Jane Austen’s Bath

jane austen center

Bath’s Jane Austen Center

© Cheryl Bolen

Cheryl wrote this for Mary Gramlich’s blog last year

It’s no coincidence that the Jane Austen Center is located in Bath, England. The city has so many associations with her. She visited there several times, so it was only natural she set two of her novels (Persuasion and Northanger Abbey) there.

Jane Austen

Jane Austen

The Georgian era in which she lived is reflected in the city’s Palladian-inspired architecture more than in any other town. Few cities in the world are graced with the uniformity of architecture that Bath has. Throughout the famed watering city, most of the graceful buildings are clad in the pale, golden Bath stone.

Architects John Wood the Elder (1704-54) and his son, John Wood the Younger (1728-1782), designed some of the city’s most prominent buildings, including the Royal Crescent, the Circus, and the Assembly Rooms. These building are well maintained in the 21st century. The Assembly Rooms look as they did when Jane Austen visited and can be toured today. The lovely townhouse at Number 1 Royal Crescent is also offered for touring.

The Romans built a city on Bath’s seven hills much as their own Rome had been built on seven hills. Like Rome, Bath is dissected by a river, the Avon. The heart of the city lies to the west of the River Avon. That is where the old Roman baths, Bath Cathedral, most shopping, the Circus, Queen Square, the Royal Crescent, and the Assembly Rooms are located. The beautiful Pulteney Bridge, built by Robert Adam in much the same style as Florence’s Ponte Vecchio, links the two parts of the city.

Bath's Pulteney Bridge, which crosses the River Avon, was designed by Robert Adam.

Bath’s Pultney Bridge, which crosses the River Avon, was designed by Robert Adam.

Visitors can easily walk the compressed city, though double-decker tour buses will provide interesting commentary.

Cheryl Bolen standing in front of Bath's Royal Crescent.

Cheryl Bolen standing in front of Bath’s Royal Crescent.

A two-time visitor to the city , I was excited to set my popular Brides of Bath series there. The latest installment is the novella, A Christmas in Bath, which brings together most of the characters of the earlier books—with a brand new love story that was hinted at in Book 2, With His Ring.

 

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14 thoughts on “Jane Austen’s Bath

  1. Thanks, Angelyn. I’m still bummed when I was there in 2013 that my main thing was to tour Number 1 Royal Crescent, and it was closed for expansion when I was there. I still haven’t gotten to tour it. So. . . gotta make myself return to Bath for a third visit.

  2. Pingback: Assembly Rooms, February 2015 » The Beau Monde

  3. One of my bosses went on a Jane Austen walking tour last year, and the pictures were so beautiful. It is officially on my own “bucket list.”

  4. Thanks for writing this article. I can see why you would set some of your books here. I have been to Canada once, but otherwise I have never been out of the united states. I do, however live vicariously through my books. lol Hope you get back to Bath again.

  5. I went to Bath in the winter of 1978 and it was mostly closed for renovations! I literally got on the next train back to London. I was so disappointed.

    • I know how you felt, Sandy. My first trip to Bath the Assembly Rooms were closed. I was not happy. The second time my number one thing to see was Number 1 Royal Crescent, and it was closed for renovations. That would never happen in July, but then there are crowds.

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