Monday, August 1, 2011

More Pride & Prejudice and Other Assorted Interesting Stuff

I had the pleasure of visiting Chatsworth House, the seat of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. We thoroughly enjoyed not only the house but the grounds as well. There were fields full of sheep and large trees, lovely gardens, and the cutest little hunting lodge. Of course one of my favorite rooms was the library. Chatsworth is famous for it. I had a jaw dropping moment when I saw a paperback copy of Georgiana by Amanda Foreman lying in front of ancient leatherbound books. The incongruity of it struck me as chuckle worthy.

Georgiana Cavendish was the 5th Duchess of Devonshire and quite a character. There's an excellent movie about her with Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes called Duchess. I've seen it about four times and would like to again.

The top photo is a painting of Georgiana as the Goddess Diana by an unknown artist. I believe it's on the ceiling going down a staircase in Chatsworth House. The small portrait of her at bottom is by Sir Joshua Reynolds.

You may remember in the P&P movie the long gallery at Pemberley (Chatsworth) where Elizabeth Bennett saw the bust of Mr. Darcy. After they were finished filming, they left the bust there. It looks very much like Matthew McFayden as Mr. Darcy. I couldn't quit looking at the girl behind the veil. How can cold marble be sculpted to look so warm and lifelike? Michelangelo did it. You just want to embrace his figures and sink into them. Not the David. I'm referring more to his pietas. Anyway, I digress.....

The final scene where Mr. & Mrs. Darcy are sitting beside a pool was taken here at this fountain. I believe there's a scene in the movie looking out this same window at the fountain and pool.

And one final comment on the photo of the bells; I can't remember where this was taken. It could have been Chatsworth but may have been taken at Burleigh House. Have you seen these down in the servants' hall while watching a movie or touring a house? You know what would happen. The servants, including the housekeeper and butler, have just sat down to their dinner when one of the bells rings. Every head turns in dread to see which room is requiring something. The butler sees that it's the drawing room needing attention. He sighs and says, "It's for me. Carry on with your meal."

If you click on the photo, you may be able to see the labels underneath the bells telling which
bell goes to which room.

I love touring the grand houses of Europe. I just wonder....if my ancestors had stayed in the old countries, would I now be living in a house like Chatsworth or Burleigh, or would I be a poor relation, having to accept whatever charity my rich relatives dish out? Unfortunately, I'll never know since the ancestors DID come to America leaving behind either grandeur or squalor.

Georgiana Cavendish by Joshua Reynolds  - Public Domain


Gumbo Lily said...

What a wonderful trip! Such beauty, history, and fun.


Bellezza said...

The bells remind me a bit of Upstairs, Downstairs but much more of the houses my husband and I visited in Newport, RI. The Breakers comes specifically to mind. Sometimes, I think I'd like to live in those days...especially if I had some help with the laundry. ;)