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Dear Gentle Readers: Today I welcome Margaret Harrington, a member of JASNA and happily for us, the Vermont Region. Margaret recently returned from her immersion in Sense and Sensibility at the Jane Austen Summer Program at UNC Chapel Hill, June 12-15, 2014. She shares with us her thoughts with pictures – looks to have been a delightful adventure!

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The Jane Austen Summer Program at UNC ~
Sense & Sensibility Revisited”

by Margaret Harrington, JASNA Vermont member

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Jane Austen’s juvenilia play “Jack and Alice” given a lively performance

[Note: JASP has graciously made this production available online - you can view it here:
http://janeaustensummer.org/2014/06/30/2015-jasp-video-of-theatricals-jack-and-alice/ ]

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I experienced blissful immersion in Jane Austen’s novel Sense and Sensibility during this four day conference at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. From the gracious reception at the UNC Friday Center throughout the days and evenings of serious enjoyment, I conclude that this was a wonderful personal adventure. There were lectures, teas, regency dancing, a play, movies, intense conversations about Jane Austen, and some thunder storms. The conference offered study of the book itself, provided insight into the culture in which it was written, and even gave a pleasant glimpse of one or two aspects of contemporary culture in the American south.

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A warm welcome from Emma, Emily and Rachel at the UNC Friday Center

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‘Elevenses’ of clotted cream and scones dished up by Gisele Rankin of JASNA North Carolina

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 Lunch on the lawn with kite flying and shuttlecock

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The ‘Sense and Sensibility’ Ball at Gerrard Hall, UNC

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 Drama at the Sense and Sensibility Ball

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Dr. James Thompson of UNC-Chapel Hill co-hosted the event and set the tone for the conference as both formally educational and informally warm and welcoming.

 

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Inger Brodey

The initial lecture by his co-host Dr. Inger Brodey, also of UNC-Chapel Hill, entitled “Making Sense of Sensibility” placed us in the Regency world of the philosophers and other writers who influenced Jane Austen’s concepts. I gleaned from this opening lecture that to interpret the novel as a dichotomy between sense and sensibility or as a tension between the two mind sets of Marianne and Elinor is to limit perception.  Professor Brodey opened up a whole world of ideas which were accessible to Austen and evidenced in her writing and showed me that Sense and Sensibility has a richness of texture I had not been aware of prior to the lecture.

In fact the days were planned to deepen understanding of the novel with 15 minute context corners on the subjects of Law and Inheritance, Childhood and Education, Medicine and Illness, and the Clergy and the Church. These were followed with 45 minute Context Response sessions during which we, the participants, exchanged ideas. Then of course there were ‘Elevenses’ with scones and clotted cream. There were boxed lunches on the lawn with kites, battledore and shuttlecock as period entertainment. There were dance workshops to prepare us for the Regency ball. There was an amusing and informative lecture by Colgate University Professor Deborah Knuth Klenck on: “Jane Austen’s School of Rhetoric: Style, Substance and ‘Delicacy of Mind.’”

 

 

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Jade Bettin, UNC-Chapel Hill, demonstrates (on a willing participant) the way to corset up properly during her lecture “‘But he talked of flannel waistcoats’: How Clothing Makes the Men and Women of S&S.”

 

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 Ruth Verbunt of the North Carolina Regency Assembly after her insightful talk “Mourning in the Time of Jane Austen”

[see also their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/regencyassembly.ofnorthcarolina ]

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Dr. Robert Clark, University of East Anglia, Norwich, England, author of The Literary Encyclopedia, was an amazing speaker in the two lectures he gave to expand and deepen our understanding of Sense and Sensibility. In the first he concentrated on the economic facts that drove Jane Austen’s world, such as The Inclosure Act of 1773, which diminished the number of people who could own land to under 500 in all of England, entitling an oligarchical society to the prestige and privileges Austen’s characters scramble so hard to hold onto in her novels. In his second lecture entitled “The White Glare of Bath,” Professor Clark made Jane Austen’s playground of intrigue, balls, and shopping come alive up from the ground in the white stones and mortar and rubble that savvy developers offered to the rich for their recreational homes. In his remarkable lecture I could see Jane Austen moving about Bath, shopping and promenading, visiting, plotting her novels.

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 Dr. Robert Clark relaxes a moment after his talk on Bath

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All in all my experience was totally wonderful and I’d recommend it to Janeites everywhere. Next year’s conference is entitled “Emma at 200.”

Imagine that!

I leave you with a picture of Janeite Maureen O’Connor who attended the conference from far away Brooklyn and dressed authentically for every occasion:

Maureen O'Connor

Maureen O’Connor

Text and images by Margaret Harrington, with thanks!

I suggest we all mark our calendars now for next June 18-21, 2015! info is here: http://janeaustensummer.org/

 c2014, Jane Austen in Vermont

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UPDATE:  Mr Darcy’s [a.k.a Laurence Olivier] jacket sold for $6,500. – estimate was $1500. – $2000. (this price is not yet verified by the auction house) – more to come later today re: Gladiator!

 There is a Hollywood auction taking place today in California – the Profiles in History auction house has a number of Hollywood artifacts being offered at their Hollywood Auction 56, the costumes for the Sound of Music movie for starters. But here is one item of interest to Jane Austen followers, a pure piece of Austen and movie memorabilia to grace anyone’s closet:

Darcyjacket

Lot 422: Laurence Olivier screen-worn “Mr. Darcy” jacket from Pride and Prejudice.

Estimated Price: $1,500 – $2,000   starting bid: $1,500

Description:

Laurence Olivier screen-worn “Mr. Darcy” jacket from Pride and Prejudice. (MGM, 1940).

