A Portrait of Jane Austen – right here in Vermont!

There are any number of images of Jane Austen – the one real one we have by Cassandra that all her family agreed was not a great rendering, and the other Cassandra portrait of her sister in bonnet and dress looking out.  Both have only increased one’s wondering what she really looked like… so as it seems in all things in Austenland, if there isn’t something real, let’s by all means make it up! 

The many fictional images of Jane Austen have become almost as much a part of our idea of what she looked like as the one real image we cling to.  In the Jane Austen Society Report for 2007, Deirdre Le Faye writes on these “Imaginary Portraits” [1], listing them in chronological order, and explaining the history and provenance of each one.  [a must-have article for your Jane Austen Library!] – this one perhaps the one we most often see as the “real Jane”:

"Wedding ring portrait" - unknown American artist 1873

 But today, there is only one these portraits that Le Faye mentions that is of interest to us – the painting by Tom Clifford, from Vermont!  This what Le Faye writes:

Tom Clifford, 2001.  Three-quarter length, oil on birch-wood panel, 10×14 inches.  This is a rather stylized, two-dimensional representation, showing JA holding a book and standing in the garden outside Chawton Cottage as it is today, looking away from the viewer into the right distance.  In his article on the website, the artist explains that he tried to combine Cassandra’s sketch with the Austen family features as shown in the various portraits of Jane Austen’s parents and siblings – though the accounts to which he refers are unfortunately quoted inaccurately.  The resulting study is fairly like Cassandra’s sketch, but shows a very static, expressionless Jane Austen.  Clifford used to live in Winchester and often visited Chawton; he now lives in America, and retains ownership of the portrait.

[I will note that the image reproduced in the JAS Report is very dark compared to the original.]

Fast-forward to 2011.  I had been reading this Le Faye article because another imaginary portrait went up for auction in March of this year [see my post here: https://janeausteninvermont.wordpress.com/2011/03/07/on-the-block-an-imaginary-jane-austen/ ], and my thoughts must have been floating around in cyberspace [at least in this high-quality Vermont air!] when I received an email from a Tom Clifford telling me about his Jane Austen portrait – indeed THE Tom Clifford that Le Faye was writing about – so it all came together – an Austen image I was vaguely familiar with, Le Faye’s article, and a Mr. Clifford from Vermont! 

An aside: now Jane Austen herself writes of a Mr. Clifford in her juvenilia – the Mr. Clifford famous for his carriages, and the one clue to alert us to how familiar Austen was with the means of travel in her time!:  

“The Memoirs of Mr. Clifford: and Unfinished Tale” [MW 43],  written between 1787-90, when Austen was 12 – 15 years old:   

Mr Clifford lived at Bath; and having never seen London, set off one Monday morning determined to feast his eyes with a sight of that great Metropolis.  He travelled in his Coach & Four, for he was a very rich young Man & kept a great many Carriages of which I do not recollect half.  I can only remember that he had a Coach, a Chariot, a Chaise, a Landau, a Landaulet, a Phaeton, a Gig, a Whiskey, an Italian Chair, a Buggy, a Curricle & a wheelbarrow.  He had likewise an amazing fine stud of Horses.  To my knowledge he had six Greys, 4 Bays, eight Blacks & a poney.

 [Minor Works, Oxford UP, 1988, p. 43. One more page will show that Mr. Clifford does not get very far and despite his having all manner of carriages, travels at a snail’s pace for many months, is overtaken by a fever, never makes it nearly to his goal of London, and thus ends the tale of Mr. Clifford…]

Well, Vermont has its own Mr. Clifford and he has had no trouble or delay at all in getting from his end of Vermont to our meetings in Burlington! – he has attended the last two, and I had asked him to bring along his prints for sale, your truly very happy to add one to her Austen Library.  Our Mr. Clifford also has a piece of wood from the Winchester house where Jane Austen died, acquired when he lived in Winchester and the house on College Street was being refurbished – so that was an interesting piece for us to actually touch.     

