Jane Austen’s Bath


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I know her through my sister. My sister took English literature back in university and she used to bring home classic English novels to dwell on as part of her assignments. She never told me much about the story she was reading, but I, being me, always took a peek on them. That was how my first encounter with Jane Austen took place. At that time, I was not impressed with her writings. I found the story was too complicated and boring. But, back then, probably it was because of my poor English.

Last year, during a dinner in her house, Noriko-san suggested me to watch a movie based on Jane Austen’s novel, Pride and Prejudice, which she loved very much. Despite not being a big fan of her, I enjoyed the movie a lot with my husband. Maybe because we could relate to the moral of the story. Maybe because Collin Firth and Keyra Knightley were such a good actor and actress.

When we visited England last month, we made a detour from Bristol to Bath. Bath is a scenic city on a hill, characterized by the distinctive Georgian architecture.

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It was so wonderful how the big part of the city was preserved for hundreds of year. Upon arrival on that afternoon, we went to the Royal Crescent. A classic architectural beauty, home to the Bath elites.

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Bath is also the only place where hot spring can be found in England. The Roman really enjoyed the hot spring and built a Roman-style public bath, which exists until today. Unfortunately we could not make it there. We arrived late and the place had closed for tourists.

The good news is, we made it to the Jane Austen Center. Jane Austen spent some time of her life in Bath and had a great time there. This center is a museum dedicated to her works and life. Being late for the museum, we just browsed the shop filled with memorabilia of her. I might not read many of her novels, but I sure was interested in foods of her era. So I bought the so called Cooking with Jane Austen and Friends book.

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Then we walked around a bit more, admiring the architectural beauty of the city in the rain. I must say that we were quite surprised by how the people acted like rain was nothing.They kept their walking pace, soaked but did not seem to feel cold, not many bothered to wear an umbrella. I wonder how Jane Austen would explain it to me, if I ever had a chance to ask her.

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