A beautiful smoking jacket, screen-worn by Laurence Olivier as “Mr. Darcy” in the epic film adapted from the classic Jane Austen novel, Pride and Prejudice. Consisting of crimson, corded silk jacket with wide quilted satin lapels, black braid brocade loop and cloth-covered button front closure, integral sash with black fringed ends, crème-colored pleats peeking from sleeve cuffs and dark maroon satin lining throughout. MGM internal bias label on inside collar with “Larry Olivier” handwritten in black ink. This striking costume exhibits barely detectable age and wear. Fabric remains fresh with colors vibrant. Overall in vintage fine condition.

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and view the various other pieces of Hollywood history that are available, 988 lots in total, from Marilyn Monroe to the Von Trapps – the catalogue itself a work of art and collectible for any movie nut. Here is the link to the flipbook - Mr. Darcy’s jacket is on page 141, right next to Gary Cooper’s costume from Sergeant York and opposite Judy Garland Wizard of Oz posters…

It all goes live this morning 11:00 am. PST!

olivier-darcy

p.s.: do you think Mr Darcy SMOKED??

p.s. 2: just so you don’t think that my other fantasies are not touched on in this auction, if you go to page 298-300, you will find the following:

Maximus tunicRussell Crowe-Gladiator

Lot 803: Russell Crowe’s Maximus tunic from Gladiator.

Estimated Price: $2,000 – $3,000

Description:

Russell Crowe’s Maximus tunic from Gladiator. (DreamWorks, 2000) This tunic was worn by Russell Crowe as “Maximus” in Gladiator. The sleeveless, knee-length tunic is constructed from studio-distressed, unbleached cotton homespun fabric and lined with a light weight muslin reinforcement lining. A bias tag with “Max” written in black ink is sewn under the muslin lining at the back of the neck.  “Max” wears this tunic when he is abducted from his destroyed home by Roman slave traders and taken to Zucchabar, a Roman city in North Africa. There, he is bought by the trader “Proximo” and forced to become a gladiator. Accompanied by a letter of authenticity from the costumer.

[Note: Bidding for this item begins on July 29, 2013, 11:00 am PST]

I might just have to buy this catalogue!

c2013 Jane Austen in Vermont

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Originally posted on Recent Antiquarian Acquisitions:

Click for larger image

“A lady stands at her dressing-table (right), her hair in an enormous pyramid decorated with feathers torn from a peacock, an ostrich and a cock. A young girl wearing a hat holds the peacock by a wing; another wearing a cap tugs hard at one of its tail feathers (which are very unlike peacock’s feathers). An ostrich (left), which has lost most of its tail feathers, is about to pluck out those which ornament the lady’s hair. A cock stands in the foreground (right), having lost almost all its tail feathers, many of which lie on the floor. A black servant wearing a turban stands on his mistress’s right, handing feathers from a number which he holds in his left hand. The lady, who faces three-quarter to the right, is elaborately dressed in the fashion of the day. Her pyramid of hair is decorated with lappets of lace and festoons…

View original 71 more words

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The AGM in Brooklyn brought many pleasures, and one of the most pleasurable was meeting and talking with Susannah Fullerton.  I have long been an admirer – she is the President of the Jane Austen Society of Australia and a quick perusal of their website shows the extent of what she and her organization do, from annual meetings to conferences and the JASA publications Sensibilities and The JASA Chronicle.  Susannah also leads a number of literary tours for ASA Cultural Tours  [Australians Studying Abroad], and lectures on Austen around the world. And I must add that she was perfectly cast as the close-to-hysterical Marianne in the “Austen Assizes” script by Diana Birchall and Syrie James staged in Brooklyn!

Susannah has written many articles and a few books, one on which remains an all-time favorite, Jane Austen and Crime (Jones Books, 2004), wherein Ms. Fullerton gives us the real world that Jane Austen alludes to in all her works, the realities of such pieces in the narrative as Willoughby as serial seducer, Lydia’s “elopement,” and even the gypsies in Emma.  In her newest work, A Dance with Jane Austen: How a Novelist and her Characters went to the Ball (London: Frances Lincoln, 2012), Fullerton offers up the same detailed analysis of what Austen so off-handedly tells us, most of which we don’t quite “get” as 21st-century readers – the dressing for the dance, getting to the Ball, the various types of balls, proper etiquette, the music, the conversation, the Men! – all of it to enhance our understanding of Austen’s time and therefore her stories…

I have asked Susannah to join us today to tell us a little about her book, and her publisher has generously offered a copy for a giveaway – please see the information below on entering to win!

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SF:  Some years ago I was having dinner with Joan Strasbaugh of Jones Books, the publishing firm which had brought out the American edition of my book Jane Austen and Crime, when Joan suggested that a book that really needed to be written was a book about Jane Austen and Dance. I was taken aback for a moment! Surely, with dances playing such a vital role in Jane Austen’s fiction, that subject had already been covered. But when I stopped to think, I realised it had not. Many Austen scholars have written about her dance scenes as part of other works, but there was no one book devoted entirely to that subject, a book that explored the social etiquette of the ballroom, the vital role dance played in courtship, the suppers served and the music played. Would I be interested, Joan asked, because if so, she could recommend the project to Frances Lincoln UK Ltd. And so I started writing.

image: Republic of Pemberley

What I wanted to do, I decided, was to follow Jane Austen’s characters to a ball. Had I been Jane or Elizabeth Bennet, what would the whole process of going to a dance have involved? How did a heroine get to a ball in the first place if her family had no carriage (the case for Emma Watson), how did she dress for the occasion, what rules governed her behaviour while there, and what differences did she find between assembly balls and private balls? When she stood up with a young man, what were the possibilities for flirtation and courtship, and how does Jane Austen show this happening with Elizabeth and Darcy, Jane and Bingley, Emma and Mr Knightley, Catherine and Henry, Marianne and Willoughby, when they are dancing with each other? Poor Fanny Price suffers the day after the Mansfield ball when she has no suitable confidante with whom to talk it all over, but for luckier young ladies often the ‘post-ball discussion’ was almost as much fun as the event itself.

