Watching the Olympics this year has definitely made me want to return to London, a city I have sadly not been to since 2005, a city that Samuel Johnson once said of it that “when a man tires of London he tires of life.” However, as much as I love London, I would love to see more of the countryside and other areas, specifically Jane Austen country. One of my favorite books is Pride and Prejudice and I absolutely adore the the BBC miniseries’ adaptation of it staring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle as well as the 2005 screen version starring Keira Knightly. I also have read it in Spanish which certainly put to the test my Spanish language skills. I bought it at a convenience store in Madrid for a only a couple of euros and it’s one of my most prized and memorable possessions that I brought home with me from my semester abroad in Spain.
While I have visited Bath, a city where Jane Austen lived for some time and also a key location in works of hers including Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, here are three other sites I would love to visit in Jane Austen country.
1.) Chatsworth House, North Derbyshire-Jane Austen visited Chatsworth in 1811 and portrayed it as Pemberly, the estate of Mr. Darcy in her novel Pride and Prejudice. Its size and magnitude leaves me almost breathless just looking at pictures of it and it’s also one of those “homes” I can’t ever imagine as being the residence of just one family.
2.) Brighton is of course the seaside resort town where the character of Lydia Bennet, Elizabeth Bennet’s impetuous younger sister, runs off with Mr. Wickham in Pride and Prejudice. It’s an easy day trip from London and in addition to the pretty coastline there are also lovely Victorian era buildings to tour.
3.) Steventon Church-The small, rural village of Steventon was the birthplace of Austen. The family lived at the rectory for 25 years and it was here where she wrote Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and Northanger Abbey although they weren’t published during this time. It resembles the quintessential English village and also one I could visualize as being the setting in some of Austen’s works.
Julie is a librarian by day, die-hard travel fanatic and writer by night. When she’s not traveling, she’s either testing out a new recipe or being a foodie in Pittsburgh. If you're interested in seeing where she travels to or what she makes next, follow along via the links below!