Scroll down for JASNA-Vermont’s next event!

The Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA) is dedicated to the enjoyment and appreciation of Jane Austen and her writing. This page announces all the news of the JASNA-Vermont Region – upcoming events, follow-up to events, news in the JASNA world, etc. For more information, please contact the regional coordinators at JASNAVTRegion [at] gmail [dot] com. We welcome your comments, conversation, suggestions and questions, so please post!

JASNA-Vermont has quarterly meetings, usually at Champlain College in Burlington Vermont. Speakers are invited from all over to enlighten us about Jane Austen: her works, her life, her times. If you are interested in being on the JASNA-Vermont mailing list, or finding out more about the group [you are encouraged to join the national organization, JASNA], please contact us [JasnaVtRegion [at] gmail [dot] com].

We also have a JASNA-Vermont Reading Group that meets every other month in member homes. We re-read Jane Austen as often as we can!, but we also read books about her, books about Regency England’s social life and customs, writers she influenced and writers she was influenced by. Visit this page for our complete reading schedule.

Scroll down for:

  • JASNA-Vermont quarterly schedule for this year
  • JASNA-Vermont Reading Group schedule
  • Nearby JASNA Region schedules: JASNA-Massachusetts, JASNA-Montreal and JASNA-New York Capital Region
  • JASNA AGM schedule
  • JASNA-Vermont – chronological listing of past events from 2008 – present


Our Next Meeting!

You are Cordially Invited to

Our Annual Jane Austen Birthday Tea!

Teacup - Wedgwood

8 December 2019,
1:00 – 4:30 pm

Essex Inn Resort & Spa

“What did she say? – Just what she ought…” ~
Proposals in Jane Austen

Hope Greenberg & Deb Barnum


Dancing with Val Medve 
and the Burlington Country Dancers

dancing image

RSVP by November 22, 2019; pre-payment required – please print out this form and mail in as noted on the form: Dec Tea 2019-Reservation form-final

For more information: JASNAVTregion@gmail.com 
Please visit our blog at: http://JaneAustenInVermont.blog

Hope to see you there!



Our Meetings for 2019

Mark your calendars…

June 9, 2019, 2 – 4 pm

“Jane Austen and Autistic Spectrum Disorders:
         Re-examining some of her characters’ challenges with conversation, empathy and social interaction from a 21st century perspective” 

Phyllis Ferguson Bottomer
Place: Fletcher Free Library

August 4, 2019 

Field trip to the DAR John Strong Mansion, Addison VT

Sunday, September 15, 2019, 2 – 4 pm

“Jane Austen, Working Woman:
‘I must keep to my own style & go on in my own Way’”

Liz Philosophos Cooper, JASNA President
Place: Temple Sinai, South Burlington

Sunday, December 8 2019 

Annual Jane Austen Birthday Tea!

“What did she say? – Just what she ought…” ~ Proposals in Jane Austen”
Hope Greenberg & Deb Barnum


The Burlington Country Dancers with Val Medve!
Essex Inn Resort & Spa

Reservation and Payment must be received by September 20, 2019:
click here for the Dec Tea 2019-Reservation form-NEW.

Hope you can join us for any and all!


JASNA-Vermont Reading Groupsee more info and our full schedule here:

Schedule: 2019-2020

  • September 17, 2019. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen, our inspiration!
  • November 20, 2019: Jamaica Inn, by Daphne Du Maurier changed to The Age of Innocence, by Edith Wharton
  • January 15, 2020:  Madame Bovary, by Gustave Flaubert
  • March 10, 2020: Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
  • May 19, 2020: Cecilia by Frances Burney
  • July 15, 2020: Life in London (Tom and Jerry’s Life in London) by Pierce Egan


Pemberley Post – JASNA Vermont Newsletter

For more information on any of the above:
Email: JasnaVtRegion[at] gmail [dot] com


See our Past Events 2008-2018 below!


JASNA-Massachusetts Region ~



JASNA-Capital Region of New York Schedule  – TBA:


JASNA AGM SCHEDULE: www.jasna.org


2019 Annual General Meeting, Oct. 4-6, Williamsburg, VA USA
Theme: 200 Years of Northanger Abbey: “Real, Solemn History”


JASNA-Vermont Past Events, 2008-2016

Inaugural Meeting
30 March 2008: 2-4 pm

Professor Robyn Warhol-Down (UVM)
“‘I Quit Such Odious Subjects’ – Jane Austen’s Narrative Refusals”
Champlain College, Hauke Center
Lively discussion to follow; light refreshments.


22 June 2008: 2-4 pm

Northanger Abbey
~ Dramatic Readings and Discussion
& JASNA ~ A Short History (roundtable discussion)
Champlain College, Hauke Family Campus Center
Light refreshments.

We open with a roundtable discussion of JASNA’s beginnings. Lorraine Hanaway and Mildred Darrow both joined JASNA in its earliest years; Lorraine also served as president (1984-88). JASNA-VT members will then dramatize three scenes from Northanger Abbey and general discussion follows. We end with our Northanger Abbey QUIZ (see link at bottom). This meeting will be very informal. Light refreshments, and lots of time to meet, greet and talk. Free and open to the public.


September 14: 2-4 pm 

John Turner
“Austen’s England”
Vermont College of Fine Arts, The Chapel
(directions and campus map [pdf]website).

