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I have a new book out in paperback and ebook. Shipwrecked with the Captain is Book 2 in my Governess Swap series.

Here is the back cover blurb:

“All she remembers…

…is feeling safe in his arms!
Shipwrecked governess Claire Tilson wakes in Captain Lucien Roper’s arms—with amnesia! Her handsome rescuer believes she’s a member of the aristocracy he detests, yet he risks all to see her “home,” where she learns she’s betrothed to a wealthy stranger. Claire is convinced she doesn’t belong here…and Lucien is the only man she trusts to uncover her past and claim her future!”

Part of Shipwrecked with the Captain takes place in Bath, that beautiful Georgian city where Jane Austen lived and set two of her novels, Persuasion and Northanger Abbey. I visited Bath in 2017 with my friend Kristine Hughes Patrone of Number One London tours, and it was wonderful to walk the same streets and see the same sights as Jane Austen. It was also a treat to make my hero and heroine walk those streets and visit all the important Bath sights.

Like the Royal Crescent

Or Bath Abbey

Shipwrecked with the Captain is available in paperback or ebook from online vendors in North America and in UK bookstores.

Get your copy today!

Oh my, isn’t my face red. I meant to hit the little keys to make the title of this “Bertie Talks About Bath.”

But somehow, it doesn’t say that.

And I cannot decipher how to change it. Please forgive me. I never talk about indelicate things, such as — well — you know. At least, I never talk about them by accident.


Bertie Talks About Bath

Bath is dreadfully boring. I have no idea why you all like it so much.

I will concede that it is a pretty little town. Some of the buildings are aesthetically pleasing. As are a few of the ladies.

But save me from those Bath tabbies! Those plump, red-faced, elderly women who always tell one “stand up straight, Bertie!” and “drink your water, Bertie!” and “meet me at 9 o’clock in the morning, Bertie!” and “Dance with my ugly grand-daughter, Bertie!” (Very well, I admit that they don’t phrase the last command with those precise words. But that’s the meaning, I assure you.)

It’s enough to give one chills, even in this weather.

My reply to the tabbies:

1. As far as I am concerned, there is no 9 a.m. There is a 9 p.m. I could meet you at 9 p.m. (But I won’t.)

2. I’d much rather drink wine, thank you very much.

3. I am standing just as straight as is fashionable. No more, no less.

4. Dancing is too too fatiguing. I’d much rather have more wine.

Those are my ruminations on Bath.

I have never read Miss Austen’s novel Northanger Abbey, so I cannot say whether or not I care that it will be filmed in Ireland. Ireland is a beautiful country, but — oh, you know. It would be quite splendid if only there weren’t so many Irish folk living there.

Yours elegantly, as always,

Bertie the Beau

Breaking news! According to the Irish edition of The Sunday Times, the upcoming Northanger Abbey television adaptation (scripted by Andrew Davies, the screenwriter of the beloved Firth/Ehle Pride and Prejudice) will be filmed entirely in Ireland. Apparently, Ireland gives much better tax breaks for television productions than Britain does, which led to the decision. So next year, when Northanger Abbey airs on ITV, all the backgrounds and buildings and assembly rooms will be Irish.

I must admit, this decision disturbs me greatly!

I do adore Bath, but that’s not the only reason I’m upset that the new Northanger Abbey will not be filmed at all there. It’s that I cannot imagine the story of naive Catherine Morland, sprightly Isabella Thorpe, boorish John Thorpe, satirical Mr. Tilney, and all the rest taking place anywhere else! (I refer, of course, to the first [and better] half of the novel. The last bit can be filmed anywhere at all, for all I’m concerned.)

Jane Austen gives our heroine the true Bath experience! She attends the Pump Room, the Upper Rooms (pictured here), the Lower Rooms, she shops on Milsom Street, she stays on Pulteney Street, she “breathes the fresh air of better company” up at the Royal Crescent. The first half of the book is truly about Bath. And Bath is immediately recognizable. How can they possibly film it anywhere else?

