With the Port Eliot Daphne du Maurier event coming up next Saturday I can hardly contain the Daphne excitement. The books are flowing and unputdownable right now and I will be immersed in them all over the Bank Holiday.
Thanks to Justine Picardie and Countess St Germans there is to be a very special private dovegreyreader event on the Friday and there are twelve very very excited people out there who can't wait for that.
A talk on Daphne, a preview of the Daphne archive exhibition and hopefully a peek at the house which is firing my imagination from afar and all that needs much assuaging. This will be a fusion of the Endsleigh Salon group (with a few other invited guests) and Port Eliot which all seems very appropriate given the grandeur of the setting. We are very spoilt now especially after the last Endsleigh Salon gathering where we sat out on Georgiana's parterrre terrace as the sun went down over the Tamar Valley, with waiters bringing us trays of tea.
It was all a bit surreal for a book group location...at least they can't accuse me of making them slum it in the corrugated iron village hall.
The Sir Joshua Reynolds paintings at Port Eliot now a gifts in lieu in situ settlement against death duties and I'm particularly looking forward to seeing those. The Ist Lord Eliot was one of his patrons and Sir Joshua was a Plymouth resident whose good friend Angelica Kauffmann was a brilliant artist in her own right, but hardly recognised at the time because she was a woman and yes, where exactly are all the great women artists?
Well Angelica was one. Elizabeth Vigee-Le Brun was another and the Italians had plenty hiding behind closed doors. I feel all that art history stuff rising to the fore again.
Then there is the Robert Lenkiewicz mural in the Round Room.
It's history now that Bookhound and I couldn't raise the £20 to buy three Lenkiewicz originals back in the 1970's. We were newly married I was a student health visitor, Bookhound was an art student in Plymouth and Lienkiewicz used to invite them all to his studio...no it'll never catch on we decided. Follow that link for an amazing Port Eliot- Robert Lenkiewicz anecdote.
As if that wasn't enough Humphrey Repton had a hand in the Port Eliot garden landscaping as he did at Endsleigh so there will be plenty to look at on Saturday too. Even if it's tipping it down with rain have no fear, I will don my wellies and trudge out with my camera for you all.
Countess St Germans has very kindly offered a discount for tickets on Saturday May 31st to any readers of this blog. The Garden Party would be £15 (instead of £20 which also includes admission to the house and slap up cream tea) and the evening event would be £27 (usually £30 including again house tour, basement haunting, and cocktails and canapes).
Just say the magic words dovegreyreader when you book.