Category Archives: Why I Love England

Rudyard Kipling’s Beloved Bateman’s

 

1fac83c7-7594-479b-a24f-4643c42663f6The Nobel prize-winning British author Rudyard Kipling died on January 18, 1936 in his beloved country home, Bateman’s, aged 70. The house is deep in the rural countryside of East Sussex, close to the site of the Battle of Hastings.

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Public Domain portrait of Rudyard Kipling, from John Palmer’s 1915 biography

I have to confess I’m not really familiar with much of his work, but I loved visiting the home where he and his wife chose to spend the last 34 years of his long and productive life.

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They bought the house in 1902.  It had  no bathroom, no electricity, and running water was only downstairs. But Kipling wrote, “Behold us, lawful owners of a grey stone lichened house–A.D. 1634 over the door–beamed, panelled, with old oak staircase, and all untouched and unfaked. We have loved it ever since our first sight of it.”

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The house is now in the hands of the National Trust.  Most of the furnishings are from Kipling’s happy time there. It is hard for us to appreciate just how famous this man was even before he was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature, but the house was a peaceful retreat from Kipling’s busy life–he was active in politics and journalism, besides literature, all his life.9313938c-3171-478f-ad25-bc04c49b1791

His wife Caroline ran his affairs, working tirelessly in a tiny hidden office with a window looking out into the entry way, above and to the right of the fireplace.  She kept an eagle eye on the many people who knocked on the door, seeking time with the great man.  Not many were admitted when he was working in his study, pictured below. (We should all probably have someone like Caroline to turn off our internet when we want to get something accomplished).

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Kipling spent a good part of his working life in India and Africa, writing about both the glories and pitfalls of British imperialism.  He wrote with foreboding about the difficulties–and the morality–of maintaining the global British Empire, which was still in its heyday during Victorian times.

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In 1915, at the outbreak of World War I, Kipling’s son John was wild to join the fight.  He was rejected by both the Royal Navy and the Army because of poor eyesight.  So Kipling used his connections to get his son into the Irish Guards. John Kipling was killed in the Battle of Loos, aged 18, having been sent in with reinforcement troops.  He was last seen stumbling blindly on the battlefield, possibly from a face wound. His childhood bedroom, pictured above, is a poignant memorial to a lost son.

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I especially liked the dining room. The walls are covered with embossed leather brought from India.

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Above the fireplace is a painting that everybody in the family hated, but it was too good to get rid of. (Or maybe it was a gift from someone who was not to be insulted? I have items like that in my house, but I generally just get them out when the giver is visiting). The painting really is pretty ugly. It seems to show a naked crying baby, maybe with a mother or nanny wondering what to do.

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Mr. Kipling’s chair was placed so that his back was always to the hated painting.

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I think the kitchen must have had modern conveniences in the years leading up to Kipling’s death in the house in 1936.  Now, it’s a serene mostly-empty space where National Trust volunteers and staff dry flowers from the gardens.

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Literary fashions come and go, even for Nobel prize winners.  Having seen Rudyard Kipling’s country home, maybe I’ll find the time to dip into his writings. I’m sure Mr. Kipling would appreciate a visitor.

Join me next time for more explorations in the art and history of Europe and the British Isles!

 

Get-Well Wishes for QEII

 

qeii-telegraphI just read that Queen Elizabeth is resting indoors  for the second weekend in a row at her Sandringham home.  She didn’t make it to church on Christmas.  Now the word is that she may not be well enough to attend services on New Year’s Day either. She’s pictured above after delivering her annual Christmas address to the nation (photo from “Telegraph” article cited below).

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I visited Sandringham about a year and a half ago and was royally wowed. No photos are allowed inside the house, but the grounds and gardens are spectacular.

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Tourists enter through the same grand door as invited guests. The place is off the beaten tourist track.  It’s way in the northern stretches of East Anglia, an area blessedly neglected by travel writers like Rick Steves. It took me many years and many trips to England to finally get there. That is the whole point, for the Royal Family.  It is their private, personal residence–a place to really get away from it all.

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Naturally, there’s a gift shop, well supplied with royal portraits, china, tea towels, and stuffed Corgis.

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There’s a delightful museum, too, in the old stable block.  It holds all sorts of bits and bobs of royal life.  I was especially charmed to learn that Prince Philip (now 95) is a very decent painter. I loved his little painting of the Queen reading the morning papers.

