Touring with Jane Austen ~ Marble Hill House, Twickenham, and Richmond

Enquiring Minds: Tony Grant of London Calling, and a regular contributor to Jane Austen’s World, had written a post for me on Marble Hill House in Twickenham – but alas! I have been so delayed in getting this on the blog that we agreed he should post it himself and I will link to it… so herewith the tale of Marble Hill House, home to Henrietta Howard, mistress of George II. This all started with a conversation over Joshua Reynolds’s house, which led to Richmond Hill, and then on to Henrietta Howard and Marble Hill House, and then Pope and Swift, Horace Walpole, John Gay and the Scriblerus Club, a bit on Wordsworth and Sir Walter Scott and on to Dickens and Virginia and Leonard Woolf, and of course Jane Austen gets her required mention – you get the idea – this is cram-packed with literary tourism and as always, Tony’s fine photographs…

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The Thames from Richmond Hill

The Thames from Richmond Hill

The River Thames wends its tortuous way across England from Thames Head in Gloucestershire until it reaches the southernmost part of the North Sea. Its journey stretches for 215 miles. Finally the wide Thames Estuary which pours its contents into The North Sea is bordered on the north bank by the Essex coast and Southend on Sea and at its southern bank by the Kent coast, Sheerness and the entrance to the Medway.

Along its course The Thames passes though some beautiful English countryside before it enters the Greater London area passing by Sunbury and on to Hampton, then Hampton Court, Kingston upon Thames, Twickenham and Richmond. At last it reaches the centre of London with its iconic landmarks. The Thames, from London along its whole length, has a long history of Iron Age villages, Roman habitation, Saxon towns, and mediaeval settlements, Tudor Palaces and Georgian and Victorian Villas.  London itself began as a Roman settlement for trade, built at the nearest bridging point to the coast   where they had their port called Ritupiae (Richborough). They wanted to penetrate the hinterland north of the Thames. Indeed the names Thames which was Celtic in origin but had its Roman equivalent (Tamesas recorded in Latin as Tamesis)  and London (Londinium) come to us from Roman times.

Over the centuries the Thames outside of London has provided a beautiful Arcadian retreat for the wealthy, the famous, the aristocracy and the monarchy away from the stench and diseases prevalent in many periods of London’s history. They built palaces and grand houses and villas with adjoining estates and landscaped parks to relax and take their leisure in. Marble Hill House is a Palladian Villa built between 1724 and 1729, very close to Richmond upon Thames but on the northern bank of the Thames near Twickenham. It was built for George II’s mistress, Henrietta Howard….

Henrietta Howard

Henrietta Howard

 Continue reading…

Thank you Tony for this sun-drenched tour through London!

For more on Marble Hill House, etc,  you can look here:

Marble Hill House

Marble Hill House

…and not to be confused with our very own MARBLE HOUSE, the William Vanderbilt’s summer “cottage” in Newport, Rhode Island:

Marble House, Newport, RI

Marble House, Newport, RI

c2013 Jane Austen in Vermont

Round-Up ~ All Things Austen

This week is mostly about books….!

Jane Odiwe tells of her new book:  a sequel to S&S, Mr. Willoughby Returns: (see her blog for more info)

When Marianne Dashwood weds Colonel Brandon both are aware of the other’s past attachments; Marianne’s grand passion for the charming but ruthless John Willoughby and Brandon’s tragic amour for his lost love Eliza. Three years on Marianne is living with her husband and child at Delaford Park, deeply in love and contented for the most part, although Marianne’s passionate, impulsive and sometimes jealous behaviour is an impediment to her true happiness. News that John Willoughby and his wife have returned to the West Country brings back painful memories for Marianne and with the demise of Mrs Smith of Allenham Court comes the possibility of Mr Willoughby and his wife returning to live near Barton and the surrounding area of Devon and Dorset, a circumstance which triggers a set of increasingly challenging, yet often amusing perplexities for Marianne and the families who live round about.

lost-years-ja-cover

 Alert Janeite Nancy M. has posted about The Lost Years of Jane Austen, by Barbara Ker Wilson [Ulysses Press, Nov. 2008]

“Thanks to her meticulous diaries and frequent letters, Jane Austen’s life is well documented. Except for a mysterious period in her early 20s , when, for unknown reasons, her sister Cassandra burned all of Jane’s personal writings.”

