Jane Austen Museum in Bath

Jane Austen Museum in Bath

Catching the 0740 train from Paignton, we arrived bright-eyed and ready to embrace all that Bath had to offer (at least where Jane Austen is concerned … we weren’t very interested in seeing the Roman Baths!).

After purchasing a very nice, easy to follow street map, we headed into the heart of the town, climbing the hills up to where The Jane Austen Centre at 40 Gay Street (just up the hill from the house Jane and her family once rented when they stayed in Bath). This museum is WONDERFUL! The tour starts with a costumed docent explaining a bit of biographical info about Jane – especially explaining her immediate family members (6 brothers, 1 sister and her parents) and her relations with each. Then, after a brief overview of her career and her time in Bath, we were free to explore the exhibits downstairs on our own.

Northanger Abbey, Austen's first but not published until after her death, is based in Bath,

Northanger Abbey, Austen’s first but not published until after her death, is based in Bath,


An interesting fact that the docent mentioned was that in Northanger Abbey, Austen’s first novel but not published until after her death, Austen really liked Bath. She and her family had visited and had a great visit. By the time she wrote Persuasion, however, her “take” on Bath had changed dramatically; she felt all the Bath-ites were hypocritical and just interested in who could do what for whom!

The exhibits are very interesting and include lots of Jane quotes … as well as a sample of the “Jane Austen” 10-pound note that will be in circulation in early 2017. I love the quote they have used on the note’s design: “I declare there is no enjoyment like reading”

Letter from Emma Thompson during the shooting of "Sense  and Sensibility"

Letter from Emma Thompson during the shooting of “Sense
and Sensibility”

A facsimile of a letter that Emma Thompson wrote when in Bath for shooting scenes for Sense and Sensibility is quite fun to read. Emma Thompson, who directed as well as starred in the Golden Globe-winning version of Austen’s novel, merits Austen and the film project with helping her battle her clinical depression.

Then it was fun playing dress-up (I think I look like Mr. Toad dressing up as the Washerwoman in Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride) but we had fun. We also got to try our hand at writing with real quill pens and ink!

Playing dress-up with a life-size replica of Jane

Playing dress-up with a life-size replica of Jane


Concentrating HARD on writing a note with a quill pen ... left-handed.

Concentrating HARD on writing a note with a quill pen … left-handed.


Maggie and Captain Wentworth

Maggie and Captain Wentworth


Alan Rickman ... just cuz ....

Alan Rickman … just cuz ….

We then putzed around a bit … walking up to the Crescent and taking some photos … and then heading back downhill, window-shopping and enjoying the time chatting about Austen and her books and which was our favorite, etc. A memorable day wandering the rabbit-warren of streets.


Next up … a post about our day in Oxford and raising a (half-a)pint to the Inklings


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