'It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife' - Jane Austen
A famous line from a famous book - and one of my favourites. Visiting Chatsworth and travelling through the beautiful Peak District and the 'Moors' played into my love of 18th and 19th century romantic literature. A definite highlight of my trip so far was visiting Chatsworth House... Wow, the grandeur and opulence is unbelievable. To think that people actually lived in estates like Chatsworth, with their troop of servants, cooks, gardeners, coach drivers and so on. For me - who has devoured Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte and of course Downtown Abbey- Chatsworth was a dream come true, feeding into my love of the romantic, rich, beautiful lives of the 18th, 19th and early 20th century aristocracy. To see the history of the place preserved as it is amazing... I just wanted to touch everything... The furniture, the bed linen, the curtains, the wallpaper (the wallpaper was amazing, I did touch that, I couldn't help myself). It all has so much history. Who has slept in that bed, sat in that chair, eaten at that table? The drive through the Peak District was also beautiful... Images of Jane Eyre trudging through the countryside was flashing through my mind. I cannot wait to go home and reread these favourites now that I have seen the settings in the flesh, so to speak.
To top off my historic journey with the aristocracy I am proud to announce I saw the Queen, Princess Kate, Prince Harry, Princess Eugenie, Camilla (can't think of her title!) and Prince Charles today.... For real, in the flesh!!! Perfect day to visit London! It was the annual Touring of the Colours for the Queen, which occurs each year on her 'official' birthday (her real birthday is 21st April but that doesn't seem important!) Claire and I had a relatively good viewing position and caught a glimpse of all the royal names I just dropped above, and managed a few extremely bad happy snaps. I'm chuffed, I certainly did not expect to see the Monarch in person during my visit to London!! I am absolutely hooked on London and am disappointed I've had such a short visit... If I'm not in classes next week, well you know where to find me... Most likely West End or Leicester Square!!!
- Jess Willman (Bachelor of Arts)