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I wrote about the parish church in two previous posts, cited below.  It’s one of the most beautiful small churches I’ve ever seen.  Each year, locals and a few tourists line up along a fence to watch the royals walk to church on Christmas, and this year on New Year’s Day too.

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I hope the Queen is well enough to walk over to her pretty little local church and take part in prayers for New Year’s Day. Whether she makes it to church or not, I wish my favorite 90-year-old reigning queen a happy  and healthy 2017.

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https://castlesandcoffeehouses.com/2015/07/06/a-royal-christening-at-sandringham/

https://castlesandcoffeehouses.com/2015/05/07/sandringham/

https://castlesandcoffeehouses.com/2015/04/30/the-queens-church-at-sandringham/

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/12/31/queen-may-attend-church-new-years-day-decision-expected-sunday/

Thanksgiving Day: A Berwick Memory

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For Thanksgiving Day, I thought I’d post some paintings from beautiful Berwick Church in southern England.  St. Michael and All Angels is a little parish church in Sussex, dating back to at least the 12th century.  Parts of it are even older, dating from Saxon days. It was given a modern artistic touch in the 20th century.

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During the First World War, the famous Bloomsbury group of artists, writers and intellectuals decamped from their London homes and occupied the Charleston Farmhouse and Monk’s House in this area.  The men were mostly conscientious objectors.  They fulfilled their patriotic duty by doing farm work in Sussex.

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In 1941, several artists from the group were hired to paint new murals and decorations in the ancient church.  These are some of the few remaining works of Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant, and Quentin Bell.  They depicted themselves and their friends, both as country laborers and as figures in sacred scenes.

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The artists were all free-thinkers and even atheists living unconventional, sometimes scandalous lives.  But the local religious authorities hatched an ambitious plan to give artists employment; they hoped the plan would spread all over England’s ancient churches.  That didn’t happen, but I’d like to think the Bloomsbury group occasionally attended a service at the little country church they decorated so beautifully.

Berwick Church stands as an example of cooperation and understanding between people with very different views of the world.  After the tumultuous election season Americans just endured, I think we can use some cooperation and understanding. We’re different, but we can stand together.

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As for me, I’m spending Thanksgiving Day on an airplane, heading off on a new adventure.  They’re serving pumpkin pie in the airport lounge.  It’s pretty good!

For All Saints’ Day: Henry Chichele’s Tomb at Canterbury

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Today, November 1, is All Saints’ Day, when the Christian calendar honors the departed, saintly and otherwise. After the rollicking party atmosphere of the American “Halloween,” when everyone pretends to be scary and scared, I thought of something truly scary (at least to me).  Last spring I saw the “cadaver tomb” of Archbishop Henry Chichele, who died on the 12th of April, 1443. But the Archbishop had been contemplating his own death for many years. He had his own tomb built many years before he died.  It’s elaborate and colorful, but still it’s the very opposite of vain.

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Under the brightly painted effigy of the Archbishop dressed in his finery and clasping his hands in everlasting prayer, there’s another effigy.  The lower effigy shows the good Archbishop as a decaying corpse, naked and bony.

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The archbishop not only paid for this jarring reminder of his own mortality, he forced himself to contemplate it often.  The tomb where he would someday be buried was directly opposite his ornate Gothic pulpit. The inscription reads, “I was pauper-born, then to primate raised.  Now I am cut down and served up for worms. Behold my grave.”  If that isn’t scary, I don’t know what is. But the Archbishop’s intent was to be ever-aware of the brevity of life.

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Henry is just one of many historical figures honored in Canterbury Cathedral. Another is Archbishop Thomas a Becket, murdered at the direction of King Henry II in 1170.  The exact spot where assassins surprised him at prayer is still a much-visited place of pilgrimage. Above the small altar, there’s a menacing modern sculpture of the weapons that left Thomas bleeding onto the cathedral stones. Unfortunately, King Henry VIII ordered Thomas’s tomb destroyed during the Dissolution of the Monasteries.  (I didn’t realize Henry VIII had done this particular deed.  He has a lot to answer for). Today, the approximate burial place of the sainted Thomas is underneath a dark, empty chapel decorated only with a single candle left burning.

