I had a great deal of fun with Mr. Darcy, Vampyre , from the very moment I read the title and couldn’t stop thinking, “Mr. Darcy, Slayer of the VamPYRES.” Darcy is not a slayer, just a regular old Victorian vampire who manages to hide his condition from all but his closest friends by appearing prideful, brooding, and generally like the Darcy we see in Pride and Prejudice.
The story picks up on Elizabeth’s wedding day and follows the new Mrs. Darcy through her wedding tour through Bram Stoker’s geography as she meets more and more bizarre people from the greater Darcy clan. Darcy himself acts even more secretive, tortured, and brooding than before they were married, baffling Elizabeth, who has to navigate her way through married life with an absence of mirrors and an abundance of creepy portents. She writes letters to Jane which may or may not ever get delivered.
Darcy is a classic literature character primed for vampire-dom, already dark and mysterious and enticing. How could Elizabeth tell the difference between reluctant romantic hero and vamPYRE? This book is much more enjoyable than Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which tended more toward the preposterous. And vampires are always cooler than zombies.
Reading Midnight Sun has had me considering what perspective changes about or gives to a story (besides fiery throats), and I went looking in our catalog for other retold stories. Here’s a few familiar stories from new and unusual perspectives.
Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys: a retelling of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë from the perspective of Mrs. Rochester.
A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly, is a retelling of An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser, from the perspective of one of the hotel maids.
March by Geraldine Brooks is the story of Mr. March, from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.
Home by Marilynne Robinson is a re-telling of her novel Gilead, but from Rev. Robert Boughton’s perspective.
“The Confession of Fitzwilliam Darcy by Mary Street is a retelling of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen from his point of view.
Crucial Conversations by May Sarton is a series of connected conversations from the points of view of multiple characters.
The Ghosts of Kerfol by Deborah Noyes is a set of connected stories that branches off from Edith Wharton’s Kerfol.
And if you find any other stories that Edward has decided to re-tell, let me know! I’ll be curious to see what else sets his throat on fire.
Posted in Booklist
Tagged A Northern Light, An American Tragedy, Crucial Conversations, Gilead, Home, Jane Eyre, Kerfol, March, Midnight Sun, Pride and Prejudice, The Confession of Fitzwilliam Darcy, The Ghosts of Kerfol, throats on fire, Wide Sargasso Sea