Kelly Miller’s latest release, Accusing Mr. Darcy, is a romance mixed in with murders and mystery. It has been getting some great reviews, so if you haven’t read it yet, we hope you will soon.
The blog tour will begin on September 14th. Meryton Press will be giving away eight eBooks, and one of them could be yours. Follow the blog tour and have your share in the conversations.
Back Cover Copy
Could Fitzwilliam Darcy harbour a shocking, sinister secret?
Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet count themselves among the many guests of the Kendall family, whose estate lies amidst the picturesque hills, gorges, and rocky slopes of the Peak District in Derbyshire. Elizabeth’s cousin Rose Kendall believes her dashing brother-in-law, Captain James Kendall, is Elizabeth’s ideal match. Rose’s husband, Nicholas, hopes his good friend Darcy—a rich, proud, and taciturn gentleman with a spotless reputation—will fancy one of the other eligible lady guests.
News of a brutal killing at a neighbouring estate sends a wave of shock through the genial group of friends and family. When one of the Kendalls’ guests is attacked, all of the gentlemen become suspects, but the former Bow Street runner tasked with investigating the crime finds the evidence against Mr. Darcy particularly compelling.
In this romantic mystery, the beloved couple from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice cross paths with a ruthless killer. When faced with dire warnings against Mr. Darcy, will Elizabeth heed them or follow the dictates of her heart?
Accusing Mr. Darcy Blog Tour Schedule with Links
9-14 Austenesque Reviews
9-22 Donadee’s Corner
From Kelly Miller
In Accusing Mr. Darcy, Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet are among the guests of the Kendall family at their estate in Derbyshire. One of the excursions planned for the Kendalls’ guests is a visit to Poole’s Hole.
Poole’s Hole, now called Poole’s Cavern, has attracted tourists since the sixteenth century. Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, visited the cavern in 1582. In 1681, writer Charles Cotton declared the site one of the seven “Wonders of the Peak,” assuring the caverns’ popularity with the public.
Cotton wrote of Poole’s Hole:
“The first [wonder] I meet in my way,
Is a vast cave, which the old people say,
One Poole an outlaw made his residence;
But why he did so or for what offence,
The beagles of law should press no near,
As, ’spight of horrors self, to earth him there,
Is in our times a riddle; and in this
Tradition most unkindly silent is:
But whatsoe’er his crime, than [sic] such a cave
A worse imprisonment he could not have.”
In regency times, visitors flocked to Poole’s Hole, though gaining entry presented some difficulty. A combination of glacial sediment and a rocky, low roof made it necessary for most adults to endure a ten-meter crawl at the cavern’s entrance. Tourists relied upon local guides to take them inside, but without anyone overseeing the enterprise, stories of travellers being taken advantage of by disreputable guides added to the notoriety of the cavern.
The land adjacent to Poole’s Cavern, now Grin Low County Park, once belonged to Chatsworth estate. The 5th Duke of Devonshire invested in the town of Buxton with the aim of creating a spa town to rival Bath, including his own version of the celebrated Royal Crescent in Bath. The impressive Georgian Crescent, designed by architect John Carr and completed in 1789, became a centerpiece for Buxton. The building’s facade formed the arc of a circle. It contained a hotel, lodging houses, and a magnificent assembly room featuring a painted ceiling. The hotel featured bath houses making use of natural spring water. The ground floor arcade housed shops, with the kitchens located in the basement. This hotel provided the perfect location for Mr. Darcy, Elizabeth and the rest of their party to enjoy a meal after their visit to Poole’s Hole.
Buxton also boasts St. Anne’s Well. The thermal spring well, of Roman origin, has been a shrine to St. Anne since medieval times, and was once attached to a chapel. King Henry VIII ordered the chapel and its idol taken down in 1538. Mary, Queen of Scots is said to have partaken of the waters from the well. The 5th Duke of Devonshire had the well moved to its current location, across from the Crescent, in 1780.
The sixth Duke of Devonshire is credited with ordering the planting of much of Buxton area’s woodlands, as well as opening public parks within the town. In 1836, he had a six-foot structure and sculpture of St. Anne and St. Mary erected at St. Anne’s Well, which dispenses mineral water to this day.
In 1853, the 6th Duke made Mr. Frank Redfern the first custodian to the cavern, and Poole’s Cavern officially opened to the public. Mr. Redfern enlarged the cavern’s opening by blasting away the low roof. He also had stairs and handrails installed, and extended access into a second chamber of the cavern. Mr. Redfern even added a lighting system of candelabra to the cavern. In 1859, the gas lamps replaced the candelabra.
The gas lamps remained in use through 1965, upon the death of Mr. Alcock, the husband of Jessie Alcock, nee Redfern, the granddaughter of Frank Redfern. The show cave closed until 1976, when new owners Buxton & District Civic Association reopened it with newly installed electric lights.
The modern visitor to Poole’s Cavern benefits from all the improvements made over the years. There is no need crouch or duck your head in order to enter the cavern, the guides are friendly and well-trained, and the lighting, stairs, and handrails make the visit much safer than in previous eras.
However, the history of Poole’s Cavern continues to evolve: in 1998 a survey conducted with the use of boreholes and a specially-made camera confirmed that other chambers exist, perhaps extending as far as a mile and a half. Future visitors may be given access to these additional chambers.
In the summer of 2019, my husband, daughter, and I visited Poole’s Cavern, an eerie place of wondrous sights. We found it to be a fun, memorable excursion, and not just because of the adorable cocker spaniel we met in the visitor center!
If you are ever in Buxton and wish to see Poole’s Cavern, you should definitely go! When we went, tours left every 20 minutes, a snack bar was available, and the cost was reasonable. If you want more information: Poole’s Cavern Visitor Centre, Green Lane, Buxton, Derbyshire, SK17 9DH, Phone: 01298 26978, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is the latest Covid-19 re-opening information: https://poolescavern.co.uk/reopening-plan/