You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Lansdown’ category.

We do not know exactly when the Austen ladies quitted their rented accommodation in Gay Street but it must have been sometime at the end of 1805.

We do know that Mrs Austen, Cassandra, Jane and, by this time, their friend and sister of James’s wife, Martha Lloyd  took a trip to Steventon Rectory in January 1806,and it is possible that they quitted number 25 at that time.

They visited their old home in order to visit James and Mary and their family in January 1806. Martha became part of their household on the death of her mother Mrs Lloyd in April 1805  They  returned to Bath at the end of January.

When they arrived back in Bath from Steventon the Austen sisters did have some welcome news. An old friend of the Leigh Perrots , Mrs Lillingston, had left them a legacy of £50 each, which funded Jane Austen’s whole expenditure for a year. Mrs Lillington indeed, may have inspired part of the character of Lady Russell in Persuasion.

The Austen ladies then took what they hoped would be temporary lodgings right in the very heart and bustle of Bath in Trim Street.( Number 7 on the annotated map, above)  A place Cassandra Austen had once hoped they might never inhabit….

In the meantime she assures you that she will do everything in her power to avoid Trim Street although you have not expressed the fearful presentiment of it which was rather expected.

(See Letter to Cassandra Austen dated 3rd January 1801)

This position was rather confined-right in the heart of the town- and had no prospects of  views to the surrounding countryside. It was also old, noisy and as the street was narrow possibly dark and consequently, not a little smelly….

The street was named after George Trim, a  wealthy clothier of Bath, whose mother is reputed to have been related to the architect Inigo Jones. Writing about the design of the original Guildhall in Bath (which was replaced by the present Guildhall designed by Thomas Badlwin in 1776), reputedly by Inigo Jones, John Wood in his book, A Description of Bath noted :

For if my information be true, Mr Jones not only thought it a Duty incumbent on him as Kings Architect to examine  what had not many years before been repaired by the Board of Works, to see if anything remained to be done from that Office; but was led by a natural inclination to render the City all the service in his Power; he having been a near relation to Mrs Trim the Mother of Mr George Trim the founder of Trim Street…

Page 316

Mr Trim was a member of the Bath Corporation (the ruling council in Bath) and he was one of the first to support the plans for the city’s expansion against much opposition as detailed by John Wood, again in his book, A Description of Bath:

But notwithstanding this Mr. George Trim a worthy Member of the Corporation thought it expedient to augment the Building of the New City and in the year 1707 that Gentleman began a new street at the North West Corner of it; His Example stirred up another Citizen to purchase a Lease of some Land  at the  South East Corner of the Town and to promote building there; So that as the City now began to shew graceful suburbs the Inhabitants were desirous  of Promoting a trade for the better support of it; and  with this view, they  not only proposed to make the River navigable to Bristol but the later end of the Year 1710, they applied to Parliament for a Power to carry their design into Execution and obtained an Act accordingly…

As above, page 226

It has often been remarked that this time spent in Bath was Jane Austen’s “barren” period- years in which she did not write or achieve much by way of composition. I’m not sure. I think she used her mind like some form of word processor and “worked” on her texts, revising and composing continually , not necessarily committing it to paper before she was on to almost the final draft.

But, to my mind Jane Austen needed peace and quiet and a settled routine to be truly effective in her composition and writing : I think her life in Bath, when she was at the beck and call of the Leigh Perrots, her mother , visiting cousins etc and making a delicate balance between those with whom they could afford to keep company and those who had a far wealthier lifestyle and accordingly the Austen ladies couldn’t afford to allow “in”, was a constant vexation and distraction.  I also think she found the constantly changing population of Bath- many people only stayed a matter of weeks to take the waters-totally exhausting. Just look at this telling extract from her letter to Cassandra Austen of 8th April 1805:

They want us to drink tea with them tonight, but I do not know whether my Mother will have nerves for it. We are engaged tomorrow Evening. What request we are in! Mrs Chamberlayne expressed to her niece her wish of being intimate enough with us to ask us to drink tea with her in a quiet way. We have therefore offered ourselves & our quietness thro’ the same medium. Our Tea & sugar will last a great while. I think we are just the kind of people & party to be treated about among our relations; we cannot be supposed to be very rich.

