Quick Index Board Index Home FAQ Site Map
|The physical environment of Bath.
Written by Rachel G
(10/6/2011 11:58 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Anne dislike Bath, why?, penned by Sonia K
In adition to the good points others have made, I would just like to add that I think the physical environment of Bath contributed to Anne's dislike of the place. A couple of quotes make me think this:
"She disliked Bath, and did not think it agreed with her;" (ch.2)
To me the expression "it doesn't agree with me" always implies that it is causing the person to feel physically not quite well. This may be just how my family uses it, but since my roots are all in Devonshire, Somerset and South Wales just across the river, I'll stick to this interpretation.
"Anne ... dreading the possible heats of September in all the white glare of Bath," (ch,5)
'Dreading' is a strong feeling, and these are physical concerns.
In this respect I believe Anne is channelling JA's own dislike of Bath. Like Anne, JA loved the countryside, and she chose to locate Kellynch and Uppercross in some of the lushest countryside in southern England. Here are a couple of quotes about Bath from JA's letters:
"When first we came, all the umbrellas were up, but now the pavements are getting very white again." (17 May 1799. Brabourne letter XVIII).
Another reference to the whiteness of Bath. The city has many handsome buildings faced with Bath stone, but in JA's day most were still new-build and the colour had not yet mellowed with the passage of time. Also, while there were some parks and open spaces and some nice views of the surrounding countryside, there were not many mature trees to soften all those hard surfaces and lessen the glare
"The first view of Bath in fine weather does not answer my expectations; I think I see more distinctly through rain. The sun was got behind everything, and the appearance of the place from the top of Kingsdown was all vapour, shadow, smoke, and confusion." (5 May 1801. Brabourne letter XXX)
This reference to vapour and smoke hanging over Bath even in fine weather is interesting. That would be the smoke from thousands of coal fires, since Bath used coal from the nearby Somerset coalfields. Think 'air pollution', with few trees to counteract it - yet another reason why Bath could make Anne and JA feel not quite well.
Groupread is maintained by Myretta with WebBBS 3.21.