"If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris ... then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast." Ernest Hemingway

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Greetings from Bath - Jane Austen is taking over my blog today!

Thanks to Sally Quilford for giving me the idea of having a guest blogger today in honour of her birthday celebrations. You see, she is taking a day off from her blog, handing it over to a guest writer, so she invited everyone who heard about it to do the same. Being such a follower, I thought, great idea Sally! So today I'm inviting guest blogger, Jane Austen, to publish her thoughts on Bath. Over to Jane:

It's great to have the time to write a few words to you, my dear readers. I've been so engaged with the doings of the servants and have just seen to the sending off of one to the prison hulks in London. I believe a likely result for his stealing food from the kitchens of ourselves and our goodly neighbours will be a rather long voyage to...where was that again? Oh, Van Dieman's Land, Botany Bay, that convict colony somewhere at the bottom of the Earth! Yes, I did hear something about such a quaint idea of getting rid of the light-fingered classes.

But I digress. To begin, I think it is a truth universally acknowledged that the reader in possession of a good book gains further pleasure from knowing where the author lived and found inspiration. To this end, I wish to acquaint you with Bath, which you will find mentioned more than once in my writings.

4 Sydney Place, Bath.

Myself, I've been quite busy lately with the move to Bath accompaning my dear parents and sister. We are comfortably settled into our lodgings in 4 Sydney Place, but, in truth, I am deeply unhappy here. I anticipate an imprisonment myself of many months.

I have visited Bath before today, twice, to be precise - in '97 and '98, when I was scarcely in my 20s. I found Bath tolerable both times, but to me Bath is a city to visit, not to live in. Why, you may ask?

The Abbey

Dear reader, Bath as a city is beautiful, with unequalled Georgian architectural style and a comely setting. As you know, it is the principal health and holiday resort in England,  second only to London in importance. But in a city so elegant, there is an incessant social whirl. I confess I find the endless dances, concerts, taking the waters, taking tea and parties such a trial.

The Roman Baths

 I so miss my life in the country. I console myself that I am here for my dear father's health and therefore must show fortitude in the many days, months, years, that lie ahead. This cannot stop my irritation when each morning we receive another invitation for another tedious party. Here I am forced to endure nonsense conversation with scarcely any wit. This is my lot. For myself, I cannot look around me without finding an occasion to laugh out loud, but my countenance must appear serene at all times. Thank God for the fan!

Tea at the Pump Room

My personality will not allow me to fall into the vapours, however. I find I have no other choice but to use my time wisely. At night I must endure the social rounds, but the mornings belong to me. I find my writing is blossoming with such endless material gleaned each night. I am currently working on a main character, Anne Elliot, who will share my dislike of Bath and will become a worthy mouthpiece for me and my prejudices. I am thinking of calling it Persuasion. In it I will include Lyme Regis where we have holidayed. Such a lively town and quite close by. 

Lyme Regis

With my busy social life and my care of my father, I fear Persuasion will languish for many years before I lay my quill aside.

The Royal Crescent

So, dear readers, be patient with me. If not for socialising in Bath, I should be able to write so much more, but on the other hand, Bath has given me so much to burlesque. My mother and my sister Cassandra have discussed with me our future, and we have settled on Chawton in Hampshire after daddy leaves this world. Such a delightful home will allow me to spend endless quiet days writing at leisure in between reviving walks in the countryside. I have three novels to be finished and edited, Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, and Northanger Abbey and I have hopes of writing at least three more, including one I will call Persuasion. 

Occasionally, I dance

Until next post,
I remain,
Yours sincerely,



  1. I've learned so much and even more from JA's perspective. It must have taken you time to prepare this because it's so well done.


  2. Exquisite, very well done. I agree with Clarissa, this must have took some time. :D
    Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  3. Dearest, your writing is exquisite and I pray you will find the time to do more.

  4. What a wonderful tour of Bath. I must thank Jane for showing us around. I do hope she will find time to write and not have handle anymore light-fingered servants.

