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Follies Past: A Prequel to Pride and Prejudice

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  153 ratings  ·  57 reviews
Follies Past is the result of a 5 year project to recreate the voice of Jane Austen herself by linguist and author Melanie Kerr. The story, characters, and setting are meticulously researched and written to give Jane Austen fans the closest thing to a new novel from her.

The story follows the events surrounding the wicked Mr. Wickham's seduction of the beautiful and innoce
Paperback, 218 pages
Published November 15th 2013 by Petticoat Press (first published November 11th 2013)
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Average rating 4.20  · 
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 ·  153 ratings  ·  57 reviews

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Mar 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
I've often wondered how many more variations can possibly be squeezed out of Pride and Prejudice. Follies Past: A prequel to Pride and Prejudice by Melanie Kerr takes up in great detail the events leading up to and surrounding the attempted elopement of Miss Georgiana Darcy and Mr. Wickham.

At first, the story read like another uninspired re-telling of those events but the author deftly introduces several new characters into the mix and the plot picks up both momentum and complexity. This is the
Dec 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Written in the style and language so reminiscent of Jane Austen, "Follies Past" is the perfect prequel to "Pride and Prejudice." Kerr gives depth to many of Austen's more minor characters in charming and often surprising ways. The novel also incorporates a unique and incredibly sweet love story of the author's own making that feels distinctly 'Austen-esque' in its tone and theme.

I thoroughly enjoyed getting lost in this book. I usually tend to stay away from prequels or sequels to Austen novels
Frances Thomas
Mar 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
When I was asked to review Melanie Kerr’s Follies Past on my blog, I agreed readily. The novel is termed a prequel to Pride & Prejudice, and who doesn’t love Pride & Prejudice? I was not to be disappointed.

Melanie’s writing is stylistically on the money. She knows this time period well.

She knows the familiar characters well too. None of the Bennetts make an appearance, but Darcy is present. So are Bingley and Wickham, and very true to how Austen created them. We s
Mar 05, 2014 rated it liked it
This book is a prequel to Pride & Prejudice and I agreed to read it because of the fact that I so loved the original story. I wanted to love this story, but in all honesty, I hated it. HATED it. Of all of the books I've read this year, this one not only took me the longest to get through (but is actually one of the shortest I've read), it also made me so angry that I would put the book down, refusing to pick it back up. It almost became a DNF, that's how much I loathed this book, but I just can' ...more
Mar 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
One of the better prequels/expansions to the world of Pride and Prejudice I have read. I really enjoyed the way this book was written. It took me back into the world of Jane Austen which was a very welcome trip. The way in which the author expanded upon a part of P&P that we had heard little detail about but was such a central part of the story itself, was very believable. I appreciated the references to people and places lovers of Jane Austen would have remembered from P&P. I also really liked ...more
Feb 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
An Engaging Trip Back Into the World of Jane Austen!

Follies Past takes place a year before Darcy met Elizabeth and the story revolves around Darcy’s sister, fourteen-year-old Georgiana and her school friend Clare, leading to Georgiana’s unfortunate interaction with the scheming Mr. Wickham. The book fits perfectly with Austen’s style and humor as do the characters, old and new. We even get a few brief closer looks into the characters of Caroline Bingley and Anne de Bourgh. And Lady Catherine de
Feb 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was a very nicely done prequel to Pride and Prejudice. I've read a huge number of P&P spin offs, sequels and retellings and this was one of my favorites. The author used good judgement and had a lot of good insights as to the possible motivations of the characters in Pride and Prejudice and told the story of Georgiana and Wickham, Caroline Bingley and Darcy and some new characters which helped set the stage, in this author's imagination, for the events of Pride and Prejudice. I am sure I wi ...more
Martin Kerr
Feb 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Anyone who loved Pride and Prejudice will love Follies Past. It captures the spirit of the original so beautifully, and provides a dramatic, convincing and sometimes shocking history to Austen's beloved characters while creating some brilliant new ones, woven into a very satisfying story. ...more
Apr 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
There aren't many fans of Jane Austen who won't enjoy this wonderfully written prequel. I have read many Austen spin offs over the years and I would say this is up there with the best. The writing is excellent and the characters are really given a new lease of life - BV ...more
Aug 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
When Darcy wrote his post-proposal, world-altering letter telling Elizabeth the truth about charming Mr. Wickham’s duplicity I was as shocked and shaken as she was, but due to the discretion of the characters readers get just a bare outline of what went on between Wickham and Darcy’s sister Georgiana. What exactly did happen and how did it come about? One can’t help being curious--or at least this reader would like details--so when I discovered that Melanie Kerr’s Follies Past centers on that ev ...more
Feb 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Miss Kerr manages to evoke the essence of Jane Austen in the first sentence of this book, and carries it through to a satisfying ending with humour, intelligence and heart-warming characterisation. It begins with Caroline Bingley’s conviction that Fitwilliam Darcy is romantically interested in her, and is then proved completely wrong, though it takes Caroline a while to accept it. The reader is given the opportunity to take a shadenfreude type pleasure in Caroline’s self-delusion – attributable ...more
Mar 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
From the first two paragraphs it was clear to me that I was to become a captive audience.