This exciting talk will feature frequent tour leader and Vermont Humanities Council speaker John Turner of Montpelier; John has led many groups to England in search of authors Jane Austen and Thomas Hardy. JASNA-Vermont’s co-RC Deb Barnum illustrates, with evocative photographs, all the places every Janeite will enjoy visiting — if only in words and pictures. Free and open to the public. Read his talk (at his website).


December 7: 2-5 pm

Annual Jane Austen Birthday Tea
with The Burlington Country Dancers and “Impropriety”
(come prepared to participate!)
Champlain College, Hauke Family Campus Center
Cost: JASNA members & Students: $5.00 / person
General admission, in advance: $10.00; at the door $12.00

Join JASNA-Vermont for its first offical “Jane Austen Birthday Tea”! There is much to celebrate: Jane’s 233rd birthday, JASNA-Vermont soon turns one, the holiday season will be upon us all, and – best of all – the wonderful Burlington Country Dancers will be showcased. Dancers will demonstrate many dances Our Jane knew well, and they welcome participants… To get a sample, visit their Website: www.peter.burrage.net/dance (or join them for a session [see more info below]). An interesting ‘description’ of what English Country Dancing is can be found here.

1 March 2009: 2-4 p.m.

 Mary Ellen Bertolini (Middlebury College)
“The Grace to Deserve: Weighing Merit in Jane Austen’s Persuasion
Place: Champlain College, Hauke Family Campus Center (Maple Street), Burlington

Following Waterloo, rich naval officers vied with impoverished aritocrats for position and importance. Against this political drama, Jane Austen unfolds her story of 27-year-old Anne Elliot, who pines for Frederick Wentworth, the Naval Captain she rejected eight years before. Wentworth’s final words in the novel, “I must learn to brook being happier than I deserve” are no coincidence, for the idea of deserving, of earning one’s blessings, is at the very core of Persuasion, Austen’s last completed novel.
jasna-mar09 –> for our flyer


7 June 2009: 2-4 p.m.

Hope Greenberg (University of Vermont)
“Fashion in Jane Austen’s World”
Place: Vermont College of Fine Arts, Chapel at College Hall, Montpelier
directions and campus map [pdf]website).



Miss Tilney’s white gown confirms her elegance, Mr. Bingley’s blue coat hints of dandyism, and as for Miss Steele’s pink ribands…  

Jane Austen’s descriptions of her characters’ clothing are sparingly–yet tellingly–applied; her letters address fashion in a more practical way. What fashions and fabrics did Austen and her contemporaries wear? Although our visual understanding of their clothing is often shaped by films, increased access to extant gowns and fashion plates lets us explore historical reality. Those interested in the “felt life” of fashion history can now create and wear accurate reproductions, allowing us to experience not only what history looks like, but what it feels like. Or, to put it another way, we can answer such burning questions as, Can one really dance comfortably in a corset?Download (pdf), print, post our flyer! june09


27 September 2009: 2-5 p.m.

Prof. Joan Klingel Ray (University of Colorado)
“Jane Austen for Smarties”
Place: Champlain College, Hauke Family Campus Center (375 Maple St.), Burlington

Three-term president (2000-06) of the Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA), Prof. JOAN KLINGEL RAY presents the illustrated talk “Jane Austen for Smarties.” Under-appreciated Victorian commentators discerned aspects of Austen’s writing which were ignored by the reading public until the latter-half of the 20th century. Prof. Ray discusses just what 21st-century Austen Smarties need to know. A companion lecture expanding on her popular book, Jane Austen for Dummies (Wiley, 2006). flyer: Sept09


6 December 2009: 2-5 pm

Annual Jane Austen Birthday Tea!

Prof. Philip Baruth * (University of Vermont)
“Badly Done Indeed: In Which Austen’s Mr. Knightley is Revealed to be a Whimsical and Emotional Teen Basket-Case”

Featuring ~

~ English Afternoon Tea ~
~ Classical Harpist Rebecca Kauffman ~
~ Gift Emporium with Local Artisan Crafts & Austen related Books ~

baruth photo

Philip Baruth is a Professor of English at the University of Vermont specializing in eighteenth-century British literature.  He is also a novelist and an award-winning commentator for Vermont Public Radio.  His most recent novel, The Brothers Boswell (Soho, 2009), is a literary thriller set in eighteenth-century London.  It follows James Boswell and Samuel Johnson as they are stalked about the city by Boswell’s jealous and mad younger brother, John.  And just recently, Philip stopped writing commentary in order to run for the State Senate from Chittenden County.  His campaign website is Baruth2010.com; his blog is Vermont Daily Briefing.
brothers boswell cover

 March 21, 2010, 2-4pm

Ingrid Graff (Independent Scholar)
“Learning to Love a Hyacinth: Emotional Growth in Northanger Abbey”

June 6, 2010, 2-4pm

 A Box Hill Picnic celebrating Jane Austen’s Emma will feature Kelly McDonald* on “Austen / Adams: Journeys with Jane & Abigail” on the letter-writing culture of the 18th / 19th century.

* Kelly McDonald is an Independent Scholar and a Co-Founder of  the JASNA Vermont Region.


September 26, 2010, 2 – 4 pm 

    “Viewing Austen through Vermeer’s Camera Obscura”
With JASNA President Marsha Huff

Join us for this illustrated lecture pairing paintings by Vermeer with scenes from Austen’s novels.


