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A Third Proposal: A Short Story

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This short story stars Jane Austen's Bennet family in a tale of wit, wisdom, love, and brandy.

A chance encounter in an inn has unwelcome repercussions for Elizabeth Bennet's impending marriage to Mr Darcy.

And it might all be Mr Bennet's fault.

As the snow falls in Meryton, can he save the young couple's happiness?

Full of wry humour with a pinch of romance, this Pride and Prejudice variation warms the soul on a cold winter's day.

Mark Brownlow is the author of Mr Bennet's Memoirs and the Charlotte Collins Mysteries.

27 pages, Kindle Edition

Published January 23, 2019

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About the author

Mark Brownlow

6 books31 followers
Mark is a British-born writer and travel journalist now living in Vienna, Austria.

Published May 2023: a new Charlotte Collins mystery...

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5 stars
33 (38%)
4 stars
27 (31%)
3 stars
19 (22%)
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Displaying 1 - 28 of 28 reviews
Profile Image for Debbie.
1,521 reviews37 followers
March 23, 2020
This is a delightful short story told from Mr. Bennet's point of view. It's very much in the same vein as the VERY excellent Cake and Courtship. (The latter ends as Lizzy heads off to Hunsford, and I'm eagerly awaiting the next volume in the series.) This little tale is a lovely treat during the interim that jumps to the END of Pride and Prejudice after Jane-and-Bingley and Elizabeth-and-Darcy are betrothed, before their shared wedding day.

LOVE the inclusion of Sense and Sensibility's Mr. Palmer in the first chapter. He and Mr. Bennet bond over a bottle of brandy and their shared disillusionment with the marriage state. It's an inspired combination of characters. Unfortunately, Mr. B's part-serious/part-tongue-in-cheek comments are overheard, causing unanticipated consequences.

Perfectly executed short story that does end with a nice bit of romance for Darcy and Lizzy.
Profile Image for Mark Brownlow.
Author 6 books31 followers
January 25, 2019
Poor Mr Bennet. I do put him in difficult situations. Though it's his own fault, frankly. If he would only keep his opinions to himself and be a little slower to bring out that wit of his. But he's a kind man at heart and maybe deserves better. (Maybe.)

This is my first short story...an opportunity to have a little fun, but also to let loose with a few grand romantic gestures - perhaps I've watched too many Richard Curtis films. Hope you enjoy it!

P.S. The eternal dilemma of whether to rate your own book or not - I choose not to.
Profile Image for Sheila Majczan.
2,353 reviews154 followers
January 25, 2019
Brandy and a discussion on the "merits" of marriage lead to a surprising reconsideration by one fiancé as to his love's attitude about their upcoming lifelong commitment to each other.

Mr. Bennet is stuck overnight at an inn with no beds available so he seeks solace in drink and a conversation with a fellow traveler who is willing to discuss some of the joys and trials of the married state. The next day there is a consequence no one can have expected.

The title gives the reader a hint as to where this is going. Can two previous proposals be improved upon?
Profile Image for ana darcy.
254 reviews6 followers
January 29, 2019
Mr Bennet had one too many

In an inn, Mr Bennet is talking to another traveller that you may know, Mr Palmer.
Brandy and the topic of marriage is not the best combination for Mr Bennet. He just talks and talks but you never know who is listening.
Profile Image for Marie.
1,088 reviews70 followers
May 17, 2023
Love the Humour
Reviewed in Canada on April 1, 2020
I enjoyed this vignette with Mr. Bennet completely putting his foot in his mouth and finding a way to remove it. Fun read. Well done!
Profile Image for Les.
2,813 reviews2 followers
March 29, 2020
This is an absolutely adorable short story set between the engagement and marriage in P&P where a snow storm, a bottle of brandy and Mr. Bennet's mouth almost lead to disaster for ODC.
Profile Image for Sam H..
901 reviews27 followers
March 13, 2021
It is interesting to get a slightly different nuance via this author's voice and Mr. bennet's POV.
Cute story of Mr B messing things up and then needing to fix them again.
Profile Image for wosedwew.
1,198 reviews104 followers
January 30, 2019
A woman drove me to drink and I never even had the courtesy to thank her. ~ W.C. Fields

Misery loves company – and so do semi-unhappily married men.

Messrs. Bennet and Palmer meet at an inn when both are stranded in their travels. A few brandies help time to pass.

The following day, Mr. Bennet arrives home in Meryton to find a house full of chaos and tears and anger. How does anyone know about his conversation at the inn?

I chortled all the way through this short story.

Drinking makes such fools of people, and people are such fools to begin with, that it's compounding a felony. ~ Robert Benchley
Profile Image for Teresa.
580 reviews127 followers
February 12, 2019
A short well written enjoyable read.
This story is centered on Mr Bennett. I've always had a soft spot for this character so really liked this story. I thought the author got the character spot on. Also having him meet a character from another Austen book was brilliant. The character he picked was genius.
Profile Image for Madenna U.
1,832 reviews1 follower
February 17, 2019
This short Pride and Prejudice short story features Mr Bennet talking about marriage with a stranger over brandy while stuck at an inn for bad weather. He is unexpectedly overheard by Darcy who starts to second guess his upcoming wedding to Elizabeth. A very insistent young lady marches over to speak to her betrothed to work out the situation - resulting in a third proposal.
Profile Image for Elin Eriksen.
Author 18 books96 followers
March 24, 2020
Vignette in Mr Bennet's PoV

A delightful and beautifully written vignette of poetic quality.

Mr Bennet accidentally create havoc to his favourite daughters engagement.

Heartily recommend!

Rated: Chaste
Profile Image for James S.
1,257 reviews
February 6, 2019
A P&P variation in short form

A very short story which in its own way was a typical variation stripped of everything but the essence of most variations.

Part 1 - Mr. Bennet is a miserable creature and must belittle something to fight back at his unfair life - Everything in life is something to make fun of and to laugh at. This is Mr. Bennet’s world view and when he stuck at a table with a stranger he says derogatory things about his favorite daughter’s upcoming marriage, his daughter and her husband to be.

Part 2 - Darcy misunderstands and creates a mountain from mole hill - Darcy overhears Mr. Bennet and acts like a doofus . Instead of just ignoring the old fool he escalates the seriousness of the statement, feels he doesn’t want to be to be a future source of sadness to someone he loves and writes a note to Lizzy and gives her a chance to call off the wedding.

Part 3 - another misunderstanding - instead of remembering all her inability to understand Darcy, she gets mad and goes into shrew mode. She drags her father over to Netherfield and forces her father to explain and apologize. Then Darcy apologize because everyone must do so when her temper is high. Then she demands another proposal.

The HEA is back in place.

End of story. Well written and does what a good short story should do. Have a point of view and only tell the story with no extra sauce. It was too much negativity for me but no worse than a variation novel with tons of angst.
Profile Image for Bronwen Chisholm.
Author 10 books32 followers
March 27, 2020
Simply charming

Ever since High Laurie played Mr. Palmer, he has been one of my favorite side characters in Jane Austen 's stories. To bring him together with Mr. Bennett is shear genius.
Profile Image for Charlene.
470 reviews
February 9, 2019
Short snarky tale from Mr Bennet. Takes place just before the double wedding. Tale is only about 10 pigs.
Profile Image for Rebecca L..
Author 4 books42 followers
November 8, 2020
Very cute

A fun short story that I really enjoyed reading. Well crafted and immersive. Highly entertaining. I read it in one sitting and would like to read More by this author
885 reviews19 followers
November 11, 2019

Another witty story written from the POV of Mr. Bennett, by an author who knows how to assume just the right degree of sarcasm and gravity. This is a real quickie, and concerns one evening that Mr. Bennett spends waiting out a bad snowstorm at an inn, where he meets none other than Mr. Palmer of Sense and Sensibility fame. They drink brandy and converse, and Mr. Bennett says some things about marriage that, in his tipsy state, he probably shouldn't have said concerning Elizabeth 's upcoming marriage to Mr. Darcy. Unbeknownst to them, Mr. Darcy is at the same inn for the same reason, and he overhears Mr. Bennett 's cynical comments, and comes away thinking that maybe Elizabeth doesn't really want to marry him.

