Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Lyme Regis’ Category

I’ve just been to Lyme Regis – the weather was wonderful last week – no stormy seas as in the picture shown. I love this print which shows the old assembly rooms at Lyme Regis. Sadly, they were knocked down some years ago to make way for a car park, but we do have a description of them that was written by Constance Hill in her book, Jane Austen, Her Homes and Her Friends.

Her writing inspired my own for a chapter in Searching for Captain Wentworth. My heroine Sophie has travelled back in time to be with her ancestors, the Elliot family who live next door to Jane Austen in Bath. Sophie and her family are in Bath when the unexpected arrival of Jane’s brother, Lieutenant Charles Austen, leaves Sophie feeling both excited and nervous. She knows she is falling in love with him and yet knows that it must be a hopeless case … 

I dressed with great care, choosing a fine, Indian muslin, embroidered with flowers and French knots along the hem and down the sleeves. A string of coral beads at my throat gleamed in the dying light and two bright spots on my cheeks gave the impression that I was permanently blushing, the work of the sun and sea breezes combined, which had turned my skin to a pale bronze. I felt nervous at the thought of seeing Charles again and for a moment wished I could stay at home and hide away. Seeing him in Lyme had been a shock, I’d felt a certain consciousness between us when we’d met or I’d wanted to believe that I had at the time.
Charles Austen

Now, I was not so sure and scolded myself for imagining that Charles had come to Lyme especially to see me. I needed to separate what I wanted to believe from the truth and the facts were that Charles had come to find suitable lodgings for his parents in the surrounding area. That was all, I was determined that I would suppress any other thoughts including those shadowy memories of some other matter that tried to find their way to the surface. He wasn’t going to stay in Lyme and even if he did stay for one night, he was soon to leave so that he could organize his family’s accommodation. They weren’t even going to be in the area, choosing to go to Dawlish instead. His interest in me stemmed from our friendship in Bath and I told myself not to think that there was anything else. If I was not careful, I could so easily betray my feelings, not only to those around me, but to Charles himself.

However much I longed to tell Charles about the place he was securing in my heart, I could not reveal my feelings. I knew that now. It wouldn’t be fair to him, I decided. He’d made it perfectly clear that he was not about to fall in love with anyone, nor did it fit in with his plans. His career and advancement in his chosen profession were paramount. Besides, a little voice somewhere in my head said it was never meant to be. I could not, and should not attempt to change fate.

