|Paul and Bath Guide|
But back to the Centre. With their doors closing, I only had time to thank the greeter at the door, a handsome man dressed from top hat to Hessian boots, who is possibly the most photographed man in England. We picked up a map of locations of Bath’s great sites and the houses in which Austen had lived (one of them right down the street as it turns out). In looking around the gift shop, we noticed that the Centre was not averse to promoting the film and television adaptations of Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, etc. Colin Firth was everywhere, including his portrait as Mr. Darcy.
Stop #6 on the tour was Trim Street. According to the Centre, Trim Street was “the final lodgings of the Austens. This was at the very bottom of the social scale. It was populated by prostitutes, pimps, beggars, and thieves. Definitely not the place for three genteel ladies to live." Is it any wonder that Jane was eager to leave Bath?
We climbed up a steep street to the Circus where we ran into a guide, also dressed in Regency attire. In a booming voice, he told us the history of the circus, including the fact that the houses are now inhabited by Johnny Depp and Nicolas Cage. The HOA contacted both to kick off their Christmas festival by dropping a note in their letter boxes, and Nick and Johnny agreed. Nick turned on the lights, and Johnny had a small part, but for the life of me, I can't remember what it was. In any event, they were good sports.
My friend, Tony Grant, from London Calling, provides tours out of London of Bath. You can't match his enthusiasm for all things Jane Austen, and you will need to step lively or you'll be eating his dust! Tony took my husband, daughter, and me on a tour of London as seen through the eyes of Jane Austen and Charles Dickens. It was fantastic!