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So…yesterday we had to pretend  that Lady Russell was a great dancer and enjoyed spending winter evenings at the Ball-Room at the Upper Rooms. It was fun though….I do hope you agree.

Today, we do not have to pretend for we know that she attended a concert at the Upper Rooms in Persuasion,and so would have visited the Tea Room which was where the subscription concerts were held. But before we get there we should really take a look at the Card Room or Great Octagon as it was known which separates the Ball Room from the Tea Room.

In the film of  Persuasion (1995) written by Nick Drear, this ,below, the Small Octagon or Octagon Anti-chamber, was where the Elliot’s stood waiting for Lady Dalrymple and her daughter and where Anne had the unexpected opportunity of meeting Captain Wentworth for a deliciously revealing conversation.

It was more likely that this meeting took place in the Octagon shown below.

When the Upper Assembly Rooms were first opened in 1771, this was used as the card room. A card room where gambling took place was one of the necessary rooms  in a suite of Assembly Rooms, for gambling by those not wishing to dance was entirely acceptable practise. Indeed Mr Allen retires to play cards,after he has safely deposited Mrs Allen and Catherine Morland at the Ballroom in Chapter 2 of Northanger Abbey. A separate card room was added to this room in 1777.

The Octagon was again set out for a wedding when I visited .It would be in this room that the actual wedding was performed. A quite spectacular setting, you must admit.

The chandelier in this room was made up of the remnants of the discarded chandeliers  that used to hang in the Ball Room and were made by Jonathan Collett. It is very beautiful, and it is a wonder that they were able to make something so beautiful out of wrecked pieces!

The portrait that dominates this room is one by Thomas Gainsborough of Captain William Wade . He was the first Master of Ceremonies of the Upper Rooms. He had to quit his post in 1777 after he was involved in

an affair of gallantry

as Pierce Egan in Walk’s Though Bath (1819) coyly describes it.

He had also been the Master of Ceremonies at Brighton since 1767 .After quitting Bath in 1777 he retired to Brighton  where he was Master of Ceremonies till he died in 1809. Mr James King whom we know as the Master of Ceremonies at the Lower Rooms, indeed, as the very gentleman who effected the successful introduction of Henry Tilney to Miss Catherine Morland in Northanger Abbey, became the Master of Ceremonies at the upper Rooms in 1805 until his death at Cheltenham in 1816.

From the Octagon we can progress directly into the  Tea Room. It was in this room  that refreshments were served during Assemblies and where Public Breakfasts were taken. And it  was also where the subscription concerts were held.

The three magnificent chandeliers in this room are the originals made by William Parker, supplier of chandeliers to the Prince of Wales at Carlton House.

This room is one of my most favourite rooms in the country. I love its restrained stone decoration.

And the gallery with its Corinthian Columns that run the length of the room,with the swags of flowers and fruit decorating the space in a quiet but very elegant way.

Again my photographs do not do justice to these wonderful chandeliers.They fail to capture the prisms of light that dart from the crystal…

The concerts in this room were first under the direction of Thomas Linley,shown below in a portrait painted by his friend, Thomas Gainsborough.

He was the father of the soprano  Elizabeth Linley, seen here with her sister, again in a portrait by Gainsborough( she is on the left)

She of course was infamous for marrying teh playwright Sheridan after a scandalous elopement. Thomas Linley Junior known as the English Mozart,also performed here

seen here  portrayed in a portrait by Gainsborough, above,and who perished in an untimely manner at Grimsthorpe Castle in Lincolnshire in 1778.

From 1777 the Italian castrato and composer,Venanzio Rauzzini , below,was the director of the concerts. He was of course the man for whom Mozart wrote Exultate Jubilate.

In the Winter he lived in Bath in a town house Number 13 Gay Street, but in the summer he lived at nearby Widecombe and many famous musicians and composers were tempted to come to Bath to collaborate and perform with him. Possibly the most famous visitor was Joseph Haydn who on his visit in 1794 even wrote a canon in praise of Rauzzini’s deceased dog,Turk- “Turk was a faithful Dog“- while he was staying at Widecombe with the composer.

Here is an example of his work- a Sonata- Duetto, perfomred on a period instrument:

He died at his home in Gay Street, on 8 April 1810, while preparing for the Bath June music festival. Four days later the Bath Chronicle wrote:

In private life few men were more esteemed; none more generally beloved. A polished suavity of manners, a mild and cheerful disposition, and a copious fund of general and polite information, rendered him an attractive and agreeable companion. … In Mr. Rauzzini, this city has sustained a public loss.

