Clutching My Pearls is my ongoing blog series about my take on Jane Austen’s beliefs and ideas, as based on her novels. I’ve also been blogging about now-obscure authors of the long 18th century. For more, click "Authoresses" on the menu at right. Click here for the first in the series.
- Adriana, the heroine, is troubled by the unwanted attentions of young Mr. Dawson, who is very much a John Thorpe (Northanger Abbey) type of character.
- The publisher, Benjamin Crosby, threatened to sue another publisher who brought out a book called A Winter at Bath at the same time, a dispute which spilled over to the newspapers and the review columns.
- A Winter in Bath is tied to the mystery over the authorship of The Woman of Colour, the unusual 1803 novel which features a “mulatto” heiress as its main character. More about that later.
- There is an Emma-like reference which might be interesting to Janeites. Mrs. Elton, the daughter of a Bristol trader in Emma, boasts that she has “resources within herself” which enable her to live in obscurity in the small village of Highbury. In A Winter in Bath, we have a minor character, Mr. Oakley. He was a prosperous Bristol trader who retires and moves to live like a gentleman in the country. But he misses his old life because he’s not interested in hunting or field sports and intellectually, he is: “[d]estitute of resources, with no taste for any intellectual or refined amusement….”
- This novel features a lesbian couple as minor characters. Have we got your attention now, modern academy?