Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Three Cups Inn at Lyme Regis - there have been two!

There is an article in the Times today which tells of a young boy's attempt to save the Three Cups Inn in Lyme Regis - pictured left. Thank you Laurel Ann of Austenprose for the alert! Although the article states that Jane Austen stayed here, there was in fact another earlier Three Cups Inn which was further down Broad Street - the original building was burnt down in 1844 and then re-built in its present position according to the Austen expert and author Maggie Lane. As Jane died in 1817 she couldn't have stayed at the present inn. I have seen a print of the original position of the Three Cups Inn when I was drawing the map for Maggie Lane's book, Jane Austen and Lyme Regis and this was clearly used as inspiration for Philip Gough's illustration below. The Three Cups is the yellow building on the left. It is thought this was also most likely to have been the inspiration for the inn in which the party from Uppercross stayed when they visited Lyme.
From Jane Austen's Persuasion:
After securing accommodations, and ordering a dinner at one of the inns, the next thing to be done was unquestionably to walk directly down to the sea. They were come too late in the year for any amusement or variety which Lyme as a public place, might offer. The rooms were shut up, the lodgers almost all gone, scarcely any family but of the residents left; and as there is nothing to admire in the buildings themselves, the remarkable situation of the town, the principal street almost hurrying into the water, the walk to the Cobb, skirting round the pleasant little bay, which in the season is animated with bathing-machines and company; the Cobb itself, its old wonders and new improvements, with the very beautiful line of cliffs stretching out to the east of the town, are what the stranger's eye will seek...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Jane Austen Treasures!

I thought you'd like to see these treasures - a collection of lace, bonnet, gloves, glasses and ivory counters that belonged to Jane and the Austen family. They are on display in the museum at Lyme - donated by Mrs Diana Shervington. I was lucky enough to hear this fascinating lady speak at a conference in Lyme a few years ago. She brought along some other pieces from her collection - I particularly remember a strikingly beautiful red feather cockade that Jane wore in her bonnet and thinking that this was no accessory for a shy, retiring country spinster. Mrs Shervington was most generous with her time and gave a really entertaining talk on her illustrious ancestor - she is descended from the Knight family. Full of humour and with so many stories to tell I couldn't help thinking that I had come face to face with Jane herself. She will be giving a talk at the museum in Lyme at 11 am on 30th June 2009 - for a full list of events in Lyme please click here
The glasses apparently belonged to Jane's mother. The lace and gloves are exquisite and so very tiny - the Austen women must have had very delicate hands. The counters are the type used in card games as mentioned in Pride and Prejudice - 'Lydia talked incessantly of lottery tickets, of the fish she had lost and the fish she had won'. The small sticks of ivory and bone are used in a game called spillikins where each player has to remove them one at a time by using a hook without disturbing the rest of the pile.

The alphabet letters reminded me of this passage from Emma by Jane Austen.

"Miss Woodhouse," said Frank Churchill, after examining a table behind him, which he could reach as he sat, "have your nephews taken away their alphabets - their box of letters? It used to stand here. Where is it? This is a sort of dull-looking evening, that ought to be treated rather as winter than summer. We had great amusement with those letters one morning. I want to puzzle you again."

Emma was pleased with the thought; and producing the box, the table was quickly scattered over with alphabets, which no one seemed so much disposed to employ as their two selves. They were rapidly forming words for each other, or for any body else who would be puzzled. The quietness of the game made it particularly eligible for Mr. Woodhouse, who had often been distressed by the more animated sort, which Mr. Weston had occasionally introduced, and who now sat happily occupied in lamenting, with tender melancholy, over the departure of the "poor little boys," or in fondly pointing out, as he took up any stray letter near him, how beautifully Emma had written it.

Frank Churchill placed a word before Miss Fairfax. She gave a slight glance round the table, and applied herself to it. Frank was next to Emma, Jane opposite to them - and Mr. Knightley so placed as to see them all; and it was his object to see as much as he could, with as little apparent observation. The word was discovered, and with a faint smile pushed away. If meant to be immediately mixed with the others, and buried from sight, she should have looked on the table instead of looking just across, for it was not mixed; and Harriet, eager after every fresh word, and finding out none, directly took it up, and fell to work. She was sitting by Mr. Knightley, and turned to him for help. The word was blunder; and as Harriet exultingly proclaimed it, there was a blush on Jane's cheek which gave it a meaning not otherwise ostensible. Mr. Knightley connected it with the dream; but how it could all be, was beyond his comprehension. How the delicacy, the discretion of his favourite could have been so lain asleep! He feared there must be some decided involvement. Disingenuousness and double-dealing seemed to meet him at every turn. These letters were but the vehicle for gallantry and trick. It was a child's play, chosen to conceal a deeper game on Frank Churchill's part.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Willoughby's Return - An old lover is back!

