JASNA-Vermont’s Annual Birthday Tea! ~ December 5th

Please Note:   Regency Dress Encouraged!!

[see below for other Austen-related events]

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

 ~The Annual Jane Austen Birthday Tea!~ featuring 

   Dr. Elaine Bander*
‘Doubting Mr. Darcy’


Dr. Peter Sabor**
 ‘Austen’s Letter Writers in
Sense & Sensibility

and Pride & Prejudice




~  Traditional English Afternoon Tea ~

Sunday, 5 December 2010, 2 – 5 p.m.
 Champlain College, Hauke Conference Center
375 Maple St Burlington VT 

$20. / person ~ $15. / JASNA Members ~ $5. / student 

RSVPs required!  ~ Register by 28 Nov 2010

Flyer:  Dec_2010_flyer_final
Reserve form:  Dec_Tea_Reservation_form final
For more information:
   JASNAVermont [at] gmail [dot] com 
Visit our blog at: http://JaneAustenInVermont.wordpress.com

Please Join Us!


We are honored to welcome our Canadian neighbors and noted Austen scholars:


Elaine Bander


*Dr. Elaine Bander has recently retired from teaching English at Dawson College, Montreal


Peter Sabor

**Dr. Peter Sabor is the Canada Research Chair in 18th-Century Studies and Director of the Frances Burney Centre at McGill University. 



Upcoming in 2011 ~
March 27: ‘Jane Austen’s London in Fact and Fiction’ with Suzanne Boden & Deb Barnum
June 5: A Lecture & Concert on the ‘Music of Jane Austen’s World’ with Prof. William Tortolano 
at Vermont College of Fine Arts, Montpelier


Other Events of note:

December 1, 7pm ~ Newport, VT: Vermont Humanities Council First Wednesday Lecture:

Dartmouth professor emeritus James Heffernan will discuss the use of the fairy tale in Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice in a talk at Goodrich Memorial Library in Newport on December 1. His talk, “In Want of a Wife: Romance and Realism in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice,” is part of the Vermont Humanities Council’s First Wednesdays lecture series and takes place at 7:00 p.m. 

In the history of literature, Jane Austen is typically considered a realist of social relations—and yet Pride and Prejudice remains perennially popular because it incorporates a potent feature of the fairy tale: it fulfills the fondest wishes of its poor and not conspicuously beautiful heroine. Heffernan will show how Austen reconstructs the fairy tale within the framework of social realism.  Heffernan is Professor of English, Emeritus and Frederick Sessions Beebe ’35 Professor in the Art of Writing at Dartmouth College. Author of numerous books and articles and lecturer for The Teaching Company, he has lectured around the world.

For more information, contact Goodrich Memorial Library at 802.334.7902, or contact the Vermont Humanities Council at 802.262.2626 or info@vermonthumanities.org, or visit www.vermonthumanities.org.

*December 12, 2010:  JASNA-Massachusetts Region :  Jane Austen Birthday Celebration!

 Enjoy light refreshments, including a birthday toast, and entertainment by the JASNA Massachusetts Players presenting Austen on Austen

Cost is $10* per person ($5* for JASNA Massachusetts members)
Please R.S.V.P. by Tuesday, December 7 by remitting your check with this form.

Wheelock College, Brookline Campus
43 Hawes Street, Brookline, MA
For more information:  Visit the JASNA-MA website

*December 11, 2010 ~ JASNA-Greater New York Region: 

 “Reading Pride & Prejudice Backwards”, with Professor Mary Poovey followed by the Annual Birthday Celebration!
 See their website for more information

Follow Friday ~ Number One London

 “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.”
-from Boswell’s Life of Johnson


Obsessed with London? – you can get a daily fix from the comfort of your own computer screen by visiting the blog Number One London – at http://onelondonone.blogspot.com  –  poor substitute I know for the real thing, but the best one can do most days… and blog creators Kristine Hughes and Victoria Hinshaw do their very best to make it an enjoyable visit:

Welcome . . . You’ve arrived at Number One London, an address for those with an interest in England past and present and a passion for daily life during the Georgian, Regency and Victorian eras. Share with us your book finds, favorite films and websites, on dits regarding your research pursuits, travel adventures across the pond and historic treasures. If you spend an inordinate amount of time reading, researching and pondering past and present England, then you’ve found a place to share information and make the aquaintance of others who feel at home at Number One London. *

Number One, London was the home of the Duke of Wellington – and a perfect place to start your immersion in London’s past and present… todays’ post is about Benedict Cumberbatch, the latest Sherlock Holmes on Masterpeice Mystery; the site is filled with all manner of goodies, like the weather since 1500, and all you ever wanted to know about William and Kate, and as Ms. Hinshaw was at the JASNA AGM, you can follow her summary of the happenings… [she spoke with Kim Wilson on “About Those Abbeys: A Trip Through History, Literature and the Picturesque” which I unfortunately missed..]

