To be honest, after The Darcy Monologues, I expected and hoped for an anthology from Elizabeth’s point of view. But instead, Christina Boyd, the editor of TDM came up with the idea of having a book about the less liked characters. In Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes and Gentleman Rogues, Ms Boyd gathered 11 authors to write about 10 bad boys. The book is based on Rousseau’s idea that nobody is naturally evil. The authors did a great job showing us how different circumstances turned the scoundrels into what we had known about them from Jane Austen’s novels. If the aim was to make us fall in love with them, then they were successful. In some cases they managed to “justify” their actions; and I haven’t liked them in the past, after these interpretations I understand them more and not only tolerate them but actually feel for them: for e.g. Willoughby, Wickham, Frank Churchill.
Joana Starnes has managed to write a story where Willoughby is the main character and you can’t help but feel for him. In his story, he is not the worst person, but a woman: Isobel. Cruel woman…poor Willoughby… Ms Starnes rightly lined up more villains in association with Willoughby (Willoughby’s Crossroads), like Lady Susan or Captain Tilney. After all who would be in contact with a rogue if not another rascal.
I have always hated Wickham with passion. Katie Oliver (A Wicked Game) has managed to change it. I feel for Wickham too. I haven’t really thought about that Wickham was brought up as a gentleman, but after all, he was only a son of a servant. Thus, he was in between two worlds, not truly belonging to any of it. Ms Oliver shows this duality very well.
Karen M Cox’s story, An Honest Man, is a typical instance which should have been a full-length novel, an Emma variation from Frank Churchill’s point of view. Great story, and even though it is from a minor character’s point of view, it is very interesting and fascinating.
Other authors chose to write a story where I can’t help but continue to hate the “person”, like Brooke West’s Henry Crawford (Last Letter from Mansfield) and J Marie Croft’s John Thorpe (The Art of Sinking). Great job with those too, as it takes an effort to create a story where you end up loathing the characters more than ever.
I have never considered Sir Walter Elliot, General Tilney, and Colonel Fitzwilliam as a rouge or rake, but I was very glad to read about them as the authors did justice to the characters.
Besides Ms Cox’s writing, another story which should be a full-length novel and would make a delightful Northanger Abbey prequel is Sophia Rose’sAs Much as He Can about General Tilney. What a beautiful love story!
As I mentioned, I haven’t considered Sir Walter Elliot as a rouge. Ridiculous, vain, snob- yes, but not a rake, however, Christina Morland came up with a lovely story (One Fair Claim).
I tried to pick a favourite story, but I couldn’t as there are at least 5 which could qualify for the 1st prize.
On the other hand, I can pick a favourite character – OK, not completely true, as I will pick two 🙂 – who is Miss Campbel (from Beau North‘s story about Colonel Fitzwilliam, Fitzwilliam’s Folly) and Miss Drummond (from Sophia Rose‘s story about General Tilney, As Much as He Can). I can also pick a character who is entitled to get the most annoying /hated character prize [compliment:)]: John Thorpe (J Marie Croft, The Art of Sinking).
Most of the stories are written in first person singular; however, there are a few which mixes first person singular with third person singular.
It comes with a “mature content guideline” and every story is classified by the editor.
It also includes a very interesting foreword by Claudine D. Pepe from Just Jane 1813.
If you think what I did before reading- who cares about minor characters and assholes– you should read it and I promise you will be surprised to see that the stories are interesting and worth to read.
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Grand Prize #1.
Enter Rafflecopter to win fifteen books from the anthology authors! One winner. Fifteen books! Contest ends midnight, December 30, 2017. One “Grand Prize #1 winner” will be announced January 2, 2018.
Grand Prize #2.
Follow our “Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s #RakesAndGentlemenRogues” Blog Tour and comment on each stop to be eligible for #RakesAndGentlemenRogues Pleasures prize pack: ‘Pride & Prejudice’ Print, autographed by Colin Firth & Jennifer Ehle; Bingley’s Teas (Willoughby & The Colonel); Jane Austen playing cards; set of 6 Austen postcards; and ‘The Compleat Housewife’ notecards set. (All guest comments will be entered in drawing to win. Comment at each site to increase your odds.) Contest ends midnight, December 30, 2017. One “Grand Prize #2 winner” will be announced January 2, 2018.
THE #RakesAndGentlemenRogues BLOG TOUR
💗Monday, November 6: REVIEW: Margie’s Must Reads, https://margiesmustreads.com<<<<
rsday, November 9: REVIEW, Obsessed with Mr. Darcy, https://obsessedwithmrdarcy.wordpress.com 💗Monday, November 13: REVIEW, Austenesque Reviews, http://austenesquereviews.com 💗Tuesday, November 14: REVIEW, Olga of ROSIE AMBER team, http://www.authortranslatorolga.com/ 💗Wednesday, November 15: (release day) REVIEW, Just Jane 1813, http://justjane1813.com
mber 16: REVIEW, Diary of an Eccentric, https://diaryofaneccentric.wordpress.com
vember 20: FEATURE w/Katie Oliver (George Wickham), From Pemberley to Milton, https://frompemberleytomilton.wordpress.com
day, November 22: FEATURE w/Joana Starnes (Willoughby), Babblings of a Bookworm, http://babblingsofabookworm.blogspot.com
ay, November 24: FEATURE w/Sophia Rose, (General Tilney), Herding Cats & Burning Soup, http://www.herdingcats-burningsoup.com
🎩Monday, November 27: FEATURE w/Amy D’Orazio (Captain Tilney), My Jane Austen Book Club, http://thesecretunderstandingofthehearts.blogspot.com
🎩Wednesday, November 29: FEATURE w/Brooke West (Henry Crawford), VVB32 Reads, https://vvb32reads.blogspot.com
🎩Thursday, November 30: FEATURE w/Lona Manning (Tom Bertram), Lit 4 Ladies, http://lit4ladies.com
💗Friday, December 1: REVIEW, Lit 4 Ladies, http://lit4ladies.com
🎩Monday, December 4: FEATURE w/Beau North (Colonel Fitzwilliam), Obsessed with Mr. Darcy, https://obsessedwithmrdarcy.wordpress.com
🎩Thursday, December 7: FEATURE w/J. Marie Croft (John Thorpe), Harry Rodell blog/ROSIE AMBER team, https://harryrodell.wordpress.com/author/rodellh
💗Friday, December 8: REVIEW, From Pemberley to Milton, https://frompemberleytomilton.wordpress.com
🎩Monday, December 11: FEATURE w/Jenetta James Hannah McSorley (William Elliot), Austenesque Reviews, http://austenesquereviews.com
🎩Thursday, December 14: FEATURE w/Karen M Cox (Frank Churchill), Darcyholic Diversions, http://darcyholic.blogspot.com
🎩Monday, December 17: FEATURE w/Christina Morland (Sir Walter Elliot), Of Pens & Pages, http://www.ofpensandpages.com