Inspired by the works of Jane Austen, the amusingly tongue-in-cheek Mr Darcy’s Guide to Courtship is written from the perspective of Pride and Prejudice’s Mr. Darcy and closely based on real Regency advice manuals. It is a hilarious and irreverent picture of the social mores of the period and of how men thought about women – and sheds amusing light on men of the modern age, too! Readers can dip into different sections for Darcy's views on a myriad of issues, including "What Females Want", "The Deceptions of Beautiful Women" and “Winning Their Affections, Flattery, Making Conversation, and Flirting!" Also included are sections written by Pride and Prejudice’s Miss Caroline Bingley and Mr Darcy’s correspondence with famous Regency figures including the Duke of Wellington.
Some believe that where the yearnings of the heart are concerned, we all have a better guide in ourselves, if we would attend to it, than any other person can be. This is utter nonsense. In truth, you can have no better guide than this book, and I congratulate you for advancing your cause so unreservedly by your purchase of it.
Couples unable to boast any portion of sense between them are permitted to increase their felicity through marriage, but it is in the national interest that they refrain from breeding.
At every public appearance, all aspects of your person – your posture, the stateliness of your brow and the sweetness of your odour – will be laid under scrutiny. On occasion, one may even be subjected to positively lurid examinations of the cut of one’s breeches, and the shapeliness of one’s calves.
Whatever your rank or sex, I implore you to study this book well before disgusting any noble personage with the dubious pleasure of your acquaintance.
Immoderate laughter, wild gesticulation or running about the place is exceedingly unbecoming in a female and may be taken as a token of a disturbed mind.
It is a peculiarity of the sex that most females expect – with no small degree of solemnity, I assure you – that we should be able to read their minds.
While it is usually a promising sign if passing ladies routinely fall into swoons, it is advisable to verify that they do so because their senses have been overwhelmed by your remarkable allure, and not the potency of your body odour.
On falling in love with an inferior female –
Console yourself with the knowledge that the average life expectancy of peasant girls is little above five and twenty, and therefore your torment will not last long.
On rejection –
It is not good form to languish around in such violent paroxysms of self-pity that you live only to be an instrument of annoyance to the rest of the world.
On engagement –
Once you are engaged, a lady’s thoughts will be occupied wholly with the nuptials, of parties at which you may broadcast your attachment, and methods by which she may vex other females with her own success.
Excerpted from Mr Darcy's Guide to Courtship by Fitzwilliam Darcy. Copyright © 2013 by Emily Brand. Excerpted by permission of Old House, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.