Monica Fairview Presents - Steampunk Darcy!

Coffee with ColetteGood morning, dear readers! 
I cannot tell you how ecstatic I am to have another of my fellow Austen Author  joining me for Coffee - the brilliant and amazing Monica Fairview!  Ever since I heard she was working on a steampunk adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, I have been chomping at the bit waiting for her to finish it! (On my own "to do" list is a steampunk/shapeshifter version of Wuthering Heights, but it will be a complete parody - I mean, don't you think Heathcliff deserves to be parodized?) Now Steampunk Darcy is finally here! With such an imaginative variation, I know it will jump (or float by airship) to the top of your TBR list! PLUS she is ready to tackle any of your questions. So set your clocks back, tighten your corsets, put on your goggles, and get ready for a ride.....
~Colette

Mr. Darcy – as a Type

     
     First let me tell you – I’m really thrilled to be visiting Colette on her blog for the first time since she joined Austen Authors. It seems like we’ve known each other for years, but it’s actually been less than a year. Hard to believe.

     Today I’m going to don my professor’s hat for my post (some of you may know that I have two top hats), just for a moment. I haven’t really indulged myself this way for some time, so bear with me. I promise I won’t make you take a quiz at the end. Well, maybe I will. :grin:

     As a graduate student, I studied Comparative Literature. A lot of the graduate courses I took involved titles like: The Trickster as Topos in World Literature, Don Juan as a Hero in European drama, Transformations of Frankenstein through time, Retellings of Cinderella in World Cultures. Courses such as these looked at the ways in which successive generations or different cultures translated a particular type of story or a particular type of hero into different forms. Cinderella in early Chinese stories, for example, had bound feet, which meant that she was aristocratic because only upper class ladies bound their feet, so the fact that the tiny glass slipper fit her foot meant that she was in fact aristocratic and therefore eligible to marry the prince. Of course, when the story got imported into a European context, it lost that cultural meaning entirely.
     What does a Chinese Cinderella have to do with Darcy, you might ask?
     Well, it’s very simple, and it’s something I want to point out because there are still many
people who think of Jane Austen sequels as the spawn of the devil. Because, like Cinderella in various cultures, Darcy has become a Topos, a recurrent motif that gets translated into different forms depending on when or where his story’s being told.
     I hear cries of outrage. Darcy, a Topos? You’re reducing our darling hero to a theme?
     No more than the Knight in shining armor is a theme. And you can actually think of Darcy as one form of the Knight in Shining Armor, while Lizzy is a form of Cinderella. What makes them unique is that they are the product of a particular age and time. Unlike the Knight in Shining Armor, who is clumsy, heavy-handed and warlike, Darcy is appreciative of music, dances gracefully, and does not wield a weapon, despite the fact that he would have been perfectly justified if he’d challenged Wickham to a duel not once but twice. He is more at home in a ballroom, even though he claims not to enjoy dancing. Still, he does wear protective armor (his pride) and he does ride to the assistance of a maiden in distress.
     I won’t go on about other similarities and differences, though it would make a fascinating topic. My point is, Mr. Darcy has gone beyond being simply a character written by Jane Austen. He has become, to many of us, a symbol of the perfect gentleman, a gentleman who is unattainable in today’s society, the product of a by-gone era. This symbol takes on various forms, whether in the form of an actor like Colin Firth or Matthew Macfadyen, as a vampire or a werewolf, or as a modern-day figure like Mark Darcy in Bridge Jones’ Diary. He could even be a splenderous Retro-Victorian gentleman as he is in my novel Steampunk Darcy.
     To my mind – and that’s how I think of him in Steampunk Darcy, part of what makes the original Darcy what he is, and why we hanker after him as we do, is his inherent sense of what is right. He has a certain moral/behavioral standard and he sticks to it. And yes, that makes him stuffy and arrogant in a way, but it also makes him supremely romantic when he puts that belief at that service of the heroine. This is what makes Steampunk Darcy, oddly enough, an old-fashioned kind of novel, in more sense than one. Not only in its Victorian clothing (think, The Paradise, if you’re watching the series) It is also very much about duty versus self-indulgence. In this sense, beyond the corsets and parasols, there is a Victorian sense to it. For Darcy, as a gentleman, Duty is very important. It’s the basis of a model of behavior he upholds, and while it has its Victorian aspects, it most definitely has its roots in Jane Austen’s Fitzwilliam Darcy.
     Because in many ways that’s what Fitzwilliam Darcy is – whether a Victorian Gentleman or a Vampire as Colette likes to portray him – a blueprint for the male hero. Some might like one particular regeneration (to borrow a Doctor Who concept) more than another, but we all recognize the thematic ingredients that are essential to his character.
And we all love our Mr. Darcy!

Thank you again, Colette, for this lovely opportunity to talk to your readers. I hope you’re going to throw a few questions at me, dear readers, because I love to take questions.

Steampunk Darcy
A Pride and Prejudice-Inspired Comedy Adventure


William Darcy is obsessed with his ancestors. So much so that he intends to rebuild Pemberley (destroyed during the Uprising) stone by stone, and he wants to employ reconstruction expert Seraphene Grant to help him.
Or does he? Seraphene wasn’t born yesterday. She can smell a rat, particularly when it stinks all the way up to her airship. She knows Darcy is hiding something. But with the Authorities after her and her other options dwindling by the moment, the temptation of genuine English tea and a gorgeous Steampunk gentleman are very difficult to resist.
But what if Darcy’s mystery job courts nothing but trouble? What if Darcy is harboring a secret to kill for? When kiss comes to shove, will Darcy’s secret destroy Seraphene, or will it be her salvation?
Join us on a romantic adventure like no other in this whimsical Pride and Prejudice-inspired tribute, featuring Darcy (of course) Wickham, dirigibles, swash-buckling pirates and a heroine with fine eyes and an attitude.

Find Steampunk Darcy and all of Monica's novels wherever fine books are sold or get more information from her website.

About Monica Fairview

 

Monica can be described as a gypsy-wanderer, opening her eyes to life in London and travelling ever since. She spent many years in the USA before coming back full circle to London, thus proving that the world is undeniably round.

Monica's first novel was An Improper Suitor, a humorous Regency. Since then, she has written two traditional Jane Austen sequels: The Other Mr. Darcy and The Darcy Cousins (both published by Sourcebooks) and contributed a sequel to Emma in Laurel Ann Nattress's anthology Jane Austen Made Me Do It (Ballantine). Steampunk Darcy is her latest novel.

Monica Fairview is an ex-literature professor who abandoned teaching criticism about long gone authors who can't defend themselves in order to write novels of her own. Originally a lover of everything Regency, Monica has since discovered that the Victorian period can be jolly good fun, too, if seen with retro-vision and rose-colored goggles. She adores Jane Austen, Steampunk, cats, her husband and her impossible child.

If you'd like to find out more about Monica, you can find her at www.monicafairview.com, austenauthors.net, www.monicafairview.blogspot.com on Facebook and on Twitter @Monica_Fairview




Comments

  1. Thank you for this lovely opportunity to visit with you, Colette.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My pleasure! I hope the coffee wasn't too strong. ;)

      Delete

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