Enjoy your cyberspace trek to London!

[* From the blog Number One London]

The Chawton House Library Short Story Competition

Writer alert:  Get your pens mended!  As last year with the short story compilation Dancing with Mr. Darcy, The Chawton House Library has announced another Jane Austen short story competition.  Please visit their website for details.

[Image from zazzle.com]

Query: Are You Reading Jane Austen on your eReader??

This sent from Nili Olay of JASNA-Greater NY Region – the author, Phyllis Fine had attended one of their book discussion gatherings and wrote the following for OMMA [Magazine of Online Media, Marketing & Advertising: http://www.mediapost.com/ – I am appending the whole article here: [and thanks Nili for sharing!]

 “Don’t be Prejudiced: Janeites Aren’t Necessarily Luddites”   by Phyllis Fine

The new member of the Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA) looked sheepish. “Um, I know you ladies don’t approve, but I’m thinking of buying a Nook,” she said. Some looked puzzled, and a quick tutorial on ebooks ensued. Then Nili Olay, JASNA’s New York Metro Region cochair, showed she had her heart in both the 19th and 21st centuries. “Why shouldn’t we approve?” she asked. “We want everybody to read as much as they can, any way they can.” 

Olay had a point. If you’re devoted to the classic novels the modern world has arguably messed with the most, why should you scream heresy when you now find them accessible electronically? 

In fact, Austen devotees have already seen her works invaded by the undead (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies) and the water-logged (Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters). Faced with such indignities, some adapted and others complained. 

Not surprisingly, Janeites are also highly sophisticated, knowledgeable readers. They remember the names of minor characters in the Austen oeuvre (Darcy’s cousin Colonel Fitzwilliam in Pride and Prejudice – that’s for amateurs! How about Darcy’s housekeeper, Mrs. Reynolds?), and are willing to entertain the theory that the oh-so-reserved Jane Fairfax is secretly pregnant in a shadow version of Emma. So they’re a good test of how the most literate are adapting to the electronic book. 

Polled during a discussion group of roughly 15 JASNA members, only three identified themselves as regular ebook readers. Yet these three were enthusiastic e-cheerleaders, using words like “love” to describe their relationship with the devices. 

Linda Dennery, executive vice president of benefits at Advance Newspaper Group, must keep up with the latest in media professionally, so she has both a Kindle and an iPad. 

Ann Herendeen enjoys her Kindle, “but when I’m reading a book between Austen and escapist trash, it drives me crazy,” she said. If she’s looking for a certain scene that isn’t searchable by an easy keyword, she’d rather flip through physical pages than slowly go through electronic ones. “It’s like reading through a narrow hole, a periscope that illuminates one spot only,” she said. 

Olay is an economical ebook reader: She uses her iPhone rather than a dedicated e-reader, and the volumes she reads are free because they’re in the public domain. She’d just finished reading Daisy’s Aunt by E.F. Benson and was currently in the midst of Dickens’ Our Mutual Friend. 

Others in the group were yet-to-be-convinced that ebooks have value – like Marilyn Goldfried, who gave perhaps the most erudite counterpoint possible to Olay’s testimony on the beauty of packing just one small device to fulfill all your literary vacation needs. Goldfried reported that when Noel Coward was on a cruise, he lightened his book burden by throwing pages into the water as he finished reading them. 

Olay, noting another e-advantage, said, “You don’t need a bookmark; it always keeps your place for you automatically.” 

“But let’s not exaggerate the problem of using bookmarks,” Goldfried quickly retorted. 

“Well, I’m always losing bookmarks,” Olay came back. 

June Shapiro was more of a Luddite than many in the group, noting “I don’t trust a computer at all, and I would probably throw a mobile phone across the room.” And yet she said, “Good for anybody who reads Austen, any way.” 

Dennery, perhaps the most tech-savvy, related a story about how quickly habits can change: “I was reading a ‘real’ book a few weeks ago, and when I closed it, I went to turn it off in the back.” 


