UK Real Estate: Rotherhithe

In my current Work in Progress (WIP) Rotherhithe plays a prominent role in the story’s setting. Rotherhithe is a residential district in southeast London, England, and part of the London Borough of Southwark. It is located on a peninsula on the south bank of the Thames, facing Wapping and the Isle of Dogs on the north bank, and is a part of the Docklands area. It borders Bermondsey to the west and Deptford to the south east.

Rotherhithe has a long history as a port, with many shipyards from Elizabethan times until the early 20th century and with working docks until the 1970s. In the 1980s the area along the river was redeveloped as upmarket housing, through a mix of warehouse conversions and new-build developments. Following the arrival of the Jubilee line in 1999 (giving quick connections to the West End and to Canary Wharf) and the London Overground in 2010 (providing a quick route to the City of London), the rest of Rotherhithe is now a rapidly gentrifying residential and commuter area, with current regeneration progressing well around Downtown Road/Rotherhithe Street area and most quickly around Canada Water, where a new town centre with restaurant and retail units as well as new residential developments is emerging around the existing freshwater lake and transport hub.

Etymology
The name “Rotherhithe” derives from the Anglo-Saxon Hrȳðer-hȳð meaning “landing-place for cattle.” The first recorded use of this name was in about 1105, as Rederheia. In the past Rotherhithe was also known as Redriff or Redriffe; however, until the early 19th century, this name was applied to the whole river front from St Saviour’s Dock to Bull Head Dock, this near the entrance to Surrey Water.

The docks were closed and largely filled in during the 1980s, and have now been replaced by modern housing and commercial facilities, but Rotherhithe retains much of its character and its maritime heritage. The largest surviving dock on the south bank, Greenland Dock, is the focal point for the southern part of the district, while there are many preserved wharves along the riverside at the north end of Rotherhithe. St. Mary’s Church is at the centre of the old Rotherhithe village, which contains various historic buildings including the Brunel Engine House at the south end of the Thames Tunnel.St Mary's Church St Mary’s Church

Canada Dock was the dock basin furthest away from the River Thames in the Surrey Docks complex, and it was linked to Albion Dock and Greenland Dock at its northern and south-eastern extremities via the Albion Canal. The dock has been remodelled, and its northwest half retained as an ornamental lake, renamed Canada Water. The canal has remained as a walkway and water feature within the redeveloped area.

Rotherhithe is the former home of the football team, Fisher F.C., who currently ground-share with Dulwich Hamlet. The most popular team in Rotherhithe is Millwall Football Club located nearby in the London Borough of Lewisham.

The sustainable transport charity Sustrans has proposed the construction of a bicycle and pedestrian swing bridge from Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf, and cost-benefit and feasibility studies were undertaken. In January 2009 the London Mayor Boris Johnson said he would not fund the bridge, citing budget cuts due to the credit crunch, with the result that the project is effectively on ice for the time being.

There are two Anglican churches in Rotherhithe St. Mary’s Church,and Trinity Church. There are two Roman Catholic churches: St Peter and the Guardian Angels, and Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception.

King’s Stairs Gardens
King’s Stairs Gardens is a small park on the river towards the Bermondsey boundary. In September 2011 Thames Water announced that they wanted to build an access shaft for the “super-sewer” Thames Tunnel. Due to local action by The Save King’s Stairs Gardens Campaign, which collected over 5000 signatures, it seems as of March 2011 that Thames Water will build the access shaft elsewhere, if the local community agrees.

Severn Islands Leisure Centre occupies the site of the old Rotherhithe Town Hall. The building ceased to be a town hall in 1905 when the former Rotherhithe Council merged with the old Bermondsey Borough Council and the new council used premises in Spa Road. The old Rotherhithe Town Hall became a library and a museum. It was razed to the ground by repeated bomb hits and near misses during the Second World War.

The ancient parish, dedicated to St Mary, was in the Diocese of Winchester until 1877, then the Diocese of Rochester until 1905, and then finally in the Diocese of Southwark. From 1840, as the population of Rotherhithe increased, a number of new parishes were formed:

Christ Church, Rotherhithe in 1840
All Saints, Rotherhithe in 1842
Holy Trinity, Rotherhithe in 1842
St Barnabas, Rotherhithe in 1873
In addition, as the population of neighbouring Deptford increased, parts of Rotherhithe parish were included in the new parish of:

Because much of the former Surrey Docks had strong trade links to Scandinavia and the Baltic region the area is still home to a thriving Scandinavian community. During World War II, in fact, it housed the Norwegian Government-in-Exile. Originally established as seafarers’ missions, Rotherhithe is home to a Norwegian, a Finnish and a Swedish church. The Finnish Church and the Norwegian Church are both located in Albion Street; they were built in 1958 and 1927 respectively (Rotherhithe Library is located between them). There are also a number of “community centres” for the Nordic community in London, including hostels, shops and cafés and even a sauna, mostly linked closely to the churches.

the angel rotherhitheSome of the redeveloped areas were built by Nordic architects, such as the Greenland Passage development by Danish Company Kjaer & Richter. This gives some areas a distinctly “Nordic” feel in terms of house and street design.

The relationship with Scandinavia and the Baltic is also reflected in the names of some of the buildings (such as the King Frederik IX Tower), the street names (e.g. Finland Street, Sweden Gate, Baltic Quay, Norway Gate, Helsinki Square) or other place names (e.g. Greenland Dock). Another major influence factor was trade with Russia and Canada (mainly timber), reflected in names such as Canada Water and the Russia Dock Woodland.

In July 1620, the Mayflower sailed from Rotherhithe for Southampton on the south coast of England, to begin loading food and supplies for the voyage to New England. At that time, the English Separatists, who later became known as the “Pilgrim Fathers,” were mostly still living in the city of Leiden, in the Netherlands. There they hired a ship called the Speedwell to take them from Delfthaven in the Netherlands to Southampton to meet up with the Mayflower.

The ship’s captain, Christopher Jones, died shortly after his return in 1621 and he is buried in an unmarked grave at St Mary’s Church. The Mayflower sailed from near a public house called the Shippe in Rotherhithe Street, which was substantially rebuilt in the 18th century and is now named the Mayflower.

