Adventure it is in Mr. Darcy's Great Escape, by Marsha Altman! This is the third book in this Austen Pride and Prejudice spin-off trilogy- and although I haven't read the first two books, I immediately jumped in the fun.
Who would have thought that Mr. Darcy and Dr. Maddox would become prisoners in Transylvania of all places? Altman weaves the mystery and keeps us smiling while anticipating what will happen next. All the wonderful characters of Pride and Prejudice are included in this loveable mystery. Let me tell you, this book stems from a wild imagination- yet it's pulled off cleverly and it's totally enjoyable.
The book also portrays Darcy as someone I would never have imagined as so- but it worked! Elizabeth of course, is there to help save the day- and everything becomes a family affair. I absolutely loved the old aunt, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, feisty and not so kindly, yet unexpectedly shocking! There's also Brian, Dr. Maddox's brother, and his lovely Princess (whose disappearance is what caused this whole plight to Transylvania to begin with)-what a romantic piece to the story. The other fun character that made me smile and soon became a favourite for me, was Darcy's brother (from one of his father's illicit affairs), a Monk with a story to tell;)
I won't say more, except that Mr. Darcy's Great Escape is a fun read and a very different twist from anything you might imagine could happen. An enjoyable read through and through.
Thank you Sourcebooks for this review copy:)
When I first read about Marsha Altman, I was fascinated by the fact that she specializes in Rabbinic literature and wanted to know more about this. Ms. Altman gladly obliged by writing this fantastic post. Thank you Marsha Altman- you are one interesting lady!
AND now...on to an amazing Guest Post from the Author herself, Marsha Altman!
My Other Area of Expertise
If you read my official bio—you’ll note the following: Marsha Altman is a historian specializing in Rabbinic literature in late antiquity, and an author. So “expertise in Rabbinic Literature and Antiquity” is a secular way of saying “I’m an Orthodox Jew and I spend a lot of time studying Torah because it’s spiritually important to me.” Four times a year, I go through the Mishnah, which is a 2nd century code of Jewish law (the Mishnah has a commentary, the Gemara. The Mishnah and the Gemara make up the Talmud). The Mishnah is about 800 pages of intense legalese written in Mishniac Hebrew, which is simpler than Biblical Hebrew but has a lot of vocabulary from Greek and Aramaic. The Talmud is 72 volumes of Aramaic commentary, so I’m not tackling that yet. It serves as the foundation to Rabbinic Judaism, and has relevance to Jewish law as it’s practiced today, even if many of the laws revolve around irrelevant issues (
Temple service, as we have no ) or are different. Temple
Relevance it has to Pride and Prejudice and my books? About none, but since you asked (something you now may regret asking), here’s a breakdown of how the Mr. Bennet estate would be handled by 2nd and 3rd century Jewish property law:
Jewish women could inherent property, so the five Bennet sisters would be the heirs who would inherent Longbourn. Before the estate could be broken into 5 pieces, the issue of the widow Mrs. Bennet has to be addressed, assuming Mr. Bennet predeceases her. First of all, whatever money or property she brought into the marriage, she gets back when he dies, which in this case would include her dowry (whatever it was) and whatever clothing or household articles she owned previous to the marriage, or was given to her as a gift while she was in the marriage. That does not go into Mr. Bennet’s estate. She owns that until she dies.
The real issue becomes what to do with the actual house of Longbourn. Jewish law is very strict on “bothering a widow.” Meaning, you can’t kick a widow out of her husband’s house. She can stay in it until she dies, even though it may technically be owned by Mr. Bennet’s heirs. If they want her to move out, they can’t make her. If they break something in the house (the roof, plates, etc) to try to get to her move, they have to replace the items. If she breaks the items herself, they don’t have to spend money to replace the items – she can make do herself. The gray area becomes if something happens like the roof caves in, and she still doesn’t want to leave the house. Then it’s a safety issue, but some Rabbis say that because it’s a case of honoring your parents, which is a very important law, the children might be responsible for repairing the roof to provide for her health and safety rather than force her to move.
If you’re still with me, I don’t discuss this at all in the book. It’s just interesting to me to postulate. Maybe someday I’ll be a Rabbi. If I wasn’t a woman, I would be one already, but that’s a whole different issue.
MR. DARCY’S GREAT ESCAPE—IN STORES FEBRUARY 2010
Hilarious and action-packed, this installment brings the Darcy and Bingley families to the year 1812 and the intrigues of the Napoleonic Wars. Darcy and Dr. Maddox go in search of Darcy's missing half-brother and land in a medieval prison cell.
Much to his dismay, Charles Bingley is left to hold the fort at Pemberley while his sister Caroline, Elizabeth, and Col. Fitzwilliam traverse
Europe on a daring rescue. Meanwhile, Lady Catherine de Bourgh kicks up a truly shocking scandal.
One never knows what might happen next between the estates of Rosings and Pemberley.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Marsha Altman is a historian specializing in Rabbinic literature in late antiquity, and an author. She is also an expert on
Jane Austen sequels, having read nearly every single one that's been written, whether published or unpublished. She has worked in the publishing industry with a literary agency and is writing a series continuing the story of the Darcys and the Bingleys. She lives in . New York
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