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.
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.
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.