Charity school RotherhitheOn Lower Road, about half way between Surrey Quays and Canada Water stations, is a public house called the China Hall; at one time it was the entrance to a riparian playhouse visited by Samuel Pepys and mentioned in his diary. It is not known how long the theatre remained on the site, but it was reinvigorated in 1777 and during 1778 George Frederick Cooke acted there, but in the winter of 1779 it was destroyed in fire. The site of the theatre became a well known tea-gardens, with the “usual arbours and ‘boxes’” during the Victorian period, but by the 1920s most of the gardens had been absorbed into the Surrey Commercial Docks as part of a timber yard.

Like the rest of the London Docks, the Surrey Commercial Docks were targeted by the Luftwaffe. On 7 September 1940, on the first day of the London Blitz, the deal yards of Surrey Docks were set ablaze. The raid ignited over a million tonnes of timber in Quebec Yard, causing the most intense single fire ever seen in Britain.

Rotherhithe_Tunnel_(northern_entrance)_-_Geograph_-_1214798The bombing of the old Rotherhithe Town Hall during the Second World War gives an indication of how heavy the bombing in Rotherhithe was. The first damage to the building occurred when Luftwaffe bombs landed nearby in April 1941, and there was more bomb damage in February and June 1944. Later the same month (June 1944) the Town Hall was very severely damaged by a direct hit by a V1 doodlebug. In November 1944 it was further damaged by near misses, and it was finally destroyed by one of the last V1s to land on London during the Second World War.

King Haakon VII made many of his famous radio broadcasts to occupied Norway from Saint Olav’s Norwegian Church in Rotherhithe, where the Norwegian Royal Family were regular worshippers during their exile in London.

NOTABLES:
**Marc Isambard Brunel (1769–1849) and his son Isambard Kingdom Brunel built the Thames Tunnel connecting Rotherhithe and Wapping.
**Max Bygraves, entertainer, was born in Rotherhithe.
**Michael Caine, actor, was born Maurice Joseph Micklewhite in Rotherhithe.
**Thomas Coram (1668–1751) a philanthropic sea captain, retired to Rotherhithe where he campaigned for establishment of the Foundling Hospital.
**Eliza Fay (1755 or 1756–1816), author of Original Letters from India (1817), was born in Rotherhithe.
**Malcolm Hardee lived on a houseboat in Greenland Dock, Rotherhithe, owned and ran the Wibbley Wobbley pub-boat on the same dock, and was drowned there in 2005.
**Alfred Hitchcock filmed scenes for his first film as director, Number 13 (1922), in Rotherhithe before it was pulled from production.
**Myleene Klass lived in Rotherhithe in the early 2000s.
**Aaron Manby assembled and launched the world’s first seagoing iron-hulled ship at Rotherhithe in 1822.
**Princess Margaret met her future husband, photographer Tony Armstrong-Jones, in a house in Rotherhithe.
**Billy Mehmet, professional footballer, attended Bacon’s College in Rotherhithe in the 1990s.
**King Mutesa II of Buganda died in exile in his flat in Rotherhithe in 1969 following an interview with journalist John Simpson.
**James Walker worked on the design and construction of Greenland Dock, where a memorial bust of him stands.

Cultural References
**In the popular television drama series Upstairs, Downstairs the character James Bellamy stands as a Conservative Party candidate for the constituency of Rotherhithe East.
**The James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies used Harmsworth Quays Printing as the scene for Carver’s print works.
**Redriff was the fictional birthplace of Jonathan Swift’s character Lemuel Gulliver, of Gulliver’s Travels fame, and where his family waited for him.
**Rotherhithe is alluded to in the British Sea Power song Carrion and the Elvis Costello song New Amsterdam.
**Adam Carter from Spooks supposedly lives in Canada Wharf on Rotherhithe Street, and much of the series is filmed on locations around Rotherhithe and the Docklands.
**The final chapter of Charles Dickens’s Oliver Twist (1839) provides a lively depiction of a Rotherhithe slum-district of the mid-19th century.
**The famous Gujarati poem, ‘Rajashahi Ghodi,” talks about a bicycle, allegorically a royal steed as it passes by the narrow by-lanes of Rotherhithe every morning, describing landmarks and monuments like the Mayflower Pub, the Picture Library and Southwark Park, along its way.
**A song from the musical Cats, “Growltiger’s Last Stand,” mentions the cottagers of Rotherhithe.
**”The man from Rotherhithe” is an unnamed, recurring character in the long poem In Parenthesis by David Jones.
**A period costumier, picture library and minor film producer Sands Films is located at Rotherhithe Street, close to the Mayflower pub.
**Long-running ITV series London’s Burning was based at local fire station Dockhead for the first few series, with most scenes filmed in Bermondsey and Rotherhithe. For example, leading character ‘Vaseline’ was filmed drowning in Greenland Dock, and another leading character, Bert, campaigned to save the local city farm, filmed at Surrey Docks Farm in Rotherhithe.
**The 2004-2005 ITV drama series The Brief often filmed in Rotherhithe, with internal scenes filmed at the Mayflower pub. Lead character Henry Farmer, played by Alan Davies, lived a few doors away.
**2007 film “The Riddle”, starring Vinnie Jones and Derek Jacobi, was largely filmed on location in Rotherhithe. It features the interior and exterior of the genuine Blacksmiths Arms, Rotherhithe, although the rear of the pub in the film was a temporary set built adjacent to the Downtown nightclub, close to the Surrey Docks Farm.
**In “The Adventure of The Dying Detective,” Sherlock Holmes pretends to Dr. Watson that he has contracted a contagious disease in Rotherhithe, while working on a case.
**The first and last episode of Dempsey & Makepeace was filmed at the Mayflower public house and in the area.

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Locating Jane Austen: The Author’s Influence Upon the English Tourism Business

Recently, I partook of a short 4-day bus tour of the home of American Presidents in Virginia. Living in neighboring state of North Carolina, the trip was not exhausting, and so on the first day (before we settled in our hotel for the evening) we visited the home of the 5th President, James Monroe. Ash Lawn-Highland is billed as a “place of comfort and hospitality.” On the succeeding days we traveled to George Washington’s Mount Vernon, James Madison’s Montpelier, Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, and Woodrow Wilson’s Library and Museum. At each there were the typical tour guides, brochures, souvenirs, and period pieces, some reconstructed and some simply spoken of.

