After telling you all about how much time I spent selecting the main setting for BEWITCHED, I don’t want to withold from you the first glimpse of Rawdon Park. Here it comes:
Finally the day had come that saw her in the Earl of Rawdon’s chaise-and-four, sent for by Sebastian. The middle seat had been drawn out to seat three — one of the Benthams’ maids was to accompany them while Sebastian himself rode alongside the coach. And so Amy sat huddled between Isabella’s writing desk and several small and large parcels which somehow had found their way into the chaise at the very last minute. Happily, Amy pressed her nose against the glass to admire the landscape outside, while Isabella sat, looking sourly. They stopped for the night at an inn in Cambridge. Not even the fact that Amy had to share a bed with Isabella, who was probably pining after Lord Munthorpe and his sheep, could dim her excitement about the following day. For then they left the Great North Road and entered the marshes and moors of the Fens. Mist hovered over the flat land, clung to the clusters of trees and bushes, and enshrouded the windmills which pumped the drainage from the land into larger canals.
“Dear heavens, what sort of place is this?” Isabella muttered. “I swear it all looks the same. Haven’t we passed this spot before? I daresay, we wouldn’t even know when we are lost!”
“Nonsense,” Amy said briskly. “Mr. Stapleton and Lord Rawdon’s driver must know the way perfectly. I am sure we will reach Rawdon Park in no time at all.”
And indeed, shortly after midday, they passed through a gate, rattled down a driveway, and behind a gently curving hill red-bricked Rawdon Park rose out of the mist. Dozens of chimneys emitted puffs of smoke, and several windows, mellowly lit, offered a warm welcome.