Jane Austen Locations Tour of Bath
Jane Austen in Bath – By Location
Pers = Persuasion, N.Ab = Northanger Abbey
The Paragon – No1 Jane Austen's aunt and uncle lived here. Jane first visits Bath and stays with them Nov 1797. After this visit Jane began draft Northanger Abbey.
Pump Room – first visit with uncle for his gout – common in those days. N.Ab: What a delightful place Bath is," said Mrs. Allen as they sat down near the great clock, after parading the room till they were tired. Clock still there.
Cheap St – John Thorpe and James Morland N.Ab. N.Ab: difficulties of crossing Cheap Street by Union Passage. Busy + main road between London/Oxford.
Union Passage - N.Ab: Isabella + Catherine pursue 2 men who have been watching them.
Milsom St – Molland's Pastry Shop (No2)– Pers: Anne Elliot sees Captain Wentworth while she is sheltering from the rain. Austen says their marzipan is delicious. Also, Tilneys' residence N.Ab. Thorpes lodged in Edgar buildings. Bath circulating library (see livery above shop front on E side) - probably visited. Main shopping st then (pricey).
Walcot St – after seeking out what you wanted in Milsom St you would buy at cheaper Walcot St.
Queen Squ – Stayed No13 1799 for 6 weeks with brother Edward Austen Knight (adopted by Knights) and his family. Letters: I like our situation...and the prospect from the window is rather picturesque. Also, a little black kitten runs about the staircase. Considered old fashioned by time Persuasion written (ish). No trees when originally constructed – open view of north range.
Camden Crescent (Place then) – Sir Walter Elliot + Anne liver here – Pers:
Then physical elevation correlated with social standing = richer lived higher. Ironic that Austen places them here. Elliots have moved to Bath away from their country seat because Sir Walter's finances aren't good. Rents his house out and moves to Bath to an address that has Greensand (i.e. unstable foundations) - like the physical location of their house is a metaphor for their financial situation – some of the houses fell when constructed. Deidre Le Fay scholar assumes Austen has the grandest house in mind for their residence (one with pediment) as narrator says: their house was undoubtedly the best in Camden Place.
Stall Street – haberdashers that was on site of where Primark is now (building demolished). Where Austen's aunt is accused of stealing lace – punishable by transportation then. Imprisoned Ilchester instead – her husband goes to live with her in prison where they are treated well by gaoler. He has them in his home instead. Some think the shop-lifting could have taken place at what is now Ecco shoes on the other side of the street.
White Harte Inn (demolished)– principle inn of city - on site of where Holland & Barrett is now. Mentioned Pers – Musgroves stay here
Bath St Colonnades - Anne/Frederick walk along 1990s film Pers.
Westgate Buildings – Mrs Smith lives here – Pers: unable even to afford herself the comfort of a servant. Sir Walter criticises Anne for wanting to visit and reveals snobbery of period; where you live equivalent to social standing. Penultimate scene Capt. Harville and Anne discus different ways men/women love – leads to letter from Capt. Wentworth to Anne reuniting couple.
Gravel Walk - Anne/Capt. Wentworth walk here Pers: There they exchanged again those feelings and those promises which had once before seemed to secure everything, but which had been followed by so many, many years of division and estrangement. There they returned again into the past, more exquisitely happy, perhaps, in their re-union, than when it had been first projected; more tender, more tried, more fixed in a knowledge of each other’s character, truth, and attachment; more equal to act, more justified in acting.
Hetling Pump Room (Hot Bath St) – Jane's older bro Edward takes water. Also, electric shock treatment.
Gay St. - Jane Austen Centre. Crofts in Pers. live on Gay St and Wentworth visits them there. Austens lived here – see notes further down.
St Swithuns Church - Mr/Mrs Austen married here. Mr Austen buried.
Upper Assembly Rooms - Catherine Morland N.Ab. goes to these on her first unsuccessful entrance into society. Jane mentions them 1801 letter: I dressed as well as I could, and had all my finery much admired at home. By nine o'clock my uncle, aunt and I entered the rooms. Before tea it was rather a dull affair, but then the before tea did not last long. Facade much changed. Also bombed WW2 and rebuilt.
Roman Baths – Georgian society dictated people had to be in the baths by 8am and they travelled usually by Sedan.
Royal Crescent – Rev Dr Edward Cooper and wife Jane (Austen's uncle and aunt) lived at 12. Took one of first houses available. No evidence se visited but seems unlikely that she did not visit her much loved cousins.
N.Ab: they hastened away to the Crescent to breathe the fresh air of better company.
Great Pulteney St – N.Ab: Allens live here: they were soon settled in comfortable lodgings in Pulteney St. Mr + Mrs Allen are heroine Catherine Morland's chaperones. Pers: Lady Russell and Anne walking down G. P. St when Anne spots Capt. Wentworth and is concerned by how L.R. might react.
N.Ab: Catherine is in a carriage going along G.P.St with Mr Thorpe, sees Miss Tilney and her brother and is annoyed that Mr Thorpe had told her they had left town on Lansdown Road. He does this so that she will go with him to Clifton and he whips his horse so that they speed up and she is unable to catch their eye properly to explain what has happened.
Sydney Gardens – a Vauxhall – paid entry fee via Sydney Hotel. Letter: It would be very pleasant to be near Sydney Gardens; we might go into the labyrinth every day. Labyrinth, carriage drive, pub, concerts, public breakfasts, canal (1796) Letter: There is to be a grand gala on Tuesday evening in Sydney Gardens, a concert, with illuminations and fireworks. To the latter Elizabeth and I look forward with pleasure, and even the concert will have more than its usual charm for me, as the gardens are large enough for me to get pretty well beyond the reach of its sound.
Laura Place – Lady Dalrymple lives here Pers: Our cousins in Laura Place. Jane's father wanted to live here and even Jane came to like the idea of living here.
Beechen Cliff – N.Ab: Catherine Morland/Henry and Eleanor Tilney walk here for the view of the city. Catherine is not impressed (but it is impressive)!
Lower Assembly Rooms – colonnades of the entrance visible from Parade Gardens – Catherine Morland/Mr Tilney meet at these on N.Ab. No longer exist.
Lansdown Cresc. - Mr Elliot (Anne's cousin) dines here in Pers.
Residences/lodgings in order: 1797 stays with aunt/uncle at 1 The Paragon. 1799 stays with brother at 13 Queen Squ, 1801 moves to 4 Sydney Pl with parents (cost £150 per annum), 1804 3 Green Park Buildings (demolished), father dies and moves to 1805 25 Gay St (does not write here – lack of privacy – only 2 rooms, then Trim St (rough end of town)!
Austen positions characters whom she likes in humble dwellings i.e. Mrs Smith – Westgate Buildings, Capt. Harville, cottage by the Cobb. Perhaps also reveals which buildings she feels most at home with – cottages + small country houses vs Palladian mansions often inhabited by the nouveau riche.
Social standing revealed through physical place (address) in Georgian and Regency England.
All Austen novels mention Bath. 2 set in Bath: Persuasion and Northanger Abbey.
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