Love’s Portrait – A Walking Tour

3. Museum Square

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Our next stop, nestled next to the museum, was the beautiful Museum Square, inspiration for the ‘Museum Square’ in Love’s Portrait.

It is this square that Georgina Wright looks out onto from the long windows of her father’s home and first sees Molly, sitting on her favourite bench. Georgina could not have imagined that she was in fact looking at the person who would be the love of her life.

An extract from chapter two –

Leaving the frustrations of her meeting behind, she [Molly] headed to her sanctuary, a small public garden next to the museum. Aptly named Museum Square, the simply designed patch of civic ground was bordered on two sides by parked cars. A collection of benches placed around the inside edge of the square separated the grass from wide borders. A diagonal path, broken up by tree roots, stretched across, splitting halfway along to encircle a large horse chestnut tree. This tree marked the seasons, signalling the changing patterns of the year. In winter, bare and stark against white skies, the tree seemed to shrink, huddled with those brave or crazy enough to stop awhile and sit. In spring, tentative buds relaxed in the welcome return of the first rays of sunshine. In summer, students rested against its weathered waist reading their books, cool in the shade of branches laden with the soft flutter of green leaves. And in autumn, the debris of crushed conkers bashed free from its branches, littering the ground with evidence of battles won and lost and of time passing as the empty husks curled and browned.

4. The fictional ‘George Wright’s House’

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The fictional Regency period home of George Wright was inspired by the Regency era buildings along New Walk, built in the 1820’s. In 1840, Love’s Portrait’s William Wright purchases the home that would remain in the Wright family for generations and become the cherished setting for the blossoming love of Molly and Georgina.

An extract from chapter two –

Molly stepped inside, utterly overwhelmed by the building she had admired from afar. “Wow.” She had always wondered what lay beyond its formal black door. She had daydreamed of Regency grandeur, imagining a long tiled hallway with corniced ceilings and ornate plaster mouldings. Perhaps a heavy hall mirror would hang on a brass chain against the wall, casting the light and one’s gaze along the hallway to the bottom of the stairs, to the fine spindles and curl of the banister. And in one captivated glance, Molly realized that her imagination had been outdone by the imposing beauty of George Wright’s home. The octagon pattern of black and white tiles made Molly want to skip from one to the other. The tall ceilings made her dizzy, and the elegant staircase with its low wide steps begged her to dance up and down them.

The history of the house rushed at Molly to greet her. Was this how Josephine would have felt every time she walked through the door? Did her heart skip a beat? Did she dance on the steps with Edith, perhaps? Or had Josephine’s marriage changed everything, and they’d simply moved on from each other as time ceaselessly moved on with the future its only destination.

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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