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|Bath- setting the scene
Written by JulieW
(2/28/2007 7:56 a.m.)
Here is a plan of Bath circa 1785, so you can ‘visit’ these places too.
Here is the Grove (or Orange Grove – named after the Royal House of Orange not the fruit) where Mr Frederick had his circulating library, the place poor Lucy had to visit to get some of Lydia’s required reading material in Scene ii
Fag talks about going to the Pump Room in Scene i:
And meeting at Gydes porch( line 99,Scene i) : Mr Gyde had the lower Rooms in Bath which were on the Lower Walks in the south part of Bath, and were fashionable before the Upper Rooms were built.
The Parades( North and South) were built by John Wood, the great Bath Architect, and play an important part in this plot. You can see them on the map; bottom left, by the river Avon. They ran parallel to each other and were intended for that great Bath pastime- promenading.
Here is the North Parade:
and the South Parade:
The Royal Crescent( or simply "The Crescent" as it was known then) was newly built: Elizabeth Linley and her family had lived there in Bath at number 11:
And finally here are the Upper Rooms:
Not a fiddle of a card after eleven moans Fag in Scene i.
Why? Well Richard “Beau” Nash who was the first Master of Ceremonies in Bath in the early 18th century devised rules of conduct so that ‘The Company”, that is the visitors of all ranks who came to Bath for medicinal treatment , diversion etc, would be able to live together in relative harmony.
The rules encouraged sociability between the growing gentry class and the aristocratic elite, who had traditionally kept themselves apart from the rest of society.
Nash forbade hard drinking and the wearing of swords( more on that later), which often led to duels.
Here are his Rules:
RULES by general Consent determined
II. That ladies coming to the ball appoint a time for their footmen's coming to wait on them home, to prevent disturbances and inconveniences to themselves and others.
III. That gentlemen of fashion never appearing in a morning before the ladies in gowns and caps, shew breeding and respect.
IV. That no person take it ill that any one goes to another's play or breakfast, and not to theirs - except captious by nature.
V. That no gentleman give his tickets for the balls to any but gentlewomen - N.B. Unless he has none of his acquaintance.
VI. That gentlemen crowding before ladies at the ball, shew ill-manners; and that none do so for the future- except such as respect nobody but themselves.
VIII. That the elder ladies and children be contented with a second bench at the ball, as being past or not come to perfection.
IX. That the younger ladies take notice how many eyes observe them - N.B. This does not extend to the Have-at-Alls.
X. That all whispers of lies and scandal be taken for their authors.
XI. That all repeaters of such lies and scandal be shunned by all company - except such as have been guilty of the same crime.
N.B. Several men of no character, old women and young ones of questioned reputation, are great authors of lies in the place, being of the sect of Levellers.
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