Monday, 7 October 2013
What would you pay for a weekend at Pemberley?
I mean a real weekend house party, with Mr. Darcy, Elizabeth, Georgiana, Jane and Bingley, and Colonel Fitzwilliam, in Derbyshire, with Regency meals, staff, country dancing, whist, archery, the works, in regency clothes, just like living in a costume drama. (Am I the only one whose heart races at the thought?)
And I am quite serious. How much would you actually pay? Would you actually pay it? Would you actually book the time off work and cancel your plans?
I can make this happen. It is my dream. And it is a totally authentic regency thing to do. House parties lasting several days were very common in Jane Austen's time. Traveling was infinitely more arduous and time-consuming in those days, so if people came to your house, they stayed a while.
There was no need to have them over a weekend and, as we all know from the Dowager Duchess ("what's a weekend?"), upper classes didn't really pay attention to the structure of the week. Actually, I am pretty sure there was no such thing as a weekend until well into the industrial revolution. It was certainly not a term used in Jane Austen's time.
Anyway, these little house parties would include various entertainments, and usually some dancing. For years I have been talking about putting one on. In fact, one day, I hope to open a permanent facility where this happens every day. When the book/film "Austenland" (TM) came out, I almost had to scream, THAT WAS MY IDEA!!!! So, I am thinking about using Kickstarter to try and make it happen, in about a year and a half. I am trying to gage interest. Please comment below how much you would pay for this all-inclusive vacation (food and costumes included). And please send/tweet this to everyone you know who might want to visit Pemberley.
(Follies Past: A Prequel to Pride and Prejudice, is a novel by Melanie Kerr. Expected publication date is October 31, 2013. Until then, I will be posting things I learned in the course of my research and of my life so far as a geek. Sharing always welcome and encouraged. Follow me on twitter @FolliesPast and on facebook.)