When I first began researching Lady of Milkweed Manor, I had never been to the UK. Through Web sites and old maps, I chose Doddington (Kent) as my character’s birthplace—charmed by what I’d read about the place and how relatively unchanged it seemed. The old vicarage, however, had fallen out of church use by then and into private ownership. Even if I visited Doddington someday, I reasoned, I could do no more than look upon its exterior and try to imagine its rooms and what it might have been like to live there.
Two years later, when the book was finished and I learned it would be published, I decided I could finally justify my long desire to travel to England to see the places I’d written about. How serendipitous to discover that the Old Vicarage had just become a bed and breakfast! I could barely believe I would be able to stay in “Charlotte’s childhood home.” Nick and Claire Finley were wonderful hosts, and our stay with them was a highlight of our trip.
Photos of Doddington, Kent: Charlotte’s home
Additional Photos from Research for Lady of Milkweed Manor
Photos of London: Location of “Milkweed Manor”
Photos of the final residence and grave of Jane Austen