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Archive for the ‘Meryton’ Category

Pictures from Lacock – the pretty, typically English village that has been used so many times in Jane Austen adaptations. I thought I’d show you some of the less familiar scenes away from the main street.
Lacock has been used in many BBC productions and films – when I visited, the locals in the teashop told me about their experiences as extras which sounded great fun! Lacock was used in the lovely 1995 version of Pride and Prejudice for the town of Meryton. Here’s how Jane Austen first introduces Meryton.

The village of Longbourn was only one mile from Meryton; a most convenient distance for the young ladies, who were usually tempted thither three or four times a week, to pay their duty to their aunt and to a milliner’s shop just over the way. The two youngest of the family, Catherine and Lydia, were particularly frequent in these attentions; their minds were more vacant than their sisters’, and when nothing better offered, a walk to Meryton was necessary to amuse their morning hours and furnish conversation for the evening; and however bare of news the country in general might be, they always contrived to learn some from their aunt. At present, indeed, they were well supplied both with news and happiness by the recent arrival of a militia regiment in the neighbourhood; it was to remain the whole winter, and Meryton was the headquarters.

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Whilst staying in Bath I took a little trip out to Lacock, the village where so many of our favourite adaptations have been filmed. Most memorable, of course, was the 1995 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice starring Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth. I’ve been to Lacock many times, but I thought you might be interested to see a few photos. There I am standing under the sign of the Red Lion which doubled up as the Meryton Assembly Rooms in the miniseries.

Next up is a view down the main street – I do think it is a pity that they allow people to park their cars there – they really do spoil the look of the place – but, this isn’t a model town; people live here and in a modern world we drive cars. How much nicer it would look if there were horses and carriages – and officers – and real bonnets in the shops!

The last photo shows a view towards the church. It’s down here that I discovered a gorgeous teashop. I’m not ashamed to say I made two visits to this heavenly establishment – and found that the stars of Harry Potter had been there before me. I’ve got some gorgeous pictures of cakes for tomorow!

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Lydia Bennet’s Online Diary.
At this time of the year I always read Pride and Prejudice and I thought it would be fun to see what Lydia is thinking about all the goings on at Longbourn. Lydia’s online diary starts just before Mr Bingley arrives and finishes where my novel, Lydia Bennet’s Story, begins.


This is a drawing of Lizzy by my sister Jane. Elizabeth enjoys reading as much as I love dancing and she declares there is nothing so wonderful as a good novel. La! I cannot agree. My particular preference is for good company, spiced with lots of diverting gossip! And this, my dear friends, may be found in plentiful supply at my Aunt Philips’s house in Meryton.
She is my mother’s sister and as dear an aunt as ever lived! – She is such a rattle! Kitty and I like to visit my aunt whenever we can – it is a house always full of interesting visitors. My Aunt and Uncle Philips enjoy a wide circle of friends and their house is always busy with people calling or dining, or there are card parties and evening gatherings; everything affable and sociable. I think mama is a little envious of her sister at times, especially when it is so hard to make papa join in any fun! It is a great mystery to me to understand how my parents ever came together or what either of them ever saw in the other – well, they say love makes one blind and I think in this case, a truer phrase could not be found!
Lydia Bennet

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Lydia Bennet’s Online Diary.
At this time of the year I always read Pride and Prejudice and I thought it would be fun to see what Lydia is thinking about all the goings on at Longbourn. Lydia’s online diary starts just before Mr Bingley arrives and finishes where my novel, Lydia Bennet’s Story, begins.


Monday, October 12th, 1801
This is a drawing of Lizzy by my sister Jane. Elizabeth enjoys reading as much as I love dancing and she declares there is nothing so wonderful as a good novel. La! I cannot agree. My particular preference is for good company, spiced with lots of diverting gossip! And this, my dear friends, may be found in plentiful supply at my Aunt Philips’s house in Meryton.
She is my mother’s sister and as dear an aunt as ever lived! – She is such a rattle! Kitty and I like to visit my aunt whenever we can – it is a house always full of interesting visitors. My Aunt and Uncle Philips enjoy a wide circle of friends and their house is always busy with people calling or dining, or there are card parties and evening gatherings; everything affable and sociable. I think mama is a little envious of her sister at times, especially when it is so hard to make papa join in any fun! It is a great mystery to me to understand how my parents ever came together or what either of them ever saw in the other – well, they say love makes one blind and I think in this case, a truer phrase could not be found!
Lydia Bennet

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New letters have just been discovered giving evidence of a correspondence between our lovely Miss Lydia and what appears to be a close acquaintance, Miss Lucy. The first must have been sent just at the time two certain gentlemen, a Mr Bingley and his friend Mr Darcy, were visiting Meryton.

My dearest Lydia,

La, it is uncommonly hot today and not at all the sort of weather for this time of year! I am so glad we are arrived at Brighton, for the sea breezes are refreshingly cool. I am writing to you on the scent of a RUMOUR! My mama’s lady’s maid heard from the footman, who heard from the valet of a visiting gentleman, who had stopped by to deliver a letter from Sir William Lucas to my papa, that your eldest sister Jane is practically engaged to a man of great good fortune. They said your mama said so, and that Jane had met him not a fortnight ago!

