Sunday, 2 October 2011

Jane Austen Festival 2011 - Part 3

Well now we come to the 3rd and final part of my coverage of the Festival ....

The next day I went on another walking tour. This time it was entitled 'An Acquaintance Worth Having...',so we wondered round the city looking at all the most fashionable places to live and where the characters in Northanger Abbey and Persuasion would have resided. It was fascinating, especially seeing how many Bath street names Austen used as her character's surnames!

Whilst walking down Milsom street, we popped into look at Bath's last surviving private chapel. I had no idea that it existed or that there were such things as private chapels outside of people's country estates. It turns out that the very wealthy who came to Bath for the season, who had no wish to attend church with the unclean masses, could rent one of a number of private chapels in the city!!!!!!! This particular one has luckily survived. It is now no longer a chapel, but an art gallery and a particularly beautiful one.

The beautiful dome and plaster-work on the ceiling.

The balcony and lovely clock. And Leslie (a wonderful lady from California who I had great fun chatting to at many an event) in her gorgeous costume.

The gallery curator's adorable dog Megan. She kept turning her head every time I tried to take a photo!!!!

In the evening I attended a concert of 18th and early 19th century "pop" songs, performed by the eighteenth century girl band 'Lady Georgianna'. There are 3 ladies in the group; Allegra sings, Signora Storace plays the harpsichord, and Isabella Wrighten (they are all stage names) plays an 18th century!! cello. They are amazingly talented and the music was beautiful.

The Signora and Miss Isabella playing.

The 3 performing

The next day my first event was a dance class. But this was no ordinary Regency dance class, and don't get me wrong I love attending Regency dance classes. But this one was extra special as it was just to learn the dances that appear in Austen film adaptations!!!!!!! It was run by the Jane Austen Dancers (a Regency dance group who are based in Bath), and even though the room was insanely hot with no ventilation, it was such fun, and kind of a dream come true as I have always wanted to learn so many of the dances used in the films!!!! :) Sadly there wasn't enough time to do all the dances, but we did learn quite a few.

The Jane Austen Dancer's performing one of the dances

The JADs performing another one.

That evening I attended an evening card party at the Jane Austen Centre. It was meant to be an evening soiree with the Austens, but sadly their carriage overturned on their way to party!! Luckily no one was harmed but it meant that they had to return home!!!! lol Apparently the organisers say the same thing every year! :) Anyway, despite not being able to see the Austens, it was a lovely party and we were given the most delicious food.

Drinks in the tearoom at the beginning of the evening.

A group playing the game of Loo 

I had great fun playing a game of Knockout Whist (not sure how Regency a game it is) with 3 wonderful ladies - Sharon, Barbara and Sandy. We had such fun giggling away and chatting about costumes and all things Regency. :)

On the Friday I started off the day with going to a talk by the History Wardrobe on 'The White Wedding'. All I can say was that it was hilarious!!!!! I was crying with laughter!! The presentation, which was on wedding dresses from the Regency until 1980s, was given by two ladies, both of whom were called Lucy. They were not only extremely knowledgeable on the subject and had such beautiful costumes, but were also fabulous actors (many of the costumes they showed us had been donated to them, and behind each dress was a story of the owner. The two Lucys acted out most of the stories). 

A rather blurry photo of the stage before the presentation began.

The two Lucys.

One Lucy being dressed for her Regency Wedding.

Ready to go to the church.

The other Lucy as an 1870s bride.

Gorgeous veil. 

So elegant

That evening was my last night in Bath and also the night of the Regency Masked Ball in the Pump Rooms. I have been to a few Regency parties but never a proper ball with dances being called and delicious food - so  I was soooo excited, if a little bit nervous. 

Just before the ball, with two lovely friends I made during the Festival - Jeanette and Aurora (who has a wonderful blog

Me at the Roman Baths where the pre-ball drinks party was held. It was such a magical place, especially with everyone in their Regency finery. :)

Leslie looking so elegant was Barbara was Sandy

Jeanette looking beautiful

One of the Festival volunteers and a friend looking amazing with their enormous feathers.

Caroline - another Festival volunteer, who is an amazing seamstress. At the Reticule making workshop she whipped up a reticule, using her own design, in about 30 minutes! It took me about 4 hours to finish mine!!

Another volunteer, whose name I never discovered, but I loved her outfit.

The Pump Rooms 

It was a wonderful evening. The food was delicious (if slightly odd), and I had such fun dancing. It was a perfect first Regency Ball. :)

And so to Chawton...


  1. The picture where you are looking out over the candelit waters is SO beautiful. You're beautiful! :) You look just like a romantic maiden would. I always enjoy your posts.

  2. Cathie - *hugs* You always leave such kind and lovely comments. You are a true friend. I'm glad you enjoy my posts. :)
    I've always wanted to look like a romantic maiden :).