I've just been sent my full cover design for my new book Willoughby's Return which I love. Here is the blurb on the back cover to give you a little flavour of what is to come! Willoughby's Return will be published in November 2009 - to find out more please click here

An old lover is back,
determined to make trouble…
In Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, when Marianne
Dashwood marries Colonel Brandon, she puts her heartbreak
over dashing scoundrel John Willoughby behind her.
Three years later, Willoughby’s return throws Marianne
into a tizzy of painful memories and exquisite feelings
of uncertainty. Willoughby is as charming, as roguish,
and as much in love with her as ever. And the timing
couldn’t be worse—with Colonel Brandon away and
Willoughby determined to win her back, will Marianne find
the strength to save her marriage, or will the temptation of
a previous love be too powerful to resist?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Granny's Teeth on the Cobb!

There are several sets of steps along the Cobb but these known as Granny's Teeth are some of the oldest. I have to say they are very scary to negotiate when coming down off the top particularly when there is a high wind blowing. Anyway, I made it as you can see!
Below is the extract from Persuasion where Louisa Musgrove is flirting with Captain Wentworth. She wants to be 'jumped' down the steps - an opportunity to hold his hand and feel his hands about her waist most likely. It all ends in tears as you will see.

There was too much wind to make the high part of the new Cobb pleasant for the ladies, and they agreed to get down the steps to the lower, and all were contented to pass quietly and carefully down the steep flight, excepting Louisa: she must be jumped down them by Captain Wentworth. In all their walks he had had to jump her from the stiles; the sensation was delightful to her. The hardness of the pavement for her feet made him less willing upon the present occasion; he did it, however. She was safely down, and instantly to shew her enjoyment, ran up the steps to be jumped down again. He advised her against it, thought the jar too great; but no, he reasoned and talked in vain, she smiled and said, "I am determined I will": he put out his hands; she was too precipitate by half a second, she fell on the pavement on the Lower Cobb, and was taken up lifeless! There was no wound, no blood, no visible bruise; but her eyes were closed, she breathed not, her face was like death. The horror of that moment to all who stood around!

Captain Wentworth, who had caught her up, knelt with her in his arms, looking on her with a face as pallid as her own, in an agony of silence. "She is dead! she is dead!" screamed Mary, catching hold of her husband, and contributing with his own horror to make him immoveable; and in another moment, Henrietta, sinking under the conviction, lost her senses too, and would have fallen on the steps, but for Captain Benwick and Anne, who caught and supported her between them.

"Is there no one to help me?" were the first words which burst from Captain Wentworth, in a tone of despair, and as if all his own strength were gone.

"Go to him, go to him," cried Anne, "for heaven's sake go to him. I can support her myself. Leave me, and go to him. Rub her hands, rub her temples; here are salts: take them, take them."

Captain Benwick obeyed, and Charles at the same moment disengaging himself from his wife, they were both with him; and Louisa was raised up and supported more firmly between them, and everything was done that Anne had prompted, but in vain; while Captain Wentworth, staggering against the wall for his support, exclaimed in the bitterest agony --

"Oh God! her father and mother!"

"A surgeon!" said Anne.

He caught the word: it seemed to rouse him at once; and saying only - "True, true, a surgeon this instant," was darting away, when Anne eagerly suggested -

"Captain Benwick, would not it be better for Captain Benwick? He knows where a surgeon is to be found."

Every one capable of thinking felt the advantage of the idea, and in a moment (it was all done in rapid moments) Captain Benwick had resigned the poor corpse-like figure entirely to the brother's care, and was off for the town with the utmost rapidity.