A fantasy of what could have happened in the lost years.
Australia and Wentworth are mentioned [but as Laurel Ann proposes, is the a book written in 1984 titled Jane in Australia ?]

 

 Peter Ackroyd, author of many a British literary tome – novels and all manner of non-fiction, has a new book,  The Thames: A Biography [Nan Talese, 2008] to follow his London: A Biography of 2000. Published last year in the U.K. under the title Thames: Sacred River, and now available in the US, this is a must for my London collection!  Here is a review from Publisher’s Weekly:


 For a river with such a famous history, England’s Thames measures only 215 miles. Acclaimed novelist and biographer Ackroyd (Hawksmoor; Shakespeare) invites readers on an eclectic, sprawling and delightful cruise of this important waterway. The Thames has been a highway, a frontier and an attack route; it has been a playground and a sewer, a source of water and a source of power, writes Ackroyd. Historians believe the river may have been important for transport and commerce as early as the Neolithic Age. The ancient Egyptian goddess Isis has a long association with the Thames, which was used for baptisms, both pagan and Christian, during the Roman Empire. The British tribes tried to use the Thames as a defense against Julius Caesar’s invasion, and the Normans built the Tower of London and Windsor Castle on the Thames as symbols of military preeminence. The royal waterway carried Anne Boleyn to both her coronation and her beheading, and famously served as inspiration for paintings by Turner and Monet and for Handel’s Water Music, commissioned to associate the German-born George I with a potent source of English power. Elegant and erudite, Ackroyd’s gathering of rich treats does the famed tributary proud. Illus., maps. (Nov. 4)
See this LA Times review 

thames-brit-cover

thames-amer-cover1

 

 

stratagem_webcover8

 

Lavolta Press has published this French book from 1820: 

The Lady’s Stratagem: A Repository of 1820s Directions for the Toilet, Mantua-Making, Stay-Making, Millinery & Etiquette


Edited, translated, and with additional material by Frances Grimble
Publication date: November 3, 2008
755 pages; 98 line drawings, 36 halftones
Glossary, bibliography, and index
ISBN: 978-0-9636517-7-8
Cover price: $75.00

Lavolta Press
20 Meadowbrook Drive
San Francisco, California 94132
415/566-6259
www.lavoltapress.com

and also see this review at PR-Canada.net

 

heyerfridays-child

 

 The Books Please blog reviews Georgette Heyer’s Friday’s Child.  [Margeret has created a very thoughtful reading blog and is one you should visit often…] for this, her first Heyer read, she links to the Georgette Heyer Reading Challenge Blog.  I confess to just starting MY first Heyer, Faro’s Daughter, and will post a review soon.

 

 

 

 

And finally a visit to Austenprose for her November booklist… [some duplicates I fear, but we are always looking for the same thing!]

For those of you interested in textiles, visit R. John Howe’s blog on Textiles and Text  where he reports on the recent textile symposium in Washington DC… many lovely photographs to view!

 And for those of you who are hungry, Regency Reader Blog writes about the typical Regency breakfast; and while you are there, look at the other recent posts on Bath, Tattersall’s, and various historical Regency novels that have been reviewed. 

And finally for a bit of end-of- the-week humor (or maybe not…), take a quick look at the results of the Guardian.co.uk contest on redesigning covers of literary classics for a “dumbed-down” age.  Dickens had the most entries it seems, but as you can see, Jane made the list!

ppflag-cover

bleakhousecover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy reading!

Deb