Like any serious writer, I carried my trusty laptop and spiral notebooks with me. Those who know me well know I am likely to carry my notebook to the physician’s office and write while I wait, so naturally, the tendency to write during countless hours upon the road was too much to pass by. As I walked through history, especially that of Thomas Jefferson, who is dangling from my family tree, I was thinking about the many tours of Austen’s England.

Although there are places in England which boast actual connections to Jane Austen, much of what we Austenites enjoy are the moments we share of the fiction Austen wrote rather than actual places she lived or visited. For example, if one travels to Bath, he can view the assembly hall and imagine Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth from Persuasion having enjoyed their moments together there. A visitor can walk along Milson Street, as did Isabella Thorpe in Northanger Abbey. We can enjoy the fiction and forget how Austen’s spoken dislike of Bath.

We can conjure up images of Pemberley, but which image was the one Austen had? Was it Chatsworth or Cottesbrooke Hall or Lyme Park? Perhaps it was none of those, but we Austenites do not care. We walk into Chatsworth’s foyer and imagine Elizabeth Bennet from the 2005 film or into Wilton House for the Pemberley interior scenes from the same film. We can visit Burghley House in Lincolnshire and think ourselves sitting in Lady Catherine’s drawing room at Rosings Park in Kent. There is also the interior scenes from the 1995 adaptation, which were set in Sudbury Hall in Derbyshire. We can relive the moments at Netherfield Park by visiting Edgcote Hall in Banbury, Oxfordshire.

Those of us who love Austen know there are hundreds of places in England, which claim a connection to the writer. At Steventon, for example, only a pump remains of the rectory where the Austen family lived, but that fact does not stop hundreds of Janeites from making a trek to see that exact spot and to take a multiple pictures to commemorate the moment where they come close to knowing a bit more of Austen.

We crave any connection to our dearest Jane, from the plaque which denotes where the Austen’s former residence once stood in Castle Square in Southampton to the likes of Austen’s writing box, displayed at the British Library. With Austen, the fiction and reality easily combine for her fans. In many ways, I think Austen would find it quite amusing so many of us trudge along lanes and parklands for a glimpse of the fictitious landscapes she described in her six novels. It is a most satisfying experience: we are more than sightseers. We are participants in creating “memories,” we will cherish forever.

Sudbury Hall

Sudbury Hall

Lyme Park

Lyme Park

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Queen Elizabeth I and the Sea Beggars, a Guest Post from Author Barbara Kyle

Today, it is with great pleasure that I welcome a colleague, who specializes in the time of Queen Elizabeth I. I know you will find Barbara Kyle’s story of deception and courage very interesting.

The Elizabethan period is considered a golden age. We picture England bursting with confidence and vigor, her queen triumphant and proud. But, in fact, at the beginning of Elizabeth’s reign in 1559 England was a small, weak country, standing alone. Philip II of Spain, the most powerful monarch in Europe, whose empire spanned half the globe, itched to conquer the island nation. By the second year of the young Queen Elizabeth’s reign, Philip set out to destroy her. Within a few years, she was fighting for her life.

The-Queens-Exiles-Final My new novel, The Queen’s Exiles, is set in 1572 when Spain’s armies were feared and triumphant throughout Europe. Nowhere were they more feared than in the Netherlands, which was suffering under Spain’s brutal occupation. To strike at England, Philip’s troops would sail from there, less than a hundred miles off Elizabeth’s shores.

With no standing army and a small and underfunded navy, Elizabeth’s only weapons against her powerful Spanish adversary were her cleverness and courage. Taking a gamble, she extended safe conduct to a motley little fleet of Dutch privateers, who had fled Spain’s occupation. These rebels called themselves the Sea Beggars and carried out raids on Spanish shipping. They play a major role in The Queen’s Exiles when my heroine, Fenella Doorn, joins their fight.

For several years Elizabeth allowed the Sea Beggars to make Dover and the creeks and bays along England’s south coast their home as they continued to harry Spanish vessels. This infuriated Philip. When his fury grew dangerous, Elizabeth ordered the Sea Beggars to quit her realm. It was assumed she expelled them to placate Philip, but it turned out she had struck a powerful blow at Spain: by forcing out these fierce privateers she unleashed their latent power.

For a month, the Sea Beggars wandered the Channel, homeless and hungry. Then, in April 1572, on the verge of starvation, they made a desperate attack on the Spanish-held Dutch port city of Brielle. They astounded everyone, even themselves, by capturing the city. The Sea Beggars’ victory provided the opposition’s first foothold on land and launched a revolution: the Dutch War of Independence against Spain. It took many more years, but the brave Dutch people finally gained their independence.

The rebel Sea Beggars’ fight is the backdrop of The Queen’s Exiles. I hope you enjoy the adventure.

Bio
Mikhail Petgrave Barbara Kyle is the author of the acclaimed Thornleigh Saga novels The Queen’s Exiles, Blood Between Queens, The Queen’s Gamble, The Queen’s Captive, The King’s Daughter and The Queen’s Lady which follow an English middle-class family’s rise through three tumultuous Tudor reigns. She is also the author of the contemporary thrillers Entrapped and The Experiment. Over 450,000 copies of her books have been sold in seven countries.
Barbara has taught writers at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies and is known for her dynamic workshops for many writers’ organizations and conferences. Her Fiction Writers Boot Camp and her Master Classes have launched many of her students’ novels to publishing success.
Before becoming an author, Barbara enjoyed a twenty-year acting career in television, film, and stage productions in Canada and the U.S. Visit Barbara Here.

Posted in British history, Elizabethan drama, Great Britain, Living in the UK, political stance, real life tales, Uncategorized, writing | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

What is “Intestacy”?

 Last section of the third side handwritten 1616 will of William Shakspeare - only the signature written by Shakspeare

Last section of the third side handwritten 1616 will of William Shakspeare – only the signature written by Shakspeare

Intestacy is the condition of the estate of a person who dies owning property greater than the sum of their enforceable debts and funeral expenses without having made a valid will or other binding declaration. Alternatively this may also apply where a will or declaration has been made, but only applies to part of the estate, the remaining estate forms the “Intestate Estate.”

Intestacy law, also referred to as the law of descent and distribution, refers to the body of law (statutory and case law) that determines who is entitled to the property from the estate under the rules of inheritance.

History and the Common Law
Intestacy has a limited application in those jurisdictions that follow civil law or Roman law because the concept of a will is itself less important; the doctrine of forced heirship automatically gives a deceased person’s next-of-kin title to a large part (forced estate) of the estate’s property by operation of law, beyond the power of the deceased person to defeat or exceed by testamentary gift. A forced share (or legitime) can often only be decreased on account of some very specific misconduct by the forced heir. In matters of cross-border inheritance, the “laws of succession” is the commonplace term covering testate and intestate estates in common law jurisdictions together with forced heirship rules typically applying in civil law and Sharia law jurisdictions. After the Statute of Wills 1540, Englishmen (and unmarried or widowed women) could dispose of their lands and real property by a will. Their personal property could formerly be disposed of by a testament, hence the hallowed legal merism last will and testament.

Common law sharply distinguished between real property and chattels. Real property for which no disposition had been made by will passed by the law of kinship and descent; chattel property for which no disposition had been made by testament was escheat to the Crown, or given to the Church for charitable purposes. This law became obsolete as England moved from being a feudal to a mercantile society, and chattels more valuable than land were being accumulated by townspeople.

Current Law
In most contemporary common-law jurisdictions, the law of intestacy is patterned after the common law of descent. Property goes first or in major part to a spouse, then to children and their descendants; if there are no descendants, the rule sends you back up the family tree to the parents, the siblings, the siblings’ descendants, the grandparents, the parents’ siblings, and the parents’ siblings’ descendants, and usually so on further to the more remote degrees of kinship. The operation of these laws varies from one jurisdiction to another.

United Kingdom
England and Wales

In England and Wales the Intestacy Rules have been uniform since 1925 and similar rules apply in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and many Commonwealth countries and Crown dependencies. These rules have been supplemented by the discretionary provisions of the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 so that fair provision can be made for a dependent spouse or other relative where the strict divisions set down in the intestacy rules would produce an unfair result, for example by providing additional support for a dependent minor or disabled child vis-a-vis an adult child who has a career and no longer depends on their parent.

If a person dies intestate with no identifiable heirs, the person’s estate generally escheats (i.e. is legally assigned) to the Crown (via the Bona vacantia division of the Treasury Solicitor) or to the Duchies of Cornwall or Lancaster when the deceased was a resident of either; in limited cases a discretionary distribution might be made by one of these bodies to persons who would otherwise be without entitlement under strict application of the rules of inheritance.

Under the current rules, the spouse or civil partner of someone who dies intestate will inherit as follows:

If there are no children, grandchildren, or great-grandchildren then the spouse or civil partner inherits all personal belongings of the deceased, the first £450,000 of the estate and half of the amount above £450,000.
If there are children, grandchildren, or great-grandchildren then the spouse or civil partner inherits all personal belongings of the deceased, the first £250,000 of the estate and a lifetime’s interest in half of the amount above £250,000. A lifetime’s interest means that the inheritor cannot sell or dispose of that part of the inheritance, but can draw interest from investing it. The capital amount may then be passed to the descendants on death of the spouse or civil partner.

Scotland
The law on intestacy in Scotland broadly follows that of England and Wales with some variations. A notable difference is that all possible (blood) relatives can qualify for benefit (i.e. they are not limited to grandparents or their descendants). Once a class is ‘exhausted’, succession continues to the next line of ascendants, followed by siblings, and so on. In a complete absence of relatives of the whole or half-blood, the estate passes to the Crown (as ultimus haeres). The Crown has a discretion to benefit people unrelated to the intestate, e.g. those with moral claims on the estate.

United States and Canada
In the United States intestacy laws vary from state to state under the American practice of federalism. Likewise, in Canada the laws vary from province to province. As in England, most jurisdictions apply rules of intestate succession to determine next of kin who become legal heirs to the estate. Also, as in England, if no identifiable heirs are discovered, the property may escheat to the government.

Attempts in the United States to make the law with respect to intestate succession uniform from state to state have met with limited success.

The distribution of the property of an intestate decedent is the responsibility of the administrator (or personal representative) of the estate: typically the administrator is chosen by the court having jurisdiction over the decedent’s property, and is frequently (but not always) a person nominated by a majority of the decedent’s heirs.

Federal law controls intestacy of Native Americans.

Many states have adopted all or part of the Uniform Probate Code, but often with local variations. In Ohio, the law of intestate succession has been modified significantly from the common law, and has been essentially codified. The state of Washington also has codified its intestacy law. New York has perhaps the most complicated law of descent of distribution, having been for many years. Florida’s intestacy statute permits the heirs of a deceased spouse of the decedent to inherit, in the event that the decedent has no other heirs.

In Alberta, under the current law which gives unmarried couples most of the same rights as married couples, the deceased’s family may discover that the surviving husband or wife might receive no part of the estate. Under Alberta’s intestacy legislation, the deceased’s family may discover that a former or “ex” common-law partner may be given the entire estate; ahead of the deceased’s own legally married spouse, parents, or even children.

Rules
Where a person dies without leaving a will, the rules of succession of the person’s place of habitual residence or of their domicile apply. In certain jurisdictions such as France, Switzerland, the US state of Louisiana, and much of the Islamic world, entitlements arise whether or not there was a will. These are known as forced heirship rights and are not typically found in common-law jurisdictions, where the rules of succession without a will (intestate succession) play a back-up role where an individual has not (or has not fully) exercised his or her right to dispose of property in a will.

In England and Wales, the rules of succession are the Intestacy Rules set out in the Administration of Estates Act and associated legislation.

The Act sets out the order for distribution of property in the estate of the deceased. For persons with surviving children and a wealth below a certain threshold (£250,000 as from February 2009), the whole of the estate will pass to the deceased’s spouse or also, from December 2005, their registered civil partner. For persons with no surviving children but surviving close relatives (such as siblings or parents), the first £450,000 goes to the spouse or civil partner (as from February 2009). Such transfers below the threshold are exempt from UK inheritance tax.

