Celebrating ‘Sense & Sensibility’ ~ “Marianne as Heroine”

JASNA-Vermont celebrated in style this past Sunday at our annual Jane Austen Birthday Tea.  As always, a delicious repast of afternoon tea goodies catered by Champlain College with additional tasty holiday cookies by various JASNA members, made for a lovely afternoon of food and Austen conversation.

This year in celebration of the Bicentenary of Sense & Sensibility,  we welcomed Rebecca McLaughlin, lecturer at the University of Vermont, as she shared her insights on “A Second Chance for Sense and Sensibility ~ Marianne as Heroine.”

Marianne Dashwood 1995 - Kate Winslet

As part of the course offered at UVM Austen: Page and Film**, McLaughlin presented an interesting and insightful look at Sense and Sensibility from the standpoint of Marianne as the Heroine [which then of course makes Colonel Brandon the true Romantic Hero!, with which I heartily concur!], backing up all her views with text examples, scholarly interpretation, and film clips from the various adaptations.  This year we had the advantage of sitting at eight tables of eight with all engaged in lively discussion and much laughter as McLaughlin, in true college style, prompted us with questions and a quiz! *

those who dressed for the occasion!

I think all there would agree that it was one of our best teas to date, the table arrangement being a great hit and Rebecca’s presentation one to remember – I do know that she has certainly prompted many to re-read their S&S with renewed vigor and plan into the night movie marathons of all six film adaptations! *** and perhaps even sign up for her next class,  sure proof that Jane Austen is alive and well in Vermont!


A thank you to all who so generously helped with baking and at the event – I could not do it without you, and mostly to Janeite Marcia for her work as Hospitality Maven, Treasurer and Keeper of the Mailing List! – and a hearty THANK YOU to Champlain College for their generosity in providing the room for us, and their superb catering team.  And finally, many thanks to Rebecca McLaughlin for sharing her love of Austen with us and making all feel like we were back in that ole’ college classroom, wondering whether to become English majors or not!

Alas! only a few pictures – with thanks to Janeite Margaret for adding to my very few taken – I need to remember to TAKE PICTURES at these things, especially of the Tea Table….

JASNA Members Hope and Marcia


* Sense and Sensibility Quiz:
        [scroll to the end for answers, but no cheating!]

1.   What was the original title of the story that would become Sense and Sensibility?

a.       Reason and Emotion
b.       First Impressions
c.       Second Attachments
d.       Elinor and Marianne

2.    How old is the story that we now know of as Sense and Sensibility?

a.      200 years
b.      195 years
c.      216 years
d.      225 years

3.    Originally, the story was written in letters; this style of novel is known as which of the following?

a.            realist novel
b.            epistolary novel
c.            sensation novel
d.            epic novel

4.   Although revised from its original form, how many complete letters may be found within Sense and Sensibility?

a.            none
b.            three
c.            six
d.            ten

 5.   Which of the following is the narration style Austen uses in Sense and Sensibility?

a.            first-person narration
b.            third-person omniscient narration
c.            stream-of-consciousness narration
d.            all of the above 

6.   Which of the following characters notices that Edward is wearing a ring with a lock of hair in it when he visits Barton?

a.            Mrs. Dashwood
b.            Mrs. Jennings
c.            Marianne
d.            Elinor

 7.   How much is Colonel Brandon’s estate, Delaford, worth (in pounds)?

a.            2000
b.            1000
c.            600
d.            5000

8.   Which of the following represents Marianne’s favorite maxim, or saying, within Sense and Sensibility?

a.            always think of oneself first
b.            you can only love once
c.            money is everything
d.            nature is man’s place of worship

[S&S Quiz, @2011 Rebecca McLaughlin and printed with permission]


**The course at UVM:  Austen: Page and Film will be offered online in the Summer 2012 semester.  Course description:

Women’s & Gender Studies: Austen: Page and Film [WGST 095 OL1 : 3 Credit Hours  ]

After nearly two centuries in print, Jane Austen’s works continue to enthrall us, whether in their original form or in the numerous television and film adaptations created since 1938. This course examines the role Austen played during her own time as well as the role she continues to play within our contemporary cultural imagination by analyzing four of Austen’s novels (Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, MansfieldPark, and Emma) and by viewing faithful adaptations, reinterpretations and modernizations of each novel. We begin by placing each novel within its social and historical context, by defining themes that may help explain Austen’s modern appeal, and by creating our own vision of the action and characters. We then turn to the adaptations and investigate the historical moment of production, analyze changes to script and character, and think about how prose fiction differs from film in an attempt to understand the screenwriter’s choices and our current love of anything Austen. Course requirements include lively participation via blogs, reading quizzes, and a final written assignment. 