Jane Austen loved to put on her satin slippers and go off to dance. In my book I wanted to provide information about the balls she attended, from the Basingstoke assemblies of her youth when she danced happily with neighbours and family friends, to the later balls where she chaperoned nieces and preferred to sit by the fire with a glass of wine rather than dance. She too enjoyed courtship in a ballroom when she danced with Tom Lefroy; she too knew the excitement of being asked by the right man, and the challenges of avoiding the wrong one.

As I wrote my book I discovered patterns in Jane Austen’s use of dances in her fiction. Several of the novels have one informal dance and one more formal one, and she uses each to progress her themes, characterisation and relationships. In some novels what happens is romantic, as is the case when Darcy and Elizabeth are partners and you can almost see the sparks between them, but in Mansfield Park everyone always seems to be dancing with the wrong person and balls in that novel illustrate selfishness, not romance. Jane Austen makes a great deal happen at a ball!

image: Brock illus Mansfield Park, Mollands

A Dance with Jane Austen is beautifully illustrated with contemporary pictures or illustrations from the novels. I include a brief chapter about dances in the film versions, but decided not to make this extensive because so often film-makers get it wrong and put in a dance, such as Mr Beveridge’s Maggot, which Jane Austen would not have danced. However, there are some lovely pictures from some of the movies that I chose to include.

For the past 17 years I have served as President of the Jane Austen Society of Australia. In that time I have lectured extensively about Jane Austen and her works, and have seen the joy that her books give to readers around the world. I hope that my book will increase the enjoyment of those readers by taking them into the ballrooms to discover that there is “nothing like dancing after all.”

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JAIV: One question I would ask Susannah is ‘What is your favorite dance scene in a Jane Austen novel and why?’

SF:  My favorite dance scene is the Crown Inn ball in Emma. This is the evening when Emma first starts to view Mr. Knightley as an attractive male, rather than as an old friend and family connection. She watches his “erect” figure move about the room, sees him rescue Harriet Smith from the embarrassment of being rejected as a dance partner, prods him into asking her to dance with him, and can hardly take her eyes off him all night! Jane Austen achieves so much in all her dance scenes – she gives a sense of a full community of living people, progresses courtships, reveals character and shows faults and foibles – but this scene is particularly rich. The moment when Emma reminds Mr. Knightley that they are “not really so much brother and sister as to make (dancing together) at all improper” and he replies “Brother and sister! No, indeed!” is one of the most erotic moments in all of Jane Austen’s fiction. It thrills me every time!

image: theloiterer.org

Oh I agree – I love this scene! Thank you so much Susannah for sharing your love of Jane Austen and dance with us!

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Gentle Readers!  please ask any question you might have for Susannah Fullerton or post a comment here and you will be entered into the random drawing for a copy of A Dance with Jane Austen. Please do so by 11:59 pm, Sunday November 4th, 2012. Winner will be announced on Monday Nov. 5th - Worldwide eligibility!

For a review of the book, please visit:

About the author: 

Susannah Fullerton is President of JASA, and author of Jane Austen – Antipodean Views, Jane Austen and Crime and the forthcoming Celebrating Pride and Prejudice: 200 Years of Jane Austen’s Masterpiece (due out Jan. 2013) – note that the UK title of this work is Happily Ever After: Celebrating Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

A Dance with Jane Austen
Frances Lincoln, October 2012
ISBN-13: 978-0711232457

Upcoming book: (Feb. 2013)

US edition title and cover

UK edition title and cover

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Dear Readers, 

As many of you as Jane Austen in Vermont blog readers know, The Governor’s House in Hyde Park, Vermont offers Jane Austen weekends throughout the year (you can visit their website to see upcoming  events). This past August Innkeeper Suzanne B. held another of her annual Character Weekends, wherein participants are to choose an Austen character from any of her works [alas! only one of each character allowed – who could take an entire weekend with not only one but perhaps FIVE of a fawning Mr. Collins! And one chatty Miss Bates is certainly enough ….] and play the role all weekend, through all the various activities of reading, chatting, needlework, writing, eating, dancing, horse adventures, and sport [the likes of archery and fencing!] – perhaps only giving up the role for a few hours of contented sleep!

This year a full-weekend I could not do, so I went for several hours on the Saturday and had the pleasure of chatting with the various characters, practicing a bit of archery, watching fencing matches, eating a sumptuous Regency-era meal, and dancing the night away with Val and Tom of the Burlington Country Dancers.  I came home well-satisfied indeed, and in Jane’s own words,  “[I] smiled & whispered to [myself] ‘This [was] a day well spent.’” 

One of the guests was Tess Quinn, who recently wrote a post on this blog about her experience at the Jane Austen Festival in Louisville – Tess has kindly offered to write another post about her weekend here in Vermont, along with many fine pictures! Thank you Tess for sharing this with us! [and it was great to see you again!]

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A fair prospect

How often have Jane Austen readers wished they could experience Regency life as her protagonists do – at least the romanticized notion of it we derive from her books?  I can’t be the only one, or there would not be such a market for the myriad books published that deal with Austen fans, disillusioned with modern society, who suddenly find themselves transplanted in time and place to inhabit the body of an Elizabeth Bennet (e.g. Lost in Austen) or some other early 19th century character – for a day, a month or an eternity.  These books and films appeal because, for a little while, they take us away from mortgage payments and term papers and our children’s math homework; they sweep us off into a world our imaginations sketch as more genteel, more polite, less frenetic – more romantic.