In larger estates, the spouse will not receive the entire estate where the deceased left other blood relatives and left no will. They will receive the following:

**all property passing to them by survivorship (such as the deceased’s share in the jointly owned family home);
**all property passing to them under the terms of a trust (such as a life insurance policy);
**a statutory legacy of a fixed sum (being a larger sum where the deceased left no children); and
**a life interest in half of the remaining estate.
The children (or more distant relatives if there are no children) of the deceased will be entitled to half of the estate remaining immediately and the remaining half on the death of the surviving spouse. Where no beneficiaries can be traced, see bona vacantia.

In the United States, each of the separate states uses its own intestacy laws to determine the ownership of its resident’s intestate property.

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Exquisite Excerpt from “Honor and Hope: A Contemporary Romantica Based on Pride and Prejudice”

Jeffers-H&H2Normally, I write Regency based romances, but today, I would like to celebrate my contemporary romantica based on Pride and Prejudice. Honor and Hope was, actually, the second novel I wrote. It came about shortly after I released Darcy’s Passions and served as a segue between Passions and Darcy’s Temptation. In reality, I had hit a wall in Darcy’s Temptation’s development. Therefore, I abandoned DT and took up the writing of Honor and Hope.

In my writing naïveté, I assumed that creating a modern version of Pride and Prejudice would be a simple task. After all, I love Austen’s novel, and with Darcy’s Passions, I had already proved that I could write an Austen sequel. However, reality is a hard taskmaster. I was late to consider the fact that many of the situations in Pride and Prejudice do not translate readily to modern times. For example, Las Vegas negates the idea that a couple cannot marry without permission. The Women’s Movement wiped out Elizabeth’s “spunk” as being an aberration. And in contemporary times, not many take notice of a woman who anticipates her wedding night. (After all, Ashlee Simpson announced her pregnancy two weeks after her marriage to Peter Wentz [from whom she is now divorced], and although she recently gave birth, Simpson’s sister Jessica has yet to marry her fiancé Eric Johnson.) The issue of Darcy saving Elizabeth Bennet’s reputation after Lydia’s elopement was no longer relevant.

So, what was an author to do? Instead of the actual events in Pride and Prejudice, she must take a closer look at the characters’ motivations and their personalities. Those qualities could easily convert to a modern tale. Therefore, I chose to create characters that displayed the same drive and enthusiasm: The same biological and emotional forces that affect behavior.

My Will Darcy is an amazing quarterback, who leads both his college and his professional teams to national titles. He is successful in every aspect of his professional life, but not in his personal life. He is motivated to see to the well being of his family, and he operates with “honor,” a quality found in little use by his nemesis George Wickham. Liz Bennet waltzes into Darcy’s life just as he is coming into his own, and from the first time he sees her, his every thought rests with her.

As one would find in most modern romances, I used the old adage of “Boy gets girl; boy loses girl; boy gets girl.” Will and Liz come together, but outside forces push them apart. They separate for six years (not 6 months, as in the novel) and then meet again, purely by accident, on Highway 501, the main route to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. At this point in the novel, I should have brought them together again, but I have a twisted sense of humor. So, I did bring them together, but their road to happiness has some major speed bumps.

I probably should add a disclaimer at this point. This is a contemporary romantica, which means Will and Liz have a “love” relationship. However, in my books, my characters are not “players.” The only game Will Darcy plays is football. He is completely devoted to Liz Bennet, and she to him.

So, why have I not promoted this book previously? The answer is simple: It still needed work. Therefore, I allowed one of my students to draw the original cover, and I self published it. However, I was NEVER satisfied with the work. Recently, I found time to rework the story line. I edited out some 30,000 words and executed several major revisions. Now, it has a more professional cover and is ready to face the world on its own. 

Book Blurb:

Liz Bennet’s flirtatious nature acerbates Will Darcy’s controlling tendencies, sending him into despair when she fiercely demands her independence from him. How could she repeatedly turn him down? Darcy has it all: good looks, a pro football career, intelligence, and wealth. Pulled together by a passionate desire, which neither time nor distance can quench, Will and Liz are destined to love, as well as misunderstand, each other until Fate deals them a blow from which they can no longer escape. Set against the backdrop of professional sports and the North Carolina wine country, Honor and Hope offers a modern romance loosely based on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

Excerpt:

Chapter 5

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.”

- Albert Einstein

About five miles outside of North Myrtle Beach, the flashing lights of a car parked precariously along the road had caught his attention first, and then Will had seen her standing there, tears streaming down her face, looking frustrated and helpless. He gave a momentary chuckle; the irony of seeing her after six years had played across his lips. Will knew he should drive on and permit someone else to assist her, but he also knew he couldn’t do so. He had sworn years ago always to protect her even when she had refused to have anything to do with him.

“What the hell is she thinking?” he mumbled to himself. The traffic had slowed and edged around her car because the car’s tail end partially blocked the roadway. Without anticipating what he hoped to accomplish, Will whipped his Mercedes to the road’s side and climbed from the driver’s seat. He stood for a moment by his own car engrossed by how scared she appeared.

“Don’t come near me,” she said as Will stepped forward from the shadows of the headlights. She had said those words to him before.

For a brief moment, Will considered getting back in his car and driving away. “To hell with her,” he thought. She didn’t know who he was so he could escape without her knowledge, but Will Darcy could never escape Liz Bennet’s pull. He raised his hands slightly to show her he had no weapon. “I’ll stay here,” he began softly, “but please move away from the car. Someone could clip your car, and it could hit you.” Will had no reason for not identifying himself to Liz right away. He half expected her to recognize him immediately. When she didn’t, a part of him wanted to surprise her and to stride over to her and smother Liz in kisses; another part wanted her to welcome him into her arms.

Liz looked around foolishly, realizing the truth of his words, and edged further away from her Honda Civic. “I understand your caution,” he continued. “I’ll stay here. Are you hurt?” Liz shook her head. The movement reminded him of the video of her freshman races, which still resided on his computer files. “Have you called for assistance?”

“I don’t have my cell phone with me.” She looked as if she should not have told him that. Will wondered how much longer it would be before Liz actually recognized him. He knew from where she stood that Liz would be gazing into the headlights; she’d be able to see his body, but not the distinct features of his face being hidden by the late winter darkness.

“May I call the Auto Club for you?” He nodded his head to assure her, and he saw Liz cock her head as if to discern the familiarity of his voice.

“I don’t have that kind of coverage.” Sobs choked her voice.

