Fitzwilliam Darcy, Such As I Was! (#AustenInAugustRBR)

Hello, Austenites!

Please welcome Carol Cromlin, author of Fitzwilliam Darcy, Such as I Was!

Staying True to the Original Work


Jane Austen fan fiction falls into two categories. Some prequels and sequels follow the premise of the original work, while others veer off into uncharted waters (think vampires, modern day adaptations, &c.).

For the prequel or sequel author who chooses to stay true to the original story, it is at once a help and a hindrance that many elements of your story are predetermined. Clearly, you have a head start because the main characters and their personality traits are known; their relationships with each other defined and the world in which they exist established. The challenge is in setting a course for your story that does not contradict any of the established “facts.”


Fitzwilliam_Darcy_ADb-aWhen I was writing my Pride & Prejudice prequel, Fitzwilliam Darcy such I was, a significant challenge arose as I tried to imagine how Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley came to be such good friends. This back story was of no importance in the original work, so Jane Austen never explained it. What she did tell us is that Mr. Bingley was 22 – or two and twenty, for he “had not been of age two years when he [let] Netherfield House.” We also know Mr. Darcy was eight and twenty when Elizabeth’s censure began to make him see the deficiencies of his character. This was a significant difference in age. Distance was an issue as well. One gentleman was from Derbyshire; the other from “the north of England.”

What circumstance could possibly account for so strong a friendship developing between two men who, on its face, shared no similarities and seemingly would have had no occasion of ever crossing each other’s path? I finally settled on what seemed to me a logical and plausible explanation, based on Austen’s facts.

Another challenge lies in staying on course when your story begins to take on a life of its own. For me, the timing of the death of Mr. Darcy senior proved a complicated issue. In Pride and Prejudice, Darcy, in his letter to Elizabeth, says his father had died, “about five years ago.” Thank goodness for me he added the qualifier, “about” because meshing the loss of his father with other events that would certainly have been occurring in the life of a Georgian gentleman, aged three and twenty, was a very sticky wicket. In order to present the story line I envisioned, I needed to stretch the “about” as far as reason would allow; I placed the loss of his father 4½ years prior to the writing of his letter to Elizabeth.

Staying true to the original work requires an author to constantly validate his or her story line but this test makes you a better writer and in the end you prevail because you are determined to pay homage to an Author you greatly admire.

About the Author:

IMG_2258-150x225 Carol Cromlin has a great appreciation for history, tradition and all things British, and is someone who has always needed to know how and why; researching and writing this book drew naturally on those traits. Cromlin graduated from Hofstra University and has a graduate degree from Fordham University. She lives in the United States with her husband, son and dogs. You can visit Carol’s website to learn more about her and her books.


About the Book:

Fitzwilliam Darcy is arguably the best known, most charismatic hero Jane Austen ever created but he is also the most unfathomable. Who exactly was Mr. Darcy? What principles guided him? What desires drove him? How did he come to be the character Austen, so vividly, portrayed?

Carol Cromlin offers a window into the private life of this young, landed, Georgian gentleman. Her story presents events during the first eight and twenty years of Fitzwilliam Darcy’s life that shaped his personality and established his character, making him the man who so decidedly won Elizabeth Bennet’s heart, despite her absolute determination against him.

GIVEAWAY: Congrats to our winners, Kai and Jean!


Carol has generously offered to give away two signed paperback copies of her book, each with a pair of custom book marks (US, Canada, UK)! The giveaway is open only to participants of this event. To enter, just engage with us in the comment section below (be sure to leave an email where you can be reached, if you want to be entered into the drawing). A winner will be chosen on August 15th! Good luck!


29 Comments on “Fitzwilliam Darcy, Such As I Was! (#AustenInAugustRBR)

  1. Having just re-read Pride and Prejudice again (How many times is that? I have no idea) recently this book would be a welcome answer to the question of their friendship

    meikleblog at gmail dot com


  2. Darcy is my favorite hero. I would love to read this book and get the author’s take on his character. Thanks for the giveaway.


  3. I have only ever read one fan-ficion sequel (Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James) and was intrigued, but not completely sold. This one actually seems much more interesting to me than some of the others I have read or heard about. Probably because it deals more with Mr. Darcy and the story behind the man I have come to love much like other Austen readers. I will have to add this one to my list of want to read!


  4. What a great premise for a book! How *did* Darcy become so close to Bingley, when they are so different? It’s that kind of puzzle that usually draws me to historical fiction (and satisfies the part of my brain that teaches math for a living). You’ve got me intrigued now!


  5. sounds like an interesting story. I so (only half way through P&L) far like Darcy even though he is kind of hard to get to know. I often make rash judgments about people who are similar to him. Very interested to know more about Darcy.


