Jane Austen (1775 - 1817) came to Bakewell in 1811 and stayed at the Rutland Arms Hotel as a part of her travels around Derbyshire. She visited Chatsworth and other tourist destinations during her stay and she too took inspiration from her visit. Derbyshire’s dales and Chatsworth House are clearly the inspiration for settings in her novel Pride and Prejudice (1853).
The room in which she stayed (leftmost window on the 1st floor, overlooking Matlock Street) has the following notice posted outside.
"In this room in the year 1811 Jane Austen revised the manuscript of her famous book "Pride and Prejudice". It had been written in 1797, but Jane Austen, who travelled in Derbyshire in 1811, chose to introduce the beauty spots of the Peak into her novel. The Rutland Arms Hotel was built in 1804, and while staying in this new and comfortable inn, we have reason to believe that Miss Austen visited Chatsworth, only three miles away, and was so impressed by its beauty and grandeur, that she makes it the background for "Pemberley", the home of the proud and handsome Mr. Darcy, hero of "Pride and Prejudice".
The small market town of "Lambton", mentioned in the novel, is easily identifiable as Bakewell, and any visitor, driving thence to Chatsworth, must immediately be struck by Miss Austen's faithful portrayal of the scene - the "large handsome stone building, standing well on rising ground and backed by a ridge of woody hills." There it is today, exactly as Jane Austen saw it, all those long years ago.
Elizabeth Bennet, heroine of the story, had returned to the inn to dress for dinner, when the sound of a carriage drew her to the window. She saw a curricle driving up the street, undoubtedly Matlock Street which these windows overlook, and presently she heard a quick foot upon the stair - the very staircase outside this door.
So, while visiting this hotel and staying in this room, remember that it is the scene of two of the most romantic passages in "Pride and Prejudice", and "Pride and Prejudice" must surely take its place among the most famous novels in the English language." derbyshire heritage