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'
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 be
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?
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;
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, havi
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 i
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.
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!
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 locat
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 L
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 woul
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