The Jane Austen Connection
As many of might already know, Jane Austen, romance novelist and literary icon, was once a visitor to my family home.
I’ve always been fond of her work and it does fill me with pride that Jane Austen was a regular visitor to Goodnestone Park, after her brother Edward married into the family. She was not quite elegant enough to stay in the main house, but Jane would often stay with her brother and her sister in law Elizabeth, in the in the Dower House, a beautiful cottage nestled in the grounds of my home.
But it is at Goodnestone Park that she is said to have found her inspiration for Pride and Prejudice; a 19th century love story that has been tweaked and reimagined countless times. Bridget Jones’ Diary was apparently based on the romantic novel, and even this year we see Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (not sure what Jane would make of it), released on Valentines Day.
The timeless classic of Pride and Prejudice sees the tangled love stories of Elizabeth Bennett and the dashing Mr Darcy, and Jane Bennet and the fumbling Mr Bingly. 400 odd pages later, and the two couples end up marrying one another in a double wedding at the local church. Some might say too silly to be true, but in fact the idea of this double wedding was taken directly from Jane watching her own brother Edward marry Elizabeth Bridges in a double ceremony with Sophia Bridges and William Deedes at our very own village church in Goodnestone.
This pretty village church is almost in constant view, as a backdrop to the walled gardens, meadows and woodlands of the stately home – a lovely reminder that this world famous quintessential love story has its origins in my quaint little village in rural Kent.
And with romance on all of our minds, Goodnestone Park is happy to announce that we are now taking wedding reservations for 2017. An experience that will not only see the happy couple wed in the same church that inspired this iconic marriage scene but allows for the wedding party to enjoy the prettiest gardens in South England!
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