Begins June, the Year of Our Lord, Eighteen and Fifteen

Fitzwilliam Darcy, the Duke of Carlisle and Earl of Longbourn, tapped his cane on the bottom of the roof, signaling for the coach man to stop. It was a tradition that the Darcy's always followed, but this time it held a greater significance. He climbed out and offered his hand to his wife. Elizabeth smiled lovingly at him as she stepped down and then both parents helped their two little boys, Bennet and William.

Together they all turned and took in the majestic and natural beauty of Pemberley. Though between them they now had vast estates throughout the kingdom, Pemberley was then and would always be home. The coachmen slapped the reins and continued down the rise toward the great house, but the little family remained. With each parent holding the hand of a boy, they completed their journey on foot, talking and joking about little nothings and great matters, depending upon perspective.

Since their marriage Elizabeth and Darcy had worked almost non-stop, traveling from estate to estate to set them in order. The task had been daunting, to be sure, but when completed the tenant homes were modernized, farming practices improved, manor homes restored or replaced, and townhomes either leased or serving other purposes, such as the wounded soldiers home. Other properties were sold and the moneys invested.

Most people, adherents and detractors alike had assumed that the couple would become a force in the Ton after such an auspicious introduction. Instead they had spent as little time in London as possible, other than that required to launch Georgiana. She had made an excellent match just this year, to a young man of both title and wealth, but also of great character and complete devotion to his lovely and talented bride. Darcy had balked at first, wishing to keep his beloved sister safe at home forever. Elizabeth's patient intervention had settled him and now Georgiana was Countess Whitecliff.

Now all of the properties were operation properly, with good stewards in-place, and the Duke and Duchess, along with their two sons, were coming home to roost. With the exception of necessary trips for repairs and oversight, the Darcys were now in Pemberley to stay.

The couple would continue in such a way for the remainder of their long lives. Two little girls, Charlotte and Jane, were born at the estate. Elizabeth made several trips to visit the dowager Queen, always taking her girls along. She cried genuine and heartfelt tears when the great lady passed. Through no ambition of her own, Elizabeth's connection with the royal families continued throughout her life, and more than once she was summoned for visits of counsel or pleasure.

When the boys were old enough, they would go on regular trips with one or both parents to learn the ins and outs of their future estates and to be known by their people. When each young man completed his time at Cambridge, he was given oversight of his future property. Bennet Darcy, Marquess of Carlisle, became a wise and outspoken voice in the House of Lords. William Darcy, Viscount Longbourn, was content to manage his sprawling properties and to help grow the medicinal plants used by Jones Medicinal Supply, the growing company run by Dr. Ezekiel and Mary Jones.

It should be noted here that, true to her Bennet girl roots, Mary obtained her own license as a physician at the age of sixty-three. Naturally, she was a popular figure in the burgeoning women's suffrage movement.


The Archers continued happily in London until the end of hostilities. Admiral Lord Stephen Archer and his lovely wife Jane, along with their three children, purchased property in Liverpool, where Stephen began a ship-building empire in partnership with Andrew Gardiner. Eventually the oldest Gardiner son, Patrick, married the oldest Archer daughter, Elizabeth, and took over the enterprise. Patrick's passion for steam led to their company becoming leaders in the steam-powered ship industry.

Little Jeremy Thomas spent his first years after the fire under the dual tutelage of Stephen Archer and Bosun Toliver. When he turned fourteen, he joined the Royal Navy as a midshipman. Eventually he became one of the first captains of Her Majesty's steam-powered flotilla. This was an effective training ground for when he also married into the Gardiner family and took over as the head of their shipping empire.


After a long engagement, Charles Bingley finally married Catherine Bennet. He grew and expanded his family's manufacturing empire, shipping many of his goods on Gardiner ships. Catherine's close relationship with the Bousettes continued as well, creating a clothing conglomerate that had few equals. Between them they became so wealthy that even Fanny Bennet would have been pleased had she been alive to see it.

