Usually I don’t have concrete settings in mind when I write, but Mr. Darcy’s Noble Connections is a notable exception. The story took  life when I had a brainstorming session with two writer friends while walking the grounds at Fountains Abbey in Yorkshire. Not surprisingly, there’s a crucial scene in a ruined abbey at Bentham Park. Thanks go to fellow author Cassandra Grafton for taking me there and contributing ideas!  Here are images I associate with particular scenes in the book. Click on any picture for an enlargement.

Bentham Park

Castle Howard is the model for the imposing Bentham Park, the seat of the Marquess of Bentham. The ruins on the grounds of Bentham Park are based on Fountains Abbey.

Gardens at Rosedale and the moor

When I visited the beautiful gardens at Nymans, Darcy and Elizabeth kept up a running commentary as I walked which later formed the basis for the scene at Rosedale Park.  The intense scene on a heather moor which leads to major changes in the relationship between Elizabeth and Darcy is set on Ilkley Moor. You can get a 360 degree view of a moor here.

Hillington Hall

Neighboring Hillington Hall where Darcy visits his friend Paxton is grand, but not on the scope of Bentham Park. I based the interiors loosely on Middlethorpe Hall in York, a stately home now converted into a historic hotel by the National Trust, and the exterior on Melbourne Hall in Derbyshire.