Celebration Edition #412:
"Pemberley Shades: A Novel"
By D. A. (Dorothy Alice) Bonavia-Hunt, 1880-1970.
New York: E. P. Dutton & Company, Inc., 1949.
Concurrent publication in New York and London; Copyright not renewed.
Many of us return repeatedly to Jane Austen, are abashed by her brilliance, and wish that she had written more.
In recent years, there have been a wide range of mashups based on Austen's works, some better, some worse. One of the earliest was "Pemberley Shades" by Dorothy Bonavia-Hunt. Her title was taken from a quotation of Lady Catherine de Bourgh, chastising Elizabeth Bennett on her possible marriage to Darcy: “Heaven and earth — of what are you thinking? Are the shades of Pemberley to be thus polluted?” "Pemberley Shades" was published in 1949, in London, England by Allan Wingate, and in New York by E.P. Dutton.
Happily, in "Pemberley Shades", Dorothy Alice Bonavia-Hunt generally gets it right. She does a credible job of a daunting task, that of building upon Austen's beloved "Pride and Prejudice". Many of Austen's memorable characters reappear, and their personalities generally are in accord with Austen's originals. Elizabeth's mother does not appear -- perhaps Bonavia-Hunt did not feel she could quite carry her off -- but her father steps in briefly, as do Jane and Bingley, and various others.
The two characters who are most different, understandably, are Fitzwilliam Darcy and his wife Elizabeth -- they have, after all, been married for several years, and that has changed them both. If they are not, perhaps, just who they were when we last saw them, they are plausibly people whom those people might have become. Nor have they stopped growing; in Pemberley Shades, their relationship continues to develop. New characters bring their own challenges, for both the characters and the reader -- but I would rather let you read the book yourself than have you cry "Spoilers!"
The author, Dorothy Alice Bonavia-Hunt was born in London in 1880 to Anglican clergyman Rev. Henry George Bonavia-Hunt and Madeline Bonavia-Hunt. Her father founded the Trinity College of Music in 1872 in London; her mother was a published author. She had three siblings, never married, and lived with her younger brother Noel Aubrey, also a minister and musician. She died in 1970. (Source: http://austenprose.com/2008/09/17/pemberley-shades-the-legend-of-the-lost-sequel/ )
I am confident you will
Read and Enjoy,
Mary Mark Ockerbloom