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Discover May's Best New Reads: Stories to Ignite Your Spring Days.

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Searching For Pemberley
Mary Lydon Simonsen

She went looking for Mr. Darcy and found...

December 2009
On Sale: December 1, 2009
Featuring: Maggie Joyce
496 pages
ISBN: 1402224397
EAN: 9781402224393
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Romance Historical

Set against Regency England, World Wars I and II, and postwar England, three love stories intertwine in surprising and fateful ways

American Maggie Joyce, touring Derbyshire in 1947, visits an 18th century Georgian country house that she is told was the model for Jane Austen's Pemberley. More amazingly, the former residents of the mansion, William Lacey and Elizabeth Garrison, were the inspiration for the characters Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice.

Through letters, diary entries, and oral history, a couple in the nearby village share stories of the people they say inspired Jane Austen. They also tell their own love story, made difficult by their vastly different backgrounds—she was one of the social elite while he was the son of a servant. When their son, Michael, travels home from his RAF station in Malta, Maggie may have just found her very own Mr. Darcy…

Interviews for Searching For Pemberley

Mary Lydon Simonsen Interview Searching For Pemberley December 22, 2009


55 comments posted.

Re: Searching For Pemberley

That is hysterical that you clean when you are thinking! I do the same thing, I dust, EVERYTHING in my house! My friends always say how do have time to dust so much and write! I just laugh!
(Jane Lange 3:19pm December 2, 2009)

I like that you are into historical accuracy. I have a degree in history and I love to read novels with some elements of facts in the writing.
Laurey Martin 2:02am December 3, 2009)

Hi Mary,

Loved how you entwined 3love stories in one book all centered around Jane Austin's life and works! Sounds like an interesting read!
Laurie Gommermann 5:01am December 3, 2009)

When a friend of mine was asked why he was talking to himself he said that he wanted to talk to someone who knew something. Good for you!
Marjorie Carmony 5:38am December 3, 2009)

Searching for Pemberley sounds like a book I'd like to read!
Bridget Lopreiato 7:23am December 3, 2009)

I love to write and I have never thought about doing it the way that you do but I think I will give it a try. Great book by the way.
Tabatha Basham 8:23am December 3, 2009)

I love to read books with some history, I learned a lot through the years.
Pat Wilson 9:11am December 3, 2009)

Your book sounds great--so creative. Thanks for the post.
G S Moch 9:21am December 3, 2009)

I talk to y cat Jinx, she always agrees with me!
This book sounds great, can't wait to read it.
Barbara Hanson 9:36am December 3, 2009)

What a wonderful site! Thank you for all your comments. It seems that some of us have clean houses because we write.
Mary Simonsen 10:40am December 3, 2009)

I can't wait to read your story. I am awed that you keep on for years to create your story. I know I would never have the patience to keep on something for that long. Thank you for sharing your visions with us.
Gayle Oreluk 10:57am December 3, 2009)

Mary, I also engage in
mindless tasks, such as taking
a walk, when I need to work
something out. When I just
need to relax after doing
something tasking, I love to
knit. It's amazing what you
can accomplish by doing that.
Not only do you create
something beautiful, you also
free your mind of stress.
Margay Roberge 11:35am December 3, 2009)

I like that u are a stickler for
historical accuracy!
Lisa Garrett 12:28pm December 3, 2009)

Great idea to clean the floors with your Shark steamer prior to writing. I can not wait to read this book.
Barbara Ryan 12:42pm December 3, 2009)

I started writing a novel in my 30s, but it was terrible. I tried again in my 40's. No luck. It was only when I had my knee replaced, and I was bored b/c I wasn't working that I finally started writing my Austen novel. That was 4 years ago, but by that time, I was ready.
Mary Simonsen 12:53pm December 3, 2009)

Thank you for sharing your own stories. It is so wonderful to have an exchange of ideas. As I said, this is a terrific site.
Mary Simonsen 12:57pm December 3, 2009)

You sound as if you have the same creative process I do..only I don;t actually write them down! LOL I have quite a habit of enacting entire scenarios in my head as soon as I get into bed! What wonderful stories I can come up with!
Barbara Ramirez 1:19pm December 3, 2009)

Oooh what a wonderful sounding book... Thanks for sharing with us today!
Colleen Conklin 1:38pm December 3, 2009)

That is a fantastic way to write!!! I shall talk to myself more often!!
Freda Mans-Labianca 1:48pm December 3, 2009)

The visual of you cleaning your tile and speaking in different dialects is so wonderful. Thank you for sharing!
Joanne Reynolds 2:01pm December 3, 2009)

I should take up writing, maybe my floors would be as clean as yours! Thanks for the great historical novels.
Robin Hudspeth 2:10pm December 3, 2009)

Next time you start -- could you come to my house & clean?
Thanks in Advance [lol]
Cate Sparks 2:20pm December 3, 2009)

I often talk to myself, too, when I'm writing! My husband is hard of hearing, so he thinks I've been talking to him. I have to tell him that no, I was just talking to myself. Always good for an eye roll or two!
LuAnn Morgan 2:39pm December 3, 2009)

I clean when I think, too - normally when the story's really agitating me. It's usually a sign of irritability and my husband steers way clear!

I'd love to read Searching for Pemberley! Sounds right up my alley :)

Amber Leigh Williams 2:42pm December 3, 2009)

What a great idea using Jane Austin's Pride and Prejudice as a base for your novel, Searching for Pemberley. It sounds like talking to yourself paid off with a great story. Congratulations!
Rosemary Krejsa 2:50pm December 3, 2009)

I love the sound of this book. Triple the romance and Jane Austin's Pride and Prejudice intertwined. Can't wait to read it. It is authors like you that make reading a joy! Thank you
Kimberley Coover 2:55pm December 3, 2009)

I loved that talk with the accents of the characters. When I read I hear the "accents" of the characters in the stories. I've always done that. Your books sounds interesting - I love Pride and Prejudice.


