At first Beau Nash ruled over it like an emperor, then Beau Brummel set the fashion, and throughout, the Beau Monde obeyed.
Having been enslaved by Jane Austen at a tender age and obsessed by the customs and manners of the Regency I found myself at last at that essential mecca for those who truly appreciate romance, The Pump Room, Bath!
While no bathing is now permitted and there are signs about the pools which clearly state that you should not even touch the water as it is saturated with poisonous substances, one could still imagine le Bon Ton disporting themselves in the acid green waters with the scrofulous and diseased. Oh the romance!
And the Pump Room! How often had I longed, like Catherine Morland, to sample the waters and tread where the less enthusiastic Anne Elliot had come under duress. I did both, marveling at the noble proportions of the room, as was proper, and approaching the classically inspired font from which poured the health giving waters with a view to sampling the wares.
A demure maiden dressed in a simple gown (muslin surely) and neat pinafore respectfully offered glasses of the cloudy liquid for a mere trifle and I imbibed the tumbler’s contents with mixed feelings of delight and revulsion. It tasted like stale soda water and had an odour remotely suggestive of an abandoned leather sandal worn by an old man with extensive podiatry complaints.
I belched dyspeptically and departed, the marrow sucked from another of life’s golden moments,