Rebecca Ann Collins
The Pemberley Chronicles Series
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Researching Pemberley... was not an easy task for, apart from the beautifully detailed description of its physical beauty and extent as a great estate, Jane Austen gives us little about how it was managed and what the people who lived there actually did.
We do know from the housekeeper, Mr Wickham and Mrs Gardiner that it is a great estate – one of the largest in the county, that many people depended upon its prosperity and that the Darcy family both Mr Darcy and his father before him were exemplary landlords.
In order to continue the story of Mr and Mrs Darcy following their marriage and return to Pemberley, it was necessary to gather as much information as possible about the period and the sorts of activities that were part of rural English life, and the issues that would require attention on such an estate as Pemberley and the county of Derbyshire.
Using the example of Chatsworth – the existing great estate in Derbyshire about which there is a great deal of information was useful, but it was also important to get the ambience of the period- ( Regency /Georgian ) right. Visiting the area today or having lived in England in the sixties is inadequate by itself- since much of what we see today is either “tourist oriented” or modernised or in some tragic cases changed altogether.
Fortunately, plenty of material exists in historical and social documents of the period- in places such as the British Library, local government archives and in a range of books about the Regency and Georgian eras.
Bringing it all together to make an authentically coherent and credible picture of life as it was lived almost two hundred years ago, providing a seamless background to the lives of the characters in the Pemberley series was the aim. To the extent that many thousands of readers have written to praise this aspect of the Pemberley series, it is a tribute to the skill and dedication of the researcher.
Rebecca Ann's Notebook
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
DISCOVERING MR DARCY
FIRST IMPRESSIONS - READER'S VIEWS
WHY REVISIT NETHERFIELD