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Tuesday, July 20

Shopping and Milsom Street, Bath

Brock illustration of the print seller shop in Bath with Admiral Croft and Anne Elliot.

In 1995's Persuasion, Anne Elliot (Amanda Root) meets Admiral Croft (John Woodvine) and begin their walk in front of a print seller shop. Anne and the admiral then walk past a linen draper.

They stop in front of a boot maker to continue their conversation,

before walking through a small passage way, where a lamp lighter climbs a ladder to light the wick.

Anne and Admiral Croft parted ways. The very next time Anne Elliot walks through Bath, she goes to Molland's, a pastry cook's and confectioner's shop on Milsom street. Jane Austen wrote that the marzipan was delicious.

View of Milsom Street in 1806 (Nattes). The Elliots stayed in Camden Place, now Camden Crescent, which was a long slow climb from Molland's.

In this scene from the film, customers entering Molland's, which was situated at the lower end of Milsom Street. The extras really make this film seem authentic, including the touches of Regency life that are added throughout each scene.

Anne is with her sister Elizabeth and Mrs. Clay. It is raining and Mr. William Elliot is making arrangements to get the ladies home, but there are only two seats left in Lady Dalrymple's carriage. He has gone to find an umbrella in order to escort Anne back on foot to Camden Place.

While inside Molland's, Anne Elliot sees Captain Wentworth walking along Milsom Street. She is shocked to see him.

The captain is seen walking in front of a book shoppe and a shop selling imported China ware.

Anne at the instant she spots the captain.

Anne attempts to leave Molland's and encounters the Captain, who is entering the shop.

He is startled upon seeing her and they share an awkward moment. (We later learn he has come to Bath to find her.)

Truth be told, Anne is pleased with the encounter.

The following night, a rejuvenated Anne looks for the captain in the Upper Assembly Rooms. Print below: Milsom Street and the Bath Swells (Dandies) in Jane Austen's day.

Today Milsom Street is still a main shopping street, boasting banks, restaurants, pubs, clothing stores, furniture stores jewellers, book stores and department stores. And tourists.

More on the topic:


TONY said...

Absolutely brilliant, Vic. Did you take the picture of Milsom Street?

A real photostory.

I know this is hard to believe but i have only been to bath a couple of times in my life and that was just passing through.

I must admit it erks me somewhat the way that Bath has hijacked our beloved Jane. There are many people who think Jane Austen is all about Bath. She didn't actually like the place.

I prefer Bath for it's Roman heritage. OK the buildings are fantastic.

Vic said...

I've been to Bath, Tony, but not recently. That modern image of Milsom Street is from Wikimedia commons.

Knowing she hated Bath, it is interesting to note that she set two of her novels there. I was pulling some images from Persuasion for other reasons, but found these shop images so interesting! Vic

Cranberry Morning said...

Great photos! Next time I'm in Bath it will mean a lot more to me, for I've now read Austen novels.

I think I saw two renditions of Persuasion, and if I remember right, both of the Anne Elliots seemed a little more pathetic and desperate than what I'd taken away from the book.

Susan McShannon-Monteith said...

Though this version of the movie was enjoyable I preferred the BBC one with Sally Hawkins and Rubert Penry-Jones much better...
Your photos are wonderful.

Enid Wilson said...

Thanks for the scene by scene analysis. I've watched the series a few times but never noticed some of the things you mentioned. It's nice to look at present day Milson Street too.

Steamy Darcy

Jane Odiwe said...

What a lovely post.
You might like to know you can actually sit in the circulating library now and look through the window in Jamie Oliver's restaurant. You have to go into the shopping mall to access it - ask for the Georgian room to make sure you get sat in the right place!
The photos make me want to watch that gorgeous adaptation again.

Jane Odiwe said...

Incidentally, there is nowhere that really has Jane's conclusive documented feelings about whether she really hated or loved Bath. It's really biographers that have come to this conclusion from occasional comments in her books and letters.
I think she probably did come to dislike it after her father died especially when they were faced with poverty, but early letters and certainly Northanger Abbey give a youthful, more optimistic view. And there are some of the most romantic passages in her writing in Persuasion - read 'Was Jane happy in Bath?" by Nigel Nicolson if you can get a copy. I tend to agree with his view, I must say.

ChaChaneen said...

I lurve this film version the best too! The pastry shop was my favorite too as it begins to show another connection with Anne and Wentworth.