“Well, I do. Would you permit me to call someone to assist you?” Will’s thoughts of Liz made him want to move where he could hold her, but he didn’t do so right away so he couldn’t force himself to do so now.

“I can’t,” she began. “I can’t afford to pay you back right away. I’m starting a new job next month if you can wait until then.” Her tears slowed.

“Obviously, I can afford it.” Will gestured towards the Mercedes, and he saw Liz smile knowingly. “Would you permit me to assist you in moving the car before some yahoo hits it?” The humor of the situation began to fill him with mischief.

“I tried to get it off the road before it died,” she explained, looking back at the automobile.

“May I take that as a yes?”

Liz straightened her shoulders and raised her chin; he had missed her tenacity along with every other facet of Liz Bennet’s personality. “I’d appreciate anything you can do.” Liz’s strong voice riveted him in place, and her eyes locked him there momentarily.

Recovering with a steadying breath, Will stepped further into the shadows as he moved around the car to the rear. “Climb in the car, turn it on, and put it in neutral.” He took charge as if he gave orders to teammates. Liz quickly did what he asked, but she got out and helped him push the auto, steering the car from outside the open car door. Will purposely turned his head so she couldn’t see his face in the rear brake lights.

“That should do it,” he said at last. “Now let’s call someone out here to help.” Will turned his back on her, flipped open his cell phone, and made the emergency phone call. When he turned back around to face her, Liz stood within inches of him.

“It’s you!” she exclaimed; then she struck out as if angry at him. Will caught her in a bear hug; and although she struggled against accepting his deceit as being funny, only seconds transpired before she gifted him with a huge smile. “That was a dirty trick!”

“I’m sorry; I couldn’t resist. You told me to stay away from you. I’ve always given you what you wanted,” Will scoffed.

“Then give me a kiss.” Liz tilted her head to meet his mouth. The kiss began innocent enough, but soon his tongue searched her mouth. She pulled away reluctantly. “The media would love this moment,” she laughed.

“Yeah, I can see the headlines now,” he agreed, but he didn’t completely release Liz. “Where are you going?”

“I planned to find a motel for a couple of days and just unwind. Things have been hectic at home lately.” Her words increased her agitation, and Liz walked away a few steps. “Where are you going?”

“I’ve a condo on the beach. I needed a few days away from it all.” Will’s eyes searched Liz’s face trying to determine how she felt about seeing him. Will thought about broaching the subject of their spending time together while at the beach, but the approach of the mechanic’s truck interrupted his thoughts.

“Look,” she pointed to the flashing lights of the tow truck. The man parked, and Will walked over to speak to him, while she waited at safe distance from the car.

Returning to her side, Will said,  “He’ll check it out and give us an idea in a few minutes.” Liz looked away and no longer seemed pleased to see him. “Liz,” he said at last, “do you want me to leave?”

Tears began to stream down her face, and instinctively, he tugged her into his embrace. She left damp trails of tears down his shirt. “Will, I’m sorry; you deserved better treatment than what you have received from me. When we parted after your chamionship game, I meticulously planned on how we could be together again, but then my world imploded. My father had a massive stroke; I went home to run the farm; I just finished my schooling last month. Every day I thought I’d call you, but each day I didn’t, and then it was too late to call. I waited too long; you moved on.” Liz babbled on and on in that adorable way he remembered as characteristic of her nature.

“It’s okay, Liz,” Will stroked her hair. “I knew about your father and the farm.”

“You did?” She looked up at him in disbelief.

“Of course, I knew.”

“Then you don’t hate me?”

Will wanted to tell her he still  loved her. He wanted to say his heart had not beaten for six years. “I could never hate you, Liz,” he said at last, and then there was an awkward pause between them. “Let me check on your car.” He moved away from her before he betrayed his susceptibility to Liz again. His initial kiss had shown her how much he still desired her.

“Your missus’ car ain’t going nowhere. The transmission’s shot,” the repairman started. “I can tow it to the Honda dealer in town. You can make arrangements with them tomorrow morning.”

Will wanted to correct the man’s assumption about Liz being his wife, but the words tugged at his sensibility. “Thanks. Do you have papers for me to sign?” Will put the charges on his credit card and then rejoined Liz. “The news isn’t good. You’ve dropped the transmission.”

“Great! Now what do I do? If I pay for the car, I can’t afford the room, but I have to rent a room to wait for the repair. That’s what I get for treating myself to a celebration of finally graduating. It took me six years to do two years of training. I just wanted to do something spontaneous.” Tears welled in her eyes again.

Will stood there with his arms akimbo wanting to act, but unsure whether to do so. His heart still belonged to the woman standing before him, but that heart felt fragile in her presence. “You’ll say no, I’m certain, but I’m going to offer it anyway. I own a private, multi-bedroom condo at the resort. Would you agree to come with me? You may have your own room; we can celebrate your success together; you know I’d enjoy nothing more. Yet, if you want to be alone, you may come and go as you please, or I’ll pay for a hotel room for you. Add it to what you owe me if you insist on being stubborn and paying me back.” Will intently explored Liz’s expression as he made his offer.

“Will, you know how I feel about a man taking care of me. Plus, with our history, I worry about hurting you again.”

“Then don’t hurt me,” Will pleaded. “If there’s no one else in your life right now, give me one reason why after six years we cannot be together. I’ve waited patiently, Liz, but when do we finally stop tending to everyone else and start finding out if we belong together. I’m tired of not knowing, aren’t you?”

Liz’s eyes rose to meet his. “I love you, Will. Even though I’ve not seen you for years, you’re my best friend; you know me better than anyone else.”

“I’ve always loved you, Liz,” Will whispered.

The moments of silence engulfed them. Finally, she began, “I’m not a kid anymore, and what I once valued has changed, but the one thing which has never changed was my idolized feelings for you. You ruined me for every other man.” Liz half laughed.

Will smiled at her. “I wish I could honestly say I’m sorry about that.”

“You’re too ornery, Mr. Darcy,” Liz teased.

“Then may we start again, Elizabeth? I’ve spent too many nights wondering if we had made different decisions, could our feelings carry us forward. We can start with a few dates if you like.”

“I think our intimate knowledge of each other, even after all these years, puts us past the casual dating stage. Would you be willing to permit us time to learn how much each of us has changed? You knew an eighteen years old girl; I’m twenty-four now; I knew a budding football player, and you’re a national champion twice. We may find all we have in common are our memories.”

