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Highbury, the large and populous village, almost amounting to a town, to which Hartfield, in spite of its separate lawn, and shrubberies, and name, did really belong, afforded her no equals. The Woodhouses were first in consequence there. All looked up to them. – Emma, Jane Austen, Ch 1

Read my review at this link

Market Day in Chilham

Market Day in Chilham

Village of Chilham: The new adaptation of Emma 2009 starring Romola Garai, uses the village of Chilham as the setting of Highbury. Click on this link to Kent Online to see a short film clip of this picturesque village.

Filming in Chilham Square

Filming in Chilham Square

Squerryes Court was chosen to represent the Woodhouse’s home, Hartfield. The manor house was built in 1681 and has gone through extensive changes.  I visited the house during my trip to England in the mid-90’s. The guidebook states: “In the early 18th century, three pavilions to the house were built between the house and the lake. They contained the kitchens, larders, pantries, staff quarters and brew house. The distance from the kitchen to the dining-room was about ninety yards.” The pavilions were then pulled down, and wings were built at each end of the house for domestic quarters. After World War II, these wings were demolished, and the house was restored to its original form.”

Jonny and Romola in the drawing room of Squerryes Court

Jonny and Romola in the drawing room of Squerryes Court

BBC’s Press Office: “The esteemed and impressive cast also includes Michael Gambon (Cranford, Gosford Park) as Emma’s affectionate, neurotic father who unusually allows her to be mistress of their household; Jonny Lee Miller (Byron, Eli Stone, Trainspotting) as Mr Knightley, Emma’s shrewd and attractive neighbour, whose strength of character is in sharp contrast to her father; Jodhi May (Einstein And Eddington, Friends And Crocodiles) as Miss Taylor, Emma’s former governess who marries the good-humoured Mr Weston played by Robert Bathurst (Cold Feet, White Teeth, My Dad’s The Prime Minister); and Tamsin Greig (The Diary Of Anne Frank, Green Wing) as the incessantly chatty, well-meaning Miss Bates whose poverty draws the pity and goodwill of all of Highbury.

Squerryes Court as Hartfield

Squerryes Court as Hartfield

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pollReading Twitter, some people are turned off by the modern approach to Emma 2009. Curious minds want to know what you thought of the first installment of this new Jane Austen novel adaptation with Romola Garai, Jonny Lee Miller and Michael Gambon. These are your choices:  a yawner, meh, loved it, and will have to wait and see. If you would like to share your thoughts, please leave a comment. Do you love the new film? Do you like it? Or are you sitting on the fence, waiting to see how the series will develop? Here’s my review of the film.

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