Tuesday, June 17, 2014

A Review for Follies Past by Melanie Kerr. a Prequel to Pride and Prejudice.

Debut writer reveals Mr. Darcy’s scandalous past

Picture taken from Aryun Domiel' page

EDMONTON, ALBERTA 200 years after the publication of Pride and Prejudice, Melanie Kerr’s new novel treats readers to the complete and dramatic history of Mr. Darcy and Mr. Wickham. 
The novel is entitled Follies Past: a Prequel to Pride and Prejudice,  and to read it is to step back into the charming world of Jane Austen’s England, to pass a few more hours with some of her beloved characters, sympathetically portrayed as they might have been before ever they came to Netherfield.
In Pride and Prejudice, everything hinges on a letter which Mr. Darcy gives Elizabeth - a letter setting forth all his dealings with Mr. Wickham. These facts, supplied by Austen herself, are at the heart of Follies Past. The drama begins almost a year before the opening of Pride and Prejudice itself, at Pemberley, at Christmas. We follow young Georgiana Darcy to London, to Ramsgate and to the brink of a perilous elopement. Along the way, readers will discover a host of new characters, with compelling histories of their own. Authentic in its use of language and meticulously researched, Follies Past is a truly diverting entertainment.
Melanie Kerr has not only penned and published Follies Past, she has also scripted, directed and produced three film-style book trailers, for which she personally designed and created all the period costumes. She also planned and executed a highly successful book launch last November at the Hotel Macdonald, featuring live music, dramatic reading and a real live Mr. Darcy. She is currently planning a book tour to promote her novel, while raising her two young sons and carrying on a busy legal practice.
Follies Past is her debut novel.

The book is currently available for Kindle at http://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00GD76KJY  and in paperback at http://www.createspace.com/4524790.
More information on the book, including the first chapter and the 3 film-style trailers, can be found at http://FolliesPast.com.  

Also, see http://twitter.com/folliespast and http://facebook.com/folliespast for updates on the book and posts on interesting historical trivia. The trailers for the book can also be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIn1Mil6l-w4f3pPD9wm6WA.

Contact Person: Tara Rout
phone: (780) 893-8962


"I must now mention a circumstance which I would wish to forget myself, and which no obligation less than the present should induce me to unfold to any human being..."
So begins Mr. Darcy to lay before Elizabeth his faithful narrative of Mr. Wickham's villainy toward his sister, Georgiana. The facts he sets out are brief but potent. They contain a story unto themselves, and that story is the subject of this book.
Taking its facts from Austen’s own words, Follies Past opens almost a year before the opening of Pride and Prejudice itself, at Pemberley, at Christmas. Fourteen-year-old Georgiana has just been taken from school and is preparing to transfer to London in the spring. It follows Georgiana to London, to Ramsgate and into the arms of the charming and infamous Mr. Wickham. 
To read this book is to step back into the charming world of Jane Austen’s England, to pass a few more hours with some of her beloved characters, sympathetically portrayed as they might have been before ever they came to Netherfield, and to discover a host of new characters each with engaging histories of their own. Authentic in its use of language and meticulously researched, it is a truly diverting entertainment.

Author Bio 

Melanie Kerr studied linguistics, English and theatre at the University of British Columbia and law at the University of Alberta. She is a regular attendee at meetings of her local chapter of JASNA, and has numerous times arranged for large groups of Canadians to join her in attending the Jane Austen Festival in Bath, England. Kerr is a reckless lover of clotted cream, a staunch defender of the semi-colon and a fierce opponent of unpleasant music. She wooed her current and only husband with false promises of skill at word games and eternally good hair. She lives in Edmonton, where she raises her two sons, sews her own Regency costumes, runs a Jane Austen Fun Club, blogs on all things old and English, endeavours to take over the world and occasionally practices law. Follies Past is her first novel. 

What other reviewers said:
When I was asked to review Melanie Kerr’s Follies Past on my blog www.rusticatinginthetropics.com, I agreed readily. The novel is termed a prequel to Pride & Prejudice, and who doesn’t love Pride & Prejudice? I was not to be disappointed.

Melanie’s writing is stylistically on the money. She knows this time period well.

She knows the familiar characters well too. None of the Bennetts make an appearance, but Darcy is present. So are Bingley and Wickham, and very true to how Austen created them. We see the indomitable Lady Catherine de Bourgh and finally find out what is behind her daughter Anne’s silence.

Two subplots give us more information about Caroline Bingley and Georgiana Darcy. The latter introduces a new and charming character who is Georgiana’s dear friend and who plays a big part in averting the scandal that almost overtakes her.

Fans of Austen will delight in this book as much as I did, and even those not familiar with Pride & Prejudice will find a book that stands on its own merits. Francis Thomas. 5 Stars.

I've often wondered how many more variations can possibly be squeezed out of Pride and Prejudice. Follies Past: A prequel to Pride and Prejudice by Melanie Kerr takes up in great detail the events leading up to and surrounding the attempted elopement of Miss Georgiana Darcy and Mr. Wickham.

At first, the story read like another uninspired re-telling of those events but the author deftly introduces several new characters into the mix and the plot picks up both momentum and complexity. This is the story of Lord Ashwell, the elder brother of Colonel Fitzwilliam and Miss Clare Langford, Georgiana's best school friend and daughter of an admiral.

Initially, I assumed this was to be about Miss Caroline Bingley and her efforts to secure Mr. Darcy. The calculating and devious Mr. Wickham also tries to secure Miss Bingley so as to get at her fortune.

Then it shifts to Georgiana Darcy and Mr. Wickham. Paralleling this harrowing encounter with Mrs. Younge encouraging Mr. Wickham, the unlikely romance between Clare and Lord Ashwell takes form.

The author also includes cameo appearances by Lady Catherine DeBourgh, Anne DeBourgh, Louisa Hurst, and others in Jane Austen's original work.

The complex intertwining relationships of the principals and how they inadvertently hinder or intentionally help each other carry the story along with doses of suspense, confusion on the part of many, and a beautiful romance over-arching the entire tale.  Jeffrey from Goodreads 5 Stars.

My 5 Star Review

I received the book from the publisher for an honest review.

Step back into the world of Jane Austen and her brainchild Pride and Prejudice, and discover who the man, Mr. Darcy was and why he captured so many romantic hearts. 
Ms Kerr did a wonderful work as she brought back many of the original characters within Pride and Prejudice; clarifying some riddles we were left with in Ms. Austen's work. In my opinion this is an extension of that world renown book enjoyed by millions of readers all over the world.  A book I believe will have it's own place within the literature world.
She stayed remarkable well within the time period but yet stamped her own signature on this work without loosing it's originality. 
The characters remained pure to their creator but had a life of their own so that you had a clear picture of Mr. Darcy's past and the mystery surrounding him. 
A great tribute to Ms Austen's work, if I may say so. 

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