Sunday, June 26, 2011

Places in Jane Shaw: Binic and Northmead

Jane Shaw had a habit of changing the names of places that her characters visited. Binic in Brittany was renamed St. Clos (Susan's Kind Heart), St. Brioc (Breton Adventure & The Moochers Abroad) and Kerdic (Twopence Coloured). However, after looking up the atlas and being unable to find these places, the sharp-eyed reader could identify it in the dedication to Twopence Coloured (For Katherine, Remembering Binic). In New House at Northmead, set in Kent, the girls visit two stately homes: Claire and Falconhurst. These are not real names, but the places are not so hard to identify. Claire (pictured above) is really Knole, a huge 16th century palace not far from Sevenoaks. Falconhurst (below) is really Penshurst Place, which is near Tunbridge Wells. It is not difficult to understand how Lynette became an English history enthusiast so quickly.