Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Wandering Wednesday: Bath, England

By Carolyn Miller @CarolynMAuthor


As a major fan of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer, it was inevitable that on a trip to England to visit my sister that I would have to visit Bath, in Somerset. No longer would I have to be the ‘poor relation’ looking on with envy as others posted their scenic shots of places I was meant to be, places I knew so well from such novels as Persuasion, Northanger Abbey, Bath Tangle and a more recent Christian novel Prelude to a Lord. Now it was my turn to walk the streets (not run, as Anne Elliot did in the 2007 film of Persuasion!) and soak up the atmosphere of a city founded by the Romans in the first century AD.

Unsurprisingly for a city named Bath there are…Roman Baths. This iconic bathing complex is based on hot springs, and is a must visit for any tourist. According to UNESCO, the Temple of Sulis Minerva and the baths are some of the most important Roman remains north of the Alps, with the associated waters considered to hold health-giving properties, which led to it becoming England’s premier Spa town of the Georgian period.

Today, you can visit the Baths, see the Roman remains, or, if you’re like me with something of an Austen addiction, ‘take the waters’ at the Pump Room, where the famous pump delivers the slightly sour tasting water for your improved health, and where numbers of characters of various books have visited. Of course, I had to take my characters there in my new Regency novel Winning Miss Winthrop, both to experience the waters and the gossip associated with this fashionable venue of the 1800s.
Nearby is the magnificent Bath Abbey, founded in the 7th Century as a Benedictine monastery, which owes a lot of its current splendour to major restoration work in the mid-1800s. This Grade 1 listed building is a wonderful example of Gothic architecture, and is noted for its breath-taking fan vaulting and stained glass. Definitely worth a visit.







Of course, a trip to Bath means a visit to the Jane Austen centre, where one can learn more about this illustrious author, take a tour, try on Regency attire, and even take tea with Mr. Darcy (!). This is a fabulous place to conduct research, such as examining Regency-era concert programs, complete with descriptions of Galas of music and Grand Illuminations (fireworks) of new devices and decorations - in other words, a Regency author's dream.





Walking up Gay Street takes you past a glory of Georgian architecture, before The Circus (a street enclosing a round park) takes us to the Upper Assembly Rooms, where elegant society would assemble and mingle and perhaps engage in matchmaking. These rooms consist of the Ballroom, Octagonal room, tea rooms, and card rooms, and were the site of dances, concerts and lectures, and the site of many dramatic scenes for Austen heroines. I used these elegant 18th Century rooms for a number of pivotal scenes for Miss Winthrop – including a masquerade!





Not far away is another of the iconic scenes of Bath – the Royal Crescent, a row of 30 terraced houses in a semicircle, and one of the most fabulous examples of Georgian architecture in Britain, and a prestige address with its views over the park opposite.



Bath is built in the valley of the River Avon, with many steep streets and rows of terraced houses lining the surrounding hills, all designed for aesthetic appeal by illustrious 18th century builders. A walk along the river takes you across the beautiful Pulteney bridge and up another hill to Sydney Gardens. This is another location mentioned in Austen and Heyer novels, and a place any true Austen aficionado should visit – and Austen-inspired authors should use. So, of course I had to set several scenes here, especially as the many trees and paths make it perfect for secret rendezvous.

Bath is well worth a visit even if you’re not a history buff or a great fan of Austen’s literature. It is one place (of many!) I’d love to return to, and spend longer time, soaking in the atmosphere of this beautiful, evocative city.

Giveaway


Carolyn Miller is giving away an print copy or ebook copy (winner's choice) of Winning Miss Winthrop. To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment on this post and/or ICFW's March New Releases post on March 19. Receive two entries in the drawing by commenting on both posts. I'll draw a winner from the comments on Saturday, March 24.  

