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Cake and Courtship (Mr Bennet's Memoirs #1)

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4.32  ·  Rating details ·  88 ratings  ·  30 reviews
When John Barton falls for the elusive Anne Hayter, he turns to one man in particular for courting advice. Unfortunately, that man is Mr Bennet of Longbourn: a world-weary gentleman who prefers his books to ballrooms.

What follows is a heartwarming tale full of wry humour and wisdom, set against the backdrop of the first half of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.

Join Mr Ben
...more
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Published October 31st 2017 by Lost Opinions e.U.
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Average rating 4.32  · 
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Meredith (Austenesque Reviews)
Pride and Prejudice from Mr. Bennet’s Perspective

Instead of retelling Pride and Prejudice from the hero’s point-of-view as many authors have done before, Mark Brownlow opts to share another character’s unique perspective. While not present for much of the action in Jane Austen’s tale and often described as indolent and apathetic, Mr. Brownlow shows us there is much more to Jane Austen’s sardonic and bookish gentleman farmer and father of five In the first book of this series (not sure how many b
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wosedwew
Apr 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, 2020, book-reviews
Everyone is necessarily the hero of his own life story. ~ John Barth

Here we have Mr. Bennet who is striving to be the hero of his life story. He has served in the Army. He would have been killed but for the actions of his friend Barton.

Bennet and Barton haven’t seen each other in years; not since Barton and his son left England following the death of Mrs. Barton. After a life in Vienna, young John Barton returns to visit the family estate, his remaining relations in England and the Bennet famil
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Debbie
What a delightful treat this book is! Mr. Brownlow does such a great job capturing Mr. Bennet's droll sense of humor. As proof, I begin by offering these examples:

"It's a shame government policy is to defeat Napoleon rather than marry him. If the latter, Mrs. Bennet would assure us of victory."

"Within minutes of his arrival, Mr. Collins described himself as a tool of God. I could well believe it. The good Lord had clearly sent him to test our fortitude."

The book is filled with such dry wit. The
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Christina Morland
Cake and Courtship is a witty, beautifully told tale of missed opportunities and second chances. Narrated by Mr. Bennet, the story takes place concurrent with the events of Volume I of Pride and Prejudice. Author Mark Brownlow strikes a perfect balance between staying true to Jane Austen’s novel while developing an entertaining set of original characters to fill out Mr. Bennet’s social scene.

When Mr. Bennet is reacquainted with John Barton, the son of an old friend, he finds himself examining hi
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Jenni Fletcher
Apr 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this! Funny and skilfully interwoven with Pride and Prejudice. Brilliant idea.
Sheila Majczan
Apr 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was not exactly what I expected. I went in expecting observations by Papa Bennet on the men, the soldiers & the parson who flirt with, pursue, court and marry his daughters. The first pages of the story did not pull me in but wanting to do justice to a book I won during the Blog Tour for this publication I persisted. The tale improves with further reading.

Mr. Bennet's relationship with John Barton stems from the fact that John's father saved Mr. Bennet's life during a battle against th
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Christina
Jun 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved this first in the Mr Bennet’s Memoirs series. Clever spin from Mr Bennet’s point of view. Mr Bennet is as he ever was: bookish and has his favorites but maybe not quite as much the indoloent father we see in canon or other “Pride and Prejudice” fan fiction. His back story makes him a character with more shades and depth. I look forward to more in the series. Not to miss this wonderful executed literature.
Rose Servitova
Nov 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love Mr Bennet and, having read this book, which is written from his perspective, I love him even more. It would appear that Mark Brownlow has dwelt inside Mr Bennet's head - there is so much wit, humour and likeability. I laughed out loud many, many times and wondered when I had read something as witty before. It's a great book and I hope to read more of Mr Bennet's musings and memories soon. ...more
ana darcy
Dec 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I have loved Mr Bennet. He has his own life and he has a life before having his family. How he feels, how he thinks, how he acts...
He wants to help John and by doing that he get to know him.
If you read the book, you may like or dislike some bits but the writing is really good and the story is great.
QNPoohBear
Mr. Bennet of Lonbourn in Hertforshire, is an unhappily married man and father of 5 marriageable daughters. He has grown cynical and cold in his middle age and retreats to his library to read and study butterflies. Only his second daughter Lizzy brings him joy. When a letter from the son of an old friend arrives out of the blue, Mr. Bennet is at first pleased to hear from the young man. However, he is soon surprised for in the letter John Barton asks for advice in matters of the heart! It seems ...more
Tina
Feb 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Review to come March, 1st
Lona Manning
Nov 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If you're a "Pride & Prejudice" fan, haven't you wanted to follow Mr. Bennet into his library when he closes the door, maybe read the spines of the books on his bookshelves, and enjoy a glass of brandy with him, away from the noise of the rest of the household?