He was buried in Bath Abbey, where there is a memorial to him erected by ‘his affectionate Pupils Anna Selina Storace and John Braham’.

Here is a copy of a programme for a subscription concert held in 1798. If you enlarge it by clicking on it  you can see that the lyrics of the arias are clearly printed on the programme sheet,and this explains why Anne Elliot was able to translate lyrics at the behest of Mr Elliot and Miss Carteret much to Captain Wentworth’s annoyance.

And this concludes Lady Russell’s Winter Pleasures at the Upper Rooms..next, the Pump Room.

It might at first appear strange that I am reviewing a book that was first published in 1948, but it has recently been re-printed in facsimile foom by Spire Books Ltd in association with the Bath Preservation Trust (whose property, Number 1 The Royal Crescent, is used to illustrate the cover of this book)

Walter Ison’s book is in fact an established  classic and a deserves to be read and enjoyed by anyone who has visited Bath and has fallen under the spell of its Georgian Buildings; or, indeed, by anyone who has never been lucky enough to  visit but has likewise fallen under its spell after reading about the city in such books as Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, where  the buildings and city of Bath are  essential elements of the book,  the city being a  character in its own right.

The first copy of this book that I owned was the edition that was revised and published  in 1980 (see below) where the photographs were embedded in the text.  The new edition is much more clearly set out, as was the original 1948 edition, with two distinct sections -text and line drawings in part one, then photographs and reproductions of contemporary engravings in part two: I much prefer it.

The new edition has an informative foreword by Michael Forsyth who is the Director of Studies in theConservation of Historic Buildings at the University of Bath and  is also the author of another book on the architecture of Bath, the Yale Pevsner Guide to Baht, an excellent work, which was first published in 2003.

Walter Ison was born in another spa town, Leamington Spa in Warwickshire in 1908.He became a draftsman in an architectural practice in London where he first read Mowbray Green’s study of Georgian Bath, “Eighteenth Century Architecture of Bath“,which fired his imagination. It is no lie to say  that he became obsessed with the city and the history of its development and its buildings. Bath degenerated as a spa town from the mid to late 19th century. It was not until the 1930s that it was realised that something had to be done to stop the city decaying completely and such treasures as the Assembly Rooms were at last recognised as being buildings of merit and, as such, were deserving of restoration and protection. In 1934 the Bath Preservation Trust was established and in 1936-8 the Assembly Rooms were restored. The Second World War then intervened and Bath was badly damaged by the so-called Baedeker offensive of 1942: 400 lives were lost and 329 buildings were destroyed in those air-raids, including the newly restored Assembly Rooms. A further 732 buildings were demolished as a result of damage in later air raids,and another  20,000 buildings were recorded by the City Engineer as having been damaged in some way as a result of the attacks.

Ison moved to Bath after his war time service with the air force ended, on the encouragement of his wife, Leonora. She also donated an important personal legacy to him, so that he had the funds with which  to be able to research,write and finish his proposed book.  Taking his inspiration from earlier histories of the buildings of Bath, including John Wood the Elder’s own version(see above) his resulting book is a comprehensive history of the building of the city and all its major buildings, and the architects responsible. The book was rather touchingly and appropriately dedicated to his wife.

The book is divided into  chapters which deal with the development of the city, the pubic buildings,domestic buildings and representative buildings of the period 1700-1725, 1726-1750, 1750-1775, 1775-1800 and finally 1800-1830. The text of the book is also  studded with magnificent plans and line drawings of the important buildings. Above is his ground plan, section and elevation of the Hot Bath where Mrs Smith in Persuasion went to receive her treatment, living close by in the lowly Westgate Buildings.