December 5, 2010

~The Annual Jane Austen Birthday Tea!~ with 

  Dr. Elaine Bander*
‘Doubting Mr. Darcy’


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

~  Traditional English Afternoon Tea ~ 

We are honored to welcome our Canadian neighbors and noted Austen scholars:
*Dr. Elaine Bander has recently retired from teaching English at Dawson College, Montreal
**Dr. Peter Sabor is the Canada Research Chair in 18th-Century Studies and Director of the
Burney Centre at McGill University.

Elaine Bander

Peter Sabor

 March 27, 2011

~Jane Austen’s London in Fact & Fiction ~ 

  Suzanne Boden* &  Deborah Barnum** 

Jane Austen and London! ~ Why did she go & How did she get there? ~ Where did she stay & What did she do? ~ Was it a ‘Scene of Dissipation & Vice’ or a place of lively ‘Amusement’ filled with Shopping, the Theatre, Art Galleries & Menageries? ~ And her fiction? ~ How does Mr. Darcy know where to find Lydia and Wickham? And Why does nearly everyone in Sense & Sensibility go to Town? To find out all this  & more absolutely essential Austen biographical & geographical trivia, please… 

Join Us for a Visual Tour of Regency London!


Suzanne & Deb will share their mutual love of London! ~ *Suzanne Boden is the well-traveled proprietress of The Governor’s House in Hyde Park, where she regularly holds Jane Austen Weekends:  http://www.onehundredmain.com/ ; Deb Barnum is the owner of Bygone Books, a shop of fine used & collectible books, the Regional Coordinator for the Vermont Region of JASNA,  author of the JASNA-Vermont blog, and compiler of the annual Jane Austen Bibliography.

[Image:  Blackfriars Bridge, 1802.  The City of London.  London: The Times, circa 1928, facing p. 192]


June 5, 2011


~The Musical World of Jane Austen ~


  Dr. William Tortolano

Dr. Tortolano is Professor Emeritus of Fine Arts at Saint Michael’s College and an internationally-known expert on Gregorian Chant. A forty-seven year faculty member at the college, he leads a busy “non-retirement” life as educator, concert organist, church musician, editor, author and director of Gregorian Chant workshops. He will be presenting a short lecture on the music of Jane Austen’s world,
followed by an organ recital of works she would have known and heard:
Froberger, Pachelbel, Handel, Mozart, Purcell, Gluck and more…

 Vermont College of Fine Arts Chapel
36 College St. Montpelier, VT  *


September 25, 2011

“‘in proportion to their family and income’:
Houses in Jane Austen’s Life and Fiction”

 with JASNA President Iris Lutz
Place: Hauke Center, ChamplainCollege

Part of the Burlington Book Festival
Sponsored by Bygone Books & JASNA-Vermont
Hosted by Champlain College


December 4, 2011

~ The Annual Jane Austen Birthday Tea! ~
In celebration of the Bicentenary of Sense & Sensibility (1811) 

  Rebecca McLaughlin* 

A Second Chance for ‘Sense & Sensibility’: Marianne as Heroine 

Is S & S not your favorite Austen novel? ~
Using the composition history of Sense & Sensibility, Austen’s biography, S&S film adaptations, and the novel text, McLaughlin argues that Marianne is the true Heroine of Austen’s first novel!

~ Traditional English Afternoon Tea ~ 

~ Regency Period or Afternoon Tea finery encouraged! ~ 


*We are honored to welcome Rebecca McLaughlin, a life member of JASNA [she wrote her MA thesis on Jane Austen in 2000], and now a Lecturer in the Department of English at UVM, where she frequently teaches an online ‘Austen: Page & Film’ course.


April 15, 2012

   ~ How to Love ‘Sanditon’ ~


  Eric Lindstrom* 

A celebration of Jane Austen’s last unfinished work: Many readers find it difficult to “love” Sanditon. Critics and readers alike can find it alternately boring, bitter and uproariously wild, either likening it to her juvenilia or seeing only the morose shadow of her impending death. Join us as UVM Professor Eric Lindstrom helps us relate to and learn to love this text, even though it does not offer the typical Austen marriage plot. 


*We are honored to welcome Eric Lindstrom, an Assistant Professor at the University of Vermont where he teaches courses primarily on Romantic Literature and Critical Theory.  He is the author of Romantic Fiat (2011), and is currently working on a study of Austen’s canny relation to philosophical developments since her time, tentatively titled “Jane Austen and  Other Minds.”


June 3, 2012

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

~ ‘Why Jane Austen?’ ~


Rachel Brownstein*

What do we want from Jane Austen? ~ Why do we want it? ~
and What do we get from the movies, the fan fiction, and the Novels?

*We are honored to welcome Professor Rachel Brownstein, author of Becoming a Heroine (1982), Tragic Muse: Rachel of the Comedie-Francaise (1993), and Why Jane Austen? (2011). Films, feminism, and popular fetishes are among the subjects of her new work,  an engaging treasure-filled meditation on Jane Austen as writer, woman, social commentator, and 21st-century icon. But most of all it is about reading, which Brownstein has been encouraging people to do, at Brooklyn College and the Graduate School of CUNY, for several decades.


September 23, 2012

‘An Afternoon with Jane Austen!’

