Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Death Comes to Pemberley (2011) novel by PD James

After reviewing the TV adaptation I was asked if the story fit with Wold Newton Continuity.  I said yes but I'd want to read the novel first.  So off to the library I go and borrow a copy of the novel.

Not surprisingly the TV by and large follows the plot of the novel with some changes.  For example the novel has two doctors present at the examination of the body where the TV has just one.  The Darcys have one son on TV (Fitzwilliam) and two in the book (Fitzwilliam and Charles with Elizabeth announcing that she is again pregnant at the end of the novel)

James sets the novel in 1803 - 1804 and states that in 1803 Darcy and Elizabeth had been married for six years making the events of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE in 1797.  According to Win's Crossover Chronology P&P takes place in 1793.  The dating is irrelevant to the plot offers no problem in adding the story to the Wold Newton continuity. 

I've previously mentioned Magistrate Selwyn Hardcastle from the TV adaptation and the likelihood that he may be an ancestor to Judge Milton C Hardcastle .  The novel adds a coroner name Makepeace (his role was taken by Hardcastle in the TV adaptation)   one wonders if he was an ancestor to Sgt Harriet Makepeace from the 1980s British TV Series Dempsey and Makepeace.

Both are speculative and can be ignored if so desired.

However James does make references to the Elliot Family from Persuasion and Mrs Knightley from Emma both other novels by Jane Austen.

The book is a good read and I wouldn't object to more of  the Darcys as investigators, James sets this ups nicely as Mr Darcy is a local magistrate (it is only due to his connection to the crime that Darcy did not investigate this crime) and the TV series gives Elizabeth more involvement in the investigation.

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