from Persuasion to Pride & Prejudice

Our chapter must thank – and congratulate – Prof. Mary Ellen Bertolini (Middlebury College) for a stimulating talk March 1st on “The Grace to Deserve: Weighing Merit in Jane Austen’s Persuasion“. She brought up points that really made us all see aspects of the novel that we might not otherwise have ever contemplated. One new JASNA member, David from Montpelier, put into succinct words this reaction:


“I did find the meeting well worth the drive. Professor Bertolini gave an impassioned, even dramatic lecture, and the insights she brought forth only enhanced my appreciation of Persuasion.”

About JASNA, and our Vermont meetings in general, David said, “I am an instructor in Political Science at the Community College of Vermont, and wish there were a study group for the US Constitution which approached that subject with the same thoughtful ease and depth that your group accomplishes with the works of Jane Austen.  …[C]onsider yourself an excellent resource – even oasis…”

At Sunday’s meeting, we announced a terrific upcoming event: A Pride & Prejudice Weekend at Bishop’s University in the Sherbrooke, Quebec area of Lennoxville. Saturday March 14th will feature:

ppDr. Peter Sabor (McGill), a member of JASNA,  on “Portraying Jane Austen: How Anonymous became a Celebrity

Dr. Robert Morrison (Queen’s), on “Getting Around Pride & Prejudice: Gothicism, Fairy Tales & the Very World of all Us

Dr. Steven Woodward (Bishop’s), on “Austen’s Narrative Voice: Film Adaptations of Pride & Prejudice“.

The symposium, running from 1-4 pm, will be followed by an English Tea with musical accompaniment by students from Bishop’s Music Department.

Then join the Drama Department in the 550-seat Centennial Theatre for its presentation of George Rideout’s new adaptation of Pride & Prejudice (8 pm). [Note: the play itself runs from 12-15 March, all at 8.]

Stay overnight, if you wish, at the university – and join them for Mass on Sunday, March 15 in the campus chapel. Then come to an informal gathering with writer George Rideout and director Gregory Tuck.

Cost (in Canadian dollars): General public: Symposium – $10 and Theater $15 (total for both: $25); students: Symposium $2 and Theater $8 (total for both: $10). Accommodation prices begin at $55. Tickets for both available through the Centennial Theatre box office: (819) 822-9692; campus accommodations through (819) 822-9651.

See their pp_press for full details and contact information. There will be costume prizes (!!) and a P&P quiz for participants to enter.

3 thoughts on “from Persuasion to Pride & Prejudice

  1. I simply must add my applause to Sunday’s event. The presentation was fantastic. I re-read Persuasion to prepare for the lecture, but now I want to re-read all over again so I can look for and consider the insights from Prof.Bertolini. She is a dynamite presenter, a thorough academic, and emphasized the humor with her own humor. It was wonderful!!


  2. Thank you Marcia for commenting! Yes, wasn’t Mary Ellen fabulous! Just brought Persuasion to life for all of us, with her thoughtful reading of the novel and a presentation filled with humor and affection. Would like to to be a fly on the wall during one of her classes – she must wow these kids!


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