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Canterbury Cathedral, dating back at least as far as St. Augustine in 576, is one of the most interesting of all the many churches in England. I was lucky enough to attend Evensong in this ancient place of worship and history. I’d love to return.

Join me next time for more explorations in the art and history of Europe and the British Isles!

Happy Birthday, Emily Bronte!

Emily Bronte, portrait by Branwell Bronte

Emily Bronte, portrait by Branwell Bronte

Emily Bronte was born on July 30, 1818. Her brother Branwell, an aspiring poet and portrait painter, composed one of the very few images of her. His sister Emily was painfully shy, hardly speaking with anyone outside the family. But she was a bold artist.  Her novel, Wuthering Heights, is still startling in its passion and social critique.

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Branwell  was the only son in the family and great things were expected of him. I think poor Branwell suffered from what we might now call Preacher’s Kid Syndrome: a need to act out, just because his father, the Reverend Patrick Bronte, was such an upright man. Branwell studied painting, in between bouts of drinking, taking opiates, and getting fired from various gigs as a tutor–for which his father had taken great pains to educate him. In around 1834, at age 17, Branwell painted the group portrait above. It is now one of the most treasured works in London’s National Portrait Gallery, and the centerpiece of a special Bronte exhibit I saw last spring.

Why is this rare painting folded in the middle?  We’re lucky that it still exists, damaged as it is. The portrait, together with the profile of Emily, traveled to Ireland with Charlotte Bronte’s widower after her death as a young bride. It appears that a heartbroken Arthur Bell Nicholls shoved the portraits of his beloved Charlotte and her sisters on top of a wardrobe in an Irish farmhouse, out of sight and out of mind.

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The churchyard where all the Brontes are buried (except Anne, who died at Scarborough and was buried there) is just outside the door of the parsonage. Living there, walking every day past the graves of so many loved ones who had died so young, must have been unbearably sad.

By the time Charlotte died, shortly after her marriage and while pregnant with her first child, Branwell, Emily and Anne were already dead. Most likely they died of either tuberculosis or infectious diseases from the poor sanitation in the village. (Branwell more or less drank himself to death). Nicholls stayed in Haworth for several years to care for his father-in-law. Nicholls eventually remarried. His widow finally discovered the paintings (housecleaning, no doubt) in 1914.

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Sadly, it seems that Branwell had erased himself from the family portrait. This fact was not known until the 1950s, when the oil paint became more transparent with age. Now, it is clear that there was once a man’s figure between the sisters.  Did Branwell already have such a low opinion of himself? Was he ashamed to be seen with his much-more-virtuous sisters? Or did he feel he could not do justice to his own wonderfulness? Or was this possibly a portrait of his father, who took a very dim view of Branwell’s nights spent in the local pub or worse?  We’ll never know.

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The London exhibit also contains items such as Charlotte’s tiny boots. The caption says that for outdoor wear, the boots were most likely worn with wooden platens strapped to the soles for a little protection against mud and snow. How did the Bronte girls manage to walk for miles in the rugged North Yorkshire moors in footgear like this?

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Last year I made a literary pilgrimage to Haworth in Yorkshire.  The town still looks much the same as it did when Emily composed her novel about wild forbidden love on the moors. I was lucky enough to stay at Ponden Hall, a house where the Brontes were regular visitors. It’s now a family home, a lovingly run bed and breakfast, and a venue for  gatherings of artists, writers, and Bronte fans. The charming hosts go out of their way to show all visitors around their historic home.  In the photo below, the bookcase is a hidden door into a secret library. The Bronte girls used to visit the house, a couple of miles from the parsonage, to use the library.

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It’s possible to actually sleep in the “box bed,” shown above, with the little window that reportedly inspired Emily to write her famous scene where the ghost of Cathy appears outside the window, begging to be let in.  Her forbidden and guilt-ridden lover Heathcliffe staggers out onto the moors in desperate search of her. (Did I sleep in the box bed? No, but maybe next time! Do I believe in ghosts? Maybe!)

Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon in "Wuthering Heights," Public Domain

Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon in “Wuthering Heights,” Public Domain

In 1939, Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon played the lovers Cathy and Heathcliffe in the classic romantic film based on the novel.  Since then, there’s been a 2011 film version that makes explicit the racism that Emily only hinted at in her novel, by calling Heathcliffe a “gypsy.” It’s on my list to watch.  There’s a 2009 miniseries, too.

