This Jane Austen blog site brings Jane Austen, her novels, and the Regency Duration alive through food, dress, social customs, and other 19th C. historic information connected to this subject.
Natural Developments: truth and fiction about a website widely known to Jane Austen readers, by Tony Grant
August 13, 2020 by Vic
Standing, looking west throughout the Surrey countryside to the wooded ridge of hills in the distance, a line of trees mark the horizon. Box, yew, beech, ash and oak populate the landscape collected in woods or spread out in little copses on this hill top. To one side is another field with a cricket square nicely and carefully cut in the middle of it, a wooden structure at one side of the field.
Listed below, nearly looking directly down, a white 18th century mansion is surrounded by yards and a pattern of 4 knot gardens are at the rear of the house. Other individuals, households and partners and single walkers move at a distance across the chalk meadow steeply sloping down towards Burford Bridge that crosses the River Mole winding its method past the bottom of the hill. I catch glances of the red clay tiled roofings of flint cottages, through the canopy of trees, that make up the town of Mickleham to the north.
We walk on down Burford Stimulate prior to reversing. I am now needed to step upwards, leaning forward, and press hard on thigh and calf muscles to make my way back up to the top of this very high slope. I parked my vehicle near the old fort at the National Trust car park.
I chose to pick up a piece of flint to take home. Stones make a location. One stone is a piece of that place. This piece of flint was still embedded in the firm ground and some kicking and pulling and pushing with my hands were needed to prise it loose. I take stones house from locations. A piece of smooth granite from a beach in Cornwall, some sandstone from a cliff face in Dorset, a piece of shale from the island of White and now this piece of flint from the top of Box Hill in Surrey.
Things did not go quite as prepared or as wished. The Sucklings were not able to come. Mrs Elton was dissatisfied, her strategies prevented but the journey to Box Hill was to go ahead.
Emma thought she would like to go to Box Hill too, separately from Mrs Elton’s expedition of course. Mr Weston chose other plans and suggested to Emma and Mrs Elton integrating the 2 parties.
Mr Weston directed everyone on the day. His spouse, Mrs Weston, was to stay with Mr Woodhouse to keep him business. Emma and Harriet were to go in one carriage. Miss Bates and Jane Fairfax, were to opt for Mr and Mrs Elton and the gentlemen, Mr Knightley, Frank Churchill and Mr Weston on horse back.
They all separated excessive into celebrations. Frank Churchill was silent and silly, looking without seeing.
Frank ultimately turned his attention to Emma and overtly carried on a most blatant flirtation, an act that Emma, perhaps to her surprise, doesn’t take pleasure in. It is all an obvious act. She feels his fraud. Frank Churchill continues to upset Emma and the whole celebration by requesting they all reveal what they are thinking of. This makes the basic state of mind even worse. We can guess at their true thoughts. Emma is rightly afraid to hear their truthful viewpoints. She feels the worry and disquiet created by this entire venture.He alters the request, asking each to say
something creative or more things reasonably clever or three things dull.”
Miss Bates volunteers, maybe to fill the undesirable silence and apprehension, recommending she can state three things dull. Emma quips that she would discover it challenging to restrict the number to
only three at the same time.”
Miss Bates takes the tip and is mortified. Mr Weston provides a dilemma based on Emma’s name. As they leave Mr Knightley takes Emma aside and points out the hurt she has actually triggered her lifelong associate and family good friend, Miss Bates.
It was badly done certainly.”
Mr and Mrs Elton stroll off, Frank Churchill has his mind on other things, Emma feels uncomfortable under his feigned flirtations, she up sets Miss Bates and Mr Knighltley is angered by Emmas behaviour.This is the point in the novel when Emma has her naivity in human interactions and her immaturity laid bare. Emma is faced by her own shortcomings. An agonizing journey for Emma.
A piece of flint:
The flint is heavy, about 2 kilogrammes in weight, nine centimetres long and about 5 centimetres wide.There are sharp angular edges where some of the flint has actually been broken off. Bluey black glassy difficult faces are exposed. The stone is mostly covered in a thin white tough calcareous rind like the rind covering a cheese, enveloping most of its smooth surface. Hollows and rounded swellings push up below its white,” skin,” like the shapes of bones lieing beneath its surface area, finger bones, wrist joints, protruding heels, knuckle bones. A bit of crumbling chalk, the substance it has actually been torn from, conceals in a hollow on one side.
Chalk was formed during the cretaceous period some 145 to 66 million years back. It was formed under marine conditions from the steady accumulation of minute calcite shells shed from micro-organisms called coccolithophores A white muddy layer was formed on the sea bed. The very same earth movements, the violent moving of the earths plates, that formed the Alps formed these downlands in Southern England rippling and folding the earths surface. That soft white sediment of calcite shells solidified and formed the chalk. Within the chalk, creatures such as sponges and other organisms developed pockets which, molecule by molecule by particle were changed by flint as water and minerals from the chalk seeped into the areas.
Flint has been used for many things over the centuries. Axes, knives and arrow heads, utilized by the hunter collectors that strolled this land over 10 thousand years back, were made from flint. Today we can see numerous homes and farm structures situated around Box Hill with layers of flint embedded in the surface of their walls.
Here is my piece of flint from the top of Box Hill in Surrey, from the very area, at the top of Burford Stimulate with Mickleham to the north and Dorking to the south where Emma Woodhouse and the mild people of Highbury gathered for a picnic.