The Penny Post Weekly Review ~ All Things Jane Austen

The Penny Post Weekly Review

  October 1, 2011


Vermont as you know suffered unfathomable damage from the winds and rain of Irene.  We were largely spared here in the Burlington area, but other parts of the state were hammered – you have seen the many pictures on the national news of flooding, senseless deaths, extensive property damage to homes and businesses and farms, covered bridges falling into the rivers – it has been a nightmare – but now the big concern is that the greater world thinks that Vermont is “boarded up” so to speak – not a place to visit this fall, that season that brings the annual leaf-peepers to our lovely state – so I take a minute here to give a shout-out for the State of Vermont – We Are Open for Business! – road crews have been working non-stop to get roads and towns back into shape – so if you want to help out in any way, hop in your car [or plane or train or bike] and come for a visit, go to the restaurants and eat local, shop in the stores  (buy books from the local bookshops!), walk in the woods, hike the mountains – it is all here, just as before, and we are waiting with open arms!


You can visit this website for information on I am Vermont Strong:  where you can buy a t-shirt to help the recovery! – and a  fine example of social networking sites making a difference: 

the Facebook Page:


So, a few events of interest, set in Vermont:

[image – Richard and Gordon]

 Bringing the music of PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND to Vermont…

Richard Wood & Gordon Belsher 

Come and spend an evening of fiddling, singing and tapping
your toes to a mix of Irish, Scottish and Maritime tunes. 

201 Bridge St

Tickets $15 per person (kids under 14 FREE)
Emailpeihouseconcertinvt [at] comcast [dot] net or
call 802-324-0092 for more information
Light refreshments will be provided 

Richard Wood : 
Gordon Belsher: 


Our very own Burlington Country Dancers ~ their Fall schedule: 

Elley-Long Music Center, 223 Ethan Allen Avenue, Colchester,VT
First and Third Fridays (Sept. thru May) w/ LIVE MUSIC
7pm – 7:30pm Session for more experienced dancers – $1
7:30pm – 9:30pm Dancing for all – $8 ($5 student/under 30) 

2011 DATES (All Fridays):

  • Sept. 16 ~ Impropriety (Lar Duggan, McKinley James, Laura Markowitz, Ana Ruesink)
  • Oct. 7 ~ Old Stage Road (Carol Compton, Albert Joy, Margaret Smith)
  • Oct. 21 ~ Lar Duggan, Dominique Gagne, Peter MacFarlane
  • Nov. 4 ~ Aaron Marcus, McKinley James, Laura Markowitz, Ana Ruesink
  • Nov. 18 ~ DANCE PARTY with Guest Teacher Tom Amesse (from NYC) and with Frost & Fire (Hollis Easter, Viveka Fox, Aaron Marcus)
  • Dec. 2 ~ Old Stage Road (Carol Compton, Albert Joy, Margaret Smith)
  • Dec. 16 ~ Aaron Marcus, McKinley James, Laura Markowitz, Ana Ruesink

~ All dances taught & walked through by Wendy Gilchrist, Martha Kent, Val Medve ~ Casual dress ~ Please bring a sweet or savory ‘finger food’ snack ~ We change partners frequently throughout the evening, so there’s no need to bring your own partner (a Mr. Darcy might be lurking, or is that a Mr. Knightley without a partner?…) 

See their website for more information:

And save the date for the next Across the Lake weekend event:  June 8-10, 2012


UVM’s OLLI Program: English Country Dancing in Jane Austen’s World
Instructor: Judy Chaves
Date: Mondays, October 24, 31,  November 7 and 14
Time: 5:30-7pm
Location: Ira Allen Chapel (October 31 in Waterman Lounge) at UVM
Price: Members – $60 / Non-members – $85

Do you enjoy 19th-century British literature? If you’ve ever read any of Jane Austen’s novels or seen any of the recent film adaptations, you know that English country dance plays a prominent role in the culture of the time. The forerunner of American contra dance, English country dance is done in two facing lines (sometimes in squares, less often in circles) and requires no more than a knowledge of left from right and the ability and willingness to move to simply wonderful music. Through a combination of lecture (not much) and dance (as much as we can), you’ll learn the basics of the dance, gain an insider’s appreciation of the vital role it played in the lives of Austen’s characters, understand the etiquette and logistics underpinning Austen’s dance scenes–and have a great deal of fun in the process. You may come by yourself or as a couple!

