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chatsworth countess

While I was in Derbyshire with Stuart and my parents, we went around Chatsworth, which is one of the biggest, grandest English country houses you can imagine. (You might also know it as Pemberley, in the BBC's Pride & Prejudice.) I managed to get a little bit ahead of the rest of the group at one point and draw this Van Dyck painting. (I added the fly; she looked a bit bored.)

Ah, here's the original, in the dining room.

Illustrator Cathy Brett is doing daily doodles of old masterpieces and spending a lot more time on them. (Her painting of Fragonard's The Swing took her about three hours.) Go over to her blog and have a peek, I think she's going to be posting a few more soon. (She's posted them on Twitter as @gingerdoodles.) Here's the original painting, for comparison.

And here are Stuart and me, pretending we are gentry and surveying our vast lands.
- Do you want to move in, dear?
-Imagine running this place. It would be, like, a zillion full-time jobs.

Ah, and here are the parents.

I think this was my favourite curiosity in the house, the devil's pram. It's serpent themed (which is the theme of the family crest) and about as macabre a childhood object as one could ever hope for. I bet it freaked out the nannies.

Okay, this library is a bit more enviable. I could spend some happy hours in there.

And here's a smaller study with cool tiles on the floor. But check out that white pointy thing by the fireplace. That's a narhwal tusk! It goes all the way to the floor. I had NO IDEA narwhal tusks were so long. There were two of them. Unicorns of the sea. I drew a confused-looking narwhal into Oliver and the Seawigs by mistake, and Philip Reeve changed the text so we wouldn't have to get rid of the narwhal.

We had a big walk around the grounds, then ended our visit as all English holiday visits end. You can read some more Derbyshire blog posts here, here and here.



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 1st, 2014 07:15 am (UTC)
English is confusing... When you say "country house", I imagine, well, a house in the country, when actually it looks more like we would call "un château" in French.

How old was that pram ? XIXth century ? Older ? It's totally Addams Family material. If you wanted to raise a kid to be a pulp novel villain, this is where you would start!
May. 1st, 2014 07:16 am (UTC)
Oh, that was me, by the way. Didn't notice I was logged out until I clicked on "post"
May. 3rd, 2014 09:36 am (UTC)
Oh! Oh! I just googled it and this website says the pram was PULLED BY A GOAT! :D

Yeah, I think we'd say 'an estate' in the USA, not a country house. But I get confused, because 'an estate' in London means council housing ('a project' in the USA). I think perhaps 'country house' is a very English way of understating things. And yeah, I don't think I would want to raise a kid that thought that sort of living was normal.
May. 3rd, 2014 10:43 am (UTC)
Well if your raise your kid like that, don't be surprised if he ends up joining Slytherin!
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


Sarah McIntyre

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