Yes, literary time travel has huge appeal, no matter the book genre or historical era in question.  Readers well versed in Jane Austen’s society as depicted in her books must ‘experience’ the Regency in their imaginations; for as far as I know, a working time travel machine has not yet been perfected.  We cannot practically turn the clock back two hundred years… or can we?

I recently vacationed in Vermont where we came close to doing just that!  The Governor’s House at Hyde Park formed a distinguished setting for a gathering of ladies to come together and experience Jane Austen’s era for themselves—or rather, by adopting the personas of her characters for a few days.  The Governor’s House (formerly belonging to the gentleman who provided its name, and now a bed and breakfast inn) was built in the Victorian era but as a reproduction of a Colonial house.  As such, it reflects both periods in its ambience, yet gives one enough of the ‘feel’ of bygone days to transport one’s mindset to Regency England.

Governor’s House in Hyde Park, Vermont,
the setting for a Jane Austen Character Weekend,
and the whole of the experience was delightful.

We gathered first on Friday evening for introductions, each participant in turn describing something of her background until correctly identified.  Most of the books were represented.  Present were Elizabeth Bennet and her aunt Mrs Gardiner, along with Miss Charlotte Lucas.  Anne Elliot attended in the company of her sister, Mary Musgrove and her friend, Lady Russell; as well as a recently-arrived tenant of Kellynch Hall, Mrs Croft.  Eleanor Tilney appeared quite affable in the absence of her father the General.  And Emma Woodhouse came, being in company with both her former governess, Mrs Weston and her nemesis, Mrs Elton; as well as a most entertaining trio – Miss Jane Fairfax, Miss Bates and the elder Mrs Bates, the latter making her presence felt all the weekend though she uttered not a word.

Lady Russell – Miss Tilney – Mrs Weston

Introductions accomplished, we became friends over refreshments, followed by moving to the card tables for an evening of Whist.  I was grateful to find myself at one of the less competitive tables; we did not play deep, but we laughed deeply.

At the Whist table

As most of us had travelled long that day, we retired after a few rounds, but gathered early on Saturday for breakfast in order to make the most of the day’s activities.  We began with a most excellent fencing master, Vivica Fox, who after providing us some historical information on the sport, led the group through the proper positions and stretching exercises.

Viveca Fox

Throughout the morning, then, Miss Fox gave private lessons to each of us who ventured so boldly.   The moves appear so graceful and natural when one observes accomplished fencers; but after many attempts to combine form, technique and strategy all at once in lunges, parries and ripostes, my best accomplishment was a greater appreciation for the skill and difficulty involved.  I was highly intrigued by my session, however, and would love to continue my training.

While several took advantage of the individualized fencing lessons, others of us moved to the back garden to take up bows for archery.

Archery lessons for Lady Russell and Emma Woodhouse

I am delighted (relieved) to report that a grand time was had by all, the target often was struck, and no dogs were dispatched.

Miss Fairfax, archer

The morning had begun with a fine hot sun which continued throughout our activities; fans and parasols were employed assiduously.  A number of our party, after archery, chose to retire to the shade of a large porch with their books or embroidery, rather than be kept in a continual state of inelegance.

Mary Musgrove driving Judge

But for some, a short journey to a horse farm brought the next adventure: learning to drive a gig!

The head groom very graciously allowed us to assist in harnessing Judge, an extraordinarily gentle animal (one could hardly call him a beast) – although of course, as ladies we would never perform this task for ourselves in the usual manner of things.  We then began by walking Judge around the paddock.  This was to become accustomed to working with him, especially for any of us who were no horsewomen.  Once each had achieved some comfort with the reins, a lovely small carriage was attached and off we went through a park land of varied prospects.  (I must confess that I saw little but the posterior of the horse in my turn, so concerned was I lest I steer poorly and hit a post which might have overturned us.)

Just as we bid adieu to our mount and made to leave, another group from our party arrived for a carriage ride.  We bade them a lovely tour and made our way back to the Governor’s House.  There we enjoyed a light fare set out by our hostess – since we had breakfasted so early – to tide us over until the dinner hour.

The last hours of our morning were passed again in satisfying retirement on the back porch; for as we all know, to sit in the shade on a fine day, and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment.  Some ventured to trundle a hoop, or play the Graces.  Most found contentment in a cool libation and the company of clever, well-informed people who had a great deal of conversation – the best company!

Finding shade

Charlotte Lucas

Reading Jane Austen

Lawn Ladies

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Quite soon, it seemed, the time came to dress for dinner and we dispersed to don our fashions.

Mrs. Elton in full fashion!

Jane Fairfax – Mrs Bates [there in spirit!] – Miss Bates

Our repast for the evening was a full course, enlivened by so much entertaining discourse and laughter that we all remained at the table right up until the arrival of visitors who had been invited to join us for the hour of tea!   Mr and Mrs Bennet with their daughter Lydia were presented, the latter immediately pronouncing that what the party required for success was… dancing!

Of course, all were amenable to this particular proposal! Immediately, furniture was shifted and carpets rolled and removed, the music struck up and Mrs Bennet, an accomplished English Country Dance caller (sometimes peculiarly addressed as Val Medve), led us through an evening of dances with only a short ‘supper break’ to regain our breath.  Most invigorating, indeed!

When finally the night ended, few I think did not drift into sleep the moment they fell into their beds.

