The Jet Sisters Jane Austen

In 2017 I spent a week in Bath, England as part of a museums intensive course. In the allotted spare time given us I explored the city, walking in Jane Austen’s footsteps, and having read Austen’s Northanger Abbey in preparation for my visit, I even had myself a Catherine Morland Day out on the town. By the end of a week full of Austen and Bath museum tours and history lessons, I thought I’d seen everything and was happy to see Bath fade into the distance as our coach carried us to the next city, except for one thing. I longed to come back someday when I could see men in smart red soldier coats and women in long gowns strolling through the Georgian-era city streets and picnicking on the lawn outside The Royal Crescent. I am of course referring to the annual Jane Austen Festival that takes place in Bath each September. Wondering if I could get anybody to join me for such an adventure, I shelved the idea for later and faced front as the bus rolled on.

Royal Crescent, Bath
Bath’s Royal Crescent, hoping to return here for the Jane Austen Festival someday!

That was until early 2020, when an email popped into my inbox from my favorite pair of traveling sisters, The Jet Sisters. Angie and Rachel were planning to lead 3 group tours this year and one of them was a 10-person, girls-only, group trip to the Jane Austen Festival in Bath! I messaged Angie straight away to tell her I was packing my bag and just needed a costume!

Check out The Jet Sister’s video from their first visit to the Jane Austen Festival in Bath

I probably don’t need to tell you that the trip has now been canceled, as has the Jane Austen Festival itself, and I can only hope that next year travel will resume, countries will open their borders, and festivals can once again be held, as well as group trips. So here’s how I [would have] prepped…

*This post contains some affiliate links. If you purchase items through these links, I’ll make a few cents at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting the blog!

A Reading List

I could, of course, re-read Jane Austen, starting with Northanger Abbey, and Persuasion, the two books in which characters spend a significant amount of time in Bath. As I have previously made a trip to Bath revolving around Austen’s books, however, I opted instead for some newer Austen fanfic instead. I picked up The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen by Ada Bright and Cass Grafton. It takes place during the annual festival in Bath and involves a little time travel meets modern day, and mystery.

Cass Grafton Book
Jane Austen tea and fan fic, the perfect combo

Every year at the Festival, authors and historians who’ve written Jane Austen related works give talks and presentations. Author Cass Grafton was supposed to be part of a panel speaking at the festival this year so I was hoping to meet her and get my book signed.

Unfortunately, due to the festival cancellation, there isn’t much information available on the festival’s website, so I reached out to Grafton to find out which other authors were to be on the panel with her. Dr. Gabrielle Malcolm, who’s spoken at the festival in the past, was to host the panel. She’s written two Austen related books: There’s Something About Darcy & Fan Phenomena: Jane Austen. They were to be joined by Karin Quint, author of Jane Austen’s England: A Travel Guide, Catherine Curzon, an author of British royal histories, and Rose Servitova, author of The Longbourn Letters: The Correspondence between Mr Collins & Mr Bennet, and a couple other Austen related works.

Grafton also mentioned a few more authors who have spoken at the festival in the past: Prof John Milan, Paula Byrne, Helena Kelly, and Rebecca Smith. If you’re planning to go to the festival, I recommend checking out the works of some of these authors and the Festival Publications list. Once you’ve had your fill of original Austens, of course.

The Costume

Regency period costumes are required for certain events (though I’m not sure why anyone would not want to join in the fun of dressing up!). The costume events include a promenade (the opening parade), a country dance and a masked ball, and a couple receptions. Costumes can either be sewn, purchased, or rented.

I haven’t decided yet which route to take myself, but now I have an extra year to decide! I’m tempted to try my hand at sewing a dress, because if I mess up I still have time to buy or rent one instead. The last time I tried to sew a costume dress, however, it only kind of fit. (For the sewers out there- I have a real problem with sleeves. The dress moved up and down when I moved my arms.)

Austen Film Adaptation Viewings and Tea Parties

Why wait for the festival to start indulging in Austen-related activities? Gather some girlfriends for Jane Austen film adaptation nights and tea parties!

Austen Tea Party
This is actually the last photo taken with my phone pre-Covid times. Cake, scones, and Noveltea Tins Pride and Peppermint tea for a girls movie night with the six-hour Pride and Prejudice

Get the six-hour Pride and Prejudice film rolling and brew some tea. I suggest Noveltea Tins Pride and Peppermint or Sense and Senchability or Simpson & Vail’s Jane Austen Black Tea Blend.

Unfortunately Covid has currently put a halt to gatherings with friends, but as soon as we are able, I hope to continue girls Austen movie nights and try out some of the recipes in Dinner with Mr. Darcy by Pen Vogler.

Let’s Chat!

Are you a Jane Austen fan? Have you been to any Jane Austen Festival? Do you want to go? Are there other ways we can enjoy Austen festivities at home during this time? Let’s discuss in the comments below!

Like this post? Save it for later!

Jane Austen Fest Prep Pin

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

You might also enjoy:

%d bloggers like this: