The Pump Room, Bath

Did Jane Austen take a turn about the room? Of course she did, and so did I, but not before taking this picture of the enticing facade.

Did Jane Austen take a turn about the room? Of course she did, and so did I, but not before taking this picture of the enticing facade.

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,

One can't help but wonder how many Regency Belles and Beaus inadvertently imbibed the diseased epidermises of the scrofulous patrons dunking themselves in the same water source. Oh the romance!

One can’t help but wonder how many Regency Belles and Beaus inadvertently imbibed the diseased epidermises of the scrofulous patrons dunking themselves in the same water source. Oh the romance!

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3 thoughts on “The Pump Room, Bath

  1. Pingback: Papa Bouilloire Chapter the Fourth | La vie est trop courte pour boire du mauvais vin

  2. Your pictures of the beautiful stonework give a great feeling of what it’s like to be in Bath. I like them both but especially admire the one of the dancing fish fountain – it’s so hard to get an architectural shot like that right. And I was far from impressed by the ‘health giving waters’ too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for reading and for your kind words about the photos. I still enjoyed “taking the waters” as I felt, for a brief but ecstatic moment” that I doing what Jane Austen would have done. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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