Godmersham House

Some time ago I wrote a post about Chevening Park being considered the model for Rosings Park. Now I came across another JASNA article by Joan Austen-Leigh, claiming that it was Godmersham Park. I absolutely love all the speculations, even though I assume that Austen would be creative enough to build a house in her own imagination rather than copy an existing one. If you ask me Rosings would be more showy.

Godmersham House

Godmersham House

However, it’s always interesting to see the old houses, since they provide examples of the norm back then. For more information and pictures from Godmersham House see Chris Coyle’s article in Jane Austen’s Regency World.

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Hannah Cowley in Austen’s The Three Sisters

The Three Sisters is one of the frankest portrayals of “marriage as prostitution” (as Mary Wollstonecraft described marrying for material reasons) within all of Austen’s writings.

Miss Stanhope takes no pains to conceal her motives while negotiating her price:

“You must build me an elegant Greenhouse and stock it with plants. You must let me spend every Winter in Bath, every Spring in Town, Every Summer in taking some Tour, and every Autumn at a Watering Place, and if we are at home the rest of the year (Sophy and I laughed) You must do nothing but give Balls and Masquerades. You must build a room on purpose and a Theatre to act Plays in. The first Play we have shall be Which is the Man, and I will do Lady Bell Bloomer.”

Hannah Cowley

Which is the Man is a play by Hannah Cowley about a fascinating widow who cannot make up her mind among several admirers.

In 1787 Austen’s family considered performing it at Steventon. Although other plays ended up being performed then, Austen was well familiar with Cowley’s plays, and quoted lines from them in her letters.

You can read it in Austenette’s Repository. Follow the link Which is the Man

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Woman in Love

66_brock_pp_1_sm_gThere is a lot of confusion as to when and why Elizabeth Bennet fell in love. (See this post at Austenprose and subsequent comments for example, but it’s only one of many such opinions.) This post is to show that the reason of it does not come from any imperfection of Lizzy’s affection or Austen’s writing, but rather our modern notions that downplay the significance of love.

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Chevening Park = Rosings Park

I came across an old article in Persuasions where John Halperin argues that Chevening Park was a model for Rosings.

Rosings is described in Pride and Prejudice as being “well situated on rising ground” and “a handsome modern building,” which fits the account of Chevening Park given in Paterson’s Roads (1826); in Jane Austen’s day it would have been about 165 years old, but it had just undergone extensive renovation.

I googled it and found some old pictures.

Chevening in 1830

Chevening in 1830

The article is worth reading anyway. Although I have no opinion on Austen’s own personality, the author makes some good points about P&P. Read more at JASNA.

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Jane Austen Nude

This article by the art historian, Alan Saxe-Popette is an obvious spoof, but it’s hilarious!

In private, moreover, Chapman was notoriously prudish.  He is reported to have confessed to his great friend Kathleen Tillotson (herself a well-known scholar of English fiction) that “I just don’t want to go to my grave thinking that I’ve looked upon dear Miss Austen’s pubic hair.”

Jane Austen Nude

Note: I don’t think it’s making fun of Austen. It’s ridiculing all of the people who are busy making up the oddest speculations about her life.

sm-plusWritten by Sylwia