Jane Austen's London Walk - the debrief
|Local Shops in Jane Austen's part of the town - south of Henry Austen's, Mrs Jennings, and John Dashwood's Houses, but north of Willoughby's, the Middleton's, and Colonel Brandon's|
Green Park, Ritz, Arlington Street, Dover Street, Albemarle St; Grafton Street, Upper Bond Street, Conduit Street, Burlington Gardens, Old Bond St; Sackville St, Piccadilly, the Albany, Piccadilly Arcade, Jermyn St, Pall Mall.
I wanted to get to St James Sq and the Royal Opera Arcade but next time!
Very good audience, lots of them too - it has to be done again!
I think next time I might start from Marble Arch, or Covent Garden.
What I did not expect was that studying for this walk would gain me so much in terms of my knowledge of London.
I had not fully realised my knowledge of Mayfair was such a hole in my knowledge. I thought I knew enough! I am slightly worried about it because I already worry that I give too much information as we drive around London - Mayfair; St James was almost a rest. Now it will be as full as the rest and I have something to fit in that gap between Hogarth and Dr Johnstone, and Dickens.
What is so interesting is how little the area has changed - instead of rich English Aristocrats intent on shopping it is now rich Oligarchs intent on shopping - I felt immediately that Jane Austen would have felt at home in Bond Street of the 21st Century.
There is a bit of a let down as I have spent the last 2 years reading and studying Jane Austen to prepare for leading a study tour to Bath, Lyme Regis, Winchester, Steventon and Chawton. Now that I have 'done' the Jane Austen of London I can afford to read for pleasure for a few months - But I shall miss Jane Austen. Perhaps I will read Joanna Trollope's Sense and Sensibility? Or should I have a break?