These musings were brought on by the remastering of my entire backlist now that I am once again in control of the books. This includes the eight Bennet Wardrobe novels and novellas, the series that occupied my writing life for seven years. I have re[ublished Volume One—The Keeper: Mary Bennet’s Extraordinary Journey—and Volume Two—Henry Fitzwilliam’s War. Volume Three—The Exile: Kitty Bennet and the Belle Époque–is scheduled to release on August 7.


I am a fan of classic (Golden Age) science fiction. Remarkable authors like Isaac Asimov and Robert Heinlein began their careers in the late 1930s. That period, likewise, was the golden age of publishing with the written word widely available to entertain all classes from mill workers to the idle rich. Much like cable television, publishing became a vast maw into which writers shoveled their work to satisfy the public’s—and, thus, the publisher—appetites for entertaining fiction.

Permit me to turn to one of these authors.

Early on Asimov latched onto elements of the fictional world that would serve as the canvas upon which he wrote decades-worth of stories. He began at the beginning, so to speak, by creating underlying stories which allowed him to write the continuing tales of their universes. These were the raison d’etre that gave a logical backstory to everything which came after.

Asimov’s monumental Foundation series was published in three volumes from 1951 to 1953. The first story, though, The Encyclopedists, appeared in 1942. Asimov followed with another seven short stories and novellas through 1950. These were collected into a cohesive whole in three volumes. The Foundation series was later voted (in 1966) the greatest science fiction series of all time. It is important to note that Asimov shelved science fiction writing after 1958 and did not return to it until the 1980s when he wrote prequels and sequels to the trilogy to expand the arc to six books.

I imagine all of you are now wondering if I plan to compare myself to Asimov. Nope! In fact, I see the Master as just that—a brilliant guru atop a hill while I toil in my own way in the dinge of the overgrowth surrounding its foot. However, I was struck—and continue to be so—by the way Asimov created a cohesive and logical universe into which he inserted his stories and the characters required to tell his great history. That impression helped shape my approach to the Bennet Wardrobe series.

The first Austenesque story I ever released was Miss Bennet’s First Christmas on  December 21, 2015. There was an inkling of the Bennet Wardrobe in it where Mary recollects her father speaking to an unfamiliar man while Elizabeth and Jane are preparing to leave Longbourn after the double wedding. He has Bennet Eyes, although that is not remarked upon. He disappears from Longbourn to re-enter Mary’s story two weeks later with the Great Fire.

However, while Miss Bennet’s First Christmas may have been the first published Wardrobe tale, the Wardrobe had been growing since the autumn of 2015. In my files I uncovered the essential precursor to the Bennet Wardrobe Series, a file labeled Rules of the Wardrobe last saved on November 9, 2015. There is one earlier, The Bennet Wardrobe Kitty and Mary from November 4, 2015. I had already seen the rough roots of the Wardrobe—originally intended to allow Mary, Kitty, and Lydia satisfying outcomes beyond their destinies posited by Miss Austen. Those will be your excerpts for the day, useful to understand what I note next.

The Wardrobe, like most creative works, began with a vision that altered as I wrote. Consider that the previous paragraph noted that I started the arc to “to allow Mary, Kitty, and Lydia satisfying outcomes beyond their destinies posited by Miss Austen.” The plan was to compose three books where the young women would use the magical Wardrobe to travel to where/whens that would allow them to learn what they needed to grow beyond the caricatures left in Pride and Prejudice. Yes, readers, I had a bone to pick with A Lady.

However—and perhaps it was Austen reaching from the Old One’s Realm—I quickly began to discover new layers beneath my first impressions. I realized that Mary, practical and spiritual Mary, did not need to go very far to learn what she needed. In Dorothy’s words They were right there in her backyard all the time. Yes, tidbits of revealed future shaped the middle daughter, but it was her present shaped by her love for a young man from the past that turned her into The Great Keeper. She grew from the pious, prosy cardboard cutout into a confident woman.

Evolution…that is the individual stories which began to weave themselves together to help me understand that I was not writing three separate stories where the Wardrobe was the instrumentality. Instead, multiple prospects began to appear before me. Mary evolved—as have her covers. Her story launches readers into the new universe.

This is the audiobook cover for the 2023 Remastered Edition of Mary’s story. It is now available in all formats.

Likewise, the Series evolved.

Henry Fitzwilliam’s War was needed to introduce the man who would become Kitty’s love interest in Volume Three, Belle Époque—which is the story of their love story and explores the forces that created both Austen’s Kitty Bennet (she undergoes psychoanalysis with Freud) and the Wardrobe’s 11th Countess of Matlock. The newly remastered 2023 edition of Henry was published on July 30th and quickly became a #1 hot new release. Here is the ebook cover for this young man’s story.

Lizzy Bennet Meets the Countess, Volume Four of the Wardrobe, grew from my need to understand why Mr. Bennet treated Elizabeth as a worthy intellectual heir. It also is the first inkling that maybe, just maybe, the Wardrobe was about more than Mary, Kitty, and Lydia.

