New issue! ~ ‘Jane Austen’s Regency World Magazine’

News from the Editor of  Jane Austen’s Regency World magazine: the September/October 2010 issue is published this week:  


Featured on the cover is a scene from The Secret Diary of Anne Lister, the BBC’s new drama about a Georgian heiress who follows an unconventional path in life and love.

Highlights of the new issue of the magazine include: 

  • The Latin touch: how Jane’s fame is spreading in Brazil 
  • A very secret diary: the heiress Anne Lister’s love for a woman has been turned into a film 
  • A Cornish exile: Maggie Lane explores the life and times of Charles Austen, Jane’s seafaring brother 
  • Jane’s best jest: Paul Bethel compares Emma with Mansfield Park 
  • Required reading: Sue Wilkes explains how no Georgian gentleman could afford to miss 
  • Enter stage right: Jane Austen would have known the old Theatre Royal in Bath 
  • My Jane Austen, Marsha Huff: The outgoing president of JASNA shares her love of Jane Austen

Full details of Jane Austen’s Regency World Magazine, which is published every two months, are available on our website


 Jane Austen’s Regency World Magazine is also delighted to announce that it will be at the following events:

  •  Bath Jane Austen Festival, country fayre at the Guildhall, Bath, on Saturday, September 19
  •  JASNA AGM, Regency Emporium, in Portland, Oregon, October 28-30

Readers are invited to visit our stand and say hello!

[Posted by Deb, who will write more on this when it shows up in her mailbox…]

JASNA-Vermont ~ Schedule of Events

I append here the information on our next meeting, the full schedule of the JASNA-Vermont Region events for 2010-11, and the year’s schedule for the JASNA-Massachusetts Region.  We certainly can say the Northeast is doing its very best to share and enjoy Jane! ~ if only one could go to all of them…


You are Cordially Invited to JASNA-Vermont’s
September Meeting 

Marsha Huff on 

~Viewing Austen through Vermeer’s Camera Obscura*~  

~Ms. Huff is the current President of JASNA~
*An illustrated lecture pairing paintings by Vermeer with scenes from Austen’s novels  





Sunday, September 26, 2010   2 – 4 pm 

~ An event of the Burlington Book Festival ~
~ Sponsored by Bygone Books ~
Hosted by: Champlain College,
Hauke Conference Center

375 Maple St Burlington VT  

Free & Open to the Public!
Light refreshments served 

For more information:   JASNAVermont [at] gmail [dot ] com 
Please visit our BLOG at:
Burlington Book Festival:


JASNA ~ Vermont
‘Dates for Your Diary’ ~ 2010 – 2011 

September 26, 2010, 2 – 4 pm     

“Viewing Austen through Vermeer’s Camera Obscura”
With JASNA President Marsha Huff
Burlington Book Festival ~ sponsored by Bygone Books
Place:  Champlain College 

December 5, 2010, 2 – 5 pm 

Annual Jane Austen Birthday Tea !!
w/ Dr. Peter Sabor [McGill University] on the Juvenilia*
and Dr. Elaine Bander [Dawson College / JASNA-Montreal] on Mr. Darcy*[*subject to change]
Place:  Champlain College
$20. / person

 March 27, 2011, 2 – 4 pm 

 “Jane Austen’s London in Fact and Fiction”
A visual tour w/ Suzanne Boden & Deb Barnum
Place:  Champlain College 

June 5, 2011, 2 – 4 pm 

Music in Jane Austen’s World:  A Concert with Dr. William Tortolano
[Professor Emeritus, St. Michael’s College]
Place:  Chapel at Vermont College of Fine Arts [Montpelier]
$10. / person 


JASNA-Massachusetts Region
‘Dates for your Diary’ ~ 2010-2011

September 19, 2010 

             Pamela Bromberg: “The Films of Northanger Abbey:
‘are they all horrid?’ 

SPECIAL EVENT       October 17, 2010 

         John Wiltshire: “Mr. Darcy’s Smile”

 November 14, 2010 

         Sarah Emsley: “Everything She Ever Wanted: Marriage and Power in Novels by Jane Austen and Edith Wharton” 

December 12, 2010 


March 20, 2011

          Nancy Yee: “John Thorpe, Villain Ordinaire: The Modern Montoni/Schedoni” 

May 1, 2011 

         Rachel Brownstein: “Why Jane Austen?”


