We're going for a little stroll now, down to the end of Milsom Street to the row of shops which separate Burton and Bond Street. We will take the right fork down Bond Street - can you see Sir Walter Elliot? This extract from Persuasion is so funny, summing up the vain character of Anne Elliot's father.
Sir Walter thought much of Mrs. Wallis; she was said to be an excessively pretty woman, beautiful. "He longed to see her. He hoped she might make some amends for the many very plain faces he was continually passing in the streets. The worst of Bath was the number of its plain women. He did not mean to say that there were no pretty women, but the number of the plain was out of all proportion. He had frequently observed, as he walked, that one handsome face would be followed by thirty, or five-and-thirty, frights; and once, as he had stood in the shop in Bond Street, he had counted eighty-seven women go by, one after another, without there being a tolerable face among them. It had been a frosty morning, to be sure, a sharp frost, which hardly one woman in a thousand could stand the test of. But still, there certainly were a dreadful multitude of ugly women in Bath; and as for the men! they were infinitely worse. Such scarecrows as the streets were full of! It was evident how little the women were used to the sight of any thing tolerable, by the effect which a man of decent appearance produced. He had never walked any where arm-in-arm with Colonel Wallis (who was a fine military figure, though sandy-haired) without observing that every woman's eye was upon him; every woman's eye was sure to be upon Colonel Wallis." Modest Sir Walter!
Well, obviously you can't see Sir Walter - this is a photograph taken from last weekend - you can only see one of the five-and-thirty frights - yours truly! I'm not sure which shop Sir Walter was standing in, but you can see views both ways down the street.
I remember the first time I took my children to Bath when they were very small. My youngest was very quiet (most unusual) as we went down into the town. He was looking everywhere and was obviously engrossed, but he looked most put out. When I asked him what was the matter he said he thought that there would be carriages and everyone dressed like in Persuasion on the television. He was really disappointed. It hadn't occurred to me how much he had anticipated seeing his idea of a Regency world, but then I remembered how much he'd always said he would like to have a ride in a carriage. Fortunately, we managed to find the horse and carriage that does a little tour round Bath and he was quite happy then.
And here I am again, (my husband will do anything to avoid the camera, though I've managed to get a couple of sneaky ones to post at a later date) - I do love a bow window, don't you?