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Written by kathleen (elder)
(4/10/2013 10:43 a.m.)
The novel doesn't tell us where the militia regiment is from, but Deirdre Le Faye* (in Jane Austen: The World of her Novels) suggests that JA might have been thinking of the Derbyshire Militia. One page 189, Le Faye writes:
in historical fact it was the Derbyshire Militia who came to Hertfordshire in the winter of 1794-5**, and whose troops were divided between the towns of Hertford and Ware and the surrounding area. ... [Austen] may have seen the movements of the Derbyshires mentioned in the newspapers, or perhaps Mr. Austen's cousin [who lived near Hertford] passed on the information to his Hampshire relations. ... As the militia were recruited on a county basis, Darcy would probably know most of the officers of the regiment ...
I wonder if Darcy does know Col Forster? Does this change our understanding of Darcy's behaviour at the party at Lucas Lodge?
* Deirdre Le Faye is an Austen scholar and an author of several books about & related to JA.
** The winter of 1794-5 would be close to when JA started P&P.
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