Milsom Street, Bath – Shopping with Jane Austen

Jane Austen's Milsom Street - Past and PresentMilsom Street, Bath – Past & Present

Milsom Street in Bath was first built in 1762 and Jane Austen writes about Milsom Street in Persuasion and Northanger Abbey. The street was orginally designed as grand houses but is known mainly for it’s shopping, even in Jane Austen’s time. In Persuasion, Jane Austen gives us a picture that is very much like Milsom Street today “… and in walking up Milsom Street she had the good fortune to meet with the Admiral. He was standing by himself at a printshop window, with his hands behind him, in earnest contemplation of some print”.

Similarly in Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen’s writing reveals the boutique nature of the shops:  “Do you know, I saw the prettiest hat you can imagine, in a shop window in Milsom Street just now”

I have merged a 2012 photo with a old (1890?) photo to give you a sense of how little it has changed.

(Thanks to and permission from for the old photo of Milsom Street, Bath, Somerset)



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