My P&P Trilogy

There is a certain mystique about a trilogy, and I think most novelists dream of writing at least one – one that’s important, acclaimed… and preferably available as a beautifully boxed set! That was my dream.

darcys-of-pemberley_kindleActually when I wrote my first Pride and Prejudice sequel, I didn’t know there would be more. The goal was just to carry Darcy and Elizabeth into their married life and tell the story of Georgiana Darcy’s courtship. That’s what I did in The Darcys of Pemberley. But then my muse kept asking me, “Yeah, but what happens after that? What about Mary and Kitty? What happens if Mr. Bennet dies? Who inherits Longbourn, since you killed off Mr. Collins?” Importunate questions, indeed! And when the answers started popping into my head, I knew I had to write another book… or maybe TWO more books. Aha! That was it: a trilogy! How cool would that be?

So I set about plotting what would happen in the two books to follow – or my version of plotting, which means developing a vague idea of where I’m headed and then finding the most interesting route to get there as I write. But that’s where my plans took a detour.

Return-to-Longbourn-book-cover-webIn book number two, Return to Longbourn, I picked up the story a few years later when, sadly, Mr. Bennet dies, leaving his wife and two unmarried daughters to deal with the new heir to Longbourn: Mr. Tristan Collins (the much more attractive brother of William Collins, deceased). The book got off to a fine start, and then one of the characters hijacked the story and went galloping off in a different direction than I had expected. The result was a lot of fun and a much better book than the one I had originally planned.

So what’s the problem? Well, when I was finished with Return to Longbourn, all my loose ends were tied up in very neat little bows; there were no threads dangling, nothing left for a third book. I had a pair of lovely novels, yes, but no trilogy! So disappointing!

I must have said it a hundred times – explaining to readers in what order they should read my books: “You should know the Pride and Prejudice story first, since the other two books are sequels to it. Then read The Darcys of Pemberley next and Return to Longborn last.”

PaP-book-set-04It finally occurred to me that I ALREADY HAD MY TRILOGY! Austen had written the first volume, and I had followed with number two and three. Three books united by common characters, settings, and themes: that’s a trilogy. Right? And I certainly don’t mind sharing billing with Jane!

As for the boxed set, that remains a dream for now. But I couldn’t resist having my graphic designer whip up this virtual version in the meantime.

What do you think? Wouldn’t it look splendid sitting on your bookshelf? *sigh*

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Postscript: Since writing the above, I have published a third P&P sequel: Miss Georgiana Darcy of Pemberley. But it’s more a variation of TDOP (a companion to it), expanding the story laterally rather than extending the series chronologically. Plus, it’s the only one written in first person. So I’m sticking with the group above as my official Pride and Prejudice trilogy!

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11 Responses to My P&P Trilogy

  1. Nina Rice says:

    I just noticed this posting and enjoyed your graphic designer version and yes ‘sigh’ would love to have this set on my bookshelf!

    • There’s nothing to stop me publishing a coordinating edition of P&P. The real problem would be producing the box in a cost-effective manner. Haven’t worked that little wrinkle out yet!

      • Nina Rice says:

        Well, when you do, I hope to be the first to purchase. It will be worth waiting for!

  2. allison says:

    oh I thoroughly enjoyed both of your books and was hoping for more, can’t we have a trilogy in 4 parts…!!!!!!!

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed my books, Allison! Sadly, I don’t have any plans for another P&P sequel at this time. I’m not that much into the endless “variations” some people write and, as I said above, I didn’t leave myself any loose ends to play with. I MUST have a courtship in the story, and everybody’s already married! I guess I’d have to go forward a generation (“Son of Darcy”, haha!), or possibly back instead. I won’t rule anything out. If inspiration strikes, I would be delighted to give you another P&P book! Did you read my short story “Mr. Collins’s Last Supper” yet?

      As much as I LOVE P&P and Mr. Darcy, there really are other stories worth telling/reading, and other swoon-worthy heroes too. I hope you’ll try “For Myself Alone,” and also my “Persuasion” tie-in (“The Persuasion of Miss Jane Austen”), which is coming out in a couple of weeks.

      Thanks for your comment!

      • Allison, if you’re still listening, Inspiration did indeed strike and I AM now writing another P&P book! See my Work-in-Progress page.

      • Allison Phillips says:

        that’s brilliant, Shannon can’t wait for it to be published, and coincidentally, I’ve just watched Death comes to Pemberley, tonight on Drama. I knew you had another book in you…;) thanks for the email regards Allison

      • Annegret Bauland says:

        No not son of Darcy, what about daughter, of Wickham. I remember at the End of ” Miss Georgiana of Pemberly”, she was worried about Lydia’s pregnansy. Is Isabella really ” every inch her father’s daughter”. Or is she so different in charakter to her father like Lizzy is to her mother? What would all the Bennets think if perhaps Michael , Mary’s stepson was to fall in love with her?
        Sorry for my poor english,it’s just a bit of Scholl english.

      • Good idea about Michael, Annegret! I hadn’t thought of him in that regard, but I did deliberately give Lydia a daughter and D&E a son, just in case I wanted to go there at some point. In the meantime, I’ve got a couple of other ideas brewing. 🙂

  3. Carol Perrin says:

    The trilogy would look good on any bookshelf, but would really great on mine!

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