So, you know that I am a bookseller of fine collectible books, and we in that bookselling world I live in have been discussing this for a good number of years – and we read the daily notices of book sales down, ebook sales up, bookstores closing, and who is buying used books if no one wants new books, etc. – but I have a kindle and an iphone with ebooks on it [great in traffic jams!] and I have been listening to books on tape and cds and now my ipod / iphone for years – and I still buy books and collect books, and read books – I think that we have here just one other way to disseminate and absorb information, and if people are reading Austen on their kindle or nook, we should celebrate that at least they are reading Austen

 What are your thoughts  about reading Austen on kindles and nooks and iphones and ipads and whatever is the next  rage of the moment?? –  and are you still buying BOOKS?  please weigh in!

 [Image from MacWorld.com]

A Visit to Carlton House ~ November 13, 1815

Today in Jane Austen’s life:  on November 13, 1815, Jane Austen visited Carlton House, the London home of the Prince Regent, at the invitation of the Prince’s Librarian James Stanier Clarke.  Austen was “asked” to dedicate her next book  – Emma – to the Prince – it is the only dedication in her six novels [her juvenilia was humorously dedicated to her family members – see Peter Sabor’s article in Persuasions 31 (2009) “Brotherly and Sisterly Dedications in Jane Austen’s Juvenilia”]. 

Carlton House - front view

This is Austen’s  letter to Clarke on the 15th:

Wednesday 15 November 1815


I must take the liberty of asking You a question – Among the many flattering attentions which I rec’d from you at Carlton House, on Monday last, was the Information of my being at liberty to dedicate any future Work to HRH the P.R. without the necessity of any Solicitation on my part.  Such at least, I beleived to be your words; but as I am very anxious to be quite certain of what was intended, I intreat you to have the goodness to inform me how such Permission is to be understood, & whether it is incumbent on me to shew my sense of the Honour, by inscribing the Work now in the Press, to H.R.H. – I sh’d be equally concerned to appear either presumptuous or Ungrateful.-

I am etc…

[Le Faye, Ltr. 125 (D), p. 296]

Clarke responded immediately:

“It is certainly not incumbent on you to dedicate your work now in the Press to His Royal Highness: but if you wish to do the Regent that honour either now or at some future period, I am happy to send you that permission which need not require any more trouble or solicitation on your Part.”  (Ltr. 125 (A), p.296)

Austen and Clarke engaged in a lively correspondence about this dedication and Clarke’s efforts to have Austen write a book about a clergyman… Austen responded in her most humorous fashion:

“I am fully sensible than an Historical Romance founded on the House of Saxe Cobourg might be more to the purpose of Profit or Popularity, than such pictures of domestic Life in Country Villages as I deal in – but I could no more write a Romance than an Epic Poem. – I could not sit seriously down to write a serious Romance under any other notice than to save my Life, & if it were indispensible for me to keep it up & never relax into laughing at myself or other people, I am sure I should be hung before I finished the first Chapter.- No – I must keep to my own style & go on in my own Way…” (Ltr. 138(D), p. 312).

It is unfortunate that no letter exists in which Jane writes Cassandra her impressions of Carlton House and the Prince’s request – it surely must have been written – how could Austen resist sharing her thoughts about Clarke and Carlton House with her sister! – it is likely one of those that Cassandra felt could not be passed on perhaps for its anti-P.R. sentiments. – In Letter 128 to Cassandra (Le Faye, 300), Austen writes “I did mention the P.R.- in my note to Mr. Murray, it brought me a fine compliment in return…” – which seems to indicate that Austen had written just previously to Cassandra about this request for a dedication.  But all we have is Austen’s very humorous dedication to Emma:






Carlton House staircase

Further reading:

[Images from the Wikipedia article on Carlton House]

Follow Friday ~ The Regency Encyclopedia

I have posted about this very rich resource before, but doing so again as much had been added: The Regency Encyclopedia.  I met up with the creator, Sue, at the Portland JASNA AGM, and we talked about some of the new items – maps, authors, and various bells and whistles. This is a password protected site, but Sue gave me permission to again provide the logins [case-sensitive]:

User ID – JAScholar
PW – Academia

I suggest you first look at the 18-page User’s Guide [no worries – it is largely visual with big print!] – to get a sense of how the database works.  Then scan the various categories; and always check the “What’s New” tab to see what has been added – it is constantly being updated and Sue asks for suggestions of good resources that she can add.  Here are the categories to give you an idea of what is included – all are keyword searchable:

  • Map Gallery that includes a Time & Distances option – this all based on John Cary’s New Itinerary (1819)
  • London: many maps, a tour, and shopping locations!
  • Georgian Names index
  • Fashion Print Gallery
  • Novel Calendars w/ Chapman’s Lists of Characters
  • Source list of work catalogued [my only criticism: this is a great bibliography of Regency resources but it is listed A-Z by first name, not the most helpful access point]
  • Online resource links [a select list]

A perfect weekend project – this database need some time spent with it to find all that is hidden behind its main menu page!

