Friday, December 14, 2007

Regency Bath - Part I

I promised you some blogs on my visit to Jane Austen's Bath last month. In reality Jane Austen's Bath is a little earlier than the Regency. Both her visit to Bath as a young woman, after which she wrote Northanger Abbey, and the period during which she lived in Bath 1804 - 1806 were in advance of the time during which Prinny was Prince Regent in 1811.

Given that at this time of year, mornings and early evenings are gloomy in England, we set off about nine-thirty so as to have good light, and less traffic. We decided to take the A36 since it joins the A303 from Andover in Hampshire which is a nice quiet road out of that runs past Stonehenge. We are now in Wiltshire on the magnificent expanse of Salisbury Plain. Nothing quiet like Stonehenge in the pale light of a winter's day to set the imagination wheeling back in time, I can tell you.

Mother and I reminisced about bygone family picnics, the stones as our backrest, on our annual trips to the coast. There was a real sense of human history to those moments. We were saddened to think that these days, because people cannot be trusted to respect such ancient monuments, there is a fence between the henge and the visitor. However, as a side note, if you want to have that tactile connection to the past I highly recommend the Avebury henge, but only if you promise to be kind to these stone warriors of time. But more about that on another occasion.

Our journey took about an hour and a half and we enjoyed some magnificent countryside, the open vistas of Salisbury Plains, and the rolling hills of Somerset, the county in which Bath is located. Bath sits on the River Avon. As we drove down the hill via what would have been the approach to Bath from London in the old days, the wonderful bath-stone terraced houses clung to the hillside opposite. Mother, who had not been to Bath before was impressed. A major achievement, if I may so so. lol. This image gives you a sense of it, but is from Wiki, since driving and photographing do not make a good combination.

Our route took us past the Jane Austen Center, through Queens Square and to our final destination, alack not a Regency house, but a Victorian B & B.

Once we settled into our digs, which would make a story in itself, including me pinching my finger in mother's wheelchair, we began our rambles. And I look forward to telling you all about them and sharing my photos next time. I believe long blogs tend to lose the interest of readers, so I prefer to give you smaller chunks. But I am happy to taken any feedback on this format.

And don't forget, if you enjoy a quick read with characters set in Regency times, my short story, Christmas Masquerade is now in e-book format for the low price of $1.60 and for those who like to settle beside the fire with a long story, No Regrets is in a store near you. Ok so shameless self-promotion, but if I don't do it, who will.

Until Monday and Regency Bath- Part II, Happy rambles.