“Then if that be so, I want to know so I can quit comparing every woman I meet to you. We’ll take it slow; I promise I won’t approach you until or if you’re ready to give yourself to me. I always told you your company would be enough.”

“You always said my company was enough, but I never held you to the promise.” Liz’s taunt relieved the tension in his shoulders. She seriously considered reconciling. He fought the muscles turning up the corners of his mouth.

“Liz, come with me.” Will’s voice skipped because of the depth of his affection for her. “Allow me to spend my lucrative salary in showing you how proud I am that you stayed with your goals and finished your degree.”

“Our history will make it easier, won’t it?” She took a step closer. “At least we won’t have to spend all that time with ‘Where you from?’ questions.”

Will offered her his hand. “Do you have luggage in your car?” he asked without wishing to sound happy.

“Yeah, my things are in the trunk. I’ll get them. I only planned for a long weekend so I didn’t bring much.” Once Liz had made up her mind, she acted quickly. She pulled the small suitcase from the car along with an athletic bag. He arched an eyebrow but said nothing. “I still like to run,” she explained as she handed him the bag.

Will held the door for her and assiste Liz into the passenger seat of his car. The touch of Liz’s hand in his sent a shock through his arm and into his chest. Walking around the back of the car, Will found himself pulling hard to breathe. When he settled himself in the driver’s seat and placed the key in the ignition, Liz turned to him and said, “Even after all these years, Mr. Darcy,” her eyes sparkled, “you’re still my knight in shining armor. Life sure takes ironic twists!”

“Let’s just enjoy our time, Liz.” Will could barely speak. He often imagined her with him again; reality flooded his emotions.

“Nice car,” Liz joked, “at least, it’s better than what you used to drive.”

“It’s my grown up car,” Will smiled greatly at her. He drove the remainder of the way to the resort in silence. He knew both of them questioned the choices they had just made.

Finally, Liz whispered, “Thank you, Will.”

The dream was close enough to grasp once again. “It’s my pleasure, Liz.”

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UK Real Estate: The Twin Villages of Kingsand and Cawsand, Cornwall

FWCCROP2 Kingsand and Cawsand play a major role in the plot of my Regency romance, The First Wives’ Club, book one of the First Wives’ Trilogy. Kingsand (Cornish: Porthruw) and Cawsand are twin villages in southeast Cornwall, United Kingdom. The villages are situated on the Rame Peninsula and in the parish of Maker-with-Rame.

Until boundary changes in 1844 Kingsand was in Devon; Cawsand, however, was always in Cornwall. On the old county boundary between the two villages there is still a house called Devon Corn, which has the marker on the front of the house. The villages are popular with tourists but retain their traditional character. 220px-Devon_Corn_-_geograph.org.uk_-_150318

History
The villages are well known for their smuggling and fishing past. Although the known smuggling tunnels have been sealed up, there are still old fish cellars and boat stores to be seen along the coast.

One notable former resident was John Pollard RN. He was a midshipman (later a Commander) in the Navy who served under Nelson and is the man credited with being “Nelson’s avenger,” since it was he who shot the French sailor who killed the Admiral. Nelson himself has also been said to have visited the village and dined at The Ship Inn (now closed). Other notable residents have included Tabitha Ransome (Arthur Ransome’s daughter) and also Ann Davison who was to become the first woman to sail the Atlantic single handed in 1953 and departing from Mashfords boatyard.

Geography
Kingsand lies on the shores of Cawsand Bay, with the South West Coast Path running through the village. The village coast, as well as the coast 1 km to the east forms the Kingsand to Sandway Point SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest), which shows examples of extensive early Permian volcanicity. The South West Coast Path passes through Kingsand.

Transport
Kingsand is connected via the Rame bus link to Plymouth. The Rame bus link runs between Cremyll and goes to Plymouth via Torpoint. In Summer, the Cawsand Ferry runs a passenger service between Cawsand Beach and the Mayflower Steps in Plymouth for visitors to the Barbican. Walkers can reach the village by walking through Mount Edgcumbe Country Park.

Local Landmarks
800px-Cawsand_village_UK A key feature of the villages is the Clocktower along the seafront of Kingsand. It was erected to commemorate the coronation of King George V and the building it is attached to (locally referred to as the Institute) is used as a community hall. The Institute also contains a large cross-stitch tapestry picture of the two villages which was made by residents to commemorate the golden jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. the-clocktower-kingsand

Churches
Within the parish of Maker-with-Rame, there are three churches. The Church of St Germanus, Rame which is near Rame Head, St Andrews Church in Cawsand, and the Church of St Mary and St Julian, Maker (which is located along the road towards Cremyll). Maker is the largest of the three and is a highly visible position so it can be seen from Torpoint and Plymouth.

Beaches
There are three main beaches in the villages, which are separated by areas of rocks with interesting rockpools. Kingsand Beach is a mixture of sand and shingle which is located along The Cleave. Girt Beach is mainly shingle, but with some sand and can be found along Market Street. Cawsand Beach is mainly sand and is found along The Bound. A swimming beach known as Sandways lies a short walk out of the village across the rocks towards Fort Picklecombe.

The water quality has improved over recent years thanks to extensive sewerage works and so all beaches are safe for swimming.

Culture and Community

The Black Prince Flower Boat Procession. The procession is seen here gathering outside the Rising Sun pub in Kingsand.

The Black Prince Flower Boat Procession. The procession is seen here gathering outside the Rising Sun pub in Kingsand.

The Black Prince Procession is a Mayday custom in the villages of Millbrook, Kingsand and Cawsand. It takes place on Mayday bank holiday. The procession starts in Millbrook in the morning then moves to Kingsand and ends up on the beach at Cawsand where a model boat, The Black Prince, bedecked in flowers is floated out to sea to say goodbye to the harsh weather of Winter and welcome in the warm Summer weather. There are a few shops and five pubs that serve both drinks and food. Accommodation for visitors is usually takes the form of renting one of the cottages or staying in a B&B.

