Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Jane Austen's Inspirations

From Radio Times:
Billie Piper starred in the 2007 ITV film of Mansfield Park as Fanny Price. In Austen’s story, Fanny, a poor relation, gets adopted by her wealthy aunt and uncle, and goes to live with them in their grand but unwelcoming mansion. One of Austen’s brothers was likewise adopted by rich relations, which catapulted him out of the family of a country clergyman, and into the landed gentry far above. Austen would often go to stay with her brother Edward in his new home, the magnificent Godmersham Park in Kent. She paid visits throughout her life, and they remained close.

Austen particularly liked her niece, Edward’s oldest daughter, another Fanny. But there are hints that she felt out of place at Godmersham Park. A travelling hairdresser who came to the house, for example, would charge Austen only half-price for a cut, because of her “poverty”. In return, members of the Godmersham family described Austen as “very much below par as to good society & its ways”, and the house itself, like Mansfield Park, is built in the Palladian style of architecture: restrained, beautiful, but cold. Today Godmersham is a training college for opticians. (Read more.)

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