Do you suffer from gout? An inflamed, arthritic joint, often in the big toe? Perhaps you should take the waters. Of course, that would involve traveling to Bath, England, and who has the money to do that these days? I sure don’t; although I wish I did. In fact, I missed out on several opportunities to visit Bath when I lived in the UK, and I regret every single one of them.
If you have ever heard of the phrase “taking the waters,” it would have most likely been in context of the Regency era, you know Jane Austen and stuff. Bath has natural springs, whose mineral-filled water was thought to have healing and, at times, miracle, powers. Gout? Check. Leprosy? You betcha. So if your physician prescribed taking the waters, off to Bath you went. And not just for the healing minerals but because there was a season for London and a season for Bath. And no one would want to be caught dead not showing themselves in polite society at the right time.
Let me move on to the real reason for this post—why I chose the name “Taking the Waters; or a 21st-century girl’s restoratives.” My friends might call me obsessed with 18th-century British lit, especially that by women, but I consider it a healthy passion for something that, I believe, is often overlooked compared to its more dominating successor Victorian literature. So in order to make my education worth more than a piece of paper with my name and M.Sc. Literature and Society: 1688-1900 on it, I’ve decided to apply it to my life, as in a lovely blog where I shell out information for the willing reader, who might just discover a latent interest in him or her.
Taking the Waters is my exploration in what calms me when the crazy becomes too much, and maybe you’ll find it amusing too. When Bath’s healing water is out of reach, these are the things I cling to—book reviews, K-drama reviews, bookbinding etc.—to keep me from succumbing to the whirlwind in my mind. Did I mention I’ll be brightening up your day with a sprinkling of facts about the 18th-century? Because I will.
Shall we take the waters, then?