Jane Austen AGM ~ Day 4: Mayhem! Team Catherine, Essays, Austen in the Wild West, & Future AGMs

Forgot to mention that the JASNA General Meeting was yesterday before the Ball: always nice to applaud the outgoing and incoming officers and offer a collective Thank You to all the volunteers that people this organization. Plus, the official announcement that Montreal will be the host of the 2014 AGM – on Mansfield Park in celebration of its publication 200 years ago.  Very close to Vermont, so very excited!

Sunday morning – the business meeting for the RCs – an updating on the finances, new features for RCs and another opportunity to share program ideas: beer-tasting [it brings the men out!]; military history [ditto!]; book swaps; Sherlock Holmes; whist and other games; a cemetery tour; balls and festivals – so much happening about Austen everywhere!

Brunch delicious and shared with Laurel Ann and Laurie Viera Rigler and several others at the round table – the winner of the High School essay contest read her winning entry – “Exposure of Truth” about Catherine in Mrs. Tilney’s bedroom – delightful to see another generation discovering and interpreting Jane Austen’s BOOKS!

Then a panel discussion “Dispute without Mayhem” – moderated by Kimberly Brangwin with Diana Birchall, Joan Ray and William Phillips – all responding to such questions as: What is the great joy of Northanger Abbey?  What is to be made of Henry’s “We are English” reprimand?  Does Northanger Abbey show Austen’s literary immaturity? Etc. – all ended quite amicably – no mayhem at all! – with a push and a Hurrah! for a Team Catherine to gain equal footing with the very vocal Team Tilney!

So future AGMs? Mark your calendars now  – check out the details at the JASNA website

2012 Annual General Meeting, Oct. 5-7, New York, NY USA
Theme: “Sex, Money, and Power in Jane Austen’s Fiction”

RCs Nili Olay and Jerry Vetowich gave a rousing intro and welcome to the appropriately titled Sex, Money and Power in Jane Austen’s Fiction, in Brooklyn NY October 5-7, 2012.  Admiral Jerry protested the “sex” part but was promptly silenced by Nili…looks to be great fun!

2013 Annual General Meeting, Oct. 4-6, Minneapolis, MN USA
Theme: “Jane Austen: Pride and Prejudice … 200 years”

2014 Annual General Meeting, Oct. 10-12, Montréal, Québec, Canada
Theme: “Mansfield Park in Montréal: Contexts, Conventions and Controversies”

All very exciting to contemplate! – but up next is October in Fort Worth Texas to celebrate Sense & Sensibility: 2011 Annual General Meeting, Oct. 14-16, Fort Worth, TX USA  Theme: “Jane Austen: 200 years of Sense and Sensibility” – If their introduction is any indication of what they have in store for us, saddle up your best Palomino and giddy-up to Texas – the AGM team presented a rollicking video of Emma Thompson’s Sense & Sensibility interspersed with Western movie scenes featuring the likes of John Wayne and friends – an absolute hoot! – raucous laughter all around [you can also listen to the Austen ‘Home of the Range’ sung at last year’s AGM here – alas! link not accessible – will add tomorrow…].  So this Janeite will be certainly packing up her saddle bags and band boxes – for long before obsessions with Gregory Peck in a grey-flannel suit, Russell Crowe in Roman gear, Colin Firth in a wet white shirt, and Richard Armitage in Victorian costume and black leather with metal – long before any of them – Cowboys were my thing – I was Annie Oakley, Calamity Jane and Dale Evans all rolled into one – and my heart was really only for one fellow: how perfect to run into Him [ i.e. Roy Rogers for the uninitiated] on our cross-country trek [see the blog of our trip here] in a pub in South Dakota:

So Fort Worth, here I come!  And Portland, thank you for a glorious few days! –  here are some final pictures that capture the fun:

lovely gown!

Kimberly Brangwin in evening dress

Jill Kristensen, Wyoming

Marsha Huff at the Ball

Thank you Marsha for a fabulous four years, your beautiful Vermeer insights,
and for sharing your love of Austen with all of us!