Another delayed review for you! And when I say ‘review’ this is just another ‘you-should-really-go-and-see-this-because-it-was-great-and-you’ll-just-love-it-yeah’. So let me tell you about the Jane Austen Centre in Bath!
Essentially, this museum is located just a stone’s throw away from the famous Cresent. As well as this it is on Gay Street, where the author herself used to reside for some months in 1805.
Now, if you are an Austen fan this is everything you could have dreamed for and MORE. I know. How is it possible?! (I hear you ask.) What could possibly be there?! Well, let me just tell you now.
When you enter the house, you are greeted by a fine gentleman wearing traditional clothing of that era. You buy your tickets from the gift shop (which I recommend sniffing around later.) Then you make your way upstairs where there are scheduled times for a short presentation on Jane before you enter the rest of the exhibition. We ended up having to wait approximately 10 minutes.
However. This was very lucky on my part. Because, I am particularly in love with Persuasion by our dear Jane. So if you are too – listen up! There are two rooms for you to wait in. Go through to the smaller second one!! Do it! We nearly didn’t! Would have been the greatest mistake of my life! In this second room, everything is devoted to the 2007 ITV adaptation of the novel. It’s Persuasion-galore! (I am also in love with this version of the story too. And Sally Hawkins who plays Anne. She is just fabulous.) In any case, they have one of the outfits used in the television film, on a life-size model. (Bonnet included.) So of course a photo shoot ensued. On the walls are facts and copies of scripts from Persuasion and it is just a wonderful, wonderful thing.
Now, I won’t spoil the rest of the exhibition – I feel as if I could write about Jane all day – but there is one other important thing of note to get you down to Bath. Dressing up. That’s right. YOU CAN DRESS UP IN THE CLOTHES LIKE JANE AUSTEN USED TO WEAR. I think we all just need to calm down a little bit. Needless to say, I did dress up. Yellow gown. Matching yellow bonnet. All whilst talking to Anne. (Did I mention that the staff dress up as all the heroines? I told Anne (the lovely staff member) that she was my favourite. She was even kind enough to have a photograph with me, which I really appreciated.)
So there you have it. An Austen dream. Ticket price for an adult is £11 (and steadily gets cheaper, a student ticket is £8.50.) For me, and my flatmates, it was worth the price. We had some good old clean Austen fun!
You can find out more about the Jane Austen Centre here.