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Did I venture onto the wild moors myself?  Only partway.  I had a broken foot, thanks to a super-klutzy fall just before I left on my trip.

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But I’m determined to hike the moors.  Next time, I hope I’ll be able to follow the signposts and get just a little bit lost in the wild countryside that inspired Emily Bronte and her sisters.

Join me next time for more explorations in the art, history and literature of Europe and the British Isles!

Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre

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Shakespeare’s original Globe Theatre burned to the ground on June 29, 1613.  It was rebuilt in 1614 and operated until about 1642, when the Puritan movement in England closed theatres, and demolished in 1644. The American actor and producer Sam Wanamaker organized a group that worked tirelessly for decades to build a replica, based on drawings and best guesses.  Construction had begun when Mr. Wanamaker died in 1993; performances began in 1997.

I finally made it to the Globe this month, and I’ll go again every chance I get. Lately I am rediscovering London, after avoiding the city for years because of the expense, the crowds, the pollution, and on and on. I’ve been tootling around the English and Welsh countryside instead, loving the small towns and villages and historic homes. But London is still glorious.

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I saw a wonderful production of Shakespeare’s “A Misdummer Night’s Dream.”  Of course, photos are not allowed during performance, and I would not want them to be. But I did snap some photos before the performance began. The “rude mechanicals” were Globe staff members in this production, and they regaled the audience with jokes and instructions before the show got underway.

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My vantage point was from the uppermost gallery, with a roof and wooden benches–still cheap as theatre tickets go, but not as cheap as the “groundlings” places at 5 pounds apiece.  It’s standing room down there, as it was in Shakespeare’s time, and there’s no shelter from the rain.  It rains a lot in London. No umbrellas are allowed, but people wore raincoats and ponchos, and obviously had a good time.  The rain was only on and off, and not many people left during intermission. It looked like a lot of fun down there. I would do it.

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But I was glad enough to have a thatched roof over my head, a plain wooden bench and the cushion which I hired for a couple of pounds extra. After a day chasing around London and standing in museums, the old dogs were barking.

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The setting on the Thames, a few hundred yards from the site of the original Globe, is part of the revitalised South Bank nightlife area.  It’s lively and fun and feels perfectly safe, at least along the river walk. St. Paul’s Cathedral, which earlier that day held a Service of Thanksgiving for the 90th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II, looms majestically across the Thames.

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Outside of London (tootling around in a rental car) we took in some other Shakespeare sights, including my favorite, Ann Hathaway’s Cottage in Stratford-upon-Avon.  Long live the Bard!

 

 

Parham Park: My Favorite Long Gallery

This is Parham Park, built in Elizabethan times for a wealthy old family fortunate enough to acquire the land in 1540, when King Henry VIII was busy dismantling monasteries.  The land at that time passed from the Monastery of Westminster to the Palmer family, who began building their grand house in 1577. In about 1597, the Bishopp family bought the house and estate, and held it for about 325 years. In 1922, the Pearson family bought the property and found it in sad repair. They set about renovating, very conscientiously. The quiet but luxurious country life lived in this beautiful house has been about the same for centuries. It appears that over the years, the families who lived here were able to steer clear of the dangerous (and often lethal) political turmoil of their times.


The house is pretty much in the middle of nowhere, close to the southern coast. After the excitement of hosting troops during World War II, the family decided they liked having people around and opened to paying visitors in 1948.

The matriarch (think of her as the equivalent of Lady Violet on Downton Abbey) used to enjoy sitting in the Long Gallery, pictured below, as tourists filed through. She stayed anonymous and had a great time fielding  questions and chuckling at inane comments. She especially liked it when complete strangers claimed that they had been guests of the family before the war–when she would have been their hostess.

According to a friendly docent on a recent visit, the house has the third longest remaining Long Gallery in the country. These galleries were built in Tudor and Elizabethan times to showcase the family’s treasures. Just as importantly, family members used the gallery to take long walks when it was pouring rain out in their gardens and woodlands.


Sometime in the 1960s, the family at Parham tired of the plain white ceiling of their Long Gallery. They had repaired and replaced the roof decades before, but the Gallery was beginning to bore them. So they hired an artist to add vines and branches. And some wildlife! A little owl perches on a branch in the panel above.


How about a pair of birds and their nest?


My personal favorite is the monkey, who looks like he’s up to no good.

Parham today is managed by a charitable trust, and the Pearson family still lives in part of the house. If Parham were run by the National Trust or English Heritage, painting vines and wildlife on the ceiling of the Long Gallery would probably never happen. Those organizations rightly insist on historical accuracy. But since Parham was (and is still) privately owned, the family was free to do what private owners of stately homes have always done: make their home exactly the way they wanted it.  The house is part of the Historic Houses Association, which sells a yearly pass that gets pass holders into many properties free, and into others at very limited times when no one else is admitted.

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I’ll cheerfully flash my HHA pass at a house like Parham any chance I get, and I’ll return again and again to savor spectacular historic interiors like the dining room above.

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St. Eustace in Canterbury Cathedral

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Among the many treasures at Canterbury Cathedral, one of my favorites on my visit this week  was this large large wall painting, done in about 1480. It’s the legend of St. Eustace, who lived a colorful if harrowing life. He might possibly have been a known historical character, a Roman general named Placidus, in the 2nd century A.D.

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The legend goes that Placidus was out hunting one day when he had a vision of Christ  in the antlers of a stag.  He immediately converted to Christianity and changed his name to Eustace.

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It’s hard to see the images that go high up the stone wall of the catheral.  But there’s a horizontal copy nearby.  Photos of it are not great because it’s covered by glass, but the reflections of the stained glass windows are sort of a bonus. I loved the images, especially the animals like the smiling stag and the hunting dogs above.

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The legend goes that Eustace’s troubles began right away.  His faith was tested by various calamities.

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I was admiring the lion image. Personality plus! Then I read that the lion was grinning because he had just eaten Eustace’s son.

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The wolf, looking all innocent? He had eaten the other son. But the legend goes that Eustace endured his hardships and kept his faith.

The painter of the Canterbury mural subscribed to a disputed end of Eustace’s story: the very upper part of the mural shows Eustace, his wife and his remaining children being roasted alive by order of the Emperor Hadrian. Eustace had refused to make a pagan sacrifice. Then they were all beatified, so there was still a happy ending of sorts. However, the martyrdom and even the historical existence of the saint are in doubt. I love the painting, regardless of the source. Bravo to the anonymous painter, back through the centuries!

To me, the charm of the mural is in the medieval images of people in nature, learning lessons from animals. The painter told the story with gusto and some humor.

Join me next time for more explorations in the art and history of Europe and the British Isles!

 

 

Happy Birthday, Dear William!

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“Chandos” portrait, thought to be William Shakespeare, circa 1610, National Portrait Gallery, Public Domain

In honor of William Shakespeare’s 400th birthday, I’m revisiting an old post about one of my many treasured Shakespeare experiences.

Some years ago, I found myself with a lot of Frequent Flyer miles that were about to expire.  No one was free to travel with me.  So I treated myself to a solo trip to England.  I decided to see as much live theater as I possibly could. In the course of two weeks, I saw 18 plays.  Some days I doubled up and took in a matinee plus an evening performance.  I saw plays at grand theaters, in the London equivalent of “Off-Broadway,” and in tiny rooms above pubs.

At that time, to get to Stratford-upon-Avon, I had to take a train from London, then transfer to a bus.  (Now, there is a convenient train that goes all the way to Stratford).  I had dreamed for years of seeing the Royal Shakespeare Company in their home theater, the Swan. One evening, I saw a very fine production of a Shakespeare play with the actors in modern dress.  Which play, you might ask?  I think it was Romeo and Juliet, but I can’t be sure. (On the train, I met a woman who had saved the program from every theater performance she had ever attended.  Although she was a theater professor, I thought that was a little obsessive.  Now I wouldn’t mind having all my programs).

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The Dirty Duck pub, Stratford-upon-Avon, photo by Lindsay Dearing, Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 2.0 Generic

The next morning, I went to the bus stop for the trip back to London.  Just outside The Dirty Duck, the pub still frequented by theater folk and tourists alike, I spotted an actor I had seen the evening before.  I stopped and complimented him on his performance.  He seemed delighted to be recognized; he had only a medium-sized part.  I’m thinking maybe he played Juliet’s father. I know how much talent and hard work it takes for any actor to get even a non-speaking, spear-carrying part in the Royal Shakespeare Company. I did remember his performance, I thought he stood out in the character, and told him so.  He thanked me graciously.  Just then, the bus pulled up and I got on.

