Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Persuasion, a film location, and a reading

Last Thursday evening I was invited along by Helen Wilkinson of P and P tours to come and do a reading of Willoughby's Return to a group she was leading on their Persuasion/Sense and Sensibility tour. Most exciting was the fact that the house I was to be giving my talk in was the very one they used in the BBC 1995 version of Persuasion which is a favourite film of mine. The house is stunningly beautiful and is also a B&B so you can actually stay in the house where Amanda Root and Ciaran Hinds played Captain Wentworth and Anne Elliot. Here is a link to a website about the house:Bathwick Gardens
I was invited to supper beforehand which was taken in the dining room. Apparently, the BBC painted the walls especially for the film - the swags of fabric you can see in the photo are painted - a wonderful trompe l'oeil. Everyone had dressed for dinner and all looked so gorgeous - quite a few ladies, and two very brave gentlemen! I also met Hazel Jones, the author of Jane Austen and Marriage - click here for her website which has information on Jane Austen courses that she runs.
We made our way upstairs to the splendid drawing room afterwards passing a large window on the stairs which I recognised (and its view) from the film. The drawing room is beautiful with so many lovely features from the floor length windows to the fireplace. I was made very welcome by everyone and had a really lovely time even though I felt very nervous. I enjoy reading aloud very much and always used to love reading to my children and to the pupils I used to teach. I realised how much I miss it - now my children are grown up and I no longer teach - I really would like to do readings more often.
After a mug of hot chocolate I left them all watching Persuasion in the very room where Captain Wentworth tells Sir Walter that he wishes to marry Anne. I only wished I could be joining them on their further travels!
Thank you so much Helen, I do hope you'll ask me again!
Jane Odiwe


Amanda said...

Jane, what a wonderful thing to do! It's very interesting about the swags, they look so realistic. I had no idea they were painted.

Jane Odiwe said...

It was such a lovely evening - I met so many friendly people. One of the gentlemen is a huge fan of your diary books and told me how much he has enjoyed them, and can't wait for Mr Tilney!
The dining room is beautiful, it was such a treat to be in that room and see the wonderful painted walls.

Monica Fairview said...

Sounds like a wonderful evening, Jane. It must be very strange reading a modern 'sequel' in a room which was featured in a film adaptation of Jane Austen novel. Like Amanda I'm amazed at the swags!

Jane Odiwe said...

Yes, it was a bit strange, but we were not very far away from no. 4 Sydney Place and with everyone quoting their favourite parts from Persuasion, and Sense and Sensibility, it was an evening I think Jane would have enjoyed as well.

Elizabeth Hawksley said...

Lucky you, Jane!

I loved the Amanda Root and Ciaran Hinds 'Persuasion', though I thought the script went awry over the Walter Elliot bit at the end. And the footman introduced Elizabeth Elliot as Miss Elizabeth Elliot - which annoyed me. As the eldest daughter, she was, of course, 'Miss Elliot'. For Heaven's sake, it's not that difficult to get right!

I'm so pleased it all went well.

Jane Odiwe said...

Thank you Elizabeth - yes, we were all agreed that we like that particular adaptation most. But, it is a shame that even with the best ones there are always little niggles. Clearly, they should ask us to oversee them! LOL!