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Bath Curiosities Paperback – 22 Aug 2006
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Lurking beneath Bath's genteel spa town facade is a tangle of hidden quirky lives and unusual events. Take Lola Montez, siren, harpy, courtesan, Royal mistress and Spanish dancer, born in County Sligo as Eliza Rosanna Gilbert. Her flamboyant lifestyle and turbulent private life had their roots in her time at a demure finishing school in Bath. Then there's the eerie tale of 'Lady Betty Cobbe's ghost', a bizarre Regency fable surrounding a spirit, a mysterious black ribbon, and accurate premonitions of death. A host of other strange people, such as Dr James Graham, who practised electrotherapy and advocated earth baths, and William Oliver the Viper Catcher, make up Bath's colourful cast of characters. Delving into Bath's peculiar history, Michael Raffael has gathered together a rich collection of stories about these weird individuals and their duels, telescopes, cakes, fizzy drinks, Bath Buns, Sally Lunns and plasticene. The result is a highly readable, eclectic compendium of curiosities that will appeal to Bath residents and visitors alike.
About the Author
Michael Raffael is an acclaimed freelance food and travel writer. Educated at London University and the Ecole Nationale de Langues Orientales Vivantes in Paris, he has also worked as a chef and judged many national food writing competitions. He has amassed a number of awards, including Glenfiddich Food Writer of the Year, Visit USA Travel Writer of the Year, World Gourmand Cookbook Award and Restaurateurs Association Food Writer of the Year.