Indie Saturday – Author Jennifer Becton on her book ‘Caroline Bingley: A Continuation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice’ @JenniferBecton
Today, we have author Jennifer Becton featured on the blog’s ‘Indie Saturday‘ for her second historical novel ‘Caroline Bingley: A Continuation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice‘ (following the success of her debut novel Charlotte Collins: A Continuation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice).
Jennifer is the founder of Whiteley Press, an independent publishing house, and has also written the six-book Southern Fraud Thriller Series under the pseudo-pseudonym of J. W. Becton.
Jennifer Becton writes :
Top 5 Reasons Caroline Bingley Is a Great Character for a Sequel
I hear what you’re thinking: Caroline Bingley as the hero of her own Pride and Prejudice sequel? Jennifer, what are you smoking? She’s horrible! Just think of what she said to Elizabeth and how she treated Jane. Why should anyone want to read a book about her?
Well, I’ll tell you my top 5 reasons for deciding to write about dear, sweet Caroline, and you can decide if you want to read a book about her.
5. Caroline speaks her mind. Sure, she may not always say the nicest things, but at least she is willing to make her opinions known. In Elizabeth Bennet, we find pert opinions to be a benefit. In Caroline, not so much. Caroline was happy to speak negatively of the Bennet’s vulgar relations and on many other similar subjects of decorum and dress, but in reality, her opinions on wealth and status were not dissimilar to those held by many people in the Regency period. She was an outspoken product of her time and social influences.
4. Caroline is funny. Consider her attempts to woo Mr. Darcy while he demonstrates his letter-writing prowess: “You write uncommonly fast,” “I am afraid you do not like your pen. Let me mend one for you. I mend pens remarkably well,” and “Do you always write such charming long letters to [Georgiana], Mr. Darcy?” (Austen, P&P, ch. 10). Okay, so she may not be intentionally funny, but that is comic gold!
3. Caroline is complex. Caroline is “of a respectable family in the north of England; a circumstance more deeply impressed on [her memory] than that [her] brother’s fortune and [her] own had been acquired by trade” (Austen, P&P, ch. 4). Caroline has a secret. She is a wannabe. She may have money, but it was not gained through socially acceptable channels, and she is trying to hide her lowly past. That’s conflict and it makes for good reading and interesting character development.
2. Caroline is flawed. Mr. Darcy and Caroline were very much alike when they were introduced in Pride and Prejudice: “Darcy was continually giving offense,” and he said many unkind things about Elizabeth’s family and relations. He even participated in the plan to separate Jane and Bingley. However, he mended his ways. Caroline did many of the same things, but she never saw the error of her ways. Caroline has lots of room to grow and overcome her flaws just as Darcy did.
1. Caroline doesn’t mess around. She acts. She may not always do the right thing, but at least she is doing something. She does what she believes is best for her family. There is no dithering or whining. She sees a need and she acts upon it. That is just what we love in a heroine.
So Caroline Bingley may not be the most obvious choice for a heroine, especially because her goals in Pride and Prejudice were in direct conflict with Elizabeth’s. She was the antagonist, but not a true villainess who was out plotting her opponent’s destruction. She just wanted what she wanted, and she tried to make her desires come to fruition. She failed in all ways.
Did Caroline learn from her mistakes? Did she end up marrying a stuffy, old aristocrat? Or did she learn the joys of love?
If you’d like to read a free sample of Caroline Bingley, please visit Scribd (Also embedded below). Caroline is available in ebook and paperback formats at Amazon and in paperback at BN and other online retailers.
You can also check out Jennifer Becton’s Amazon Author’s page for more info and check out her other books!
Do you want to be a featured ‘Indie Saturday’ author too? Go here for more info!
Read an embedded sample of “Caroline Bingley: A Continuation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice” after the jump!