Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Jane Austen: Seascapes and Landscapes, Day 2

A year ago today, we visited Godmersham Park and Goodnestone Park. It was drizzling most of the day, but we still enjoyed the gardens. We hiked across the wet grass, up a hill to visit a Grecian-inspired folly, and meandered through fruit and flower gardens. If we hadn't been wearing contemporary clothes, our dresses would have rivaled Lizzy Bennet's for lack of fastidiousness. Thankfully, there were no Bingley sisters to censure us!

Jane's brother Edward Austen Knight inherited Godmersham Park from his adoptive parents, Thomas and Catherine Knight, and lived there from 1797. Jane visited frequently and some believe that Godmersham may have been the inspiration for Mansfield Park.

Are we looking suitably impressed?

The Knight Family coat of arms carved in stone.

The espaliered fruit trees were beautiful.

My daughter took most of these photos, including this lovely rose. She sighs and says, "I took some awesome pictures!" whenever we look at photos from the trip.

I love to think of Jane taking a quiet walk here.

After our long walk, it was time to head to Goodnestone Park for lunch "in the stables." Well, the stables turned out to no longer be occupied by livestock; they had been converted into a rustic eating area. Lunch was excellent and dessert was no disappointment either.

Edward Austen Knight and his wife Elizabeth, who was the daughter of Sir Brook Bridges, the owner of the Goodnestone estate, spent their early married life in a cottage on the estate here before they moved to Godmersham.

JAFL fans: does this look familiar?

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