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Showing posts from March, 2010

Sue Wilkes, a lovely author and friend!

I recently met up with lovely author Sue Wilkes in Bath. She'd been invited to a gorgeous afternoon out with Tim Bullamore (publisher of the Jane Austen magazine) and some of the ladies at the Jane Austen Centre to see Clare Tomalin's talk at the Bath Literary Festival. Sue and I met for lunch and had a lovely chat - we've corresponded for years ever since we did an article or two together on Jane Austen's Regency World magazine, but this was the first time we'd actually met. Incidentally, Sue had tea at the Jane Austen Centre afterwards - lovely treat. I've been there myself and highly recommend the cheese toasted sandwich!
I always enjoy Sue's articles and she has also written some fabulous non-fiction books. Her latest, Regency Cheshire is about that county, but filled with so much more, lots of fascinating stories about the era in general.
It was an age of unique style and elegance; the era of Trafalgar and Waterloo. Regency Cheshire explores the scandals…

Researching Willoughby's Return: Exeter and the New London Inn

Anyone who stops by to read my blog will know how much I enjoy researching for the books that I write. Willoughby's Return is set in Devon, Dorset and London so I spent a lot of time reading about these places as they were in the 1800's.
Marianne is married to Colonel Brandon and they are settled with one child at Delaford in Dorset with her sister Elinor and husband Edward Ferrars living nearby at the parsonage with their children. When Marianne receives news that her husband's nephew is coming home from university, she gets very excited on Margaret's behalf. Marianne thinks a ball will be the very thing to introduce Henry Lawrence to the neighbourhood (and her sister) and so promises to take Margaret shopping to Exeter, the nearest large town to Barton in Devon where Margaret lives in a cottage with her mother on the estate of Barton Park which belongs to Mrs Dashwood's cousin, Sir John Middleton.
I found the wonderful painting above on a super site about Exeter w…

A Favourite Walk in Bath, photos from my album.

One of my favourite walks in Bath starts at Jane Austen's house at no. 4 Sydney Place and takes me through the gardens opposite where we know our favourite novelist walked. Although the gardens do not look the same as they did in Jane's day, they are still a lovely place for a stroll or provide the starting point for something a little more energetic. There is a gate almost hidden amongst the greenery which leads onto the Kennet and Avon canal path and if you turn left after passing through it you can follow the canal for a good twenty minute walk to the village of Bathampton and beyond if you've the stamina!

The photos below are a selection of ones taken over time, but I hope they give you an idea of what you might see in Sydney Gardens and on the canal path.

In 1819 Pierce Egan wrote about the gardens and canal in his book of Walks through Bath -The Kennet and Avon Canal runs through the gardens, with two elegant cast-iron bridges thrown over it, after the manner of the …

Two Reviews for Willoughby's Return

I want to thank Alexa Adams and Meredith Esparza for so kindly taking the time to read and review Willoughby's Return, which they did a while ago. I haven't put these reviews on the blog in full before so apologies, ladies, for not thanking you publicly for your interest. It goes without saying that I am absolutely thrilled at their responses to my book - I can't tell you how much it means when someone enjoys my writing!

Click on the link to find Alexa Adams Blogspot

Finally we have a Sense & Sensibility sequel I can love! Jane Odiwe, as she did in Lydia Bennet's Story, has written a tale that clearly demonstrates her deep love of and respect for Austen and her characters. As I read Willoughby's Return: A Tale of Almost Irresistible Temptation, I never once had to stop and moan about a character acting in a manner incongruous to his or her essence (one of my greatest pet peeves). I must admit I found the subtitle a bit misleading and was very grateful that this s…

Mystery Solved! Why Jane Austen favoured Captain Wentworth's name - amongst others.

This is in response to a post I blogged about earlier - I was doing some research on names and discovered the village of Wentworth in South Yorkshire where the aristocratic families of Wentworth, Watson, Woodhouse and Fitzwilliam ruled over the area. As these names are all connected with characters in Jane Austen's novels, I thought there must be some significant connection. I wanted to know why she had chosen so many of these names for characters in her novels. A bit more searching on the website Wentworth village.net reveals the fact that a certain Eleanor Wentworth married Lord Leigh of Stoneleigh Abbey - and if you know anything about Jane Austen, you are aware that Jane's mother was related to this family.

On Stoneleigh Abbey's website there's a fascinating page on Jane Austen's connection with her Leigh ancestors and a portrait of the woman, Elizabeth Lord, who may have inspired the character of Anne Elliot. I am absolutely intrigued by this story - I feel a t…

Fitzwilliam, Wentworth, Watson and Woodhouse - Jane's characters have more in common than you might think!

I've been very busy writing a new book which always involves a certain amount of research. I was looking for a surname for a character of my own; it had to be linked to the name Wentworth in some way, so I decided to put in a search in google. I hit upon a site about Wentworth village in south Yorkshire Wentworth village.net and have found it totally fascinating, as I am sure you will too.
I discovered that the family names of Fitzwilliam, (as in Darcy) Watson, Woodhouse and Wentworth are all linked - they are all related in some way in a family tree that goes back to the 1200's. There was even an Emma Woodhouse born in 1220.

Do have a look at it - I can't help thinking that Jane Austen was inspired by this family for the names she uses in Pride and Prejudice, Emma, The Watsons, and of course, Persuasion.
I am having a lot of fun with my latest book - there's still a way to go, but at least I've finally got a name for my hero. I wonder if you can guess which surname …