Jane Austen Festival 2019 Review
The 2019 Jane Austen Festival took place from 13th-22nd September, during which we welcomed locals and visitors for far-off places alike to over 90 events.
Our world-famous Regency costumed Promenade took a new, more accessible, route for the first time this year, starting in Sydney Gardens and processing down Great Pulteney Street. One thing we didn’t plan, but were lucky to receive, was beautiful sunny weather! The 500 Promenaders were able to see Bath at its best, bathed in sunshine, with plenty of parasols and no umbrellas in sight.
The Promenade was led by the 33rd Regiment of Foot, red-coat re-enactment soldiers, who camped at the Holburne Museum where they provided free talks and displays throughout the first weekend of the Festival, as well as some rousing music on Sunday morning to wake up anyone sleeping in after a late night at the Country Dance on Saturday evening!
The Festival Country Dance, with over 200 people in attendance, took place at the Assembly Rooms for the first time this year. Our attendees were able to eat, drink, dance and play cards in the same rooms that both Austen and her characters did, more than 200 years ago. Visitors later in the week were able to join us for the spectacular Masked Ball on Friday night: a drinks reception by the Roman Baths, followed by dinner and dancing in the Pump Rooms, showcasing the best and most beautiful parts of Bath’s history, and another opportunity to follow in the footsteps of Austen and the characters that are so well loved throughout the world.
There was plenty for those Austen fans who prefer reading to dancing, with talks on many aspects of Austen’s works throughout the week, including the ever-popular Prof. John Mullan, author of “What Matters in Austen”. For 2019, we chose Austen’s scandalous novella “Lady Susan”, following the schemes of a lady described as “the most accomplished coquette in England”. We enjoyed a raucous performance of Lady Susan by Bath’s own Natural Theatre Company, and followed the novella in our free readings, kindly hosted by Waterstones. It is testimony to Austen’s world-wide popularity that we had readers from four different continents come to help read chapters to Festival-goers!
As ever, our Festival was supported by a fantastic, hard-working and cheerful team of invaluable volunteer stewards who gave up their time to help run events throughout the ten days of the Festival. We are so very grateful to them, and to all the Bath residents whose good-will and friendliness made the Festival a wonderful experience for those visiting it.
August 2019 – Newsletter
There are just under four weeks until the start of the 2019 Jane Austen Festival. We are so excited to welcome Austen fans from all over the world to Bath next month- if you will be joining us, then we look forward to seeing you. If you will be joining in the fun at home through following our social media accounts, then we hope you enjoy that as well. We’ll try to share as much of our most spectacular events as we can!
If you are still thinking about which events to go to, then do join Bath favourites, The Natural Theatre Company, for one of their hilarious Austen Undone walking tours around Bath on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th September.
If you can’t join us on the first weekend, The Naturals will be putting on a performance of Austen’s scandalous novella, Lady Susan, on Wednesday 18th September.
Comedy fans will also enjoy Karen Eterovich’s “Cheer from Chawton“, returning to Bath for the fourth time, on Saturday 21st September. Budding actors can also join Karen’s acting masterclass on bringing Austen characters to life.
Check out our programme for full details of all our events…
July 2019 – Newsletter
Tickets to the 2019 Jane Austen Festival are now on general sale!
They are selling fast, and our Country Dance at the Assembly Rooms is already sold out. Fear not- if you are feeling heartbroken at missing out on a ticket, consider one of these events instead…
Our Regency Costumed Masked Ball, on Friday 20th September. A drinks reception at the Roman Baths followed by dancing and dinner in the Pump Rooms. This is the most visually spectacular of all our events, and a chance to wear your Regency finest.
Day of Dance on Monday 16th September. Two dance workshops at the beautiful Assembly Rooms in Bath, followed by a narrated dance performance given by the Jane Austen Dancers.
“To Be Fond of Dancing”, a hour’s talk by Charlotte Cumper of the Jane Austen Dancers on the rules of dancing in Jane Austen’s time. How did the Netherfield Ball differ from the Meryton Assembly? Why couldn’t Catherine Morland just refuse to dance with John Thorpe?
June 2019 – Newsletter
Greetings from sunny Bath,
There are just ten more days until tickets to the Jane Austen Festival 2019 go on general sale… You can find a pdf of the official programme on our website here.
One wonderful thing about the Jane Austen Festival is that everyone who comes is a book-lover- it gives us all something in common and something to bond over!
Amongst the authors we are welcoming to the Festival this year are:
– Cass Grafton and Ada Bright, who will be launching their eBook “The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen”, a wonderful work (set right here in the Jane Austen Festival!) on Friday 13th September. They’ll be interviewed at our Pre-Festival Get-Together by Gabrielle Malcolm, author of “Fan Phenomena: Jane Austen”.
-Carrie Kablean, author of “What Kitty Did Next”. Carrie will be discussing her novel, following Kitty after the events of Pride and Prejudice, in a free event on Saturday 14th September.
– Sophie Andrews, author of “Be More Jane”. Sophie will be holding an informal Q&A session, as well as signing copies of her book, on Tuesday 17th September.