Commonplace Quotations: Forgotten Rooms

By oldenglishrose - Last updated: Wednesday, October 12, 2011 - Save & Share - 2 Comments

Now, no beauty blushed and dimpled along the sides of the Cranford Assembly Room; no handsome artist won hearts by his bow, chapeau bras in hand; the old room was dingy, the salmon-coloured paint had faded into a drab; great pieces of plaster had chipped off from the white wreaths and festoons on its walls; but still a mouldy odour of aristocracy lingered about the place, and a dusty recollection of the days that were gone made Miss Matty and Mrs. Forrester bridle up as they entered, and walk mincingly up the room, as if there were a number of genteel observers, instead of two little boys with a stick of toffy between them with which to beguile the time.

- Cranfordby Elizabeth Gaskell 

When I was reading Cranford today, I came across this lovely passage and was instantly put in mind of our wedding day (as if I need an excuse).  Our reception was held in the old Winchester Assembly Rooms which have just such salmon walls and plaster moulding and the same slightly sad air of faded grandeur that Gaskell describes.  Unless someone told you about this place you would never even know it was there, so it felt wonderful to revive the place with some proper dancing (though probably much less decorous than any Jane Austen would have witnessed if ever she visited) and laughter, if only for a night.

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2 Responses to “Commonplace Quotations: Forgotten Rooms”

Comment from jennygirl
Time October 16, 2011 at 3:07 am

You look quite lovely in your gown and what serendipity in reading that passage. Enjoy your book :)

Comment from oldenglishrose
Time October 17, 2011 at 12:23 pm

Thank you! It was a magical day and the perfect setting just topped everything off.

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