Hello to all!
I am very intrigued about this book and that was before checking the previous posts of this blog tour or reading the excerpt from In Essentials that Helen Williams is sharing with us today. Let’s see if you get hooked with the blurb:
Five months after Darcy’s disastrous proposal to Elizabeth Bennet, he discovers that the woman he ardently loves is suffering from a grave illness.
Despite an affliction that has left her altered, Elizabeth Bennet is still the same person in essentials: witty, sanguine, and obstinate. However, her future is uncertain, and she struggles to maintain her equanimity—especially when Fitzwilliam Darcy returns to Netherfield and seems determined to improve her opinion of him. Now she must decide whether she is brave enough to trust him and embrace happiness, however fleeting it might prove to be.
What do you think? What on Earth has happened to Elizabeth? How altered she is and which aspects? How is Darcy going to improve her opinion of him? Too many questions that I will get to answer once I read In Essentials.
Let me introduce you to the author: Helen Williams. Welcome, Helen!
Helen lives in Cambridge, UK where she works for the University of Cambridge. She has been writing as a hobby for around 15 years and has written several novel length stories based on the work of Jane Austen. Helen has Welsh roots so her stories will often include a couple of references to the land of her fathers, in addition to her two other loves – dogs and rugby. In addition to writing, Helen’s hobbies include cooking, hiking, cycling and campaigning for green initiatives. Having been diagnosed with pituitary growths in 2015 and 2020, Helen is also an active member of the Pituitary Foundation and her experiences with chronic illness inspired her latest story.
After knowing about her, would there be any rugby involved? Unfortunately, I doubt it because it was invented in 1823, so a bit later than the year of this story. However, would there be any dogs? Would her chronic illness have inspired her for Elizabeth’s maladie?
You can follow Helen and her writing on her Facebook Author Page.
This is a lovely excerpt mostly about the relationship growing between Elizabeth and Georgiana and Jane helps make it a entertaining and funny scene. Enjoy!
When the time came for Elizabeth to take her leave, Darcy escorted her out to await the carriage.
“Your sister is a darling girl,” she said. “I had never expected to find her otherwise, but I am very pleased nonetheless. I am sure we shall soon love one another just as two sisters ought.”
Darcy took her hand and pressed it. “My sister has long been in need of a sister—a true friend—and I thank you for taking her so easily into your affections.”
“How could I do otherwise when I have you to please and she is so delightful in her own right? But if anyone should be expressing their gratitude, it is I. As Jane has recently discovered to her regret, not all future sisters by marriage are so agreeable.” This was said with an arch look, and Darcy smiled ruefully.
“I meant to enquire…did you truly have the headache earlier, or was that a convenient excuse?”
“What a quandary you put me in, Fitzwilliam! For if I say yes, you will worry, but if I say no, you will scold me for crying wolf.”
“I daresay in this instance I would quite forgive you, knowing the provocation.”
“Then I regret to say that in this instance I was not dissembling, though I confess that I have headaches so frequently of late that it was a convenient excuse I was only too happy to take advantage of.”
“I am grieved to hear it. They do not distress you?” Mr Darcy asked gently, stroking her hand.
“No, though I shall admit to you that I am very tired. I know you will not take this the wrong way, but I shall be glad of a little peace and quiet once you all have departed. It will be a few days before the Gardiners arrive at Longbourn, and I look forward to doing very little indeed!”
“You should rest now if you need it. I would not begrudge you your peace and quiet, and I know the same can be said of my sister. In fact,” Mr Darcy paused and then smiled, “if you would welcome a little company, I am sure my sister would enjoy being quiet with you. You discovered for yourself her favourite pastime, but she is as often found working on her embroidery as she is practicing the pianoforte.”
Elizabeth laughed merrily, and Mr Darcy smiled at her with a quizzical look.
“That would be a very elegant solution indeed, were it not for the fact that I dislike the pastime myself. But I would be very happy to spend a morning or two with your sister so that we may become better acquainted, and she is very welcome to bring her work bag.”
This invitation was accordingly extended to Miss Darcy, who found herself sitting with Elizabeth in the latter’s room a few days later. Jane had joined them as well and had prevailed upon Elizabeth to turn her hand to prettifying an old purse.
“That is lovely, Miss Elizabeth.” Miss Darcy spoke quietly, admiring the other’s work while oblivious to the marked superiority of her own.
“I do enjoy a French knot. There is something so satisfying about them, except, of course, when you are left with one of those pesky loops. Those do put me quite out of patience.”
“Most stitches seem to do that, Lizzy,” Jane murmured and smiled at Miss Darcy when Elizabeth laughed. “My sister does not often try her hand at embroidery. Her skill is not at all lacking, but she is easily frustrated when something goes awry.”
“I am quite the same. Indeed, often I have to set aside whatever I am working on that has vexed me and return to it when I am in a calmer frame of mind.”
“Ah, but my dear Miss Darcy,” Elizabeth teased with a twinkle in her eye, “have you ever, in your vexation, launched your sewing across the room? I think perhaps not!”
“Well, no,” Miss Darcy admitted hesitantly. As Jane and Elizabeth were both laughing quietly, she allowed herself to smile. “I do not usually become that frustrated, Miss Elizabeth.”
“Whereas I have been known to lose my temper at the slightest provocation. I am quite sanguine generally, but place a needle and thread in my hands, and I transform into quite a different creature.”
“Do not worry too much, Miss Darcy,” Jane counselled kindly. “Between us we have contrived ways of preserving my sister’s temper, and I shall happily share them with you. First and foremost, you must always thread her needle for her.”
“Must I? But why so?” Miss Darcy looked as though she wished to laugh, which she duly did when Elizabeth brandished her needle and scowled at it in dramatic fashion.
“Because it is a physical impossibility to squeeze six threads—six!—through such a tiny aperture. Either that or I am just a clumsy-fingered fool, but my vanity much prefers the former interpretation of the issue.”
“Dearest, you are not clumsy at all.”
“Thank you, Jane—that soothes me. But do go on. You must tell Miss Darcy everything, following which she may decide whether she wishes to have me for her sister after all.”
“Well, there is not so very much besides. You do prefer to have someone sort your threads for you. But as you can see, Miss Darcy has hers marvellously organised, so I daresay you need have no fears on that account. And I am certain Miss Darcy would not mind were you to seek her advice when you happen to go wrong—”
“Which I very often do,” Elizabeth interjected.
“—or when you have sewn your work to your gown,” Jane concluded with a mischievous grin. Elizabeth burst out laughing, unable to deny the charge, whilst Miss Darcy giggled behind her embroidery hoop.
If you have loved this excerpt and you want to know much more about Helen Williams’ In Essentials, check the other entries of this blog tour.
Are you interested in buying In Essentials and getting to know what happened to Elizabeth and how Darcy got her good opinion? Here are some links that you could use:
Meryton Press is giving away 6 ebook copies of In Essentials by Helen Williams during the whole blog tour. In order to be considered in the giveaway, please click the link below and follow instructions. Good luck!