One of our Region’s members, Lou Harrington, had a delightful trip in September 2011 to Bath, England, to partake in the annual Jane Austen Festival. (You too, may share in the fun: http://www.janeausten.co.uk/jane-austen-festival/). The following is her account of her magical trip back through history to the Georgian and Regency periods: “The Festival kicks offs with The Regency Grand Promenade, starting from the courtyard in front of Bath Abbey and meandering throughout the streets of Bath to arrive at TheRoyal Crescent; this year over 450 people in Regency costume took part. The 2011 festival was 9 days of chock-a-block activities: dinners; teas; talks; theatricals; soirees; dance workshops; a concert of music from the Back-Abel Concerts played on period instruments; tours – both walking and by “barouche”; a lecture by Professor Amanda Vickery, “The White Wedding” by the superb History Wardrobe. With four or more events each day, you are spoiled for choice.
The highlights of my trip were the balls. The first, on Saturday 17th September, was The Farthingale Ball held in The Assembly Rooms ~ dancing to live music under the enormous chandeliers of the Ball room, dining in the Tea room, and cards in the Octagon room.
The next ball, on Friday 23rd, was The Festival Masked Ball with a reception beside the Kings Pool of the Roman Baths, and dining and dancing in the elegant Pump Rooms. Taking the waters not required. The third ball, on Saturday 24th, was hosted by the Hampshire Regency Dancers Ball and held at stately Chawton House, with the fabulous Ellis Rogers as master of the dance. (He quite literally wrote the book on Quadrilles.) A wonderful evening as we danced in the footsteps of Jane herself. With three balls in eight days, even Lydia Bennett would be satisfied.”