This story was inspired by the following article: Newly Discovered Cancelled Chapter of "Pride and Prejudice" Shocks and Delights Experts and Readers Alike
Elizabeth Darcy entered the library at Pemberley to explore its shelves. She was delighted with her new home and, as she looked around the room, only lamented the utter impossibility of reading every book in it during her lifetime. And yet, there was a box of new volumes on the table, waiting to be catalogued and shelved. She had only been at Pemberley about a week. She had been in London since her marriage, but they had returned to Pemberley for Christmas and were expecting the Gardiners to join them the following day. She had not seen the library during her tour of the house the previous summer and only had a cursory look at it on her recent arrival. She had come in once or twice since then, but never with the leisure to really explore.
Now she walked along the shelves reading the titles with interest, occasionally pulling down a book to page through it. After several moments, she was arrested by the sight of a large volume lying alone on an ornate stand between shelves in front of a large window. The book was closed with the words "Darcy Family Bible" inscribed on the leather cover. Elizabeth was intrigued and opened the book to the first page. A frontispiece showed an illustration of what could only be Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. The title page was opposite and was an exact copy of the front cover.
When Elizabeth turned the page, she found a most interesting discovery: a family tree. It seemed to have been started by the present Mr. Darcy's great grandfather, and began with a paragraph describing the history of the family for several generations back, followed by the marriage and children of the author. The next generation's information was given in the same style. And the children of Mr. Darcy's grandfather were listed. The marriage of Darcy's father to Lady Anne Fitzwilliam was duly recorded and Elizabeth next saw the names of her husband and his sister, as well as a third child who had died at a young age.
Elizabeth reflected on the sadness of such an event, but the next line caught her attention: "Miss Margaret Darcy married to Reginald Fitzwilliam, Viscount ____." The date of the marriage was given as well as the date he later became Earl of ____. When Elizabeth read this, she realised that Darcy's father's sister had married his mother's brother. Colonel Fitzwilliam as well as his brother and sisters were Darcy's double cousins. It now seemed to make more sense that the colonel shared in the guardianship of Georgiana.
Elizabeth saw that the children of this union were also listed, and she read on. Reginald Fitzwilliam, currently the Viscount, was the eldest son and the heir to the earldom. Elizabeth had not yet met him. His marriage was recorded as well. Next listed were Colonel Fitzwilliam's two sisters and their husbands. She had met them both in London. Then she saw the line for the next son; this had to be the colonel, for she knew there were no more sons, and she was now rather eager to learn his Christian name: "The Honorable Darcy Fitzwilliam." She stared at it a moment, then started laughing. "The Honorable Darcy Fitzwilliam, no, this cannot be!"
The sound of a throat clearing behind her caused her to turn suddenly. When she did, she saw her husband standing before her with a half smile. "I see you have found my great-grandfather's bible."
"Indeed," she said, "I have been learning some fascinating truths about your family."
"You seem more amused than fascinated," he replied, walking towards her.
"But is Colonel Fitzwilliam's given name really 'Darcy?'" she asked.
"Oh yes," he said, broadening his smile.
"So you are Fitzwilliam Darcy and he is Darcy Fitzwilliam?" she said, still unable to contain her amusement. "It must be terribly confusing when all the family are together."
"No one calls him that, except his sisters when they were younger and wished to vex him."
"I shall keep that in mind if I ever wish to vex him."
"And no one calls me Fitzwilliam ... except you."
"So really there is no confusion."
"I suppose that is why he entered the army -- to gain a rank so he could wholly avoid using his Christiam name."
"I cannot say whether that was his motivation."
Elizabeth turned back to the book and her husband stepped forward to look at it with her. There was very little space at the bottom of the page following the entries she had been reading, but at the very bottom she saw the following written in a neat hand that she recognized, "Fitzwilliam Darcy married to Elizabeth Bennet," and the date of their marriage. She was not surprised he had already added it, even though they had only been at Pemberley a week, but she was delighted nonetheless.
"But what shall we do?" said Elizabeth, "There is no more space on the page." She turned the page as she said so, to demonstrate her point. The following page started with Genesis. "You will not write on the back?" she asked with concern.
"No. I shall inquire about having a page added, or we shall have to simply start anew."
"And retire your great-grandfather's bible?"
"Perhaps it is for the best. If you are so amused by its secrets, I fear what our children shall do with the information."
Elizabeth only smiled at this, which was taken by her husband as an invitation to kiss her -- one he could hardly be expected to resist.