Josie Roetemeyer 2:56pm December 3, 2009)

I would of loved being being a fly on your wall, a cleaning fiend with a british accent, but you prabably would have swatted me:) The book sounds like a good read.
Theresa Buckholtz 3:04pm December 3, 2009)

As a HUGE Jane Austen fan I would love to read SEARCHING FOR PEMBERLEY. Fingers crossed!!
Mary Preston 3:41pm December 3, 2009)

See, I clean when I have other work (usually school writing) to do, and I SAY it's because I need an uncluttered space to think in, but really, I think I'm just putting off the real work...
Misty Braden 3:48pm December 3, 2009)

SEARCHING FOR PEMBERLEY..WOW this is the type of book I love to read, light, with love, some crying and just plain good reading.
Brenda Hill 5:27pm December 3, 2009)

What an amazing group of people on this site. I haven't encountered anything like this on my blog tour. So my heartfelt thanks for the welcome. Since it seems like I've a few more novels in me, I'm thinking of tiling my whole house. I don't get the same effect when I vacuum--too noisy. I hope everyone enjoys Searching for Pemberley.
Mary Simonsen 5:42pm December 3, 2009)

I learn that authors all do it different
Patricia Kasner 5:52pm December 3, 2009)

Hi Mary! Pleae feel free to come clean my house then next time you are in your writing mode. I sometimes refer to my brain dumps as brain farts!
Lisa Glidewell 9:07pm December 3, 2009)

When I am researching I sometimes will veer off in unexpected ways. Sometimes that works out quite well, other times......well, not so much!

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net
Nancye Davis 9:33pm December 3, 2009)

I will happy to clean house for anyone who lives on Maui or Aspen or Hilton Head. Let me know.
Mary Simonsen 9:33pm December 3, 2009)

The talking with a British accent made me
smile! That makes perfect sense.
Sue Ahn 10:17pm December 3, 2009)

I talk to myself too often, unfortunately, I don't do accents or it might be more amusing!
Sharla Long 10:38pm December 3, 2009)

I know what you mean about walking around with a story in your head. I walk around with lists in my head - what chores I have to do, what phone calls I have to make, etc. I'm not really settled until I can get it all down on paper!
Cheryl Snyder 11:54pm December 3, 2009)

I loved reading about your projecting your characters into your cleaning routine. It would be fun to be a fly on your wall! I'll bet you were like a few kiddies I know that have their dollies, bears, cats, & dogs holding all kinds of conversations back & forth with no stops for working out what they want them to say & with whatever accent! Will look for your sounds like a good read.
Jill Merriott 12:22pm December 4, 2009)

Oops! Don't know what the glitch is but my daughters name came up instead of mine! Jean Merriott
Jill Merriott 12:24pm December 4, 2009)

I have found that talking to myself guarantees a good conversation at places and times where one normally wouldn't find it. I also do it when in the darkroom, printing photos. There however, it can be a drawback, as others in there with you naturally assume you're talking to them!


Lynn Rettig 12:25pm December 4, 2009)

I find the entire writing process that authors use fascinating. I wouldn't have thought that was how to write a book! Surprising!
Brenda Rupp 11:21pm December 8, 2009)

I love the A&E and version of Pride and Prejudice. I understand what you mean about Jane Austins use of language. I have to read the books slower because the English is so different from the English of today.
Gigi Hicks 12:54pm December 22, 2009)

Hi Gigi, I agree that you really have to slow down your pace when reading Austen. I imagine it's closer to what people reading in Austen's time would have experienced. We just don't have to do it by candlelight.

To all at Fresh Fiction, thank you for having me back. This was such a wonderful site, and the feedback was terrific. Lots of good energy here.
Mary Simonsen 1:18pm December 22, 2009)

Like many other people, I am
fascinated by all things
Austen and how she became such
an influential author with so
few books. Because of this, I
love to read other people's
takes on her work. This one
looks good.
Margay Roberge 4:39pm December 22, 2009)

I love the Austen books, and the movie adaptations. You're right about the need to read the books to get the true feel of the author.
Theresa Buckholtz 7:12pm December 22, 2009)

My daughter loves the Austin books. It has been so long since I read them that I feel the need to reread them.
Karin Tillotson 7:46pm December 22, 2009)

There is an amazing clarity to JA's books that would be sanitized to death in the name of political/social correctness in today's world. Lets all face facts; the world is not a nice, neat, sanitary place to be. Austen's books were a scathing denunciation of the blinders the social elite expected from society as a whole. So, yes, they need to be reread as adults, and then we can relax and read another author's works on the subject. Thanks for tackling a tough time period.
Susan Driskill 8:27pm December 22, 2009)

I enjoy reading about various aspects of JA's time and characters' lives going forward from the end of her stories.
Alyson Widen 8:36pm December 22, 2009)

Gee, maybe if I try writing, it will help me to get my house clean.. smile.. The book sounds great - can't wait to read it.
[email protected]
Penny Tuttle 9:04pm December 22, 2009)

Reading Jane Austen made me fall in love with her writing once again. I enjoy reading the new novels that continue where hers ended. I can tell how much research went into these books.
Rosemary Krejsa 10:27pm December 22, 2009)

Another book to add to my must read list. I adore Austen.
Mary Preston 2:40am December 23, 2009)

Thanks to all for commenting. Happy Holidays!
Mary Simonsen 3:52pm December 23, 2009)

I think I would enjoy reading your book. I always have to slow down when it's written in a way I don't usually speak!
Brenda Rupp 8:58pm December 25, 2009)

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