Time period: Regency
Rating: NC-17 (in later chapters, very intense and descriptive love-making scenes. Nothing violent)
Relation to Original: “What-if” scenario of Mr. Darcy’s first proposal attempt at Rosings is overheard and gossiped about by the Rosings staff, forcing Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy into an engagement.
Language: A very nice blending of modern story-telling, with a great deal of dialogue exchanges, but vocabulary and diction reflecting the time period. This isn’t a fan fiction full of unfamiliar vocabulary, but enough clever word choices to make you feel like it could have been a draft Jane Austen herself penned with an alternate ending.
Link to Story:
The site, meryton.com, requires registration for members to read stories.
One of the first Pride and Prejudice fan fictions I read that amazed me with its storyline, characters, and “what-if?” scenario. Like many Pride and Prejudice fan fictions, the story departs from Austen’s story during Elizabeth Bennet’s visit to Rosings. In A Most Civil Proposal, Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy are thrown into a forced engagement due to gossip-spreading servants in the employ of Lady Catherine de Bourgh.
The characterizations are very true to the original story. There is some softening of Mr. Darcy’s harsh, principled actions. Thanks to an omniscient narrator, the introspection of Darcy’s motivations reveal a man slightly unsure of himself, but never apt to revealing this side of himself to others. Instead, the story reveals a very logical, romantic, and reasonable Mr. Darcy. If you are desiring a villain out of Darcy, this isn’t the story for you.
Additionally, Colin reveals delightful scenes with many of the background characters of Pride and Prejudice. If you ever wanted a little more chutzpah from Anne and Mrs. Collins, enjoy this story!!! Elizabeth’s showdown with Catherine is one of the best I’ve seen, and the story is altered a little for the Lydia/Wickham debacle. In some ways, the author Colin is extremely generous with Miss Lydia Bennet, but still captures the action we all so wish we could do to her, if one could reach through the pages.
Overall, “A Most Civil Proposal” is a wonderful twist on Jane Austen’s regular story, but there aren’t any major plot devices to blow your hair back. Thankfully, there are plenty of romantic dealings between Darcy and Elizabeth, and the love scenes penned include every delicious detail, without overt vulgarity. If you want a simply fluffy, minor bumps in the road, tale of what would have happened if the first proposal was known by those who would bandy gossip around, you can’t go wrong with “A Most Civil Proposal.”
In anticipation of their upcoming wedding vows, Mr. Darcy and Miss Bennet spend a little alone time in Mr. Gardiner’s study, with the door open for propriety’s sake. After a few liberties are taken, Mr. Darcy criticizes himself for not waiting until the wedding night to do more than hold Elizabeth’s hand. Elizabeth gives Mr. Darcy a funny, and firm chastisement for treating his future wife like a Vestal Virgin. Find it on page 90 and enjoy a smirk with me.