The Assembly Rooms set on the edge of the sea gave the impression of being afloat, as if on a great galleon sailing out on the water, for nothing but sea and sky could be seen through the windows. The walls rippled with light and reflections in tones of lapis lazuli, which as the evening progressed bobbed and dipped like the ocean itself, bathing the interior with a rosy glow from the sun setting on the horizon and from the warmth of the candles glimmering in sconces and glass chandeliers alike. What could be more thrilling than dancing with the sea all around us?
The Rooms were very full and even though I searched the place looking for a glimpse of Lieutenant Austen, I knew he was not there yet. I seemed to possess a sixth sense when Charles was around; the air seemed to vibrate differently when he was in the room. I would have to be patient and pull myself together for fear of betraying my emotions to everyone. Conscious that word had got around about our arrival in Lyme, it was evident that our party was the object of much interest as knowing expressions and cognizant looks were exchanged amongst the local gentry and it wasn’t long before those acquainted with our host made their presence known. We were introduced to the Barnwells, the Crawfords and the Suttons, all deemed as families of quality by Mr Elliot and Mr Glanville. After their stiff formality, it was lovely to see Miss Rockingham appear with her bright smile and easy chatter. She was with her brother who was immediately introduced and proved to be as welcoming as his sister.
BBC Persuasion 1995
‘I believe we have a mutual acquaintance, Miss Elliot,’ Doctor Rockingham remarked. ‘It is such a pleasure to meet you at last and to know that our friend Miss Austen is well. We were hoping to see her this summer. Have you received any word that she is to come to Lyme again?’
‘Her brother is here, Doctor Rockingham, and is hoping to secure accommodation for his family in Dawlish, I understand. I know Jane is keen to come to Lyme once more; her memories of the place are all happy ones.’
‘My sister and I will be more than delighted to see her, Miss Elliot, but whether or not we shall have that pleasure, I hope you will honour us with a visit again soon.’
I assured them that I would. It was impossible not to warm to the doctor and his sister who were friendly and kind, quite unlike any of the other people I had met so far in Lyme. When Doctor Rockingham smiled, his eyes lit up his handsome face. If only he had someone to make him happy, I thought, he’d be a changed man.
Before we had been there a quarter of an hour, I had invitations to dance from two or three young men who were introduced. I was relieved that our host would be forced to open the ball with Emma as a consequence, but disappointed that Lieutenant Austen was not there to ask me to dance. Just as I was beginning to give up hope of him ever making an appearance and as the little orchestra were tuning up their violins, the door opened. Charles Austen entered the room, along with two other people who looked very familiar.
The Cobb at Lyme Regis
‘That’s the gentleman and lady we saw that time on the Cobb,’ exclaimed Marianne, as everyone stopped to stare at the people who had just walked in. ‘I can quite easily see why you were taken aback. There is such a similarity between them, that I confess, Sophia; I am not at all surprised you were in shock. He could be none other than Lieutenant Austen’s brother, do you see?’
I could see very easily. Different in looks and manner, yet, there was no doubt that they came from the same family. Both had the same wavy, chestnut hair that framed their handsome faces in dark curls and the same hazel eyes, though perhaps in Mr Austen’s brother they reminded me more of Jane in their clarity. There was a look about him that reminded me very much of his sister. He had the same sensitive appearance; the same intelligent look.

His lady smiled, as her eyes darted at anyone who glanced her way. She was an elfin beauty. Delicate, yet exotic in style, like a jewelled bird stolen from a foreign land, she was swathed in a silken gown that flattered her tiny figure complimenting her pale complexion. As I stared, quite entranced with the pleasure of looking at her, I knew I was being watched. I only had to move my head very slightly to see Charles and to be aware of his beautiful, dark eyes. He bowed, his expression giving away little emotion. I felt the intensity of his gaze. So much so, that the spell was broken only by my own reticence to return the expression that I knew I had not misread.

‘Who are those people? ’I heard Mr Sutton ask Mr Barnwell who were standing a little apart from us.
‘Irish, I daresay, by their manners, ’answered Mr Barnwell, ‘just fit to be quality in Lyme.’
Mr Glanville butted in. ‘On the contrary, they’re nobody worth knowing. I recognize the taller gentleman from Bath, but I believe he is a sailor, no one of any rank worth our consideration.’
‘But the other gentleman,’ added Mr Sutton, ‘and more particularly his lady have quite an air about them.’
‘Now, she is somebody worth our attention,’ declared Mr Crawford, turning at their words and joining in, ‘for not only is she very easy on the eye, gentlemen, but Mrs Crawford’s been telling me she is a French countess! Or, at least she was before her first husband had his head chopped off. Her new husband is a banker, I believe. They are passing through, staying at the Three Cups Inn, I understand, before heading back to their London home.’
Lyme Regis
I hated the way they talked about Charles, his brother and his wife. I wanted to tell them to stop being so rude. I would have liked to tell them everything about these truly worthy brothers who had not been handed money and riches on a plate, and of how they had more daring, wit, and intelligence than the lot of them put together, but, of course, I couldn’t. I wasn’t even sure if Charles and I would have a chance to speak on our own. I didn’t know anyone that would make it possible for us to meet and talk, let alone dance with one another. We would have to be introduced all over again and I couldn’t see any of the gentlemen in my party making that a possibility.

I hope you enjoyed the extract!