The language was beautiful and very similar to Austens. It was a fast read and what a delightful fast read. Darcy, Lord Ashwell, as well as Caroline Bingley with her exuberant ego and hilarious schemes make appearances in this novel.

I fell in love with the character of Clare, for she was a reader. I loved the way the author included titles of books that were popular during that time. The research was remarka
Mar 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Follies Past: a Prequel to Pride and Prejudice by Melanie Kerr

This book is a prequel to what could have happened prior to the Story of Pride and Prejudice. The story focuses on young Georgianna, she is leaving Pemberley and heading off to continue school in London. We have some original characters Mr. Wickhan and Mr. Darcy to name a few.

Also some new people are introduced. Some are likable, others are not. I liked the originality and the writing style was perfect. Well fitting for the times and
A.K. Klemm
Mar 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
“Follies Past” should be the name of the file folder for every other Jane Austen spin off, because this book blows them all out of the water.

This is by far the best Austen spin off I’ve had the pleasure of reading. Most Pride & Prejudice sequels or prequels read like fan fiction, but Kerr has managed to construct a novel that reads like one of Austen’s own making. It could very well have been a long lost manuscript of Jane’s, documenting the characters of Pride & Prejudice before they encounter
Chantale Canadian Book Addict
*I was given a free copy of this book for my honest review*

If you are a Jane Austin fan I think you will absolutely love this book as much as I do. I find this one is the prequel of Pride and Prejudice that I have ever read. It is so welly written that I now want to read Pride and Prejudice again.

If you love Pride and Prejudice like I do then I know you will love Follies Past: a Prequel to Pride and Prejudice by Melanie Kerr.
Feb 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
I have been reading JAFF for more than a decade, and this is one of the better of the
Austenesque novels. The words, syntax and
general tone are right and all the characters
are consistent with Jane Austen's. The book
makes an excellent prequel to Pride and
Prejudice and I enjoyed reading it for St.
Valentine's Day.
Bryan Szabo
Dec 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
The story of Wickham, told with such broad strokes in Austen's Pride and Prejudice, is fully explored here by Kerr. The period, the prose, the characters, all feel very Austen-esque. A delightful read for Austen fans and literature fans alike. ...more
Feb 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I loved every page of this novel. It is exceptionally well written. It was for me a book hard to put down - one that you didn't want to end. If you loved Pride and Prejudice you will love this one.
Feb 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
One of the better Austen prequel / sequels, the author really knows her P & P characters.
Meredith (Austenesque Reviews)
In this charming and praiseworthy debut novel, author Melanie Kerr pens a prequel to Pride and Prejudice that surprisingly is not centered on Mr. Darcy or Elizabeth Bennet! Instead she chooses to flesh-out and fill in the histories of Caroline Bingley, George Wickham, and Georgiana Darcy. (Not one Bennet will you find here!) And while we do see our reserved and illustrious Mr. Darcy on the page quite a bit, this prequel focuses on other characters, especially three women: Caroline Bingley, Georg ...more
May 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
I have a general rule for books that are companions or inspired by earlier, classic works. The general rule is this: Don't read them. Too many times have I've been disappointed by a play-off of Peter Pan, Les Miserables, and, yes, Pride and Prejudice. It's better to leave the works in the hands of their old, dead masters, right? Not always. Take this book for instance.