The second part of The ExileThe Countess Visits Longbourn—came into focus when I understood that Kitty’s return to the 1811-12 time gave me the opportunity to flip the script by making the sixty-three-year-old Dowager Countess of Matlock the leader and the sixteen-year-old Mrs. Wickham the follower. To do that, though, I had to flesh out why Wickham had grown into the cad he had despite an identical upbringing as Fitzwilliam Darcy–and how he transcended what we thought his destiny to be. The book went from being Part Two of Volume Three to its own standalone novel, Volume Five.

Then a stark realization hit me. The Bennet Wardrobe Series was no longer about three secondary characters. The books were a saga of the Bennet family in an alternate universe—one where Austen’s characters were not fictional, but rather real in the purest sense of Heinlein’s concept of solipsism. Austen’s act of writing Pride and Prejudice created the reality. Thus, Sherlock Holmes, when speaking to Henry Fitzwilliam, the eleventh Earl of Matlock, in Belle Epoque could refer to P&P as a biography when the two meet during the search for Kitty Bennet.

This recognition meant that the previous five volumes were linked and were leading to more books. The Avenger: Thomas Bennet and a Father’s Lament, Volume Six, was the immediate fruit which allowed not only the completion of the Kitty arc, but also the examination of the questions of time line and the multiverse. I took this opportunity to address the love betwen two people of a certain age (40s/50s–Donald Sutherland was far too old).

Lydia’s book, The Pilgrim: Lydia Bennet and a Soldier’s Portion, became a bridge forward, back, and through several of the earlier books. The leader (Pilgrim) was apt. It also took her central fascination as established by Austen–men in uniforms–and considered how the men she chose proved the ultimate truth: that courage does not grow from the costume but rather the contents of the wearer’s heart.

All earlier books were driving to the eighth and final entry, The Grail: The Saving of Elizabeth Darcy, which reveals the total purpose of the Wardrobe and how every Bennet served that need.

As one philosopher noted, the only constant is change. That holds especially true in the creative process. Few endeavors are identical in the end to what was envisioned before the beginning. Such is the case with The Bennet Wardrobe Series. Stay tuned for the re-release in the coming weeks.

The remaining books should appear on the following schedule:

Aug 7: V3 The Exile: Kitty Bennet and the Belle Epoque

Aug 14: V4 Lizzy Bennet Meets the Countess

Aug 21: V5 The Exile: The Countess Visits Longbourn

Aug 28: V6 The Avenger: Thomas Bennet and a Father’s Lament

Sept 4: V7 The Pilgrim: Lydia Bennet and a Soldier’s Portion

Sept 11: V8 The Grail: The Saving of Elizabeth Darcy

All books will be available worldwide on Amazon.


I have previously remastered Lessers and Betters which appeared in June. You will find members of the Bennet Wardrobe Repertory Company (Henry Wilson, Angus Campbell, and Richard Fitzwilliam) appearing much as they do in the Wardrobe. Kitty’s courage as established in the Wardrobe also is featured. The book is available in Kindle, KindleUnlimited, paperback, and Audible.


The following notes are ©2023 by Donald P. Jacobson. Reproduction is prohibited.

Note: These are the raw documents. Spelling is awful. Plot points change. This is the start of the Wardrobe.

(((Saved on November 4, 2015)))

The Bennett Wardrobe

Kitty & Mary (sort of)

George Gershwin…Rhapsody in Blue

Deauville, Fr…..Kitty establishes a home and estate in the resort area after she and her Grand-nephew Edward James Fitzwilliam Darcy marry in 1887.  He is a successful industrialist from Sheffield and Manchester.  The family holdings have been successfully transformed.  House in Pemberly is still maintained as the family seat.

Kitty is an artist…how she meets Edward.  See Paul Durand-Ruel.[1] See Martha Ward.[2]  She and Edward begin to purchase and collect.  Surrounds herself over the years with culture.  While in France the society of Deauville attracts the likes of Stravinsky, Sergei Diaghliev and Maurice Ravel.  It is Ravel who has obtained a copy of the piano score for Rhapsody in Blue when he visited the USA in 1928.  He met George Gerswhin who asked Ravel to mentor him.  Ravel gently refused, advising that he (Gershwin) was doing just fine as a composer.[3]

Ravel did, however, bring the score with him when he went to Deauville to the Darcy house (1933) to relax at the resort while struggling to compose the score for the film Don Quixote.  As his absentmindedness continued to increase (result of 1932 accident) [4], he forgot to pack his score of R in B, leaving it in his folio on the piano top in his suite.  A maid rushing to clean the room tossed the leather folio into the wardrobe to “get it out of here.”  And that was the trigger to flash those docs back to 1813 for Mary to find.


Saved on November 9, 2015 as “Wardrobe Rules”

Write as a Dear Reader” Prologue

Also have the storm prolog which establishes Edward’s role and his vanishing.

Wardrobe rules…..

Travel always starts at the point the wardrobe is on the original Bennett timeline. 

Past is past.  Wardrobe moves ahead in the timeline.  You must go back before you can go forward.

Each movement is actually half of a paired set.  One move Forward and one backwards.  Thus…if you have bounced ahead, you can only bounce back to “relive” the missing years”. So…Edward can only bounce back to 1785 (or whatever depending on the number of years he has ived in the future).