Mr. Bennett doesn't quite remember all the stupid things he said when he was drunk but he must, nonetheless, repair the damage that he's done. He accomplishes this with a wonderful show of humility and heart. For once he must abandon his sarcastic facade, and be a father to both Darcy and Elizabeth. A very heartwarming scene that underlines the fact that Mr Bennett truly does love his family.

This short book is well written and well edited. I recommend it highly.
Profile Image for Kimbelle Pease.
Author 4 books10 followers
September 9, 2022
This story, for me, started most promising and I literally laughed out loud and was delighted when Mr. Palmer introduced himself to Mr. Bennet. I loved, dearly, their conversation, such as we were allowed to enjoy, a conversation I between Mr. Sutherland and Mr. Laurie over brandy on a cold night. It was such a treat. And then started the situation with a tantrum from a Mr. Darcy who is supposedly changed and intends to be more open-minded/understanding, yet takes slurred words and caustic opinions to heart but had, supposing the book follows the canon Pride and Prejudice novel, spent nearly all of his life finding such words from such men not worth listening to and holding such drunken men in disfavor. And then, of course, he has to propose again because he had said he was done with their proposal after listening to a drunken Mr. Bennet. So, half perfection, half irritation, but wholly creative and well written!
Profile Image for Barbara Klaser.
606 reviews14 followers
February 10, 2021
In this brief sequel to Pride and Prejudice, Mr. Bennet is traveling home to Meryton, shortly before his two oldest daughters are to marry, when he is stopped by a snow storm and forced to spend the night in a crowded inn, where he sits at a table in an alcove, drinking brandy with a gentleman named Mr. Palmer, whom readers will recognize from Sense and Sensibility. They talk about marriage, both presenting their jaded views of the state.

When Bennet arrives home, it is to find the house in an uproar, and Elizabeth angry at him for some unknown wrong. Is her marriage to be called off? Read the short story to find out. It made for a fun evening's read.
2,349 reviews32 followers
May 17, 2023
This short story was a re-read although I had failed to review or mark it as read previously. Well worth returning to, though. Mr Darcy happened to overhear some of Mr. Bennet's lamentations about his upcoming nuptials and has doubts in consequence. Mr. Bennet's dry wit is quite amusing (this is in his first person perspective). Elizabeth is angry to find out that her father has caused trouble in paradise, and she has some great lines with very subtly implied threats. Darcy comes across as somewhat insecure here but perhaps it's not a miracle after what happened at Hunsford.
710 reviews7 followers
January 31, 2019
Avid Reader

This novella made me laugh more than once. Mr. Bennet really put his foot in it this time about the wedding of Elizabeth and Darcy. While drinking brandy and talking to a Mr. Palmer, he makes known his thoughts about the possible success of their marriage. You must read it yourself to find out how Elizabeth "handles " Darcy and her father.
February 26, 2019
Very cute story!


Mr. Bennett, while in his cups, described what he believed marriage would be like for Elizabeth and Darcy. This caused Darcy to write Elizabeth a letter stating that maybe they should call off the wedding. This was one of the first I've read of this description, and I have read thousands. I thought it was very cute.
Profile Image for Gerry Cameron.
3 reviews2 followers
February 9, 2019
a delightful small thing

Very short, but a vignette on Me Bennett of Pride and Prejudice fame, in keeping with his character. Rather too many repeated Austen phrases though. But fun...
Profile Image for Holly.
252 reviews8 followers
June 5, 2019

A cute short story. There isn’t much in the way of tension as the conclusion is assured, so I thought the work was kinda pointless.
Profile Image for Susan.
5,646 reviews53 followers
March 24, 2020
In this P&P variation, as the wedding of Darcy and Elizabeth approaches, words spoken by Mr Bennet have repercussions. What will be the result of this third proposal be.
An enjoyable short story
Profile Image for Michelle.
2,159 reviews9 followers
March 25, 2020
Short but emotional

A rather interesting and emotional little interlude. A lot of brandy and bitterness lead to a conversation overheard and a problem.
15 reviews
March 27, 2020
Funny short story! Austen style

I like the wit and humor expressed by Mr Bennet on the subject of marriage, given it was done with the help of some brandy to loosen the lips.
Displaying 1 - 28 of 28 reviews

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