It isn’t just films and TV that base their stories in Bath, novels do too and when you see how beautiful and full of history the city is, it really is no wonder that it is such an inspiring place. If you’re planning a trip to Bath and want to immerse yourselves in the streets before your arrival, here are five books set in and around Bath to ease you in.
Bath Tangle – Georgette Heyer
We couldn’t start with the obvious, so we’ll start with someone inspired by the obvious instead. Bath Tangle by Georgette Heyer is the story of Lady Serena Carlow, who moves to Bath where she meets up with an ex-boyfriend, who has a bit of a thing for her step mother. Luckily, her trustee, who also happens to have been her ex-fiance also turns up in town and all matter of romantic entanglements ensue. Heyer is famous for Regency romances and this is one of her most popular stories.
Northanger Abbey – Jane Austen
Jane Austen has a huge connection with the city having lived there for a time, so it is no wonder that Bath featured heavily in her books. Northanger Abbey, which was published after her death follows Catherine Morland during her adventures in Bath where she is taking in various social delights and enjoying a flirtation with Henry Tilney, who invites her to stay with him at his family home, Northanger Abbey. There are many places that still exist in Bath today mentioned in Northanger Abbey including the Pump Rooms and the Crescent.
Between Two Thorns – Emma Newman
This is the first book in a fantasy series by Emma Newman and is set in Bath’s secret mirror city, Aquae Sulis. The series begins with the disappearance of the Master of Ceremonies and Max, who is the arbiter of the Split Worlds Treaty, which keeps the peace between Aquae Sulis and the world that we know, has been tasked with finding him. The mythical adventure takes in many recognisable areas of Bath and trying to spot the areas that have been integrated into the fantasy mirror world is always fun.
The Wives of Bath – Wendy Holden
This modern day contemporary story based in Bath follows Amanda and Hugh, who are expecting their first child and plan to throw their money at private hospitals and the very best care money can buy, while the story’s other couple Jake and Alice are arranging a home birth and an environmentally friendly upbringing. The two couples keep bumping into each other and their lives become intertwined with hilarious consequences. If you’re planning a visit to Bath with small children in tow, you might find yourself enjoying this one.
Amy Snow – Tracy Rees
Partly set in Bath, Amy Snow is an adventure story that follows Victorian and Georgian history through England. Amy is found as a baby and is taken in by Lord and Lady Vennaway. Her companion, Aurelia, leaves her a series of clues in the form of letters and a treasure hunt that takes her around the country, each place that Amy visits gives her a mini adventure as she tries to find out who she is and where she comes from. During the novel, Amy spends some time in Bath experiencing the social life of the city and visiting some places you might recognise.