10/29/15

Thursday Thought: Cornish Connections!

Another wonderful connection that has come from my book tour of Cornwall in July! Last week there was a comment on my website from Thomas Angear. His sisters went to school with my sisters in Liskeard! They played field hockey for Cornwall on the team my sister Pat captained. I spoke on Skype today with Pat in England (she will be 93 in a few days). She showed me her copy of that issue of The Cornish Times and she remembers the Angear sisters!

Here is Thomas’ message:

“My sister in Liskeard, Susan Trundle, sent me the article in The Cornish Times (October 2, 2015) about your book and your Cornish heritage.  We have a lot in common? I was born in Looe in 1936 to a family of builders, carpenters and Dissenting Ministers originating in East Cornwall in the early 17 hundreds.

“I had one term at Liskeard Grammar School before moving to another grammar school in the Midlands with my parents. This was followed by three years in the Army as an Instructor with the Brigade of Gurkhas in Malaya and Hong Kong.  This service also required four years in the Territorial Army as an officer with the South Staffordshire Regiment. My business career encompassed six years with Lever Brothers(1963-1969),  Warner Lambert, management consulting, and finally running my own M&A business for 25 years which I sold in 2000.

“Your sister Pat may remember my Aunt (Violet Mabel Angear) and my cousin, (Mary Angear)who were contemporaries at Liskeard Grammar. I remember Mary – who married Harry Bonson, Mayor of Looe – telling me about a schoolfriend who went to Girton!! Both Violet and Mary played hockey for the school and for Cornwall.

“From one Cousin Jack to another!”

09/10/15

Thursday Thought: Once a Priory, now a Grand House

Port Eliot

Port Eliot

Edward Eliot, my protagonist in The Miner & the Viscount, inherited the great estate of Port Eliot, near St. Germans in Cornwall. This is one wing of the house, with the imposing main entrance wing to the right. The wing at the left at one point housed servants but now is where the estate offices are located.

 Here the Earl of St. Germans, the present owner, is showing me around the house.
Art collection

Art collection

He is enormously knowledgeable about the accomplishments of his famous ancestors. There is a fabulous collection of paintings, including 14 by the great English portraitist Sir Joshua Reynolds.

Chapter 57 in The Miner & the Viscount tells the delightful story of a visit by Reynolds to his friends the Eliots, who were among his earliest patrons. Reynolds and Edward Eliot tell stories of their travels, Edward’s still youthful mother flirts with the artist charmingly, and Edward’s wife Catherine does her best to pry from Reynolds the secrets of his technique and his earnings.
St. Germanus Church

St. Germanus Church

To the right of the house was the church of St. Germanus, once the cathedral of Cornwall. Port Eliot was originally a priory until Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries and sold it to a layman supporter. It was eventually bought by the Eliot family, who over the centuries improved it for family use.

Round Room

Round Room

  This is part of the spectacular 40 foot diameter Round Room at Port Eliot. It was designed by Sir John Soane the great 18th century architect and interior designer. The contemporary “Riddle Mural” was painted over several years by Robert Lenkiewicz from nearby Plymouth, but not finished when he died.