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Searching for Captain Wentworth by Jane Odiwe

I’m very excited to show you the cover of my new book, Searching for Captain Wentworth. As you all know, I absolutely love this portrait of Jane Austen, so when Anne Rice very kindly granted permission for the painting to grace the front of my latest novel, I couldn’t have been more thrilled or delighted!

Searching for Captain Wentworth
Who was Jane Austen’s real Captain Wentworth?

When aspiring writer, Sophie Elliot, receives the keys to the family townhouse in Bath, it’s an invitation she can’t turn down, especially when she learns that she will be living next door to the house that Jane Austen lived in. But, Sophie’s neglected ancestral home is harbouring more than the antiquated furniture and nesting mice, though initially Sophie tries to dismiss the haunting visions of a young girl. On discovering that an ancient glove belonging to her mysterious neighbour, Josh Strafford, will transport her back in time to Regency Bath, she questions her sanity, but Sophie is soon caught up in two dimensions, each reality as certain as the other. Torn between her life in the modern world, and that of her ancestor who befriends Jane Austen and her fascinating brother Charles, Sophie’s story travels two hundred years across time, and back again, to unite this modern heroine with her own Captain Wentworth. Blending fact and fiction together the tale of Jane Austen’s own quest for happiness weaves alongside, creating a believable world of new possibilities for the inspiration behind the beloved novel, Persuasion.

I’ve loved writing this book – I think if you follow my blog you’ll know how much I love Bath and Lyme Regis where the book is set. I find both places very inspiring, but spending a lot of time in Bath has been particularly wonderful! 

I wanted to write something a little different from my usual sequel – this time I’ve indulged my fantasy of going back in time where my heroine meets Jane Austen and her brother Charles. Sophie is mad about Captain Wentworth in Persuasion; it’s her favourite book. However, her hopes of meeting anyone quite like him have proved to be fruitless so far – in fact, she arrives in Bath with a broken heart! She thinks she will take some time to pen the book she’s always wanted to write, but her plans for a quiet life are soon completely disrupted by some very strange goings on!   

This year I am speaking at the Jane Austen Festival 2012 – so I hope you will be able to come and join in the fun. It would be lovely to see you there! 

Here’s the info below from the Jane Austen Centre website:

Meet the Author – Jane Odiwe – 10.30am (duration 1 hour)
Popular, published author and illustrator ofEffusions of Fancy,  Lydia Bennet’s Story, Willoughby’s Return and her latest book  Mr Darcy’s Secret talks to us about her writing and also reads to us from her new novel Searching for Captain Wentworth.
Venue: Duncan Room, BRLSI 16-18 Queen Square BA1 2HN
The Jane Austen Festival, Bath


Read Full Post »

Jane Austen’s House in Bath

I’m getting very excited because Searching for Captain Wentworth, my new book is going to be ready in time for September. The cover is almost finished, and I hope it will be up on Amazon soon. Persuasion is my favourite of Jane Austen’s novels for so many reasons – one of which being that you can visit the places where she set her fantastic book. Bath and Lyme are wonderful places to go, and you can still walk along streets that Jane mentioned like Bond Street, Milsom Street, Great Pulteney Street, Rivers Street, Gay Street and the Gravel Walk, or visit well-known landmarks such as the Assembly Rooms, and the Pump Rooms in Bath. In Lyme, you can still walk along the Cobb, though I wouldn’t recommend jumping down any steps – the set known as ‘Granny’s Teeth are particularly treacherous! Jane doesn’t name the ‘principal street almost hurrying into the water’, but you can still walk down Broad Street and visit all the lovely shops which take you down to the sea. Charmouth and Uplyme are also mentioned and not far from Lyme Regis itself, as is Pinny or Pinhay.

