About this course

Through illustrated lectures, gallery and museum visits, city walks and presentations, this course offers an opportunity to study the art, literature, philosophies and architecture of the eighteenth century in the unique setting of Bath.

In less than seventy years, during the eighteenth century, Bath grew from a medieval city of narrow streets into one of the most beautiful cities in the world, marked now by its status as a World Heritage Site. Primarily three men achieved this triumph of architecture, culture and entertainment. Firstly, Richard ‘Beau’ Nash, who became Master of Ceremonies and organized the social life of the city into a state of unified elegance previously unknown outside London. Secondly, the young architect, John Wood, who dreamed of building a magnificent new Rome; and the entrepreneur Ralph Allen. Bath’s hey-day was over almost as quickly as it had begun and visitors such as Jane Austen and Admiral Lord Nelson found the expanded city a much less exclusive resort.

The course will also consider Bath’s more recent history: why the city’s popularity faded; how post-war politics adversely affected the unique heritage of Bath in the twentieth century; and the city’s current status as one of the world’s top tourist destinations.

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