Yes, he does frown upon you and your silly summer diversions. He does not approve of your pool-hopping, beach-floating, outdoor concert-going, movie-watching, bike-riding, picnic-eating, boating, iTunes-listening, firework-seeing shenanigans.
At least, he doesn’t approve of mine. I have this image printed out and hanging above my writing desk, because Mr. Darcy is as wonderful a taskmaster–ahem, I mean muse–as he is main character and hero. (Really, though, I love this meme from the Jane Austen Centre of Bath’s facebook page, don’t you?)
Talk about motivation. If only Mr. Darcy were my personal trainer. *Sigh* But I digress…
Might he approve, though, of an Austen-inspired author taking not a vacation, nor even a holiday, but work-related research trip to England? Said author would need to, of course, sample the local bitters and cheese as well as partake in all things Austen. Certainly, other Austen Authors before her have done the same and gotten away with it?
In my next few posts I will talk about my excursions to Bath, London and Chawton…starting with Bath.
Had a ball in Bath…
Literally. One of the highlights of my trip to Bath was the Regency Summer Ball hosted by the Jane Austen Centre at the gorgeous Guildhall in Bath where I was “announced” when I entered the room and seated (happily) at a table labeled Mr. Bingley–as opposed to being stuck at Mr. Collins‘ table. I considered it a good omen for the evening, and it was!
Meet the Mr. Bingley of our table (on the right) who kindly took a Chicago girl under his wing for the evening and even convinced her to dance. Of course, the only thing better than one gentleman is … two! You may recognize Martin in the photo on my left below from the Jane Austen Centre, but the young man on my right side made his own costume. Very impressive. Him, and the costume, ha ha!
The music was fantastic, and Diana, the caller, was nice enough to let me have the list of selections for the evening, so here they are for your listening and dancing pleasure:
1. Dutch Skipper
2. The Sicilian (La Mignionette)
4. Flirtation Fig from First Set (Finale)
5. Belvedere Waltz
6. La Boulanger
7. Miss Poultney’s Fancy
8. The Nut
9. The Mail
10. The Graces Fig from Duval’s Lancers
11. The Lord Wellington
12. Sir Roger de Coverley
I don’t want to make you too jealous of all the things I saw while in Bath, but it did include the usual Janeite tourist route of most of Jane’s lodgings while in Bath, plus The Pump Room, The Assembly Rooms, The Holbourne Museum, Sydney Gardens, The Jane Austen Centre, and here I am at the top of the Bath Abbey. I climbed 212 steps and promptly canceled out that exercise by eating a Bath bun in the Jane Austen Room at Sally Lunn’s! The bun, I might add, was smothered in butter and jam.
I have so many photos and so much more to tell you, but it’ll have to wait as I need to get up early and work after I drive my daughter goes to a gourmet cooking class and then the pool (talk about shenanigans) while my son spends the day sailing at Columbia Yacht Club of Chicago and carousing downtown afterwards. Would Mr. Darcy frown upon children being so spoiled and coddled? I think so. May they someday earn the equivalent of the Darcy family to maintain their rock and roll lifestyles!
Now for the part you’ve really been waiting for, and I commend you for bearing with me through my travelogue. You may be rewarded…
I’m giving away an autographed copy of Definitely Not Mr. Darcy plus drinks coasters and tea to one lucky visitor. To be eligible for the giveaway, leave a comment below or for additional opportunities to win, use the Rafflecopter button and connect this post to social media. To be eligible, please respond by midnight EDST on August 15.
If you’d like you can answer the question:
What kind of shenanigans have you been up to that Mr. Darcy would frown upon?