Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Jane Austen Centre, Bath - #AtoZChallenge

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when someone says Jane Austen? 'Escape' is the word which comes to my mind. When I find this world too much to take, I escape to a different, simpler 'Jane Austen' world. At times, I read one of her works after I finish reading a very deep or emotionally exhausting book. Her work assures me that life can be a lot simpler, although not perfect. True her protagonists have their own battles yet that world seems to be better than the one we are living in.

I had read about Bath in 'Persuasion' and instantly fell in love with the city, which ultimately led to our visit to Bath, so it was obvious that when I visited Bath, this place dedicated to her was high on our list. Like any other 21st century, modern world Jane Austen female fan, I used to wonder what my life would have been if I was born in that era. I must say that the fact that so many modern girls can relate to the protagonists in her novels is a proof that she was way ahead of her time. And though it may sound very appealing to be living in that era, listening to the brief description put many things into perspective. For once, I realised that Jane herself and her protagonists, were not what those times were, but rather it must have been an ongoing struggle for them all to live life on their own terms and not worry about getting an 'offer of marriage'. Today, we take so many things for granted, but I think we owe a lot to the women like her across the world for making life a lot better for all the women, for establishing them far more than what they were credited for. It was a humbling moment for me. I felt grateful to her and many other women for paving the way for me and many others.
After the insightful talk, we were free to roam through the exhibition at our own pace. So far, my experience of reading her novels had been based on the descriptions given and my own imagination. But looking at objects, clothes and reading the newspapers from those times made it a lot easier to imagine it all while reading her next novel. The Bath city itself had exceeded my expectations or the picture I had drawn about it after reading about it in her novels, no wonder she referred to it so often in her novels. The costume part was fun to see what kind of clothes women wore in 18th and early 19th century. The staff members themselves were dressed up in clothes from that era, making our visit as authentic as possible.

You can find more about Jane Austen Centre here. They also have a Jane Austen Festival in the month of September every year but unfortunately, we couldn't revisit Bath again for this festival. It will be fun to meet other fans of her work and to soak in the Jane Austen era with all the variety of events they have.

Download this and other posts published as part of the #AtoZChallenge  -

No comments:

Post a Comment