Today I am pleased to be part of the blog tour for the lovely L.L. Diamond's release, An Unwavering Trust.
"Two strangers with no one to turn to but each other…
Fitzwilliam Darcy is in a difficult situation. His father is pressing him to propose marriage to the last woman in the world he would wish to take as his wife. With a fortnight to announce his betrothal, he makes the acquaintance of Elizabeth Bennet, who is in a predicament of her own.
Could Darcy be willing to consider Elizabeth as a solution to his problem and to hers? And can Elizabeth ascertain enough of Darcy’s character to trust him upon nothing but a first impression? "
We are to be treated to a post about Blickling Hall, a place I actually visited just a few weeks ago!
Since moving to England a little over a year ago, I have ventured out to quite a few National Trust properties. We have a membership, so we pay for fuel and whatever lunch we choose for the day and it’s a fun outing for everyone. There is usually a scavenger hunt type game of sorts, artwork and history for me, and gardens and hikes for all of us.
The experience has been rather eye opening for someone who writes novels based in Regency England. I pick up tidbits of information from guides and tours. I have seen real Georgian wall coverings, and sometimes I gain inspiration for a story in what I experience. Blickling Hall was one of those homes where I found inspiration.
Blickling, which is located in the village of the same name near Aylsham in Norfolk, was built in 1616 on property once owned by the Boleyn family (Yes, that Boleyn family!). Anne Boleyn is thought to have been born at Blickling in 1507 based on a portrait and sculpture with inscribed with the information.
The Jacobean architecture has an ornate yet austere quality that I felt lends itself well to a house owned by Lady Catherine, and the exterior became the inspiration for what little description I give of the front of Rosings in An Unwavering Trust.
Uncle Henry peered from the tip of the cupola, to the clock, and finally to the arched entrance beneath them, took a deep breath, and looked back to him.
They passed through the arched entrance to the small court and the ornate front door, flanked by columns and overset by gargoyles and a relief of the de Bourgh coat of arms.
When you pass through the arch entrance at the front of Blickling, you do indeed find yourself in a small courtyard. Not a garden sort of a courtyard, but a small stone paved area before you enter the actual house. I loved the detail and could not resist including it in a description of some house or another. The more I considered it, the exterior of Blickling was a perfect fit.
A first edition Eliot Bible was another fascination at Blickling. For those who are unfamiliar with the Eliot Bible, it was the first Bible to be published in the United States by the English missionary John Eliot. The Bible was also translated into the Algonquian language for the Native Americans of Massachusetts.
According to the guide, the Bible was recently found by the book curator at Blickling and is quite rare. I required a story about Wickham for a scene, and the Eliot Bible figures into it.
A heavy exhale left him as he gave her a sad smile. “Are you familiar with the Eliot Bible2?”
“My father once mentioned it to me. It was a version of the Bible translated into the Indian language in America, was it not?”
“Yes, it was, and my father received an edition of that book from the first printing in 1663, as a gift.”
Obviously, there is more to the story, but I will leave that for you to discover when you read the book!
While the exterior of Blickling fit Rosings, I will not say that the interior was quite what I had envisioned for Lady Catherine’s home; however, Blickling does have a bedroom with real Georgian wall coverings! They were originally installed in the late 18th century, and still in quite good condition considering they had been removed, cleaned, and re-installed.
Blickling held quite a bit of inspiration as it turns out. The house also has three first editions of Jane Austen’s novels! I viewed first editions of Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice, and we were told of a reticule-sized first edition of Pride and Prejudice, but the guide was not certain where in the library the copy resided.
Where do you find inspiration? Is it something every day or have you travelled somewhere that captured your imagination? I would love to know!
My thanks again goes to Leslie for this post and I wish her all the best with this release as well as any stories in the future!
Your affectionate friend,