Carolyn Miller lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. Together with her husband she has pastored a church for ten years, and worked part-time as a public high school English and Learning and Support teacher. A longtime lover of romance, especially that of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer’s Regency era, Carolyn holds a BA in English Literature, and loves drawing readers into fictional worlds that show the truth of God’s grace in our lives. Her Regency novels include The Elusive Miss Ellison, The Captivating Lady Charlotte, and The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey, all available from Amazon, Book Depository, Koorong, etc 

Connect with her: website | facebook | pinterest | twitter

47 comments:

  1. I was able to visit Bath about 10 years ago and really enjoyed this article!

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  2. What a beautiful trip! Glad you got to experience it. Can't wait to read Winning Miss Winthrop!

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  3. Makes me really want to visit Bath. And soon! Thanks for the great post and pictures. Can’t wait to read the book.

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  4. I can't wait to read this book! Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

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  5. My email is Meganleigh844@gmail.com

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  6. Awesome! Glad you had the chance to enjoy this trip. Thanks for sharing

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  7. I loved Bath when I visited couple years ago!

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  8. Carolyn, thank you for sharing your adventure in Bath. These photos are amazing!

    psalm103and138atgmaildotcom

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  9. I love reading Jane Austen's books and have read several of Georgette Heyer's also. You are fortunate to be able to visit Bath. Each time I re-read Persuasion and Northanger Abbey, I use Google maps street view to find all of the Austen locations. I am greatly looking forward to reading your new book and will be "walking" up and down the streets of Bath as I read it.

    nina4sm at gmail dot com

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  10. Thanks for sharing your photos. I appreciate the chance to do some armchair traveling!
    Blessings to you and congratulations on your new book.
    Connie
    cps1950(at)gmail(dot)com

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  11. My husband and I visited Bath with relatives, one of whom is married to an Englishman, in the 1990s. I remember the Roman baths in particular, but my memory is foggy on what else we saw. Therefore, I especially enjoyed seeing your photos and reading the descriptions. I'd love to read Winning Miss Winthrop; thank you for making a copy available!

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  12. I think that's a dream vacation for any JA fan! It must have been wonderful to be there. The photos are beautiful! I would love to win a print copy of Winning Miss Winthrop to add to my CM collection. Thanks for the opportunity~ duhpaynes[at]gmail[dot]com

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  13. Bath is one of my top 5 destinations to visit. Thank you for offering a beautiful glimpse into that world! ...I LOVE your books!! <3

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  14. I only recently learned that the city was named after the Roman baths!

    Phyllis Pullan

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  15. I have loved the series so far and am looking forward to reading 'Winning Miss Winthrop'!

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  16. I loved seeing all the photos and reading your comments about each of these locations in Bath. What a wonderful post. Thank you for the chance to win a copy of your new book.

    debbiewilder (at) comcast (dot) net

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  17. You have written an interesting travel blog. I was in bath in c1980 and remember some of the things you've written about. Reading your book would take me back there too. Love the cover.

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  18. Yes, Bath is a jewel of a place. I loved their costume museum and the baths (of course). I haven't yet read your third book but plan to do that sometime. One of the few romance authors I can read.

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  19. I can’t wait to visit Bath, England. Sounds like you had an incredible time!!

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  20. England is on my bucket list! Thanks for sharing your trip with us!

    colorvibrant at gmail dot com

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  21. Thank you for sharing your trip with us. As one person commented, I have visited Bath but my memory is a little foggy about it. It was late in the day so I think we only got to see tha cathedral. Guess I better go back! Would love to win the book. Thanks for the opportunity.

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  23. What lovely pictures! :) I can't WAIT to read and review this one! :)

    Hugs, Amada (pronounced: a.m.a.th.a)
    amada_chavezATyahooDOTcom

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  24. I love that you said you walked, instead of running like Anne Elliot in Persuasion. Ha! The movie got that very wrong; a lady would have never done that back then. Hopefully, I'll win a copy of Winning Miss Winthrop so I can enjoy it and write a review on Amazon. Thank you for the opportunity!

