Please tell us a bit about The Legacy of Pemberley.
RAC: The Pemberley Chronicles Series has ranged over a period of fifty years through the Regency, Georgian and Victorian eras in England. The main families- the Darcys, Bingleys, Gardiners and Fitzwilliams are into their third generation and we have met some strong men and women.
It was time to bring the series to a conclusion and to do that, I wanted readers to see what legacy- these characters had left for the future- not in terms of material wealth, but in the traditions they had developed and passed on to their children.
It was also a chance to conclude the stories of some of the minor characters like Jude Courtney, William Courtney and Rachel Fitzwilliam.
I have loved how this series has incorporated history into the story of the Darcy family. How much historical research has gone into the writing of this series?
RAC: An enormous amount, especially at the beginning of the series, because I was determined that we should have as authentic a picture as possible of the periods in which these characters lived and loved, so that readers understood what life was really like at that time.
I was fortunate to have studied both History and Literature at University, and that gave me a head start, but I did a lot of reading and note taking before I began to write the stories. It got easier as the series went on.
3. In this series we have watched Darcy and Lizzy grow from newlyweds to grandparents. Has your writing of them changed as they got older?
RAC: It absolutely has. Even in the short period of eighteen months (which is the timeline of Pride and Prejudice) Elizabeth and Darcy develop as characters- so you can imagine how much they would change and grow over the period of the Pemberley Chronicles.
To begin with, they marry and move to live at Pemberley and are both influenced by the changing circumstances of their lives. Then, as society changes around them, they, being intelligent people, develop too. It was therefore essential to keep a watch and reflect those changes in the way they speak and act both in their families and their communities.
It was very interesting to work out how Mr Darcy develops as he ages from being Lizzie’s romantic hero into the respected and loved “elder statesman” of his extended family, whom they all turn to for advice.
4. Now that the series is over, how difficult is it for you to let this lovely group of people go?
RAC: Very difficult indeed. These characters have been with me for over a decade and they are like my family. I have been through so many years of living with them- sharing their joys and sorrows- it is very hard to bring down the curtain, but of course they can continue to live on in our imaginations.
5. A purely selfish question, are you planning on writing more Jane Austen sequels? What's next for you? Anything Jane Austen related?
RAC: I am working on something new for next year; however, I don’t think I can give you any details at this stage! Just keep an eye open!
· Cupcakes or cake: Cake
· Chocolate of vanilla: Chocolate
· Coffee or tea: Tea
· Cinderella or Belle: Neither
· If you invited Jane Austen out for a drink and got to ask her one question, what would you ask her?
o I have always wondered how on earth she managed to write such superb prose, and to create such interesting plots and characters, while sitting at a small table in the front room of a modest country parsonage. As someone who needs privacy, peace and quiet to write—I cannot imagine how she did it.
THE LEGACY OF PEMBERLEY BY REBECCA ANN COLLINS
Book 10 in the acclaimed Pembelrey Chronicles Series
Return to the halls of Pemberley one last time
“Romance and intrigue are on the menu as they were in all Jane Austen's novels.” —Book News
It has been fifty years since Mr. Darcy took Elizabeth Bennet as his bride, and through half a century of both true happiness and difficult trials, their love has never faltered. When Charles Bingley's declining health forces Darcy and Elizabeth to travel with their dear friends to Europe, it will fall to the next generation to continue the legacy of love and family their parents have spent a lifetime establishing.
Reunions of old friends go hand in hand with the introduction of new adversaries, and long hidden secrets come to light. But as this chronicle comes to a close, the sadness in parting is tempered not only by splendid memories, but the knowledge that the legacy of Pemberley will live far beyond the written page...
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rebecca Ann Collins is the pen name of an author in Australia who loves Jane Austen’s work so much that she has written a series of 10 sequels to Pride and Prejudice, following Austen’s beloved characters, introducing new ones and bringing the characters into a new historical era. Thoroughly researched and beautifully written, this series has been extremely successful in Australia with over 80,000 books sold. For more information, please visit http://www.rebeccaanncollins.com/.