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|Letter 38: May I introduce you to.......
Written by JulieW
(9/21/2007 7:05 a.m.)
I'm so pleased to have found a print of George Stubbs's equestrian portrait of Mr Evelyn was Edward Austen Knight's old friend from Kent( he lived at St Clare near Igtham in Kent) and the chap who very kindly took JA out in his
very bewitching phaeton and four.
We have met him in the last GR of the letters, when JA was staying with Edward Austen and the family at Number 13 Queens Square, Bath.
The Tate Britain Gallery in London owns the original painting but it is not available on line. A little sleuthing found this print of the picture instead ;-)
I really do wonder exactly JA wrote to Cassandra about what occurred between her and Mr Evelyn in the Sydney Gardens in a now lost letter...Whatever it was ,she has to back track pretty quickly:
I assure you inspite of what I might chuse to insinuate in a former letter, that I have seen very little of Mr Evelyn since my coming here; I met him this morning only for the 4th time, & as to my anecdote about Sidney Gardens I made the most of the Story because it came in to advantage, but in fact he only asked me whether I were to be at Sidney Gardens in the evening or not…
It would appear that Cassandra has been scolding JA again for perceived breaches of propriety : I wonder if we have maligned Mr Holder of Ashe Park and he has been the "victim" of JA's lively imagination? Sounds a little like the relationship between like Elinor and Marianne Dashwood doesn't it, in a way?
As to the bewitching phaeton, here is a print of one from William Feltham's Treatise on Carriages (1796)
This is what Felton has to say on the subject: basically every gentleman should have one( but as a maker of these carriage ,he would say that wouldn't he?)
Phaetons, for some years, have deservedly been regarded as the most pleasant sort of carriage in use, as they contribute, more than any other, to health, amusement, and fashion with the superior advantage of 1ightness, over every other sort of four-wheeled carriages, and are much safer, and more easy to ride in, than those of two wheels.
So Cassandra needn’t have worried , after all …;-)
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