Travel to Future is dictated by Need.  The wardrobe (like the sorting hat decides). No travel to past except to return to the original wardrobe.

It is anchored on each person’s relative timeline.  The wardrobes are layered in relativistic terms. 

So when Edward leaves 1785 and bounces to 1817, his wardrobe begins to move ahead.

Edward’s is the first wardrobe, activated by a storm in 1784.

Each person who comes to it, creates a new relativistic frame.

Mary never uses it, but the portfolio comes back to her from 1932.  Thus, Mary’s Wardrobe always remains anchored in her timeline.  This will be useful in the final bounce.  Edward’s is layered here from 1817 forward.  So, his only recourse is to bounce backward.  He has used his bounce forward on the cycle.

His need is to cure Mary who (also at age 65) is terribly ill.

She has pneumonia.  She struggles to breathe.  Edward has gone back to 1817 to supply his own references.  And he returns.  With that return, he understands the

Mary has no interest to leave her timeline.  So the music comes to her.

She still has her bounces left. And that is how Edward moves her to 1997. He picks her up from bed and carries her to the wardrobe and stepping inside takes a leap of faith and, assuming they are bonded physically and mentally, expresses the need for her to live. He believes that the wardrobe will not separate them.  She awakens in the London hospital in 1997.  The wardrobe had survived!  Deauville back to Pemberly to London following the instructions in Kitty’s will.  Edward arrives with Mary…and takes her to the hospital.


Kitty is restless and looking for a new way of looking at the world and tired of the quiescent Hertfordshire life, so she is shot ahead to 2nd Industrial Revolution Great Britain and modernity transforms the art world.  She becomes the Kitty version of Elizabeth. But Elizabeth lived to 78, dying in 1869.  Kitty sees E’s portrait in Pemberly.  She never looks back, but rather becomes the second steward of the wardrobe.

So, when Lydia “leaves” in the Spring of 1814, she lands in May 1944 in Deauville where the Wardrobe is at Kitty’s house.

When Lydia returns to the past in May 1945, the wardrobe has likewise moved ahead on its timeline—to June 1815…Waterloo…where Colonel Fitzwilliam is on Wellington’s staff…and is wounded.

Lydia needs harsh reality.  Ultimately shot ahead to WWII. Where she sees the reality of war—the deprivation of the occupied….the valor of common soldiers, the concern and caring of their leaders (build it).  WWII occupied Deauville, Fr.  She meets a leader—Col Piron of the Belgian Army whose forces liberate Deauville…and he stays at the Darcy house before shifting north to liberate Brussels. Lydia discovers the ma, his heart…and during the terror of war, they find comfort with each other as she follows him through the end of the war.  She learns that it is not the uniform that makes a man brave, but rather it is the man’s heart that creates the valor which illuminates the uniform (see actual phot of Piron being greeted by a French girl). 

[1] accessed 11/4/15

[2] Martha Ward, “Impressionist Installations and Private Exhibtions,” in Mary Tompkins Lewis, ed.,  Critical Readings in Impressionism and Post-Impressionism: An Anthology.  University of California Press, 2007.  Pp. 48-73.*&source=bl&ots=6i00q8JXNi&sig=_FqQNLSkS7M1_uwGB6ax5g_bUdA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CB4Q6AEwAGoVChMI8qeT07z3yAIVUNdjCh0r0QbX#v=onepage&q=impressionism%20shows%20188*&f=false accessed 11/4/15

[3]   accessed 11/4/15

[4]  accessed 11/4/15

6 responses to “Evolutionary Creativity”

  1. Regina Jeffers Avatar

    Believe it or not, I am great science fiction fan. Loved Asimov. Love Bradbury. I really like the type of science fiction which could easily become science fact. We taught a unit with those parameters when I was teaching in Ohio.

    1. Don Jacobson Avatar
      Don Jacobson

      My wife interviewed Bradbury in his little yellow house in LA. An amazing man. I love Larry Niven’s Ringworld stories. Heinlein’s juvenalia stories tended to be a bit oo simplistic. Deepest of deep thinkers was Harlan Ellison.

  2. Riana Everly Avatar

    I could not get enough of Asimov when I was younger. With every book I read, I was blown away more and more by his incredible (literal) universe-building. Everything connected. I am still in awe.
    I haven’t read much sci-fi in a while, but I do love a good space opera every now and then.

    1. Don Jacobson Avatar
      Don Jacobson

      Asimov was my go-to…and also his mag. I tried to explore the ideas of universe building in the Wardrobe with the Old One behind it all.

  3. Lory Lilian Avatar
    Lory Lilian

    I am NOT a big science fiction fan (my brain is not made for science lol) 🙂 but I still enjoyed this post very much, as well as the entire Wardrobe, as you well know. I still believe it would be a great TV serial. Congrats on re-launching it!

    1. Don Jacobson Avatar
      Don Jacobson

      Hi Lory…thank you for your comment here. I think readers enjoy getting a look behind the curtin of our processes. As for produceing the Wardrobe for cable and so on…from your mouth to God’s ears.

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