Sydney Gardens

I decided I wanted to write something a little different this time, and the idea of a time travel book really appealed. If you’ve ever been to Bath you’ll know what an atmospheric city it is, especially when it’s rainy and misty in winter or at night when the street lamps still give the impression of old gas lighting. I’ve had several inexplicable experiences in Bath, which some might say are the result of an overactive imagination and several haunting dreams which provided a lot of the inspiration for this book. Whether it has anything to do with the fact that I can see Jane Austen’s garden from my window, and catch a glimpse of Sydney Gardens and the Holburne Museum, I cannot say, but to me my dreams were so real that I felt I’d gone back in time.

Lyme

Here’s a little blurb about the book.

  When aspiring writer, Sophie Elliot, receives the keys to the family townhouse in Bath, it’s an invitation she can’t turn down, especially when she learns that she will be living next door to the house her favourite author, Jane Austen, lived in. But, the neglected house is harbouring more than the antiquated furniture and nesting mice, though initially Sophie tries to dismiss the haunting visions of a young girl. On discovering that an ancient glove belonging to her mysterious neighbour, Josh Strafford, will transport her back in time to Regency Bath, she questions her sanity, but Sophie is soon caught up in two dimensions, each reality as certain as the other. Torn between her life in the modern world, and that of her ancestor who befriends Jane Austen and her fascinating brother Charles, Sophie’s story travels two hundred years across time, and back again, to unite this modern heroine with her own Captain Wentworth. Blending fact and fiction together the tale of Jane Austen’s own quest for happiness weaves alongside, creating a believable world of new possibilities for the inspiration behind the beloved novel, Persuasion.



Granny’s Steps on the Cobb

Read Full Post »

Sydney Gardens



Here’s an extract from my new book which will be published in September – Searching For Captain Wentworth. Inspired by Jane Austen’s Persuasion I’ve had a lot of fun writing this time travel book. It’s a little different to my usual sequels, and is set both in the present and the past. Two of my favourite places in the whole world provide the setting – Bath and Lyme – I hope you enjoy this little taster!

