Never too late

January 17, 2010 at 12:06 pm (news) (, , , , , , , )

Oh, I had had such plans, last month, for posting items to this blog; not much happened, did it? A couple of items are silly to talk about now, a month-plus later – but a couple things I will alert readers to now:

  • On 16 December 2009, Persuasions On-line published my last “Emma” article: Pemberley’s Welcome. The fun of the article comes from Emma Smith’s exuberant account of the homecoming of her cousin, Spencer (Lord Compton), in the summer of  1815. His bride was Margaret Maclean Clephane, ward (with her sisters) of the writer Walter Scott – a favorite author of James-Edward Austen.
  • I am thinking of teaching a course over a weekend in the summer focussing on Pride and Prejudice. No details of cost, dates, syllabus, etc. are yet available, but if this is something you’d be interested in obtaining information about, contact me through the email address on “the author” page.
  • Stowe Magazine ran a lovely article (great photographs!) on the Jane Austen Weekends held in Hyde Park. To get a taste for what goes on, there’s a PDF link on “the author” page.

If there was anything else I waited and waited to talk about, I’ve forgotten them and they’ll have to wait. Time to get off the internet and back to work.

Permalink Leave a Comment

Of Horses and Carriages

September 15, 2009 at 9:12 pm (books) (, , , , , , , , , , )

Over the Labor Day weekend, I visited one of my favorite used bookstores: Old Depot No. 6, in Henniker, New Hampshire. As usual, I spent most of my time upstairs, amid the British history and biography section of this very well-laid-out store. Among the ‘finds’ volumes one and two of the Torrington Diaries; I already had volume one, but was missing volume two thanks to an online store “selling, misplacing, losing, etc” the volume they had posted for sale. They were library copies, the first volume a bit worse for wear; but the price was one I would have paid for a single volume, never mind the two. I also got a dual biography of Wellington and the Arbuthnots; I have the Journals of Mrs Arbuthnot and was intrigued to see what someone researching to three had to say.

Then, standing at the register, I happened to spy a tiny little book entitled “Victorian Horses and Carriages” – which featured quaint and cute drawings done by William Francis Freelove. A precious find, indeed!

freeloveThere are some really funny little works; and I searched to find the entire set of drawings from the series – finally succeeding in coming across them in the Bridgeman Collection. Two of my favorites: the little poem which closes this copy of the drawings (at left),

Up hill urge me not,
Down hill hurry me not,
Along the level spare me not,
And in the stable forget me not.

How very apropos!

And one of my favorite drawings, not found in this little sampling of Freelove’s drawings, is one called Wedding Carriages. What an absolutely charming display of horses, happiness, carriages and church. This one especially speaks to me because of the article I am currently writing (for submission one last time to Persuasions, the Jane Austen Journal): “Pemberley’s Welcome” looks at Elizabeth Darcy’s arrival at Pemberley, based on the diary entry Emma Smith wrote about a similar ‘welcome home’ to the bridge of Emma’s cousin Lord Compton in 1815.

The following weekend after this ‘find’, I was speaking on “Georgiana Darcy and the ‘Naïve Art’ of Young Ladies”, at Hyde Park (see the Austen weekends at the Governor’s House). By the way, I must say this particular explanation of ‘naïve art’ is excellent: “Term applied to the work of non-professional artists who apply themselves to their art in a resolute and independent spirit.” (paraphrased from this website.) Anyway, in August one picture by young artist Mary Yelloly sparks a conversation about carriages – so, of course, I had to bring this little volume of Freelove’s with me to share with this new group.

At the same time, talking with Suzanne, the B&B’s owner, Sunday – with plans to offer talks on carriages or fashion when the topic of her weekends turn to Sense and Sensibility – I came up with a wonderful idea for a new article! As my Hyde Park talk centered on the minor character of Georgiana Darcy, this article will focus on the character of young Margaret Dashwood. Can’t wait to get started – and will share more about it later, once it finds a home!

Permalink Leave a Comment