The second part of the book is filled with contemporary engravings -such as this, above of the  Pump Room and the new private baths from Stall Street and photographs( all in black and white) taken mostly in the late 1940s

Now, it has to be remembered that when Jane Austen knew Bath the buildings were not yet blackened with industrial grime. This photograph of Great Pultney Street from Ison’s book shows the buildings as I first remember them from my first visit to the city aged 5 in the early 1960s. The soot and grime of the Victorian era -coal fires and grime from the nearby industrial town of Bristol- had turned most of the buildings black, and it was only from the mid 195os that a programme of cleaning and the effects of the Clean Air Acts  enabled them to be returned almost to the white glare of the newly recreated limestone buildings that so distressed Anne Elliot in Persuasion. But the photographs now have a period charm of their own-the cars and sometimes the 1940s fashions of the  people shown in them are now as fascinating to me as the sedan chair and muslins of the inhabitants of the 18th century prints and engravings

(My photograph of Pulteney Street taken this summer)

Interior views are also inlcuded: not only of the great public buildings like the Guildhall, but of more domestic settings as such as this first floor drawing  room of number 41 Gay Street: Jane Austen, remember, lived briefly at number 25 Gay Street after the death of her father, and in Persuasion it was the home of The Crofts.

The book is easy to read and comprehensively covers every aspect of the creation of the famed Georgian buildings in the city.  Walter Ison died in 1997, and this new edition ensures that his book will live on as a classic, in his memory. I can highly recommend this magnificent book, and do hope that some of you are tempted by this review to rush out and buy it.

The Georgian Garden  in Bath is a marvellous and very rare example of the type of garden that many of Jane Austen’s characters and, indeed, Jane Austen herself may have  experienced  while living in a Georgian town house, not necessarily only in Bath but in London too. This town house garden is now to be found situated to the rear of Number 4,The Circus ( the house is not open to the public, note).

Let’s see where in Bath this garden is to be found. Here is part of my 1802 map of Bath taken from John Feltham’s book, A Guide to all the Watering and Sea Bathing Places ,

showing the area of the Circus and the Gravel Walk, and here is it annotated  with the approximate position of the  Garden (1) and the House (2).

To gain access to the garden you have to walk along the Gravel Walk, which connects the Royal Crescent with Queen’s Square, and which was, of course, the secluded, gently rising walk that Captain Wentworth and Anne Elliot of Persuasion took when they were finally reconciled, engrossed in each others revelations but not so blind as to realise that the path they were taking was the long way round to Sir Walter’s home in Camden Crescent ;-)

These  insignificant doors set into the wall surrounding the gardens (seen to the left of the photograph)are the rear entrances to the gardens to the houses.

They hide many treasures and due to the benevolence of the Bath and North East Somerset Council , anyone visiting Bath can now experience what  the gardens of these townhouses were like. Access to the garden is totally free of charge and the garden is open all year round. How truly admirable.

Number 4 the Circus was completed in 1761, part of John Wood the Elders scheme for the new Upper Town. In February 1754, Wood laid the foundation stone of the very first house, but, sadly, just three months later, he died. It was left to his son, John Wood the Younger, to complete and oversee the construction of the King’s Circus, as it was originally called. The frontages of the 33 houses are uniform ( though as you can see from the photograph below, the rear of the houses are an entirely different story).

Each house is decorated with elements of the  three great Classical orders of architecture: the ground floor decorated in the style of the Doric order , the second in the Ionic order , and the third floor, the Corinthian.

The Circus was, as you can see from the section of the map, above, built in three segments of 11 houses.The circular area that the houses encircle was originally cobbled and had a covered reservoir which supplied water to the houses. This central island is now covered with grass and five great plane trees, which were planted in the early nineteenth century provide shade, but do block the views. Above  is the view of the Circus looking towards Gay Street. Sadly no plans exist to show us  how the gardens to the rear of these houses appeared in the Georgian era. As you can see from the map of the Circus above, only approximations of the gardens behind these houses were made by the then mapmaker.

However as a result of recent extensive excavations it has been possible to  reconstruct how the garden would have appeared in the late 18th century. Walled on four sides, it provided a private, decorative space for the occupier of the house.

Here is a plan of the garden as it appeared when it was first built. Do note that all the photographs and plans in this post  can be enlarged by clicking on them, so that you may enjoy the detail.

And here is a key of the plan showing the different elements of the garden:

And a photograph with which to compare the plans:

The Bath Archeological Trust undertook excavations of the garden in 1985  for by then the original Georgian structure of the garden had been lost under  later improvements. The walled garden that was then to the rear of Number 4 the Circus was Victorian in the main, and boasted a lawn, a rockery,  a classical pavilion and a fish pond which both dated from the 1920s. This is a plan of the garden as it was before the excavation began (again, please use the same key above to discern the different elements of the garden).

