How Does Austen Describe Derbyshire in Pride & Prejudice?

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Elizabeth travels to Derbyshire with the Gardiners – her uncle and her aunt. Her first impression of the place is incredibly pleasant. Austen describes it in Chapter 43: “As they drove along, watched for the first appearance of Pemberley Woods with some perturbation; and when at length they turned in at the lodge, her spirits were in a high flutter.”

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Elizabeth agrees to accompany the Gardiners to Mr. Darcy’s estate since he should be away. She gets confused during the trip to Derbyshire for some reason. However, Pemberley Woods turns out to be better than she thought. The estate is impressive: “The park was very large, and contained great variety of ground. They entered it in one of its lowest points and drove for some time through a beautiful wood, stretching over a wide extent.” This description creates the setting for subsequent events.

Once in the Pemberley house, Elizabeth asks the servants about Mr. Darcy. To her surprise, they speak of him as a kind and generous person. Besides, the pleasant atmosphere prevails in the house and the surrounding area. Upon arrival, Mr. Darcy is gracious to Elizabeth and the Gardiners. He introduces them to his sister and invites Mr. Gardiner to go fishing.

All of a sudden, the news about Lydia’s unexpected trick arrives. Elizabeth has to leave Derbyshire as soon as possible. She’s sure she won’t see Mr. Darcy again. However, upon learning that Lydia escaped with Wickham, Darcy comes to help. He offers Wickham to write off his debts if he marries Lydia. After that, Mr. Darcy and Charles Bingley return to Netherfield. Darcy proposes to Elizabeth, and they get married.

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