Mark Brownlow's debut novel is told from the POV of Mr. Bennet. The events in the novel track the first part of "Pride & Prejudice," but in "Cake and Courtship," we learn more about Mr. Bennet's past life, and his lost love, and we follow
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Teresa
Mar 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've always had a soft spot for Mr. Bennet even though he is portrayed as quite selfish and not being a very good husband. It was good to have the character fleshed out and understand a bit of his earlier life. His friends were a joy to read about and the butterfly collecting and The Society were a nice touch. Whenever I read about Mr. Bennet I picture Moray Watson who played him in the 1980 tv adaptation and this is who I saw while reading. I could hear him speak.
There are some really witty pa
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Katherine Fuller
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a man in possession of five daughters must be in want of a brandy. At last we have a version Mr. Bennet's back story. I always wondered what possessed him to marry such a silly woman. Still not quite clear, but it suffices to know that she was not his first choice. ...more
lori huff
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful

Mr. Brownlow is the perfect author to compose this story about Mr. Bennett. He seems to possess the same wry, clever, and intelligent sense of humour as does this character in the original P&P. And what an original idea for a JAFF! Mr. Bennett, of all people, is asked by a family friend for some advice and guidance in a matter of the heart. Anyone at all familiar with P&P knows what a cynic Mr. Bennett can be, how he takes pains to separate himself from all matchmaking, even from societ
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Maria Thomas
This is a fun idea for a P&P variation. I love when authors take a lesser character and write their story. So here we get Mr. Bennet's pov. I thought it was well written and interesting. I'd like to read the rest of the series.
My only real question is why Mr. Bennet was willing to go so far out of his way to help in other's love story but can't be bothered to help with any of his daughters. I know he felt obligation but is their no obligation to his family? Maybe he'll get the bug now and go fo
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Julieta
Jan 19, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mr. Bennet takes centre stage in this book, and it is a delight to see how much in his world -and neither his daughters’ or his wife’s- he is. Mark Brownlow gives us reason to forgive Mr. Bennet his poor parenting, and not just because of his tiresome wife. His past makes our heart ache for Mr. Bennet, but it is good to see he made it through the experience with a generous attitude. While the P&P story is truly in the background (Darcy is not mentioned a handful of times, Bingley hardly more; Wi ...more
Barbara K.
This is the first in a series, and I recommended reading the books in order, which I did not. But this may be my favorite of the series, because of how much humor there is, delicious dry humor of the kind we have come to think Mr. Bennet is capable of, and find plenty of in this book.

This reads as a memoir, with some backtracking through time as Mr. Bennet experiences the beginnings of his daughters' courtships, reminisces about his years as a young man, and helps his friend Henry Barton's son J
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Mrs H
Dec 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Droll delights

Mr Brownlow, or should I say Mr Bennet? This is one of those where canon is only in the background and a different story unfolds with new characters.Yet at the same time we gain insight into Lizzie, Mrs Bennet, Lydia, Kitty and many others, above all Mr Bennet himself and his troubled, jaundiced relationship with his wife. There are no pantomime villains, no dire nor implausible plot twists, and, to be fair, hardly hide nor hair of Darcy. Off to read the next installment with alacr
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Susan
Jul 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this P&P variation we have events from Mr. Bennet's pov, but we also learn some of his past history when the son, John Barton, of an old friend asks for Bennet's help in courting a young lady he has fallen in love with. Yes, advise from Mr. Bennet. More importantly we learn about Bennet's love of cake.
An enjoyable and easy read which also introduced us to a few more new characters. Many which with probably reoccur in the next volume(s).
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Jennifer
Jan 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jaff
Charming and delightful!
Fans of Mr. Bennet will love his wit and dry humor as he juggles his family, pays debts to old friends, helps a poor gentleman painter with few prospects to catch the notice of the young lady he loves, and eats his fill of cake (or tries to) at the Meryton Natural History Society meetings.
Joan
Jun 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Avid Reader

Kudos to Mr. Brownie for making me laugh. After finally coming face b face, John Barton and Ann Haytner fall madly in love. Their meeting is engineered by Mr. Bennett who was in love with Ann when he was a younger man. Lizzy and Ann had the last laugh.
Ann S. Lee
Mar 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting perspective

So many Pride and Prejudice variations are so similar that they are less enjoyable. As improbable as the story is, it is funny and fresh. It truly captures the wit of Mr. Bennett.
Stacey
Feb 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
I spent a year+ slogging through Pride & Prejudice variations, and this one (of the last 50) is worth reading. You'll get glimpses of the couple, but you'll be treated to the insights of Mr B, and it's delightful. ...more
Jill r Christiansen
Loved it!

I have many P&P variations and enjoyed them, mostly. But I haven't laughed as much as I did with "Cake & Courtship." A wonderful story!
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Sharon G.
Mar 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Delightful!
Lorie
May 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this book about Mr Bennett. I love getting to know the background of Jane's characters. We now know what happened to make Mr Bennett so unhappy in his marriage. ...more
Becky Scherer
Mar 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A delightful read!

So many laugh out loud moments and many giggles. Mr. Bennet's sarcastic humor makes this P&P variation a fun read. Looking forward to the sequel!
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Dawn Timan
It was a good story maybe a little slow at parts.
Leonor Heitor
Sep 25, 2020 rated it liked it
Mr Bennet's view of Pride and Prejudice with new Characters, new stories and new perspectives. Hell yes. That's what I tell you. You are able to understand the always sarcastic but indifferent Mr Benner, as thee plot occurs.
Enjoy the read.
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Mark is a British-born writer now living in Vienna after falling in love with his (Austrian) Elizabeth Bennet. Though his wife would probably describe him as more Edward Ferrars than Mr Darcy.

When not writing, he works as a university lecturer and journalist.

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