*Former JASNA President Elsa Solender ~ ‘Channeling Jane Austen’ on her Jane Austen in Love: An Entertainment*

Rare bookseller Stuart Bennett ~ ‘Imagining Jane Austen’ ~ on his The Perfect Visit

and *Regency Fashionista Hope Greenberg on ‘Dressing Jane Austen’

Place: An event of the Burlington Book Festival, at Champlain College


December 2, 2012

 the Vermont Region of the Jane Austen Society of North America celebratedJane Austen’s Birthday with our Annual Afternoon Tea! We are honored to welcome Sandy Lerner, a.k.a. Ava Farmer, as she speaks on:

“Writing Second Impressions

the first Historically and Socially accurate sequel to Pride and Prejudice, wherein we are made
privy to the afterlives of many of our most favorite Austen characters!

Sandy Lerner, co-founder of Cisco Systems; founder of Urban Decay Cosmetics;  founder of the Ayrshire Farm in Virginia; and, most dear to us, is also the founder and moving force behind the Chawton House Library. She is now Chairman of Trustees, Chawton House Library and the Centre for the Study of Early English Women’s Writing, a place for research and camaraderie for scholars from all over the world. What better place than the former home of Jane Austen’s brother Edward Austen-Knight to study Austen and her literary antecedents and contemporaries!

Lerner’s book Second Impressions, written under the nom de plume of Ava Farmer, is set 10 years after the action in Pride and Prejudice, and explores the changes to the Darcy family’s lives, to Europe post-Napoleon, and to life in late Regency England, all a homage to Jane Austen, written in her “stile”, and with a fascinating yet credible plot. So let’s step into Lerner’s world to discover such things as: What do Darcy and Elizabeth do all day at Pemberley? Is Lady Catherine a welcome and constant visitor? Are the Wickhams reformed?  And what becomes of England’s most eligible female Georgiana Darcy? And Anne de Bourgh? And dare we ask about Mr. and Mrs. Collins?!

Second Impressions will be available for purchase and signing, all proceeds to benefit Chawton House Library.

During the Tea we shall engage in Playing Word Games with Jane Austen, a most suitable and refined entertainment for a wintry afternoon! 

Sandy Lerner, c2012 Pal Hansen


June 2, 2013 

 “Trickle-Down Economics in Pride and Prejudice; Or, Why ‘Mr. Darcy Improves upon Acquaintance’!”

 with Sheryl Craig*

Sheryl Craig

 What Jane Austen’s first readers did not need to be told was that a man named Fitzwilliam Darcy had to be a moderate Whig, one who supported Tory Prime Minister William Pitt’s tax and Poor Law reform proposals, and that Darcy’s home county, Derbyshire, paid high wages, provided generous welfare benefits, and funded the best system of poor houses in England.  Thus, Darcy, and moderate Whigs like him, were worthy of both Elizabeth Bennet’s and the reader’s esteem and served as role models to be emulated throughout Georgian Britain and, as it turns out, throughout time.   

* Sheryl Craig has published articles in Jane Austen’s Regency World, Persuasions, Persuasions On-Line, and The Explicator.  She has also written film reviews for the Jane Austen Centre in Bath.  Sheryl was JASNA’s International Visitor in 2008, is the editor of JASNA News, and was JASNA’s Traveling Lecturer for the Central region in 2012.   She has a Ph.D. in Nineteenth-century British literature from the University of Kansas, has taught at the University of Central Missouri for over twenty years, and is a life member of JASNA.


Workhouse at St. James’s Parish – from The Microcosm of London, 1810, [wikipedia commons]


September 22, 2013

 ‘My Own Darling Child’ ~ 200 Years of Publishing and Collecting Pride and Prejudice 

with Deborah Barnum*

First ed- title page

When Jane Austen sold the copyright to her Pride and Prejudice, she little knew that 200 years later, millions of copies would have been sold and people would endlessly gather all over the world to discuss her and her most popular novel.  Join us for a visual journey through the 1813 publication process and the various printings, publishers, editors, and illustrators of the past 200 years that are of collectible interest – and see how in recent years she has become such an icon of popular culture. 



[Deb Barnum in front of 10 Henrietta St, London]

*Deborah Barnum is a former law librarian, now owner of Bygone Books, a closed shop of fine and collectible books in Burlington, Vermont.  She is the Regional Coordinator for the Vermont JASNA Region and blogs at “Jane Austen in Vermont.”  She is a life member of JASNA, and since 2009 has compiled the “Jane Austen Bibliography” for Persuasions.


December 8, 2013

~ The Annual Jane Austen Birthday Tea! ~ In celebration of the Bicentenary of Pride & Prejudice (1813)

  Rebecca McLaughlin* 

“Dear Jane: How Do I Choose the Right Spouse? Or, Why Does Mr. Darcy Get the Girl?” 

