Taking delight in our local landscape brings us happiness. Sometimes we think we need the exotic holiday to be happy but I know that within walking distance from my home there are walks of such beauty that can take your breath away. A little bit of water, a creek or a river, some natural vegetation and a pathway through can sometimes be enough to lift the spirits of a despondent person. Nauseatingly-Nice Fanny Price in Mansfield Park appreciates the landscape; she notices “the bearings of the roads, the difference of the soil, the state of the harvest, the cottagers, the cattle”. This is contrasted with Mercenary-Mary who saw “nature inanimate nature, with little observation her attention was all for men and women”.
Nauseatingly-Nice Fanny Price appreciates the natural: She is looking out the window one starlit night and says, Continue reading
Apricots coaxed from the tree early last summer
All of the settings of the Austen Six include a garden as a prerequisite for a happy life. For those who could afford it a full time gardener would do the backbreaking work. However, the various gardens were managed for food and flower production as well as pleasure. Fruit trees and vegetable gardens are often mentioned in the Austen Six; one example was Barton Cottage in Sense and Sensibility. The three women, recently moved from a much larger house but found pleasure in the garden. Also landlord and neighbour, Lord Middleton’s Barton Park was a successful estate and upon arrival he had sent “a large basket full of garden stuff and fruit” which was later followed by a present of game. But the Dashwoods would have to be mindful of making their own garden productive. There were no green grocers down the road and the concept of self sufficiency was a necessity, not a modern eco friendly dream. Any garden needed to be Continue reading