Instructor:  Rebecca McLaughlin, Lecturer, UVM Dept of English.
May 21, 2012 to June 29, 2012.  Location: Online Course

More information available at the UVM website.


*** The Six film adaptations of Sense and Sensbibility:
                              [ visit the JASNA site for details ]

  • From Prada to Nada (2011)
  • Sense and Sensibility (2008):  Screenplay by Andrew Davies
  • Kandukondain Kandukondain (I Have Found It) (2000) – with English subtitles
  • Sense and Sensibility (1995): Screenplay by Emma Thompson
  • Sense and Sensibility (1980): BBC – Screenplay by Alexander Baron
  • Sense and Sensibility (1971): BBC – Screenplay by Denis Constanduros


Who is your favorite Colonel Brandon?

Colonel Brandon 1995 - Alan Rickman

Colonel Brandon 2008 - David Morrissey

Quiz answers:

  1. D
  2. C
  3. B
  4. C
  5. B
  6. C
  7. A
  8. B


Upcoming post: Publishing Sense and Sensibility

Copyright @2011 Deb Barnum, Jane Austen in Vermont

The Penny Post Weekly Review ~ All Things Austen

The Penny Post Weekly Review

  July 2, 2011

The Circulating Library:

JASNA.org in celebration of and preparation for the Fort Worth AGM on Sense and Sensibility has posted a partial bibliography of readings in Persuasions and Persuasions On-Linehttp://jasna.org/agms/news-articles/about-ss-reading.html

The British Library announces an iPad app accessing 19th century books http://www.bibliolabs.com/.   Users can experience the British Library 19th Century Historical Collection App for free from the App Store on iPad or at www.itunes.com/appstore/.

Also the British Library and Google Books are hooking up:  http://pressandpolicy.bl.uk/Press-Releases/The-British-Library-and-Google-to-make-250-000-books-available-to-all-4fc.aspx

Drury Lane theatre 1794 - Houghton Library

The Houghton Library at Harvard – their digitization project – this week they have added the following early 19th century drawings of English theatres: http://oasis.lib.harvard.edu/oasis/deliver/deepLink?_collection=oasis&uniqueId=hou00540

Victorian Secrets revives the works of neglected nineteenth-century writers and makes them available to the modern reader. Although over 60,000 novels were published during the 19th century, only a very small number have remained in print. See here for their catalogue:   http://www.victoriansecrets.co.uk/

Notable Women Authors of the Day by Helen C. Black

Charles Darwin’s Libraryhttp://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/collection/darwinlibrary

The James Boswell Library at LibraryThing:  http://www.librarything.com/profile/JamesBoswell

Nothing to do with Jane or literature, but take a look at this virtual exhibition of sheet music at the Library at Monash University: http://www.lib.monash.edu.au/exhibitions/stardust-melodies/

Beatrix Potter at the Free Library of Philadelphiahttp://libwww.freelibrary.org/blog/index.cfm?s=

Illus from A Happy Pair, 1890

Articles of interest

This one has been everywhere but need to repeat out of an attempt to cover a week in the world of Jane Austen, so who can resist this!:  Kate Middleton and Jane Austen are cousins:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/28/kate-middleton-jane-austen-cousins_n_885899.html

“The Fathers of Jane Austen” – by Myretta Robens:  http://www.heroesandheartbreakers.com/blogs/2011/06/jane-austen-fathers

“The Country House and the English Novel” – by Blake Morrison at The Guardian:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/jun/11/country-house-novels-blake-morrison?INTCMP=SRCH

An essay on Keats’s grave at Victorian Poetry Network: http://web.uvic.ca/~vicpoet/2011/05/the-allure-of-keatss-grave/

Keats's grave in Rome - Wikipedia

William Cowper witty?? – see this essay by Robert Pinsky at Slate on Austen’s favorite poet:  http://www.slate.com/id/2297526/

Books of interest:

By Austen: all six Austen novels will be published as “flipbacks” in November:  http://www.flipbackbooks.com/index.html – For more information on this new book phenomenon (slightly larger than your iphone) hoping to outdo ebooks, see this essay at philobiblos: http://philobiblos.blogspot.com/2011/06/flipbacks.html

And Austen in the Baby Lit series along with Shakespeare: http://tinyurl.com/439ygyf

The Music Trade in Georgian England, edited by Michael Kassler. Published August 2011; Hardback ISBN 978-0-7546-6065-1: http://www.ashgate.com/isbn/9780754660651

Savage Grandeur and Noblest Thoughts: Discovering the Lake District 1750 – 1820: Exhibition Catalogue Published to Accompany Exhibition at Wordsworth Trust 1st July 2010 – 12th June 2011; By Cecilia Powell and Stephen Hebron: http://www.amazon.com/Savage-Grandeur-Noblest-Thoughts-Discovering/dp/1905256426

