Bath is unique. There is no other town in England where one can get closer to the
eighteenth-century experience. The streets of tall, pale, identical houses, ranged in
terraces or curving crescents, create a rhythmic harmony which never ceases to
delight the eye.
What’s more, to stroll around these graceful streets and squares is to
walk in the steps of Jane Austen.
Jane Austen holidayed in Bath in 1797 and in 1798. For five years, from 1801, she
became a resident which enriched her experience of contemporary society. Her
observations of life in the city provide the background for two of the six exquisite
novels; Northanger Abbey and Persuasion.
In this fascinating and beautifully illustrated book, Terry Townsend takes us on a
journey of discovery to the houses, public buildings, parks and walks that were
significant in the life and work of one of English literature’s most beloved figures.
Bath is the only destination in the UK to have the whole of the city designated as
a World Heritage site. The fact that this location is deemed to be of outstanding
universal value and cultural significance is due in large part to the continued
fascination for all things Austen.
Using quotes from the novels and letters to her sister the Georgian city is
revealed at the height of its popularity. At almost every corner or flight of steps, at
every narrow court or wide promenade, and even in outlying villages there
are associations to be found.
Although more than two centuries have passed, Jane
Austen’s writing remains so fresh and immediate it allows us to feel a direct connection
with her world.
Retired graphic designer Terry Townsend has had a lifelong interest in
English literary landscapes. This latest book is an unashamed celebration
of his favourite novelist and his favourite city. Terry’s previous books for
Halsgrove are Once Upon a Pint, a guide to the Literary Pubs & Inns
of Dorset and Somerset, Kent Smugglers’ Pubs, and Jane Austen’s
Hampshire. Now living in Dorset with his wife Carol and their cat Smudge,
Terry is currently working on a new title exploring Jane Austen’s connections
Imprint: Halsgrove. ISBN 978 0 85704 254 5, hardback, 214x230mm, 144 pages. Published April 2015.