When I was asked if I should like to review Follies Past, I was a little hesitant, but also very intrigued. A prequel to Pride
Celia Kennedy
Jun 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Generally I reserve five stars for books that I believe have held up over time, or will stand the test of time, for example JK Rowling's series, Harry Potter, or Harper Lee's, To Kill a Mockingbird. I believe that Melanie Kerr has done an exemplary job at keeping pace with Jane Austen in her book, Follies Past: a Prequel to Pride and Prejudice.

The Austeneque novel opens with Caroline Bingley packing her belongings, and plotting her path to becoming the Mistress of Pemberley. It is her first visi
Feb 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The time and style of Jane Austen adeptly captured in this prequel by Melanie Kerr.

What an enjoyable read. Focusing on the time a year before the beginning of Austen's classic work, Follies Past delves into Wickham's betrayal of Mr. Darcy's younger sister Georgiana and focuses on some of the lesser known characters of P & P; introducing some interesting new ones along the way. Aside from Georgiana's interesting story, the reader learns a bit more about the self-centred Caroline Bingley and her e
Apr 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
4 1/2 stars

Reviewed for

Overall Review:
In Follies Past: A Prequel to Pride and Prejudice, first-time novelist Melanie Kerr breathes new life into Jane Austen's world. Well-written and extensively researched, Kerr captures the essence and style of nineteenth century England. The tale focuses on some of Austen's supporting cast -- Georgiana Darcy, Caroline Bingley and Anne de Bourgh -- and places Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley in a smaller, secondary role.

Kerr works hard to
gj indieBRAG
Sep 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
We are proud to announce that FOLLIES PAST: A PREQUEL TO PRIDE AND PREJUDICE by Melanie Kerr is a B.R.A.G.Medallion Honoree. This tells a reader that this book is well worth their time and money!
Naomi Shanks
May 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
As a lifelong Pride & Prejudice lover, I'll be the first to contend that Austen's masterwork is perfectly self-contained--any contemporary effort to extend its world is certainly most unnecessary, and, as evidenced by recent bestsellers, can often be exceedingly dull. Nevertheless, Follies Past provides a welcome reminder that lack of necessity in no way precludes delight. Kerr has captured many of the subtle pleasures of Austen's style, gently mocking the follies and nonsense, whims and inconsi ...more
Mar 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a paperback copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Since the very moment when I started reading this book, I must confess that I was very surprised. I have read other books based on Jane Austen's novels, so I was expecting to find one more book pretending to be as great as the original, but failing completely. However, what I found here was a book that imitates quite well, almost perfectly well, Jane Austen's style, or at least, the Regency writing style. And for that,
Jun 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I have to admit I had never read Pride & Prejudice - and never really had an attraction to historical romance novels...BUT!!!

Follies Past was fantastic. It took me a little bit to get into only because Ms Karr stayed true to Jane Austen's style and wrote in the language of the time. Once I got the swing of it the story was so wonderfully written that I had to keep reading!

Because I had no previous knowledge of the story the characters and the story line were just that a story...and by the end of
Mar 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: austenesque
Follies Past starts about a year before the beginning of Pride and Prejudice, with the Bingleys spending Christmas at Pemberley.
It follows Georgiana Darcy and her schooldfriend Clare Langford as they arrive in London, meeting among others Caroline Bingley.
We are also introduced to Lord Ashwell, Colonel Fitzwilliam's elder brother, Mrs. Younge, and Wickham; as they converge on Ramsgate.
Apr 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Captures the tone and tenor of a Jane Austen novel and very well written. Familiar characters are given a new lease of live and the plot is intriguing. I thought Follies Past was a highly enjoyable read.
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Melanie Kerr studied linguistics, English and theatre at the University of British Columbia and law at the University of Alberta. Melanie is a reckless lover of clotted cream, a staunch defender of the semi-colon and a fierce opponent of unpleasant music. She wooed her current and only husband with false promises of skill at word games and eternally good hair. She lives in Edmonton, where she rais ...more

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