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Summary

"You must allow me to tell you..."

For over 200 years, Jane Austen's Mr. Darcy has captivated readers' imaginations as the ultimate catch. Rich. Powerful. Noble. Handsome. And yet, as Miss Austen's Pride and Prejudice is established through Elizabeth Bennet's fine eyes, how are we to know his mind? How does Darcy progress from "she is tolerable: but not handsome enough to tempt me" to "I thought only of you"? 

In this romance anthology, 15 Austenesque authors assemble to sketch Darcy's character through a series of reimaginings, set in the Regency through contemporary times - from faithful narratives to the fanciful. In The Darcy Monologues, the man himself reveals his intimate thoughts, his passionate dreams, and his journey to love - all told with a previously concealed wit and enduring charm. 

Stories by Susan Adriani, Sara Angelini, J. Marie Croft, Karen M. Cox, Jan Hahn, Jenetta James, Lory Lilian, KaraLynne Mackrory, Beau North, Ruth Phillips Oakland, Natalie Richards, Sophia Rose, Joana Starnes, Melanie Stanford, Caitlin Williams

Edited by Christina Boyd

Narrated by Harry Frost

©2017 Christina Boyd dba The Quill Ink,LLC (P)2017 Christina Boyd dba The Quill Ink, LLC

Critic reviews

"Since he's fictional, this is the closest I can get to have him whispering in my ear sweet nothings and thoughts I imagined Mr. Darcy would say." —Of Pens and Pages

"Think of The Darcy Monologues as your JAFF gateway drug. Don't worry, experts agree; it lowers anxiety, increases imagination, and is very good for health." —Period Drama Madness 

"...there really is something here to suit all tastes, and to delight any diehard Darcy fan." —Joceline Bury, Jane Austen Regency World Magazine

"Frost captures Darcy's tone perfectly, bringing a heart and soul to the character that readers get only a glimpse of in the original novel. The remaining half of the audiobook contains stories from other eras, reimagining Darcy as a baseball player, a school principal, and an Old West traveler, to name but a few. Frost portrays everything from New York sophisticate to grizzled cowboy, never falling into caricature. A delightful listening experience." —AudioFile Magazine 

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Great anthology. Worth a repeat listen or three.

The Darcy Monologues is a wonderful anthology and Harry Frost does a wonderful job of bringing all these Darcys to life. Whether set in Jane Austen’s time, the current time or any time in between we find a new and interesting iteration of Mr Darcy. At times he’s the strong stoic man we first meet in Pride and Prejudice. At other times he’s smitten and unsure how to act. Every time Harry gets it right with his tone, pace and emotion.

Where to start? Well, none of the authors in this anthology are familiar to me so I had no idea what to expect.

I enjoyed each story and was keenly listening to words and situations from the book. All the authors have done an excellent job with their take on the inner thoughts of Mr Darcy.

The highlights for me were Death of a Bachelor by Caitlin Williams. The crisp, tight prose was a delight to listen to. Being inside Darcy’s mind was a novel experience and I really enjoyed listening to his thoughts and feelings.

For its humour and biting sarcasm, From the Ashes by J. Marie Croft deserves a mention. Darcy’s thoughts as he labours over his letter to Elizabeth is very clever.

And lastly, The Ride Home by Ruth Phillips Oakland has some laugh out loud moments as Darcy contends with a drunk Elizabeth.

None of the stories are long, so it’s the perfect anthology when you want to dip into Mr. Darcy’s world for a short time.

Highly recommended.

2 people found this helpful

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Very nice

I thoroughly enjoyed the Regency time stories. Really entertaining. Mr. Frost's narration is absolutely fabulous. I have listened to it so many times just to listen to him.

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A diverse and delightful collection

I thoroughly enjoyed this collection of stories, some of which re-imagined the Darcy we know, and others that reinvented him completely. It is impossible to review such a varied collection of tales as a whole, for they each have their own merits, but I especially enjoyed Death of a Bachelor by Caitlin Williams, If Only A Dream Pt1 & Pt 2 by Joana Starnes, Clandestiny by KaraLynne Mackrory, Reason to Hope by Jenetta James, and Pemberley by Stage by Natalie Richards. The majority of the stories - like the original - are sweet/clean, with a few containing a little mild heat. The narrator, Harry Frost, was new to me but was a delightful discovery! He was wonderful, and the perfect choice to bring us so many interpretations of Darcy. He had a rich, rounded voice, with a natural-sounding nobility and authority that instantly transported the listener back in time or across the Atlantic. I'd recommend this collection to Janeites everywhere, but also to anyone who enjoyed the Quill Ink's previous anthology, Rational Creatures, as much as I did. *I received this audiobook free of charge in the hope of an honest, unbiased review.