Her walks were probably the only peace and quiet she could command, and I think they were consequently rather important to her. They are certainly mentioned a lot in her letters. If you look at this section from John Cary’s map of the Environs of Bath from Cary’s Traveller’s Companion or a Delineation of the Turnpike Roads of England and Wales etc. (1812)

you can see some of the places she waked to during her stay in Bath. Do click on the maps(as you can all the images here) in order to enlarge them:

….notably Lyncombe and Widcombe: mostly uphill out ward journeys as Bath is situated in a sort of pudding basin terrain

Some of the places she visited on foot are marked on the annotated map as follows:

1 Charlecombe

2 Lansdown

3 Twerton

4 Widcombe

To return to Trim Street. By April Mrs Austen if we can judge from the address written on her letter to her daughter in law Mary, wife of James, was feeling exasperated at still living there:

Trim Street Still.

I had a letter the other day from Edwd. Cooper, he wrote to congratulate us on Frank’s Victory and to invite us to Hamstall in the ensuing Summer., which invitation we seem disposed to accept…we are disappointed of the lodgings in St James’s Square, a person is in treaty for the whole House, so of course he will be prefer’d to us who want only a part- We have look’d at some others since but don’t quite like the situation-hope a few days hence we shall have more choice as it is supposed many will go from Bath when this gay week is over…

The St James Square house  did not materialize:

which was a pity as it was a far more congenial area of Bath- on rising ground in the Upper town on the outskirts, overlooking open countryside. But obviously far more expensive accommodation than they could afford: the reality of their financial situation I think was now beginning to set in.

And though the Austen ladies did eventually make the trip to visit their cousins, the Coopers, at Hamstall Ridware in Stafffordshire , they decided it was time to leave Bath and give up the hunt for elusive good accommodation for ever…..because Jane‘s brother, Frank, fortuitously  suggested they set up home with his new bride, Mary Gibson in Southampton.

And thus ended Jane Austen’s time in Bath: we shall never know if it was a wholly happy time.  I tend to think it was not: a mixture of a busy  period, a period of  sorrow, frustration and perhaps, some pleasure for her…but Im sure she used her time there to her eventual advantage,watching and learning a lot about human behaviour in all its manifestations while she lived in that busy place.

She certainly used her knowledge of the topography of Bath to great effect in Persuasion, and also knew how to portray the lives of the seemingly rich (the Elliots in Camden Place )and those clinging onto gentility by a very slender thread (Mrs Smith in Westgate Buildings).

But I think, on the whole she was glad not to be there any more  for, as she wrote to Cassandra Austen in 1808

It will be two years to-morrow since we left Bath for Clifton, with what happy feelings of escape!

(See Letter to Cassandra Austen dated 30th June 1808)

If you are not a Wordpress member, just add your email here to subscribe to this site.

An Invitation to Visit our Sister Site: A Jane Austen Gazetteer

Visit our sister site: A Jane Austen Gazetteer

Click on the image above to visit our Sister Site: A Jane Austen Gazetteer

An Invitation to Visit our Sister Site: Jane Austen’s Letters

Visit our sister site: Jane Austen's Letters

Click on the image above to visit our Sister Site: Jane Austen's Letters

Join Austen Only on Twitter

Recently Tweeted

Austenonly on Pinterest

Follow Me on Pinterest

Categories

Copyright Notice

Copyright: This site and all images and information complied within are copyright Austenonly.com unless otherwise stated/attributed.No permission is given/implied for any use of this site, the information and images contained therein, for any commercial use whatsoever. No material may be copied in any form without first obtaining written permission of the author, save that extracts of posts may be used on other non-commcerial sites on the internet, provided that full and clear credit is given to Austenonly.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content( that is, a link must be provided to the original post/image with full attribution ). The existence of the RSS or ATOM feeds in no way authorises wholesale or part transmission of posts or parts of posts to another site without prior permission being given and attribution stated. Any sites using RSS or ATOM feeds in this way without obtaining prior written permission of the author of this blog will be subject to legal action.

