“The Bathing was so delightful this morning & Molly so pressing with me to enjoy myself that I believe I staid in rather too long, as since the middle of the day I have felt unreasonably tired. I shall be more careful another time, & shall not bathe tomorrow, as I had before intended.”
letter to Cassandra, from Lyme
September 14, 1804 
I love that feeling of having swum in the ocean for too long. I always wondered what a bathing machine was, which Jane would have used when she swam. It sounds like quite a contraption, but actually it was just a little cart to keep people from seeing you in your bathing clothes. More info on Wikipedia.
3 Responses to Delightful bathing
All those bathing machines must have blocked the view of the beach! The men bathed and swam in a separate area from the women, since many folks during the Regency preferred to swim as nature intended them to: in their birthday suits! I wonder – did Jane?
I also love that exhausted chilled feeling that comes from time spent in the ocean (for me, it is the Pacific Ocean at Santa Cruz). In my mind, the most intriguing aspect of this ‘quote of the day’ is not the Jane quote itself but rather reading of the freaky bathing machine on Wikipedia. Too weird! Thank you, Lori, for sharing this bit of history. It helps to put Jane’s books in clearer perspective, culturally.
I can’t imagine Jane swimming in her birthday suit!