A More Prosperous Trial of the State

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Fanfiction
Title: A More Prosperous Trial of the State
Author(s): Victoria CL
Date(s): 2007
Length: 299,000 words
Genre: het romance, crossover
Fandom: Mansfield Park/Pride and Prejudice
External Links: author site

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A More Prosperous Trial of the State is a crossover novel between Mansfield Park and Pride and Prejudice by Victoria CL, completed in 2007. The author's summary is: Following Mr Darcy's wedding, Caroline Bingley is introduced to the wealthy and divorced Mr Rushworth, of fine estate but stodgy character, and with a domineering mother. But with Caroline, nothing is ever simple – the attractions of another single gentleman have considerable effect. The title is a quotation from Mansfield Park. The story is rated R.

A More Prosperous Trial of the State was published at Firthness and Hyacinth Gardens (both now offline), as well as at the author's site, Roads Not Taken. Several short stories in the same universe are available at the story's index page. The novel is also available as a 712-page paperback and ePub via Lulu.

Plot & Characters

A sequel to both Austen novels, A More Prosperous Trial of the State centres on the marital prospects of Caroline Bingley, and her choices between boring but rich Mr Rushworth, heir to a title Tom Bertram, and sexy, aristocratic but (relatively) poor Colonel Fitzwilliam. A More Prosperous Trial of the State assumes knowledge of P&P, while the relevant events of Mansfield Park are explained. Starting four years after the main events of Mansfield Park and a few months after the end of P&P, the crossover assumes that Mrs Rushworth meets the extended Bingley family by chance in London, and Mr Darcy is previously acquainted with Sir Thomas Bertram.

Although not the main players, the novel also sheds light on the early months of Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam Darcy's marriage. As in most P&P fanfiction, they are shown to have a fulfilling sex life that soon results in pregnancy. Darcy is portrayed as rather more scholarly and religious than in canon, and a rabid bibliophile. Elizabeth is portrayed as having been entirely at fault with regard to the events of Pride and Prejudice, with Darcy's serious failings reduced to mere conceit over his virtues. Among the host of other characters appearing are Louisa & Mr Hurst, Jane & Charles Bingley, William Collins, Georgiana Darcy, Kitty Bennet, Mrs Bennet, Maria Lucas, Anne de Bourgh, Lady Catherine and George & Lydia Wickham from P&P; Mary & Henry Crawford, Fanny & Edmund Bertram, Maria Bertram and Mrs Rushworth from Mansfield Park; together with several original characters.

Victoria takes the opportunity to highlight similar characters from the two Austen novels; for example, the rakish attributes of Colonel Fitzwilliam, Henry Crawford and George Wickham are compared and contrasted. Unlike the majority of Mansfield Park fanfiction, the canonical pairings from that novel are maintained, and Victoria gives a dark interpretation of Henry Crawford who, atypically, remains entirely unreformed. Of the P&P minors, Louisa Hurst has an unusually large role, and is presented sympathetically. Mr Collins becomes a horticulturalist and garden designer.

Reception

A More Prosperous Trial of the State was generally well received, with readers praising the well-executed crossover elements and the characterisations. Caroline Bingley's characterisation is particularly praised, while a few readers found Mary Crawford's trajectory unrealistic. The novel is recommended at Crack Van, Firthness[1] and elsewhere.

Recs & Reviews

This is one of the best Jane Austen crossovers out there. A sequel to both stories, it takes on the work of entwining the lives of the characters of the two novels seamlessly. Its delightful characterization is a real treat. (hele at Crack Van)[2]
A sequel to P&P AND a sequel to MP AND a Caroline fic, and one of the best I've ever read in each category. Also, the crossover is seamless. My biggest complaint is that she refers to Darcy as "William," which is one of my pet hates. Okay, and it's a bit long. But still, excellent. (anghraine)[3]
"Terrific read --worth the time and the money!" At over 700 pages, this was an investment in time. But well worth it. I am typically not a Caroline fan, but Victoria CL did a fabulous job of portraying the Caroline Bingley we are all familiar with and showing her evolve into someone better. The growth of Mary Crawford's character was gratifying as well. The novel could have been shorter because the author seems to explain scenarious repeatedly (not uncommon when reading works originating from on-line sites) but quite forgiveable, since the story and characters are so well written. I enjoyed this immensely and would heartily recommend this purchase. (Christina Boyd)[4]
This is a very well written fanfic about Miss B's life after Darcy's marriage. I think it a very balanced portrait of Miss B. She remains very much the character developed by Miss Austen - neither vicious nor a saint - just a young woman trying to find her place and her own form of happiness in her life. (Lisa)[5]
If you want a story with an unreformed Henry and a reformed Mary, try A More Prosperous Trial of the State ... Honestly, I didn't like that story for multiple reasons, only one of them being that I found Mary's reform totally unrealistic. (Jose)[6]

References

  1. ^ "Firthness: Recommended Stories". Archived from the original on 2012-01-23. Retrieved 26 January 2014. 
  2. ^ "crack_van: A More Prosperous Trial of the State by Victoria Cl (R)". Retrieved 29 June 2013. 
  3. ^ "anghraine: I come bearing recs! (lots and lots of recs)". Archived from the original on 2012-07-12. Retrieved 29 June 2013. 
  4. ^ "Lulu: A More Prosperous Trial of the State". Retrieved 29 June 2013. 
  5. ^ "Dwiggie: 'A More Prosperous Trial of the State' by VictoriaCL". Retrieved 29 June 2013. 
  6. ^ "Dwiggie: Re: Mansfield Park fanfic". Retrieved 29 June 2013.