"Nobody could catch cold by the sea; nobody wanted appetite by the sea; nobody wanted
spirits; nobody wanted strength. Sea air was healing, softening, relaxing — fortifying and
bracing — seemingly just as was wanted — sometimes one, sometimes the other. If the
sea breeze failed, the seabath was the certain corrective; and where bathing disagreed,
the sea air alone was evidently designed by nature for the cure.”
― Jane Austen, Sanditon
As Britain is an island nation, every scenic cove was transformed into some level of tourist get-away, from the opulence of Brighton with its Royal Pavilion to quaint villages on the coasts of Cornwall, where pirates and smugglers had so recently hidden their illegal cargoes. When I think of women walking along the seashores, my mind always goes to Gilbert and Sullivan's hilarious operetta, The Pirates of Penzance, in which the eight daughters of the Major-General romp over the rocky cliffs and encounter the most absurd pirates ever to terrorize the English coast. The 1983 movie, with Kevin Kline playing the best Pirate King ever, is one of my favorite films, and I am glad to see that it is now out on DVD. Linda Ronstadt's lovely voice won over the purists, Rex Smith is an admirable Frederick, and Angela Lansbury holds her own as the aged Ruth. The "Climbing Over Rocky Mountains" scene is delightful, with its comic posing.
Sources: Some old postcard of Cornwall; girls, Ackermann's Repository.