For more info:


 A Jane Austen Lecture: Norwich Public Library, November 2, 2011, 7pm 

In Want of a Wife: Romance and Realism in Pride and Prejudice 

Jane Austen is considered a realist of social relations – and yet, Pride and Prejudice incorporates an element of the fairy tale: it fulfills the wishes of its poor and not conspicuously beautiful heroine.  Dartmouth Professor Emeritus James Heffernan examines how Jane Austen does it. 

[Part of the Vermont Humanities Council 1st Wednesdays program] – visit here for more information on this and other events:


 News & Gossip ~ JASNA style: 

The AGM in Fort Worth is only a week and half away! [and alas! I am without proper attire! – though my jeans and cowgirl boots are at the ready!] – check out the meeting link at JASNA website for the schedule and latest news:

But even if your attire may not be quite proper, you can improve your mind by extensive reading: – here is the JASNA reading list for Sense and Sensibility [most available online]: 

Next year’s 2012 AGM is in New York City, “Sex, Money and Power” – Call for papers has been issued – due by November 1, 2011:

The winners of the annual essay context have been named – visit here to read the three top essays, all on S&S: 

Books I am Looking Forward To:

The 4th edition of Jane Austen’s Letters, edited by Deirdre Le Faye is due November 2011 from Oxford UP:  [image] 

This new fourth edition incorporates the findings of recent scholarship to further enrich our understanding of Austen and give us the fullest and most revealing view yet of her life and family. In addition, Le Faye has written a new preface, has amended and updated the biographical and topographical indexes, has introduced a new subject index, and had added the contents of the notes to the general index.  [from the Oxford UP website]

Marvel Comics  has done it again – this time Northanger Abbey, hitting the stores on November 9, 2011


SENSE AND SENSIBILITY by Jane Austen; with illustrations by Niroot Puttapipat (11 colour and 21 b&w silhouettes); Palazzo Editions: September 2011; £20

Link here for an article on this new edition:

Infinite Jest: Caricature and Satire from Leonardo to Levine from Yale UP:

Websites  worth a look:


Gillian Dooley’s website Jane Austen’s Music, where you can download various pieces: 

And for the Mary Crawford wannabe in you: Paul Lewis : JANE AUSTEN SUITE for harp solo – Four movements: Prologue; Country Dance; Romance; Ride away. Goodmusic GM058:  

In 1998, inspired by close acquaintance with two antique gilded harps, I decided to compose a work in a style that would remind them of their younger days! To think myself into a thoroughly Regency frame of mind I played through antique music books until I was so immersed in the style of the period that I could close the books and continue playing in the same vein without any anachronistic intrusions. The books were a leather-bound volume of popular piano salon pieces by long-forgotten composers, written out in a neat copperplate ink script: “The Manuscript Books of Mary Heberden, Datchett Lodge, 1819 & 1826” and a similar collection of harp pieces compiled by one Eliza Euphrosina Saris at about the same time. By these means I hope to have produced music of the kind which Jane Austen might have imagined her fictional heroines playing, the sort of music that all well-bred young Regency ladies would have wanted to perform before an admiring audience, no doubt silhouetted with their harps before the French windows, making the most of the opportunity to display their slender fingers upon the strings and their delicate ankles as they moved the pedals. (Paul Lewis)


Museum Trekking: 

Bath Preservation Trust:  the website links on No. 1 Royal Crescent: The Whole Story Project – some great images here:

Royal Crescent Kitchen

and through October 30, there is a Jane Austen exhibition:  Putting Pen to Paper:

 This special temporary exhibition brought to you from the Bath Preservation Trust includes a rare set of Jane Austen’s first editions on loan from a private collection. Visitors to this inspirational exhibition can learn more about the life of Jane’s novels as the story reveals the craftsmanship of book production in the 18th century and the importance of reading in Jane Austen’s Bath. 