Hope you can join us for some [or even better, all] of the events!

[Posted by Deb] 

Book Review ~ ‘Bath Tangle’ by Georgette Heyer

Here is the review of Georgette Heyer’s Bath Tangle that I wrote for the “Georgette Heyer Celebration” at Austenprose:

I first encountered Georgette Heyer’s Bath Tangle via audio and I was enchanted – the head-strong Hero and Heroine, not always likeable, at odds with each other from page one – so I was delighted to read the book when Laurel Ann asked me to do this review – another Heyer, another cast of characters, and an abundance of Regency settings to savor!

Serena Carlow, 25, a titian-haired beauty, strong-willed, headstrong, accomplished*, daring and tempestuous, certainly anything but “serene”, has suddenly lost her father, the Earl of Spenborough.  He leaves a twenty-two year old wife, no male heir with his estate passing to a cousin, and a will that provides for Serena’s fortune to be under the trusteeship of the Marquis of Rotherham.  Fanny, now the widowed Lady Spenborough, a young girl, barely out of the schoolroom when she was pledged to the 47 year-old Earl against her will, is well-named – Austen’s Fanny Price looms over this character.  Though of a shy, retiring disposition and propriety-bound, she and Serena, so very different, have forged a true friendship – they move together to the Dower House, leaving the cousin and wife, a la the John Dashwoods in Sense & Sensibility, to take over the Earl’s entire estate. Serena is left with an allowance, her fortune of 10,000 pounds a year to be passed to her only upon her marriage to a man approved by Rotherham …which of course sends Serena “up into the boughs.”

Major back story, as in Persuasion:  Serena and Rotherham were betrothed three years before, her father’s wish, but Serena crying-off shortly before the ceremony because “they did not suit”.  Rotherham is after all a harsh and arrogant fellow, with an “imperious and tyrannical disposition”, “high in the instep”, barely even handsome [but he has great hands! and those powerful shoulders!] – they do their “dagger-drawing” from page one and while they may not think they suit, we know quite differently, that they are meant for each other, everyone else paling in comparison…..[Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew comes to mind!]

Fanny and Serena decamp to Bath for a change of scene during their mourning period – and so enters Major Hector Kirkby, Serena’s “first and only true love” from six years before – and she, Hector’s “goddess”, his dream become real when they once again meet.  Hector is fine and handsome, but a tad frightened of Serena’s strong personality of “funning humours and openness of temper”. They set all the tongues of Bath wagging, embark on a secret engagement [due to mourning etiquette], Rotherham is consulted and approves, then announces his own engagement to the not-yet 18 year old Emily, and suddenly, Everyone Ends Up In Bath: Mothers in the marriage mart; Aunts critical of Serena’s behaviors; Rotherham’s family demanding attention and money; Hector’s dream; Serena feeling 19 again; the fortune-seeking Lalehams, pushing Emily into the arms of the Marquis; and Mrs. Floore, Emily’s grandmother, one very lively jump-off-the-page character, “of little height and astonishing girth”, vulgar and socially stigmatized, with an outrageous sense of fashion; and Rotherham, the jilted lover, who says of Serena “she would have been well-enough if she ever broke to bridle”, he is“blue-devilled” and angry, bordering on the cruel throughout most of the book…

Heyer gives us what we love her for: the witty dialogue; the fashions described; the list of cant terms [ramshackle, clodpole, “the dismals” feather-headed, ninny-hammer, on-dits, bird-witted, toad-eating, etc]; the Hero and Heroine throwing all the barbs known – abominable, wretch, odious, detestable, termagant, etc.]; and Bath in all its glory – the Libraries, Assemblies, name-dropping of real residents [Madame D’Arblay, Mrs. Piozzi, the scandalous Caroline Lamb and her Glenarvon];  the political arena of the time [Rotherham is in Parliament] – all the many details that make this visit to the Bath of Regency England so very real, so very engaging, and with that Heyeresque rollicking Romance, a courtship novel with its Many Tangles to help turn the pages – Delightful!

[*Note:  Jude Morgan’s An Accomplished Woman [St. Martin’s, 2009] literally duplicates this Heyer formula and does so quite well – I recommend it!]