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Heavenly

I absolutely loved listening to all those stories. I found it fascinating in how many different ways the Darcy & Elizabeth story can be told. I loved them all. No matter in which period. Found myself laughing out loud while driving and listening. The fact that no matter which period is chosen for the story, is evidence of how relatable Darcy & Elizabeth are. I loved the narrator's Mr Darcy voice. Deep, so masculine and very sexy. I will definitely revisit the Darcy Monologues.

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Fantastic!

Harry Frost's narration is absolutely perfect for Darcy and this compilation has something for everyone. I usually only like variations that are set in the original time period (and more than half the stories in this collection are) but I thoroughly enjoyed the whole collection. Darcy's voice remains true regardless of the circumstances. While there are stories I liked better than others, there aren't any that I didn't like, which is almost unheard of in such a large collection!

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Snapshots that will tingle your senses!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes! It's fun! It's a lovely angle into each and every scene of Pride and Prejudice that left you hankering for more.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Mr. Darcy!
Because P&P is amazing, I was already a fan, but this gives you the opportunity to see a lot of stories from his side, which Austen did not include.

What about Harry Frost’s performance did you like?

His voice is just yum. Deep and gravelly and still room for emotion and intonation without feeling like acting.

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A brilliant anthology with an amazing narrator.

Where do I begin?

Well firstly, Christina Boyd did a magnificent job in getting together such a wonderful band of writers. All have produced top quality works in this genre in the past. Not all have written full length novels but the shorter works they've produced haven't lost anything for all that.

Secondly, who wouldn't want to read or listen to a collection of stories written from the point of view of one of fictions greatest romantic heroes? Some stories are written in the first person and some aren't, but all of them give us a chance to get inside Darcy's head and witness the very monologues that give this fantastic book its title. Some are set in Regency times, some are set in other time periods including the American West and the 60s. The printed book was divided into two sections to reflect this.

Can I pick a favourite story? The answer is a resounding NO! As I read the book, reading in the order as printed, which starts with the Regency era, each new story immediately became my favourite. Then I thought to myself "No, that can't be! Each successive story simply can't be better than the last. They're all absolutely brilliant!" That hasn't changed on listening to the audio version. The stories vary in length and range from Darcy and Elizabeth overcoming their misunderstandings and falling in love as per canon, to Darcy reflecting on his forthcoming marriage, and to Darcy as an old man reflecting back on his marriage to Elizabeth. Then there's the stories set in more recent times such as the Old West, the 1960s and right up to date with Darcy as a Major League baseball player.

I'm not going to go into details about the individual stories - we'd be here all day! As a card-carrying Janeite, I love variations set in the original Regency era but I've also taken a fancy to variations set in other times, too.

This was one of the best JAFF books to come out last year and Harry Frost's narration adds a whole new sumptuous layer to that enjoyment, keeping me company on my commutes. In fact, I was often reluctant to get out of the car at the end of my journey. His Regency Darcy voice is simply to die for! In fact, all of his voice characterisations were fantastic. I've come across some male narrators whose female characters come across as...well "soppy", but that's definitely not the case here. I'm pretty sure Lady Catherine de Bourgh would simply refuse to put up with that!

So, if you're reluctant to try this book because it's an anthology, don't! Just. Don't. It'll be well worth the time you invest in it.

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50% Terrific, 50% Mediocre

There are 15 stories in this collection: Death Of A Bachelor - Caitlin Williams Darcy's few worries and remaining doubts during the period of his engagement to Elizabeth, and their wedding night spent at an inn following unexpected travel problems. This is a beautifully written epilogue to the original P&P, which I knew I would love the second Mr Bennet advises Darcy to 'leave your hat, gloves and sanity on the table' upon entering Longbourn. 5 stars From The Ashes - J Marie Croft Darcy's inner monologue as he attempts to write his letter to Elizabeth following her rejection of his proposal at Hunsford. Brilliantly funny and endearing and amazingly narrated on the audiobook. 4 stars If Only A Dream - Joana Starnes After his disastrous failed proposal, Darcy is forced to stay on at Rosings to attend his convalescent aunt, Catherine De Burgh. Thus he is confronted with Elizabeth following his humiliation and crushed hopes. Starnes writes a heartbroken Darcy very well and the reconciliation and renewed hopes are done in a way I have not read before, fun and endearing, although perhaps not terribly realistic. 3.5 stars Clandestiny - Karalynne Mackrory Set on the evening of the Netherfield ball, this was a delightful little story that made me laugh and also warmed my heart. I particularly loved the image of a heartbroken Darcy holding Elizabeth's hand with bowed head while she kindly tells him what he has done to earn her dislike. His humble response is wonderful and makes the reader and Elizabeth have a change of heart by the way he handles the whole situation. 4.5 stars The Beast Of Pemberley - Melanie Stanford Beauty & The Beast / alternative P&P mashup. An amusing and creative idea; I laughed out loud the first time the narrator used the words 'The Wizard Wickham', but the story itself was rather simplistic (as I suppose is the original fairy tale) and lacks any real emotional heart. 2 stars A Resentful Man - Lory Lilian Basically just a retelling of P&P from Darcy's perspective, from the time he meets Elizabeth again at Pemberley. Doesn't really add anything new but was pleasant enough. 2 stars In Terms of Perfect Composure - Susan Adriani A variation on the story in so much as we have an unnecessary scene with Mr Gardiner trying to encourage Darcy to believe Elizabeth likes him now, and then Darcy overhearing some of Lady Catherine's visit to Longbourn, which also adds nothing as it simply retells P&P but makes Darcy seem like he needs constant nudging to go after the woman he loves. 1.5 stars Without Affection - Jan Hahn Last of the regency period stories. Darcy as an older man looking back on his relationship with Elizabeth, especially remembering the period following the birth of their first child and his fears for her safety after her near death. Elizabeth using her wits against her husband for the good of their marriage was fun, but Darcy is frustrating in this. 2.5 stars Hot For Teacher - Sara Angelini Possibly the best modern P&P retelling I've read. From the overheard insult - to Mrs Gardiner this time - to Darcy's history with Wickham, I liked this alternative very much. 4 stars You Don't Know Me - Beau North This didn't feel like a P&P vagary at all, not even one set in the 60's in the USA. It felt more like a love story where the author has switched out their original character names and swapped them for ones in Pride and Prejudice, as though that is all that's needed to make this a retelling or variation. It isn't. Darcy is nothing like Austen's Darcy. There is no pride, no duty, no decorum. He's just a rich guy who falls in love. Elizabeth dislikes him a little at first, but not for long, and that is really where any similarity to P&P ends. I would have given it higher marks as a love story, but as a P&P variation it scores low. 1.5 stars Reason To Hope - Jenetta James A pleasing P&P variation set in world war II. Lizzy misjudges Darcy, they dance, he helps her with a situation involving Lydia... This is a much more faithful vagary and an enjoyable short story in its own right. 3 stars Pemberley By Stage - Natalie Richards Set in the wild west in the 1860s, Wickham is a highway man who kidnaps Georgiana and Lizzy is a woman disguised as a man trying to get her sister Lydia back from his clutches. My favourite part was Lizzy entering a brothel in her man disguise and being super embarrassed. The rest was a bit far fetched and the relationship between Darcy and Lizzy was a bit too insta-love for me. 2.5 stars Darcy Strikes Out - Sophia Rose Darcy is a baseball star, Lizzy a journalist. A modern retelling of P&P, that still includes a Wickham and Georgiana history and a Lydia incident. Touching scenes between Georgiana and Darcy, but the emotion with Lizzy is more told than shown. Also as a UK reader that has no real knowledge of baseball, the constant references to the game were a bit annoying for a book based on an English classic. 3 stars The Ride Home - Ruth Phillips Oakland The interactions between a drunk Lizzy and a caring Darcy driving her home after her bad date with Collins are quite sweet. Any history between them is only hinted at however and the emotion was again a little lacking, so it felt like insta-love or maybe just attraction between some college kids. 2 stars I, Darcy - Karen M Cox By far the worst story in the collection. The emotion is non-existent, the conflict is non-existent, the love story is barely a story. Boring. 1 star Overall: The first four stories were leagues ahead of the rest, except perhaps for Hot For Teacher. It was definitely worth a credit on Audible for the audiobook, the narrator was excellent and definitely made the comedic parts better, but I could really only recommend 6 of the 15 stories.

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  • Chon Saffron
  • 19-01-18

A Whole Book of Darcy!

Just as the title of this review says, a whole book of Darcy. A collection of stories from the perspective of one of the most crushed on man (who cares that he is fictional) of all time, Fitzwilliam Darcy. The stories are set in a variety of times and places. Some put events of Jane Austen's original story into Darcy's perspective, or continued the story after they were married. There were a couple that set it in different historical time periods like the Wild West & WWII. There were a few modern retellings, and one completely fantastical story. I loved most of them. There were a couple I didn't care for, but on three whole really well done. The reader had a great voice, and made all the different Darcy's sound so luscious.

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  • HeatherY
  • 04-01-18

Absolutely Fantastic!

This is a collection of 15 short stories, all told from the point of view of the alluringly enigmatic Mr. Darcy. Some of them are alternate stories told from Darcy's point of view, but most are variations that completely change the story. Half of them are Regency era, and the other half run the gamut from the Wild West, to WWII, to modern day. There are no really graphic scenes, just a little steaminess. Each story runs about 45 minutes to an hour and a half, perfect for a little taste of Darcy.

I don't think I can rave about this collection enough! I listened to the whole thing straight through, but it can be enjoyed in little bite-sized pieces. Joana Starnes and Caitlin Williams are both favorite authors of mine, but I'm always looking for new authors to try. This collection is perfect for that. I really hope there's another anthology in the works, it was such a pleasure!

I honestly couldn't pick a favorite story, but a few of them stand out as I write this. I absolutely loved Beast of Pemberley, a wonderful and surprising P and P and Beauty and the Beast mashup. From the Ashes had me laughing out loud, and it still makes me smile to imagine poor befuddled Darcy writing out his letter. Without Affection tugged my heartstrings, and The Ride Home had me fanning my face. The stories never got boring, or confusing, each one is so different and wonderful in its own way.

The narration was really well done, it was a great immersive performance. I'm used to female narrators for Pride and Prejudice variations, but Harry Frost was the perfect person to narrate for Darcy. I requested a copy of the audiobook, and I'm voluntarily leaving a review. The whole book was an awesome listen, start to finish, and I'd 100% recommend it.



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  • Travelin' Fool
  • 17-07-20

I wish I liked this more...

I can see that the writers were having fun with P&P--Austen's characters and plots. I can appreciate that, but I thought this work was just okay. It could be because I read the third Quill book, Rational Creatures, first and LOVED it that I was less than wowed by this one. I always know there is a problem with Austen fan fiction when I have thoughts of quitting in the middle. I will, however, read these works all the way through--just for the kernels of the original Austen world--even though I recognize early on that what I am reading is not quite satisfying in itself. The Darcy Monologues was like that. I often felt like I was reading a romance novel or Fifty Shades of Gray (too much of the physical descriptions read like that) or that there was so much loss of subtlety in the twisting of Austen to fit her work into these wild settings and set-ups. The chemistry between Lizzy/Darcy and Jane/Bingley characters was a little lacking or unbelievable in some stories (like they had to be together--because they were in P&P--so they just liked each other and hooked up). The last two sentences notwithstanding, I am still trying to figure out what bugged me about this collection. Maybe there is a formula or balance for how much Austen can be borrowed (characters OR plot OR setting, or some combo of two, etc,) and how much should be original, what MUST be kept in tact (like character traits)...what to do with borrowed material...I don't know. I just felt like the mixture often did not work in these stories. I don't know...If you just want to see P&P characters in a mash-up of situations and settings, you might like this. Some stories are better than others, but, overall, it's a meh for me. Thumbs disappointedly down. Anyway RATIONAL CREATURES is really good, and I just finished the first story in the second Quill Collection, Dangerous to Know, and it seems (so far) to be on the same quality level as Rational Creatures, so that's promising. I hope you like Darcy Monologues more than I did.

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  • MHTex
  • 10-01-20

Mmmm....Darcy, Darcy, Darcy

Yes, this is a wonderful collection of stories from amazing authors, dare I say all of them among our favorite authors. The theme that every story was told entirely or mostly through Darcy's point of view never got boring and I wanted more! This will be a favorite re-listen for me. Though contemporary settings aren't my thing, I really enjoyed a couple of the modern ones. I think the baseball setting was my favorite of those, with the WWII setting running a close second. But they all had value and I think many JAFF fans will love them all. And the narrator! Wow. I just have to search for everything he has narrated so I don't miss something wonderful listening to his voice. There are only two authors in this group whose work I wasn't closely familiar with, and the ones that are are on my 'favorite, go-to list.' And now I want to read more from those two I mentioned. The Editor of this collection, Christina Boyd, has her own special talent in bringing these authors together and producing such wonderful works around these enjoyable themes per collection. Check her out. We have a lot to be thankful for in her talents.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Shannon GC
  • 27-09-19

I am in love with the narrator <3

The stories are fun. Some make you laugh, some give you happy squiggles, some are okay. It's what I expect from an anthology containing different authors. What makes this book wonderful is the narrator. Note to Audible editors: Please, please, PLEASE have Harry Frost narrate more regency romances. His voice is perfect. He portrays the sentiments extremely well and he knows very well how to pause, speed up, slow down, how to use sarcasm and wit, how to speak a female voice without sounding stupid, all of it. He is sexy and rumbly. I could listen to him read the phone book. He needs to read more romance books. Lots and lots and lots of them

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  • Guama Mama
  • 19-07-18

Witty, Sexy, Masculine -- A "Gotta Listen-To"

This is a new #Favorite of mine. The different monologues are vastly entertaining and the narrator conjured up the picture of a handsome Darcy with lots of witty, male, passionate thoughts rattling around in his head. I could listen to it again... and again...

1 person found this helpful

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  • Blodeuedd
  • 27-04-18

Darcy

Death of a Batchelor’ by Caitlin Williams
Darcy's thoughts the month before his wedding and after the wedding. A sweet story.

From the Ashes' by J Marie Croft
Darcy as I have not seen him before when he is trying to write THE letter to Lizzy. He was funny

If Only a Dream’ by Joana Starnes
Oh Darcy, you are such a fool, but being a fool brings him closer to Lizzy at Rosings. So it all works out. I like these sides of him.

‘Clandestiny’ by Karalynne Mackrory
Netherfield Park, the Ball. See what things you can accomplish by talking!

‘The Beast of Pemberley’ by Melanie Stanford
A Beauty and the beast re-telling :D Fun! Even if Lizzy could have been nicer. I mean Darcy was so sweet.

‘A Resentful Man’ Lory Lilian
I am not the biggest fan of stories which are just through another POV, but it made it up for it at the end cos he was so dang sweet

‘In Terms of Perfect Composure’ by Susan Adriani
Here they did not get together when Bingley proposed so everything is still unsure and Darcy makes friends with the Gardiners

‘Without Affection’ by Jan Hahn
Darcy looks back at their life together and a few bumps in the road. All cos of him, men are silly.

‘Hot for Teacher’ by Sara Angelini
Present day, everyone are teachers. Darcy was even more proud than usual

“You Don’t Know Me” by Beau North
I think my least fav, as I do not really care for the modern day (fine 60s) variations, and this was not even a variation. It was just people with their names.

‘Reason to Hope’ by Jenetta James
This "Modern" day ones sure do not follow the story. Just the names. Darcy meets Lizzy during the war. Though no war action.'

Pemberley by Stage’ by Natalie Richards
1860s, bandits, Darcy to the rescue. Again, no story, just names. WIckham was evil as alwayas, but I did feel sorry for him too.

‘Darcy Strikes Out’ by Sophia Rose
Present day (present day just works so much better than the in betweens because here they are free. I want free or you know 1800s.)
Anyway, it takes place after "lambton" and it worked really well. Could even been its own story without the PP stuff.

‘The Ride Home’ by Ruth Phillips Oakland
This one was short and took place in a car but it was fun and Lizzy was drunk. It was amusing.

‘I, Darcy’ by Karen M Cox
I have come to realise that Lizzy really tends to be an idiot, yes I get that is the whole point with prejudiced bur Lizzy come on! Tsk.
Modern day, not anything from the story except names.

All in all fun stories! I am a classic which means I prefer it to take place around when it should take place. I like the era and how polite everyone has to be. Or not be.
But some modern ones were really fun too cos it changes thing.

Narrator
He did well and I forgot that I listened to a bunch of stories cos it worked so well

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  • Aubrey Wynne
  • 19-03-18

A delight for Regency fans!

This was SO MUCH FUN! The different Darcy's gave a marvelous variety of his point of view. From the Ashes was my favorite traditional story. A drunken Darcy scribbling and rescribbling a letter to Elizabeth. I saw a sodden Colin Firth in my head as I listened. Much to my surprise, my other favorites were the stories set in the U.S. All were well-written and I enjoyed the shorter length of each.
Harry Frost is now rivaling Nicholas Boulton for me in narration. And that is a hard voice to compete with. But Frost pulled me in from the sample and now I can't wait to hear what he performs next. His voice washes over you and puts naughty thoughts in your head!
Overall, excellent and well-worth the money!

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  • audiofangirl40
  • 23-02-18

Recapturing the essence of a classic love story

First, let me say the narration is perfect. When listening to Jane Austen retellings, who would want to listen to anyone other than a British storyteller who sounds like Mr. Darcy (think Colin Firth). Each story is different with its own take on the timeless literary classic.

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  • Carol
  • 12-02-18

Gotta listen!!

I enjoyed every spoken word! The narrator is absolutely fabulous! After listening to all these Darcy s , I will read them all next! Give yourself a treat and immerse yourself in all ages, types of Darcy!!

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