Lovely Day in George Eliot Country
Sharing George Eliot With a Local Reading Group
A Day Spent in George Eliot Country
Today has been a great opportunity for Viv, Pam and me to enjoy showing some members of a Coventry Reading Group some of the delights of George Eliot Country - and we can do it for other groups if they contact us.
All the group members were long term readers of Eliot, but wanted to reconnect with some of the local places so close to Coventry. We met at Griff House where coffee was taken in the snug, the area of the building which Mary Anne would have known, and across whose flagstone floor she would have walked, and we talked about her early life in this building - her home until she was 21.
We then walked round to the back of the building to see the original half timbered Warwickshire farm house and also the outbuildings which the Fellowship hopes to transform into a George Eliot Visitor Centre. The photograph shows the group in front of that crumbling building, soon to be attracting Eliot fans from all over the world, we hope.
After that we went back to the restaurant where we all enjoyed an excellent meal in the bar area and at about 2.30 we set off for Astley, where the church and the castle never cease to delight. George Eliot called the area Knebley and uses it in Mr Gilfil's Love Story. Two workmen were already in the church doing restoration work on the church organ. We all sat in the chancel and there read bits of George Eliot to each other - a delightful choice from Middlemarch (chosen for three excerpts), Silas Marner, Mr Gilfil and The Mill on the Floss.
After admiring the wonderfully refurbished and restored Astley castle we headed for the magical delights of Astley Book Farm - only a mile away, where we looked at tempting books to buy, but mostly settled for a cup of tea outside and some of the magnificent cake they serve there - always accompanied by fresh fruit and cream. The pictures tell it all.
Published on 07 August 2013