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A Turn about the Estate

Sunday dawned as bright and promising as had the previous day.  Following our breakfast, some of the party went off to ride, others for a lengthy turn about the estate (such prospects to enjoy) and still others preferred the sedentary nature of their work in the elegant parlour.   But soon activity called once more.

Walking Ladies

Since letters are the lifeblood of communication in the world we were visiting, we learned to cut our own quill pens and then practice our hand, writing letters on parchment.  No blotting here!  And following this, we employed our fingers in an alternative manner – in learning to tat with yet another master of the art.  I should like to boast of having made the sample you see below; but in truth I had not the talent.  My fingers did not fly through the string with anything like accomplishment.  This is indeed one art in which no excellence can be achieved without constant practice.

Instruction in tatting for Miss Lucas, Mrs Weston, and Emma

Tatting sample

Sunday noon found us gathering around the dining table for the last time together.  A lovely luncheon may have passed serenely but for the introduction of one final pastime, one perhaps not quite of the Regency period but relating to it.  It was a Quiz!  Questions to test our newly-experienced knowledge of Regency life.  Our hostess had gone to some effort to challenge us and had risen admirably to the occasion.  I would like to say we responded in kind; and so I will.  Our answers as a rule, when we discussed them collectively, were creative, humorous, clever and entertaining.  What matter if they were seldom correct?

This capstone event marked the end of our journey to Jane Austen’s time.  When we had laughed our fill, ladies slowly drifted off to supervise the packing of their trunks by their maids.  All ventured fare wells to friends old and new amid the exchange of addresses and promises to post pictures at facebook.  (Whatever can they have meant by such strange speech?)

I retired to my room as I would not leave until the following morning.  There my mind was most agreeably engaged in meditating on the very great pleasure which a gathering of fine characters from the pages of Miss Austen’s novels can bestow.

Emma Woodhouse – Lizzy Bennet

Lady Russell

Mary Musgrove – Charlotte Lucas – Mrs Elton

Miss Bates – Mrs Bates – Miss Fairfax

Miss Tilney – Mrs Croft – Miss Lucas

Sunday morning parlour

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About the Author: Tess Quinn (a nom de plume) read Pride and Prejudice years ago at the age of thirteen, and has been hooked on Jane Austen – and Mr Darcy, unsurprisingly – ever since. She has read all the novels multiple times and doesn’t plan to stop any time soon. Some time ago she was introduced to Austen-based fan fiction and, unsatisfied with some of the depictions and approaches, took up her own pen to try to carry on beloved characters in a manner consistent with Miss Austen’s originals. In 2011, her first short story was published in an anthology called A Road to Pemberley. With that encouraging milestone she is hoping shortly to publish another anthology, all her own stories, tentatively titled Pride Revisited. She has two completed P&P based novels (awaiting final edits and a willing publisher); and is nearing completion on her own darling child, a retelling of P&P from Georgiana Darcy’s perspective.

Descending into dinner

Tess, in her lovely evening dress, is on the left; do you agree that Mrs. Elton is looking rather miffed?? – perhaps we have caught her unawares displaying her displeasure at not being first into the dining room …

c2012 Jane Austen in Vermont

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The Penny Post Weekly Review

  October 8, 2011

 

News /Gossip 

An Amanda Vickery lecture at the Lewis Walpole Library: “Family Life Makes Tories of Us All: Love and Power at Home in Georgian England”:

Indie Jane blog – a pen-pal project – alas! missed the dealine – hopefully they will do it again! fabulous idea in this world of the lost art of the letter –  http://indiejane.org/2011/08/dear-jane/

Musical cabaret duo: The Jane Austen Argument:  why the name I wonder??
 http://thejaneaustenargument.net/about/

A Musicologist Abroad blog by Vassar Professor Kathryn L. Libin: a few posts on Chawton http://blogs.vassar.edu/musicologistabroad/ . Prof. Libin is writing a book about Jane Austen and music. [from JASNA News]

Masterpiece Mystery:  Kate Atkinson’s Case Histories starring Jason Isaacs as her Jackson Brodie begins on October 16th – see the upcoming schedule for all shows here: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/schedule/index.html

“The research by Lindeman’s wine found that Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen is the book most people lie about having read. But far from being highbrow, 47 per cent of us secretly prefer trashy novels which they would never put on show.”  http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/276005/Take-a-leaf-out-of-my-book-and-look-smart-Jane-Austen-helps-to-keep-up-appearances [do you think the remaining 53% are all Janeites? - though wait, we like "trashy" novels also!]

For you die-hard Colin Firth fans [do we talk to anyone who is not?] – one of his earliest roles in the 1986 7-part (!) BBC production Lost Empires can now be viewed on the just-released DVD! – here’s the story: http://blogs.bbcamerica.com/anglophenia/2011/10/05/lose-yourself-with-colin-firth-in-lost-empires/ 

  Click here if you want to buy!

JASNA-New York has just published the fall issue of its newsletter Austen Chronicle: http://www.jasnany.org/newsletters/2011%20Fall.pdf

 
The Circulating Library

*You can view Jane Austen’s will at the National Archives, now on flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nationalarchives/3507414978/ 

*This is an amazing gift from JSTOR: their early journals [i.e. before 1923] are now available online for free to anyone: read their announcement here: http://about.jstor.org/participate-jstor/individuals/early-journal-content

A quick look through one of the finds by a C18 listserv member: from George Washington’s Household Account Book 1793-1797:  
http://www.jstor.org/stable/20085390

Pd to Chas. Kirkham for 18 pr. of gloves for Mrs. W. ……. 5.50

[18 pair of gloves!!]

Martha Washington

[Image: freerepublic.com]

But enough frivolity – back to JSTOR:  go to the main search screen and type in “Jane Austen” – 329 items come up  – here is one example, a spot-on early 20th century review of Austen’s writings [though the author does do that “Bennett” misspelling thing!]

