Our Speaker: Rosemary Alexander-Jones
Chatsworth: The Permanent Pemberley
Rosemary Alexander-Jones is a third-year part-time PhD student working with Dr Emma Pett at the University of York in the Department of Film, Theatre, Television and Interactive Media. Her PhD focusses on the use of historic buildings in fiction and heritage films and the effect of filming on the visitor experience. She is also a filmmaker and alongside making promotional films for the History of Art Department at the University of Warwick, her recent VR/360 film ‘Mission to the Stars’ was officially selected for the 360 Film Festival in Paris.
Chatsworth Estate has appeared in 3 recent films (The Wolfman (2010, Joe Johnston), The Duchess (2008, Saul Dibb), Pride & Prejudice (2005, Joe Wright)) and in the BBC TV series Death Comes to Pemberley (2013, Daniel Percival), but out of the four Chatsworth only publicises its connection to Pride & Prejudice. Not only does it hold an annual ‘Pride and Prejudice Regency Ball’ each summer, it also has large sections in the gift shops to do with its Austen connection, and offers a Jane Austen style photoshoot for weddings. I will explore how this mixture of storytelling has affected Chatsworth and the visitor experience, considering why and how Chatsworth puts less emphasis on film tourism and instead focusses on literary tourism when its link to Austen is tenuous at best. I will explore how different visitors experience different types of authentic experience within the same space, and how some experiences are validated and encouraged when others are dissuaded. This paper investigates what impact this has had for the multiple narratives surrounding Chatsworth as it attempts to remain relevant and prosperous today, even if that means taking on the name of the fictional Pemberley to engage with a younger demographic.