A Meryton Medley: Four Pride and Prejudice Novelettes is a book by Cassandra B Leigh. The title is not quite accurate, three are novelettes and one is a short story. I’m presuming that Cassandra B Leigh is a pen name. Cassandra was the name of Jane Austen’s sister and Leigh was an Austen family name.
“What if” and paranormal stories are my favourite sub genres of Pride and Prejudice fan fiction. Three of the novellettes are of the “what if” sub genre. Her Derbyshire Friend – What if Elizabeth responded to the letter Darcy gave her the day after his proposal? Hunsford Day is a take on Groundhog Day, the day keeps repeating after Darcy proposes to Elizabeth from Elizabeth’s point of view. While the third, Secret Valentine, is a “what if” – what if someone was writing Elizabeth Bennet anonymous love letters – I would not call it a true variation as it does not change the events in the original Pride and Prejudice. The short story, Frog Pride is a take on The Princess and the Frog fairytale, Pride and Prejudice style.
My favourites were Hunsford Day and Frog Pride. It was entertaining seeing what would happen if Elizabeth changed what she said or did that day and just how disastrous the consequences might be. Frog Pride was also fun with Lady Catherine de Bourgh as a wicked witch. I also liked that Lydia and Kitty were quite willing to kiss the frog if he was a prince but this didn’t change him back as it was not true love.
Her Derbyshire Friend made me laugh for the wrong reason. There is a scene where Bingley has pursued Jane to London and comes across her with Mrs. Gardiner and her children in a London park. The children are fascinated by a turtle in a park pool and so was I as fresh water turtles are not native to England (I checked on the internet just to make sure).
Not a bad read overall, and great if you want to read some Pride and Prejudice variations and don’t have a lot of time for reading.
I’ve just discovered part of Her Derbyshire Friend on www. fan fiction.net and samples of other works by Cassandra B Leigh under the name of Astonishment.