The Story The story begins with Celia -- a young American woman, recently married to an English baronet who has feelings of deja vu when she visits certain places. After a disturbing incident with her new husband, she is cast into a physical state in which she relives a previous existence in 16th Century England. In her past life, the character of Celia had worked as a tavern maid at the Spread Eagle in Midhurst. The hotel brochure said the hotel had been around since the 15th century. There was no World Wide Web to check things easily in ! Another view of the Spread Eagle The hotel itself was wonderful.
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The Story The story begins with Celia -- a young American woman, recently married to an English baronet who has feelings of deja vu when she visits certain places. After a disturbing incident with her new husband, she is cast into a physical state in which she relives a previous existence in 16th Century England.
In her past life, the character of Celia had worked as a tavern maid at the Spread Eagle in Midhurst. The hotel brochure said the hotel had been around since the 15th century.
There was no World Wide Web to check things easily in ! Another view of the Spread Eagle The hotel itself was wonderful. They say they have been serving travelers as a coaching inn since and I can believe it. We had a room on the top floor in the oldest part of the hotel, with a low beamed ceiling and casement windows looking out over a bank of roses. We had breakfast in the restaurant, which has an immense fireplace and what I think were some sort of puddings hanging from the ceiling.
Nigel Sadler has written a detailed history and description of Cowdray House and if you are interested in the place, his website is well worth a visit. Cowdray House from atop the walls There are numerous other places from the novel that you can visit, but Ightham Mote , the final home of the medieval Celia, is probably the most intriguiging.
It is a medieval moated manor house, now owned by the National Trust. Ightham Mote does indeed have a ghost story -- the body of a woman discovered in a walled up room--just as the story is presented in Green Darkness.
The woman is thought to have been Dame Dorothy Selby whose misdirected warning letter alerted Parliament to the Gunpowder Plot. I did not get to visit Ightham Mote when I was there, but it makes a good excuse for another trip to the area.
As if I needed one! All in all, the short time I spent in Midhurst was one of the unexpected highlights from my first trip to England; I definitely intend to visit again!
Following the Trail of Anya Seton's Green Darkness
Plot summary[ edit ] In the s, young Celia Marsdon is a rich American heiress who, upon her marriage to English aristocrat Richard Marsdon, goes to live at an ancestral manor in Sussex , England. Shortly afterward, strange things begin to occur — Richard begins acting out of character, and Celia starts to have strange fits and visions. The troubles of the present time can only be solved by revisiting a tragedy from the past. The book then moves back in time to the reign of Edward VI , as lovely young Celia de Bohun and her guardian aunt take up residence with the noble Catholic family of Anthony Browne as "poor relations. She is headstrong and impulsive; innocent but coquettish; and can easily attract male attention. She creates a scandal when she becomes infatuated with the family chaplain, Stephen Marsdon, who in turn desires Celia but does not want to break his vow of chastity. They are forced to part, but never forget each other.
Richard Marsdon marries a young American woman named Celia, brings her to live at his English estate, and all seems to be going well. But now Richard has become withdrawn, and Celia is constantly haunted by a vague dread. When she Rating: 3 stars out of five, but only because I still love the memory The Publisher Says: This unforgettable story of undying love combines mysticism, suspense, mystery, and romance into a web of good and evil that stretches from 16th-century England to the present day. When she suffers a breakdown and wavers between life and death, a wise doctor realizes that only by forcing Celia to relive her past can he enable her to escape her illness. Celia travels back years in time to her past life as a beautiful but doomed servant. Through her eyes, we see the England of the Tudors, torn by religious strife, and experience all the pageantry, lustiness, and cruelty of the age.