Happy New Year!

I hope you all had the perfect Christmas and are ready to welcome 2019 with fresh goals. Having said that, I never make any New Year resolutions for one simple reason. I always tend to break them within a week or two. (me bad)

Anyway, I did want to share two pieces of exciting news with you;

First;

Mr Darcy’s Proposal won Book Cover of the Month, December, on Sassy Brits website. (www.alternative-reads.com)

Thanks to all my wonderful friends, family, readers and followers, we managed to see off all the competition and win this Award.

However, it has now been entered for Book Cover of the Year 2018!! YAY !

I hope you will all spare a few minutes of you busy days to pop over to Sassy’s website and vote for Mr Darcy’s Proposal.

It would be amazing if a JAFF author could win this.

To be clear, I don’t get any reward for winning, only a cyber medal similar to the one above and bragging rights, but I would still love to win it.

With your help, I might just do it.

Fingers crossed.

HOW TO VOTE;

Click on this link, scroll down until you come to the very small images of all the entries with a box above them. Click on the box for Mr Darcy’s Proposal and then press vote. Simple!

https://alternative-read.com/…/03/ar_cover-of-the-year-2018/

Second;

I have been persuaded to put three of my novels into Amazon KU & KOLL., UK site and American site only.  So, if you have Amazon Prime, you can read them for free. Yes, that’s right, FOR FREE.

They are;-

     

Mr Darcy’s Struggle                  Darcy to the Rescue                    To Love Mr Darcy

 

Thank you all so much for your help and continued support.

Martine x

*≈*≈* STILL TIME TO VOTE *≈*≈*

Still plenty of time to vote. Please share and ask your friends to vote too

I don’t get anything other than a cyber badge for winning, but it would mean a lot to me.
A BIG Thank You from me to you . M xx

Hi everyone. I am so excited. The cover of one of my books, Mr Darcy’s Proposal, has been entered into the SASSY BRIT BOOKCOVER AWARD. I don’t get anything for winning, only a cyber badge, but it would mean a lot to me. I would really appreciate it if all of my friends and followers could vote for me. It’s real easy to do, just click on the link below, scroll down to the SMALL picture of my book, put a tick in the box next to it and press VOTE, simple! Again, it’s Mr Darcy’s Proposal. Thank you all so much, fingers crossed.

* ♥ * ♥ * ♥ *EXCITING NEWS!!! * ♥ * ♥ * ♥ *

 

Hello everyone.

I am so excited.

The cover of one of my books, Mr Darcy’s Proposal, has been entered into the SASSY BRIT BOOKCOVER AWARD.
I would really appreciate it if all of my friends and followers could vote for me.
It’s so easy to do. Just click on the link below, scroll down to the small pictures where you will find a box to tick, and then press vote. Simple!
Again, it’s Mr Darcy’s Proposal.
I only get the bragging rights and an electronic ‘badge’ but I would so love to win. (I know, me bad 😉 )
Thank you all so much, fingers crossed.
Martine xx

My October Travels; Nostell Priory

Nostell Priory

After a very bumpy start, and a trip to the Emergency Dept. we finally managed to set off on our short break to Doncaster in the late afternoon. (Click link if you want to know what happened, http://facebook.com/martineroberts50 )

For this trip, we were staying at a hotel we have often used in the past. But before I share a few picture of that with you, I want to tell you about where we visited.

Although it was a blustery, and sometimes wet day, we decided to go to Nostell Priory. It is a beautiful old house with flagstone floors, high ceilings and plenty of genuine antiques. The site has a history dating back to the 11th century, although it was then priory and not a house.

Now, my pictures may seem a little dark, but so is the house. The shutter and curtains are closed everywhere you go in an effort to preserve these beautiful objects, but if you want to see enhanced ones, just put Nostell Priory into your search engine. We thoroughly enjoyed our time there and would encourage anyone in the area to pay Nostell a visit. If you are a National Trust member it is free.

Nostell Priory is a Palladian house located in Nostell, near Crofton close to Wakefield, West Yorkshire, England. It dates from 1733, and was built for the Winn family on the site of a medieval priory. The Priory and its contents were given to the National Trust in 1953 by the trustees of the estate and Rowland Winn, 3rd Baron St Oswald.

The property was owned by the Gargrave family after being purchased in 1567 by Sir Thomas Gargrave, Speaker of the House of Commons from James Blount, 6th Baron Mountjoy, for £3,560.

           

The estate was purchased in 1654 by the London alderman, Sir Rowland Winn, after the owner was declared bankrupt in 1650. Construction of the present house started in 1733, and the furniture, furnishings and decorations made for the house remain in situ. The Winns were textile merchants in London, George Wynne of Gwydir was appointed Draper to Elizabeth I, his grandson, Sir George Winn was created 1st Baronet of Nostell in 1660 and the family subsequently owed its wealth to the coal under the estate, and later from leasing land in Lincolnshire for the mining of iron ore during the Industrial Revolution.