On the day that the parcel arrived I didn’t really take much notice at first.
“Now, that’s what I call an interesting object,” my father said, putting the brown paper package before me on the kitchen table with a flourish. “It offers all sorts of possibilities from the exotic to the mundane.”
“Knowing my luck it’s more likely to be the latter,” I muttered under my breath, spearing the top of a boiled egg with my spoon to watch the golden yolk trickle in a glutinous trail down over the striped eggcup until it congealed in a pool on the blue plate. Aware that he was observing me closely I sensed his silent agitation as he waited for me to show some sign of interest.
“Full of mysterious promise is that parcel; I wonder what’s in it,” Dad persisted, watching me stab a toast soldier into the yolk until there was nothing left but porcelain egg white like the gleam of a fragile teacup. In an effort to appear uninterested he went to stand at the sink pretending to be busy. I heard him fill a bowl with steaming water knowing that I was being watched from the corner of his eye.
“Well, aren’t you going to open it?” he said at last, turning with a burst of curiosity.
I wasn’t in the mood. I couldn’t care less what was in the parcel, and I sighed before I could stop myself.
“Is anything wrong, love?” He put down the teacloth and the saucepan he was drying before sitting down on the chair next to mine. “You’re out of sorts, Sophie. Tell your old Dad. What’s the matter?”
Persuasion-Lyme Regis
The teacloth proved to be an object of fascination in that moment, as I avoided the answer, and his eyes, taking time to fold the fabric into a satisfying rectangle. Part of me was ashamed to be behaving like a petulant teenager; I was far too old for that, but the fact was I didn’t want to tell him everything because I knew that despite being truly sad for me, he would also be completely delighted, and I couldn’t stand the thought of seeing that in his face. The truth was that I’d had my heart irrevocably broken, smashed up like the brittle egg shell lying shattered in pieces on my plate. Everything I’d ever believed about Lucas, our relationship, and about our future together had finally been proved to be false. If I’m truthful, I’d always known that I would find myself sobbing into my breakfast one day, feeling bruised and abandoned. But, that it would come at such a spectacularly low point in my life I hadn’t fully considered. Actually, there were no more tears; I’d gone beyond the crying stage. I just felt completely numb. Telling my Dad who I knew would be pleased to be proved right about my philandering boyfriend was out of the question, so I blamed my mood on the horribly unsuccessful job interview of the day before, which was also true. All I had to do now was listen to murmurs of sympathy.
“I knew there was something, I could just tell,” he said, as he folded me into the warmth of his strong arms. “Don’t worry, Sophie, it’ll all turn out for the best. Besides, there’s a reason you didn’t get the job, it wasn’t meant to be, and I’ve always said, the right thing will come along just when it should. Be patient, time will tell.”
Dear Dad, that’s his answer to everything. Fate will play its hand. According to him, we cannot escape our destiny nor should we try. Still, it was nice to hear some sympathy even if I didn’t subscribe to his ideas about providence and divine intervention.
It wasn’t just the fact that Lucas and I had come to the end of what was inevitably going to happen anyway, I knew I had to face up to some uncomfortable facts. To be a writer had been my ambition since leaving university, but the manuscripts I’d sent out had always come back, the fat brown envelopes dropping back through the letterbox with the most depressing sound in the world. I’d had a few articles published, seen my name in print, and earned the princely sum in six years of what amounted to most people’s idea of a six month salary. Yesterday had been my first attempt into the world of work and a ‘proper job’. I hadn’t got it. So, what was I going to do now? I had no idea.
Steps up to Beechen Cliff, Bath
“Aren’t you going to open it?” Dad persisted, nodding at the package and producing a pair of scissors that he’d obviously had at the ready.
In a way, the thought of the parcel did cheer me up. I’ve always loved getting presents through the post, but I couldn’t see how this could possibly be anything that might improve the sense of hopelessness that was filling every thought in my mind, every pore of my being. I cut through the string and the brown paper layers wound round with so much sellotape that I’d almost lost the will to finish opening it before I managed to extract the most exquisite object I’ve ever received. It was a rosewood box inlaid with mother of pearl fashioned into simple scrolls and arabesques into the lid and along its sides. There was a small key in the lock, which on turning clicked satisfactorily to release the mechanism that secured it. When I look back now, I must admit I was immediately intrigued. The box was like no other I have ever seen or held since, and as it opened, the shades of the past seemed to whisper something in my ear as the heady fragrance of orange blossom and frangipani, rose from within its depths. Inside, I found a set of keys bound together with a blue striped ribbon, and a letter.

Jane Austen’s House, Bath
Carhampton Dando
Somerset
Dear Sophie,
How are you, my dear? I hope you are well! Your father’s last letter gave me all your news and I’m very pleased to hear that you are still writing!
I hope the box that you have opened will prove useful to you. There is nothing like a fresh place for inspiration and it crossed my mind that you might enjoy a break from your London life, so I am enclosing a set of keys to the house that my father’s family have owned in Bath since it was built, which is for far more years than I can remember. Your Grandmother and I spent our summer holidays there from school before travelling to the seaside in Dorset and Wales. Later on, we used to take your mother as a little girl and I think she enjoyed these visits very much until she was quite grown up, just before she met your father and the pleasures of Bath did not have such a hold.  
Unfortunately, the entire house is no longer at your disposal as it was divided up when my father wanted to lease out the lower floors. You will have the run of the upper floors, however, and I believe there is only one tenant now on the ground floor. It is some time since anyone in the family stayed in the house, and I’m afraid to tell you that there is not much in the way of modern conveniences, but I hope that this will not trouble you too much.
The location is particularly pleasing being next door to Jane Austen’s house in Sydney Place, a situation very well positioned for the gardens across the road and a five minute level walk to the shops. Do you know Jane Austen’s books? I think you would enjoy them.
I sincerely hope it will prove to be an inspiration for your writing and that you will enjoy as much fun as your namesake in Sydney Place. There was another Sophia Elliot who lived in the house once upon a time, and as a youngster, I remember reading her journal. Anyway, my dear, I know it would have pleased my dear sister, and indeed, her beloved daughter, to think that you might be able to enjoy a little holiday in the famous spa town. Have fun!   
Yours ever,
Great Aunt Elizabeth.
Jane Austen in Bath


