OK folks, those wanting to hear tales of life on a small island might want to skip the next few posts! I'm just back from a lovely holiday in Lyme Regis in Dorset (England) with tales and photos of the place Jane Austen wrote about in "Persuasion", John Fowles in "The French Lieutenant's Woman" and Tracy Chevalier in "Remarkable Creatures" (the story of the most fantastic Mary Anning).
Above you can see part of the town along the beach (the sandy beach is man-made, it would normally be shingle). You can see the wee coloured sheds that act as changing rooms on the beach.
There are lots of old buildings around the harbour, some dating back to the time when Jane Austen spent a holiday in the town. She stayed with her family just up from the Assembly Rooms in the main part of the town. (Sadly the Assembly rooms were pulled down some years ago to make a car park!!!).
These buildings are at the start of "The Cobb" where she had Louisa Musgrove falling down the steps and missing the arms of "Wentworth" (forever in my memory as Rupert Penry Jones from the TV film!). And of course where the main character of the French Lieutenant's Woman, Sarah, is staring out to sea.
Here are the steps that the "Jane Austen Society" think are the very ones Louisa Musgrove is said to fall down. Though our history guide on the tour we took read out the part in the book and felt they didn't fit the bill. These particular steps are known locally as "Granny's Teeth"
Our guide thought these were more likely to be the steps - read the passage in the book again and see what you think! But I can imagine running up and down THESE steps in an 18th Century gown more easily than "Granny's Teeth", however "spirited" I might be!
There are lots of wonderful houses and buildings around the town - it's like walking on a film set! Here's just a small selection of them
Lots of winding streets, mostly UPhill.
This is called the Weaver's Cottage - there were several mills nearby. The white stones at the base of the house can be seen around the town (and many other towns in England). They were designed to keep the old cart wheels away from the base of the houses along the streets.
These houses are along the river Lyme that runs through the town down to the sea.