The Georgian garden as revealed by the excavations  had no grass or lawn at all. It was a very formal design and most of the garden was covered with a surface of gravel mixed with clay. This would have needed to have been rolled regularly  to keep it in order,and was much kinder to walk on  than wet  grass to the fashionable fabric shoes of the 18th and early 19th centuries.

Here is a period roller, placed in the garden to remind you that while it is practical,  this surface is not maintenance fee.

Here is a view of the garden of 10 Downing Street by George Lambert , circa 1736-1740,

and this close up of part of the painting  showing the  roller in use at that time:

As you can see from the plan and the photographs,  the  walled garden to Number 4, the Circus also has small flower beds around the walls, and three flower beds along the central axis of the garden. All are now edged in box. Its design was very similar to this one by J. A. Smith dating from 1807.

The  geometric design of the garden was quite deliberate: it was to be seen to its best advantage when viewed from the upper windows of the house that over looked it. Around 1770 a flight of steps was added to the rear of the garden to give access to the newly created Gravel Walk.

It has now been completely renovated and planted with only shrubs and flowers that would have been available in the 18th century.Which means that at this time of the year, early August, there are few flowers available -no repeat flowering roses for example.Luckily, the structure is interesting in itself and of course  the fashionable would not be in town or Bath at this time but away on their country estates ;-) An appropriate garden seat has also been added which faces the house:

We ought to perhaps  recall that the small domestic private gardens of the 18th century town house were  innovations.  At the beginning of the 18th century, town houses often had nothing by way of a garden  but a simple paved yard, but by the advent of the early 19th century  a walled garden, home to flowers and shrubs was to be found at the rear of the terraced house homes of the middling and upper classes who lived  in English cities.  The Georgian Garden in Bath is a remarkable survivor of this type of garden, and if you are visiting Bath do not miss it. It is not advertised much at all and is almost hidden in the corner of the Gravel Walk. But do seek it out:  its secluded peace is great to explore and the atmosphere is very different to the walled gardens to be found in towns today.

She, poor soul, is tied by the leg. She has a blister on one of her heels, as large as a three shilling piece

Persuasion, Chapter 18

I confess that when I first read Persuasion as a callow youth of 13 (all those years ago), I thought this was a piece of humour on the Admiral’s part,comparing his wife’s blister to something like a non-existent piece of coinage, rather like the infamous 9 bob note (which referred to a disastrously fraudulent attempt to print a 10 shilling note, a piece of information which once again gives some indication of my great age)

But no. These coins actually existed. So it was no joke on the Admiral’s part.

This is a picture of the coinage in use during Jane Austen’s life time:

The three shilling piece is shown  at the bottom right of the picture. And do remember you can enlarge this and all the other illustrations here simply by clicking on them.

But this is a clearer picture of a 1814 three shilling piece, that  I was lucky enough to find on my travels over Easter

The story of the 3 shilling piece is very interesting. In the latter years of George III’s reign, as a result of the shortages caused by the continuing Napoleonic Wars, the price of silver was high . Therefore  using silver for making coins became increasingly prohibitive in relation to the face value of the coins themselves, and as a result there was an acute shortage of silver coins available for circulation.

This as you can imagine caused problems for both tradesmen  and ordinary people. The Bank of England took steps to remedy this situation by issuing two tokens, not made of silver, which had values of three shillings and eighteen pence, between the years 1811 and 1816.

In 1816 a Great Recoinage took place, and after 1820 the tokens were no longer considered to be legal tender.

So,  just how large was the three shilling coin, and what sort of suffering was Mrs Croft undergoing?

On examining this picture you can see that the coin is in fact quite large: 1 and a 1/4 inches in diameter. And unless the Admiral was prone to exaggeration I therefore feel a great deal of sympathy for Sophie Croft, who would have been in a great deal of discomfort with a blister that size on her heel. Poor lady….no wonder she was tied by the leg in Gay Street ;-)

After Mr Austen’s death in Green Park Buildings in January 1805, Mrs Austen gave up the lease there sometime towards the end of March of that year, and moved with Cassandra And Jane to number 25 Gay Street, numbered 6 on the above plan which, along with all the other illustrations in this post can be enlarged by clicking on it

Gay Street was part of John Wood’s original plan for the development of a new upper town in Bath, which began with his construction of Queens Square, then led up the hill via Gay Street to the Circus, and along Brock Street to the Royal Crescent.

