Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Maria Fitzherbert's House

I have posted on her before. She lived in Brighton and the house still exists. To quote Fr. Blake:
The Prince Regent gentrified Brighton but it was really to live with, or rather close to Maria Fitzherbert, who was known as the Prince's mistress. However, there is pretty good evidence that they were actually married, the marriage was secret, she was a good Catholic girl, but the appearance was that he was his mistress. This "appearance" of unconventionality in their relationship gave rise to a loosening of morality amongst the Regency Court. Contact with Brighton leads Jane Austen's Lydia to downfall.
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4 comments:

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

England's geography makes setting into character in much of English literature. My professors who grew up in England would talk casually of driving past Jane Austen's house on the way to work or "biking through nine Thomas Hardy novels in one afternoon." When one professor was a young man in Woking, Surrey (if I remember correctly), he would let his parents know he was going out by saying, "I'm going to see the Martians now." (This was, of course, a reference to H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds, in which a Martian invasion wrecks Woking.)

The first time I read Fr. Blake's post, I wondered about the many embedded meanings of English places, and in particular those which must have flown over my head when I tried to appreciate the classics.

elena maria vidal said...

Cristina, you should go to England and do a book about homes of English authors and places that appear in their books. That would be fascinating!

Matterhorn said...

Such a fascinating (and sad) story, this one of the Prince and Mrs. Fitzherbert.

Matterhorn said...

It is so striking that the Prince fell in love with a woman so much his superior in character and virtue. He must have admired these qualities, even if he did not live up to them himself. Probably a story that has repeated itself many times through history.