Adore Jane Austen? Always wanted to step foot into the real life Pemberely and see Mr Darcy? If you did, and happened to be around Derbyshire this weekend, you were probably at the annual Pride and Prejudice Ball at Chatsworth House; celebrating 201 years since the publication of the classic novel.
The event cost £85 (which is approx $130) but for lovers of Chatsworth and Austen it was well worth it for some splendid dinner and dancing. Everyone took the time to wear period costumes. Tightly fitted dresses with long white gloves for the ladies. Gentlemen dressed in knee-high fashionable regency footwear along with waistcoats and dinner jackets.
Guests were treated to champagne and canapés in the Painted Hall (you can see this beautiful place in the 2005 Pride and Prejudice film) – and live music was provided by Lady Georgianna, an 18th century girl band. After this, a tour of the North Wing of the house before enjoying a five-course dinner at the connected Carriage House. Once there Lady Georgianna entertained everyone with poems and songs from the Regency period.
Jane Austen is thought to have stayed at Chatsworth whilst writing some of Pride and Prejudice. It’s widely believed she based Fitzwilliam Darcy’s Pemberely on the estate. If you would like to see my tour of this amazing place, click here to see Chatsworth House at Christmas.
Austen wrote of Chatsworth: ‘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.’