  Portrait hangs on solid stone walls

The house was built by James Paine for Sir Rowland Winn 4th Bart on the site of a 12th-century priory dedicated to Saint Oswald.  Robert Adam was commissioned to design additional wings, only one of which was completed, and complete the state rooms. Adam added a double staircase to the front of the house, and designed buildings on the estate, including the stable block.

           

On the left is an original photo of the dinning room, while on the right is one I have lightened so you can appreciate the beauty of the room.

Nostell Priory occupies 121 hectares (300 acres) of parkland. Within the grounds and gardens are lakeside walks. The main façade of the house faces east towards a grass vista. Leading to the lake on the west side of the house is the west lawn. The parkland has lakeside and woodland walks, views of the druid’s bridge and walks to the restored Obelisk Lodge through wildflower meadows. The park was purchased from Lord St Oswald by the National Trust with funding from the Heritage Lottery fund. This grant enabled the trust to acquire pictures, books, and furniture from the family.

MONASTIC HISTORY

The priory was a 12th-century Augustinian foundation, dedicated to St Oswald, supported initially by Robert de Lacy of Pontefract, and Thurstan of York. By about 1114, Aldulf, confessor to Henry I of England, was prior of a group of regular canons at Nostell.

Sir John Field, the first Copernican Astronomer of note in England, is believed to have studied at Nostell in his youth under the tutelage of Prior Alured Comwn.

As part of the Dissolution of the Monasteries, the priory was closed in 1540. After the dissolution the lands of the priory came into the possession of Sir Thomas Gargrave, a High Sheriff of Yorkshire, Speaker of the House of Commons and president of the Council of the North.

 

The sink is made out of wood! The beautiful tiers of the grand staircase.

                 

Drawing room, with one of the pictures lightened.

          

My favourite room in  any old house is the library.

What a delightful library you have at Pemberley, Mr. Darcy!” said Miss Bingley.

“It ought to be good,” he replied, “it has been the work of many generations.”

Hotel

The hotel we stayed at is The Best Western Plus, Mount Pleasant, Doncaster.

It has a mix of rooms, some standard, some executive and some luxury spa rooms. As a semi claustrophobic, we go for one of the middle rate rooms.

       

With and without the added extra of Mr R

        

First, I love this desk and chair. Would it be wrong of me to say I would love one? Secondly, I don’t usually comment on the size of a bathroom, after all they are usually functional whatever the size. But in this picture, I am standing in the double shower. Pretty big, huh!

                

You can clearly see the extra room for lugging your suitcase, but also, behind Mr R is one of a set of doors that block out any noise, even if there is a wedding reception or party going on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Corridor furniture is rustic yet functional.

One of the rooms set out for a wedding reception.

We enjoyed a lovely roast pork dinner, followed by an excellent cheese board.

Mr R with what he likes to call his Klingon cheese knife.

And after all that, we spent a quiet hour chatting in one of the private snugs, where we had our coffee and mints.

  

 

Till next time,

Martine x

 

September Giveaway Winner!

Hello everyone,

Just a quick note to say that the winner of my Subscribers September Giveaway has been chosen.

The winner is;

Michele, from Virginia.

Michele has won all these items.

The answer to the question, was Lydia.

Thank you to everyone who entered and better luck next time in the Christmas Subscribers Giveaway.

Till next time

Martine x

 

*~SUBSCRIBERS SEPTEMBER GIVEAWAY~*

Hello everyone,

In celebration of the glorious summer we have had, and as promised to all my loyal followers, it is time to do my;

                                                    Subscribers September Giveaway.

This is what is included;

 

1 x Jane Austen Pen in gift box.

 

These are really hard to get hold of. I replied to 3 email alerts before I was lucky enough to get one.

 1 x Jane Austen £2 coin.   

The coin is legal tender in the UK, but my guess is you will want to keep it. It is new and in mint condition in a protective case.

    1 x Pemberley fridge magnet.

 

1 x Mr Darcy & Elizabeth Bennet Christmas tree ornaments.

 

1 x National Trust lunch bag.

I am also throwing in a postcard from Pemberley and Rosings, (Lyme Park and Belton Woods, P & P 1995)

And for lovers of the 2005 film, I have also included a pin badge of Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen. Considering he only smiles a couple of times In the whole entire film, this is a special thing to own.

Plus, hidden in your package will also be a couple of little surprises not in the picture below, (wouldn’t be a surprise otherwise) but I know you will like them.

So, how to enter.

  1. You must be a subscriber to my site.
  2. Answer 1 easy question correctly.
  3. Email me your answer.

Simple!

So, I given the question a lot of thought and have decided to base it on one of my books I think you will have all read, (especially if you came over with me from FanFiction)

It will be from, Mr Darcy’s Proposal. Chapter 16.

Question; What did Miss Bingley find in the blanket box?

So, don’t waste any time. You have a week to get your answer to me.

Please read the T & C below. They are just the normal jargon but by entering I will take it you have read & agreed to them.