Currently Reading

Jane Austen’s Guide to Modern Life’s Dilemmas by Rebecca Smith

Jane Austen’s Guide to Modern Life’s Dilemmasby Rebecca Smith

Recently Read

James Wyatt, Architect to George III by John Martin Robinson

James Wyatt, Architect to George III by John Martin Robinson

Uvedale Price (1747-1829): Decoding the Picturesque” by Charles Watkins and Ben Cowell

Uvedale Price (1747-1829): Decoding the Picturesque” by Charles Watkins and Ben Cowell

"The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy” by Hannah Glasse, published by Prospect Books.

"The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy” by Hannah Glasse, published by Prospect Books.

The Letters of Mrs Lefroy: Jane Austen’s Beloved Friend, edited by Helen Lefroy and Gavin Turner

The Letters of Mrs Lefroy: Jane Austen’s Beloved Friend, edited by Helen Lefroy and Gavin Turner

Understanding Jane Austen: Key Concepts in the Six Novels

Understanding Jane Austen: Key Concepts in the Six Novels

The London Square by Todd Longstaffe-Gowan

The London Square” by Todd Longstaffe-Gowan

"What Matters in Jane Austen?:Twenty Crucial Puzzles Solved" by John Mullan

"What Matters in Jane Austen?:Twenty Crucial Puzzles Solved" by John Mullan

May, Lou and Cass: Jane Austen's Nieces in Ireland by Sophia Hillan

May, Lou and Cass: Jane Austen's Nieces in Ireland by Sophia Hillan

An Introduction to the Tokens at the Foundling Museum” by Janette Bright and Gillian Clarke

An Introduction to the Tokens at the Foundling Museum” by Janette Bright and Gillian Clarke

Vauxhall Gardens: A History by David Coke and Alan Borg

Vauxhall Gardens: A History by David Coke and Alan Borg

Facing Beauty: Painted Women and Cosmetic Art by Aileen Ribeiro

Facing Beauty: Painted Women and Cosmetic Art by Aileen Ribeiro

Johan Zoffany by Mary Webster

Johan Zoffany by Mary Webster

Bergere,Poke and Cottage: Understanding Early Nineteenth Century Headwear  by Serena Dyer

Bergere,Poke and Cottage: Understanding Early Nineteenth Century Headwear” by Serena Dyer

The First Actresses: Nell Gwyn to Sarah Siddons by Gill Perry with Joseph Roach and Shearer West

The First Actresses: Nell Gwyn to Sarah Siddons by Gill Perry with Joseph Roach and Shearer West

Jane Austen's Letters (4th Edition) edited by Deirdre Le Faye

Jane Austen's Letters (4th Edition) edited by Deirdre Le Faye

Ice Cream by Ivan Day

Ice Cream by Ivan Day

Rooms With a View: The Open Window in the 19th Century by Sabine Rewald

Rooms With a View: The Open Window in the 19th Century by Sabine Rewald

Pastel Portraits of 18th Century Europe by Katharine Baetjer and Marjorie Shelly

Pastel Portraits of 18th Century Europe by Katharine Baetjer and Marjorie Shelly

The Paper Garden by Molly Peacock

The Paper Garden by Molly Peacock

The Eighteenth Century Church in Britain by Terry Friedman

The Eighteenth Century Church in Britain by Terry Friedman

Napoleon and the Empire of Fashion 1795-1815 by Christina Barreto and Martin Lancaster

Napoleon and the Empire of Fashion 1795-1815 by Christina Barreto and Martin Lancaster

Regarding Thomas Rowlandson: His Life, Art and Acquaintance by Matthew and James Payne

Regarding Thomas Rowlandson: His Life, Art and Acquaintance by Matthew and James Payne

The Omnipotent Magician:Lancelot "Capability" Brown by Jane Brown

The Omnipotent Magician:Lancelot "Capability" Brown by Jane Brown

The Cambridge Companion to Jane Austen, Second Edition.

The Cambridge Companion to Jane Austen, Second Edition.

