Bath City Language Coaching at the Jane Austen Centre, Bath

Bath City Language Coaching meets Mr Bennet at the Jane Austen Centre in Bath. Also known as Martin, Mr Bennet is often confused with Mr Darcy from Jane Austen‘s Pride and Prejudice, but he won’t challenge you to a duel if you get his name wrong. He tells us about an eye condition that Jane Austen often suffered from. Let’s put it this way, you wouldn’t want to share a pillow with her…

Jane Austen‘s Pride and Prejudice features a character called Mr Bennet, the father of the heroine Elizabeth Bennet who falls in love with the hero Mr Darcy. You will see him standing outside the Jane Austen Centre (or “Jane Austen Museum” as most people call it) in Bath. He is always there with a cheery wave, a welcoming “Hello!”, and a tip of his top hat. He is the most photographed person in Bath.

Bath City Language Coaching decided to ask him about his job and his interest in Jane Austen. Mr Bennet says that Jane Austen often had conjunctivitis, a nasty problem that causes your eye to become swollen, red and itchy. It often causes a horrid yellow-green discharge to ooze out of your eye, especially at night when it forms a hard green crust over your eyelid and eyelashes which makes it difficult to open your eye. Conjunctivitis, also known as Pink Eye, can spread easily. You shouldn’t share towels or pillows with a person who has conjunctivitis, or wear make-up if you have caught it.

Bath City Language Coaching doesn’t know if Jane Austen used green tea, marigold flowers, honey mixed in hot water, or the poisonous plant called Deadly Nightshade or Belladonna to cure her conjunctivitis. But wouldn’t Pride and Prejudice be more interesting if Mr Darcy gave it to Elizabeth Bennet when he lent her his handkerchief or when he had finished drying himself with her towel after swimming in the lake…

As I say in my previous blog video, Jane Austen was not a big fan of Bath or the people who lived here. But I would like to think she was a big fan of Bath City Language Coaching.

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