In his book, A Description of Bath,

John Wood the architect tell us of his plans to buy land in Bath from Mr Robert Gay, an eminent Surgeon of Bath and London  in order to build this important connecting street:

After my return to London I imparted my first design to Mr Gay an eminent Surgeon in Hatton Gardens and Proprietor of the land; and our first  Conference as upon the first day of December 1725….

Page 232)

Business calling me twice not the North of England in the summer of the Year 1726 my designs for Improving Bath lay under Consideration till the following Autumn; and Mr Gay’s Land  appearing  then the most eligible to begin buildings upon, I therefore on Wednesday the 18th of November 1726 fixed  my Preliminary  Articles with him; and the Saturday after he empowered me by his Letter of Attourney, to engage with anybody that I could bring into the scheme for Building a Street of one thousand and twenty five Feet in length from south to North by fifty Feet in Breadth from East to West for a way to the grand part of the design.

(pages 240-1)

Here is a print of The Cirucs, which is situated at the top of Gay Street, as it appeared in 1773:

You can see that Gay Street steeply descends the hill towards Queen’s Square in the break in the circle of houses in the middle of the picture. You can also see Beechen Cliff looming above it in the distance:

You can also see many chairs. They were the most practicable manner of getting around some of the areas of Bath as they are very steep and, something I can confirm from personal experience of toiling up the hill that is Gay Street, when pregnant and also later with a pushchair containing my  deceptively heavy son, it is not easy terrain. The alternative route ,via the Gravel Walk as used by Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth in Persuasion is much preferable, being of a gentler gradient.

The Austen ladies were of course at this time beginning to find that their financial position was not particularly secure. By his will Mr Austen left everything to Mrs Austen. But of course his main source of income was the money from his livings of Deane and Steventon and any entitlement to that money ceased at the moment of his death. Mrs Austen had a little independent income and Cassandra had the interest on the £1000 left to her by her late finance Tom Fowle, but Jane Austen had nothing whatsoever in the way of income.

The letters sent between the Austen brothers at this time indicate quite interesting attitudes to the economic and social fate of the Austen ladies. Frank -who is quite my favourite of the Austen brothers – had just been appointed to the 80-gun HMS Canopus. He generously offered £100 per annum towards the upkeep of Mrs Austen and his sisters, and did so in a letter to Henry Austen requesting that he keep this offer secret from the ladies.

Here is part of Henry’s illuminating reply to him:

It was so absolutely necessary that your noble offer towards my Mother should be made more public than you seem’d to desire, that I really cannot apologize for a partial breach of your request. With the proudest exultations of maternal tenderness the Excellent Parent has exclaimed that never were Children so good as hers. She feels the magnificence of your offer, and accepts of half. I shall therefore honor her demands for 50 pounds annually on your account. James had the day before yesterday communicated to me & Her his desire to be her Banker for the same annual assistance, & l as long as I am an Agent shall do as he does. – If Edward does the least he ought, he will certainly insist on her receiving a £100 from him. So you see My Dear E, that with her own assured property, & Cassandra’s, both producing about £250 per ann., She will be in the receipt of a clear £450 pounds per Ann. – She will be very comfortable, & as a smaller establishment will be as agreeable to them, as it cannot but be feasible, I really think that My Mother & Sisters will be to the full as rich as ever. They will not only suffer no personal deprivation, but will be able to pay occasional visits of health and pleasure to their friends..

I cant help but hear some resonances of John and Fanny Dashwood of Sense and sensibility  in that extract.

James Austen also wrote to Frank about the financial situation:

Her (Mrs Austen-jfw) future plans are not quite settled, but I believe her summers will be spent in the country amongst her Relations & chiefly I trust among her children – the winters she will pass in comfortable lodgings in Bath. It is a just satisfaction to know that her Circumstances will be easy, & that she will enjoy all those comforts which declining years & precarious health call for. You will I am sure forgive Henry for not having entirely complied with your request for secrecy upon one very important subject in your letter … You would indeed have had a high gratification could you have witnessed the pleasure which our Dear Mother experienced when your intention was communicated to her.

So poor old Jane Austen was also now an object of charity .I’m sure this did not sit well with her. it’s one thing to be kept by ones parents, but ones married brothers?

There are some hints in the two letters written at this time by Jane Austen that still exist, that life in Gay Street without the kindly and benign influence of Mr Austen might have been rather trying: Mrs Austen was most definitely in charge:

The Mr Duncans called yesterday with their Sisters, but were not admitted, which rather hurt me.

