When we read Pride and Prejudice, we are led to believe Netherfield Park is a larger estate than Lonbourn–at least in regards to the home. After all, Bingley has an income of five thousand pounds, which should indicate he can afford something larger than the Bennets.
In A Matter of Chance, we’re looking more at modern situations and homes that have been in the family for generations. Longbourn was passed down the Lizzy’s grandparents to her aunt and finally her, and Netherfield, by what is indicated in my book, was passed down from Bingley’s parents.
I honestly didn’t let the sizes of canon sway me on the home I used for the model of Netherfield, rather I went simply for aesthetics and what I liked. I had also rather tied myself to a description in the prologue, which I wrote first and prior to anything else. I had no desire to change that description so Netherfield remained Acadian style, but what house did I like that would match.
I have always loved Acadian style homes, which can be found old and new in the south, especially in southern Louisiana. The style itself consists of a steep, sloping roof with gables on each end. The homes themselves can be one or two stories, but due to the influence of this home style, you often see the steep graded roofs all over southern Louisiana.
The newer homes in that area have very open floor plans, which I employed when envisioning the inside since many families who own older houses renovate them to fit their needs. They are not always kept in that antebellum condition when used as a family home rather than a tourist attraction or bed and breakfast.
Palo Alto was built in 1850, making it Antebellum as Longbourn was in the book. It lies on the banks of Bayou Lafourche (ou=ooo, the r is silent, and the che gives a sh sound – La foosh. It’s the best way I can think to describe how you pronounce it!). The Donaldsonville, Louisiana home also lies on historic River Road that runs along the Mississippi River.
This plantation as well as the adjacent plantation, St. Emma, were the sites of several engagements during the United States Civil War. The home became a part of the National Registry of Historical Places in April, 1977.
Isn’t it gorgeous! I’d love to hear what you think!