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Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Jane Austen and Bath V: Walcot

St Swithin's Church tower.
Anne Elliot walks off with Mr Elliot.
Jane Austen fans will know that the novelist, like Persuasion's Anne Elliot, had a very strong 'disinclination for Bath', but the town held very fond memories for her parents.
That's probably why George Austen decided to retire there sometime towards the end of 1800. Over thirty years earlier, George and his wife Cassandra Leigh were married in the medieval church of St Swithin's Church, Walcot on 26 April 1764. 

Jane's aunt and uncle, the Leigh-Perrots, lived in Bath, too. And the town's genteel pleasures were just the ticket for a clergyman's retirement, with its libraries, shops, concerts - and therapeutic spa baths in case of illness.
St Swithin's Church.

George Austen's grave.
But despite the fame of the Bath waters, George was poorly during the last three years of his life. He died on 21 January 1805, and was buried in the crypt of St Swithin's; you can visit his gravestone in the churchyard.

All photos (c) Sue Wilkes.

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