But now back to the portrait, which hangs in a place of honor in Mr. Clifford’s Bed & Breakfast in Northfield, Vermont –  in, of course, the Jane Austen Room!

 [the B&B is called The Elizabethan – you can visit the website here: http://elizabnb.com/index.html ]

Tom writes me that: 

In this room I also have a very special book caddy with books by Jane Austen. This caddy was made from the wood that I obtained from the house in College Street, Winchester, where Jane spent her last days but that is another story…    The link to this room is http://elizabnb.com/jane.html 

So I asked Tom to tell me how he came to create his own portrait of Jane Austen: 

My wife, Rita (a Londoner) and I lived for many years in Winchester, not too far from Jane’s home at Chawton.  It was during that time that the BBC came to Winchester to film a portion of their production of Persuasion. I started to read Jane Austen for the first time, and was hooked. What a pleasant time that was reading the novels in Winchester and being able to visit her home at Chawton. In Winchester, I used to pass the house in College Street many days on my walk into town and also on occasion, visit the Cathedral and stop by her grave . 

All of these things brought me closer to Jane Austen but it wasn’t until we moved to Brookfield, Vermont, that I felt compelled to employ my talents as a painter to create a realistic portrait  of  Jane. “Absence makes the heart grow fonder “…  

The Victorian publishers used their invention of Jane’s likeness which is still propagated today.  I wanted to find the real Jane and spent many hours researching her family.

Reproductions of this painting have been used in various publications and one was presented to Chawton.   

So, Jane Austen can be found right here in Vermont [well, we of JASNA-Vermont know THAT!], and anyone interested in seeing this painting and other Jane things only need to contact me to arrange a visit. 

*You can visit his painting website for an explanation of his research in his effort to make his image of Austen as faithful to the truth as possible: http://www.paintingport.com/Jane%20Austen.html

Somewhere in here are perhaps the “inaccuracies” in the quotes that Deirdre Le Faye refers to: a project for another day perhaps? but I shall not quibble – [one does wish for Le Faye to be more specific in her complaints!] – but in the meantime read his explanation for how Tom Clifford’s Jane came into being, his Jane Austen in her cottage garden at Chawton – she is quite of her time and ours, don’t you think??

Jane Austen by Tom Clifford - giclee on canvas

Further Reading: 

1.  Tom Clifford’s website:  www.paintingport.com 

2.  Deirdre Le Faye. “Imaginary Portraits of Jane Austen.” JAS Report for 2007. [Winchester, UK]: JAS, 2007. 42-52. The 20 b/w and color plates of images are between pages 64-65.

[Images of the portrait are from Tom Clifford’s website and used with permission]

Copyright @2011 Deb Barnum, at Jane Austen in Vermont

The Penny Post Weekly Review ~ All Things Jane Austen

The Penny Post Weekly Review

  October 1, 2011


Vermont as you know suffered unfathomable damage from the winds and rain of Irene.  We were largely spared here in the Burlington area, but other parts of the state were hammered – you have seen the many pictures on the national news of flooding, senseless deaths, extensive property damage to homes and businesses and farms, covered bridges falling into the rivers – it has been a nightmare – but now the big concern is that the greater world thinks that Vermont is “boarded up” so to speak – not a place to visit this fall, that season that brings the annual leaf-peepers to our lovely state – so I take a minute here to give a shout-out for the State of Vermont – We Are Open for Business! – road crews have been working non-stop to get roads and towns back into shape – so if you want to help out in any way, hop in your car [or plane or train or bike] and come for a visit, go to the restaurants and eat local, shop in the stores  (buy books from the local bookshops!), walk in the woods, hike the mountains – it is all here, just as before, and we are waiting with open arms!


You can visit this website for information on I am Vermont Strong: http://www.iamvermontstrong.com/  where you can buy a t-shirt to help the recovery! – and a  fine example of social networking sites making a difference: 

the Facebook Page:  http://www.facebook.com/VermontStrong


So, a few events of interest, set in Vermont:

[image – Richard and Gordon]

 Bringing the music of PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND to Vermont…

Richard Wood & Gordon Belsher 

Come and spend an evening of fiddling, singing and tapping
your toes to a mix of Irish, Scottish and Maritime tunes. 