Thomas Rowlandson: Pleasures and Pursuits in Georgian England, edited by Patricia Phagan

Thomas Rowlandson: Pleasures and Pursuits in Georgian England, edited by Patricia Phagan

Ralph Allen, Builder of Bath by Diana Winsor

Ralph Allen, Builder of Bath by Diana Winsor

Fashioning Fashion European Dress in Detail 1700-1915

Fashioning Fashion European Dress in Detail 1700-1915

Jellies and their Moulds by Peter Brears

Jellies and their Moulds by Peter Brears

Thomas Lawrence: Regency Power and Brilliance

Thomas Lawrence: Regency Power and Brilliance

Sir Thomas Lawrence by Michael Levey

Sir Thomas Lawrence by Michael Levey

The Georgian Buildings of Bath by Walter Ison

The Georgian Buildings of Bath by Walter Ison

The Catalogue to the Chatsworth Attic Sale

The Catalogue to the Chatsworth Attic Sale

State Beds and Throne Canopies:Care and Conservation by Val Davies

State Beds and Throne Canopies:Care and Conservation by Val Davies

 The English Parsonage in the Early Nineteenth Century by Timothy Brittain-Catlin

The English Parsonage in the Early Nineteenth Century by Timothy Brittain-Catlin

The Secret History of Georgian London: How the Wages of Sin Shaped the Capital by Dan Cruickshank

The Secret History of Georgian London: How the Wages of Sin Shaped the Capital by Dan Cruickshank

London's Country Houses by Caroline Knight

London's Country Houses by Caroline Knight

Horace Walpole's Strawberry Hill by Michael Snodin

Horace Walpole's Strawberry Hill by Michael Snodin

Quilts 1700-2010: Hidden Histories, Untold Stories by Sue Prichard

Quilts 1700-2010: Hidden Histories, Untold Stories by Sue Prichard

Mrs Delany's Menus, Medicine and Manners by Katherine Cahill

Mrs Delany's Menus, Medicine and Manners by Katherine Cahill

Mrs Delany and her Circle by Mark Laird and Alicia Weisberg-Roberts

Mrs Delany and her Circle by Mark Laird and Alicia Weisberg-Roberts

The Brabourne Edition of Jane Austen's Letters at CUP (Vol 1)

The Brabourne Edition of Jane Austen's Letters at CUP (Vol 1)

The Brabourne Edition of Jane Austen's Letters at CUP (Vol 2)

Birds of Passage: Henrietta Clive's Travels in South India 1798-1801

Birds of Passage: Henrietta Clive's Travels in South India 1798-1801 edited by Nancy K Shields

Enterprising Women and Shipping in the 19th Century by Helen Doe

Enterprising Women and Shipping in the 19th Century by Helen Doe

Over a Red Hot Stove edited by Ivan Day

Over a Red Hot Stove edited by Ivan Day

Coke of Norfolk 1754-1843: A Biography

Coke of Norfolk 1754-1843: A Biography by Susanna Wade Martins

Georgian Jewellery 1714-1830

Georgian Jewellery 1714-1830 by Ginny Redington Dawes and Olivia Collings

Paul Sandby: Picturing Britain

Paul Sandby: Picturing Britain Edited by John Bonehill and Stephen Daniels

Silhouette: The Art of Shadow by Emma Rutherford

Silhouette: The Art of Shadow by Emma Rutherford

The Dress of the People by John Styles

The Dress of the People by John Styles

Behind Closed Doors by Amanda Vickery

Behind Closed Doors by Amanda Vickery

The Compleat Housewife by Eliza Smith, Chawton Edition

The Compleat Housewife by Eliza Smith, Chawton Edition

A New System of Domestic Cookery by Maria Rundell

A New System of Domestic Cookery by Maria Rundell

Austenonly Flickr

June 2019
M T W T F S S
« Nov    
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
Protected by Copyscape plagiarism checker - duplicate content and unique article detection software.
Creative Commons License
This work is licenced under a Creative Commons Licence.
UK Blog Directory
wordpress counter
%d bloggers like this: