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Things to do in Bath – Jane Austen

What to do in Bath Jane AustenThere are lots of things to do in Bath if you like Jane Austen The Jane Austen waxwork at the Jane Austen Centre If you are visiting the Georgian City of Bath at any time of year there are lots of ways to get involved in the life of Jane Austen Bath’s most famous resident. The Jane Austen Centre in Gay Street is the place to go. Open every day. Here you will find the permanent exhibition which tells the story of Jane Austen’s relationship with the city. Staffed by costumed characters, visiting is a great way to get orientated. Photo of the Jane Austen Centre Tearoom courtesy of Katrina Casey Upstairs on the 2nd floor is the Regency Tea Room. Delicious meals, cakes, scones and 16 varieties of loose leaf tea are served by costumed staff. A must do whilst in town. If I wondered what to do in Bath for a treat, this is it. In the summer and school holidays The Jane Austen Centre puts on FREE walking tours. Led by guides in costume this is a fun way to walk around the city finding the places that Jane walked, talked, shopped and loved. Lots of quotes and fun anecdotes. Promenaders in Bath during the Jane Austen Festival Do want to get dressed up in Regency costume and maybe promenade or dance at a ball?  What to do in Bath if this takes your fancy? Attend the Jane Austen Regency Summer Ball in June or take part (more…)
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The new Jane Austen Portrait by Melissa Dring

New Jane Austen portraitThe New Jane Austen Portrait using source material and forensic methods Introduction: Forensic Artist Melissa Dring In 2001, Melissa Dring* was commissioned by David Baldock, the Director of the Jane Austen Centre, Bath, to produce a new portrait of the author, as she might have appeared during her time in Bath, 1801-06. Combining the insights of the professional portrait painter with those of the police forensic artist, Melissa was uniquely qualified to accept this challenge. David Baldock had heard of her work on a speculative likeness of the Venetian composer Antonio Vivaldi. A film producer, wanting a likeness to use as a casting aid for a proposed film biography of the composer, and feeling it was a job for a forensic artist, had approached Scotland Yard, who recommended Melissa. The difficulty with both commissions was their shared lack of reliable contemporary portraiture, although a wealth of written eye-witness accounts survive in both cases. Melissa Takes up the story… My new speculative likeness of Jane Austen fills the gap left by the paucity of authenticated representations of the author. As I hope it will come to be accepted as a good portrait of her, despite being made 185 years after her death, I will describe the research and working methods I used, so that it can be seen how it is based almost entirely on solid fact, and how little guesswork was needed. There is a tiny pencil and watercolour sketch of her, in the National Portrait Gallery in London, by (more…)
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Love and Friendship – Behind the scenes

Love and Friendship – Whit Stillman lets us in on some of the filming secrets. Want a sneak peek behind the scenes of the Making of ‘Love and friendship’? There are interviews, location shots and camera work on show in this handsome 6 minute feature given to us by Curzon Films. The film scored a remarkable 99% on the Rotten tomatoes site (30.5.16) as well as 7.5 out of 10 on the IMDB site. Not bad for an Austen adaptation. Even Metacritic rated it a creditable 87! Set in the opulent drawing rooms of eighteenth-century English society, Love and Friendship focuses on the machinations of a beautiful widow, Lady Susan Vernon (Kate Beckinsale), who, while waiting for social chatter about a personal indiscretion to pass, takes up temporary residence at her in-laws’ estate. While there, the intelligent, flirtatious, and amusingly egotistical Lady Vernon is determined to be a matchmaker for her daughter Frederica—and herself too, naturally. Many of the staff of the Jane Austen Centre have seen it and have given a resounding thumbs up for this fresh and witty take on Austen’s witty gem.   (more…)
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Jane Austen Day – 16th December 2015

Jane Austen Day with CharlotteHappy Jane Austen Day!   Today we’re celebrating Jane’s birthday in Bath at the Jane Austen Centre and on the streets of the city. At the Centre we been performing traditional carols, giving out Cassandra Austen’s recipe plum pudding and mulled wine and generally having a bit of fun on this special day. Have you done anything for Jane Austen Day? Let us know. We’ve been asking members of the public if anyone knows what day it is. The results are great and you can see a short film we’ve made below. (more…)
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Masked Ball Preparation