So, in honor of Bath, so cruelly slighted, I am sharing with you some of the photos I took of Bath during my recent trip there. In fact, I have so many pictures I want to share, that I’ve put them in two different blog posts. (Blogger gets touchy about a post with too many pictures!)

My question for today: what do you think of the decision to film Northanger Abbey entirely in Ireland? Do you think Ireland’s Georgian buildings can pass for Bath with some clever photography? Do you think it doesn’t much matter where the story is set? Do you think the previous Northanger Abbey adaptation was so dreadful that anything will be an improvement?

All opinions welcome!

MY LADY GAMESTER — Booksellers’ Best Finalist for Best Regency of 2005!

Here are some more of my photos of Bath taken during my recent trip. I love just wandering around Bath, looking at everything, and taking pictures.

Of course, as Jane Austen pointed out, it does rain a lot in Bath. (Then again, it rains a lot everywhere in England. I have always thought it a bit odd that Austen seemed to believe it rained more in Bath than anywhere else. I suppose her general unhappiness in Bath may have something to do with it. Or perhaps it just happened to rain more when she was there? Or perhaps when she was indoors at Bath, she could hear the rain on the pavements much more than she could hear the rain in the countryside.)

As I was going to say, I just walk around Bath, wait for a break in the rain if it’s rainy, and wait for a break in the cars. Then I wait longer, hoping for a break in both at the same time. Or for blue sky. But in spite of all these difficulties, I’ve gotten a lot of lovely Bath pictures over the years! Here’s a “chair” — carriages weren’t very suitable for Bath’s hilly roads, so you would take a chair (carried by chairmen) up and down the hills, to the Baths, to the Pump Room, to the Assembly Rooms, etc. The fares were set and published, so the chairmen couldn’t cheat you!

Here we have the interior of the Pump Room. Just lovely. Here Catherine Morland strolled arm in arm with Isabella Thorpe. And of course, to be truly healthy, one would drink the mineral water here. (Nowadays one can have a cream tea instead. Much less healthful, I fear, but much more enjoyable.)

Here’s the outside of the Pump Room — the area here was known as the Pump Room Yard. It’s bordered by the Abbey Church (quite lovely, and much restored since the Regency, when it wasn’t nearly as nice as it is now) and right in the middle of everything — now nearly as much as it was two hundred years ago — at least for visitors to Bath!

And how could I forget a picture of Pulteney Bridge, surely one of the prettiest sights in Bath? A bird happened to fly through the picture as I was taking it — you may be able to make him out if you look closely.

Ah, Bath. What would Mr. Tilney ever do without you? You supply him such a variety of people to make witty remarks about. And you supply Mrs. Allen with a wonderful choice of fabrics. And Catherine Morland with more books than she could imagine.

Ah, Bath!


Posted in Jane Austen, Research | Tagged , | 1 Reply

I find a lot of people don’t know about this museum in Bath, so naturally whenever I get the opportunity I spread the word. It’s the home of the astronomer William Herschel, and where he discovered the planet Uranus in 1781 (I mean, through a telescope. He didn’t find a major planet lying around among the old newspapers, which is the sort of thing, on a less celestial scale, that happens in my house). Herschel’s story is fascinating. He was a refugee from Hanover and a musician (you can buy recordings of his works), and traveled around England for a time as an itinerant music teacher before settling in Bath. There, one of his pupils paid him with a telescope, and he figured out he could make a better one. So he did. His sister Caroline joined him in England and was also an astronomer, and after the discovery of Uranus many famous names flocked to his observatory at 19 New King St. Eventually King George III invited him to move near Windsor to continue his work there.
The house is gorgeous and intimate–on a much smaller and modest scale than the houses of the Royal Crescent, for instance, and beautifully restored (I kidnapped a pic of the music room–note the “wall to wall” carpeting–actually long strips of carpet, and the intricate wallpaper) and full of Herschel’s books, furniture, and telescopes. His laboratory still features the cracked flagstones from a mishap of 1781. There’s also a charming garden, with a replica of his telescope.
I only discovered this museum the last time I visited Bath and I’ve been in love with it ever since.
Anyone else care to share their favorite place?

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