Dent 1898-HMBrock-eatdpicture-adelaide

Pride and Prejudice – “In earnest contemplation” – HM Brock (Dent 1898) – from the University of Adelaide ebook collection

It is a truth acknowledged by Austen that a single woman in possession of little fortune must be in want of a husband, but upon what does she base her choice? With a look at the ongoing debate of the times between Reason [Age of Enlightenment] and Emotion [Romanticism], all further complicated by the protofeminist view of women as rational creatures versus the conservative conduct book ideals for women, we shall discover in Austen’s tale why Mr. Darcy is so right for Elizabeth and how she comes to know this… 

~Rebecca McLaughlin photo


June 8, 2014

Lisa Brown

“‘Of Rears and Vices I Saw Enough’~
The Royal Navy in Mansfield Park and Persuasion

and A. Marie Sprayberry

“Sex, Power, and Other People’s Money ~
The Prince Regent and His Impact on Jane Austen’s Life and Work” 

********Lisa & Marie

Lisa Brown will present an enlightening talk on how the Royal Navy figures in Mansfield Park and Persuasion. We will learn about the uniforms, the ships, the rating system, prize money, and more; as well as discover how very knowledgeable Jane Austen was about the Royal Navy because of her brothers’ involvement. Various uniforms will be on display – but, alas! without a Captain Wentworth in sight!

A. Marie Sprayberry investigates why Jane Austen wrote of the Princess of Wales in 1813: “Poor Woman, I shall support her as long as I can, because she is a Woman, & because I hate her Husband.” The Prince Regent brazenly personified the three themes of sex, money, and power – as long as the money was someone else’s! But did Jane Austen have particular reasons for disdaining him? And how might her views of the Prince have influenced her work? Photos of contemporary royal commemorative china and medals will illustrate the talk, all from Marie’s collection.

*Lisa and Marie are co-regional coordinators of the Syracuse Region; Lisa also co-chairs the Rochester Region, is an ECD teacher, owns a Regency era costume business, and has given various talks on the Royal Navy and Regency fashion; she works as a proof reader. Marie has spoken to JASNA on the Prince Regent and will be speaking at the Montreal AGM on “Fanny Price as Fordyce’s Ideal Woman?” She works from her Syracuse home for a NYC-based publisher.


September 20, 2014 


“The World of Jane Austen and Her Novels” 

with David M. Shapard*

Many among the legions of readers who adore Jane Austen encounter difficulties understanding parts of the stories because of the very different society in which they are set. This talk aims to remedy that by explaining the social background to her novels, the world of early 19th-century England. It focuses particularly on two crucial matters that dominate the novels: the position and customs of the controlling landed elite, and the role of women in this society, especially in relation to marriage and the family.


David M. Shapard (c) Michael Lionstar

* David M. Shapard earned a doctorate in European History from UC Berkeley; his specialty was the eighteenth century. He has taught at several colleges. He is the author of The Annotated Pride and Prejudice, The Annotated Persuasion, The Annotated Sense and Sensibility, The Annotated Northanger Abbey, and The Annotated Emma. The Annotated Mansfield Park is due out in 2015. His books will be available for purchase and signing as part of the Book Festival.


June 7, 2015 

Kelly McDonald

“The Mystery of Emma Austen’s Aunt Emma ~ An Interactive Presentation”

with Kelly McDonald*

Sunday, 7 June 2015, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Morgan Room, Aiken Hall, 83 Summit Street
Champlain College, Burlington VT


Brief sentences in a series of letters lays out the basic “mystery”: the 200-year-old family secret of a highly discouraged relationship between two women. Were the quarrels based on religion, class, station, or sexual attraction? In the spirit of Sanditon or Edwin Drood, no definitive conclusion exists; the audience is invited to brainstorm as family history unfolds. The connection to Jane Austen? Emma Austen was married to Austen’s nephew and biographer James Edward Austen Leigh.

cover-twoteensWe all know Kelly McDonald as the prime mover in the founding of the Vermont JASNA region – she “retired” as co-RC when her research and publication work became her main focus. She is working on a 4-volume biography of the lives and families of Emma Smith and Mary Gosling – you can read all about them at Kelly’s blog “Two Teens in the Time of Austen”: https://smithandgosling.wordpress.com. Kelly has also published various essays in Persuasions, the monograph Jane Austen and the Arts, online articles via Academia.edu, has spoken at JASNA AGMs and will again be presenting at the 2015 AGM on childbirth in early 19th-century England. You can read a full list of her writings here: https://smithandgosling.wordpress.com/the-author/


July 26, 2015

Afternoon Tea and Talk

Afternoon Tea at the Governor’s House in Hyde Park
with a talk by Ingrid Graff on Sense & Sensibility.

Governors house

WHAT: Afternoon Tea and Talk
WHEN: Sunday, July 26, 2015, 2-4 pm
WHERE: Governor’s House, 100 Main St, Hyde Park, Vermont  05655
COST: $8.00 / person (pay at the door – please bring checks or exact cash)

WHY: Ingrid Graff on “A Home of Her Own: Space and Synthesis in Sense and Sensibility” AND Tea of course!


Ingrid is first and foremost a great friend of ours! – She is a popular lecturer for the New Hampshire Humanities Council on Jane Austen, the Brontes, Hardy, and many more literary greats. She has spoken at various JASNA regions and visited us in Vermont in March 2010 with “Learning to Love a Hyacinth: Emotional Growth in Northanger Abbey.” Please join us to an afternoon of tea at the beautiful Governor’s House and gain new insights into the importance of Home in Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility.

Suzanne B., JASNA member and Innkeeper at the Governor’s House, has graciously offered us an Afternoon Tea at minimal cost! – You can read more about the inn here: http://www.onehundredmain.com/


 September 27, 2015

book cover-NA-Wolfson

Northanger Abbey: Jane Austen’s First Novel, before she was ‘Jane Austen.’”


