Jane Austen stayed here

Rutland Arms Hotel,  Bakewell, Derbyshire

Jane's room is on the middle floor (1st floor English, 2nd floor North American), the leftmost window on the floor.  The front window of this corner room looks out over Rutland Square; the side window looks south along Matlock Street.
 Jane Austen

Outside room #2 at this hotel hangs a sign which reads:

In this room in the year 1811 Jane Austen revised the manuscript of her famous book "Pride and Prejudice". It had been written in 1797, but Jane Austen, who travelled in Derbyshire in 1811, chose to introduce the beauty spots of the Peak into her novel. The Rutland Arms Hotel was built in 1804, and while staying in this new and comfortable inn, we have reason to believe that Miss Austen visited Chatsworth, only three miles away, and was so impressed by its beauty and grandeur, that she makes it the background for "Pemberley", the home of the proud and handsome Mr. Darcy, hero of "Pride and Prejudice". The small market town of "Lambton", mentioned in the novel, is easily identifiable as Bakewell, and any visitor, driving thence to Chatsworth, must immediately be struck by Miss Austen's faithful portrayal of the scene - the "large handsome stone building, standing well on rising ground and backed by a ridge of woody hills." There it is today, exactly as Jane Austen saw it, all those long years ago. Elizabeth Bennet, heroine of the story, had returned to the inn to dress for dinner, when the sound of a carriage drew her to the window. She saw a curricle driving up the street, un- doubtedly Matlock Street which these windows overlook, and presently she heard a quick foot upon the stair - the very staircase outside this door. So, while visiting this hotel and staying in this room, remember that it is the scene of two of the most romantic passages in "Pride and Prejudice", and "Pride and Prejudice" must surely take its place among the most famous novels in the English language.

Chapter 44 of Pride and Prejudice begins:

Elizabeth had settled it that Mr. Darcy would bring his sister to visit her the very day after her reaching Pemberley; and was consequently resolved not to be out of sight of the inn the whole of that morning. But her conclusion was false; for on the very morning after their own arrival at Lambton, these visitors came. They had been walking about the place with some of their new friends, and were just returned to the inn to dress themselves for dining with the same family, when the sound of a carriage drew them to a window, and they saw a gentleman and lady in a curricle, driving up the street. Elizabeth, immediately recognising the livery, guessed what it meant, and imparted no small degree of surprise to her relations by acquainting them with the honour which she expected. Her uncle and aunt were all amazement; and the embarrassment of her manner as she spoke, joined to the circumstance itself, and many of the circumstances of the preceding day, opened to them a new idea on the business. Nothing had ever suggested it before, but they now felt that there was no other way of accounting for such attentions from such a quarter than by supposing a partiality for their niece. While these newly-born notions were passing in their heads, the perturbation of Elizabeth's feelings was every moment increasing. She was quite amazed at her own discomposure; but amongst other causes of disquiet, she dreaded lest the partiality of the brother should have said too much in her favour; and more than commonly anxious to please, she naturally suspected that every power of pleasing would fail her.

She retreated from the window, fearful of being seen; and as she walked up and down the room, endeavouring to compose herself, saw such looks of enquiring surprise in her uncle and aunt as made every thing worse.

Miss Darcy and her brother appeared, and this formidable introduction took place. With astonishment did Elizabeth see that her new acquaintance was at least as much embarrassed as herself. Since her being at Lambton, she had heard that Miss Darcy was exceedingly proud; but the observation of a very few minutes convinced her that she was only exceedingly shy. She found it difficult to obtain even a word from her beyond a monosyllable.

Miss Darcy was tall, and on a larger scale than Elizabeth; and, though little more than sixteen, her figure was formed, and her appearance womanly and graceful. She was less handsome than her brother, but there was sense and good humour in her face, and her manners were perfectly unassuming and gentle. Elizabeth, who had expected to find in her as acute and unembarrassed an observer as ever Mr. Darcy had been, was much relieved by discerning such different feelings.

They had not been long together before Darcy told her that Bingley was also coming to wait on her; and she had barely time to express her satisfaction, and prepare for such a visitor, when Bingley's quick step was heard on the stairs, and in a moment he entered the room. All Elizabeth's anger against him had been long done away; but, had she still felt any, it could hardly have stood its ground against the unaffected cordiality with which he expressed himself on seeing her again. He enquired in a friendly, though general way, after her family, and looked and spoke with the same good-humoured ease that he had ever done.

Later in this room, Elizabeth lies awake for two hours, thinking about Mr. Darcy.  It is here in Chapter 46 that she reads Jane's letters bearing news of Lydia's elopement with Mr. Wickham.  Just as Elizabeth finishes reading, a servant admits Mr. Darcy to the room and she tearfully shares with him her family's predicament.

Bakewell is a picturesque town in a region of lovely dales and postcard villages.  The market has operated since the thirteenth century.


External links:

Rutland Arms Hotel website Chapter 44 of Pride and Prejudice Chapter 46 of Pride and Prejudice Road traffic reports

Local links:

Jane Austen's

Jane Austen's Illness

This webpage by Robert Loney

Comments/queries: rloney@orchard-gate.com Bean stone clue: The 1st wife's name is hidden in
the most complicated pattern the epitaph takes.
Irish Story