“Great-Grandmother’s Favorite Novel” by Warwick James Price. Sewanee Review 21.4 (1913): 480-89.

or this:

“The English Women-Humorists” by Alice Meynell. North American Review 181. 589 (1905):  857-72.

 [tip on using JSTOR: go to the search results citation page and choose the “view pdf” option – the whole document comes up vs. having to scroll through each page; you can also do this from the search page]

  • Authors

Dickens’s Oliver Twist audio tour at The Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/audio/2011/sep/23/dickens-audio-tours-oliver-twist-walk

I love this!  Podcasts on forgotten books: http://www.reallylikethisbook.com/  – check out the piece on Helene Hanff’s 84 Charing Cross Road.

  • Library Collections:

One can never get enough of searching the online collections of the Lewis Walpole Library http://www.library.yale.edu/walpole/index.html

or The Wellcome Library’s  Medical History collections: http://library.wellcome.ac.uk/index.html

See the list of the collection of online 17th century recipe books [some are full text]: http://archives.wellcome.ac.uk/dserve/recipebooks/MS144.pdf

  • Books I am Looking Forward to 

*Joanna Trollope has signed on to re-write Sense & Sensibility in modern garb! [due out fall 2013]:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/sep/13/joanna-trollope-rewrite-jane-austen

See her website here:  http://www.joannatrollope.com/

*PD James – I wondered when she was going to get around to combining her love of Austen with a sure-to-be-great Austen-inspired mystery! – watch for Death Comes to Pemberley, due this November [you can pre-order online]:  http://www.faber.co.uk/article/2011/9/death-comes-pemberley-announcement/

[if you have never read James’s “Emma Considered as a Detective Story” – you must find a copy immediately  (the text is included as an appendix in her autobiography Time to Be in Earnest)]

*Facing Beauty: Painted Women & Cosmetic Art :  by Aileen Ribeiro http://yalebooks.wordpress.com/2011/10/03/author-article-by-aileen-ribeiro-on-beauty/

and for more information on this title: http://yalebooks.co.uk/display.asp?K=9780300124866

*Samuel Park’s debut novel This Burns My Heart is written from the point of view of women in post-war South Korea – he explains this writing of women’s lives:

“I’ve spent my entire life deeply embroiled in the fantasies, desires and frustrations of my mother and my two older sisters. Their lives were so fascinating — they would spend hours talking about a crush. Not by coincidence, after I left them to go to college, I spent all my time in the library reading Jane Austen.


Museum Musings ~ Exhibition Trekking

*At the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge [UK], a new exhibit on Vermeer’s Women: Secrets and Silence:  the title just smacks of Sense and Sensibility, doesn’t it?!  And for those of us who have heard former JASNA president Marsha Huff give her talk on Austen and Vermeer, this book looks like a must-have – too bad the exhibition is only to be at the Fitzwilliam – it is sure to have Vermeers we have never seen.

http://yalebooks.wordpress.com/2011/10/06/new-exhibition-vermeers-women-secrets-and-silence-opens-at-the-fitzwilliam/

You can order the book here:

US: http://yalepress.yale.edu/yupbooks/book.asp?isbn=9780300178999
UK: http://www.yalebooks.co.uk/display.asp?K=9780300178999

*Chatsworth House – there is a new exhibition space featuring the 6th Duke of Devonshire – through December 23, 2011:  http://www.chatsworth.org/attractions/house/the-new-gallery-exhibition-space

 You can also follow the Duke’s diaries on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/the6thdukeofdevonshire


Regency Life

Check this post on “The Gentle Art of Regurgitation During Travel” – at Booktryst [look closely!]

http://www.booktryst.com/2011/09/gentle-art-of-regurgitation-during.html

[image from the book: LePrince, Xavier. Inconvéniens d'un Voyage en Diligence. Douze Tableaux, Lithographiés par...Paris: Chez Gihaut Freres... et Sazerac et Duval, 1826]

London Historians:  some very nice articles on Lord Nelson, etc. http://www.londonhistorians.org/?s=articles 

Fashion exhibit at Fairfax House, York: a video http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/at-a-glance/main-section/video_autumn_fashions_as_worn_by_jane_austen_1_3702171

also see this video of inside this lovely Georgian Townhouse: http://www.fairfaxhouse.co.uk/?idno=807

In need of a gown of your own? – check out Reproduction Fabrics: http://www.reproductionfabrics.com/  – and the accompanying textile blog: http://www.cottonopia.net/

Staples III - Reproduction Fabrics

Shopping 

Head over to esty for a copy of this illustration of the Pride and Prejudice cast of characters: http://www.etsy.com/listing/80386089/pride-and-prejudice-jane-austen

P&P - BlueSkyLnking

there are others – from Emma, Persuasion, Northanger Abbey, and Sense and Sensibility:

S&S - BlueSkyLnking

For Fun

I know this is a few years old, but one cannot watch it too often – a fine reminder of how often the men in Austen, etc. were dripping wet! 
It’s Raining Men!:  on youtube http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=it%27s+raining+men+jane+austen&aq=f

[image: bluechipmag.com]

Enjoy!

