LOVE'S PHILOSOPHY (POEM):
ON A DATE WITH JANE AUSTEN:
Lezli Robyn is an Australian genre author living in the US with her mini-Dachshund/Chihuahua, Bindi. Her love of books led to her meeting her future collaborator, Mike Resnick, on eBay. Since that serendipitous event Lezli has sold to prestigious markets around the world, becoming a finalist for several awards, including the 2010 Campbell Award for Best New Writer. In 2011 and 2014 she also won the Premi Ictineu Award for Best Translated Story, with Mike Resnick. This is her third appearance in Heart’s Kiss, and you can reach her at www.lezlirobyn.com.
Ellen Josina Lowry is Lezli Robyn’s twin sister and future author. Still living in their hometown on the Mornington Peninsula, with her husband and two beautiful daughters, Ellen has travelled around the world to tour some of the most breathtaking historical buildings and sites. A lover of romance books, especially those set in the Victorian and Regency periods, one of her biggest joys has been able to visit the many locations where movie or TV adaptations of her favorite titles were filmed.
ON A DATE WITH JANE AUSTEN
by Lezli Robyn & Ellen Josina Lowry
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live like Jane Austen did? To be an author in those times, and to create characters like the iconic Mr. Darcy out of the examples of men she saw in her day.
While we would love to personally introduce you to her and her contemporaries, to walk a mile in their shoes, we can’t. What we can do is help you recapture the history and romance of the period with your loved one by taking you on a date with Jane Austen, so to speak. You and your partner can explore the locations where movie and television adaptations of Jane’s books were filmed. Maybe you could even reenact some of your favorite scenes with your love, as a photoshoot opportunity, to add a unique touch to your date.
While we covered one of the major filming locations for Pride and Prejudice in issue one of Heart’s Kiss—detailing how you and partner could go for a stroll in the gardens of Chatsworth House, have romantic high tea in one of their two tearooms, or spend a night filled with passion in one of the properties on the Estate—there are so many other featured Estates to explore.
Not only was the outside façade and several ofthe rooms in Basildon Park used in the 2005 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice to represent Mr. Bingley’s lodgings, it was also the location of one of the most pivotal scenes in the movie, the “Netherfield Ball”, where Mr. William Darcy and Miss Elizabeth Bennet share their first dance.
Hadden Hall is also another great romantic location for you to spend quality time with your significant other, strolling the beautiful grounds—especially when all the flowers are in bloom. You might recognize it as the location for several scenes in 2005 movie adaptation of Pride and Prejudice; Miss Elizabeth Bennet’s bedroom and the Tavern. Also, in the 2006 BBC mini-series version of Jane Eyre, Hadden Hall represented Thornfield Hall, and then again for the 2011 BBC movie reprise. They must have really loved the location to have used it twice, and when you visit the Hall, you will see why; it is such an evocative and romantic Estate. (The Hall’s Long Gallery was also used in the 1986 film, The Princess Bride, and other rooms used in BBC’s adaptation of The Silver Chair and the 1998 film, Elizabeth. But they are not Jane Austen titles, so I digress.)
One of the most dramatic, and, admittedly, most heartbreaking scenes in Jane Eyre—the scene following Jane’s discovery that Rochester is married to another—had Jane running up a set of stairs in Hadden Hall, wearing her wedding dress as her bouquet of flowers dropped petals everywhere. While we wouldn’t recommend recreating that particular scene with your love—how could it be romantic to cosplay someone fleeing the altar after discovering your love was pledged to another?—it is often a popular spot for movie buffs to have their photo taken.
But, if you wanted to be reminded of one of the sexiest scenes in the history of Jane Austen adaptations, then go to Lyme Hall, which represented Pemberly in the 1995 BBC mini-series of Pride and Prejudice. There you can see the very steps Colin Firth’s character, Mr. Darcy, races down after quickly changing, to catch Miss Elizabeth Bennet before she leaves by carriage. She had just experienced the swoon-worthy moment of stumbling upon Darcy striding out of the pond, his white shirt open, wet, and all but plastered to that gorgeous expanse of manly chest. While your significant other might not be quite so enamored with the thought of you daydreaming after another man, he could also use that location to show you why he is also swoon-worthy, by planning a romantic walk and a picnic of the surrounding grounds, wearing a dashing white shirt of his own.
Speaking of chasing the person you love…. In the 2007 adaptation of Persuasion, Anne Elliot’s family live on The Crescent—otherwise known as the Royal Crescent—in Bath and it is this very street that Anne runs down in the conclusion of her search for Wentworth, after reading his game-changing letter. Maybe you and your partner can recreate their romantic kiss, or just enjoy the sights as you take in the beautiful architecture of the times.
Jane Austen lived in Bath, which is why Persuasion was predominantly set there, but it was the place to be seen in the day. More specifically in the Assembly Rooms, where one was often observed to be taking their daily constitutional and having many a whispered conversation. Consequently, the Assembly Rooms were used in several scenes for both the 2005 and 2007 versions of Persuasion, as was the Bath Cathedral.
One of the most controversial (and beautiful) scenes to be found in an Jane Austen adaptation was a depiction of fully clothed ladies actually bathing in the Roman Baths, in the most unusual 1986 version of Northanger Abbey. The film was a more passionate take on an Austen book, and one that has critics divided, but a visit to the Roman Baths, with its unusually green hot springs, is a must do for any Austen completest—if only to see where the author herself strolled when she was plotting her novels.
If, after all that sightseeing, you and your significant other are still looking for more to do—why not make it a romantic weekend away?—continue tracing the steps of the famous author and her adaptations on the screen by visiting the Jane Austen Center, also in Bath. We promise you won’t be disappointed!
Copyright © 2017 by Lezli Robyn and Ellen Josina Lowry.
Photo credit: Ellen Josina Lowry.
Heart's Kiss Magazine
Copyright © 2017 Arc Manor LLC. All Rights Reserved.