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Saturday 16th September 2023

Jane Austen’s Wardrobe with Hilary Davidson

10am (duration 1 hour)

Venue: The Mission Theatre, 32 Corn St, Bath BA1 1UF

Listen as acclaimed dress historian and Austen expert Hilary Davidson reveals, for the first time, the wardrobe of one of the world’s most celebrated authors. Despite her acknowledged brilliance on the page, Jane Austen has all too often been accused of dowdiness in her appearance.
Drawing on Austen’s 161 known letters, as well as her own surviving garments and accessories, Hilary Davidson’s new book assembles examples of the variety of clothes she would have possessed—from gowns and coats to shoes and undergarments—to tell a very different story. The Jane Austen Hilary Davidson discovers is alert to fashion trends but thrifty and eager to reuse and repurpose clothing. Her renowned irony and wit peppers her letters, describing clothes, shopping, and taste. Jane Austen’s Wardrobe offers the rare pleasure of a glimpse inside the closet of a stylish dresser and perpetually fascinating writer.

Jane Austen’s Wardrobe will be available to purchase throughout the Jane Austen Festival from the Jane Austen Centre shop. This talk will include a Q&A with the author plus the opportunity to purchase a copy and get it signed by Hilary Davidson.

Tickets £13

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A Very Private Public Breakfast

10am (duration 1hr 30mins)

Venue: Kinwarton, 3 Upper Camden Place, (part of) Camden Rd, BA1 5HX (20 mins walk from central Bath)

Sample the delights of an 18th Century public breakfast just as Jane Austen did in Sydney Gardens. Bread rolls, toasted fruit bread, cake, tea (Jane Austen blend) or coffee – all in the private dining room of a typical Regency Bath house. Breakfast is accompanied with a talk by Jane Tapley.

Tickets £16

SOLD OUT 

Morning Call with Mrs Bennet's Ballroom

10am (duration 2 hours)

Venue: Elwin Room, BRLSI, 16-18 Queen Square, BA1 2HN

Join Mrs Bennet’s Ballroom, a Regency dance group based in London, for a dance workshop focusing on the traditional Regency ceremony of paying calls. Start your Saturday with this easy, aimed-at-all-levels workshop, including a mid-morning refreshment break (refreshments included).

Tickets £20

SOLD OUT

Blushing in Jane Austen - with John Mullan

11.30am (duration 1hr 30mins)

Venue: The Mission Theatre, 32 Corn St, Bath BA1 1UF

Jane Austen was fascinated by blushing. Blushing accompanies modesty, but also secrecy and private passion. In a world where it is wise to keep some feelings to yourself, a blush can give the game away. Yet when Austen’s characters notice each other’s blushes, they still have to guess what they mean. We will see how important (and, sometimes, how mistaken) this guessing can be in her novels.

Tickets £16

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Jane Austen's Monsters - with John Mullan

2pm (duration 1hr 30mins)

Venue: The Mission Theatre, 32 Corn St, Bath BA1 1UF

In life, we would want to avoid spending time with Lady Catherine De Bourgh or Mrs Elton. When we read Jane Austen’s novels, however, we feel a surge of delight whenever they enter the room. In this talk we will meet the full range of Austen’s monsters - characters who will never give way to the wishes of others - and will discover what special pleasures they offer us. We will also find out why most of her monsters seem to be women.

Tickets £16

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Jane Austen & Bath - walking tour

2.30pm (duration 1hr 30mins)

Meet: Outside the Jane Austen Centre, 40 Gay Street, BA1 2NT

'Oh! Who could ever be tired of Bath?’ So said Jane Austen’s character Catherine Morland in Northanger Abbey, which along with her novel Persuasion is set in Bath. Through family links and having visited and lived in the city, Austen knew Bath very well indeed. Come and find out more on this walking tour led by Mr Knightley of The Jane Austen Centre.

Tickets £13

SOLD OUT

Rummaging Through The Reticule 

4pm (duration 1hr 30mins)

Venue: Kinwarton, 3 Upper Camden Place, (part of) Camden Rd, BA1 5HX (20 mins walk from central Bath)

What did Jane Austen and her characters keep in their reticules? All will be revealed when the contents of this C18th handbag are spilt in the privacy of a Regency drawing room. Jane Tapley’s talk is followed by refreshments, a traditional cream tea – scones, jam, and cream and, of course, tea.

Tickets £16

SOLD OUT

Inspiration & Perspiration - The Natural Theatre Company

8pm (duration 1 hour)

Venue: The Mission Theatre, 32 Corn St, Bath BA1 1UF

Jane Austen has writer’s block! She is short of characters…. With a little help from friends and family (and some assistance from the audience) she will find new characters to progress the storyline of her new novel. Will this be her biggest hit yet? Come and enjoy this completely improvised annual show from The Natural Theatre Company after previous successes with Darcy’s Ball, Prejudice and Pride, and Lady Susan…

Tickets £24

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