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Showing posts from August, 2016

A stroll along the Gravel Walk and the Circus in Bath

We've been enjoying some fantastic weather in Bath lately, though I would not be telling the truth if I didn't mention the occasional shower, and some downpours too! Even Captain Wentworth remarks on the frequency of rain in Persuasion: I love the scene when they meet unexpectedly in Molland's and endure a very flustered conversation, both of them not quite reading the other's thoughts or feelings.
After a moment's pause, he said: "Though I came only yesterday, I have equipped myself properly for Bath already, you see" (pointing to a new umbrella); "I wish you would make use of it, if you are determined to walk; though I think it would be more prudent to let me get you a chair."
But, we will not dwell on the rain, but on Bath's beautiful environs and the sunshine over the Bank holiday weekend. It's an easy place to find a wealth of pictures in the classical architecture, and yesterday my husband and I strolled along the Gravel Walk where A…

Jane Austen, Pockets and Ridicules

Because Regency dresses were on the whole elongated and close fitting, the reticule, ridicule or pocket came into its own.

From the Times 1799: Every fashionable fair carries her purse in her work-bag... the new custom of carrying a bag with her handkerchief, smelling-bottle, purse etc..
Jane Austen used pockets and ridicules for secret correspondences, often used to give the observer a shock or embroil the perpetrator in a veil of mystery. Here are some examples from Emma, Northanger Abbey and Sense and Sensibility.

Emma: She soon believed herself to penetrate Mrs. Elton's thoughts, and understand why she was, like herself, in happy spirits; it was being in Miss Fairfax's confidence, and fancying herself acquainted with what was still a secret to other people. Emma saw symptoms of it immediately in the expression of her face; and while paying her own compliments to Mrs. Bates, and appearing to attend to the good old lady's replies, she saw her with a sort of anxious parad…