Search this blog

Monday, 14 September 2015

Jane Austen Festival 2015 Regency Promenade in Bath

Jane Austen Festival 2015 Regency Promenade in Bath © Andrew Knowles
Jane Austen Festival 2015 Regency Promenade in Bath © Andrew Knowles
On Saturday 12 September, hundreds of Regency and Jane Austen fans gathered at the Assembly Rooms in Bath for the start of the annual Regency-costumed Jane Austen Festival parade. The weather forecast was not the brilliant sunshine we had hoped for and last minute decisions had to be made as to whether to carry an umbrella or not. A heavy shower of rain shortly before the parade was about to begin caught out a few latecomers, but as we poured out of the Assembly Rooms in our Regency outfits, the rain stopped and soon the sun began to shine.

Here is Andrew’s video of the parade:



Dirty petticoats

The earlier rain made the path quite dirty in places and caused more than one person to quote from Pride and Prejudice, likening the experience to Lizzy Bennet walking to Netherfield to see her sister and making her petticoat dirty. Alas that we should have our petticoats “six inches deep in mud”! (1) I think we trusted in Mr Bingley’s judgement on our appearance, that we “looked remarkably well” from the exercise and I am sure that almost every onlooker would have agreed with him in saying: “Her dirty petticoat escaped my notice.” (1)

A little drizzle afflicted us now and again, but most of the parade was completed in the dry. Once in the Parade Gardens, we promenaded around, listening to the band and watching a demonstration of dancing before the rain sent everyone scurrying for shelter.

This is my daughter Abi’s video of the promenaders filling up the Parade Gardens:



The camera obscura

There was also a new exhibit in the gardens this year - a camera obscura. This was a small tent with a lens in its roof that enabled moving pictures from the surrounding area to be projected onto the white screen inside the darkened tent. These were very popular in the Georgian and Victorian eras.

Read more about the camera obscura in my September newsletter.

The camera obscura, Parade Gardens, Bath © Andrew Knowles
The camera obscura, Parade Gardens, Bath
Photo © Andrew Knowles
Here are some of Andrew’s photos of the parade:

Jane Austen Festival 2015 Regency Promenade in Bath © Andrew Knowles

Jane Austen Festival 2015 Regency Promenade in Bath © Andrew Knowles

Jane Austen Festival 2015 Regency Promenade in Bath © Andrew Knowles

Jane Austen Festival 2015 Regency Promenade in Bath © Andrew Knowles

Jane Austen Festival 2015 Regency Promenade in Bath © Andrew Knowles

Jane Austen Festival 2015 Regency Promenade in Bath © Andrew Knowles
 
Jane Austen Festival 2015 Regency Promenade in Bath © Andrew Knowles
Jane Austen Festival 2015 Regency Promenade in Bath
- Rachel Knowles with Sophie Andrews, Joana Starnes,
and Hazel Mills © Andrew Knowles
Jane Austen Festival 2015 Regency Promenade in Bath © Andrew Knowles

Jane Austen Festival 2015 Regency Promenade in Bath © Andrew Knowles

Jane Austen Festival 2015 Regency Promenade in Bath © Andrew Knowles

Jane Austen Festival 2015 Regency Promenade in Bath © Andrew Knowles

Jane Austen Festival 2015 Regency Promenade in Bath © Andrew Knowles

Jane Austen Festival 2015 Regency Promenade in Bath © Andrew Knowles

Jane Austen Festival 2015 Regency Promenade in Bath © Andrew Knowles

Jane Austen Festival 2015 Regency Promenade in Bath © Andrew Knowles

Jane Austen Festival 2015 Regency Promenade in Bath © Andrew Knowles

Jane Austen Festival 2015 Regency Promenade in Bath © Andrew Knowles

Jane Austen Festival 2015 Regency Promenade in Bath © Andrew Knowles

Jane Austen Festival 2015 Regency Promenade in Bath © Andrew Knowles

Jane Austen Festival 2015 Regency Promenade in Bath © Andrew Knowles

Jane Austen Festival 2015 Regency Promenade in Bath © Andrew Knowles

Jane Austen Festival 2015 Regency Promenade in Bath © Andrew Knowles

Jane Austen Festival 2015 Regency Promenade in Bath © Andrew Knowles

Jane Austen Festival 2015 Regency Promenade in Bath © Andrew Knowles

Jane Austen Festival 2015 Regency Promenade in Bath © Andrew Knowles

Jane Austen Festival 2015 Regency Promenade in Bath © Andrew Knowles

Jane Austen Festival 2015 Regency Promenade in Bath © Andrew Knowles

Emma

I was back again in Bath on Sunday, reading chapter six of Emma in the library as part of the Jane Austen Festival read-through in celebration of the 200th anniversary of its publication.

Rachel Knowles reading Emma in Bath library © Andrew Knowles
Rachel Knowles reading Emma in Bath library
© Andrew Knowles
Note
(1) From Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (1813)

All photos © regencyhistory.net
There are more pictures of the promenade on Flickr - click here to see the album.

20 comments:

  1. Wonderful to see video instead of stills! Thanks, Andrew and Rachel!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Suzan - I'm glad you enjoyed the video. :)

      Delete
  2. so many amazing costumes, and where did he get the pedestrian curricle!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the standard of costumes this year was perhaps even better than last year. :)

      Delete
  3. ... and wonderful to have video!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks to my wonderful husband. :) If he ends up parading next year, we'll clearly have to commission another family member to video for us!

      Delete
  4. Shame the music was so unauthentic....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am afraid I'm no expert at music. I assumed that the soldiers' music was the sort of thing that was played going into battle. Was it not right?

      Delete
  5. ah.. won't be visible then.. as I am sure it won't get approval... can't say anything wasn't lovely... heaven forfend....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. On the contrary - everyone is entitled to their opinion as long it is politely expressed. :)

      Delete
  6. What a wonderful day it was!! Lovely to see the photos and the video and such fun to spend the day with you, Sophie, Hazel and so many wonderful people. Can't wait for the next one!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a lovely day - and would have been a bit lonely for me without you and Sophie and the others to walk with. Thank you so much for welcoming me like an old friend. :)

      Delete
  7. This is a marvelous post--I almost feel like I was there. So fun to see Sophie in pink--she looked beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you - I am glad you were able to enjoy the day with us - if not in person. Sophie looked lovely in her new dress. :)

      Delete
  8. Lovely experience - first time taking part in the promenade. We would love to know how many people signed up for it. Someone there said 600???

    ReplyDelete
  9. Wonderful day - first time we had taken part in the promenade and a great experience. Would love to know how many were there - someone in the Pleasure Garden mentioned 600???

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have been trying to get an official answer, but not had any success as yet. Last year there were 550 people counted for the world record of greatest number of people in Regency costume but there were more outside who didn't make the count. It did not feel so busy inside the Assembly Rooms this year, but there were others who didn't come in. I heard that they had sold about 500 wristbands so I'm guessing that it was somewhere around this number.

      Delete
    2. The Jane Austen Festival Bath twitter account came back to me with a figure of around 500. As there was no count, it was difficult to tell how many of those who had bought tickets did not show up because of the weather and how many others turned up on the day.

      Delete
  10. Philippe
    It was a wonderful experience. It is the first time we attend the parade. We came from France to see it. Thank you for the photos and the videos.We won't forget this lovely day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad you enjoyed all the pictures and videos - it was indeed a wonderful day. :)

      Delete