People from all over the world love to read the books of Jane Austen and Agatha Christie. Bookworms flock to the famous and beautiful parts of the UK described in their fiction and their novels have an enduring charm that has long stood the test of time. Take the opportunity to celebrate their work at the end of this summer with two fun-packed festivals celebrating the scribes.
If you’re a literature fan, or even if you’re more a fan of film adaptations – Bride and Prejudice, From Prada to Nada and Bridget Jones’ Diary all take inspiration from Austen novels – September is the time to enjoy the history of these two formidable women. Here’s how:
Jane Austen Festival, 13th to 21st September
Jane Austen is a favorite for all romantic reading fans across the globe. Her tales of society circles, scandals and great loves still captivate modern audiences, as shown by the success of modern film versions of her novels, such as the recent Pride and Prejudice adaptation starring Keira Knightley.
The city of Bath is famous for its beautiful architecture and countryside, which you will see if you book a room in our Bath Central hotel. But it isn’t only a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its charming appearance; it’s also hugely valued for its historical importance. Since Roman times, the cream of society has travelled to the city not only to drink the health-giving waters of its natural springs, but to party in style in the city’s great ballrooms. This was particularly true during the time of Jane Austen’s writing. Bath features in many of Austen’s novels and the city is now full of museums and attractions dedicated to discovering the writer behind the fiction.
From plays to period re-enactments, to historical walks and costume fashion shows, the week-long festival program is packed to the rafters. Join in the Grand Regency Costumed Promenade on Saturday morning, or take a lesson in social etiquette on Tuesday afternoon. Whatever you do, don’t miss the Regency Costumed Masked Ball in the Pump Rooms on Friday 20th.
Agatha Christie Festival, 15th to 22nd September
Agatha Christie is Britain’s best-known mystery writer and one of the best-selling novelists of all time. Her detective stories introduced us to enduring detective characters such as Miss Marple and Poirot, and books such as Death on the Nile and Murder on the Orient Express have become classics in their own right.
The English Riviera is full of lovely beaches and quaint little towns, as it was when Christie grew up there over a century ago. Discover the settings for many of her stories, by booking a room in our Torquay hotel and exploring South Devon’s beautiful bay during the festival.
Enjoy cocktails in costumes, a mystery tour of the caves, or supper aboard the Riviera Belle Dining Train, where, with the help of the Candlelight Theatre Company, you’ll get to re-live a real train murder mystery. There will also be theatrical versions of Agatha Christie tales being performed, and plenty of literary talks on the life and works of this queen of crime. You can even participate in an in-character lunch on Christie’s special island retreat, where she wrote Evil Under the Sun and And Then There Were None.