“Lessers—be they servants or secondary characters—have the same dreams and emotions as their betters, proving what Darcy learns, and through him, what Ms Austen so ably demonstrates—that we are truly all the same and that class is an imaginary distinction conferring no better manners on the ‘haves’ and no lesser nobility on the ‘have-nots.’”
Don is an avid Jane Austen Fan Fiction fan! His “Bennet Wardrobe” stories put a new twist on the Austen canon–time travel. The magical transport ideas of C.S. Lewis, J.K. Rowling and Susannah Clarke are expanded with a new device. Using it as the “MacGuffin”, the personalities of Austen’s secondary characters are allowed to grow to “satisfying” conclusions, although not necessarily in the Regency Era.
Astute readers may also note that he has peppered the Bennet Wardrobe novels with characters created by authors other than Jane Austen. That is because Don subscribes to the idea that imagining characters and their foibles brings them into reality. Miss Austen, through the act of writing Pride and Prejudice, created the universe in which, he likes to believe, all subsequent Regency/Napoleonic/Victorian novels exist as reality. Likewise, he has sought to place the nominally fictional characters within historical contexts that dictate that they interact with real-world persons.
The speculative fiction master Robert A. Heinlein employed this approach in his majestic work The Number of the Beast (1980).
“As in many of his later works, Heinlein refers to the idea of solipsism, but in this book develops it into an idea he called “World as Myth” — the idea that universes are created by the act of imagining them, so that all fictional worlds are in fact real and all real worlds are figments of fictional figures’ fancy…”
Thus, you will find characters in The Bennet Wardrobe who were created by Patrick O’Brien, Winston Graham, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Virginia Woolf, and Bernard Cornwell. Their characters populated the Regency, Victorian, and Edwardian worlds envisaged by their originators much as the Bennets, Darcys and Fitzwilliams resided in a universe established by Jane Austen and, later, The Wardrobe.
For those who are interested in the genealogy of the Bennets of the Wardrobe, please use the link below.