The bus was about to pull away from the curb when the actor jumped up the steps with a great theatrical flourish. He stood beside the driver, peering down the aisle at all the passengers.  “I am looking for a LADY,” he intoned, in his best Shakespearean elocution.  He spotted me and moved up the aisle toward me.  He took my hand, bowed low with a great stage flourish, kissed my hand, and made a great show of presenting me with a perfectly ripened peach.  Everyone on the bus applauded, he took a very grand bow, and he was off with a jaunty wave.

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Like all artists, actors pursue their passion even though they know they are very unlikely to gain riches or fame. I wish I could remember the name of this actor, who shared a magical personal moment with me and went out of his way to entertain a busload of non-paying strangers.  Did all this happen 26 years ago?  Yes, it did.  Travel memories are lifelong!

I’m off to England, and looking forward to seeing a play in the Globe Theatre in London. Photos to follow. Thank you, Mr. Shakespeare!

Virginia Woolf at Monk’s House

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On March 28, 1941, Virginia Woolf wrote a loving letter to her husband, Leonard Woolf, and walked out of her country home in rural Sussex, Monk’s House.  She made her way to the nearby River Ouse.  On its banks, she filled her pockets with stones, waded in, and drowned.  Her body was recovered almost 3 weeks later. She was 59 years old.  She was a central figure of the intellectual and artistic Bloomsbury Group, whose influence is still felt.  Virginia herself was an avant-garde novelist who changed the shape of the English novel with works such as Mrs. Dalloway, Orlando, The Waves, and To the Lighthouse.

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Last year I visited Monk’s House, now a National Trust property. I was thrilled to walk in the footsteps of Virginia and Leonard Woolf.

Virginia had suffered bouts of debilitating depression for much of her life, but she had always recovered. Between illnesses, she was a fun-loving friend and a wonderful conversationalist.  But she needed a certain amount of “alone” time in order to create.

WritingShedIn her country garden, she spent long hours composing her ground-breaking novels and thoughtful essays in her writing shed. It is furnished just as she left it.  It looks as though she just stepped out for a stroll through her flowers.

One of Virginia’s most famous works is the long essay “A  Room of One’s Own,” in which she examined the need for women to have solitary time and space in order to create. She knew all too well that most women had no writing shed or other personal space. Maybe her need for creative time and space is what prompted a friend, Lady Ottoline Morrell, to describe Virginia as “this strange, lovely, furtive creature.”

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Inside the house, I could imagine long and lively discussions at the dining table, with the likes of Roger Fry, Lytton Strachey, John Maynard Keynes, T.S. Eliot, and H.M. Forster, not to mention Virginia’s sister the painter Vanessa Bell.VWBR2

Her bedroom was originally added to the house as a writing studio.

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But Virginia liked the airy room so much she decided to sleep there.  I would too.

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Naturally, there are books everywhere in the house.

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The drawing room is cosy, set up for long evenings of reading and conversation.

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Are these his-and-hers chairs?  I can imagine Virginia in one and Leonard in the other.

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After her death, Leonard had Virginia’s ashes buried in their beloved garden. A bust of Virginia stands nearby.  Her admirers leave stones beneath it.

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Later, Leonard’s own ashes and bust took their places near hers. In her final letter, Virginia sadly explained that she could not bear another episode of what she called her “madness.” Possibly she suffered from what we would now call bipolar syndrome. At any rate, she described hearing “voices.” The last line of her final letter read, “I don’t think two people could have been happier than we have been.”

The photo  at the top of this post is from the article cited below, “Virginia Woolf: The Woman Who Remade the Novel,” by Jonathan deBurca Butler. The photo, of Virginia in 1902, is by George C. Beresford. The article is an excellent summary of Virginia’s life, her sad death, and her continuing influence on modern literature.

http://www.independent.ie/life/virginia-woolf-the-woman-who-remade-the-novel-34572892.html

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Monk’s House is wonderfully maintained by the National Trust. Charleston Farmhouse, where Virginia’s sister Vanessa Bell lived, is nearby.  I would highly recommend a visit to both.

Join me next time for more explorations in the art and history of Europe and the British Isles!