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!

2 comments:

Vic said...

Oh, my, the weather looks cold and windy in June. We are sweltering in Richmond while you are wearing a coat and scarf. Squee.

Jane Odiwe said...

It wasn't really that cold, but I'm one of those people who doesn't take their coat off until August, and only then if it's blistering! Still, it was an entirely different matter on top of the Cobb - very 'fresh' and blustery!