Saturday Snapshot February 22: Austen Doors and Windows

Continuing with the theme of doors and windows, let’s hop over to the UNESCO city of Bath. I was there twice. These are a few photos I took on those trips.

The beloved author Jane Austen lived there from 1801 – 1806 after her family moved from her birthplace Steventon when she was 26. Their first address was 4 Sydney Place:

4 Sydney PlaceNo 4 Sydney PlaceIn their last year in Bath the family moved to 25 Gay Street:

25 Gay Street

25 Gay Street

Down the road to No. 40 is the Jane Austen Centre:

40 Gay Street Jane Austen Centre

The Great Pump Room was a social hub in Austen’s day. Her observations there must have inspired her satirical descriptions of high society in Northanger Abbey. Now an elegant restaurant:

The Pump Room Entrance

Austen used Bath as the setting for her novel Persuasion. Milsom Street was a vibrant commercial area of shops and businesses in those days as in now. The first time Anne Eliot saw Captain Wentworth again was when he passed by a shop on Milsom Street.

Milsom StreetMilsom Streetscape  Here’s a modern day shop window, Milsom & Son, a music store:

Milsom & Son

No, Jane would not have stepped in there to shop for CD’s or DVD’s. But she would likely have gone into this place, Sally Lunn Bun, the oldest building in Bath dating back to 1482 and a business that was present in Jane’s time. There’s a Kitchen Museum in the basement of the restaurant:

Sally Lunn's Bun

Sally Lunn Bun entrance

How can I resist showing you what’s inside the door and window:

Sally Lunn Bun

You might like to explore more of Bath in my other posts Jane Austen’s Bath and Bath’s Persuasion in which I recorded my walking tour using the novel Persuasion as a guidebook.

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Melinda of West Metro Mommy Reads. Click Here to see what others have posted.

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Published by

Arti

If she’s not birding by the Pond, Arti’s likely watching a movie, reading, or writing a review. Bylines in Asian American Press, Vague Visages, Curator Magazine.

37 thoughts on “Saturday Snapshot February 22: Austen Doors and Windows”

  1. Beautiful photos. My husband and I visited Bath on a day trip, so we didn’t get to see everything the beautiful town has to offer. If we’re able to go back one of these days, I plan to read plenty of Jane Austen before we do.

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  2. I’ll have to check out your other posts, Arti. Over the summer I read a book called “A Jane Austen Daydream” which is a fantasy on her life. It was written by a local author, Scott Southard, who is a big Austen fan and while I had a bit of trouble with it now and then, I found it strangely captivating by the end. It is set in her various places of residence so it is especially fun to see your photos as I recall the book. This is truly an area I hope to visit one day. So enjoyed this one!

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    1. Jeanie,

      Please do when you have time. If you’ve read Persuasion, you’ll find it a useful guide book for a walking tour. Thanks for intro. me to this book by SS. Sounds like a wonderful read. The title is enticing enough. I’m particularly curious about it cause it’s written by a male writer. Must check it out. 😉

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  3. You know I’m a great fan of doors and windows, and this is an especially nice and meaningful selection.

    I knew that Jane Austen would show up here again, and I’ve been saving this quotation I came across from our beloved Mark Twain. Every time I read it again I just laugh. It’s from an 1898 letter to Joseph Twichell.

    “I haven’t any right to criticise books, and I don’t do it except when I hate them. I often want to criticise Jane Austen, but her books madden me so that I can’t conceal my frenzy from the reader; and therefore I have to stop every time I begin. Everytime I read ‘Pride and Prejudice’ I want to dig her up and beat her over the skull with her own shin-bone.”

    I’m not sure exactly what in her writing gets him so exercised. One day, I might go exploring. In the meantime, I’ll just enjoy your posts!

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    1. Linda,

      Yes, Linda, you’re right. Mark Twain was a famous opponent of JA. But I tend to look more to the league of her admires including: A. S. Byatt, E. M. Forster, C. S. Lewis, W. Somerset Maugham, Eudora Welty, Virginia Woolf… to name just a few. My post Why We Read Jane Austen shares some of their views, and I’ve a special post on Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own, in praise of Austen. As for me personally, knowing that Austen finished the first draft of Pride & Prejudice (First Impressions) before age 21, and finished those of Sense & Sensibility as well as Northanger Abbey by age 24 is nothing short of prodigious genius. Whenever I reread her works, I’m amazed all over again. 😉

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      1. I’m certainly not criticizing Austen. I just get tickled when I run into these little humorous sidelights to literary history. After all – what could be funnier than the thought that Twain was prejudiced about “Pride and Prejudice”? 😉

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  4. Looks like you had some great weather. Bath is such a lovely city. Very pleased that my sister has just moved there, as now I have a good excuse to visit.

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    1. Ginny,

      The first time I was there was the winter of 2007. And it was very cold and windy. That is just wonderful to have your sister moving there. How cool is that! You can visit often and have a place to stay too. 😉

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  5. Persuasion is my favorite Austin novel … seeing Bath was a dream come true for me.My husband was not terribly impressed, but I loved walking the streets and touring up around the Crescent … what gorgeous facades to the buildings and all the doors and front windows are just lovely! The old Roman baths were interesting also …

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    1. Susan,

      The architecture sure is magnificent, the Crescent especially. I have more photos and more detailed write-ups on my other posts if you’re interested, just click on the links in this post. And yes, I’d say Persuasion is tied with P & P as my faves. 😉

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  6. I love Bath. My parents used to take us every autumn half-term because my mother liked to do her Christmas shopping there (we joke that we’re going to sprinkle her ashes over the thresholds of some of her favourite shops). I’ve had several holidays since – it is such an elegant and appealing city. Lovely photos!

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    1. Litlove,

      I must revisit England… I love that country. It’s been a few years now since my last visit. How wonderful that you have fond childhood memories of visiting Bath. I was there during the Christmas season in 2007, and had browsed through the Christmas bazaar, despite the cold wind. Simply dream-like now thinking about it.

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  7. Being a Jane Austen fan I am very jealous as I have not yet got around to visiting Bath but thankfully I have managed to get to many of other Austen related places. My favourite place is Chawton. Love the blog.

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    1. Chris,

      Welcome! Yes, Chawton is on my list of places I must see. Since you’re right there in the UK, your chances of visiting Bath is way better than my revisiting from western Canada. You have a wonderful country. I’d love to go back and stay longer when I have the chance. Hope to hear from you again! (just curious, are you a Downton Abbey fan?) 😉

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        1. Chris,

          You might be interested to read the Downton recap I just posted today (Feb. 24). For us North Americans, last night was the Finale of Season 4, the London Season. Curious about your thoughts on the episode(s). 😉

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  8. Such a fascinating post. Great to see Bath. I’ve read Jane Austen’s Bath novels, but never been able to visit. I hope to peer at those doors and windows myself one day.

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    1. Louise,

      I’m sure you’ll enjoy that beautiful city. You might like to click on the links to my other Bath posts for more photos… the architecture, river, streets capes, and yes, the Roman Bath… 😉

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  9. Very cool. Do people actually live in any of Jane’s former houses or are they all museums at this point? And if people do live in any of them, how cool would that be?

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    1. Stefanie,

      Yes, when I was there, 25 Gay Street was a dentist office. I think 4 Sydney Place is occupied too, not a museum. Bath is real cool, even the cobble streets are historical… Jane Austen had walked on them too.

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  10. Having just finished reading Northanger Abbey, I’m delighting in this post, Arti. I wonder if the Pump Room looked anything like it was portrayed in the film adaptation of Persuasion (Ciaran Hinds, Amanda Root).

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