Susan Wolfson
Professor of English at Princeton University,
and editor of Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey: An Annotated Edition (Harvard, 2014)

S.Wolfson.2015Susan Wolfson is Professor of English at Princeton University, where she is a specialist in British Romanticism, a field in which she teaches Jane Austen’s novels. She has recently produced the Harvard Annotated Northanger Abbey, a unique edition of the novel’s text that hews, with less intervention than standard editions, to the text of the 1818 publication, and as with other volumes in the Harvard series, includes page-by-page annotations, illustrations, and other supplementary materials.  With her husband Ronald Levao, she has also edited Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein for the same series.  And with her colleague Claudia L. Johnson, she edited Pride and Prejudice for Longman Cultural Editions, of which she is the General Editor, and in this capacity has supervised Emma (edited by Frances Ferguson), and Persuasion (edited by William Galperin). Her most recent book is Reading John Keats (Cambridge), about Keats as a reader as well as a writer, and about how this readerly quality shapes and stimulates how he is read (very Austenian in this way!).  Susan Wolfson received her PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, and taught at Rutgers University New Brunswick for 13 years, before her present appointment at Princeton.  Widely published in the field of Romantic-era studies, she is the recipient of grants and fellowships from the ACLS, the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.


 December 6, 2015

~ The Annual Jane Austen Birthday Tea! ~

Celebrating 20 years of the 1995 Pride and Prejudice Mini-Series


A Regency Ball

with the Burlington Country Dancers and “Impropriety”*

Please join us for an Afternoon of Tea, Dancing, P&P Film Clips**,
Fashion, Whist, Quizzes, Shopping, and More! 

 The Essex Culinary Resort & Spa


* Our Regency Ball features Val Medve and the Burlington Country Dancers, music by “Impropriety” – Aaron Marcus (piano), Laura Markowitz (violin) and Ana Ruesink (viola) – instruction given, all skill levels welcome!

** We ask you to tell us in advance your favorite scene in the 1995 Pride & Prejudice – we will be showing and discussing these during the Tea.


March 13, 2016

Kelly McDonald

Kelly McDonald

“‘Who could be more prepared than she was’?
True Tales of Life, Death, and Confinement: Childbirth in early 19th Century England”

No recitation of bare facts: period letters and diaries present stories of Austen-related mothers-to-be.  Georgian women discussed among themselves what potentially preoccupied a woman’s life for twenty years and more: miscarriage, pregnancy, labor, childbed fever, lactation barriers, and rituals affecting a new mother up to (and including) “churching.”

Vermont College of Fine Arts  Gray Library**
36 College St, Montpelier VT

Hosted by the Montpelier “Bowling for Jane” Book Group, and
with hearty thanks to the Vermont College of Fine Arts!

Join us for a return engagement of our own Kelly McDonald
for the talk she gave at this year’s JASNA AGM in Louisville


August 14, 2016

Discussing Emma over Afternoon tea

Governor’s House, Hyde Park, VT
$15. / person
RSVP required


September 18, 2016


You are Cordially Invited to JASNA-Vermont’s September Meeting
at the Burlington Book Festival 

“Planting the Seeds for the Austen Oeuvre: Mary Wollstonecraft and the Rights of Woman.”


Nancy Means Wright*

In an illustrated talk, Wright will describe 18th-century writer Mary Wollstonecraft’s traumatic and unconventional life in an era when women were victims of primogeniture and considered incapable of reason. She will discuss Mary’s groundbreaking Vindication of the Rights of Woman, and her Unitarian publisher’s circle of Dissidents; her years in revolutionary Paris when she lost her head to a feckless American captain – and her voyage to Scandinavia as a lone woman in search of a missing “silver ship.” She will also consider the ongoing question: Was Jane Austen influenced by Mary Wollstonecraft?************* 
*Vermont author Nancy Means Wright has published children’s books, adult fiction, short stories, and poems, including a trilogy of historical mysteries featuring 18th-century Mary Wollstonecraft. Her most recent works are Queens Never Make Bargains, a novel, and The Shady Sisters, a collection of poems. Her work has appeared in various literary journals, and her children’s books have received an Agatha Award. Her books will be available for purchase and signing.

 December 4, 2016

Annual Birthday Tea ~ Celebrating Emma at 200!

with 2 talks from the 2016 AGM

“Sketching Box Hill with Emma: Art and the Amateur Lady,
from Prinny’s Regency to Victoria’s Reign”
(Kelly McDonald)
“‘So prettily done!’ ~ 200 Years of Illustrating Emma
(Deb Barnum)
 Champlain College

Event flier: dec-2016-flier
Reservation form: dec-tea-2016-reservation-form


23-25 March 2017

Conference at SUNY-Plattsburgh

Jane Austen & The Arts



June 4, 2017

JASNA President Claire Bellanti*

“‘You Can Get a Parasol at Whitby’s:’
Circulating Libraries in Jane Austen’s Time”

Join us for an illustrated talk about an 18th century social institution that was very important to Jane Austen in her own life and her fiction, the Circulating Library. Claire will present its history and then, with references to Austen’s novels and letters, show how central such libraries were in the reading and sharing of books in Regency England. 

*Claire Bellanti holds an M.A. in History (UNLV) and an M.B.A (UCLA). She is retired from a 35 year career as a library professional at UCLA. She is currently President of the Jane Austen Society of North America, and has served in other capacities on the Board of JASNA SW and the Board of JASNA since 1994. She has written and lectured frequently about the UCLA Sadleir Collection of 19th Century Literature, including the Jane Austen contents and Silver Fork portions of the collection.



