If you're any kind of Jane Austen fan and if you're on the Internet (which you must be because, well, here you are), you have surely run across one (or 20) quizzes which will tell you which Jane Austen character you are. I have been known to take them on occasion and, sadly, I'm usually Mr. Darcy. Don't get me wrong. I love Mr. Darcy. What red-blooded Janeite woman doesn't? But I don't want to be him. And yet, I can see where I might me more like Mr. Darcy than, say, Catherine Morland. But I digress and will save that inquiry for my memoirs.
The possible outcomes for these quizzes are usually Jane Austen's heroes and heroines, although you do run across the occasional quiz that informs you that you're Willoughby (avoid these). So, what would happen if your favorite romance couples were to take these quizzes? Would we turn up a bunch of Lizzys and Darcys, or would we discover some more interesting pairings? I decided to give it a try.
How about Jessica and Dain from Loretta Chase's Lord of Scoundrels? That's always a good place to start. Would it surprise you to learn that the Marquess and Marchioness of Dain are Mr. Darcy and Elinor Dashwood? Well, the Darcy part didn't surprise me. Dain has all the arrogance and disdain of the Fitzwilliam Darcy at the Meryton Assembly (although he's a tad more debauched—but we're wandering into Willoughby territory there). Jessica, on the other hand is, as the quiz she took tells me, More sensible than your siblings or even your mother, you usually take charge when a crisis arises. You love very deeply, but you hide your emotions. You think that at times it is better to use your head than your heart. I'll buy that. It sounds quite a lot like Jessica Trent. Now let's imagine a marriage between Mr. Darcy and Elinor Dashwood. . . Okay. I think that could work. Elinor would be good at running Pemberley and would be very understanding of Darcy's foibles. But I don't think she'd lighten him up the way Lizzy would. Pemberley (or Athcourt, as the case may be) would be calm, organized and pretty dull.
Here's an interesting couple: Diana, Countess of Arradale and The Marquess of Rothgar from Jo Beverley's Devilish. Rothgar, like most of the alpha heroes I made take the quiz emerged as Fitzwilliam Darcy. But, Diana! Was she Elizabeth Bennet? Not a chance. Nor was she Elinor Dashwood, destined to make Rothgar's life a snooze-fest. No indeed. Diana, Countess of Arradale, Marchioness of Rothgar is . . . wait for it . . . Emma Woodhouse. Yikes! You can be sure that Rothgar Abbey will be anything but calm with these two characters in residence. I foresee fireworks for more than just special occasions.
Let's move into a more modern setting. Or maybe post-modern. I asked Eve Dallas and Roarke from J.D. Robb's In Death series to take the quiz. Eve didn't want to take it. She hates that kind of stuff, but she eventually agreed and was as surprised as I was that she emerged as Elizabeth Bennet. But when we read this description, we agreed that perhaps that was as close as we were going to get to her prickly personality: You are intelligent, witty, and tremendously attractive. You have a good head on your shoulders, and oftentimes find yourself the lone beacon of reason in a sea of ridiculousness. You take great pleasure in many things. You are proficient in nearly all of them, though you will never own it. Lest you seem too perfect, you have a tendency toward prejudgment that serves you very ill indeed.
Roarke, on the other hand was amused enough to oblige. And also amused to learn that he was Captain Wentworth. I was not particularly surprised. The quiz he scored as Wentworth on, describes him as noble. He's a gentleman, brave, and independent, but he is also willing to set pride aside to try again for the heart of the woman he loves. Well, noble, might be a little bit of a stretch, but brave and independent work for me and certainly, the willingness to set pride aside to try for the heart of the woman he loves.
It's hard to imagine a more fraught marriage than the one that Eve and Roarke already have at the beginning of the In Death series; I really think that Elizabeth Bennet and Frederick Wentworth would make for a much calmer, steadier household, Lizzy's vaunted liveliness notwithstanding.
The last couple I sent through the quiz cycle was Wulfric Bedwyn and Christine Derrick from Mary Balogh's Slightly Dangerous. This was in the nature of a test as Slightly Dangerous was famously based on Pride and Prejudice. And, sure enough: Lizzy and Darcy. Here's a couple who are just as they should be and who's future will be rich and lively.
Myretta Robens, The Republic of Pemberley