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Learn secrets of Britain’s literary greats’

The beautiful city of Bath may be best-known for its grand Georgian architecture and thermal Roman baths, but there have been a number of strong literary links to the city through the years. Pre-Covid 19 this cultural hot-spot usually plays host to a widely-renowned literary festival for adults and children, with well-known authors and illustrators of every genre making appearance over the festival’s length. However, there are a few distinguished authors more commonly linked to the city.

Jane Austen is undoubtedly Bath’s most famous former writer-in-residence and in truth her family were also rooted in the historic city, with her parents married and father buried at St Swithin’s Church, but Austen’s Aunt also sought refuge at No.1 The Paragon. Though he wasn’t in-residence, the great Charles Dickens was also known to be a frequent visitor to Bath in the 1830s, as a young reporter, staying at the city’s oldest pub The Saracens Head. The social life of Bath was satirised by Dickens in The Pickwick Papers and is said to have inspired characters in The Old Curiosity Shop.

Perhaps lesser known is that the Georgian façade also inspired Mary Shelley when writing the cult-classic Frankenstein. Then known as Mary Godwin, the mere 19 year-old arrived in Bath in September 1816, where she took up residence in the Abbey churchyard, where she would go on to write much of her celebrated novel, then regarded as the world’s first science fiction title.

Frankenstein is considered to be in the top 100 most influential books ever to be written and as way of paying homage to Shelley’s success, an exciting new attraction is soon hoping to welcome visitors beyond April. Said to be a ‘scarily atmospheric, multi-sensory and immersive experience’, Mary Shelley’s House of Frankenstein will unearth the author’s tragic and complex life, with themed areas centred round the shivering tale, as well as an escape room.

Please remember that Government guidelines currently state that we must continue to stay at home, but please wait patient in the knowledge that when we’re able to re-open, Bath Self Catering and the rest of the city will be ready to welcome you back, in-line with necessary safety measures, for a superb experience.

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