10 August 2009

Thoughts on Mr. Darcy, Vampyre

SPOILER ALERT!!!
IF YOU ARE PLANNING TO READ THIS, AND HAVEN'T, AND DON'T WANT TO HAVE THE END RUINED FOR YOU: WAIT TO READ THIS ONCE YOU HAVE FINISHED.

We know from the title about Darcy's, erm, condition. Elizabeth, however, does not find out about it until more than 200 pages in. Dangerous situations are barely hinted at and always avoided with little consequence. Darcy is a conscientious vampyre who does not drink human blood, but we are never told exactly how he sustains himself. At one point we are led to believe he can transform into a bat, but that idea is barely explored - if at all. Darcy is transformed in a Edward-esque way, resulting from a plague in the 1500's. Elizabeth encounters numerous vampyres, with none but one being tempted by her blood in the slightest. The oldest vamp of all finally captures her to 'have' her first, a la Braveheart, as all vampyre wives are. But Darcy is able to fend him off with no violence when Elizabeth's love protects him (Harry Potter?), and touching Darcy's skin burns the old bat. Just when they are about to throw caution to the wind, Darcy is told there is a way to reverse his curse. The last chapter takes us to an underground petrified forest where reading an inscription brings about a score of Indiana Jones-like booby traps, and as Darcy and Elizabeth cling together about to drown, the water recedes and he is human again enjoying his first sunrise in over 100 years. I all but lost sight that this was 'our Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet' except for their names. The entire story takes us from Paris ('underground' vampyres) to Draculish castle in the Alps (feared vampyres and werewolves) to Venice (revered vampyres). Grange dedicated this tale to Catherine Morland from Austin's own Northanger Abbey who loved a good gothic novel. This novel, I felt, was not gothic enough to be touted as a vampire tale. I read it in 2 days, flying through it, hoping to get to the good part. I fault this book with being too tame. Grange is brilliant with the diaries of the Austin men, but this venture disappointed.

2 comments:

Tricia B. said...

Well, I can't read your post since I'm going to read it! You have a lot to say about it so it must be worth reading.

Emma Hox said...

I am not into Zombies, Vampires, Sea Monsters, Mummies or any thing that is not 100% human in my P&P novels.

Since I try to read every Jane Austen adaptation that has hurt me when it comes to any of the newly released books with those themes.

I have not read any of them yet, I just cannot bring myself to do it.