August 3 and 4, 2017

Front Cover

“Dining with Jane Austen” with Julienne Gehrer*

Thursday 3 August 2017, 5 – 7 pm
Fletcher Free Library – Fletcher Room
235 College St, Burlington VT

A careful study of Jane Austen’s letters reveals a woman passionate about many topics, especially food. “You know how interesting the purchase of a sponge-cake is to me”(Ltr. 15 June 1808). Join us for a culinary journey revealing details of the author’s life through the foods on her plate. See favorite dishes recreated from two manuscript cookbooks held within the Austen family circle. Learn how the three-year research project led to attic-to-cellar photography at Jane Austen’s House Museum. See the first views of the author’s family recipes shown on family china in family houses.

Julienne at Chawton House Library copy*Julienne Gehrer is a Lifetime Member of JASNA, serving as a Board Member and Regional Coordinator. Recently retired after a 31-year career as an Editorial Director for Hallmark Cards, she is the author of two books: In Season: Cooking Fresh from the Kansas City Farmers’ Market and Love Lore: Symbols, Legends and Recipes for Romance, and has just published Dining with Jane Austen [this will be available for purchase]. She also created “Pride and Prejudice—the Game,” and is a popular speaker on food and Jane Austen on such topics as: “Did Jane Austen Prefer a Plain Dish to a Ragout?” and “Jane Austen and 18th Century Kitchen Wisdom.”

Friday August 4, 2017, 5:30 – 9 pm: Shelburne Farms Coach Barn

The JASNA-Vermont Region will partner with chef Richard Witting and his Isole Dinner Club’s series on the History of English Food and Literature – the theme this time, following successful events on Chaucer and Shakespeare, will be Jane Austen! A delicious and entertaining evening in on offer: a multi-course authentic Regency dinner (think candlelight!); a talk on the drink of the period by Adam Krakowski, author of Vermont Beer: History of A Brewing Revolution; I will talk on “Ten Things You Never Knew about Jane Austen,” and our own Val Medve and her Burlington Country Dancers will perform to live music between courses. Special guest Julienne Gehrer, flown in for the occasion from Kansas City (where she and her Region will host us for the 2018 AGM), will speak on all things Jane Austen and food, sharing her knowledge learned in the writing of her new book Dining with Jane Austen (which will be available for purchase).



[Image: Shelburne Farms Coach Barn]


 17 September 2017


You are Cordially Invited to JASNA-Vermont’s September Meeting
~ part of the Burlington Book Festival ~

“Jane Austen and the Master Spy” 

w/   Sheryl Craig

Morgan Room, Aiken Hall, Champlain College


Jane Austen’s contemporary William Wickham was Britain’s first Master Spy and head of the British Secret Service. Wickham was also the focus of a massive government scandal and Parliamentary investigation when it was found that millions of pounds in taxpayer’s money had been funneled to Wickham and then disappeared without a trace. Pride and Prejudice’s George Wickham shares the Master Spy’s name and his legendary good looks, charm, cunning, and duplicity. Join us for an enlightening talk on what Jane Austen may have been telling her readers…you can expect Sex, Lies, Scandal, and Spies!


craig-sherylSheryl Craig has a Ph.D. in 19th century British literature from the University of Kansas and has been a faculty member in the English Department at the University of Central Missouri for more than twenty years. Sheryl has published in numerous Jane Austen-related journals and is the editor of JASNA News. A popular presenter at many JASNA AGMs and tireless traveler to JASNA regional groups (this is her second trip to Vermont!), she has trekked far afield to spread Jane Austen in Nova Scotia, Scotland and England, and upcoming in 2018 she will visit New Zealand and Australia. Her book Jane Austen and The State of the Nation was published in 2015, and she is presently working on Jane Austen and the Plight of Women about Jane Austen and the Women’s Rights Movement in Georgian England.


3 June 2018

Professor Peter Sabor

‘Reading with Austen’:
The Godmersham Park Library Goes Digital

About a dozen letters sent by Austen from her brother Edward’s estate at Godmersham Park survive, recording her impressions of life at the great house and her time in its extensive Library. A research project spearheaded by Professor Peter Sabor of McGill University called Reading with Austen, will create a virtual version of what was in this Library, showing the books exactly as they were on the shelves. Edward’s handwritten 1818 catalogue of the library lists nearly 1,300 books, a third of which are extant today in the collection of Richard Knight and now on loan to the Library at Chawton House. A global search continues for the remaining titles. Come join us for a history of the Library, this digital project, how and where books are being found, and a sneak-peek into the website to be launched this July. 



Peter Sabor pic2Peter Sabor, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, is Professor of English and Canada Research Chair at McGill University, Montreal, where he is also Director of the Burney Centre. A Life Member of JASNA, he coordinated the 1998 JASNA conference in Quebec City, and has spoken at several JASNA conferences and Regional events. His publications on Jane Austen include an edition of her early writings, Juvenilia (2006), The Cambridge Companion to Emma (2015), and Manuscript Works (2013). 


29 July 2018

Field trip to the Carriage Collection at the Shelburne Museum!