  6. As I’ve always wanted to know more about Darcy, I think it’s a good idea for the book! So I’m entering with arenel07 (at) gmail (dot) com. Unless, of course, the comment “(US, Canada, UK)” is not only about the bookmarks, but about the book itself, which would be a pity.


    • Unfortunately, these are two all-inclusive gift packs so USA/Canada/UK applies to all.


  7. It’s funny, all the times I’ve read P&P I never thought about the age difference between Darcy and Bingley. When I read fan fiction I always have a great appreciation for authors who do their research. It makes for a much better book. Great giveaway!


  8. I wrote this book because I have always wondered how the “real” Mr Darcy could have been so very different from the Mr Darcy everyone thought him to be. It’s great to know there are others out there who have asked the same questions I have.


  9. I have always thought the Bingley/Darcy friendship was rather curious. There has to be something which Darcy finds necessary to his life for him to have a best friend “from trade” with the additional baggage of Caroline as a sister and the Hursts as constant takers. I would love to read this prequel!


  10. “Fitzwilliam Darcy such I was” considers many facets of Mr Darcy’s personality and seeks to show how his character might have been established by pivotal events throughout his life BE (before Elizabeth). The Bingley connection is one among them. I hope everyone will also be intrigued by Mr Darcy’s interactions with his relations, his childhood and coming of age; the years spent at university and abroad, his ascent to master of Pemberley …


  11. Hi, I’ve nominated you for a Versatile Blogger Award! If you choose to accept, here’s the deal:

    1. Display the Award Certificate on your blog.
    2. Announce your win with a post. Post a link back to your nominator as a “thank you” for the nomination.
    3. Present 15 awards to deserving bloggers.
    4. Drop them a comment to tip them off after you have linked them in the post.
    5. Post 7 interesting things about yourself.

    Looking forward to reading more of your posts in the future 🙂


  12. I have always wondered how Bingley and Darcy became such good friends. Presumably Darcy must’ve taken Bingley under his wing but whether he did this under his own steam or not is up for question. I think some sort of link between Bing and Darcy senior could have done, but it’s hard to think what that could have been. I’d love to have a read of this and see somebody else’s take on this, so please can I enter your giveaway? I’m in the UK. Frawli1978(at)gmail(dot)com


  13. Ooh! You had me sold at the Darcy & Bingley becoming friends part. I am curious to see how these two men became friends! Best of luck on your book.
    Thanks for the giveaway
    jakki36 at yahoo dot com


  14. Thank you for the giveaway, Carol! I would love to read your take on the Darcy/Bingley friendship as well as Darcy’s earlier years in general. He’s definitely up there on my list of favorite Austen characters.


  15. I just got into JAFF about 2 years ago but I have never come across a book written about Darcy before P&P. I would love to see how the story of Darcy and Bingley came about and to see what things could have happened to shape Darcy into the man he became. Thanks for the giveaway!



  16. I love books that look at a familiar character from a new point of view. This one sounds very interesting. I recently read Death Comes to Pemberley and found the wider view of Darcy to be one of the things that made that book so wonderful. Please enter me in the drawing.


  17. I would love to read this take on Darcy’s early life & relationships. Thanks for the giveaway!

    monicaperry00 at gmail dot com (US)


  18. Hallo, Hallo Ms. Cromlin!!

    I couldn’t agree more about how staying true to the original canon makes a difference! I am starting to navigate the waters of all the books spun out from Ms. Austen’s brilliant body of work, and as each book will be as new-to-me as her own originals, I will have to see which whets my fancy and which vexes my brow! Laughs. I appreciate your dedication in not only the sequencing of events that quite literally shaped Mr. Darcy’s life [ironically, “Pride & Prejudice” is the first and only book thus far I have read, and thereby, now of the events you’ve described!]. To be willing to go the extra furlough and attempt to bring an original perspective is commendable to your writing methodology! I would be quiet esteemed to win this lovely contribution, and soak into your take on Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, to be sure!! As I have always been rather curious about his life prior to his entrance into Elizabeth’s life!!

    Kindly enter me in the bookaway!


  19. Thanks for sharing your thought process with us. I really appreciate the effort to stay true to canon and to make so many things ‘fit’. I can’t wait to learn more about the ‘real’ Darcy. Thanks for the to giveaway opportunity 🙂
    Hmoll (@) nycap (dot) rr (dot) com


  20. So which do you prefer to read – the “follow the premise” or “uncharted waters” stories?

    ~ {junewilliams7 (at) yahoo (dot) com}


  21. I’ve always wondered the same things; how did Darcy & Bingley become friends…what’s the scoop behind Mr. Darcy? I would love to read your take on this! donnyandshelly at yahoo dot com


  22. Thanks so much to everyone who commented on my post; congratulations to the winners of the giveaway for my book and my sincere appreciation to Adam for making me a part of his excellent Austen in August event.


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