Chapter 1 of Mr. Darcy, Vampyre by Amanda Grange finds us waking with Elizabeth Bennet on the morning of her wedding day, which she is sharing with her sister Jane. The house is already beginning to bustle with preparations, and Jane and Elizabeth have a sweet sisterly exchange before they are soon dressing in similar, though not identical, wedding dresses. In another moment we are at the alter and the union is made.
For a moment all the world is right.
Then the first sense of unease creeps in. This is after all only the first chapter in a book entitled Mr. Darcy, Vampyre, and Elizabeth’s first glimpse that all is not as perfect as it seems is a brief moment’s imperfect reflection in a window of a tormented look crossing Darcy’s face.
This was the moment my heart felt a twinge of sadness, just like the moment young master Brayles answers Darcy with a growl in Dreadfully Ever After. For me this is the moment when Pride and Prejudice ends and a new story really begins, the moment I have to let go of the story I love, the characters I love, and allow myself to be carried into a new story where the characters will develop differently.
Happily ever after must be delayed.
Really that is the only expectation I have that is a non-negotiable point: Elizabeth and Darcy must live happily ever after. What happens between now and that moment we leave them once again with that prospect is the story I willingly allow to unfold by reading, but the ending must be to leave them together to continue on with each other.
We know from the start that Mr. Darcy is a vampire. It is in the title after all. So what I am reading to discover is at what point does Elizabeth become fully aware of this fact? What kind of vampire is Mr. Darcy? Will Elizabeth join him in immortality? How will this new obstacle to happiness be overcome?
This is where I should mention that I am a vampire buff. Whatever knowledge I have on zombies is dwarfed by my knowledge on all things vampire. I’ve read stories, myths, and legends that span from the first documented mentions to many of the latest novels. I’ve seen many movies from the popular ones to obscure foreign films. I don’t claim to be a scholar on the topic, nor do I claim complete pop culture knowledge as I have not read or seen everything, but I will have plenty to say on this topic as we read.
I have always enjoyed researching the supernatural world, and vampires have been my core study. With that said, I am not prejudiced, but I sincerely hope that there will be evidence of references to established vampire cannon or, even more intriguing to me, references to obscure, forgotten lore. Believe me when I tell you that many of today’s authors do not tap into all the variations that have existed in vampire legends, which span the globe. I’ll save any more of my vampirology for another post.
After reading the first chapter what are your thoughts so far?
*Photo:WEDDING MARIAGE: The Lady and the Hat by Sebastien LABAN, obtained through Flickr.