As to the wretched party left behind, it could scarcely be said which of the three, who were completely rational, was suffering most: Captain Wentworth, Anne, or Charles, who, really a very affectionate brother, hung over Louisa with sobs of grief, and could only turn his eyes from one sister to see the other in a state as insensible, or to witness the hysterical agitations of his wife, calling on him for help which he could not give.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Jane Austen's letter from Lyme with pictures of the house where she stayed

Here are some pictures of me standing outside one of the houses that Jane Austen is believed to have stayed in at Lyme. Pyne House is on the main High Street of the town not far from the beach. As I was standing waiting to have my photo taken someone actually came out of the front door - needless to say I was a bit embarrassed! Here are some extracts from Jane's letter written from Lyme to her sister Cassandra.

Lyme, Friday, September 14th 1804.

My dear Cassandra, - I take the first sheet of fine striped paper to thank you for your letter from Weymouth, and express my hopes of your being at Ibthorp before this time. I expect to hear that you reached it yesterday evening, being able to get as far as Blandford on Wednesday. Your account of Weymouth contains nothing which strikes me so forcibly as there being no ice in the town. For every other vexation I was in some measure prepared, and particularly for your disappointment in not seeing the Royal Family go on board on Tuesday, having already heard from Mr. Crawford that he had seen you in the very act of being too late. But for there being no ice, what could prepare me?

You found my letter at Andover, I hope, yesterday, and have now for many hours been satisfied that your kind anxiety on my behalf was as much thrown away as kind anxiety usually is. I continue quite well; in proof of which I have bathed again this morning. It was absolutely necessary that I should have the little fever and indisposition which I had: it has been all the fashion this week in Lyme.

We are quite settled in our lodgings by this time, as you may suppose, and everything goes on in the usual order. The servants behave very well, and make no difficulties, though nothing certainly can exceed the inconvenience of the offices, except the general dirtiness of the house and furniture, and all its inhabitants. I endeavour, as far as I can, to supply your place, and be useful, and keep things in order. I detect dirt in the water decanter as fast as I can, and give the cook physic which she throws off her stomach. I forget whether she used to do this under your administration. The ball last night was pleasant, but not full for Thursday. My father staid contentedly till half-past nine (we went a little after eight), and then walked home with James and a lanthorn, though I believe the lanthorn was not lit, as the moon was up, but sometimes this lanthorn may be a great convenience to him. My mother and I staid about an hour later. Nobody asked me the two first dances; the next two I danced with Mr. Crawford, and had I chosen to stay longer might have danced with Mr. Granville, Mrs. Granville's son, whom my dear friend Miss A. offered to introduce to me, or with a new odd-looking man who had been eyeing me for some time, and at last, without any introduction, asked me if I meant to dance again. I think he must be Irish by his ease, and because I imagine him to belong to the honbl. B.'s, who are son, and son's wife of an Irish viscount, bold queer-looking people, just fit to be quality at Lyme. I called yesterday morning (ought it not in strict propriety to be termed yester-morning?) on Miss A. and was introduced to her father and mother. Like other young ladies she is considerably genteeler than her parents. Mrs. A. sat darning a pair of stockings the whole of my visit. But do not mention this at home, lest a warning should act as an example. We afterwards walked together for an hour on the Cobb; she is very conversable in a common way; I do not perceive wit or genius, but she has sense and some degree of taste, and her manners are very engaging. She seems to like people rather too easily.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Regency Cottages at Lyme

Here I am standing at the top of some steps leading up from the beach - perhaps these are the very steps where Anne encounters Mr Elliot. Notice the lovely Regency cottages behind me which are called amongst other names Captain Harville and Captain Benwick's cottages.

When they came to the steps leading upwards from the beach, a gentleman, at the same moment preparing to come down, politely drew back, and stopped to give them way. They ascended and passed him; and as they passed, Anne's face caught his eye, and he looked at her with a degree of earnest admiration which she could not be insensible of. She was looking remarkably well; her very regular, very pretty features, having the bloom and freshness of youth restored by the fine wind which had been blowing on her complexion, and by the animations of eye which it had also produced. It was evident that the gentleman (completely a gentleman in manner) admired her exceedingly. Captain Wentworth looked round at her instantly in a way which shewed his noticing of it. He gave her a momentary glance, a glance of brightness, which seemed to say, "That man is struck with you, and even I, at this moment, see something like Anne Elliot again."

Friday, June 12, 2009

Captain Harville's Cottage!