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  25. Oh, Bath, how I long to see you! and tea with Mr Darcy?? Sign me up! Your trip sounds delicious. We visited Europe in fall and went down to Brighton but we just didn't have enough time for Bath (or Pemberley or the Lake District). I guess this means another trip to England!
    arletta(DOT)boulton(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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  26. Thanks for sharing the information on Bath which I plan to visit this summer. The photos are lovely
    Jwisley(at) aol(dot) com

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  27. I love that so much history remains despite the hundreds of years that have passed. Thanks for the mini-tour! I hope to see all of it in person someday!

    mylittlebirdiebooks (at) gmail (dot) com

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  28. What a fascinating article, Carolyn! I've never been to Bath, but I've been to parts of England. We went to Lyme Park which was used for Pemberley in the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice. We had a picnic on the spot where Mr. Darcy meets Elizabeth after he emerges from his swim in the pond. Such fun! I definitely need to go back and explore some more.

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  29. So many of us only visit places like Bath through wonderful stories like yours. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful trip with us.

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  30. thanks for your giveaway-I enjoyed the pictures

    tiramisu392 (at) yahoo.com

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  31. My sisters visited Bath and saw the very same places in many of Jane Austin's books. So cool!
    Thanks for sharing!

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  32. Love the pictures of Bath & would be thrilled if I ever get to visit there! Can't wait to read this book. Carolyn's book covers are so gorgeous!

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  33. What a wonderful trip. I have read so many books that speak about Bath. Your pictures have helped to bring that place into perspective. Thank you!

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  34. Thanks for sharing your trip and pictures. Love your books.
    Carol Smith
    penelope223 (at) yahoo(dot)com

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  35. I love Bath!! So glad you got to visit. Your pictures are great and I would love to read your new book. I grew up on Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer--never tire of them.

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  36. I really enjoy historical romance and especially ones located in England and would love to win a copy of your new book.

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  37. My one short visit to Bath was with a non-Austenite husband and two pre-school children. We did visit the Roman Baths, but that was about all (our motto in travelling with pre-schoolers was that we preferred only to visit sites over 500 years old. If they'd lasted that long, they were sturdy enough to handle our energetic tykes).

    I'd love to visit again, although I did enjoy my virtual visits through your post today, and through the pages of the wonderful Winning Miss Winthrop!

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  38. I would love to visit Bath and the area surrounding it. Unfortunately, due to health reasons, I can no longer travel overseas. Thanks for letting me visit this area through you.
    Janet E.
    von1janet(at)gmail(dot)com

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  39. What an awesome “mini” vacation this morning! Thank you. Did you indeed dress up and have tea with Mr. Darcy?
    I have thoroughly enjoyed your books and have my calendar marked for your newest series. ❤️

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  40. What beautiful pictures you included. Love seeing the period costumes! Thank you for the chance to win!!!

    dianemestrella at gmail dot com

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  41. Your trip to Bath, England sounds like it was amazing! What a wonderful time you must have had, and what a wealth of knowledge you must have learned! My interest was particularly spiked with your visit to the Jane Austen Centre.....trying on Regency attire and even taking tea with Mr. Darcy...it must have been splendid!! :) Thanks for sharing your grand adventures and for the opportunity of this giveaway! I can't wait to read 'Winning Miss Winthrop'!! ~Alison Boss

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    1. My email is: nj(dot)bossman(at)gmail(dot)com

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  42. I would love to make a visov to Bath someday! It sounds amazing! Thanks for the opportunity to win your book!

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  43. I'm glad you got to visit Bath, England. I love to go to England and see all the sights, including the Jane Austen centre and other places related to her novels. Thanks for the giveaway.

    chanelamonroe(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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  44. Wow! Thank you so much everyone for commenting and sharing this post - I really appreciate your support! If you want to know more about Bath or Winning Miss Winthrop be sure to check out my website (www.carolynmillerauthor.com) and come to the Facebook launch party for Winning Miss Winthrop this week 😊 A big congratulations to Debbie Wilder, the winner of the giveaway. I so hope you enjoy!

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  45. We visited Bath as a side trip during our first visit to England several years ago. I knew nothing about Bath (at the time I was more interested in Stonehenge), but when we arrived, I really wished we had planned to spend more time there. Your article makes me feel that even stronger. Perhaps next time I'll be a more informed visitor! Thanks for this wonderful look inside Bath's history and its literary connections.

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