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|The militia may have been from Derbyshire
Written by Connie
(4/13/2010 5:07 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, the report  of his having ten thousand a year, penned by Stephanie
In Deirdre Le Fay's Jane Austen: the world of her novels, it says that the Derbyshire militia were in Hertfordshire at the time JA was writing P&P. They may be the basis of the unnamed militia in Meryton. "As the militia were recruited on a county basis, Darcy would probably know most of the officers of the regiment and so could suggest to Bingley that the two of them should follow their friends for society's sake, and look for houses at the same time" (189).
It's not clear to me exactly when the regiment came to Meryton, but the two men were dining with the officers by the time Jane went to Netherfield. The officers or their wives could have started the gossip about Darcy.
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