This photo shows the likely location of Captain Harville's cottage. I have it on good authority - some years ago I did a little map for Maggie Lane's fascinating book - Jane Austen in Lyme. The year it came out my husband and I went on a Jane Austen Society conference to Lyme - I remember meeting quite a few people who'd come along from JASNA. I'm sure you'd agree we had a lovely time! I took the book with me on my travels this time - it was invaluable for finding my way around, and is full of the interesting history of Lyme along with Jane's connections to the place. You can order it from the Jane Austen Society here in the UK.

The building looks modernised and is now a cafe but I've included a photo below which shows the buildings next to it which look far more in keeping with the sort of architecture that Jane might have seen. The Royal Standard Inn is several hundred years old - on the first blustery day I sampled their fish soup which was delicious. At the front they have a garden overlooking the sea where I enjoyed a crab sandwich the next day watching the world go by in the sunshine.

Last, but by no means least is the passage from Persuasion to go with the pictures.
The party from Uppercross passing down by the now deserted and melancholy-looking rooms, and still descending, soon found themselves on the seashore; and lingering only, as all must linger and gaze on a first return to the sea, who ever deserve to look on it at all, proceeded towards the Cobb, equally their object in itself and on Captain Wentworth's account: for in a small house, near the foot of an old pier of unknown date, were the Harvilles settled. Captain Wentworth turned in to call on his friend; the others walked on, and he was to join them on the Cobb.

Here's a further passage giving a description:

On quitting the Cobb, they all went indoors with their new friends, and found rooms so small as none but those who invite from the heart could think capable of accommodating so many. Anne had a moment's astonishment on the subject herself; but it was soon lost in the pleasanter feelings which sprang from the sight of all the ingenious contrivances and nice arrangements of Captain Harville, to turn the actual space to the best possible account, to supply the deficiencies of lodging-house furniture, and defend the windows and doors against the winter storms to be expected. The varieties in the fitting-up of the rooms, where the common necessaries provided by the owner, in the common indifferent plight, were contrasted with some few articles of a rare species of wood, excellently worked up, and with something curious and valuable from all the distant countries Captain Harville had visited, were more than amusing to Anne: connected as it all was with his profession, the fruit of its labours, the effect of its influence on his habits, the picture of repose and domestic happiness it presented, made it to her a something more, or less, than gratification.

Captain Harville was no reader; but he had contrived excellent accommodations, and fashioned very pretty shelves, for a tolerable collection of well-bound volumes, the property of Captain Benwick. His lameness prevented him from taking much exercise; but a mind of usefulness and ingenuity seemed to furnish him with constant employment within. He drew, he varnished, he carpentered, he glued; he made toys for the children, he fashioned new netting-needles and pins with improvements; and if every thing else was done, sat down to his large fishing-net at one corner of the room.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tweeting, Twitter, and Blogging - Shall I get any work done today?

I thought I'd give Twitter a whirl! I'm enjoying it very much so far, but am spending far too much time reading everyone's tweets and not getting much work done. I think it's partly due to feeling the effects of going away at the weekend - whilst lovely, I cannot stop thinking about the beautiful Dorset countryside and wishing I was still there. Decided to tweet away my melancholy by tweeting as Marianne from Sense and Sensibility - but of course, I'm now feeling sadder than ever having thought my way into her feelings. I may have to switch characters - jolly myself up by being Mrs Jennings!
I've found far too many interesting pages to follow, and am trying to ration myself, but it's hard. I don't think I've completely got the hang of it though - something's not quite right - I don't know how to make the pretty pics of everyone I'm following appear on my page. If anyone knows what to do, I'd love to hear from you!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Re-visiting Persuasion on the Cobb!