Copyright @2011 Deb Barnum, Jane Austen in Vermont

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Breaking news!  what a birthday gift for some Austen collector out there:  the Sotheby’s auction today saw the sale of Emma: first edition, all volumes with the ownership signatures of Jane Austen’s closest female friend Martha Lloyd ( Hammer Price with Buyer’s Premium:  37,250 GBP); and another Emma first edition, volumes 1 and 3 (lacking volume 2), the copy sent by Jane Austen to her fellow novelist Maria Edgeworth, with the ownership signature “Maria Edgeworth” on title page of volume 1, (Hammer price with Buyer’s Premium, 79, 250 GBP) – more on this in a full post tomorrow….
__________________________________________________________

First, the grand announcement that the latest JASNA Persuasions On-Line Vol. 31, No.1, [click here for the Table of Contents ],  published annually on Jane Austen’s birthday, December 16th, is now available for viewing.  As always, a treasure-trove of essays on all things Austen – some from the 2010 AGM on Northanger Abbey, where “mystery, mayhem and muslin” ruled, and other “Miscellany” on topics ranging from Austen films and chick-lit, gender issues, to new thoughts on Austen’s death and Juliet McMaster on “Jane Austen’s Children” [perhaps signalling a new area in Austen research - see my posted interview with David Selwyn on his new book Jane Austen and Children and my upcoming review]…

And new this year, the “Jane Austen Bibliography”  has been reinstituted.  This annual compilation has not been published since 2006, since the death of the long-term compiler Professor Barry Roth in 2008.  Yours truly has taken on the task with this 2009 bibliography – my background in librarianship and antiquarian bookselling, as well as a love of bibliography [how weird is that!], not to mention Austen knowledge, has led me to this JASNA task – I will be tackling the missing years of 2007 and 2008 and those will be published along with the 2010 biblio in the 2011 Persuasions On-Line next December.  Any additions, corrections, suggestions appreciated…

*******************************

But now on to the Birthday Celebration!  I was away and did not get to Maria Grazia at her Jane Austen Book Club blog in time to be a part of her Birthday Blog Tour - but I send you to her site and encourage you to follow the links to the other 15 Austen bloggers, all posting today on this 235th year of our “Dear Jane” – visit and comment – there are many wonderful Austen-inspired prizes!

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For this year’s Birthday post, I have decided to compile a selection of presents that I think Austen would appreciate herself – we are so taken with all the Austen-related items for sale, slipping them onto our “want lists” and discretely leaving said lists around inconspicuous places for family and friends to find, or buying for our Austen-loving friends the latest and greatest in Austen-land books and paraphernalia for their birthdays and holidays – but what about Jane?  This is after all her day – and if we read the letters and her works and the various biographies, we get a true sense of what meant the most to her.  She led a fairly penny-pinching lifestyle once her father passed away and only through the generosity of family was she able to live the life of the gentry she was born to – a widowed mother and two unmarried sisters – exactly the stuff of her novels – and without any men of “good fortune” to “rescue” them, they learned to live frugally and well, but Jane still had her passions for certain things – and so if I could, I would give her all of these [and this is just a small sampling of all the possibilities!] ~ 

Tea:  from Twinings of course – “I am sorry to hear there has been a rise in tea…I do not mean to pay Twining until later in the day.” (Ltr. 98)

and served in a Wedgwood cup and saucer; “On Monday I had the pleasure of receiving, unpacking & approving our Wedgwood ware.” (Ltr. 75)

 

Teacup:  Wedgwood Harlequin  

*Note that Edward Austen’s dinnerware is up for sale at auction today at Sotheby’s – estimate is 50,000 – 70,000 GBP - the very set that “we went to Wedgwoods where my Br & Fanny chose a Dinner Set. – I beleive the pattern is a small Lozenge in purple, between Lines of narrow Gold; – and it is to have the Crest.” (Ltr. 224)

 

***

Stationary:  an unlimited supply of paper, ink and postage stamps, so she can write all that she will with no need to stop at one sheet or hope for a charitable “franking”:

Writing Paper and ink:  from Plazaverde.net

 

Postage stamps:  from Stamp Circuit

Calling cards:  From Cambria Cove, so she can visit all over Hampshire, Kent, Bath, and London to her heart’s content:

 [please substitute an "A" for the "C"...]

***

Fashion needs and accessories:  never enough for Jane of any of these, but I present to her for this birthday:

1.  A New Bonnet, this one fashionably covered in fruit, from HorrorShirts.co.uk ~ “Flowers are very much worn, & Fruit is still more the thing. – Eliz: has a bunch of Strawberries, & I have seen Grapes, Cherries, Plumbs & Apricots – There are likewise Almonds & raisins, french plumbs & Tamarinds at the Grocers, but I have never seen any of them in hats…” (Ltr. 20) ~

 or maybe this one at Miss Amelia’s Miniatures:   

 

2.  A variety of Floral ribbon trimmings at HymanHendler.com ~ “Must we buy lace , or will ribbon do?” (Ltr. 47)

or this:

  

3.  Fabric: a painted cotton from India at Jessamyn’s Regency Costume Companion:  and hopefully it will be “as wide as it used to be” (Ltr. 72) – “I shall want two new coloured gowns for the summer, for my pink one will not do more than clear me from Steventon.” (Ltr. 33)

  

4.  Stockings: always in need, never enough money –  “You say nothing of the silk stockings; I flatter myself, therefore, that Charles has not purchased any, as I cannot very well afford to pay for them; all my money is spent in buying white gloves and pink persian.” (Ltr. 1) – here is a year’s supply from Liverpool Museums ~

 

5.  And “a kerseymere Spencer” which will be “quite the comfort” in this year’s snow-bound England! (Ltr. 55)

 [from Costumes.org ]

6.  and for the men in her life ~ A Pattern for a Great Coat, which she so lovingly bestows upon her Hero Henry -  “And then his hat sat so well, and the innumerable capes of his greatcoat looked so becomingly important!” (NA, v.II, ch. 5) – this is from Reconstructing History:

 ***

Books for Jane’s Library: 

1.  A Magazine subscription to the Lady’s Monthly Museum – so she will be forever current in news, literature, and fashion:

[from Monash University Library] and Google Books for the volume from 1817.

