Costa Rica??February 1, 2016
JMW Turner and Petworth Part 2February 7, 2016
The recent movie about the early 19th century English painter JMW Turner and his association with Petworth House, the home of the Earl of Egremont, led me to want to visit there because the 3rd Earl bought many of Turner’s paintings and they are displayed, among the works of many other famous painters and sculptors, in that house. I was in the process of making up a tour of English places related to Jane Austen when I realized that her sites in Hampshire such as Steventon and Alton were quite near Petworth House. With the help of Debi Hill of “Classic British Drama Tours” (email@example.com) we altered my tour plans to include a visit to Petworth House as my first site upon my arrival in London in early September of 2015. Debi was able to arrange overnight accommodations at the Old Railway Station in Petworth which has been transformed into a most interesting and attractive B and B which utilizes the old railway station as well as the Pullman cars used in the original trains that ran through the station. I have attached a few photos of The Old Railway Station which was a most enjoyable and nostalgic visit for me. The following day Debi took me on a tour of the beautiful grounds designed by the famous landscape architect Lancelot “Capability” Brown and Petworth House itself as well as the immediately adjacent town of Petworth. Petworth is on a scale to rival Highclere Castle, the stand in for Downton Abbey in the popular PBS series which I do enjoy also or the many other grand estates of England. I guess you can being to surmise that I am a bit of an “Anglophile” as well as being a “Francophile!” The two great enemies England and France, now both members of the European Union, although the British are threatening a withdrawal which is still undetermined. The painting of Turner who is said, according to the catalog for a recent exhibition of his late works, to have caused “painting set free.” His work is also said by some to have been a preview of the Impressionist style which soon overcame painting especially on the European continent, notably in France in the later 19th century. The scale of the grounds and Petworth House are on a scale which few houses in the United States can equal and the adjacent town is quintessential English. It was along and tiring day but filled with fantastic outside views and wonderful art and architecture within. Anyone interested in tours of British cultural/historical places and those associated with British drams such as Downton Abbey, Poldark, the dramatization of Jane Austen’s novels, etc. would do well to work with Debi Hill in composing a wonderful bespoke tour. More photos to follow soon!! I decided to keep photos on this posting to only The Old Railway Station to leave plenty of room on my next post for Petworth House and JMW Turner!