When last we spoke, we were lamenting the lack of eligible and handsome young men in Meryton. Indeed, your mama was always wondering aloud how she would manage to marry you all off.

How did Jane find anyone so well connected so soon? What is his name? What is he like, and where is he from? My mama begs me to ask you if he came alone or with a friend. And if so, what is HE like?

Do write me as speedily as you can. And, pray, tell me EVERYTHING! We are all agog with excitement.

Your affectionate friend,
Lucy


My dearest Lucy,

La! I am so diverted to hear from you again but monstrous vexed to hear you are in Brighton where I should like to be. However, for all your unseasonable fine weather and seaside entertainments, I must tell you that I cannot envy you. Meryton was certainly very dull the last time we met but I write to you now with exciting news and gossip.

An entire regiment of soldiers are wintering here – can you believe it? Such dashing officers – such wonderful visions in scarlet! One can hardly step out into the High Street for bumping into a redcoat and they are most obliging!

However, I digress. You are quite right in supposing my mother to have been at her wit’s end with regard to finding my sisters a husband, but the arrival of a Mr Bingley to the neighbourhood may soon put mama and Jane out of misery. He is from the North, is very rich and gentleman-like but not really to my taste, so I am very happy to see my sister quite smitten. Mr Bingley has taken Netherfield Park, which my mother thinks will do very nicely indeed – we have not known him a fortnight yet my sister danced four times with him at the Meryton assembly and has dined in company with him at least the same number. But for all this amusement I have to tell you his society is blighted not only by his horrid sisters but by the presence of his vile friend Mr Darcy, the most disagreeable man you ever beheld. Mama says he has ten thousand pounds but it seems to me that his money has not been of any help in making his disposition happy. I have never seen such a sour-faced countenance!

I must dash – Denny and Chamberlayne have just called –

Write again soon with your news,

Fondest felicitations,

Lydia

‘Lucy’ is perhaps better known as Ms. Place from Jane Austen Today and Jane Austen’s World. We’ve had a lot of fun putting these together. I hope you enjoy them!

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New letters have just been discovered giving evidence of a correspondence between our lovely Miss Lydia and what appears to be a close acquaintance, Miss Lucy. The first must have been sent just at the time two certain gentlemen, a Mr Bingley and his friend Mr Darcy, were visiting Meryton.

My dearest Lydia,

La, it is uncommonly hot today and not at all the sort of weather for this time of year! I am so glad we are arrived at Brighton, for the sea breezes are refreshingly cool. I am writing to you on the scent of a RUMOUR! My mama’s lady’s maid heard from the footman, who heard from the valet of a visiting gentleman, who had stopped by to deliver a letter from Sir William Lucas to my papa, that your eldest sister Jane is practically engaged to a man of great good fortune. They said your mama said so, and that Jane had met him not a fortnight ago!

When last we spoke, we were lamenting the lack of eligible and handsome young men in Meryton. Indeed, your mama was always wondering aloud how she would manage to marry you all off.

How did Jane find anyone so well connected so soon? What is his name? What is he like, and where is he from? My mama begs me to ask you if he came alone or with a friend. And if so, what is HE like?

Do write me as speedily as you can. And, pray, tell me EVERYTHING! We are all agog with excitement.

Your affectionate friend,
Lucy


My dearest Lucy,

La! I am so diverted to hear from you again but monstrous vexed to hear you are in Brighton where I should like to be. However, for all your unseasonable fine weather and seaside entertainments, I must tell you that I cannot envy you. Meryton was certainly very dull the last time we met but I write to you now with exciting news and gossip.

An entire regiment of soldiers are wintering here – can you believe it? Such dashing officers – such wonderful visions in scarlet! One can hardly step out into the High Street for bumping into a redcoat and they are most obliging!

However, I digress. You are quite right in supposing my mother to have been at her wit’s end with regard to finding my sisters a husband, but the arrival of a Mr Bingley to the neighbourhood may soon put mama and Jane out of misery. He is from the North, is very rich and gentleman-like but not really to my taste, so I am very happy to see my sister quite smitten. Mr Bingley has taken Netherfield Park, which my mother thinks will do very nicely indeed – we have not known him a fortnight yet my sister danced four times with him at the Meryton assembly and has dined in company with him at least the same number. But for all this amusement I have to tell you his society is blighted not only by his horrid sisters but by the presence of his vile friend Mr Darcy, the most disagreeable man you ever beheld. Mama says he has ten thousand pounds but it seems to me that his money has not been of any help in making his disposition happy. I have never seen such a sour-faced countenance!

I must dash – Denny and Chamberlayne have just called –

Write again soon with your news,

Fondest felicitations,

Lydia

‘Lucy’ is perhaps better known as Ms. Place from Jane Austen Today and Jane Austen’s World. We’ve had a lot of fun putting these together. I hope you enjoy them!

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