I thought ease would come, here, tucked away in the safe uneventfulness of Hunsford. It would seem I was mistaken.
In 1813, upon her marriage to Mr Collins, the rector of Hunsford Parsonage, Charlotte Collins née Lucas left her childhood home in Hertfordshire for Kent, where she is set to live out her life as the parson’s wife, in an endless procession of dinners at Rosings Park, household chores, correspondence, and minding her poultry. But Mrs Collins carries with her a secret, a peculiar preference, which is destined to turn all her carefully laid plans on their head.
Lucas is a queer romance, a mock-epistolary novel, and a retelling and continuation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, teeming with Regency references and Sturm und Drang. It is an homage to English literature—and a brazen, revisionist fan fiction. But, first and foremost, it is a love story. Read it as you will.
Heiligenschwendi, near Thun
Enclosed you will find some old papers of my aunt’s—my twice dead aunt!—of the queerest nature. I trust you to burn them before you so much as read a line of them, for that was my downfall. My papa would have them burnt, and as you know, his directions must be followed. Luckily, he did not suspect the exact contents of my aunt’s escritoire, or he would have never trusted me with the office.
My dear, these belles lettres, as we may call them, are really too shocking for words. More shocking even than that vile rake Cleland’s effusions; for, as we know, that is but fiction, whereas, this! I blush to think on the likely veracity of these incendiary epistles. As you shall see—but I forget myself, you shall not see. You must burn everything at once, even this, my prefatory note, for if my papa or your mamma were to find out
I long to see you, dear. Switzerland is rather dreary and dull this time of year, which, come to think of it, England is, too, but it has the decided advantage of your companionship. I am eager, very eager, to return and be once more
Your faithful and ever loving,
Meet the Author
Often quirky, always queer, Elna Holst is an unapologetic genre-bender who writes anything from stories of sapphic lust and love to the odd existentialist horror piece, reads Tolstoy, and plays contract bridge. Find her on Instagram or Goodreads.