201 Bridge St

Tickets $15 per person (kids under 14 FREE)
Emailpeihouseconcertinvt [at] comcast [dot] net or
call 802-324-0092 for more information
Light refreshments will be provided 

Richard Wood : http://www.rwood.ca 
Gordon Belsher: http://www.guernseycove.ca 


Our very own Burlington Country Dancers ~ their Fall schedule: 

Elley-Long Music Center, 223 Ethan Allen Avenue, Colchester,VT
First and Third Fridays (Sept. thru May) w/ LIVE MUSIC
7pm – 7:30pm Session for more experienced dancers – $1
7:30pm – 9:30pm Dancing for all – $8 ($5 student/under 30) 

2011 DATES (All Fridays):

  • Sept. 16 ~ Impropriety (Lar Duggan, McKinley James, Laura Markowitz, Ana Ruesink)
  • Oct. 7 ~ Old Stage Road (Carol Compton, Albert Joy, Margaret Smith)
  • Oct. 21 ~ Lar Duggan, Dominique Gagne, Peter MacFarlane
  • Nov. 4 ~ Aaron Marcus, McKinley James, Laura Markowitz, Ana Ruesink
  • Nov. 18 ~ DANCE PARTY with Guest Teacher Tom Amesse (from NYC) and with Frost & Fire (Hollis Easter, Viveka Fox, Aaron Marcus)
  • Dec. 2 ~ Old Stage Road (Carol Compton, Albert Joy, Margaret Smith)
  • Dec. 16 ~ Aaron Marcus, McKinley James, Laura Markowitz, Ana Ruesink

~ All dances taught & walked through by Wendy Gilchrist, Martha Kent, Val Medve ~ Casual dress ~ Please bring a sweet or savory ‘finger food’ snack ~ We change partners frequently throughout the evening, so there’s no need to bring your own partner (a Mr. Darcy might be lurking, or is that a Mr. Knightley without a partner?…) 

See their website for more information:  http://www.burlingtoncountrydancers.org/

And save the date for the next Across the Lake weekend event:  June 8-10, 2012


UVM’s OLLI Program: English Country Dancing in Jane Austen’s World
Instructor: Judy Chaves
Date: Mondays, October 24, 31,  November 7 and 14
Time: 5:30-7pm
Location: Ira Allen Chapel (October 31 in Waterman Lounge) at UVM
Price: Members – $60 / Non-members – $85

Do you enjoy 19th-century British literature? If you’ve ever read any of Jane Austen’s novels or seen any of the recent film adaptations, you know that English country dance plays a prominent role in the culture of the time. The forerunner of American contra dance, English country dance is done in two facing lines (sometimes in squares, less often in circles) and requires no more than a knowledge of left from right and the ability and willingness to move to simply wonderful music. Through a combination of lecture (not much) and dance (as much as we can), you’ll learn the basics of the dance, gain an insider’s appreciation of the vital role it played in the lives of Austen’s characters, understand the etiquette and logistics underpinning Austen’s dance scenes–and have a great deal of fun in the process. You may come by yourself or as a couple!

For more info: 


 A Jane Austen Lecture: Norwich Public Library, November 2, 2011, 7pm 

In Want of a Wife: Romance and Realism in Pride and Prejudice 

Jane Austen is considered a realist of social relations – and yet, Pride and Prejudice incorporates an element of the fairy tale: it fulfills the wishes of its poor and not conspicuously beautiful heroine.  Dartmouth Professor Emeritus James Heffernan examines how Jane Austen does it. 

