The Pemberley Post, No. 5 (Jan 28-Feb 3, 2019) ~ Jane Austen and More!

The Week of January 28 – Feb 3, 2019: all manner of things from Rembrandt, Vauxhall Gardens, drinking in London, to Thomas Jefferson’s books, Suffragettes, and Jane Austen, of course…

The Londonist shares London’s weird drinking traditions:

Twelfth Night: A blend of ancient midwinter customs and contemporary festivity occurs each January on Bankside. Things kick off outside Shakespeare’s Globe with the Holly Man — the winter guise of the Green Man spotted across the nation’s pubs. He’s decked out in wonderful foliage and accompanied by the devil Beelzebub and other eccentrically-dressed associates who join together to Wassail (or toast) the people.


Feel like brushing up on your Shakespeare this winter? Find an online course here:

A little known fact: I LOVED Superman as a kid – spend my weekly allowance at the down-the-street soda fountain to get the latest issue (so sad I didn’t keep them) – some original movie posters will appear in a Sothebys online auction in March, superheroes included, including my favorite:

A nice plug for the Juvenilia Press:

The BBC’s ICONS – “Exploring the achievements of the greatest figures of the 20th century. The public vote for their favourites, ultimately deciding who is the greatest icon of them all.” – you can read about it and see the results as voted by the public here:


One of my best memories of touring through Europe as a college student (MANY years ago) was seeing Rembrandt’s The Night Watch at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam – I knew the painting from the required art history class, but was still awed by its size. Two years ago I saw it again and reverted to those long ago days of awe – you can now see it and understand it as never before in this interactive documentary that analyzes the painting:

[With thanks to Tony Grant for this] – More on the ebay-found album of Austen’s Irish relatives – many pictures here – the owner and now the journal reside in Jerusalem:

Image: Wedding at Chawton House, England in 1865 of Elizabeth Knight (great-niece of Jane Austen to Capt. Edward Bradford, who lost his arm in a tiger attack and later became the head of the Metropolitan police. (Renee Ghert-Zand/TOI, © Karen Ievers)

Tony has posted about the letters on his blog London Calling (with the album owner commenting):

You should be registering for the Jane Austen Summer Program at Chapel Hill, NC – “Pride and Prejudice & its Afterlives”- Thursday-Sunday, June 20-23, 2019 – look here for the schedule:


Clerkenwell workhouse – wikipedia

All Things Georgian relates a tale that would make a riveting historical fiction read: ‘A mysterious stranger in Regency Clerkenwell’

Vauxhall Gardens


An informative look at Vauxhall Gardens in the Regency Period:


See the Museum of London exhibitions on Votes for Women before they close:


Faith sites to visit in Austen’s England:

Heckfield Place – a new luxury getaway in Hampshire, northeast of Basingstoke: – see here for a review: – The room I like best is £2000 / nite…


For hours of viewing pleasure – Thomas Jefferson’s Library at the Library of Congress:

A book in Jefferson’s library: The Uncertainly of the Signs of Death… “Because of this book, fear of being buried alive became widespread in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, though modern scholars believe it rarely happened.” Good to know…


Embroidery/Spot motif sampler. Unidentified Maker. circa 1620.

Samplers from the Fitzwilliam Museum:


Well, this is just plain fascinating – a Victorian literary gentleman, William Sharp, “a Scottish poet, novelist, biographer and editor who in 1893 began to write critically and commercially successful books under the name “Fiona Macleod.” He also corresponded with “her” and you can read these letters here, thanks to OpenBookPublishers [the pdf download is free]:


Pick your favorite from these terrific images of “Fat Cats in the City [London], 1824” at Spitalfields Life:

Abebooks most expensive books sold in 2018:

  • Alas, no Austen, but a Hemingway, Dickens, L. M. Montgomery, Narnia, and Mickey Mouse…

And to top this all off – a new Austen youtube “Jane Austen – Sarcasm and Subversion – Extra History”:


A very short reading list: Books I am reading / have just finished:

David McCullough’s The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris – fabulous, impressive, extraordinary lives.

The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock, by Imogen Hermes Gowar – interesting, and a great setting in 1780s London, which I can never get enough of – Reminded me of The Essex Serpent – would like to discuss with someone…

The great biographer Claire Tomalin’s own biography: A Life of My Own – loved this book, love all her biographies

Vanity Fair, by the wordy Thackeray – for a Jane Austen book group – I confess to never having read it, though Becky Sharp is part of anyone’s knowledge if interested in Heroines (good and bad ones)

Duke by Default (Reluctant Royals) by Alyssa Cole – I read this because it was on many lists of best books of 2018 – I don’t know why – someone explain this to me…

and finally, The Blue, by Nancy Bilyeau (I’m reading this because I am also reading the South Carolina based The Indigo Girl, by Natasha Boyd – in my humble opinion, one cannot get enough of the color blue…)


c2019, Jane Austen in Vermont



Adventures Befalling a Janeite in Chicago ~ Day 4

Diary ~ Day Four:  Brunch & Music & Darcy & Farewells / Final Thoughts 

Early morning RC meeting, another helpful gathering…I am returning home with a suitcase full of ideas (not to mention those books!) 


