Characteristic of the Gothic in My Austen-Inspired Novels

First, those who read Gothic novels know that Horace Walpole started the phenomenon with his The Castle of Otranto way back in 1764. We define a Gothic novel based on the characteristics we find in Walpole’s work. With the March release of my eighth Jane Austen-inspired novel, I thought I would take a look back at what some consider Gothic influences in my works.

1. The setting is always based on an old castle. The castle may be occupied or not. It should contain secret passageways or secret rooms. (The Phantom of Pemberley, The Disappearance of Georgiana Darcy, and the upcoming The Mysterious Death of Mr. Darcy). Ruined sections of the castle are often used as part of the story line. (The Disappearance of Georgiana Darcy). The darkened passageways and staircases adds to the mysterious flavor of the work. (The Phantom of Pemberley and The Mysterious Death of Mr. Darcy). In more modern works, we find an old house or mansion. (Vampire Darcy’s Desire)
2. Speaking of mysteries, obviously, a true Gothic is laced with the fear of the unknown. This is usually enhanced by the plot involving an “unknown” secret (Vampire Darcy’s Desire), an “unknown” relative, an inexplicable event (The Mysterious Death of Mr. Darcy), or, best of all, a unexplained disappearance (The Phantom of Pemberley and The Disappearance of Georgiana Darcy).
3. Characters often have dream visions (Vampire Darcy’s Desire) or an omen of death occurs. Shadowy figures appear, but are often mistaken for a nightmare. (The Phantom of Pemberley)
4. An ancient prophecy is connected to the castle or the people who live there. (Vampire Darcy’s Desire and The Disappearance of Georgiana Darcy). The prophecy is not readily explainable.
5. Supernatural elements are found in the book. (Vampire Darcy’s Desire and The Mysterious Death of Mr. Darcy)
6. Women at the mercy of a powerful male. (The Phantom of Pemberley)

The male manipulates the woman into committing an intolerable act. (Vampire Darcy’s Desire) The women in Gothic novels usually respond by crying or screaming. The woman is often a sympathetic character because her life is less than pristine. (The Phantom of Pemberley)
7. Emotions are readily displayed by the characters – terror, surprise, anger, etc. (The Phantom of Pemberley, The Mysterious Death of Mr. Darcy, The Disappearance of Georgiana Darcy,  and Vampire Darcy’s Desire)
8. The text is loaded with the metonymy of a movie. There is a book entitled How to Read Literature Like a Professor. One of the chapters deals with “rain.” What we find is when it rains in literature or in the movies, someone is likely to die. That is metonymy, where something like rain equals death. It is an extended metaphor. (Vampire Darcy’s Desire)

JeffersDofGDThe Disappearance of Georgiana Darcy
A Pride and Prejudice Mystery
By Regina Jeffers

A thrilling novel of malicious villains, dramatic revelations, and heroic gestures that stays true to Austen’s style

Darcy and Elizabeth have faced many challenges, but none as dire as the disappearance of Darcy’s beloved sister, Georgiana. After leaving for the family home in Scotland to be reunited with her new husband, Edward, she has disappeared without a trace. Upon receiving official word that Georgiana is presumed dead, Darcy and Elizabeth travel to the infamous Merrick Moor to launch a search for his sister in the unfamiliar and menacing Scottish countryside. Suspects abound, from the dastardly Wickham to the mysterious MacBethan family. Darcy has always protected his little sister, but how can he keep her safe from the most sinister threat she has ever faced when he doesn’t even know if she’s alive? Written in the language of the Regency era and including Austen’s romantic entanglements and sardonic humor, this suspense-packed sequel to Pride and Prejudice recasts Darcy and Elizabeth as a husband-and-wife detective team hunting for truth amid the dark moors of Scotland.

The Phantom of Pemberley
A Pride and Prejudice Murder Mystery
By Regina Jeffers

HAPPILY MARRIED for over a year and more in love than ever, Darcy and Elizabeth can’t imagine anything
interrupting their bliss-filled days. Then an intense snowstorm strands a group of travelers at Pemberley, and terrifying accidents and mysterious deaths begin to plague the manor. Everyone seems convinced that it is the work of a phan-tom—a Shadow Man who is haunting the Darcy family’s grand estate.
Darcy and Elizabeth believe the truth is much more menacing and that someone is trying to murder them. But Pemberley is filled with family guests as well as the unexpected travelers—any one of whom could be the culprit—so unraveling the mystery of the murderer’s identity forces the newlyweds to trust each other’s strengths and work together.

Written in the style of the era and including Austen’s romantic playfulness and sardonic humor, this suspense-packed sequel to Pride and Prejudice recasts Darcy and Elizabeth as a husband-and-wife detective team who must solve the mystery at Pemberley and catch the murderer—before it’s too late.

JeffersVDDVampire Darcy’s Desire
A Pride and Prejudice Adaptation
By Regina Jeffers

In Austen’s original novel, Darcy and Elizabeth are compelled to overcome countless obstacles — but that’s nothing compared to what they face in Vampire Darcy’s Desire. This inventive, action-packed novel tells of a tormented Darcy who comes to “Netherfield” to escape the intense pressure on him to marry. Dispirited by his family’s 200-year curse and his fate as a half-human/half-vampire dampir, Darcy would rather live forever alone than inflict the horrors of a vampire life on a beautiful wife. Destiny has other plans. Darcy meets Elizabeth and finds himself yearning for her as a man and driven to possess her as a vampire. Uncontrollably drawn to each other, their complex relationship forces them to confront their pride and prejudice like never before and to wrestle with the seductive power of forbidden love. Meanwhile, dark forces are at work all around them. Most ominous is the threat from George Wickham, the purveyor of the curse, a demon who vows to destroy each generation of Darcys and currently has evil intentions for the vulnerable Georgiana.

TMDOMD2coverThe Mysterious Death of Mr. Darcy
A Pride and Prejudice Mystery
By Regina Jeffers

A thrilling story of murder and betrayal filled with the scandal, wit and intrigue characteristic of Austen’s classic novels

Fitzwilliam Darcy is devastated. The joy of his recent wedding has been cut short by the news of the sudden death of his father’s beloved cousin, Samuel Darcy. Elizabeth and Darcy travel to Dorset, a popular Regency resort area, to pay their respects to the well-traveled and eccentric Samuel. But this is no summer holiday. Danger bubbles beneath Dorset’s peaceful surface as strange and foreboding events begin to occur. Several of Samuel’s ancient treasures go missing, and then his body itself disappears. As Darcy and Elizabeth investigate this mystery and unravel its tangled ties to the haunting legends of Dark Dorset, the legendary couple’s love is put to the test when sinister forces strike close to home. Some secrets should remain secrets, but Darcy will do all he can to find answers—even if it means meeting his own end in the damp depths of a newly dug grave.

With malicious villains, dramatic revelations and heroic gestures, The Mysterious Death of Mr. Darcy will keep Austen fans turning the pages right up until its dramatic conclusion.


About Regina Jeffers

Regina Jeffers is the award-winning author of Austenesque, Regency and historical romantic suspense.
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