Author's Note: this is NOT the same story as "The Year Without Summer" by Martin Hunicutt available on Amazon (which is a FANTASTIC read!). I discovered that version while doing research for my own story. Hunicutt's story has P&P taking place 10 years later than usually assumed in canon in 1815/1816 after the war with Napoleon is over.
I came up with the idea for this story after studying about Mount Tambora's eruption as part of my religious studies on how it affected the early life of Joseph Smith, founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (aka: Mormons). It made me wonder how the story of P&P would change had the eruption occurred earlier.
I only mention this because I do not want anyone to think that I have been taking Hunicutt's incredible ideas. That story is extremely well-written and well-researched, and I would never dare to presume to that level of genius.
And now, "When Summer Never Came"
In April 1815, a volcano erupted in Indonesia. Mount Tambora released an estimated 53-58 billion kilograms (tetragams) of sulfur dioxide into the air, which spread across the entire northern hemisphere.
The eruption of Mount Tambora is the largest known volcanic eruption in recorded history. The sulphate aerosols entered the stratosphere, temporarily cooling the world in what was already proving to be a cold decade.
The effects of Mount Tambora caused the following year, 1816, to become known as the "year without summer." In the United Kingdom, average temperatures dropped more than ten degrees. In the eastern United States, snow fell in July.
That dark year proved to be the setting for many celebrated authors, such as Mary Shelley and Lord Byron.
What if this eruption had occurred eleven years earlier?
Pride & Prejudice traditionally takes place with the ball at Netherfield being held in November 1805. How would the events of Jane Austen's beloved novel have been altered if the year without summer fell in the months prior to Mr. Bingley taking Netherfield?
Will Darcy and Elizabeth find their happily ever after in a year without summer?