[Posted by Deb]

Follow Friday ~ Fashion Exhibit at ‘Austenonly’

Well, this should be a “Follow Friday” but it’s already Saturday, so hopefully no one notices….

Please visit Austenonly for this ‘absolutely fabulous’ post:  Austen Attired: Marvellous Costume Exhibit at the Magnificent Peckover House where Julie shares pictures of the  costumes from various Austen TV and film adaptations currently on exhibit at the Peckover House in Wisbech.  For those of us unable to visit, we can be most grateful to Julie for this birdseye view of the many costumes, and to the National Trust for giving her permission to take the pictures.  A catalogue of the exhibition would be most welcome!

[wedding attire of Marianne and Colonel Brandon in S&S]

from the Austenonly website:  visit to see close-up details of these and many more fashions on display.

Jane Austen’s Steventon ~ a New Guide & a Website

Three manors? A deserted village? A lost rectory where Jane Austen spent most of her short life? And not 5 miles outside Basingstoke! There’s a new little book by Richard Tanner. Copiously illustrated, it takes the reader round the village from manor and church, past the rectory site where Jane wrote the first 3 of her 6 great novels, through today’s village and back to the start.

[text and image from the website]

There’s a new website in town! – all about Jane Austen’s Steventon.  Richard Tanner, the author of the site also offers a guide for purchase for £5.99.  Here is the link:  Steventon:  Jane Austen’s Birthplace.  Mr. Tanner gives talks and tours which include Tea in North Waltham!  Visit the site for information, a picture gallery, and an order form.

[I have yet to write my final post on the Steventon Rectory, so be on the watch… will now have to order this book and do more homework!]

[Posted by Deb]

Book Review ~ ‘The Quiet Gentleman’ at Austenprose

As mentioned in a previous post, Laurel Ann at Austenprose has been celebrating Georgette Heyer through the month of August, with various guest reviews of the novels and interviews with Heyer experts.  Laurel Ann had asked me to write a review of The Quiet Gentleman, which is posted today, and Bath Tangle which will be posted August 20th. 

Reading Georgette Heyer is a new experience for me, and the immersion has been quite enjoyable – I most like stumbling upon her Austen echoes, and they are there in her characters, her settings, her plots – Heyer greatly admired Austen amd read and re-read her through the years.  I don’t agree with those who think that Heyer is another Austen [here is a short article on the topic], but it is a lesson in influence to read Heyer’s romances [and her mysteries aren’t half-bad either!], and see where Austen touches her.

You can read the review of ‘The Quiet Gentleman’ here  at Austenprose – please visit and comment; I’ll post the full text here next week.

A Jane Austen Weekend ~ Spectacular!

“My idea of good company, is the company of clever, well-informed people, who have a great deal of conversation; that is what I call good company.”
[Jane Austen, Persuasion]

Well, just another summer weekend, lounging around in a lovely old Inn – a Victorian reproduction of a Georgian style house – in a sleepy Vermont town surrounded by mountains; being waited on by the Inn’s owner and most excellent cook for lavish breakfasts, a full Afternoon Tea, and a dinner reminiscent of the repast at the Netherfield Ball [lacking ‘white soup’ of course but that is saved for winter gatherings!]; and all this with lively discussions of Jane Austen and Sense & Sensibility late into the evening – Absolutely Perfect!

The Governor’s House in Hyde Park Vermont has been hosting these Jane Austen Weekends for the past few years – I have been to a few of the evening events and have stayed for those weekends where I was speaking – each event is made more special by the participants, people from all over who have found their way, for their very different reasons, to mingle with complete strangers and talk about Jane.  This past weekend brought a full house of fourteen people [sixteen to include Suzanne and me…] –

 *A mother celebrating her 50th birthday, her only wish for her two daughters [one still in high school, the other in college] and her two sisters to share in her love of Austen – none of them [except the Mom!] Austen readers in the least.  After being subjected to a nine-hour car ride listening to a BBC audio of S&S ALL the way, they arrived bleary-eyed and just FULL of S&S, and now I can safely say, all ready to go home to read the book! [love these convert stories!] – they win the “We’ll do anything to keep peace in the family [and this S&S thing isn’t so bad after all]” Award!


