Saturday, February 21, 2009

Bath (or Bahhhhth)

I adored Bath. There's no way around it. I can't believe a place so perfect actually exsists. There's Roman hot springs, there's museums, there's bookstores, there's open-air markets, there's creperies (which I found immediately AFTER eating- darn it!), new age shops, and of course....Jane Austen. She's not actually there, obviously, being dead since 1817 and all. But the Jane Austen Centre is there, complete with "Mr. Darcy" standing out front (see next post for more).

The first few pictures are from the hot springs, which were just beautiful. I was expecting it to smell really bad- like algae and sulfur- but it didn't. The only thing that wasn't perfect about it was the sheer amount of tourists walking around, making it impossible to get a good picture- that being said, I can't complain- I was one of them.

The Jane Austen Centre was much anticipated and slightly dissapointing. It's an old building, but it's not actually the building in which Jane lived- that one is now a dentist's office down the street- and I didn't want to go THAT badly. There was also hardly anything from Jane's actual life in the center- there was lots of reproductions of regency-era clothes and a few pieces of furniture from the late 1700's, but hardly anything in the place had actually belonged to Jane. There was a 20 minute talk on her before they let you go through the building by yourself and it was mostly about her family- which was actually nice because after 2 years of studying Jane Austen, there's not alot you can tell me about her that I don't already know. I'm a smarty-pants like that when it comes to my chick-lit. There was a small bookshop in the centre and I bought a nice copy of both P&P (Pride and Prejudice) and S&S (Sense and Sensibility), my favourite of Jane Austen's works.

The Fashion Museum: rocked. They had actual garments (not reproductions, *ahem Jane Austen Centre*) from the Georgian period including a dress that Marie Antionette had worn to court. I can't believe how itty-bitty the waists are on those things- I couldn't fit my leg into one of them, much less my whole torso! I loved how the giant hoop skirts were so have to respect a woman who can wear a 60 pound dress and look fabulous- all while not breathing. They had really awesome exhibits from "300 years of gloves" to "the evolution of underwear". I just love how the trends change as women climb up in society. There were some great flapper dresses from the 1920's- which were a hoot! It cracks me up that a curve-less woman was the ideal- women used to tape their busts down to make them look flatter- how opposite from today. And to think- that was only 90 years ago. I also loved the corsets- they amaze me. I would love to wear a corset just to see how small I can really get. I guess that's just me though.


paisley penguin said...

As someone who went to school for costuming I ADORE costume history. When I was in New York many moons ago I went to FIT and saw an original wooden corset. Yikes!

laurie said...

bahhhhth-felt more real--thinking about all those actual people wandering around in the hot springs..and the different rooms.anyway enjoyed that part very much--i did get to visit all of the other neat stuff you did--thanks for the pics! seems like i need to revisit bahhhhth..