Susan, I cannot thank you enough for persuading Mr. Theophilus Darcy to visit More Agreeably Engaged and be so 'agreeable' as to answer the questions we readers have asked about him. I must say how excited I am to have him here. My heart is all 'a flutter'! So, without further delay, here he is...Theo Darcy! (sorry...and you, too, Susan)
Thank you, Janet for inviting Theo and me to visit your blog. Everyone always wants to know more about Theo, so I decided to try and get answers to some questions people have asked about him. He was even more cooperative than I had expected. I hope you and your readers enjoy hearing from him.
SMM: We'll start out with something easy, Theo. Who's the best horseman in your family?
Theo: That is an easy one! My cousin Fitzwilliam would say he holds that honor, but I must humbly disagree with him. There are few better than I. My brother also has a good seat, but he is more a more cautious rider.
SMM: Who wins when you race your brother?
Theo: (Theo raises an eyebrow) How did you know we race?
SMM: Just a guess, but boys will be boys.
Theo: When we were younger, William always won, but I have evened the score over the years. I do not think he has beaten me since I acquired Theseus.
SMM: Who's the best practical joker you know?
Theo: I can definitely claim that title for myself! At school, there was a teacher who always unfairly took out his tempers on his students. One Sunday evening when he was out, we sneaked into his rooms and whisked all the furniture away to the attic. I would have given anything to have seen his face when he returned that evening, but as you know, the very best practical jokers never stay around for the reveal.
SMM: Did you get caught?
Theo: (Theo grins) You have to ask?
SMM: We know you drew a picture of Lady Catherine as a bat with fangs. Any other caricatures of her lurking around?
Theo: I confess she is one of my favorite subjects. I loved the one of the bat, but I think my masterpiece showed her as a vulture. That one I burned, but not until I'd shown it to my cousin Fitzwilliam. He seems to appreciate my artistic efforts even though my brother does not.
SMM: Have you done caricatures of any other family members or friends?
Theo: Almost no one is immune! I will tell you something if you promise not to tell my brother.
SMM: Yes, of course we’ll keep your secret.
Theo: William is another of my favorite subjects to sketch. The best one I call "His Highness, Prince William." It shows him in regal robes with crown and septre, sitting on a throne. However, the throne looks very much like a chamber pot. I burned that one, too. Even thinking about it now makes me laugh.
SMM: We know you met Monty at school, but under what circumstances?
Theo: Monty was the biggest boy in school, and as a result, he was always being challenged. One day three older boys decided they would show him he was not as tough as he thought he was. I do not think Monty had done anything to cause offense. They just took his size as a challenge. I was walking from one of my classes back to my rooms when I came across the three boys who had cornered Monty and were trying to pommel him. I saw what was happening and the next thing I knew, he and I were back to back, holding the others off -- and winning. Monty's technique was somewhat lacking but no one could match him for sheer strength. He is much faster than you might think, too. After that, we became the best of friends. I taught him how to use his fists more effectively, and later he got me out of several scrapes.
SMM: Who's more popular with the ladies - you or Monty?
Theo: (Theo blushes) As you know, my friend recently lost his father which means he has inherited a baronetcy. He was already a tall, good-looking fellow, and now with a title, he will have every matchmaking mama after him. I certainly do not envy him.
SMM: That doesn't answer my question.
Theo: Oh, yes, you asked which of us was more popular with the ladies. I am not certain that is an assessment I can accurately make. Some prefer him; others prefer me. We try not to compete for the same lady's attentions, and fortunately, there are plenty to go around in Town.
SMM: Speaking of competing, in the story The Darcy Brothers, you and your brother are both attracted to the same young lady. Tell me what that was like.
Theo: Although I did not know William had made Miss Bennet's acquaintance prior to our trip to Rosings, I quickly discovered his preference for her. Once I recognized that, there was really no question of competing with him for her affections. She is exactly the right woman in disposition and talents to bring him happiness in marriage. I am also hoping she is able to soften some of his sharper edges a bit. While I found her quite captivating and also enjoy tormenting my brother, I would never stand in the way of his happiness. I quickly resolved to do everything in my power to help bring them together.
SMM: What are the characteristics or qualities you find attractive in a woman?
Theo: (Theo smiles) A good sense of humor is essential! I also like a woman who does not feign ignorance or behave in a silly manner just to attract my attention. I like intelligent, well-read ladies who can carry on a real conversation.
