Falling In Love With Darcy’s Derbyshire.
(I am happy to have Karen Aminadra's special 'All For The Love Of Darcy Month' post to share today! If you have not yet entered to win a Kindle complete with eBooks from many of your favorite authors you can do so HERE. I have added the authors contributing eBooks to the Grand Prize as well as the other prizes to be given away to that post. Also, please stop by and participate in the Hearts Through History Blog Tour by visiting MY POST. Comments on Karen's post will be EXTRA entries into the 'All For The Love of Darcy Month' drawings. But you still must enter at the link above marked HERE to win.)
On the face of it, Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice is about the five Bennet sisters and their prospects (or lack thereof) with regards to getting married. Enter two eligible and not to mention rather handsome strangers and it’s a free-for-all with Mrs Bennet, their mother, leading the fray. Well, not quite. Jane showed us what was going on in society in her day and how ‘getting married’ was done. I am sure Mrs Bennet is based on more than one mother that Jane personally knew and that she took delight in writing such a fun character. We look upon her now and laugh, but I am certain I would not have liked to have a mother like her! Jane showed us the social etiquette of courting and marrying in Regency England and that falling in love really wasn’t necessary at all, in fact, it was often a hindrance. She also shone the spotlight on how ridiculous it all really was. I am sure she had been pushed into many a social setting just like those in her books, with a view to getting her married off too.
However, it was while visiting Derbyshire, England herself that Jane Austen penned her most famous novel Pride & Prejudice. In it, she tells us that love matters not a jot in her society, only money, titles and estates. What was it about this beautiful county that inspired her?
Jane was staying in Bakewell when inspiration hit and her quill began to scratch away on the paper and the story of the Bennet family was born. Bakewell is in the Peak district and has been a market town since 1330, but was mentioned in the 1085 Domes day book as ‘Badequella’ meaning bath-well. It is most famous these days for its puddings that we now call Bakewell tarts. If you haven’t tried one, you simply must. I am sure Jane did. Austen scholars also believe that Bakewell was the inspiration for Lambton. However, it was the village of Longnor near Buxton (famous for its spring water), which was used in the 1995 BBC version of Pride & Prejudice.
One cannot visit Derbyshire without visiting Chatsworth house the home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. And it is this wonderfully grand house, which is thought to have been the inspiration for Pemberley. Jane wrote, “The eye was instantly caught by Pemberley House, situated on the opposite side of the valley into which the road into some abruptness wound.”
“It was a large, handsome, stone building standing well on rising ground, and backed by a ridge of high woody hills; and in front, a stream of some natural importance was swelled into greater, but without any artificial appearance. Its banks were neither formal, nor falsely adorned."
In the 1995 version, Sudbury Hall was used for the interior shots of Pemberley. It’s definitely a place to add to the list of Darcy-related places to visit. The exterior shots, as I am sure you know, were of Lyme Hall, which although technically in Cheshire, stands between Buxton and Stockport. Mr Darcy and Elizabeth strolled through the 1,400-acre park enjoying superb views of the Peak District, something all Darcyholics want to do too.
It’s all too easy to get wrapped up and lost in time in these wonderful homes and gardens, but when visiting Darcy’s Derbyshire, don’t forget to wander in the Peaks as I am sure Jane also did. One place I would also recommend, and I am sure Jane would have visited too, are the Blue-john mines. Blue-john stone is from the French Bleu-Jaune, meaning blue and yellow. The stones are beautiful as are the caves and well worth taking time out of your stately home tour to see, and the shop is a great place to buy unusual souvenirs and presents to take home. Visiting Bakewell, Chatsworth, Matlock, Dove Dale, Lyme Hall and the Peaks, you would not only be following in the steps of Elizabeth, the Gardiners and Jane Austen herself, but it would be a dream tour of Darcy’s Derbyshire!
Karen Aminadra is the author of the award-winning Charlotte – Pride& Prejudice Continues available through all stockists and Amazon.
Canada - http://www.amazon.ca/dp/B0080ELL9M
Awesome! I can't wait to go to England and see Chatsworth! Put me in the drawing! Jeanna EllsworthReplyDelete
So many wonderful sights to see! Karen, which place in Derbyshire is your own absolute personal favourite to visit?ReplyDelete
I do love the Blue-John mines. That sort of thing fascinates me, but I have to admit that Chatsworth is breathtaking! I especially love the fountain system that was created there hundreds of years ago before pumps etc. They used water pressure to create some fabulous fountains. You have to see them :DDelete
What about you? Have you been there?
Never been to Europe but it's on my bucket-list; until then I live vicariously through your photos and descriptions. Amazing that they created the Chatsworth fountain system with 19th century engineering!Delete
Yes it is amazing and you can spend hours in those gardens. I think you'll need at least a month to do Europe properly. I think you'd better get playing the lottery ;-)Delete
Oh Karen, this past August,I did get to see most of those beautiful places that you mentioned. I didn't see the mines but I fell in love with Derbyshire and also Bath. Sudbury Hall was amazing as was Lyme Park. I could have stayed there much longer. We drove through Bakewell but didn't get a tart. I wished we had! I have no words to describe the wonder that was Chatsworth. My trip was literally a dream come true and I long for another visit.ReplyDelete
Thank you for bringing back the memories.
By the way, I have read your book and enjoyed it!Delete
Thank you Janet, I'm glad you enjoyed it. It sounds like you have a fabulous trip over here too! :DDelete
I would love to go visit those places too. Thanks for sharing, Karen!ReplyDelete
I wish I could visit the lovely places mentioned in your post, Karen. Chatsworth and Lyme Park are my top places in Derbyshire to visit along with Bath and London if I do get the opportunity to tour England.ReplyDelete
oooo , dreaming of a bakewell tart ... next trip?ReplyDelete
thanks for the lovely article, Karen !
~ from another 'Charlotte' fan
Dreaming of Derbyshire *.*ReplyDelete
I loved all the pictures and the round pond with the statue in the middle.ReplyDelete
I wish someday to visit the sites of the filming locations (maybe in I one day move to england that will happen?)ReplyDelete