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|Stiles were in the country
Written by Jenny Allan
(10/5/2005 11:41 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Stiles from previous walks?, penned by Robbin
Louisa wants to repeat their habit of having him jump her from the stiles into his arms. In the walk to Winthrop for example, they were walking across fields that were separated by walls, but had established paths with stiles, instead of a sidewalk or road. This is a typical arrangement for cross country and village to village walking in England and the paths with stiles are still there and are now in some cases publicly maintained, rather than being left to individual land owners as they were in JA's time.
The danger in Louisa's scheme is that a stile is typically a lot smaller (a usual wall in the country is less than 5 feet, with 3-4 feet being the usual fheight) than the steps separating the upper sea wall from the lower and the ground in the country would be unpaved and relatively soft, compared to the cobb which was paved. From photos it looks like the drop from the upper cobb to the lower was more like 7 or 8 feet.
I have never thought Wentworth culpable at all in Louisa's fall, except in foolishly encouraging her to be more resolute and unpersuadable. He made his own little monster there!
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