|A page of Celia's diary noting the beginning of her Northern Journey (Wiles, 2012)|
No cars, no busses, no trains, sometimes no roads. No electricity, no 4G wireless, no Wi-Fi hot spots, probably no map (she would have hired guides), and none of the modern conveniences that we all take for granted nowadays. I never get tired of reading Celia's diary. In this digital age where selfies are all the rage, I wonder how much of the experience is lost when viewed through a camera lens or on a phone screen as one whizzes through a town or flits from one monument to the next. Hardly anyone keeps a journal any more. Yes, there are blogs (hello!) but one big zap from a power surge like, oh say, Betelgeuse going supernova will wipe out the servers and the blogs will be lost forever. So will the entire solar system, but that's another post for another day.
|Burghley House, 'eminent for its Curiosity', built between 1555 and 1587. It had just been remodeled in the modern style by the Fifth Earl when Celia visited in 1697.|
|Celia included a description of her family's seat, Broughton Castle, in Oxfordshire (Wiles, 2012)|
|Broughton Castle, as it looked 273 years after Celia's death (Wiles, 2012)|
|Audley End, built between 1603 and 1616. If Celia's figures are to be believed, at the time of her visit there were 3 courts, 30 towers, a cupola, and 750 rooms. (Wiles, 2005)|
|The Chapel at Chatsworth. Celia noted it as being 'very lofty...and supported by 4 large pillars of black marble two at the alter 2 just at the bottom to support the gallery for the Duke and Duchess to sitt in' (Wiles, 2012)|
I will be celebrating Celia's birthday in a part of the country that's new to me and I hope I'll be able to take the time to notice things the way she did. Who knows, maybe my travel journals will be found 300 years from now and used to compare what is then to what was now. Better take good notes, then. I might even attempt a sketch or two.
Happy Birthday, Celia!