Review of Vauxhall Gardens: A History, by David Coke and Alan Borg:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/jul/01/vauxhall-gardens-history-coke-borg

Review of Roy Strong’s Visions of England: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/jul/01/visions-of-england-roy-strong-review

A Book List:  if you are looking for a book list, go no further that “Best Holiday Reads” at The Guardian where writers share their favorite works – no Austen I’m sorry to say, but read Antonia Fraser’s account of reading Anthony Powell’s Dance to the Music of Time – just a great story! http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/jun/17/best-holiday-reads?INTCMP=SRCH


Bonham’s Sale 19483The Helmut Joseph Collection of Important Snuff Boxes, London, New Bond Street, 5 Jul 2011 at 10:30: http://www.bonhams.com/eur/auction/19483/

A Meissen gold-mounted oval snuff box, circa 1750-60 - Bonham's

Bonham’s auction shoe archive [absolutely fabulous images!]: http://bonhams.com/usa/auction/19239/lot/1195/ – and an essay with images at Booktryst: http://www.booktryst.com/2011/06/vintage-shoe-art-walks-runway-at.html – I want these!

Bonham's Shoe Archive - Booktryst

Shopping:  Peacock P&P bag:  [can any Austen fan really live without this?!http://janeaustengiftshop.co.uk/acatalog/pride_and_prejudice_peacock_shopper_tote_bag.html

Peacock P&P boag - Jane Austen Centre

For fun:

World of Playing Cards website:  http://www.wopc.co.uk/

Handmade relica 17th c English playing cards - World of Playing Cards

The all-over-the-web “he said / she said” – literary quizhttp://www.nypl.org/blog/2011/06/24/he-said-she-said-literary-quiz

Have fun exploring!  Have you found anything of interest you would like to share? – please do!

Copyright @2011 by Deb Barnum, at Jane Austen in Vermont

Giveaway Reminder! ~ ‘Jane Austen Speaks to Women’

UPDATE:  the winner has just been announced!  Patricia’s Practicality please email me your address and I will get the book off to you right away.  Thanks all for your comments over at Maria Grazia’s blog – it seems a runaway that most were surprised by the extent of Col. Brandon’s secrets – a deep man in there somewhere with a great backstory!

Tomorrow is the last day to comment on my post “Secrets in Sense & Sensibility” at the My Jane Austen Book Club blog:

The Giveaway: You can comment either here or on Maria Grazia’s blog My Jane Austen Book Club to be entered into the giveaway:

Can you remember the first time you read Sense and Sensibility? What secret in the novel most surprised you?
Random drawing for one of my favorites of the numerous Jane Austen gift books:  Jane Austen Speaks to Women, by Edith Lank (2000) . As usual, please, don’t forget to add your e-mail address to your comment.
The giveaway is open worldwide . Winner will be announced on June 30th.
“Elinor agreed to it all, for she did not think he deserved the compliment of rational opposition.  [Elinor in Sense & Sensibility
Copyright @2011 by Deb Barnum, at Jane Austen in Vermont

CFP: 200 Years of Sense & Sensibility ~ St. Andrews Conference

I am posting this on behalf of the conference organizer:  please email her directly if you have questions.

a Two Day Conference
9–10 S

Keynote speakers:

Kathryn Sutherland (St Anne’s College, Oxford) 


Paula Byrne (author of the new Harper Collins Jane Austen biography).

‘I am never too busy to think of S&S’, Jane Austen wrote to her sister, Cassandra in April 1811. The year saw the publication of her first novel and to mark the anniversary, we are hosting a conference that reflects upon two hundred years of readership and opens up new interpretations of the novel. We invite proposals for 20-minute papers and round table panels on any aspect of the novel.

Possible topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Social and historical context
  • Reception
  • Tradition of Sensibility/contemporary aesthetic theory
  • Literary influences
  • Sibling relationships
  • Feminist readings
  • Adaptations and appropriations
  • Re-writings and sequels
  • The novel’s place in the canon

Please send abstracts of no more than 250 words to the conference organisers, Marina Cano López and Rose Pimentel, at 200sensibilities [at] gmail [dot] com

Please also email us with any questions at the above address. The deadline for proposals is 30 June 2011

For more information, please visit:


University of St. Andrews

Secrets in Sense & Sensibility at ‘My Jane Austen Book Club’

The year of celebrating Sense & Sensibility at the blog My Jane Austen Book Club continues this month with my post on “Secrets in Sense & Sensibility”:

“Come, come, let’s have no secrets among friends.”