When Jane Darcy came of age, she moved in with the Bingleys to share in her aunt's love for designing dresses. Although the notion of cousins marrying eventually became unpopular, William Bingley fell in love with his younger cousin and gained her hand as soon as he completed Cambridge. Since both had inherited their parent's stunning good looks, they became a celebrated couple and leaders in London society.


Fanny Bennet lived long enough to see her beloved Lydia marry Colonel Trevor Curtis and to wave at the docks when their ship sailed away, bound for India. Thomas Bennet had uncharacteristically offered to take Fanny on the scenic route home. She, instead, indicated that she would rather go straight to Longbourn.

When they arrived home, Fanny requested for Hill to have supper sent up to her room. When her maid found her the next morning, she was laying on the bed surrounded by clippings of wedding announcements, elevations, and various events where her daughters had been mentioned. Fanny Bennet had completed her life's work, marrying her daughters to wealthy men, and then closed up shop. She was intellectually challenged, sometimes thoughtlessly cruel, and altogether frustrating to her husband and family, but she had truly loved them all in her own way.

After the funeral, Thomas met with Elizabeth, since Longbourn was hers, and they agreed to ask the Jones to move in and take over until a Darcy heir was ready to assume the mantel. With that complete, Thomas purchased a house near Cambridge, moved his library, and settled in. On occasion he would visit his daughters and their husbands, but for the most part he remained close to the academic community. He even served on the teaching staff for a few years, though he found that he had little time for the duller students. His home served as the anchor for every one of his grandsons who attended college and also served as an unofficial club for the serious academic students and professors. He lived to the ripe old age of ninety, thereby proving that his wife had worried needlessly.

Lydia Curtis, nee Bennet, was wildly, passionately in love with Trevor Curtis and gloriously happy as his bride. Unfortunately, her reform did not last and all those delicious young officers in India became too much of a temptation. What might have happened with their marriage was never known, as Colonel Curtis was killed in a minor uprising just two years after their arrival. Faced with the choice of returning to the strictures of England or enjoying herself in the colony, Lydia chose to remain. She became the mistress of more than one prominent man even while spreading her charms however she chose. She never returned to England's shores, instead travelling the world and living a lifestyle that would curl the toes of Victorian England. Only vague rumors about her ever reached England and nobody ever linked her to her sisters prominent families.

Sir Hubert Hurst and Lady Hurst continued serving the Royals in various capacities throughout the growing British empire. Eventually Hughes was retired and elevated to Baron for his services. They never had children, so he petitioned to have his Barony transferred to Charles Bingley's oldest son. Unfortunately, it was denied and the title dissolved with the couples' passing. Their names figured prominently in many secret documents unearthed many years later, though many researchers never made the connection between Reginald and Hurst.

Caroline Bingley, determined to rescue her Duke from a horrible marriage, managed to successfully climb out of the second-floor window of the asylum where she was kept. Sadly, she was not as successful in negotiating the jagged rocks on the shore of the island. Nobody was ever quite sure how she intended to swim the seventy miles from the island to the mainland.

Bosun Toliver, having finished his task of preparing young Jeremy Thomas for service in the Navy, left the sea forever and followed his "little master" back to Pemberly. Against his protest, he was installed in one of the nicest first-floor rooms permanently. He occasionally drove his lady out in her little rig, but mostly he sat around Pemberley and, like a favorite uncle, told the Darcy children and other visitors stories about his sea voyages and battles. But his favorite story of all was the tale of the little master who became the Lady of Longbourn.

© 2018

AN: Thank you for going on this journey with me. A special thanks to those of you who reviewed and helped me fix errors. There are still a lot of errors in this and my other works. I will need to pull in one chapter at a time to fix as many as possible, so please be patient.

I may post another story after all, titled "An Interrupted Journey." It jumped into my head and got lodged there, so I'm typing it out. Don't know yet if it will be posted

Happy 2019. May this year be great for all of you. LFU