2.  From her beloved “Dear Dr. Johnson”, a copy of  Samuel Johnson’s  Rasselas:

  

3.  Samuel Richardson, author of her favorite book, Sir Charles Grandison, and the author referenced in Austen’s only footnote (NA, v.I, ch. 3), I offer a lovely bound copy of Richardson’s  Pamela at Stikeman Bindings:

  “Samuel Richardson; “The Complete Works” in Twenty Volumes in Deluxe Bindings, Autograph Edition; From a set of Twenty Volumes, this is the Novel “Pamela” in Five Volumes, 4to, of Full Green Crushed Morroco; Boards of Wide Borders in an Art Nouveau style, four Bright Scarlet Tulipform onlays on each board, and three Red Rose Onlays in the spine compartments (55 onlays in all); Spines sunned, here digitally retouched to approximate the original green. Hinges cracked and starting © Jeff Stikeman”

Travel accommodations:  her very own Barouche so she can travel at her own whim rather her brothers’ schedules:  “I liked my solitary elegance very much, & was ready to laugh all the time, at my being where I was. I could not feel that I had naturally small right to be parading about London in a Barouche.” (Ltr. 85) – she will now have all the right possible…

 

Food:  and just because she mentions it so much, she must have some true affection for it! ~ her very own Bowl of Gruel:  from BBC News 

  

***

Popular Culture:  just because I think she would get a chuckle out of all this… 

1.  Lost in Austen at Amazon or your local bookseller

 

2.  Such a lover of puzzles might like her very own:

 

3.  A Larger-than-life wall poster of the generations-obsessed-over Mr. Darcy ~ [please take your pick...]

or

 or

or

or

***

7.  And lastly, her “own darling Child” (Ltr. 79) ~ Pride and Prejudice – the  1st edition:  so she would at last get a portion of the worth of her own pen!

[From Paul Fraser Collectibles.com]

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Happy Birthday Jane ~ enjoy your handsome and “noble Gifts” [though alas! no Ermine Tippet this year!] (Ltr. 98)

Readers all ~ what would you give Jane Austen for her birthday?

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Here is a quick link to a very informative fashion-related post with illustrations:

‘A History of Purses and Handbags’ at Rubell’s Antiques [scroll down through the post]

rubells-antiques-handbags

[photo from Rubell's Antiques Blog]

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Fashion Quiz

The Jane Austen Centre in Bath has just sent out its latest online newsletter ~ one of the articles is a fashion quiz, 10 questions to test your knowledge of the clothing of Austen’s day.

The whole newsletter is available here, this month with a few visual-musical treats, sales at the gift shop, Persuasion in French, and much more.  And while there, be sure to look at the Online Magazine which contains many articles of interest.

Cards from the Gift Shop

Cards at the Gift Shop

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I love my mailman ~ it seems he brings me a surprise almost daily!  Today, I find the latest issue of Jane Austen’s Regency World  [Jan/Feb 2009, Issue 37], and here give you some thoughts on the contents:

jarw_37_cover

“End of the Regency” about the soon to be released film on young Queen Victoria [March 2009 in Britain], starring Emily Blunt (on the cover above) as Victoria and Rupert Friend as Prince Albert (he starred in the 2005 P&P as Wickham and was fabulous in Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont

“Write-on” about the importance of correspondence and the ways of letter-writing in Jane Austen’s time

“Why I Dig Jane” a talk with Alan Titchmarsh, popular British TV personality, gardener, and novelist [his latest book, Folly, is set in Bath and currently on the British best-selling fiction list] ~ He confesses that his favorite character is Emma.

“Illustrating Jane Austen” an article on the incomparable Hugh Thomson

“Playing Mary Bennet” on the actress Ruby Bentall, who acted the role of Mary Bennet in the Lost in Austen series (“with spindly glasses and horrible hair”…)

“Pottery and Poetry” which traces the life of Thomasina Dennis, 1770-1809, a comtemporary of Austen’s who worked for the Wedgwood Pottery family.  The article includes some history of Josiah Wedgwood and his business [ironically, this week the Waterford / Wedgwood company announced it is filing for bankruptcy]

“Petticoat Politics” looks at the complex nature of Regency undergarments, never mentioned, but a large part of “dressing Jane” and her contemporaries

“Madame de Stael” and the story of why perhaps Jane Austen refused to attend a London literary salon at which Madame de Stael was to be present (could it have been her tempestuous love-life??)

“My Jane Austen” the column this month by Virginia Claire Tharrington on her months as an intern at the Jane Austen Centre in Bath (she also posted several weekly articles on Austenprose while she was there)

“A Goodly Heritage” by Marsha Huff, President of JASNA, on this past year’s Annual JASNA AGM in Chicago

“Portrait of a Lady” on the Jane Austen Society of the U.K. and the event presented in the fall by History Wardrobe on the fashion of Austen’s time

And Joceline Bury offers three book Reviews:  An Aristocratic Affair by Janet Gleeson, a biography of Henriette Ponsonby, Countess of Bessborough and sister of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire [The American title is: Privilege and Scandal: The Remarkable Life of Harriet Spencer, Sister of Georgiana];  The Immortal Jane Austen by Maggie Lane, a no-frills biography of a mere 50 pages, but laced with many illustrations and highly recommended by the reviewer; and Jane Austen Visits London by Vera Quinn, the charming little book that concentrates only on Austen’s travels to and writings about London [see my comments on this book here.]

So all in all a fine issue, and a perfect way to spend the upcoming weekend, immersed in all things Regency!

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