*A couple from Minnesota [the husband one of the best sports I have yet to encounter!]  – he created a complete notebook of his wife’s ‘Jane Austen Collection’ – a bibliography of all her books, resources on the Regency period and Austen’s life, and a collection of all the emails received on their Minneapolis Region events – what a gift, a surprise no less! – and he actually really seems to be quite taken with Jane himself – though not so far as appearing in a superfine waistcoat [nor flannel for that matter!], pantaloons and hessians! – hopefully next time! – and his wife, a joy to see another so taken with Austen, re-discovering her, as so many do after the kids have left the house and there is time to reflect and savor – and she is enjoying all the recent sequels [with perhaps the exception of P&P and Zombies, a gift to her, that like me, she cannot quite get beyond that first page!] – they win the “Couples who read Austen together have a finer understanding of Love” Award!


*Another family, “dragged” away for the weekend by the elder Austen-loving daughter, good sports all – her Mother, her Aunt, and her younger sister – all cramming the reading of S&S into their busy lives over the past month [we did discover that those who were still cramming their S&S the night before the quiz, fared far better than those of us who actually have read the thing ten times!] – the Aunt came from a distance so a family reunion of sorts – they win the “Now will you finally believe me when I keep saying how wonderful Austen is” Award! [I think they believe her now…] – AND First Prize in the “Love to dress up in Regency” Award!


[two Austen-quoting friends with Suzanne pouring Tea]

*Two young women who love Austen, can recite most lines from the books AND movies on command [my son can do this with Caddyshack – and my goodness, how much more enjoyable to hear the quotes from Austen!], brought along the sister of one of them whose husband dropped them all off so he could mountain bike Vermont for a few days – they did their knitting and needlepoint and completed the very difficult Jane Austen puzzle in no time at all – [[but alas! the Regency dress made by hand by one of the sisters was not quite finished – she promises to wear it next time!] – they win the “We LOVE Jane Austen and want to shout it to the whole world” Award!


And the conversation? – Suzanne talked about the “lay of the land” during this Regency period – the government, town and village life, domestic life, AND the proper serving of Tea; I spoke on traveling in S&S – the economics, the distances, and the carriages of each of the characters [Willoughby and his curricle getting far too much attention] – and much discussion on who is “sense” and who is “sensibility” and what does “sensibility” mean anyway, and how does the first sentence compare to the opening line of Pride & Prejudice, and a most gruelling but laughter-inducing quiz with fabulous prizes, and of course the MOVIES – so many different opinions on each of the adaptations – Hugh Grant is to die-for to Hugh Grant is a wimp; Colonel Brandon is way cool in his waistcoat to Marianne is quite right to be disgusted with his aches and pains; Mr. Palmer we all agreed is the best of the comic characters, his wife a silly fool and more the pity for him [and Hugh Laurie got well-deserved high marks] – and though it was an S&S weekend, Colin Firth, a.k.a. Mr. Darcy was never far from the table conversation [as is quite proper] and the 2005 rendition causing quite the heated talk – endless chat, not one thought really completed, but certainly all agreeing that a more delightful weekend would be hard to come by!

On a personal note, one always finds at these gatherings how very small the world is – one group from a small town in New Jersey “I would never have heard of” which turned out to be where my college roommate grew up and I had visited it a number of times; and the mother of the other mother-daughter group was in the Army at the same place and same time that my husband and I were in the early 1970s – we were nearly neighbors!

And of course, great kudos and a hearty thank you to Suzanne who runs these weekends so beautifully, bringing so many people from all parts of the country together – new friends found in this resplendent world of Jane Austen – a step back from the 21st century for a few short days that energizes and soothes at the same time  – Jane would approve, I have no doubt  – she was there, after all…

… the Austen-era feeling certainly was helped along with a
leisurely morning carriage ride through the Stowe Vermont woods…

… and letter-writing exercises with quills
[but alas! no Darcy to mend our pens] …

…and mulling over that very difficult quiz!

… and reading up on carriages, bonnets in hand awaiting an outing …


Next up:  

series 3: Sense and Sensibility
Friday evening talk: Making Sense of the Regency World

Friday – Sunday, September 10 – 12, 2010
Friday – Sunday, January 7 – 9, 2011

Click here for more details and here for the Governor’s House website

[Posted by Deb]