Basically, you can’t tell chicken fodder from good literature (or maybe you are just a terrible bore) if you don’t like Jane Austen. And I believe there isn’t a place more iconic, more Austen-esque in its spirit than five maple trees standing in the centre of a grassy lawn, surrounded by four orbed houses and creating the perfect architectural circle called The Circus.
The place is situated in Bath (where else?), and it has more magic per square metre than any number of Roman baths or Assembly rooms or striking abbeys.
The Circus, a name as unbecoming as it is fantastic, seems a place you wish to encircle right until the moment you drop dead from dizziness and exhaustion. It has all the poetry and charming simplicity and desperation of Austen’s prose, once so brilliantly captured by Sally Hawkins’s character in the most dramatic scene of Persuasion and perhaps the whole of English literature of the period.