This exhibition will be the first opportunity to see a complete collection of Jane Austen’s first editions in Bath. These treasures will be exhibited alongside tools used in the book binding process. Stamps and rollers will show the exquisite designs used by gilders to create the perfect library for their clients. Beautifully coloured illustrations from later editions will highlight Jane’s narrative, defining her characteristic hallmark of accuracy and attention to detail. 


And while there, stop by at the link on Bath Maps

National Portrait Gallery:

if lucky to be in London, do not miss the exhibition on The First Actresses: Nell Gwyn to Sarah Siddons, 20 October 2011 – 8 January 2012 

[Image: Mrs. Robinson as Perdita]

 Yale Center for British Art:  an exhibit on John Zoffany begins October 27, 2011. – Zoffany [1733-1810]- a painter of many Georgian families, including Queen Charlotte:

On My Bedside Table:
[I heartily confess to a table full of fan fiction! – and thoroughly enjoying all! – more on each in the coming weeks…]

And here is a book I just discovered: My Brother and I, a Jane Austen Sequel from a Completely Different Viewpoint [i.e. Edward Benton the farrier’s apprentice, employed at Pemberley], by Cornelis de Jong  – go here for more info  [this one I might send to my kindle…]

For fun: 

With thanks to the always interesting Two Nerdy History Girls: take a few moments to watch both these very funny videos from the BBC– a spoof of Downton Abbey “Uptown Downstairs Abbey” and almost as good as the real thing! – these will just have to do until we here in the US “patiently” wait for the real season 2 next year : 

[and watch out for Kim Cattrall hiding behind her dark locks and the perpetually falling butler!]

Have a fine week one and all!

4 thoughts on “The Penny Post Weekly Review ~ All Things Jane Austen

  1. Blimey Deb, you have crammed a lot in here. Like the T shirts. Wondered what the black shape was at first and then realised it is Vermont!!!

    No.1 The Royal Crescent! I’ve walked past that doorway so often and even taken pictures of it but not been inside, YET!!! I’m in Bath on Monday with some people from your side of the pond. Maybe we will go in.

    All the best,


  2. Hi Tony! – thanks for stopping by – hope you get into the Royal Crescent exhibit on Jane before it closes – let me know what you see – have fun with your tour group in Bath – wish i was a part of it!


  3. Hi Deb. The two lovely people I had with me from Arizona on Monday loved Stonehenge first of all. We spent some time exploring the landscape around the stones, visiting the Cursus and examining, close up some burial mounds (tumuli). They loved discussing the theories and possibilities. Just think, the technology the late Neolithic people developed and used eventually lead to your laptop Ha! Ha!

    We drove on to Bath rather late and No1 The Royal Crescent was closed when we got there. I told them about about how Sheridan, the playwright, abducted a teenage girl from one of the houses in the crescent. Her father chased them all over Europe, eventually tracking them down and forcing a marriage. The marriage didn’t last by the way.

    I entertained them with some quotes from my copy of Northangar Abbey as we stood in Milsom Street. I showed them a couple of the houses Jane and her family stayed in while there. They were wowed by the Abbey and loved the Pump Room.

    The wife told me she was in the Spa industry in Arizona. I thought she said the Spy industry at first and asked her if she worked for the government. I thought she looked nonplussed.

    So, she was fascinated to see the modern spa facilities, the Thermae Bath Spa with the infinity pool on the roof overlooking Bath, set, within Georgian buildings that are as old as The United States.

    No1 The Royal Crescent will have to wait for another day.

    All the best,


    • Hi Tony!

      Thanks for this run-down of your trek through Bath, etc… love the “spy” story – i guess spying is an industry, isn’t it!

      Sorry you missed Royal Crescent – save for another day – how lovely you quoted Northanger Abbey whilst on Milson St – have you turned your clients into Austen fans now, or were they already?

      Thanks for sharing Tony, as always!


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