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On Elizabeth Bennet

I have  been a great admirer of Elizabeth Bennet since I first read Pride and Prejudice about a decade ago now, but it is only recently (since my P&P love has resurfaced and taken hold like some kind of leviathan) that I realised how much of the success and resonance of that novel, for me, is due to Lizzy.

Despite her acknowledged flaws, she has such a wonderfully enviable disposition. This idea of people who can laugh themselves out of poor humour is foreign to me. Her ability to think on the past only as it gives her pleasure,  and to put herself forward in the world with optimism and confidence is inspiring. I treasure her. My disposition is more akin to the implacable resentment and easily bruised Darcy and yet, I couldn’t fathom writing a POV that isn’t Lizzy. She is so real to me. She is where the story lives and breathes. Whenever a notion strikes me for a ‘what if…?’ it is always Lizzy-centric. I may love reading Darcy stories, but I love writing Lizzy ones.


(Of course, the more I put my writing out there, the more I am like Mrs Bennet, flapping my hands around and screeching about my poor nerves!)

pop culture

Fantasy casting Mr Darcy

It has now been over two decades since the seminal BBC Pride & Prejudice miniseries and I would dearly love another. I am aware that it would be very difficult to live up to the expectations, given the last one was so beloved, but I think it would be worth it. The BBC has done great things recently with their period miniseries – I particularly loved Emma and Sense and Sensibility – so I would love to see an updated and, dare I say, less strict retelling of P&P. Perhaps they could meld the irreverent spirit and characterisations of Joe Wright’s 2005 film (and vastly superior Mrs Bennet and Mr Collins) with the longer version of events.

So, in discussing this possibility with my sister last night, we started fantasy casting Mr Darcy. I found this harder than I thought, not because Colin Firth and Matthew McFadyen have such locks on the character, but because the gravitas and presence required to play Darcy is so rare. My faves are all well into their 30s and 40s, which technically makes them too old for Darcy but who knows. If 27yo Julia Sawalha could play 15yo Lydia Bennet, anything is possible.

Continue reading “Fantasy casting Mr Darcy”


Paperback writer

When writing/editing/thinking about writing gets a bit much and my head starts to ache, I’ve been looking into publishing my books as paperbacks through Amazon. I (naively) thought this would be easier than ebook formatting due to the what-you-see-is-what-you-get nature of print.

Unsurprisingly, I am wrong.

All sorts of things that don’t matter in ebook formatting – like font type, font size, page numbers, margins, etc. – need to be worked out in paperback publishing. Even the size of the book matters! Amazon recommends 6×9″ but I think I prefer 5×8″. The Penguin Classic version of Pride & Prejudice that I have is 5.06×7.81″ (as are most of those classics versions that I have) which seems a little bit bonkers. And designing the cover (inc spine and back cover as one PDF) is perhaps beyond my expertise but I want to give it a go anyway because I quite like messing around in Illustrator.

On the other hand, knowing the PDF I generate is exactly what will end up in reader’s hands (theoretically, whilst making allowances for all the very dumb things that go wrong) is quite exciting. I can get a little more creative with chapter headings and things like that, and the contents page will finally look as I want it to. I know that it’s not as simple as I think it will be, because Word finds very little ways to stuff things up, and anticipating all the ways things can go wrong is giving me flashbacks to finishing my thesis.

Of course, this is really just that fancy type of procrastinating where you delude yourself that you are working…but you are not. Productive procrastinating. Should be the title of my autobiography.

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‘At Pemberley’ on Amazon

I am so very excited. My first published book has gone live on Amazon! Publishing a book has been a dream of mine for so long that I can scarcely believe I have done it. Along with the excitement comes an even larger contingent of nerves, of course…

At Pemberley is a collection of three short stories (36 000 words) about life for Darcy and Elizabeth in the early years of their marriage. It is only 99c on Kindle at Amazon.

Buy now at Amazon

I am now continuing work on Twice Shy, my first novel about how life would have changed for Elizabeth if she hadn’t heard Darcy’s insult at the assembly. It has been so much fun to just immerse myself in a longer story.



Welcome to the home of Georgina Pryke, author of Pride and Prejudice vagaries.

I’ve recently written a set of short stories entitled At Pemberley about some of the events surrounding Elizabeth and Darcy after they wed.

I am also finishing my first novel, Twice Shy, exploring how the events of Pride and Prejudice would have changed if Elizabeth had not heard Darcy’s insult at the Meryton assembly. If her pride hadn’t been injured and she had readily seen his regard for her, as Charlotte Lucas had, would she have come to admire him too? Twice Shy will be published in May 2017.

I am new to Pride and Prejudice variations, both reading and writing, and Regency fiction in general. Like the best of all new hobbies, it has gripped me tight and I am learning a lot as I go.

Featured image: Designed by Freepik.