My first notion of Brighton Beach came from my readings of Pride and Prejudice. It was first mentioned when Lydia was telling Elizabeth how they should go to this seaside resort to meet the officers who were stationed there. Later on Brighton became the source of a major plot twist when Lydia visits it with some friends. The frivolity and unguardedness of Brighten overcomes Lydia and she finds herself in a very scandalous elopement with Mr. Wickham. Being an avid (ok totally obsessed) Jane Austin Fan, I couldn’t help but be instantaneously intrigued by this infamous regency era beach.
While circumstances at Brighton might not have been ideal in the novel, the excitement and merriment this town generated in the minds of young Bennett girls always captured my attention. I was therefore extremely keen to go visit the seaport village that has been beloved and enjoyed throughout history by so many real life wanders and fictional characters alike!
I enjoyed my visit. It was a lovely day to see the shore and take a stroll on its pebbled beach. The town itself is quite eclectic. The streets are filled with rows and rows of interesting shops and cafes. ( I think I had my first savory pie from a pie shop in Brighton now that I think about it.) You can buy all sorts of arts and crafts and clever things that you didn’t know you needed. And the streets themselves are uniquely flavored by the colorful and intricate trails of intentional graffiti. The grand old hotels give off an interesting air that issues an echo of the city’s previous glory and grandeur. The peers themselves are cheerfully painted white and blue and turquoise and every so often there is a fanciful merry-go-rounds that would make even Mary Poppins jealous.
The place was whimsical and fun and everything I would expect from an English Seaside resort. I did however, miss the crowds of hansom young officers promised to be there in the pages of Pride and Prejudice.