Off to Brunch and “A Conversation about Creativity, Collaboration, and Creaking Doors”

 JASNA announcements including awarding prizes for the Young Writers Workshop ~ you can see the list of winners and read the winning essays at the JASNA website…all excellent and insightful!  And then the Philadelphia entourage took the stage for a humorous skit and the passing of the JASNA banner from Chicago’s William Phillips to the coordinators of the next AGM, “Jane Austen’s Brothers and Sisters in the City of Brotherly Love October 9-11, 2009 in Philadelphia.  Mark your calendars!

Lindsay Baker & Amanda Jacobs

Lindsay Baker, Arlene Crewdson, Colin Donnell and Amanda Jacobs then thoroughly delighted the audience of rapt Janeites with the story of bringing Pride & Prejudice, the Musical to the Broadway stage.  A fascinating account of their collaboration on music and lyrics, their years of work and their efforts to remain true to Austen’s story – they returned over and over to the book throughout this musical journey (and a very well worn and loved copy it was!)


 The audience could not contain itself in wanting to see and hear from Colin Donnell (can his name REALLY be COLIN?!) – in their search for the perfect Mr. Darcy, they propped up all the head-shots of possibles on the kitchen counter and chose the one who most looked like Darcy to them…hoping fervently that he could SING!  Which he quickly showed us all that indeed he could!  Two songs from the show, Elizabeth’s “When I Fall in Love” and Darcy’s “Fine Eyes”gave us a taste of what is to come….just lovely, and everyone snapping pictures of this latest Darcy incarnation.  Mr. Donnell was all accommodation – though he did admit that standing before all of us obsessed Janeites was quite a “daunting” task!  [no worries, ” you had us at ‘hello’ “!]




The show is having its grand pre-Broadway debut on October 21 in Rochester, NY, the place where it all began.  See their website at for updates and information  (and pictures!) about the cast.  (I append two pictures here that I was able to get of Mr. Donnell, albeit a disappointment (the picture, not him!), but I did get to ask him what his Mom thought about his being Mr. Darcy…he said she has been very supportive and having fun with the whole idea, so kudos to her!) [I am not sure I could handle my son being Mr. Darcy…though he could be, or so I am told; but I do know that nothing on earth would get him to put on those leggings!]


Final Thoughts upon departing Chicago ~ 

So off to the airport and a moment to reflect, and notes on a few of the Emporium tables not posted on above that you can visit online… 

A visit to the Chawton House Library table, manned by Gillian Dow, was the annual reminder of how important this resource library is, how much I love receiving their great publication The Female Spectator, and how even the smallest contribution is appreciated by them.  See their website to learn more about their collection of books on women’s writing in English from 1600 to 1830 and upcoming events.


The Goucher College table had paper dolls for sale – all the heroes of Austen’s novels, designed by Donald Hendricks.  I was most lucky to get there early, as my favorite Captain Wentworth was still available (though a tough choice between him, Darcy, and Henry Tilney!)  Amused to find the following day that they were all gone except one – 

Edmund Bertram rested alone on the table with no takers ~ perhaps it IS only Fanny who has eyes for Austen’s Mansfield Park hero!  (and hopefully someone rescued him before the end of the day…)

Mr. Hendricks Paper Doll Gallery at Legacy Designs has many of the characters from Austen’s novels, and many more besides (perfect for holiday gifts…!)



Another table of must-have treats was the Juvenilia Press, with Juliet McMaster – this collection of the youthful writings of Austen as well as other authors, accompanied by McMaster’s engaging illustrations, should be added to everyone’s Austen library.  See their website for information on ordering. 


The new publisher of Jane Austen’s Regency World MagazineTim Bullamore, was present to show us all the latest issue (Sept / Oct 2008) with its many changes.  He is offering a 20% discount to all JASNA members, and though it is costly when coupled with the shipping, it is well worth the investment and another fine addition to your Austen collection.  I will post more on this cram-packed issue, but in the meantime, you can read the free articles from previous issues available online at their website and news on the upcoming Nov / Dec issue.


So back to the real world!  I am most thankful to the Chicago Chapter and especially William Phillips, and JASNA President Marsha Huff, and all the many other volunteers who made this such a terrific AGM!  Four days of intelligent musings, good company, lovely fashions, laughter all around, tons of BOOKS and other Austen-inspired goodies, and time to ramble about in this bygone time…it just doesn’t get any better than this!