Amy D'Orazio's Pemberley
from A Short Period of Exquisite Felicity
The ladies of the Darcy family were enthusiastic rosarians from the days of Shakespeare. Lady Anne Darcy, Mr. Darcys mother, was no exception, continuing the tradition and expanding the varieties grown in Pemberleys gardens.
It is here, among the roses, that Darcy and Elizabeth share their first kisses as an engaged couple and dream of their future life.
How good, how right it felt to have her beside him, to see her hand on his arm. She chattered away about some such nothing — her visit to Blenheim? something about the Peaks? — until she saw the profusion of beautiful roses. Elizabeth gasped when she saw them all, her delight so vivid that he made her a promise on the spot.
“I shall see to it that you have a posy of them in your chamber every morning.”
Elizabeth smiled up at him. “It would seem a shame to tear some poor maid from her duties just to get me flowers.”
“Who said anything about a maid?” He had gently touched her cheek with the tip of his finger. “I shall see to it myself.”
Her smile, if it was possible, had gotten even larger. “Sir I must warn you, you show every sign of being an indulgent husband.”
“Oh dear,” he teased. “What if you should become insufferably spoilt?”.
“It is of grave concern.” She edged nearer to him, her face tilted toward his in a charmingly tempting manner. “I suppose if I spoil you in return, however, the effect may be lessened.”
“How will you spoil me?” He asked, pressing closer to her, as close as he dared and then some.
She lowered her eyes a second and then peeked up at him through her lashes. “Why, in any way you would like me to.”
His skin had seemed to come alive, prickling and warm, his heart pounded and his head swam — he worried for none of that though for it was his lips that led the charge, lowering to her, kissing her first gently and then deeply, the true kiss of a lover.
- An extraordinary library with over 10,000 books where Elizabeth and Darcy spend many pleasant hours reading together
- A conservatory where even the dreariest of winter days can be made to feel like summer
- Large dining room for entertaining along with a smaller breakfast nook for intimate family meals
- Miles of gardens, wooded areas and river banks for excellent rambles
The fictional setting is Regency Era Derbyshire, England. Here's some details about the real building behind the inspiration.
Property Name: Biltmore Mansion
Location: Asheville, NC USA
Built: 1889-1895 by George Washington Vanderbilt.
George married his wife Edith in 1898; they had one daughter, Cornelia who was born in 1899.
The estate was inherited by Cornelia’s son William Cecil who died October 2017.
Biltmore House is 175,000 square feet. There are 250 rooms, 35 bedrooms and 43 bathrooms
There are 65 fireplaces and 16 chimneys
Original estate was 125,000 acres, with landscaped gardens over 75 acres
The library contains over 10,000 books
When it opened on Christmas Eve 1894, the estate employed 438 people including 30 to 35 domestic servants waited on the Vanderbilts.