When: Sunday, July 29, 2018; 12 noon (get there by 11:30)
Where: Shelburne Museum entrance
What: Curated tour of the Carriages Collection



16 September 2018

Celebrating 200 Years of Persuasion with 

Dr. Cheryl Kinney*

Persuasion: Engineered Injury”


By examining the various injuries and illnesses in the novel (think Anne’s “loss of bloom and spirits;” Mary’s “always worse than anybody’s” sore throats; Louisa “taken up lifeless” on the Cobb pavement; and more), Dr, Kinney will show how Jane Austen uses these bodily changes to expose the moral worth and inner nature of her characters. The talk also reviews the changes that were occurring in Regency medicine and how Jane Austen’s interaction with doctors influenced her writing.


Cheryl 2*Dr. Kinney is a gynecologist in Dallas, Texas, listed in “Best Doctors in America” since 2001, named by the Consumer’s Research Council as one of “America’s Top Obstetricians and Gynecologists” yearly since 2002, and chosen as a “Texas Super Doctor” by her peers for the last eleven years. She is on several medical-related boards and has lectured around the world on issues relating to gynecology. But also, and lucky for us, she has been very involved in the Jane Austen Society of North America, both at the national and regional level, and has spoken in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom on health and sickness in the novels of Jane Austen and other 18th and 19th century British authors.


2 December 2018

~ The Annual Jane Austen Birthday Tea! ~

In celebration of the Bicentenary of Persuasion (1818)

Anna Battigelli*

“Landscapes and Soundscapes in Jane Austen’s Narratives”

How does Jane Austen convince us that we are sharing the experience of an individual immersed in society? In part, she does so by showing us what that individual overhears and sees. This talk examines Austen’s narrative technique for its construction of rich and compelling representations of inner life through soundscapes and landscapes.

Battigelli_AnnaDSCF2305(1)*Anna Battigelli is a Professor of English at SUNY Plattsburgh and the author of Margaret Cavendish and the Exiles of the Mind. She co-edited with Laura M. Stevens a double issue of Tulsa Studies in Literature on “Eighteenth-Century English Women and Catholicism.” Her edited collection of essays, Art and Artifact in Jane Austen’s Novels and Early Writing, based on the “Jane Austen and the Arts” conference she hosted at SUNY Plattsburgh in 2017, will be published in 2019.




9 June 2019

Phyllis Ferguson Bottomer

“Jane Austen and Autistic Spectrum Disorders:
         Re-examining some of her characters’ challenges with conversation, empathy and social interaction from a 21st century perspective”

Place: Fletcher Free Library

PF Bottomer-BCDWith a degree in speech language pathology from McGill University, Phyllis Fergusson Bottomer has had a long career working with children and adults with communication challenges. A longtime reader of Jane Austen, she has used her professional knowledge to view some of Austen’s most puzzling characters through this lens of social and communication impairment. Her book So Odd a Mixture: Along the Autistic Spectrum in ‘Pride and Prejudice’ (2007) brought this topic to the fore, and she has travelled the world over to give talks at various Austen society groups and conferences. Active in JASNA as a Board member, Chair of the JASNA Grants Committee, and many years as Regional Coordinator for the Vancouver Region, Phyllis also (along with her husband) has become enamored of English Country Dance and they travel as “dance gypsies” to balls and week-long dance camps all over the continent (and why she is here in Vermont!)


15 September 2019

Liz Philosophos Cooper

[image: Jane Austen’s writing table at the Jane Austen House Museum]

Jane Austen was a working woman and a determined professional writer. This illustrated talk will explore Austen’s involvement in the business of publishing novels during a time of rampant financial instability. The Austen family were active participants in both war and finance and these two sectors intertwined in the story of Jane Austen’s writing and publishing.

Sunday, 15 September 2019, 2-4 pm
Temple Sinai, 500 Swift St., South Burlington
(Corner of Swift and Dorset)

Liz Philosophos Cooper is the President of JASNA. Liz is a second-generation JASNA member who fell in love with Austen’s work as a high school student. A member since 1992, she has actively participated in local JASNA activities, served as JASNA’s Vice-President for Regions from 2013-2018, and was Regional Coordinator of Wisconsin prior to that. A popular speaker, she is a contributing writer to Jane Austen’s Regency World and co-edits the A Year with Jane Austen calendar. Her talk from the Washington DC JASNA Annual General Meeting, “The Apothecary and the Physician: Emma’s Mr. Perry” was published in Persuasions 38.

Liz holds a BA (Communication Arts) from the University of Wisconsin. She worked in marketing before taking time off to raise four sons. Literature has always been a part of Liz’s life: she began a Village book group in 1986 that is still going strong, and a Junior Great Books reading program at the local elementary school. She has been an active volunteer in the community, including serving as President of the Village of Shorewood Hills Foundation for many years.


Local & Regional Events of Interest:

Burlington Country Dancers: at the  Elley-Long Music Center.
A full schedule and more information is available here.


Website: www.burlingtoncountrydancers.org
just click on Across the Lake for all the details!

[Image from the Hamilton English Dancers  website]

4 thoughts on “JASNA-VT

  1. Pingback: Slices of Cake » Blog Archive » Speaking to the Choir (the Jane Choir)

  2. Pingback: Hot off the Press! « Jane Austen in Vermont

  3. Pingback: Vermont Book Festivals « Bygone Books Blog

  4. Pingback: JASNA 2011 AGM – Registration Now Open! « Jane Austen in Vermont

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