Past and Present at the Governor’s House on the 200th Anniversary of Pride and Prejudice

January 28, 2013 –   the 200th anniversary of the publication of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice

How appropriate that we just finished a Jane Austen weekend here. The house was built in 1893, making it 120 years old now. I sometimes wonder about the people who lived here long ago. I picture the senator and his wife where I know they used to sit on the back portico looking across the lawn at the Sterling Mountain range. And when I’m building a wood fire in the old Glenwood kitchen range in the kitchen, I wonder about the cook who did the same thing so long ago. But today I am wondering about Miss Page, the senator’s daughter, who had the large bedroom with the delicate detail on the fireplace that we call the pink room in her honor. I wonder – did she read Pride and Prejudice? What would she have thought of it. How did she picture Darcy so long before Colin Firth? As a spinster herself, what did she make of Jane Austen? And what about the family of five girls who lived here briefly years later? Did they read about that most famous family of five daughters and try to see which Bennet sister was most like each of them? I’ll never know, but I do hope that in another 120 years, the house will still be standing here and perhaps another girl not yet born will find Pride and Prejudice on the shelf and discover that some stories, the best ones, are quite timeless.

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