River Avon in Bath, Somerset
© Robert Harding World Imagery/Offset by Shutterstoc
Celebrating all things Austen
Born in the rural village of Steventon in Hampshire, Jane Austen made Bath her home between 1801 and 1806, when she moved here in her twenties. This spa city on the River Avon gave her plenty of inspiration – two of her six published novels, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, are set here and many of the characters’ ‘lodgings’ still exist today. After all, Bath was a popular resort at the time for Britain's upper crust – the posh, mannered society types whom Austen satirised so wittily.
The Jane Austen Festival kicks off in Bath today and runs for 10 days, offering theatrical performances, walking and driving tours, a masked ball and much more. Drawing thousands of fans each year, it's the largest and longest-running Austen event in the world.