[Part of the Vermont Humanities Council 1st Wednesdays program] – visit here for more information on this and other events: http://www.vermonthumanities.org/


 News & Gossip ~ JASNA style: 

The AGM in Fort Worth is only a week and half away! [and alas! I am without proper attire! – though my jeans and cowgirl boots are at the ready!] – check out the meeting link at JASNA website for the schedule and latest news: http://jasna.org/agms/fortworth/index.html

But even if your attire may not be quite proper, you can improve your mind by extensive reading: – here is the JASNA reading list for Sense and Sensibility [most available online]: http://jasna.org/agms/news-articles/about-ss-reading.html 

Next year’s 2012 AGM is in New York City, “Sex, Money and Power” – Call for papers has been issued – due by November 1, 2011: http://jasna.org/news_events/call_for_papers-ny-agm.html

The winners of the annual essay context have been named – visit here to read the three top essays, all on S&S: http://jasna.org/essaycontest/2011/index.html 

Books I am Looking Forward To:

The 4th edition of Jane Austen’s Letters, edited by Deirdre Le Faye is due November 2011 from Oxford UP:  [image]http://www.oup.com/us/catalog/general/subject/LiteratureEnglish/BritishLiterature/19thC/?view=usa&ci=9780199576074# 

This new fourth edition incorporates the findings of recent scholarship to further enrich our understanding of Austen and give us the fullest and most revealing view yet of her life and family. In addition, Le Faye has written a new preface, has amended and updated the biographical and topographical indexes, has introduced a new subject index, and had added the contents of the notes to the general index.  [from the Oxford UP website]

Marvel Comics  has done it again – this time Northanger Abbey, hitting the stores on November 9, 2011  http://marvel.com/comic_books/issue/41718/northanger_abbey_2011_1


SENSE AND SENSIBILITY by Jane Austen; with illustrations by Niroot Puttapipat (11 colour and 21 b&w silhouettes); Palazzo Editions: September 2011; £20

Link here for an article on this new edition: http://www.thebookseller.com/news/palazzo-celebrate-200-years-austen.html

Infinite Jest: Caricature and Satire from Leonardo to Levine from Yale UP: http://www.yalebooks.co.uk/display.asp?K=9780300175813


Websites  worth a look:


Gillian Dooley’s website Jane Austen’s Music, where you can download various pieces: https://sites.google.com/site/janeaustensmusic/home 

And for the Mary Crawford wannabe in you: Paul Lewis : JANE AUSTEN SUITE for harp solo – Four movements: Prologue; Country Dance; Romance; Ride away. Goodmusic GM058: http://www.goodmusicpublishing.co.uk/info/default.aspx?id=GM058  

In 1998, inspired by close acquaintance with two antique gilded harps, I decided to compose a work in a style that would remind them of their younger days! To think myself into a thoroughly Regency frame of mind I played through antique music books until I was so immersed in the style of the period that I could close the books and continue playing in the same vein without any anachronistic intrusions. The books were a leather-bound volume of popular piano salon pieces by long-forgotten composers, written out in a neat copperplate ink script: “The Manuscript Books of Mary Heberden, Datchett Lodge, 1819 & 1826” and a similar collection of harp pieces compiled by one Eliza Euphrosina Saris at about the same time. By these means I hope to have produced music of the kind which Jane Austen might have imagined her fictional heroines playing, the sort of music that all well-bred young Regency ladies would have wanted to perform before an admiring audience, no doubt silhouetted with their harps before the French windows, making the most of the opportunity to display their slender fingers upon the strings and their delicate ankles as they moved the pedals. (Paul Lewis)


Museum Trekking: 

Bath Preservation Trust:  the website links on No. 1 Royal Crescent: The Whole Story Project – some great images here:


Royal Crescent Kitchen

and through October 30, there is a Jane Austen exhibition:  Putting Pen to Paper:

 This special temporary exhibition brought to you from the Bath Preservation Trust includes a rare set of Jane Austen’s first editions on loan from a private collection. Visitors to this inspirational exhibition can learn more about the life of Jane’s novels as the story reveals the craftsmanship of book production in the 18th century and the importance of reading in Jane Austen’s Bath. 

