Friday, April 26, 2013

Hidden Art in Pride & Prejudice

Working within the variety and limits of a place reminded me of the following passage from Book 3 of Pride and Prejudice: 
"Elizabeth, as they drove along, watched for the first appearance of Pemberly Woods with some perturbation; and when at length they turned in at the lodge, her spirits were in high flutter.

The park was very large, and contained a great variety of ground.  They entered it in one of the lowest points, and drove for some time through a beautiful wood, stretching over a wide extent.

Elizabeth's mind was too full for conversation, but she saw and admired every remarkable spot and point of view. They gradually ascended for half a mile, and then found themselves at the top of a considerable eminence, where the wood ceased, and the eye was instantly caught by Pemberley House, situated on the opposite side of a valley, into which the road with some abruptness wound.  It was a large, handsome, stone building, standing well on rising ground, and backed by a ridge of high woody hills; --and in front, a stream of some natural importance was swelled into greater, but without any artificial appearance.  Its banks were neither formal, nor falsely adorned.  Elizabeth was delighted.  She had never seen a place for which nature had done more, or where natural beauty had been so little counteracted by an awkward taste.  They were all of them warm in their admiration; and at that moment she felt, that to be mistress of Pemberley might be something!"

You know the estate and wood were maintained and worked, yet it is described in such a way that nature was worked with rather than against.  Being mistress of such a place would mean to continue in that pattern and tradition.

1 comment:

  1. The British writers are especially wonderful at this sort of writing about nature. I wonder why their architecture suffered so badly after WWII with such a heritage of thought?


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