SMM: What about beauty?
Theo: Of course, a pretty face and a pleasing form are important, too, but these are not enough without more substance. I find that very beautiful women are generally much too preoccupied with themselves, and I lose interest very quickly. I must also reiterate what I have said many times - I am not ready for a leg shackle just yet so do not be jumping to conclusions.
SMM: What attracted you to the practice of law?
Theo: Although I receive a generous allowance from William, I knew in the long term I would never be content with just the usual pursuits of gentlemen of my class -- although I do enjoy a night on the town and flirting with the ladies. The law began to intrigue me after sitting in on some disputes my father had to settle between Pemberley's tenants. Being a solicitor seemed rather boring. Too much paperwork. What I like is solving puzzles, digging around for facts no one else has uncovered, and having to think quickly on my feet. I am pleased to say I have become rather good at my work. Having Mr. Garrow as my mentor has been a great boon to my career, too. I have thought about becoming a judge at some point, but it does not seem like nearly as much fun. What if I had a particularly late night and fell asleep during a boring trial? That would never do. No, I am better off, at least for the moment, in a more active role.
SMM: I understand you’ve had a soap named after you. Any comment on that?
Theo: You are joking with me. Soap?
SMM: No, I am very serious. One of your fans specifically wished me to ask what you thought of your soap.
Theo: I admit I enjoy a good bath especially after riding or a trying day in court. (Theo pauses to run a hand through his hair) I do hope my soap is not one of those heavy, cloying scents as I prefer a light, clean smell. I also enjoy a light fragrance on a woman, too, such as lavender or lemon.
SMM: The description sounds rather exotic: "Smells of Bay Rum with a hint of Egyptian Licorice Tea. Contains Avocado and Cucumber Oil, Egyptian Olive Leaf, Olive Oil, Egyptian Licorice Tea and Bay Rum Essential Oil." It's available from Shirley's Handicrafts on Etsy.
Theo: I must order some immediately! (He suddenly looks confused) What is Etsy?
SMM: Thank you, Theo, for giving us more insight into your character. Best of luck with your next court case. We hope to hear more about you in the future.
In addition to their collaborative effort in The Darcy Brothers, Monica Fairview, Maria Grace, Cassandra Grafton, Susan Mason-Milks and Abigail Reynolds between them have published over two dozen Austen-inspired books, including national bestsellers.
Monica Fairview (Mr. Darcy’s Pledge) holds down the fort for the team in London while Abigail Reynolds (Alone with Mr. Darcy) supplies cute cat pictures from Cape Cod, Susan Mason-Milks (Mr. Darcy’s Proposal) inspires with views of the Seattle skyline, Maria Grace (Remember the Past) frolics in the Texas bluebells, and British expat Cassandra Grafton (A Fair Prospect) has the critical responsibility of keeping the team supplied with much-needed chocolate from her home in Switzerland.
Look for them at the Jane Austen Variations group blog (www.austenvariations.com) where they are all founding members.
Up for grabs in this giveaway are two eBook copies of The Darcy Brothers. To enter the giveaway contest, simply leave a comment or ask Theo or the authors a question. Be sure to include your email with your comment.
You can increase your chances of winning by visiting multiple stops along the tour! Unique guest posts will be featured on a variety of subjects, along with fun interviews with Theo Darcy and, if he can be persuaded, his brother, excerpts, and supplementary material such as letters from Theo to his friends and family. Doesn't this sound like fun? I hope you will have the opportunity to visit the other stops along the tour. I have been anxiously awaiting the stop at my blog.
Below are the links for purchasing The Darcy Brothers and the links for each of the authors:
BOOK BUY LINKS:
Blog: Random Bits of Fascination (http://RandomBitsofFascination.com)
Blog: English Historical Fiction Authors (http://EnglshHistoryAuthors.blogspot.com)
Web site: http://cassandragrafton.com
Web site: www.austen-whatif-stories.com
Web site: www.pemberleyvariations.com
SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS FOR ALL AUTHORS:
Austen Variations: (http://AustenVariations.com)
White Soup Press (publisher): (http://whitesouppress.com/)
Visit Theo at:
Please ask Theo or any of the fine authors your questions in the comments! Thanks for stopping by and a special thanks to Theo Darcy and Susan Mason-Milks for the very entertaining interview. It is such a pleasure having you visit. I have been reading this delightful book and am quite smitten with this brother too! :)