I am posting here several pictures from the JASNA-New York Capital Region’s Retreat from a few weeks ago – a fabulous time was had by all as we learned about, discussed, laughed over, and watched Jane Austen’s Persuasion. The overnight retreat was held at the Wiawaka Holiday House located on Lake George, New York, a perfect setting for a 24-hour immersion in the early 19th century. [See here for information on the weekend]
The event was facilitated by member Billie Franchini, who offered up great discussion questions, and kept us all on track and everything running very smoothly. We had the pleasure of listening to local author Marilyn Rothstein talk about the Regency Period, with tales of the Prince Regent, life in London for the upper classes, and Beau Brummell.
[Beau Brummell, by Aubrey Hammond, in Lewis Melville, Beau Brummell (NY: Doran, 1925) - at Hathi Trust]
Lisa Brown, from the Syracuse and Rochester JASNA regions (and who has said she really just joined JASNA so she could talk about her first Love, The Royal Navy!), gave an enlightening talk on the uniforms of the Royal Navy from the period, as she passed around various examples of jackets made of superfine wool with epaulettes and buttons that we could handle and ooh! and aah! over [alas! – all empty with no Captain Wentworth in sight!]
Lisa spoke the next day as well on “How Captain Wentworth Made His Fortune” – wherein we learned about the various ships of the period (and those that Wentworth commanded), the rating system, how one became an officer with hopes of success in battle and a future as an admiral, how one earned their prize money, how often a sailor was relegated to half-pay status [think Capt. Harville] and how very knowledgeable Jane Austen was about the Royal Navy because of her brothers’ involvement. Lisa is a veritable encyclopedia about the RN and she handled our peppering with questions admirably! [very excited to announce that Lisa will be speaking at our JASNA-Vermont June 2014 meeting!]
The weekend ended with a sumptuous Tea, prepared mostly by RC Pat Friesen, and a final discussion of the joys of viewing the movie adaptation of Persuasion – thankfully the one with Amanda Root and Ciaran Hinds! – which we had done the night before… one never tires of this nearly perfect adaptation, and one always sees things not seen before, moreso when viewing it with a group…
A lovely 24-hour immersion! – up for next year is Northanger Abbey, and a more perfect setting I cannot imagine. Thank you all in the Capital Region JASNA group for making us all feel so very welcome and offering up insightful Austen discussion!
- Marilyn Rothstein writes mysteries under the name of M. E. Kemp – you can view her website here
- Lisa Brown’s presentation at the Brooklyn JASNA AGM – “Dressing the Miss Bennets” is largely viewable at the Jane Austen’s World’s blog – click here for Vic’s various videos of this fashion extravaganza
All photos reprinted courtesy of Mary Huber, Lisa Brown, and Deb Barnum; you can view more photos of the retreat here: