Jane Austen Center and The Fashion Museum

/ posted in: travel

Jane Austen Center

The Jane Austen Center is in a house on Gay Street near where the Austens lived in 1805. The tour of the museum starts with a talk by a docent about Jane Austen’s life and her books.  Much of the focus is on her relationship with Bath.  She went there first and loved it when she was just visiting from the country.  That enthusiasm shows up in her early works.  When her family moved there full time she came to hate the pettiness of society and her disgust at Bath shows up in Persuasion.

After the talk you go downstairs to look at letters and news clippings from the era.  I didn’t know that her aunt and uncle were involved in a major scandal that resulted in jail time.  Jane’s mother volunteered Jane to go stay with her aunt in jail to keep her company.  Isn’t that sweet?  Jane didn’t go though.

The Austens didn’t leave a lot of things to look at so most of the displays are about the time period in Bath.  There is a documentary playing downstairs that contradicted things said by the person upstairs.  The upstairs person said she didn’t write while living in Bath.  The documentary said that there was a well known myth that she didn’t write while living in Bath but that wasn’t true.

At the end of the displays there were clothes to dress up in and a sign that explained how to give signals to the opposite sex with your fan.

 

I think I’m being a brazen hussy here.

Jane Austen Center
40 Gay Street, Queen Square, Bath
Website

The Fashion Museum

The Fashion Museum is in the basement of the Upper Assembly Rooms which is familiar to anyone who reads Regency Romances.  The rooms were closed when we were there to get ready for an event.

The museum highlights historical fashions and present day ones.

Do you know what this is?

This is a court dress. I’d read about those but I never imagined that they looked like this. That dress will totally make your butt look big.

This is an example of the muslin dresses in all the novels.

This is a half mourning dress. After a while you get to not wear full black any more and can brighten up a bit with some purple.

They have an extensive dress up area too for men and women. We were there with a French couple who were trying on everything too.

 

This dress is so heavy that I counted walking around in it as my workout for the day. Try not to be too jealous of how stylin’ I am.

My mother was not a fan of the day dress she had. When I posted these pictures on Facebook while we were there my brother responded, “I didn’t know you guys had packed your formal wear.” We would have needed an extra suitcase or two just for the vast volume of that green dress and crinoline.

The Fashion Museum
Assembly Rooms, Bennett Street, Bath
Website


Linking up with British Isles Friday and Austen in August