Review: An Assembly Such as This by Pamela Aidan

15 Aug

An Assembly Such as This (Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman, #1)My rating: 3 of 5 stars

“She is tolerable; but not handsome enough to tempt me.”

So begins the timeless romance of Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice. Jane Austen’s classic novel is beloved by millions, but little is revealed in the book about the mysterious and handsome hero, Mr. Darcy. And so the question has long remained: Who is Fitzwilliam Darcy?

In An Assembly Such as This, Pamela Aidan finally answers that long-standing question. In this first book of her Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman trilogy, she reintroduces us to Darcy during his visit to Hertfordshire with his friend Charles Bingley and reveals Darcy’s hidden perspective on the events of Pride and Prejudice. As Darcy spends more time at Netherfield supervising Bingley and fending off Miss Bingley’s persistent advances, his unwilling attraction to Elizabeth grows — as does his concern about her relationship with his nemesis, George Wickham.

This book just seemed to go on and on, without much happening, and no significant insight into Darcy’s character.

The narrator didn’t help matters for me. I didn’t enjoy his voice. He did a competent job with the reading, but he’s not going to be a favorite of mine.

My main problem is that during the course of this book, Darcy has no life other than worrying about his love life, worrying about his friend’s love life, and writing beautiful letters to his beloved younger sister. All of these are fine, but I’d seen Darcy to be a man with some substance behind him. I just don’t see it in this book.

I did like the concept. I liked where the storyline around Georgina (Darcy’s sister) was going.  I loved Darcy’s valet. Some of the other secondary characters have promise of being developed in the later books. I’m just not sure I’m going to bother to read them.

everythingausten2I listened to this as part of the Everything Austen Challenge. This is the second item (out of 6) that I’ve completed– I’m now on schedule!

Next up is either to watch a different version of Emma or read the Lost in Austen choose your own adventure book.  Or maybe something else entirely!

Thank you to Stephanie at Stephanie’s Written Word for organizing this challenge.


Posted by on August 15, 2009 in books, challenge, reviews


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10 responses to “Review: An Assembly Such as This by Pamela Aidan

  1. rhapsodyinbooks

    August 15, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    Rats! I was so excited at the description! Too bad this book doesn’t enhance the concept. Rats!

  2. Stephanie

    August 16, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    Hope you enjoy your next Everything Austen pick a little better than this one!!

  3. Heather

    August 17, 2009 at 7:21 am

    I actually loved this series. This series was actually the first I’d read of Austen-inspired fiction and I was craving a perspective of Darcy and I thought they were great, but I haven’t read another Darcy perspective yet so maybe that’ll change my view of these books…just my opinion!

  4. Colette

    August 19, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    I haven’t read this series, but have had a lot of trouble liking any of the Jane Austen themed books I’ve read for this challenge.

  5. Megan

    September 25, 2009 at 9:37 am

    I have this one on the shelf, waiting to be read! I wasn’t planning on reading it for Everything Austen — I have just one more book to go, and I think Cassandra & Jane is going to fill that spot! — but I was still going to pick it up. I will, but I hope I’m not disappointed! I have a feeling I’ll share a lot of your sentiments!

  6. Madeleine

    October 1, 2009 at 9:51 pm

    I would love it if you would check out my review for this same book at


  7. Madeleine

    October 2, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    I just want to comment again (lol), and let you know that the second one is certainly more up-beat and thrilling. I had it in mind as well when I wrote my review yesterday. “Duty and Desire” will get its own review soon–all the same, I assure you that it drifts a bit farther from the Austen plotline [as he’s not in Hertfordshire for all or most of it (I read the two books in such quick succession that the line between the two has blurred a bit)], and there’s a sort of eerie, “Darcy take charge of this mess!” element. Anyway, I recommend reading that one simply because it’s suspenseful!


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