  5. Absolutely fantastic! I too have learned so much more about Jane's life. Well done on your first outstanding Blog Takeover post, L'Aussie!

  6. Hi,

    Hee hee, brilliant!

    Bath is on my home patch Somerset so know it well. Oh, and I have a lovely leather bound copy of complete works of Jane Austen - the etchings within quite beautiful, but that's another story!

    How could you miss out on posting image of The Royal Crescent. ;)

  7. Oh dear Ms Austen!

    I only wish that you find solace in your fortitude as you endure the social whirl that is prevalent in Bath. May your writing quill be forever scratching at your parchment for the sake of Persuasion!

    The book club that bears your name awaits with breathless anticipation!

    Take care

  8. Antonia, long time no see! Glad you liked it..:)

    Clarissa: Glad you learned a little something. I've been working on some JA research for awhile for an speculative article. Thanks for popping by..:)

    Jules: Thank you Jules..:)

    Piedmont Writer: Thank you dearest for you comments and yes, I do hope to get some more writing done now that this dastardly blog post is done with..:)

    PamelaJo: Glad you enjoyed the Batharic tour and for coming by..:)

    Quillers: Thank you. High praise! Just finished reading yours. Most enjoyable..:)

    Francine: Wicked woman, of course the Royal Crescent was there. What doltish dame would not include that glorious Victorian pile!! My hee hee now..:)

    Old Kitty: Scratch! Scratch! This wretched pen. I do so wish something simpler was forthcoming to put words on paper. Perhaps in a future time there will be easier means, which means future writers will have no excuse for paltry outcomes.

    And my dear, what I have written hardly supports a book club. What an astounding idea. I really must dust off some of my older scribblings and approach my publisher, but, dearie me, is it difficult to get a book published these days!

    Will it ever be so??

  9. Goodness Jane, I never knew you had such a hard life. All those social get-togethers do sound an awful trial. Take some more of that water, my dear!

  10. Lovely to finally meet you Jane, and thank you for telling us so much about Bath.

  11. What pray, is all this talk of Victorian pile? I am of mind to think you are in jest, Victoria Park more carpet than grass!

    First stone of Royal Crescent glorious City of Bath laid in 1767 and by 1775 a monumental structure of such beauty people would daily promenade its length from end to end. It is true its golden hue doth frame the park. It is said the infamous dandy Beau Brummell often spied strutting peacock fashion back and forth.

    Oh but such merriment did occur in the year 1830. Would you believe it Princess Victoria came to open the park, and no more than slip of eleven years old was she. Can you believe a mere child should love the Georgian architecture so, the city fathers' felt compelled to honour her and impart her name upon [adjoined to] The Royal Crescent.

    Oh fiddlesticks, the rumour hereabouts the little madam of mind to abandon Bath, and to take the waters wherever her name more prevelant. Who would have thought the sun to never set upon her name, the world encumbered by Victoria this and Victoria that, peoples constant rminded of England's longest living monarch: Queen Victoria.
    Just love history: full stop!
    And you did a really great job with your blogging visitor!

  12. Joanne, you've no idea how tedious it is to get trussed up night after night to listen to such inane banter..:)

    Debs, it is my pleasure dear lady..:)

    Francine: Yah, love history! Thanks for the lesson. Better 'n google! I adore the Royal Crescent and can just imagine it in Queen Vic's time. Lucky you to be from there! I've only spent a day and long to get back again..:)

  13. Lovely post and images. Thanks for this.

    All the best, Boonsong

  14. Oh, how nice for Jane to come say hi! I really enjoyed that and she's right - Bath is a gorgeous city.

  15. Boonsong: Thank you..:)

    Talli: Glad you enjoyed it..:)

  16. Very clever AND educational! I wish I could go to Bath, it's such a beautiful city.

  17. notesfromnadir: thanks. I'm sure you'll get there one day. It feels like a trip back in time..:)

  18. What a fun idea and a great post to read!


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