Literature on the web, and Sizergh Castle

In her article on My Hero: Emily Bronte, L Miller asks “What difference does it make to see the original manuscript of a literary text rather than just read the printed version?”. Ms Miller is referring to the availability of a range of manuscripts on the British Library website from authors including Austen, the Bronte sisters, Coleridge, Robert Burns and Charles Dickens. What excites Ms Miller most is not the original manuscripts which are in a neat form, ready to be submitted to publishers, but the rough notes and occasional diary entries which perhaps reveal more about the authors than the manuscripts, and she concluded that it makes a great difference when you can view the original.  It is certainly a site worth visiting for those interested in seeing the original manuscripts, but also for learning more about some authors e.g. the manuscript of a play by Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins.

A short break last week for my wife and for me, to Windermere in the Lake District. We stayed in the town of Windermere itself, which is not far from Lake Windermere, at the Hideaway Hotel, which offered excellent accommodation, complimentary tea and cake in the afternoon, and a delicious breakfast menu. The service was friendly and professional, and I’d heartily recommend it. The hotel is a little hideaway, being half way down a lane, but not far from the town itself. We checked the weather before going and were promised sunshine for 3 days by the Met Office site. We arrived on Wednesday to warm sunshine but awoke on Thursday morning to a heavy drizzle, the kind of rain which does not look very threatening, but can soak you to the skin in a matter of minutes if you are coatless or umbrella-less. So, instead of scaling one of the peaks of the Lake District, we set off for Sizergh (pr Sizer) Castle. The original castle was a stockade built in 1239 by the Strickland Family who have owned the castle, with its many upgradings and extensions, since that period. The Stricklands were a Catholic family who survived the reformation years by ingratiating themselves with Protestant queens such as Elizabeth 1. The castle has extensive gardens which were very attractive, even in the drizzly rain, which only gave up the ghost in the early afternoon. Photos 1 and 2 show a medieval sword and an ornate piece of furniture.

Medieval sword and ornate decoration at Sizergh Castle

Medieval sword and ornate decoration at Sizergh Castle

Decorative furniture at Sizergh Castle

Decorative furniture at Sizergh Castle

The gardens outside the castle are extensive and contain many different kinds of shrubs and trees. In the kitchen garden, a range of vegetables, herbs and flowers – the irises were spectacular – can be seen. Photos 3-5 show examples of trees and flowers from the gardens. There is also an extensive woodland walk, which would be very enjoyable on a sunny day.

Trees, shrubs and chimneys at Sizergh Castle

Trees, shrubs and chimneys at Sizergh Castle

Iris after the rain at Sizergh Castle

Iris after the rain at Sizergh Castle

Acer at Sizergh Castle

Acer at Sizergh Castle

 

 

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