WENTWORTH – Did Jane Austen Visit

Still being edited due to techical problems:

In my nomination for the Sunshine Blogger Awards,my first question to answer was Who is your favourite writer? Out of many Jane Austen came out top. That sent me off down memory lane.

Jane Austin is my favourite author. I always .’got it’ that she was subtly sending up all the snobs and hypochrites of her society. I picture her in drawing rooms, sitting quietly observing all the nonsence that went on in Edwardian (?) society.

I grew up a few miles from where Jane Austen (and D.H Lawrence) lived, amongst – but not in – the many stately homes. We lived in Worksop, Nottinghamshire – “Gateway to the Dukeries”, as jt says on the sign. Worksop is smack on the borders of Yorkshire and Derbyshire. Formerly a market, then mining town, it tolerates the Toffs on their estates who had such an influence on the town.

Check out the recently saved Wentworth Woodhouse, and what they do to keep it alive. Really worth a visit

Looking back, the Dukeries, and the many ancient stately homes, mansions, people and gardens have greatly affected my own outlook and writing, but where I too look back sardonically on the Jane Austen era from absored histories and feelings when being ‘on site’ I have the utmost respect for those today who are putting so much love – and money – to these beautiful places.

Coincidentaly, a good friend is descended from one of the maids who was ‘begat’ by the son of the Wentworth Woodhouse gentry of the time. (You had no choice if you wanted to keep your job and accommodation.) He told me this story.

Because of her shame in getting (made) pregnant by the naughty son, she was sent away to the big family-owned hotel in Leeds until her confinement. Then the family paid a stable hand to marry her and bring up the child. It was quite common in those times. My friend thinks a dna study of the village and area could be quite fruitful!

The property has been through some owners since. There is a very interesting BBC tv programme about it. The first time I visited, with my friend, tne sunken garden was just being reclaimed to its original state. The gallery below is from my second visit in spring 2014, after a hard winter. I will add the earlier ones from my other computer later.

Jane Austen would possibly have visited there.Today tourism and canny business has literally saved the life of a crumbling pile of sooty stone that had been a true showpiece in Jane Austen’s day. In my mind it is the picture of her mythical Pemberley in Pride and Prejudice, because at that time it was a stunning new showcase. Others credit Chatsworth as her inspiration. Both are in reach of her area.

I really liked Jane Austen’s storytelling over most of my life, hers being among the few novels I can read over again. pHowever, being a Libran, I have to swing the scales. Remember though that at the time of writing my brain is still recovering from the medication debacle. Nah, that is no excuse for thinking in jigsaws; a piece here, a piece there, hopefully coming together into a cohesive whole with the insertion of the last piece. Or realising the last piece belongs to a different puzzle altogether!

D.H. Lawrence. Naughty D.H.Lawrence, whose ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’ was banned on publication when I was at school in Darlington, did not so much influence my writing; his writing reflected a short part of my married life…Some other time.