I put the letter down and gave my Father a look that told him I wanted the truth.
“What have you been up to?” I asked quietly, “Exactly what have you been telling Great Aunt Elizabeth?”
His ears instantly tinged with pink as he admitted what I already suspected. “I’m worried about you Sophie, you’ve been moping about this house for too long. I admit, I did write and tell her what you’d been doing, but it was her suggestion that you go to Bath. To be honest, I’d forgotten there was a house, although your mother used to talk about it sometimes. Listen, I’ve a little money set aside. I want you to use it, and I know your Mum would have liked you to make the most of a trip to Bath. You could write that novel that you’re always saying you haven’t got time to do. What do you say?”
I couldn’t be cross with him. Anyway, it was a brilliant idea, and so generous of him. Besides, what else was I going to do? I didn’t want to hang around the house feeling completely depressed, or go out and experience the misery of bumping into Lucas and Lily in Camden High Street confirming the fact that they were seeing one another. I didn’t want that above everything else. At that moment I wanted to believe in all Dad’s nonsense about fate and destiny. To be as far away from London as I could get seemed a great idea, and Bath was a place I’d wanted to visit for a long time. In fact, ever since I’d read about it in Persuasion.
My favourite book has always been Jane Austen’s Persuasion and it’s been the comfort blanket of my life, which I know sounds a bit dramatic, but if ever I’m feeling fed up it’s my novel of choice. What I’ve always done when I can’t face the world is to retreat into its pages and spend some time with Captain Wentworth. Oh, I know how that sounds, and every one of my friends thinks I’m completely mad, but the truth is that Frederick Wentworth is my idea of the perfect hero, and let’s be honest, the idea of a man in uniform goes a long way to help numb those real twenty-first century feelings. 

© Jane Odiwe

Read Full Post »

My little trip to Lyme in February seems so long ago now, and I’m always dreaming about the next time I might be able to go. As I’ve managed to break my hip – not by jumping off the Cobb, I hasten to add – I can’t see I shall be able to go for a little while, though my darling sister has suggested pushing me in a wheelchair along the Cobb wall! I thought I’d go through the photos I took in February just to remind myself of Lyme’s special beauty, and hopefully, by the time I’m walking again, not only will I be able to go up on the Cobb again, but be enjoying finer weather!

Lyme Regis

I love the subdued tones of these pictures – Lyme has been a real inspiration for my writing, and I’m excited to announce that my next book will be out by September! It’s the first in a series – Time Travels with Jane Austen, and it’s entitled, Searching for Captain Wentworth.
When aspiring writer, Sophie Elliot, receives the keys to the family townhouse in Bath, it’s an invitation she can’t turn down, especially when she learns that she will be living next door to the house her favourite author, Jane Austen, lived in. But, the neglected house is harbouring more than the antiquated furniture and nesting mice, though initially Sophie tries to dismiss the haunting visions of a young girl. On discovering that an ancient glove belonging to her mysterious neighbour, Josh Strafford, will transport her back in time to Regency Bath, she questions her sanity, but Sophie is soon caught up in two dimensions, each reality as certain as the other. Torn between her life in the modern world, and that of her ancestor who befriends Jane Austen and her fascinating brother Charles, Sophie’s story travels two hundred years across time, and back again, to unite this modern heroine with her own Captain Wentworth. Blending fact and fiction together the tale of Jane Austen’s own quest for happiness weaves alongside, creating a believable world of new possibilities for the inspiration behind the beloved novel, Persuasion. 
Lyme Regis
The story is set in Bath and Lyme, two of my favourite places in the whole world! It’s a bit different to my usual sequels as it’s set in both the present and the past. I’ve enjoyed writing it so much, and I hope to bring more news about it very soon.
Looking towards the Cobb at Lyme

Lyme Regis-walk down to the beach

Looking towards the Cobb, Lyme Regis

Lyme seagulls

Read Full Post »

Beautiful Lyme in Winter!

