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Sunday, January 25

Jane Austen Character Throwdown: Best Hill to Climb

Ooooh, we really don't like Lucy Steele as a friend, do we? Caroline Bingley, no prize either, ceded with a whimper. We now turn our attention to two hills that Jane Austen described in great detail. They are still popular tourist destinations today, showing breathtaking vistas from their tops. Our question this week is:
Which hill would you climb?

Box Hill, Emma

"Emma had never been to Box Hill ... she wished to see what everybody found so much worth seeing." In one of Jane Austen's most memorable scenes, a petulant and bored Emma makes fun of Miss Bates at a picnic on Box Hill, hurting the spinster's feelings and drawing Mr. Knightley's ire. This hill overlooks the breathtaking countryside of the North Downs in Surrey, England. These shots on webshots show how beautiful the area still is. It takes effort to climb Box Hill, but the views are dazzling all around.

Beechen Cliff, Northanger Abbey

Henry and Eleanor Tilney walked with Catherine Morland from Bath proper, along the river Avon, and up Beechen Cliff. This was no small feat. Jane Austen loved to walk, as did Lizzy Bennet, and (obviously) the Tilneys. Their reward was a spectacular panorama of Bath. "They determined on walking round Beechen Cliff, that noble hill whose beautiful verdure and hanging coppice render it so striking an object from almost every opening in Bath." Catherine reveals her naivete in a conversation about nature and art with Henry, whose charm and wit are in full display in this scene. Beechen Cliff remains a park and the view has been largely preserved, as these photos attest. (Click on image for larger view.) free polls
Jane Austen Character Throwdown: Which Hill Would You Climb?
Box Hill Beechen Cliff

More about these hills:


Jane Odiwe said...

I just wanted to add that having done both, Beechen Cliff is killing, but I think that's part of the pleasure - (perhaps I've just chosen the steepest route) there's a great sense of satisfaction when you make it to the top and the views are amazing.

Lynn said...

I would love to spread a blanket on Box Hill, dressed in period clothing and read the scene from the book after having a lovely picnic lunch !