Rame Peninsula Art Community
There is thriving artist community in Kingsand and on the Rame peninsula. The Westcroft Gallery is situated in a converted boat shed, accessed through a courtyard garden just a stone’s throw from the beach in the picturesque seaside village of Kingsand. Unlike St Ives, which is notable for its light, artists are drawn to the Rame peninsula by the quality of light, the unique micro-climate and juxtaposition of dense green woodland, dramatic cliffs, local beaches and tranquillity of Kingsand and Cawsand, which have remained unchanged for many years. Kingsand Village Cornwall

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Movie Discussion ~ 1987′s Persuasion

Northanger Abbey 1987 – Movie Discussion


When we read our favorite novels, we bring our own imagination to the experience. Film adaptations, however, leave less room for interpretation. We have all, at one time or another, been disappointed in the casting, not inherently evident to us at the time, of a particular actor in a role.

There have been only two film adaptations of Northanger Abbey. I chose the one from 1987, a BBC/A&E production, because I thought many of our readers might be less familiar with it, and our blog visitors would want to add it to their studies of all things Jane Austen. 
Hopefully, our Austen Authors fans will comment on the costumes, the music and sound effects, the sites used in the film, and even some film errors (i.e., The film is set in 1794, but John Thorpe speaks of reading The Monk, which was published in 1796.). I would also love to hear your opinions of the 2007 version within this discussion. Northanger Abbey (1987) starred Katherine Schlesinger as Catherine Morland and Peter Firth (Colin’s brother) as Henry Tilney.

Published, along with Persuasion  in December 1818,Northanger Abbeytakes a satiric look at the Gothic novel. In reality, Northanger Abbeyhas never been a popular choice for modern readers, as Catherine Morland, the 17-year-old heroine, lacks the development we find in Emma Woodhouse or Elizabeth Bennet or Elinor Dashwood. Austen even says that Catherine is “in training for a heroine.” The 1987 cinematic adaptation of Austen’s novel serves as a bridge between those earlier cheaply-made Austen offerings and those of the 1990s. Although bothSense and Sensibilityand Mansfield Parkwere also released in the 1980s, they mimicked the style of the earlier works, especially lacking on location filming.Northanger Abbey(1987) was one of the first to use on-location settings effectively.
This particular adaptation takes a number of liberties with the original text, most obviously the opening scene. Austen’s novel introduces us to Catherine Morland, chronicling her short life and her lack of accomplishments. The film, however, begins with a feeling of sexual awakening in the young Catherine. The viewer sees the girl reclining on a tree limb while reading a Gothic novel. We see Catherine’s “scandalous” white stocking-clad leg. We hear the female voice over reading aloud from the book: “the horrors of that evil chamber.” Sketches from the novel show us a dead body on the stairs and a male figure carrying a supinated woman’s body. Add the eerie sound effects and choral chanting, and we make the assumption that Austen discussed these Gothic images in her book, which is not true. 

So, what else do we see in this adaptation that is not found in Austen’s novel?

* the character of the Marchioness de Thierry, General Tilney’s friend and confidant – Her back story of a husband being guillotined reminds us of Austen’s cousin’s story. The lady is the general’s source of gossip.
* a soft criticism of Ann Radcliffe and the Gothic premise for its sexual pandering – As opposed to the movie, in the novel, Austen seems more likely to be criticizing poorly “educated” readers of Mrs. Radcliffe. “The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.”
*In Austen’s novel, we only become aware of Eleanor’s attachment to a young man in the last chapter. Note in the film, upon her arrival at the Abbey, Catherine finds the message sent to Eleanor from Thomas arranging a secret meeting. “The same day at 3:00. You and I beside the unknown woman.”
*In Austen’s Northanger Abbey, Catherine visits the Tilney residence in town twice to apologize for not walking out with Henry and Eleanor. The novel includes a scene at the opera, where Catherine gushes her apologies to Henry. The film combines these visits and omits the opera scene.
*Catherine burns her copy of The Mysteries of Udolphoin the film.
*The general and the Marchioness are seen in the background at the Upper Rooms and also entering the same building when Catherine and Mrs. Allen first arrive in Bath. In the novel, the general is not mentioned until after Catherine rides out with John Thorpe.
*The Tilney brothers enjoy taking snuff together in the film.
*In the adaptation, the general encourages Catherine’s acquaintance from the beginning (assumably based on information from the Marchioness). In the novel, he only encourages Catherine’s relationship with the Tilneys after Thorpe misleads him regarding Catherine’s wealth.
*Catherine in the film is discovered in Mrs. Tilney’s room in flagrante delicto. In Austen’s novel, she leaves the room “and a shortly succeeding ray of common sense added some bitter emotions of shame.” In addition, Mrs. Tilney’s forbidden bedroom is hideous and sinister in the film, where in the novel is sports bright and modern decor (for that time period).
*The film combines the evening entertainments when Mrs. Allen and Catherine visit the Upper Rooms with their later visit to the Lower Rooms into one scene.
*The film allows the Abbey to keep the element of mystery with dark corridors, high windows, winding stairs, etc. In the novel, Catherine is disappointed by how modern the Abbey is.

*Catherine, Eleanor, and the general visit Henry at Woodston in the novel, but the film does little to establish him as a clergyman (presumably because modern audiences would not see this as a desirable occupation for a potential husband).
*In the novel, Catherine recognizes Isabella’s deviousness in the letter when Isabella begs for the return of James’s affections. In this TV version, there is no such letter.
*In the adaptation, Henry chastises Catherine by saying, “Dearest Miss Morland, has reading one silly novel unbalanced your judgment so completely?” The novel has Henry saying, “Dearest Miss Morland what ideas have you been admitting?” Henry no longer prods Catherine to think for herself in the film version.
*Austen tells the reader that Catherine has not read any Gothic novels before meeting Isabella Thorpe. “It is so odd to me, that you should never have read Udolpho before.” The film begins with Catherine’s Gothic fantasies.

*In the film, James Morland introduces Catherine to Isabella afterhe comes to Bath.
*Henry rebels against his father in a scene where the predatory-like General Tilney ironically trains a hawk. Also in this scene, the general accepts the fact that a dowry of 400 pounds per year is adequate, after all.
I am ready to hear what you think of this adaptation. Please leave your comments, and I will check in regularly to hold our discussion. Next month, we will attempt Pride and Prejudice2005.
P.S. – One might wish to check out Ashley Judd’s 1992 film Ruby in Paradise, which is considered by many as homage to Northanger Abbey
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