This exhibition will be the first opportunity to see a complete collection of Jane Austen’s first editions in Bath. These treasures will be exhibited alongside tools used in the book binding process. Stamps and rollers will show the exquisite designs used by gilders to create the perfect library for their clients. Beautifully coloured illustrations from later editions will highlight Jane’s narrative, defining her characteristic hallmark of accuracy and attention to detail. 

Visit: http://www.bptlearning.org.uk/index.php?page=125 

And while there, stop by at the link on Bath Maps


National Portrait Gallery:

if lucky to be in London, do not miss the exhibition on The First Actresses: Nell Gwyn to Sarah Siddons, 20 October 2011 – 8 January 2012 

[Image: Mrs. Robinson as Perdita]

 Yale Center for British Art:  an exhibit on John Zoffany begins October 27, 2011.  http://britishart.yale.edu/exhibitions/johan-zoffany-ra-society-observed – Zoffany [1733-1810]- a painter of many Georgian families, including Queen Charlotte:

On My Bedside Table:
[I heartily confess to a table full of fan fiction! – and thoroughly enjoying all! – more on each in the coming weeks…]

And here is a book I just discovered: My Brother and I, a Jane Austen Sequel from a Completely Different Viewpoint [i.e. Edward Benton the farrier’s apprentice, employed at Pemberley], by Cornelis de Jong  – go here for more info http://sites.google.com/site/corneliswriter/  [this one I might send to my kindle…]

For fun: 

With thanks to the always interesting Two Nerdy History Girls: take a few moments to watch both these very funny videos from the BBC– a spoof of Downton Abbey “Uptown Downstairs Abbey” and almost as good as the real thing! – these will just have to do until we here in the US “patiently” wait for the real season 2 next year : http://twonerdyhistorygirls.blogspot.com/2011/09/its-time-again-for-downton-abbey-silly.html 

[and watch out for Kim Cattrall hiding behind her dark locks and the perpetually falling butler!]

Have a fine week one and all!

Jane Austen Cards for Every Occasion!

Jane Austen at home in Bath

I received the information on these cards just before I was off on a holiday, so just now getting to post about them…. 

Tony Heaton’s “Greetings from England” line of cards and limited edition prints are quite lovely, our interest being of course those connected to Jane Austen [though certainly not limited to Austen only [isn’t that a name of a blog out there somewhere?] as I for one cannot resist the Shakespeare, the Hardy,  or a number of the grand stately houses he depicts.   Mr. Heaton, MDesRCA, kindly sent me several samples of the Jane Austen set – I will be ordering a number of each to sell at our meetings to benefit our JASNA-Vermont group.

Here is a sampling of what you will find when you visit the Greetings from England website:  

[the images below are very small – go to the website to see a full-size image – the cards are quite large (8×6) and suitable for framing if you did not want the expense of a limited print (which are 12×18)]

Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre:


Thomas Hardy’s cottage:


Wordsworth’s cottage:

The Cerne Abbas Giant:

There are many Heritage sites in the UK – from Westminster Abbey, The Tower of London, Greenwich’s Royal Naval College, to the coastline of West Dorset and East Devon…

Tower of London

And for Jane Austen? – for that is why we are here after all…

Chawton Cottage

Royal Crescent, Bath

and Jane Austen’s Bath:

There are a number more, so please visit the site to see these and more full-sized images at:  http://www.greetingsfromengland.co.uk/


And this lovely little surprise, as I find if all does not come back to Jane Austen, it is sure to come full circle to Vermont:

The American Museum in Britain – Vermont Quilt

Detail of one side of a Log Cabin-Barn Raising quilt made by
Sarah Bryant of Mount Holly, Vermont, New England USA – 1886


*All images from the Greetings from England website, copyright Tony Heaton, and used with permission.  Please request permission directly from Mr. Heaton for re-use of any kind.  Mr. Heaton also creates home portraits – contact him at his website for further information.

Copyright @2011 by Deb Barnum, of Jane Austen in Vermont.