[Image: Vintage Classics cover]

Mrs. Jennings may request “no secrets among friends,” and Marianne may “abhor all concealment” (p. 53), but Sense and Sensibility is chock full of both – many secrets, much concealed – within each character, between characters, and between the author and the reader

P. D. James, in her essay “Emma Considered as a Detective Story,” defines the detective story as one “requiring a mystery, facts which are hidden from the reader but which he or she should be able to discover by logical deduction from clues inserted in the novel with deceptive cunning but essential fairness.  It is about evaluating evidence…it is concerned with bringing order out of disorder and restoring peace and tranquility to a world temporarily disrupted by the intrusions of alien influences” (James, p. 243-44)  

Such is Emma, truly a mystery, where Jane Austen gives us clues and puzzles and hints along the way, whereby we the reader can solve the underlying mystery right along with Mr. Knightley, who gets awfully close, but not quite close enough, to the solution….

… Continue reading at My Jane Austen Book Club


The Giveaway: You can comment either here or on Maria Grazia’s blog to be entered into the giveaway:

Can you remember the first time you read Sense and Sensibility? What secret in the novel most surprised you?
Random drawing for one of my favorites of the numerous Jane Austen gift books:  Jane Austen Speaks to Women, by Edith Lank (2000) . As usual, please, don’t forget to add your e-mail address to your comment.
The giveaway is open worldwide . Winner will be announced on June 30th.
“Elinor agreed to it all, for she did not think he deserved the compliment of rational opposition.”  [Elinor in Sense & Sensibility

The monthly S&S posts on Maria’s blog can be viewed here:

1. January:  Jennifer Becton    Men, Marriage and Money in Sense and Sensibility
2. February:  Alexa Adams        Sense and Sensibility on Film
3. March:  C. Allyn Pierson   Property and Inheritance Law in S &S
4. April:  Beth Pattillo    Lost in Sense and Sensibility
5. May:    Jane Odiwe   Willoughby: a rogue on trial
6. June:   Deb @JASNA Vermont  Secrets in Sense and Sensibility
7. July:   Laurie Viera Rigler   Interview with Lucy Steele
8. August:  Regina Jeffers     Settling for the Compromise Marriage
9. September:   Lynn Shepherd The origins of S&S: Richardson, Jane Austen, Elinore & Marianne                            
10. October:   Meredith @Austenesque Reviews   Sense and Sensibility fanfiction
11. November:  Vic @Jane Austen’s World  Minor characters in Sense and Sensibility
12. December:   Laurel Ann @Austenprose  Marianne Dashwood: A passion for dead Leaves and other Sensibilities                

[Copyright @2011 by Deb Barnum of Jane Austen in Vermont]

JASNA 2011 AGM – Registration Now Open!

Registration for the 2011 AGM in Fort Worth Texas is now open.  You must be a member of JASNA to participate, so what better time to join than now, when you can head off into the sunset with all new thoughts about Sense and Sensibility  [and perhaps a Col. Brandon by your side!] – check out all the events at the AGM website here as JASNA celebrates the 200th anniversary of Austen’s first published novel:


The registration form is here: http://jasna.org/agms/fortworth/registration.html [scroll to bottom of page and click on the blue button]


[Image: FineArtAmerica.com]

Note our next JASNA-Vermont event on June 5:  The Musical World of Jane Austen, an organ recital with Dr. William Tortolano: information is here

Copyright @2011 by Deb Barnum of Jane Austen in Vermont

Your Jane Austen Reading Challenges!

I think there is a Reading Challenge afoot! – here are a few reminders of the various Jane Austen -related Reading Challenges, Contests, Giveaways, etc  – There is work to be done!

Voting ends tomorrow! First and foremost, please vote on the Jane Austen Made Me Do It Short Story Contest sponsored by Austenprose and the Republic of Pemberley – voting ends tomorrow 2-28-11 – there are eighty-eight stories to read, so you have your day cut out for you!

After your reading adventure, you can VOTE here

Austenprose is also hosting two separate Reading Challenges – you can still sign up for them:

The Sense & Sensibility Bicentenary Challenge lasts all year! – but enrollment ends March 1, 2011

The “Being a Jane Austen Mystery Challenge” also lasts all year
[enrollment ends July 1, 2011]


There is the Historical Fiction Reading Challenge at Historical Tapestry


and the Gaskell Reading Challenge at the Gaskell Blog –
which goes through June


If you want to pick your own books [classics only!] to read, you can do so and then post a review at the Stiletto Storytime Classics Challenge

There are more out there – I think we will need a longer winter [heaven help us!] to handle all this! So let your reading begin! [but first, please vote on the Jane Austen Made Me Do It Short Story Contest...]

My own list for the year? classics reads and re-reads:  Clarissa [on-going!]; Pamela; Joseph Andrews; Lover’s Vows; Camilla; Bleak house; Portrait of a Lady; The Governess; The Excursion; Belinda; Howard’s End… and more… [do I dare attempt Sir Charles Grandison?!]

Copyright @2011, by Deb Barnum at Jane Austen in Vermont