Few cities have been so celebrated in print as Bath – from Smollett to Jane Austen, from Dickens to Fanny Burney, and from Sheridan to Georgette Heyer. Many other famous writers have passed through as well – Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein in a house in the Abbey Church Yard, Coleridge met his wife in the city, and in the twentieth century John Betjeman championed its architectural heritage. Even Shakespeare – or so it is believed – turned up to take a dip in the hot springs. These eleven walks look at Bath through their eyes, creating a vivid social history of the city over the last 300 years and bringing the past alive with unparalleled immediacy. Fully illustrated, and including in-depth accounts of the writers and works featured, they can either be followed on foot or – with the aid of historic maps of the city – read as a series of essays.
‘A scintillating tour of the city’s literary heritage, and in many respects of Britain’s … a wonderful book.’ Robert Morrell, Journal of Radical History
‘Few people have such extensive knowledge of Bath, its history and topography, as Andrew Swift and Kirsten Elliott, who have been leading walks through the city for 20 years, besides publishing articles and books on the subject … Tracing the story of Bath and its chroniclers [they] are unstinting in their information, a mixture of quirky anecdote and thorough research. Bath’s streets and buildings are well worth exploring for their literary connections as well as for the beauty of their architecture, and … this book, well provided with maps and illustrations, makes an excellent guide.’ Maggie Lane, Burney Bulletin