Spas and Spies in Saratoga Springs — 15 Comments

  1. It sounds like you had a wonderful time (especially thanks to Abigail!)
    I have been to Bath (my daughter took myself and my mum 6 years ago as a treat for my 65th birthday). I also live close to Buxton (another spa town famous for its water) There is a well with running water so if you take a bottle you can fill up for free! It’s a beautiful town and quite close to Chatsworth.
    You seem to have had good weather for your trip and some lovely countryside to explore. Thank you for sharing.

      • Well, then, that was a good error Glynis, better to be younger! Perhaps you are benefiting from drinking the Buxton waters! 🙂 Glad you enjoyed hearing about my trip. I can’t keep away from your beautiful country.

  2. Will the talks be available in any form?
    Sounds like a good conference.
    I’ve been to Bath but rarely think of it as a spa as one might other places where the whole focus is on the water. There is a book The Spas Of England that tells about the ones Austen would have known. One that was contemporary with her can be found on Google books.

    • Hi Nancy, I don’t know about plans for publication, but you might contact JASNA-NY to see if they have any information about any of the talks. The Roman baths are kind of a centerpiece of that town, and the Pump Room, right next to the baths, is where the fashionable folk (including Austen herself)drank the waters. Plus the name of the city! I became very interested in spas (used to be pronounced spaw!) and did a lot of research when I gave a paper at a JASNA-SW meeting a couple of years ago. So the conference papers didn’t seem very “new” to me, except for the one that gave a delightful history of Saratoga Springs.

  3. I’ve been to Saratoga Springs; it is indeed lovely! We were there in July, visiting my college roomie and her family. Her husband grew up giving tours of the battlefield as a docent (he’s a Revolutionary War reenactor…and Civil War, and WWI, and WWII…), so we had a delightful tour.

    Glad you had such marvelous weather and Abigail to hang out with! 😀

    Thanks for all the photos and a summary of your weekend, Diana!

    Susanne 🙂

    • Thank you, Susanne, it was great fun sharing. I wonder if your friend’s husband knew the tour people who entertained us so fabulously. They were excellent, really brought the history of the place alive.

  4. What a wonderful location for a meeting! You certainly had some wonderful speakers there. I’m going to buy Abigail’s book and plan to eventually get ‘The Austen Project’. Now the spy book by Captain Maffeo certainly sounds intriguing. I think I will add that to my wishlist as my husband just might like it too!

    As for Saratoga Springs, I have been there three times. Twice in the late 70’s to see a Linda Ronstadt concert and then Fleetwood Mac. During one of those times we went to the racetrack. Then in the early 80’s, we stayed at a bed & breakfast for one night before heading down to Long Island for a wedding. Needless to say, I loved the town but didn’t get to explore the surrounding area.

    Love your pictures and the Trillium is beautiful. I have only ever seen white ones up here.

    • Glad you enjoyed my visit, Carole! I have to say, those three books were a real trifecta of excellence. Abigail’s new book I is one of her best, Captain Maffeo was such a fine speaker I’m sure your husband would enjoy his book, and Kathleen Flynn is a new literary star.

  5. It was indeed a golden afternoon. It was a treat to show you the parts of Saratoga I love and to discover all the red trilliums (trillia?). You were very patient about being shown my old ‘special places.’ My white trillium is now blooming, but I’m thinking about adding some red ones.

    • I was the one being treated, Abigail – and I’m so grateful. You tripled my fun! I’m looking forward to seeing you at the AGM in October and we’ll have to arrange a side visit as AGM can to some extent be “a sad crowd in a little room,” and you can never “talk about books in a ballroom”!

  6. My husband and I went to Bath as part of our tour of GB in spring of 2004. We tasted the mineral water there and I cannot imagine drinking that regularly. I have not been to Saratoga but your trip sounded interesting. The Bachellor Mansion looks especially interesting. Glad to hear you had a tour with Abigail Reynolds. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks for commenting, Sheila. Isn’t Bath wonderful! Saratoga Springs is interesting too, but truly the best part of the trip was spending time and improving my friendship with Abigail!

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