It really was a flying visit, but I've just spent a lovely weekend down in Lyme. I've taken lots of photos which I shall soon be posting, but here are a few which I'm sure you'll find very amusing - I said I might be blown off the Cobb - it was very windy, and when you are on the top you really feel as if you might be blown off at any moment - it's quite scary! The weather forecast for the weekend was pretty dreadful, but we were very pleasantly surprised. There was some rain on Saturday, but it was beautiful on Sunday and the sun shone all day.
Here you can see that although windy, at least it wasn't raining! The wind was fierce - but I couldn't stop laughing - the British describe weather like this as 'bracing'! My husband nearly lost his hat but I managed to rescue it in time.
You might recognise the buildings on the Cobb as the ones they used for the Harville's cottage in the 1995 version of Persuasion. Harville's house was probably located nearer to the area in front of the Cobb - I've more photos coming to show you where it is thought Jane intended their location.
From Persuasion by Jane Austen:

After securing accommodations, and ordering a dinner at one of the inns, the next thing to be done was unquestionably to walk directly down to the sea. They were come too late in the year for any amusement or variety which Lyme as a public place, might offer. The rooms were shut up, the lodgers almost all gone, scarcely any family but of the residents left; and as there is nothing to admire in the buildings themselves, the remarkable situation of the town, the principal street almost hurrying into the water, the walk to the Cobb, skirting round the pleasant little bay, which in the season is animated with bathing-machines and company; the Cobb itself, its old wonders and new improvements, with the very beautiful line of cliffs stretching out to the east of the town, are what the stranger's eye will seek; and a very strange stranger it must be, who does not see charms in the immediate environs of Lyme, to make him wish to know it better. The scenes in its neighbourhood, Charmouth, with its high grounds and extensive sweeps of country, and still more its sweet, retired bay, backed by dark cliffs, where fragments of low rock among the sands make it the happiest spot for watching the flow of the tide, for sitting in unwearied contemplation; the woody varieties of the cheerful village of Up Lyme; and, above all, Pinny, with its green chasms between romantic rocks, where the scattered forest-trees and orchards of luxuriant growth declare that many a generation must have passed away since the first partial falling of the cliff prepared the ground for such a state, where a scene so wonderful and so lovely is exhibited, as may more than equal any of the resembling scenes of the far-famed Isle of Wight: these places must be visited, and visited again to make the worth of Lyme understood.

Jane Austen clearly loved Lyme - she rarely used romantic descriptions of this sort in her writing - a little touch of Marianne in her personality, I think!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

A Clue to Where I'm Going Today!

I'm off on my travels today for the purposes of recreation, research and inspiration! If I don't get blown off the Cobb in the wild weather, I'll bring back some photos for your delight! If you haven't guessed where I'm going, here's a further hint.

The conclusion of her visit, however, was diversified in a way which she had not at all imagined. Captain Wentworth, after being unseen and unheard of at Uppercross for two whole days, appeared again among them to justify himself by a relation of what had kept him away.

A letter from his friend, Captain Harville, having found him out at last, had brought intelligence of Captain Harville's being settled with his family at Lyme for the winter; of their being, therefore, quite unknowingly, within twenty miles of each other. Captain Harville had never been in good health since a severe wound which he received two years before, and Captain Wentworth's anxiety to see him had determined him to go immediately to Lyme. He had been there for four-and-twenty hours. His acquittal was complete, his friendship warmly honoured, a lively interest excited for his friend, and his description of the fine country about Lyme so feelingly attended to by the party, that an earnest desire to see Lyme themselves, and a project for going thither was the consequence.

The young people were all wild to see Lyme. Captain Wentworth talked of going there again himself; it was only seventeen miles from Uppercross; though November, the weather was by no means bad; and, in short, Louisa, who was the most eager of the eager, having formed the resolution to go, and besides the pleasure of doing as she liked, being now armed with the idea of merit in maintaining her own way, bore down all the wishes of her father and mother for putting it off till summer; and to Lyme they were to go - Charles, Mary, Anne, Henrietta, Louisa, and Captain Wentworth.

The first heedless scheme had been to go in the morning and return at night, but to this Mr. Musgrove, for the sake of his horses, would not consent; and when it came to be rationally considered, a day in the middle of November would not leave much time for seeing a new place, after deducting seven hours, as the nature of the country required, for going and returning. They were, consequently, to stay the night there, and not to be expected back till the next day's dinner. This was felt to be a considerable amendment; and though they all met at the Great House at rather an early breakfast hour, and set off very punctually, it was so much past noon before the two carriages - Mr. Musgrove's coach containing the four ladies, and Charles's curricle, in which he drove Captain Wentworth - were descending the long hill into Lyme, and entering upon the still steeper street of the town itself, that it was very evident they would not have more than time for looking about them, before the light and warmth of the day were gone.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

A Review for Lydia Bennet's Story from Wondrous Reads and a new Competition

From Jenny at Wondrous Reads:

I've never read Pride & Prejudice, as each time I try to read it, I just can't get into the language and style of writing. For these reasons, I wasn't sure I'd like Lydia Bennet's Story. How very wrong I was!

