Jane & D’Arcy reveals Jane Austen’s enduring love for the real Mr Darcy, D’Arcy Wentworth, a young Irish surgeon; the fixed star in her firmament and the inspiration for her writing. In 1790, D’Arcy left England for New South Wales, while Jane remained confined in her father’s rectory at Steventon. In time their lives blossomed, each within its narrow confines; almost as if their parting had given them the opportunity to fulfil their destiny.
Jane Austen went on to publish among the greatest novels in the English language. D’Arcy Wentworth became a leader in early New South Wales, and an advocate for the rights of the convicts and emancipists. His eldest son, William Charles, the Liberator, fought long for representative government for the Colony; he finally won, freeing it from the shackles of British control.
Jane & D’Arcy tells the long hidden story of their romance and adventures in two volumes, Folly is not always Folly and Such Talent & Such Success. They will move and delight Jane Austen readers.
Bouquets for Jane & D'Arcy
A gift to the nation!
Professor Dame Marie Bashir, Governor of New South Wales, 2001-2014
A week of reading pleasure! The whole tenor of the book is so lively, full of incident, dialogue and sharp observation. It has a really admirable coherence and authority, it will change Austen scholarship forever.
Penelope Nelson, Sydney, Australia
Walker’s insightful portrait of the elder ‘Australian’ Wentworth is a major achievement, a hugely enjoyable piece of historical detection imaginatively recreates their romance. Walker makes a very credible case for D’Arcy Wentworth as the object of Jane Austen’s passionate love. Link to article
Babette Smith, The Weekend Australian
I found Jane and D’Arcy a veritable tour de force, not only for its thesis, but also for the quality of the writing, your story telling ability, and the incredible wealth of historical information. I was delighted by the way you let the times speak for themselves through the eyes, or words, as the case may be, of two of the most astute observers of the era: Jane, mostly, and D’Arcy. I’ve always been a sucker for a good story, and yours was one of the best.
Ralph Witcoff, Minneapolis, USA
A teenage Jane Austen in a passionate sexual affair? No!, no!, no!, no!, in capital letters and underlined.. She was the daughter of a parson. Getting a wedding ring on the finger came first; sex happened after that.
Susannah Fullerton, President Jane Austen Society of Australia
I want you to know how much I enjoyed the Jane and D’Arcy volumes and found the Australian history really satisfying. A magnificent job!
Renzo Villanova, Venice, Italy
Greetings dear friends. It pleases me greatly to inform you of the bounteous pleasure bestowed upon me whilst perusing your learned works “Jane & Darcy”. Indeed I am so pleasurably engrossed that it pains and fatigues me to be distracted by the meticulously detailed endnotes which will be the delight of scholars. I shall be sorely aggrieved if the aforementioned scholars do not take the opportunity to consult these publications forthwith. It is my humble opinion that all places decreeing themselves to be sources of knowledge in regard to English literature must avail themselves to a copy of the aforesaid manuscripts. In a word or two ” loving it++++!!!!”
Jill Wright, Lindisfarne, Tasmania
I have now finished Jane and D’Arcy, it was a brilliant read and has educated me so much on D’Arcy’s life and the early years of the Colony. I was very interested in Norfolk Island and had my eyes opened at the hard treatment of the convicts, the survivors built early Australia. Someday I hope to visit your great country. Alwyn Sinnamon, Armagh, Northern Ireland
The fact that you have the family knowledge to apply to the historical data which you have ferreted out gives the work at once a poignancy and authority. It was a journey that had you not “picked up the gauntlet”‘ would not have been made and lovers of literature now and in the future would have been worse off. Lance Walker, Melbourne
I have finished Folly is not always Folly, I thoroughly enjoyed the read. I think its a really credible story and I certainly now believe Jane Austen had a love affair and quite likely married her D’Arcy. Her stories are so complex and realistic it beggars belief that its purely from observation. Obviously she was an extremely clever woman with a good sense of humour but her stories are so sure footed she has to be a woman of some experience in life and love. You’ve definitely won me over to your family’s side of the discussion.
Prue Mason, Beachmere, Queensland
I have really enjoyed both books. Really fascinating. While I knew the names of some of the Governors from streets, cities and towns around Australia, I had no idea who the people were behind the names. Really fascinating. So congratulations on two fabulous books and all the astonishing work that obviously went in to putting them together.
Ruth Stockdale, York, England