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Monday, 15 September 2014

Jane Austen Festival 2014 Regency Promenade in Bath

The Jane Austen Festival Promenade
The Jane Austen Festival Promenade
A step back in time

On Saturday, Bath stepped back in time to its Georgian heyday. The streets were full of Jane Austen enthusiasts dressed up in Regency costume for the Jane Austen Festival Grand Regency Costumed Promenade.

Here's Andrew's video of the parade...



...and lots of photos from my three lovely photographers - my husband Andrew, his brother Stephen and our youngest daughter Mirabelle.

The Jane Austen Festival Promenade
The Jane Austen Festival Promenade
Photo © Stephen Knowles
The Jane Austen Festival Promenade  Photo © Stephen Knowles
The Jane Austen Festival Promenade
Photo © Stephen Knowles
A new world record!

We met in the beautiful Georgian Assembly Rooms, where we successfully set a new world record for the most people dressed up in Regency costume in one place: 550! And that could have been more as people were still arriving after the official count as a rugby match and a university open day also taking place on Saturday had caused more than a few Austenites to be delayed by traffic.

Rachel outside the Assembly Rooms  Photo © Mirabelle Knowles
Rachel outside the Assembly Rooms
Photo © Mirabelle Knowles
Regency Bath

Soldiers in the Jane Austen Regency Promenade
Soldiers on parade
Photo © Stephen Knowles
The promenade was led by a dashing group of redcoats and staff from the Jane Austen Centre. We paraded through much of the Georgian city including the very fashionable Circus, where the painter Thomas Gainsborough and the Earl of Chatham once lived, and down Milsom Street, where Regency ladies would have visited the circulating library and gone shopping.

Soldiers in the Jane Austen Regency Promenade
Soldiers on parade
Parading around The Circus
Parading around The Circus
Photo © Mirabelle Knowles
The atmosphere was amazing. We were all joined together by our love of the Regency period and it was great to make new friends as we walked in the footsteps of Jane Austen, who lived in Bath for several years and set parts of two of her novels there – Northanger Abbey and Persuasion.

Meeting Mr Wickham

An extra special moment for me was meeting the charming Adrian Lukis alias Mr Wickham from the superlative 1995 BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice.

Rachel Knowles and Adrian Lukis, aka Mr Wickham
Meeting Mr Wickham (Adrian Lukis)
Photo © Mirabelle Knowles
Photographs in the park

The promenade ended in the Parade Gardens alongside the River Avon – a beautiful setting for a picnic and photographs.

A Regency picnic in the park
A Regency picnic in the park
The Jane Austen Festival Promenade - in Parade Gardens
The Jane Austen Festival - in Parade Gardens
Photo © Stephen Knowles
The Jane Austen Festival Promenade - in Parade Gardens
The Jane Austen Festival Promenade - in Parade Gardens
Silhouettes and milliners

After the promenade, I visited the Festival Fayre in the Guildhall where I had my silhouette cut out by the amazing Charles Burns – The Roving Artist – and tried on a wide variety of exquisite hats and bonnets made by Farthingale Historical Hats.

The Roving Artist at work
The Roving Artist at work
Silhouette of Rachel Knowles in Regency costume by The Roving Artist
My silhouette
by The Roving Artist
Yet more photographs


The Jane Austen Festival Promenade  Photo © Stephen Knowles
The Jane Austen Festival Promenade
Photo © Stephen Knowles
I thoroughly enjoyed wearing my Regency costume for the first time and am looking forward to meeting up with everyone again next year.

Rachel with Natalie Garbett (left)  who made my beautiful Regency costume
Rachel with Natalie Garbett (left)
who made my beautiful Regency costume
Photo © Stephen Knowles
Read about the making of my costume here.
More photographs of the Jane Austen Festival on Andrew's Flickr account, on Mirabelle's photography page and on Stephen's Flickr album here.

Photographs © Mirabelle Knowles and Stephen Knowles as stated.
All other photographs © Andrew Knowles.

12 comments:

  1. You looked super, Rachel. So glad you enjoyed yourself. See you there next year!

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    1. Thank you so much. :) I had such a lovely day, though my feet were killing me by the end of it! I do hope you can make it next year.

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  2. I spotted myself in the video at about 8.50. The walking this time seemed extra long. lol!

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    1. Glad you persevered - you must have had to watch the whole thing. :) This was my first Regency promenade, so I had no idea what to expect. I did have aching feet by the end of the day though!

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  3. It was such a wonderful day, made even better by getting to meet you face to face after the best part of two years of reading your blog :) SO glad it happened, what a wonderful stroke of luck for me, and thanks to both you and Mirabelle for posting the wonderful pictures!

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    1. Making new friends made the whole experience very special. It was lovely to meet you and I hope you will continue enjoying my blog for many years to come!

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  4. What a lot of fun, a marvellous day had by all I should love to have been there to witness it all, Pity Mr Wickham aka Adrian Lukis was out of uniform , the bounder!

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    1. It was great fun. Adrian Lukis said that he didn't think he would fit into his Wickham outfit anymore!

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    2. someone should make him a new outfit. ;)

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  5. What a lot of fun, I should love to have been there, pity Mr Wickham aka Adrian Lukis was out of uniform, the bounder didn't want to be recognized obviously in disguise hiding from Mrs. Wickham

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    Replies
    1. What a lovely idea - going incognito to hide from Lydia!!

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