In Conversation with Moira Rudolf on the truth behind Jane Austen – The Bath Priory

Thursday 19th July 2018 12.00pm

Dr Moira Rudolf, speaker and Bath historian and Jane Austen walking tour guide, first trained as an Architectural Historian, specialising in the eighteenth and nineteenth century. She has an (almost lifelong) enthusiasm for the architectural and social history of Bath, having fallen in love with the city at the age of five, and somewhat later in life, the works and wit of Jane Austen.

“Jane Austen Hated Bath”

In this new and lively talk, Moira will attempt to address the various myths and legends surrounding Jane Austen’s attitude to this wonderful city.

Jane’s conflicting views are reflected in two of her most striking characters, the diametrically opposed Catherine Morland (Northanger Abbey) and Anne Elliot (Persuasion); Jane’s first and last novels, published together following her untimely death in July 1817.

Catherine Morland is full of youthful enthusiasm and curiosity as Jane certainly was in 1799 when she stayed, for six weeks, in Queen Square. Anne Elliot, though, arrives with a rather more jaundiced view, deeply resenting her enforced move from her beloved country home; an event which Jane had also endured.

Jane’s sunny and optimistic nature apparently reconciled her to her new life in Bath, but is this the whole truth?
Jane and her characters – Sir Walter Elliot, Lady Russell, Mrs Allen, Mr Tilney and many others all had something different to say about Bath. So too, did Fanny Burney, a writer whom Jane especially admired and who genuinely loved Bath, which she celebrated in an entertaining and (often) hilarious way.

We will look at the evidence – letters, novels, diaries and quotes – and attempt to reach a conclusion. We will also tie the quotes into the present day, with easily recognised locations around Bath.

The literary argument might not, however, be easy as it sounds…

To paraphrase Ernest Hemingway: “There is never any end to Bath”.

Either way, it will be informative, fun and as close to the sources as possible; questions are welcome!

The event includes:

  • Tea, coffee and homemade biscuits on arrival at 12.00 noon
  • Talk from Dr Moira Rudolf
  • A three-course lunch
  • Served with a glass of wine
  • Followed by coffee and petits fours

£55 per person

To book, please contact our events team; events@thebathpriory.co.uk or call 01225 331 922