Read Full Post »


You can find me guest blogging on Fresh Fiction today talking about descriptions of Georgian dress in my books.

I’ve been very busy this last fortnight mostly talking about my book! Here’s my chat with Naida from The Bookworm.

Thank you Naida for inviting me to talk about my about my favourite Austen novel, and how it helped me to write my new book, Willoughby’s Return.

My favourite Austen novel is a difficult choice because I love them all, but, if I could only choose one, it would have to be Persuasion. Of course, Willoughby’s Return was inspired very much by Sense and Sensibility, another favourite, but my love of Persuasion is very strong, and sometimes themes and motifs from that book creep into my writing. One of these themes is of love being renewed after it is lost between the hero and heroine. I wanted to explore the idea in a different way in Willoughby’s Return. Although Marianne is very happily married, I wondered what would happen if her love was tested. If circumstances forced her to doubt her husband, and Willoughby returned to tempt her, would the love that Marianne and Willoughby had known be rekindled, or would Marianne’s “sense” prevail?

I also wanted to tell Margaret Dashwood’s story, as in Sense and Sensibility she only has a small part. I decided she was now old enough to fall in love! Enter Charles Carey – although we only hear of the Miss Careys in Sense and Sensibility, I thought it might be fun to introduce their brother. Charles is a sailor, and early on we learn he has gone to sea, and that he is strongly attached to Margaret. There are definite echoes of Persuasion here, but Mr. Carey is not her only suitor!

Finally, Jane Austen tells us that Colonel Brandon’s house is at Delaford in Dorset. I could not resist having Lyme Regis (from Persuasion) for some of the action that takes place in the book and it is also here in a village just out of Lyme that the Colonel’s ward has made her home. Marianne finds it difficult to talk about the Colonel’s ward, Eliza Williams, partly because she is the daughter of the Colonel’s “first love,” and partly because of Eliza’s past liaison with Mr. Willoughby. However, circumstances arise that are beyond Marianne’s control, and she is forced to face some ‘ghosts’ from the past.

Here’s an extract from Willoughby’s Return which was heavily inspired by Persuasion, taking place in the same setting as that book:

On the third day Marianne entered Lyme, weary but thankful she was nearing her destination. She had made occasional visits to the watering hole in the past with her sister Elinor and the children on hot sunny days and remembered them with happiness. The splendid situation of the town with the principal street almost rushing into the water looked very different in the winter light. Everywhere was shut up; only the fishermen were to be seen on the Cobb, their boats bobbing on the water, their nets prepared for fishing. In warmer weather the pleasant little bay would be lively with bathing machines and company in the season. Her eye sought the beautiful line of cliffs stretching out to the east of the town; they passed through Charmouth, backed by dark escarpment, trotting down narrow lanes and past Pinny, finally entering the village of Wolfeton Fitzpaine where the forest-trees and orchards waved bare, skeletal arms as if to hasten the warmer winds of summer.
They were soon stopped outside a cottage in the centre of the village, a neat-looking house with mullioned windows to either side of a canopied doorway over which was trained an old rambler. There was a small garden to the front behind a wicket fence with a bench under a window and a stone path winding between the flower beds, where the first signs of spring were starting to sprout in the form of green shoots. Now she was here, Marianne felt very apprehensive. With anxious fears attending every step, she was assisted down from the coach and took a deep breath as she looked toward the house. Before she took another step, the door was flung back and a young girl, her dark hair framing her pretty features, rushed down the path to take Marianne’s hands in her own.
© Jane Odiwe, Sourcebooks Landmark, 2009

The photos were taken on a recent trip to Lyme Regis – Looking towards Charmouth, Yours truly throwing stones on the beach, Two views of the harbour showing the old cannons and boats.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »