Mr. Darcy’s Proposal – A Pride and Prejudice “What If” Story

Mr. Darcy’s Proposal takes the basic plot of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and asks “What if?” What if events did not happen quite the way they did in the original story?

Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet are on a collision course. Elizabeth is pacing the floor at the Hunsford parsonage where she has been staying with her friend Charlotte. She is furious having just learned that Mr. Darcy used his influence to end the courtship between his friend Charles Bingley and her sister Jane. This revelation only seems to confirm Elizabeth’s already low opinion of the haughty Mr. Darcy.

Meanwhile as she’s pacing, Darcy is on his way to the parsonage. After months of struggling to suppress his feelings for Elizabeth, he has finally overcome all his own reservations and plans to propose to her. He has realized that while some people, including his own family, might not see her as a good choice for his wife, she is, in fact, exactly what he needs to bring joy into his life.

This is where Mr. Darcy’s Proposal diverges from the original. Just before Darcy arrives, Elizabeth receives the news her father is gravely ill and not expected to recover. Under the circumstances, proposing is now clearly out of the question. Instead, Darcy offers to assist her in reaching home more quickly. During the course of their conversation, he is shocked to learn that instead of being pleased by his attentions, Elizabeth does not even like him.

In spite of this revelation, Darcy still wants to marry Elizabeth in the hope she will change her mind and fall in love with him. Out of love for her, he offers to take Elizabeth’s mother and sisters under his protection when Mr. Bennet dies. Fearing what will become of her family, Elizabeth decides she has no choice but to accept his proposal. At least one of the Bennet girls must marry well in order to ensure financial security for the rest of the family.

Once they are married, Elizabeth struggles to find acceptance in her new role as mistress of Pemberley while also dealing with grief at the loss of her father, and the loneliness of separation from her family. As she settles into her new life as Mrs. Darcy, she must reconcile her anger with her husband’s apparent insensitivity and the growing attraction she feels for him.

Meanwhile, Darcy is frustrated by his unrequited passion for his wife. Although he wants her desperately, he is unwilling to force himself upon her until she returns his love. In spite of his good intentions, his efforts to win her only seem to create more misunderstandings.

When it appears they might be growing closer, Elizabeth’s insecurities cause her to withdraw again. Just at the moment when she thinks her actions may have driven Darcy away forever, she realizes she actually has deep feelings for him. In fact, she may have loved him for a long time.

Written from both points of view, this is the story of how dangerous assumptions can be and how what goes unspoken between two people can potentially do more damage to a relationship than what is said. In this reimagining of one of the greatest love stories of all time, these two strong-willed people must set aside their pride and learn to trust each other before they can find happiness.

 

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