An Evening With Jane Austen at Godmersham Park — 18 Comments

  1. Catherine, I hope you’ll be able to educate this American. I find that the British pronounce things unexpectedly differently than we do here in the U.S. (I’m thinking along the lines of how ‘Fetherstonhaugh’ is pronounced ‘Fanshaw’.) THus, I’m expecting that Godmersham is pronounced as “Joshbill” or “Gillysmack”. Can you please tell me how one is supposed to say it?

      • That IS disappointing, in a way. Thought for sure that it couldn’t be that straight -forward. Which syllable is the accent on? God or mer?

        • It’s on “God”.

          I love the subtle pronunciation differences in English place names. My grandparents lived in the hamlet of “Lower Blidworth”, except only a non-local would have said that. Anyone that knew the area would (and still does), call it Bliderth Bottoms. Likewise the neighbouring villages of Blidworth and Rainworth are, to locals, “Bliderth and Renerth”.

          I live in Yorkshire now, a few miles from the village of Slaithwaite. Non-locals call it “Slaythwait”, whereas locals plump for “Slathwait” or “Slowwit” (“ow” sound as in “allow”).

          • Ya know, a Bliderth sounds like something a proctologist ought to remove. (It seems especially so when you combine it with the ‘Bottoms’!)

            The ‘Slowwit’ is the sort of thing I was initially thinking about. You’re missing some consonants in there, and I don’t understand how that happens. Unless you’re going to say how people slur things over time. But if that were the case, wouldn’t it just be ‘Ssssss’ by this point?

        • Our other major Austen property here in Kent is Goodnestone Park, from whence Edward’s wife Elizabeth hailed. That one obligingly has a mispronunciation for you, being said as Gunston Park!

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