Masked BallJane Austen Festival Masked Ball Here’s a short film showing the dance preparations for the Jane Austen Festival Masked Ball 2015. The Ball was held in the Pump Room and Roman Baths. See the film HERE The first Jane Austen Festival in Bath was held in September 2001 over the course of a weekend with events taking place at the Jane Austen Centre in Gay Street. The first Promenade set out from the Jane Austen Centre in 2004 and had 30 people including most of the staff taking part. In 2009 the promenade had over 450, all in costume with drummers, dancers, military and naval men. All ages, male and female had the most wonderful time in fantastic weather. Outstanding memories of previous festivals for us are the Film Premiere in Bath of the ‘Bollywood’ film Bride & Prejudice, the wonderful readings given by Ben Whitrow (the best ever Mr Bennet) partnered by Amanda Root (Anne Elliot) and then Joanna David (Mrs Gardiner). Followed by Adrian Lukis (Mr Wickham) and Caroline Langrishe (Lovejoy) celebrating the bicentenary of Pride & Prejudice with wonderful theatrical readings in the Assembly Rooms, the Holburne Museum and the Old Theatre Royal. Superb food cooked and presented by Fiona Ravenscroft (A South West Cook of the Year) and eaten by us! 2008′s fantastic theatrical production by the Dorset Corset Theatre Company of Northanger Abbey. Plus of course the History Wardrobe with their ‘Undressing Mr Darcy’ always a hit!   (more…)
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Jane Austen Festival 2015 – success

Jane Austen Festival 2015 Masked Ball

The Jane Austen Festival 2015

Wow, what a great Festival we’ve had this year. 10 days and over 60 events plus record attendance. I think everyone agrees it was the best ever.

jane austen promenade
Stopping the traffic on the Promenade

Continue reading Jane Austen Festival 2015 – success

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2015 Jane Austen Festival in Bath

Festival Promenaders taking a break. The Jane Austen Festival starts on the 12th of September and looks like it will be the biggest and best ever. Jackie Herring, Jane Austen Festival Director is happy with the arrangements and ticket sales. ‘Lots of events have already sold out but there are still a few tickets left. If you want to see something spectacular turn up on to the Regency Promenade on Saturday. Watch 600 spectacular promenaders in their Regency finery as they take to the streets of Bath.’ The event has been covered by The Bath Chronicle. Take a look at their article here More Promenade information; Each year the Jane Austen Festival officially opens with our world famous Grand Regency Costumed Promenade. The Promenade is a parade through the streets of this beautiful city and over 500 people all in 18th Century costume take part, making it a record breaking event. In 2014 the Jane Austen Festival achieved the Guinness World Record TM for ‘The largest gathering of people dressed in Regency costumes at 550′ All sorts of people take part from the very young to the young at heart plus red coats, dancers and our official town crier. The Promenade stops the traffic in Gay Street, The Circus, George Street, Milsom Street and Orange Grove, making it difficult for drivers from 11am until 12.30pm on Saturday 12th September 2015. ALL participants wear costume to take part in the Promenade and also purchase a ticket, the cost is £10 per adult, (more…)
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Jane Austen Centre Gets Honoured!

Visit England Welcome Award for The Jane Austen Centre The hard-working staff at the Jane Austen Centre were really pleased to find out that they had been recognised for their contribution to tourism in the area. The Jane Austen Centre is honoured to receive the VisitEngland Welcome accolade which has been awarded as part of VisitEngland’s Visitor Attraction Quality Scheme. “I know that all our staff work hard to ensure they give the very best care and attention to our visitors, and it is fantastic that they have been recognised for their outstanding, warm and friendly customer service.” Said Paul Crossey, General Manager. The Jane Austen Centre is Bath’s only Accolade winner in 2015. These accolades are allocated through a scoring system based on an annual assessment by VisitEngland. They include the Welcome accolade, Hidden Gem, Best Told Story, Quality Food & Drink and the Gold accolade for top-scoring attractions. So, what are you waiting for? Come to Bath and say hello! The permanent Exhibition at the Jane Austen Centre in Bath was originally created with the guidance of local members of the Jane Austen Society and authorities on Jane Austen, Louise Ross and Maggie Lane. The Exhibition aims to be not only informative but exciting and illuminating. With knowledgeable staff, a lovely period atmosphere, exclusive film starring Adrian Lukis, costume, dressing up, contemporary exhibits, maps and books. We now have a beautiful waxwork of Jane Austen created by experts using forensic evidence. All in all the Centre is the perfect starting (more…)