This week marks the 200th anniversary of the publication of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Though it got little recognition during her lifetime, the book has since become one of the most beloved novels in the English language. In fact, if this article is any indication, Miss Austen may have done nearly as much for British tourism as the Royal Family itself.
This year, two of our trips offer an opportunity to step into the world of the landed gentry Miss Austen portrayed so vividly.
In June, A Shared Heritage sails to France, England and the Low Countries aboard Sea Cloud II, visiting country estates in Dorset and Sussex, including a personal tour by the ancestral owner of Firle Place. Lord Crathorne, the Queen’s representative in North Yorkshire and a longtime champion of English arts and heritage, will be on board to add his insider’s perspective.
Although Jane Austen never visited Ireland, she was heavily influenced by Anglo-Irish novelist Maria Edgeworth, and her unforgettable Mr. Darcy may have been inspired by her summer romance with an Irish barrister. In September, our Houses of the Irish Aristocracy program takes you inside the great country homes of Ireland as guests of the ancestral owners, including the Earl of Rosse and the Duke of Abercorn.
When I was in college, my love for the poetry of William Butler Yeats inspired me to visit his grave in County Sligo (and take a grave rubbing to boot). What writer or literary work has inspired you to travel?