A romantic revisit: Sophia’s postcard from Bath

Sophia outside the Bath Assembly Rooms, August 2013

Sophia outside the Bath Assembly Rooms, August 2013

Why I went…

This was actually my third visit to Bath. My two previous trips were made in 2007 when I was an undergraduate exchange student at the University of Southampton. (I am originally from Taiwan.) I am now a PhD student at Hull, writing about Jane Austen and Elizabeth Gaskell. Researching about Austen produced in me a longing to revisit Bath, and my fiancé, who had never been to England, was also keen to visit the place connected with my research, so my return to Bath was blessed with a companion (and a photographer).

What I got out of the experience… 

I went to Bath with many fond memories of previous visits. I was thrilled to find myself experiencing the same excitement of feeling able to connect with Austen and, with an understanding of her life and works that I did not possess in my first two visits, I was in a better position to appreciate what Bath has to offer in terms of Austen’s literary legacy. Travelling with my fiancé added a romantic dimension to my otherwise spiritual pilgrimage. As my fiancé’s speciality was a far cry from mine – he is a medical doctor –, I had to communicate my enthusiasm to him in a way he could relate to. Although he had not read Northanger Abbey or Persuasion, both of which contain scenes set in Bath, he was interested to hear everything I wanted to tell him. I went away feeling closer to two great loves of my life.

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