. Mr. Darcy, Vampyre is an example of this.
Even if it follows the vampire fad, which has become a normalized part of mainstream culture, it does it in a way that it’s able to keep a level of seriousness often lost in teen romances or thriller stories. It keeps to Jane Austen’s view on what a love story should be: not two dimensional, but a multi-layered story that views the world as it was in those times. It shows that some things have not changed as time continued to crawl on.

It is a riveting story and follows the slow drifting apart between Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth. They travel from their home in England and travel the continent as Mr. Darcy visits family in Paris, Italy, and Switzerland. Elizabeth begins to notice the changes with her husband and becomes ever distraught by his shifting behavior. Elizabeth writes her sister with her worries, but things only grow more despairing as people along the winding mountain paths begin to avoid them.

All in all, the book is a great read as it is full of romance, intrigue and a different kind of adventure.