Good Luck!

Till next week,

Martine xx

 

Terms & Conditions

  • You must be a subscriber to my site. Giveaway is for subscribers only.
  • No purchase is necessary.
  • The answer MUST be correct.
  • Only ONE entry per person.
  • Only ONE giveaway bundle is on offer.
  • The answer MUST be sent to my email address. (martinejaneroberts.author@gmail.com)
  • Do not post the answer in the comment section, as this will void the giveaway.
  • Email answer must be received by midnight GMT (UK time) Friday 5th October. Any entries received after this date will not be count.
  • One subscriber will be selected at random from all the entries received by an impartial third party.
  • Winner will be notified one day after closing date by email and must confirm their address for delivery of giveaway goodies.
  • Winner must agree to their first name and county/state being published on my sites. Actual address and last name will, of course, be kept strictly private.
  • The items are non-transferable, and there are no cash alternatives to the items mentioned, either in whole or in part.
  • By entering, all eligible entrants agree to abide by each and all these terms and conditions.

 

 

 

 

MY VISIT TO WIMPOLE HALL

 

If you have read any of my previous posts, you would be right in thinking that I have a passion for our grand British buildings. The history, the architecture, the furnishings, the people and of course if there are any secrets to discover, so much the better.

Many of the grand houses around  Britain have become too costly for the families to maintain, and so are gifted to the National Trust. So I guess its no surprise either to know that I am a member of the afore mentioned NT.

Now, on my latest jaunt, I paid a visit to the magnificent Wimpole Hall, (pictured above).

I was impressed by the grand staircase, the number of superb portraits,  the silver centre piece on the dinning table, and how elegant, yet intimate the drawing room looked.

        

 

           Situated 8.1/2 miles from Cambridge, sits on the outskirts of the village of Wimpole. Although the first house was built here in 1540, the village of Wimpole is actually mentioned in the Doomsday book of 1089. At that time, there was a much smaller manor house of only 200 acres and a small deer park to the estate. Close to the great Roman Road, Ermine Street, which has been in use in one form or another for almost 2,000 years.

In 1767 the famous Landscape Architect, Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown worked on the grounds, giving it the natural look we see today. However, they have retained a small area that is still laid out as formal flower beds. I like this mix, as you get the best of both worlds.

        

Charles Bridgeman, who had formerly worked on the ground design in the 1720’s, is best known for constructing the formal grand avenue, that sweeps away from the south front of the house for almost two and a half miles.

If you look really, really hard, you may just about make out Wimpole Hall standing in the distance.

Now, of course my very favourite rooms were the library’s. Yes, not one, but two beautiful rooms full of books, from floor to ceiling.

          

On 27 October 1843, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert visited the hall. They listened to speeches by local politicians including the Earl of Hardwicke, and dinner was served for 26 people. A grand ball was held in the evening to celebrate the occasion.

On 28 October 1843, Her Majesty visited the farm in the morning before departing for London. A portrait of the young queen was commissioned in honour of this visit.

      

Now, as a person of faith, I could not help but be impressed by Wimpole Hall’s private chapel. It is quite possibly, besides the Sistine chapel which I have visited several times while in Vatican City, the best I have seen. The stunning artwork is worth a visit alone. Another unusual feature is the balcony.

I love it when you discover something you were not expecting, some little secret, and Wimpole Hall does not disappoint. Tucked away is what you could only describe an splendid plunge pool. Plunge pools were first seen in Britain with the Roman conquest, but here we have a fully tiled room with a wonderful large plunge pool. Lovely!

      

Another fashion that we see at Wimpole Hall is the growing trend for recording your artwork, hopefully by some of the old masters.  You would have an artist come into your home, and paint a picture of you sitting amongst your gathered treasures. This is exactly what we see here.

The entrance hall, grand salon, bedrooms are equally sumptuous, decorated and furnished to the highest standard of the day.

       

      

And of course, no wealthy family could have lived in their grand house without the hard working, faithful, and loyal servants that made everything run perfectly smooth. Here is a few pictures of below stairs. I have to say that I was surptised that the housekeepers room was larger than the butlers room. Girl Power maybe?

                               

Although the house has seen many owners over the years, the last family to occupy it was Captain George Bambridge and his wife Elsie, who incidentally was the daughter of Rudyard Kipling.

Elsie on her wedding day, (left) and her father, Rudyard Kipling.

 

They began renting the estate in 1932 and finally managed to purchase it in 1938 after Elsie’s father died and she came into her inheritance, along with all the royalties from his books.

They used some of the inheritance money to complete the long-needed refurbishment to the house and grounds.

The final chapter of Wimpole as an owner-occupied residence was closed in 1976 when Elsie died, leaving the property to the National Trust

It is a Grade I listed building as are several other structures and buildings on the estate.

I hope you have enjoyed sharing my tour of  Wimpole Hall, and it will inspire you to pay it a visit for yourself.

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/wimpole-estate

Till next time,

Martine x