Category Archives: Bath

Cardinal virtues

Of James, one of the family’s servants:

“James is the delight of our lives . . . He waits extremely well, is attentive, handy, quick, & quiet, and in short has a great many more than all the cardinal virtues (for the cardinal virtues in themselves have been so often possessed that they are no longer worth having)–& amongst the rest, that of wishing to go to Bath.”

letter to Cassandra, from Lyme
September 14, 1804 [39]

Check out Arti’s pics from Bath.  Wanting to visit Bath is indeed a virtue. 😉


Filed under Bath, Letters, Morality

A time for everything

“My dear Catherine, I am afraid you are growing quite a fine lady. . . . Your head runs too much upon Bath; but there is a time for
everything — a time for balls and plays, and a time for work. You have had a long run of amusement, and now you must try to be useful.”

More sensible advice from Catherine’s mother
Northanger Abbey, volume 2, chapter 15

Today I am going to try to be useful.  😉


Filed under Balls, Bath, Catherine Morland, Contentment (or not), Mrs. Morland, Northanger Abbey

More stupid parties in Bath

“We are to have a tiny party here tonight; I hate tiny parties–they force one into constant exertion.”

letter to Cassandra
May 21, 1801 [37]

A (not very good) picture of the outside of Paragon Buildings, where Jane was staying with her Aunt and Uncle when she wrote this letter.  (If you look closely, you can see the building name etched in the stone.)

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Filed under Bath, Letters, Parties

An evening in Bath

“Another stupid party last night; perhaps if larger they might be less intolerable, but here there were only just enough to make one card table, with six people to look over, & talk nonsense to each other.”

letter to Cassandra
May 13, 1801 [36]

I have a feeling this is one of the reasons Jane disliked Bath, all the social engagements, with intolerable people talking nonsense to each other.

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Filed under Bath, Letters, Parties

A view of Bath

Forgive my absence the last few days.  It was due to what I think was food poisoning, or maybe the stomach flu.  Ugh.  Wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

Thoughts of Bath in any weather are a comfort to me, though I know it wasn’t always so for Jane:

“The first veiw [sic] of Bath in fine weather does not answer my expectations; I think I see more distinctly thro’ Rain.–The Sun was got behind everything, and the appearance of the place from the top of Kingsdown, was all vapour, shadow, smoke & confusion.”

letter to Cassandra
May 5, 1801 [35]

This was written just after Jane arrived in Bath with her mom, as the family was moving there after her father retired.  Tradition is that Jane fainted when she heard of the move, and was not very happy in Bath.

This pic of the Roman Baths is from my trip in July of 2005.

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Filed under Bath, Letters

Seeking adventure abroad

“If adventures will not befall a young lady in her own village, she must seek them abroad.”

Northanger Abbey, volume 1, chapter 1

I had read this quote attributed to Austen, but couldn’t find it anywhere.  I was thrilled the other day, re-reading Northanger Abbey, to find that it’s said of Mrs. Allen’s inviting young Catherine Morland to Bath.

The new ITV adaptation, which has already aired in Britain, will run on Masterpiece Theatre here in the US this fall.  It’s not gotten great reviews, but I’m hoping if nothing else it will introduce Austen fans to this great, fun little novel, which I’m afraid is sometimes overlooked in all the Darcy mania.

(I can’t get the page to load, but evidently there’s a preview here.)

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Filed under Adventure, Bath, Catherine Morland, Northanger Abbey, Travel