What other books are set in Bath?

Jane Austen isn’t the only author to set parts of her novels in Bath. The popular resort city makes appearances in books by other writers, too. Excerpts from just a small sampling:

Frances Burney’s 1778 epistolary novel “Evelina

“The charming city of Bath answered all my expectations. The Crescent, the prospect from it, and the elegant symmetry of the Circus, delighted me. The Parades, I own, rather disappointed me; one of them is scarce preferable to some of the best paved streets in London; and the other, though it affords a beautiful prospect, a charming view of Prior Park and of the Avon, yet wanted something in itself of more striking elegance than a mere broad pavement, to satisfy the ideas I had formed of it.”

Charles Dickens’s 1837 “Pickwick Papers

“Bath being full, the company, and the sixpences for tea, poured in, in shoals. In the ballroom, the long card-room, the octagonal card-room, the staircases, and the passages, the hum of many voices, and the sound of many feet, were perfectly bewildering. Dresses rustled, feathers waved, lights shone, and jewels sparkled. There was the music—not of the quadrille band, for it had not yet commenced; but the music of soft, tiny footsteps, with now and then a clear, merry laugh—low and gentle, but very pleasant to hear in a female voice, whether in Bath or elsewhere. Brilliant eyes, lighted up with pleasurable expectation, gleamed from every side; and, look where you would, some exquisite form glided gracefully through the throng, and was no sooner lost, than it was replaced by another as dainty and bewitching.”

Georgette Heyer’s books, including 1972’s “Lady of Quality

“Since the Bath Season had hardly begun, the musicians who entertained the company every morning in the Pump Room during the full Season were not present, but a fair sprinkling of visitors was already in evidence. A somewhat depressingly large number of the visitors were valetudinarians, either hobbling about on sticks, being afflicted by gout or rheumatism; or elderly dyspeptics, hopefully seeking a cure for liver disorders arising from the excesses of their earlier years. There were also several dowagers, suffering from nervous disorders and from a conviction that a recital of their various ills, and the many treatments they had undergone must be of as much interest to those of their acquaintances whom they could contrive to buttonhole as they were to themselves.”

About Jennifer Abella

Jennifer Abella is a TV/movie/pop culture/knitting/sewing/Jane Austen geek. Oh, and a total Anglophile. Follow her on Twitter: @nextjen.

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