C - Chatsworth House
Many Jane Austen devotees believe that Mr Darcy's Pemberley is based on Chatsworth House, the home of the Duke and Duchess of
|Looking west across to Chatsworth House with the Peak District as the backdrop.|
Even a non-Austen fan visiting Chatsworth might recognize the description as it was observed by Jane’s heroine, Elizabeth Barrett:
“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.
was delighted. She had never seen a place of which nature had done more, or
where natural beauty had been so little counteracted by an awkward taste.” Elizabeth
It’s not surprising that
“… felt that to be mistress of
Pemberley might be something!” Elizabeth
The connection with Chatsworth was to be maintained when Pride and Prejudice was filmed, using the Chatsworth exterior and two important rooms for Mr. Darcy’s mansion. It will be interesting to see whether Derbyshire’s Chatsworth becomes as associated with Pride and Prejudice as
Castle Howard is with Brideshead Revisited.
(The above text is taken from my article 'Houses in Fiction' issued in The Lady magazine in October 2008)