Tuesday, June 5, 2012

June Classics Discussion: Framley Parsonage

Katherine over at November's Autumn's Classics Challenge  has been hosting a new discussion every month.  This month she says: "Select a quote from the Classic you're currently reading and create what I call a visual tour."  That is, collect images that evoke the mood of the book you're reading.

All of these photos are from Flickr and you can see the source by clicking on the image.

Framley Parsonage contains several passages that give a picture:

Framley itself was a pleasant country place, having about it nothing of seignorial dignity or grandeur, but possessing everything necessary for the comfort of country life. The house was a low building of two stories, built at different periods, and devoid of all pretensions to any style of architecture; but the rooms, though not lofty, were warm and comfortable, and the gardens were trim and neat beyond all others in the county. Indeed, it was for its gardens only that Framley Court was celebrated.

Edmondsham House near Wimborne in Dorset

[I'm assuming that the 'trim and neat' gardens were formal set-outs like this one, such as were the fashion at the time.]


Formal garden, Wrest Park, Silsoe, Bedfordshire

Framley church was distant from this just a quarter of a mile, and stood immediately opposite to the chief entrance to Framley Court. It was but a mean, ugly building, having been erected about a hundred years since, when all churches then built were made to be mean and ugly...  [This means that the church was Georgian and not to the Victorian taste.]


St Mary's Church, St Mary's Row, Moseley


St Mary's Church, St Mary's Row, Moseley

Beyond the church, but close to it, were the boys' school and girls' school, two distinct buildings, which owed their erection to Lady Lufton's energy...


Victorian Schoolhouse, just outside Mawdesley village, Lancashire.

And here the road took a sudden turn to the left, turning, as it were, away from Framley Court; and just beyond the turn was the vicarage, so that there was a little garden path running from the back of the vicarage grounds into the churchyard,...nothing in the parsonage way could be more perfect than his parsonage. It had all the details requisite for the house of a moderate gentleman with moderate means, and none of those expensive superfluities which immoderate gentlemen demand, or which themselves demand immoderate means. And then the gardens and paddocks were exactly suited to it; and everything was in good order;—not exactly new, so as to be raw and uncovered, and redolent of workmen; but just at that era of their existence in which newness gives way to comfortable homeliness.

[This is actually Bronte Parsonage--it's hard to find pictures of parsonages! But this is about the right size anyway, though one hopes that the Robarts home was happier and less alcoholic and lonely.]


Bronte Parsonage

Barsetshire, taken altogether, is a pleasant green tree-becrowded county, with large bosky hedges, pretty damp deep lanes, and roads with broad grass margins running along them. Such is the general nature of the county...


South Downs Way West of Alfriston


English country lane


Shady Lane


Sleepy Afternoon in Hambrook


English country lane


English Country Lane


[Sadly I could not find any images that looked properly like this room, so you will just have to imagine.] The house of business of Messrs. Gumption & Gazebee was in South Audley Street; and it may be said that there was no spot on the whole earth which Mr. Sowerby so hated as he did the gloomy, dingy back sitting-room upstairs in that house. He had been there very often, but had never been there without annoyance. It was a horrid torture-chamber, kept for such dread purposes as these, and no doubt had been furnished, and papered, and curtained with the express object of finally breaking down the spirits of such poor country gentlemen as chanced to be involved. Everything was of a brown crimson,—of a crimson that had become brown. Sunlight, real genial light of the sun, never made its way there, and no amount of candles could illumine the gloom of that brownness. The windows were never washed; the ceiling was of a dark brown; the old Turkey carpet was thick with dust, and brown withal. The ungainly office-table, in the middle of the room, had been covered with black leather, but that was now brown. There was a bookcase full of dingy brown law books in a recess on one side of the fireplace, but no one had touched them for years, and over the chimney-piece hung some old legal pedigree table, black with soot. Such was the room which Mr. Fothergill always used in the business house of Messrs. Gumption & Gazebee, in South Audley Street, near to Park Lane.



5 comments:

Geranium Cat said...

Such lovely pictures! I thought the one you've chosen for Framley Court was perfect, a very elegant house. The room Mr Sowerby hated does sound dreadful, doesn't it?

Jean said...

Thanks! It wasn't easy to find a house that wasn't too fancy. :) And yes, that room sounds AWFUL.

Lisa May said...

What a lovely tour! I re-read this not too long ago, and your pictures really helped me "see" the settings.

Katherine Cox said...

I love the image you choose of Framley Court and those of the countryside.

Wow, what a terrible room, it would be hard to find images matching that description.

Thank you for participating, Jean! :)

Cat said...

Great tour and lovely images which I know will be in my mind when I read the book.
Would be impossible to find anything as ghastly as the room described.