Love’s Portrait – A Walking Tour

Love's Portrait

Inspiration From Real-life.

At the beginning of February, before a virus changed our world, my good friend and beta reader, Kay, conceived a Love’s Portrait walking tour. Her aim was to seek out the real-life locations in the historic city of Leicester that inspired the fictional settings and scenes of Love’s Portrait

We had a wonderful day, absorbed in those moments where reality and fiction blur, and I am excited to share highlights of our tour with you here. 

So put on your virtual walking shoes and follow us, as we take a tour of the landscape of my imagination.

The landscape of my imagination.

1. The Belmont Hotel

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We began at the historic Belmont Hotel, where the fictional Georgina Wright bravely confronts her estranged mother, Lydia Wright. Lydia has been sitting in the conservatory (to the right of the building) hoping that her daughter might just meet with her, if only for the sake of Georgina’s new love, Molly.

An extract from chapter thirty-two –

The lights from the Belmont Hotel’s conservatory illuminated the promenade in blocks of gaudy yellow light that cast the moon in eerie contrast, stark and haunting, white-grey in the dark winter sky. The Belmont Hotel had a faded Victorian grandeur to it which lent a mood of formality tempered by the soft easing of age.

Georgina climbed the short run of steps shaded at their top by a small stone portico. She hesitated at the door, holding it just open. The warm air from the hotel’s reception blew perfumed against her cheeks.

2. The fictional ‘City Museum’

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We then strolled along the Regency walkway, New Walk. We called in at the New Walk Museum, the inspiration for Molly Goode’s workplace, the City Museum. The City Museum, along with George Wright’s home (below), provides the setting for many of the key moments in Love’s Portrait. It is where Molly first meets Georgina, and where they discover together the intriguing inscription hidden away in Josephine Brancaster’s portrait ‘All my love always, Edith.’ It is this inscription that sparks the beginning of a narrative fuelled with unexpected and poignant revelations.

An extract from chapter eight –

Georgina looked past Molly to the sweep of the stairs that curved away above their heads. “It’s a grand building, isn’t it?”

“Yes, definitely. It’s early Victorian in origin, built in 1836, so it also has that late Regency neoclassical feel to it which I love. The entrance porch is just amazing, isn’t it, with those imposing columns. Fran reliably informed me on my first day that the porch is a pedimented portico.”

“Impressive.”

“Yep. The architect was that chap Hansom, who was of course responsible for the Hansom cab.”

Georgina fell into step beside Molly. “Yes, I think my father mentioned something about that once.”

Molly followed Georgina’s gaze as she stared up to the ceiling with its ornate gold leaf mouldings framing the features of the arched glass roof. Molly paused halfway up the stairs. “It started its life as a school, would you believe, and became a museum in 1849. It is without question a public building built to inspire an obedient awe.”

One thought on “Love’s Portrait – A Walking Tour

  1. Brilliant outing Anna and it all really brought the book more alive than ever. Thank you

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