CLOSING NOTE: BEST OF 2016:
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 won the Premi Ictineu Award for Best Translated Story, with Mike Resnick. Their collection, Soulmates, was just released, and she has several upcoming books, including When Parallel Lines Meet (also by Phoenix Pick), On the Mechanical Wings of Dreams (by Hadley Rille Books), and Bittersuite (by Ticonderoga Press).
RECAPTURING ROMANCE OFF THE SCREEN
by Lezli Robyn
How many of us have read a book and wished we could have experienced life—and love—the way the lead character lived it? Perhaps take a stroll in their world, and somehow get an impression of how it felt to be them, even if only for a few blissful hours.
If we’re lucky, our favorite books become popular enough to be adapted into a movie or television show, and we get to see how the author or director envisioned the world around our leading couple through the locations chosen for the script’s most pivotal scenes. We watch as one beautiful destination after another becomes the perfect backdrop for the character’s fictional declaration of love.
But what if those places could be the perfect backdrop for our own dates, too? Aside from the cool factor of being able to visit locales made famous by the big or little screen, these venues are often evocative in themselves, with a rich and varied history. Each issue we’ll explore one of these iconic buildings or sites—off the screen, as well as on—and let you know how they can become a romantic destination for you and your significant other.
Chatsworth House is arguably one of the most well-known stately homes in England to be featured in historical romance movies and television series. Around three and a half miles north-east of Bakewell, and nine miles west of Chesterfield, the picturesque locale now attracts several hundred thousand visitors to its Estate per year, in large part because of the popularity those productions encouraged.
Not only was a pivotal scene (about the royal repercussions of Princess Margaret’s affair with Peter Townsend) filmed in one of Chatsworth’s large rooms to represent the interior of Buckingham Palace in the recent Netflix series, The Crown (2016), but two other rooms in the house were used to represent the Admiralty House in the iconic film, Bounty (1984), starting Mel Gibson.
As the ancestral seat of the Dukes of Devonshire, and the home to the Cavendish family since 1549, Chatsworth House was also lavishly featured in the The Duchess (2008), which was based on Amanda Foreman’s biography, Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire. Both the book and film depicted the life and love of the eighteenth century aristocrat and Duchess of Devonshire, Georgiana Cavendish (played by Keira Knightley in the movie). By filming in the opulent rooms and grounds of the Chatsworth House that the Duchess once walked in real life, viewers were able to realistically picture how breathtaking (or stifling) an arranged marriage, a passionate affair, and in the end, a life filled with great loss and personal strength, could have been for a lady of her times.
But arguably, the most well known production to be filmed at the estate was when Chatsworth House stood in for the iconic (but completely fictional) Pemberley, in the 2005 movie adaptation of Pride & Prejudice. Based on one of the most famous romance books of all time, by Jane Austen, nearly every reader was captivated by the leading couple’s journey from prideful prejudice to unconditional love. While we all decided we wanted to marry Mr. Darcy, we were also happy to discover that not every relationship started with that telltale spark of chemistry, even though we could eventually see them discover it at Pemberley through the power of cinema.
So why not take your date to Pemberl—I mean, Chatsworth house, to see if you can trigger that romantic spark (and yes, maybe some of that delicious tension) with your own partner? You could stroll through the same gardens, climb identical staircases, and gaze intently at each other in the very same halls that Darcy and Elizabeth discovered their love.
But why stop there? The Chatsworth House has so much more for a couple to experience; the very beauty and history of its attractions could help encourage a more romantic atmosphere for you and your significant other.
After you’ve taken the obligatory photo with the bust of Matthew-Macfadyen-as-Mr.-Darcy in the Sculpture Gallery, why not explore the house? Opening between 10:30a.m. and 11a.m. (depending on the time of the year), you could attend the local exhibitions (as of writing this, you could see the “Never a Bore: Deborah Devonshire and her set by Cecil Beaton” exhibition), or take the 1.5 hours Taster Tour, which gifts a limited number of guests a history lesson of how Chatsworth House, and it’s sixteen generations of Cavendish occupants, came to be.
If a guided tour doesn’t tickle your fancy, or you wanted to explore the house alone with your love, you are free to peruse the thirty rooms available to the public by yourselves, including the breathtaking Painted Hall, restored Sketch Galleries and the State rooms. You could both even imagine what it would have been like to live that kind of life….
Or maybe you’ll decide you’d prefer to take one of the incredibly popular Garden Buggy Tours around the Estate grounds, to snuggle up with your beau as you see the Ring Pond, Rock Garden and Cascade, and then walk the remaining grounds at your leisure until you are hungry for more than each other’s company.
You can then indulge in a scrumptious treat in the newly opened Flying Childers or Cavendish Restaurants, which both serve a relaxing Afternoon Tea, amongst other delights. (Mmmm, who doesn’t like a duo of scones Stilton with walnut and a classic fruit scone served with strawberry jam and clotted cream?)
While the house and grounds close by 5p.m., why not extend your stay, so your date can evolve into a more private, intimate affair. You could stay the night in the Hunting Tower on the edge of Strand Wood, 400 feet from Chatsworth house. It affords panoramic views of Capability Brown’s glorious Park, and was designed by renowned Elizabethan architect Robert Smythson. Built around 1582 for Bess of Hardwick, ancestress of the Dukes of Devonshire, it is not only steeped in fascinating history, but its mini-castle-like appearance houses luxuriously furnished interiors that make for a very romantic interlude.
And when you’ve exhausted yourselves, and all other attractions at Chatsworth House and its surrounding properties, why not return there for your wedding when the time is right, to achieve your very own Happily Ever After….
Yes, they cater for that ultimate romantic date, too.
So, as blasphemous as this will sound while you immerse yourself within the folds of this wondrous new magazine, sometimes it pays for us to pull our noses out of pages filled with ink and aspirations, to pursue a romantic new chapter in our own personal lives. You never know what lies ahead of you, if you are both willing to take that leap of faith together.
Copyright © 2017 by
Heart's Kiss Magazine: Issue 1: February 2017
Copyright © 2017 Arc Manor LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Copyright © 2017 Arc Manor