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|I have mixed feelings
Written by JulieW
(2/5/2004 6:29 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Lizzy, Derbyshire, nature and a bit of a brag, really, penned by Denise S.
I think JA( correctly Miss Jane,for she had an elder siister you know ;-)!!!) probably did want to make a point about appriciating natural landscape.
Remember she was "enamoured " of the works of the Reverend William Gilpin, who ,in his many writings described the natural beauties of England and Wales.See Chapter 10 of P+P where in describing the trio of Mrs Hurst,Miss Bingley and MrDarcy Elizabeth comments ,alluding to Gilpin;
At that moment they were met from another walk by Mrs. Hurst and Elizabeth herself.
"I did not know that you intended to walk," said Miss Bingley, in some confusion, lest they had been overheard.
"You used us abominably ill," answered Mrs. Hurst, "running away without telling us that you were coming out."
Then, taking the disengaged arm of Mr. Darcy, she left Elizabeth to walk by herself. The path just admitted three. Mr. Darcy felt their rudeness and immediately said, --
"This walk is not wide enough for our party. We had better go into the avenue."
But Elizabeth, who had not the least inclination to remain with them, laughingly answered, --
"No, no; stay where you are. You are charmingly grouped, and appear to uncommon advantage. The picturesque would be spoilt by admitting a fourth. Good-bye."
She is referring to an illustration in Gilpin's The Lakes Tour,where to illustrate the ideal composition he has drawn a picture of three cows( not four)..!!
She was therfore,certianly familiar with this book.
The above is one of Gilpin's pictures ilustrating the river Wye and Tintern Abbey-a favourite spot for seekers of the picturesque- published in his book Observations on the River Wye, and Several Parts of South Wales, &c. Relative Chiefly to Picturesque Beauty; Made in the Summer of the Year 1770 which was published around 1782.
Briefly, the term "picturesque" means "like a painting" , in particular the landscape works of artists like Claude Lorraine.
Gilpin was not a landscape gardener , mind, like Capability Brwon or Humphrey Repton.He didn't " change" or "improve"the landscape with largescale engineering works.He commented upon and brought attention to the natural bauties of the British landscape through his published works..
Remember that Jane Austen never ,so far as we are currently aware, visited Deryshire.The furthest point north we are sure taht she visited was Hemstall Ridgware in Staffordshire , viiting her cousins Edward and Caroline Cooper.
She may have visited other places in the northern midlands while she was there in 1806.Unfortunately, no letters exist from the time she spent there,as Cassandra was with her,and so we will never know for certain.
Caroline Coopper's mother ,Mrs Lybbe Powys , in her famous diary, recorded the type of tour that JA could have taken .Mrs Lybbe Powys during one stay at Hamstall Ridware, travelled to Cromford and then to Matlock and Dovedale.We shall probably never know the extent of Ja's wanderings.IIRC anout break of whooping cough among the Cooper children ,while JA was there, curtailed many of their planned activities. Jane caught the disease.
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