(See Letter to Cassandra Austen dated 8th April 1805)

Jane Austen found few congenial souls to bond with in the transient society of Bath: to have some friends turned away by your mother when you were actually “at home” and ready to engage must have been hurtful indeed.

We know very little about the house as it was at the time when Jane Austen lived in it. Gay Street was a very busy street, full of chairs carrying people from the Upper to the Lower town, and would have been noisy. It was firmly set into the centre of town with very little chance of good views of the surrounding countryside.  But Jane Austen obviously  absorbed all the details and was perhaps fond of it for  Gay Street is the  setting for a very important meeting between Captain Wentworth and Anne Elliot  in the Cancelled Chapters of Persuasion, at the home of the Crofts in Bath..in Gay Street.

I’ve tried to decipher these cancelled chapters on many an occasion when I’ve seen them on show in the British  Museum, the British Library and at Jane Austen’s House in Chawton but with not much success: I’ve scanned these in for you form a recent “translation” : here is part of the meeting between Anne and Frederick in Gay Street:

It was altogether a confusion of Images & Doubts–a perplexity, an agitation which she could not see the end of–and she was in Gay St & still so much engrossed, that she started on being addressed by AdmL Croft, as if he were a person unlikely to be met there. It was within a few steps of his own door.–“You are going to call upon my wife, said he, she will be very glad to see you.”–Anne denied it “No–she really had not time, she was in her way home”–but while she spoke, the AdmL had stepped back & knocked at the door, calling out, “Yes, yes do go in; she is all alone. go in & rest yourself.”–Anne felt so little disposed at this time to be in company of any sort, that it vexed her to be thus constrained–but she was obliged to stop. “Since you are so very kind, said she, I will just ask Mrs Croft how she does, but I really cannot stay 5 minutes.–You are sure she is quite alone.”–The possibility of Capt. W. had occurred–and most fearfully anxious was she to be assured–either that he was within or that he was not; which, might have been a question.–“Oh! yes, quite alone–Nobody but her Mantuamaker with her, & they have been shut up together this half hour, so it must be over soon.”–“Her Mantua maker!–then I am sure my calling now, wd be most inconvenient.–Indeed you must allow me to leave my Card & be so good as to explain it afterwards to Mrs C.” “No, no, not at all, not at all. She will be very happy to see you. Mind–I will not swear that she has not something particular to say to you–but that will all come out in the right place. I give no hints.–Why, Miss Elliot, we begin to hear strange things of you–(smiling in her face)–But you have not much the Look of it–as Grave as a little Judge.” –Anne blushed.–“Aye, aye, that will do. Now, it is right. I thought we were not mistaken.” She was left to guess at the direction of his Suspicions; –the first wild idea had been of some disclosure from his Br in law–but she was ashamed the next moment–& felt how far more probable that he should be meaning Mr E.–The door was opened–& the Man evidently beginning to deny his Mistress, when the sight of his Master stopped him. The Adml enjoyed the joke exceedingly. Anne thought his triumph over Stephen rather too long. At last however, he was able to invite her upstairs, & stepping before her said–“I will just go up with you myself & shew you in–. I cannot stay, because I must go to the P. Office, but if you will only sit down for 5 minutes I am sure Sophy will come–and you will find nobody to disturb you–there is nobody but Frederick here–” opening the door as he spoke.–Such a person to be passed over as a Nobody to her!–After being allowed to feel quite secure–indifferent–at her ease, to have it burst on her that she was to be the next moment in the same room with him!–No time for recollection!–for planning behaviour, or regulating manners!–There was time only to turn pale, before she had passed through the door, & met the astonished eyes of Capt. W—. who was sitting by the fire pretending to read & prepared for no greater surprise than the Admiral’s hasty return…..

There was time for all this to pass–with such Interruptions only as enhanced the charm of the communication–and Bath cd scarcely contain any other two Beings at once so rationally & so rapturously happy as during that eveng occupied the Sopha of Mrs Croft’s Drawing room in Gay St.

Jane Austen was famously unsatisfied with this scene and reworked it, making the scene of the presentation of The Letter and the reconciliation of Anne and Frederick take place in the Musgrove’s rooms at the White Hart Inn and let it continue on through the walk through Bath up to the heights of Camden Place, through the Gravel Walk, a gentler incline than  Gay Street as I’ve noted and also …the longer way around….perfect for reconciling lovers who have been apart for far too long;-)

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