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Dropping in on Jane Austen

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Fans of 19th-century Britishauthor Jane Austen have long made pilgrimages to her home in Chawton and to sites featured in her novels of drawing-room manners.

The latest movie version of Austen's Pride and Prejudice -- expanding to more theaters this week -- adds more tour stops.

Much of the location filming was done in Derbyshire and Lincolnshire, east of Manchester and south of York. Chatsworth, the imposing Derbyshire estate that the real-life Duke and Duchess of Devonshire open to paying visitors, plays Pemberley, the ancestral home of the prideful hero, Mr. Darcy (Matthew Macfadyen).

The well-preserved Lincolnshire town of Stamford stands in as Meryton, the village where spirited heroine Elizabeth Bennet (played by Keira Knightley) lives with her parents and four sisters.

Tourism folk in Lincolnshire, Derbyshire and the hilly Peak District have come up with a "Visit Pride & Prejudice Country" promotion that features packages including tours of sites from the film and a free map of locations used in the movie and in the critically acclaimed 1995 BBC Pride and Prejudice miniseries.

One stop: the Red House Stables Working Carriage Museum, near Chatsworth, where visitors can book rides in Regency-era carriages used in the movie.

Another is the grand Burghley House in Lincolnshire, which dates back to Elizabethan times and in the film doubles as the interior and exterior of the manse where Darcy's grande-dame aunt, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, holds court.

Tourists also can stay at historic lodgings that housed stars of the film, including The George of Stamford, a former coach-stop inn, and The Peacock at Rowsley, a luxury hotel in the Peak District. Information on hotels, tours and film sites is available at and

Independent travelers can tour these and other sites -- including the Jane Austen Center in Bath, the spa city that plays a role in her novels. Another popular stop is the brick house in Chawton, Hampshire, where the author wrote Pride and Prejudice. Then there's Austen's grave at Winchester Cathedral in the city of Winchester, where she died of Addison's disease at age 41. Information:;; and

The luxurious Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire, a 25-minute drive from Chawton, is offering a package that includes a private tour of Austen's home led by its curator.

The package -- from about $3,500 for two including tax -- buys two nights' lodging for two, breakfasts, afternoon tea, a horse and carriage ride, and a "Regency tasting menu" dinner for two with wine (sample menu items: leek and ham soup, salmon in puff pastry, bread-and-butter pudding). Information: 011-44-1-252-853-000;

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© Copyright 2004 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.

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