jane austen festivalThis year marks the 200th anniversary of the death of the famous Author Jane Austen. It is also the 17th annual Jane Austen Festival in Bath.

This year the festival will be even bigger and better, with over 80 events opening with the world-record setting Regency Costumed Promenade, which is raising money for the Royal United Hospital’s Cancer Care Campaign in Bath.

Jane was born on 16th December 1775 in the village of Steventon in Hampshire. Jane had a passion for writing, her books were set among the English middle and upper classes and contain wit, social observation and insights into the lives of early 19th century society. Her first novel ‘Sense and Sensibility’ appeared in 1811. Her next novel ‘Pride and Prejudice’, which she described as her “own darling child”, received highly favourable reviews. ‘Mansfield Park’ was published in 1814, then ‘Emma’ in 1816. All of Jane Austen’s novels were published anonymously. Jane suffered from ill health from 1816 (possibly Addison’s disease) and passed away on 18th July 1817. Two more novels, ‘Persuasion’ and ‘Northanger Abbey’ were published posthumously.

Jane Austen fans can look forward to a huge range of events at this year’s festival, including workshops, dances, balls, readings, talks, concerts and theatricals. The theme book for this year is Northanger Abbey (based in Bath). Jane spent time in Bath towards the end of the eighteenth century and from 1801 to 1806 the city was her home. Bath provides the backdrop to two of her novels, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, and features in her other novels.

Saturday 9th September 2017 – Costumed Charity Promenade

The Jane Austen Festival officially opens with the world famous Grand Regency Costumed Promenade. The Promenade is a procession through the streets of Bath and over 500 people all in 18th Century costume take part, making it a record breaking event.

£1 from every ticket sold is donated to the Festival’s charity (Royal United Hospital, Bath, Cancer Care Campaign)

Tickets to take part cost: £10 Adult (16 and under free but must be with a participating adult in costume)

Programme of Events

Friday 8 September

12 noon – The Genius of Jane Austen – Paula Byrne – book signing
6.30pm – Pre-Festival Get Together

Saturday 9 September

9am – A very private public breakfast – food
11am – Grand Regency Costumed Charity Promenade – Royal Crescent Lawn
12noon – Festival Fayre – in the Guildhall
12.15pm hourly – Pride and Prejudice – the 20 minute version
1.30pm half-hourly – Austen Undone! – Theatrical Comedy walks
4pm – Rummaging through the reticule – talk and food
6pm – The story of Pride & Prejudice with music by Carl Davis
8.30pm – The Bicentenary Country Dance – Ball

Sunday 10 September

10am – A very private public breakfast – food
10am – Beaux & Bells, Breakfasts & Balls – walk
11.30am – Tour of Beckford’s tower – Dr Amy Frost
1.30pm half-hourly – Austen Undone! – Theatrical comedy walks
2pm – Reading Northanger Abbey, the novel in Waterstones
2.30pm – Jane Austen and the pleasure garden – walk
3pm – Meet the director – Simon Langton – (1995 Pride & Prejudice)
4pm – Rummaging through the reticule – talk and food
7.30pm – Mr Wickham and an Evening with Jane Austen
9.15pm – Ghost walk of Bath – with Laugh at Bath tours

Monday 11 September

9.30am – Your carriage awaits – minibus tour of Bath
10am – Taking an airing – walking tour
11am – Austen and the architectural imagination in Northanger Abbey – Dr Amy Frost
12.30pm – Jane Austen and the King of Bling! – Catherine Curzon
1.30pm – Meryton tour to Lacock and Devizes – Minibus tour
2pm – Reading Northanger Abbey, the novel in Waterstones
2.30pm – As Danced in Austen’s lifetime – Regency dance workshop
8pm – Grave Robbers are afoot! – John White of Select Society

Tuesday 12 September

8.30am – Day trip to Chawton House Library and Cottage – coach trip with Theatre Royal
9.30am – Your carriage awaits – minibus tour of Bath
10am – Beechen Cliff and the Bath Landscape – walk
11am – Excessively diverted! – talk
1.30pm – Meryton tour to Lacock and Devizes – Minibus tour
2pm – Reading Northanger Abbey, the novel in Waterstones
3.30pm – Engraving the £5 notes – Graham Short presentation
8pm – Chatter Broth – presentation by Select Society

Wednesday 13 September

9.30am – Your carriage awaits – minibus tour of Bath
10am – The Gothic novel – walking tour
1.30pm – Meryton tour to Lacock and Devizes – Minibus tour
2pm – Reading Northanger Abbey, the novel in Waterstones
2.30pm – Northanger Abbey – theatrical (matinee)
7.30pm – Northanger Abbey – theatrical (evening)

Thursday 14 September

9am – Day trip to Bristol, Clifton and Blaise Castle Estate – Coach trip
9am – Austen’s Hampshire Haunts – minibus tour
Day of Dance and Music in the Assembly Rooms
10.30am – Regency Dance Workshop 1 – Beginners
11am – Austen, Fact or Fiction? – discussion
Day of Dance and Music in the Assembly Rooms
1.30pm – Regency Dance Workshop 2 – Improvers
2pm – Reading Northanger Abbey, the novel in Waterstones
Day of Dance and Music in the Assembly Rooms
3.30pm – Dancing with Jane Austen – narrated performance
5.30pm – Beastly Bath! – walking tour
Day of Dance and Music in the Assembly Rooms
8pm – The musical world of Jane Austen – Austen trio

Friday 15 September

9am – Austen’s Hampshire Haunts – guided minibus tour
10am – The oldest profession – walking tour
11am – Calligraphy workshop, write a letter like Jane Austen
12noon – Lunch at Longbourne with Moonstone Theatre Company – food
1.30pm – Pre-Ball dance workshop – for those attending the Masked Ball
2pm – Reading Northanger Abbey, the novel in Waterstones
3pm – The rise and fall of the Bath Stagecoach – talk with Dickon Povey
4pm – Draw back the curtain – theatre tour
7pm – (4 entry times) Exclusive Twilight tour of No 1 Royal Crescent – tour and nibbles
7pm – Regency Costumed Masked Ball – Pump Room, with reception by the Roman Baths

Saturday 16 September

10am – A very private public breakfast – food
10am – Calligraphy workshop, write a letter like Jane Austen
11.30am – Considering Northanger Abbey – with Prof John Mullan
2pm – Reading Northanger Abbey, the novel in Waterstones
2pm – Unveiling Northanger Abbey – Lauren Nixon
3.30pm – Miss Morland’s Guide to Bath – walk
4pm – Rummaging through the reticule – talk
6pm – Gothic for Girls – History Wardrobe, presentation with Lucy Adlington
8.45pm – More pride, more prejudice! – improvised theatrical

Sunday 17 September

11am – Jane Austen her home and her friends – walking tour
12.30pm – Mini-promenade to the Holburne
2pm – Reading Northanger Abbey, the novel in Waterstones
4pm – Finale – Jane Austen’s Will – Jackie Herring

Read more at www.janeaustenfestivalbath.co.uk

Image source: www.janeausten.co.uk

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