I enjoyed this book so much I'm now thinking of trying to read Austen again. It's written in a very easy to read yet old style, and I couldn't wait to get home from work to read more. Lydia Bennet is the main focus of the story, and is presented as an outgoing, vibrant character. Together with her sisters, friends and love interests, she discovers that growing up isn't all she thought it would be.

I loved Lydia's character, as well as Mr. Fitzalan and even Mr. Wickham. Each character comes to life on the page, and I was immediately transported back to Regency England, where I'd now quite like to live. Everything was so much nicer: men were chivalrous, ladies were wooed and romance was romantic. Who wouldn't want that?! Although it was a different time, relationships were still the same. Between cheating men and confusing feelings for friends, Lydia gets a pretty good insight into the world of boys and marriage, and is just like any other teenage girl making her own decisions and choices.

By the end of this book, even I was quite tempted to wear a big Regency dress and walk around saying "Oh, good Sir, I'm frightfully cold". As I'm one of those girls who refuses to own dresses or skirts, this is quite an accomplishment. Lydia Bennet's Story reminded me of The Luxe series, only much, much better. It's captivating and compelling, and is a book I'm sure will appeal to a wide range of YA readers.

Click here to go to Wondrous Reads - later Jenny will be posting up a competition to win a copy of Lydia Bennet's Story

Monday, June 1, 2009

Willoughby, Marianne, and Colonel Brandon in the flesh!

I've been having a bit of fun with portraits. We all have our own images in our heads of what our favourite characters look like and I often see a painting and think -'Oh, there's a Bingley, or he'd make a good Mr Darcy. I found these which match my thoughts on Willoughby, Marianne, and Colonel Brandon from Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility. I love the cover on my new book, Willoughby's Return, but I'd love to see the whole portrait - it only gives a tantalizing glimpse of what can only be a handsome man! I'm not sure about the little inset picture which I think is a lovely Marianne - is it a Greuze? I'm not sure, I shall have to investigate.I love portraits from Jane Austen's time (as you've probably guessed) and when I was browsing through one or two sites of miniature portraits I came across this one and instantly thought of the badboy we love and hate (depending on where we've got to whilst reading or watching Sense and Sensibility). Isn't he Mr Willoughby to a tee? '...his person, which was uncommonly handsome, received additional charms from his voice and expression.' He's very handsome and gentleman-like with a powdered wig - when Jane Austen wrote her first version of Sense and Sensibility in 1795/6 hair powder would still have been worn though shortly after this time a tax was imposed on it by the government thus ensuring that people stopped using it. I love his dark coat too, he probably keeps this one for best, and not for shooting in the woods around Allenham.
As soon as I'd found Willoughby I wondered if I could find Marianne, and here she is: 'Her form, though not so correct as her sister's, in having the advantage of height, was more striking; and her face was so lovely, that when, in the common cant of praise, she was called a beautiful girl, truth was less violently outraged than usually happens. Her skin was very brown, but from its transparency, her complexion was uncommonly brilliant; her features were all good; her smile was sweet and attractive; and in her eyes, which were very dark, there was a life, a spirit, an eagerness which could hardly be seen without delight. From Willoughby their expression was at first held back, by the embarrassment which the remembrance of his assistance created.' I think she's rather lovely.
Last, but by no means least is my lovely Colonel - don't you think he looks just gorgeous, his eyes are so kind. I think he would look after Marianne beautifully, and he looks as if he might have poetry in his soul. 'Colonel Brandon, the friend of Sir John, seemed no more adapted by resemblance of manner to be his friend, than Lady Middleton was to be his wife, or Mrs. Jennings to be Lady Middleton's mother. He was silent and grave. His appearance, however, was not unpleasing, in spite of his being in the opinion of Marianne and Margaret an absolute old bachelor, for he was on the wrong side of five-and-thirty; but though his face was not handsome his countenance was sensible, and his address was particularly gentlemanlike.'
To read about the identity of this army officer please click here on the website.
Just looking at this love triangle makes me want to read S&S all over again!