Vermont Sightings in JASNA News!

For those of you who are members of JASNA, you have hopefully received your latest JASNA News [Vol. 26, No. 3] in the mail – I notice that the State of Vermont has a few mentions worth re-mentioning!

There is of course, the latest news from our JASNA Region; and JASNA-Vermont member Kelly McDonald has another article on “Love and Marriage, Part 2: A Diary from the Austen Circle of Neighbors” as she continues her journey through the diaries of the Augusta Smith, mother-in-law to Jane’s nephew [and author of the Memoir] James Edward Austen-Leigh.  But there are two other references to Vermont that must be expounded upon…

First, former JASNA President Marsha Huff in her summing up of her four years at the helm tells of her many travels and visits to various JASNA Regions :  “I’ve tasted local delicacies (Lake Champlain chocolates in Burlington, VT)”, she writes, referring to her delightful visit with us last September when she gave her talk on “Jane Austen and Vermeer.”  Lake Champlain Chocolates is one of Vermont’s many small businesses that has developed a huge chocolate-obsessed following, not unlike the famed Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream that you can find all over the world [when in London last February, my daughter and I discovered a Ben & Jerry’s housed in a movie theater lobby! – yum!] – so I couldn’t resist this plug from Marsha to advertise one of our more delicious products [we do lots more than just Maple Syrup!] – 

Here is their website:   Lake Champlain Chocolates – what better place to visit for your Valentine treats! 

Lake Champlain Chocolates

And of course, the best source for guilt-free organic chocolate: 

Lake Champlain Chocolates


And next is an article by Elsa Solender, also a former JASNA President and a runner–up in last year’s Chawton House Library’s  short story contest [she authored Second Thoughts, a fictional take on Jane Austen’s night of doubt after accepting the marriage proposal of Harris Bigg-Wither].  Here in her article on “A Return to Chawton House Library – Part I” she offers us a recipe for Chawton-style sandwiches:

Spread either honey or sweet mango chutney on one surface of each of two slices of fairly firm white or whole wheat bread.  On one of those sweetened surfaces, lay down a generous layer of thin slices of the best aged cheddar you can find.  Here in the USA, I use Grafton Vermont Cheddar aged two years [my emphasis].  Join the two treated slices, cut in quarters with or without crusts, and enjoy.  A pureed green vegetable soup goes very well with these sandwiches at lunchtime.

Now I have been eating Grafton Cheddar cheeses for years – one of the best of a good number of cheese companies in Vermont [Shelburne Farms Farmhouse Cheddar  and Cabot cheeses   to name just two others]…

Here is the website for the Grafton Village Cheese Company.

Certainly worth a look and a purchase if you want to indulge in Ms. Solender’s fine sandwiches…


Now I am wondering, where did Austen ever mention cheese? – here are two of several: 

In Mansfield Park, we find Fanny overwhelmed with the disorder and noise in her home in Portsmouth: 

Fanny, fatigued and fatigued again, was thankful to accept the first invitation of going to bed; and before Betsey had finished her cry at being allowed to sit up only one hour extraordinary in honour of sister, she was off, leaving all below in confusion and noise again; the boys begging for toasted cheese, her father calling out for his rum and water, and Rebecca never where she ought to be.   [MP ch. 38 ]

And in her letters:  She is speaking of Edward Bridges:

It is impossible to do justice to the hospitality of his attentions towards me; he made a point of ordering toasted cheese for supper entirely on my account.  [Le Faye, Ltr. 46, 27 August, 1805]


Any other cheese or chocolate sightings in Austen?  Comment if you find any!

Thank you Marsha and Elsa for your Vermont mentions! I am off to a lunch of chutney and cheese sandwiches to be finished off with some chocolate …. and maybe some…

Copyright @2011 Deb Barnum, at Jane Austen in Vermont

Snow on the Ground! ~ ‘What is to Become of Us?’

Jane Austen on March 7, 1814, from London to Cassandra in Chawton:

Monday.  Here’s a day! – The Ground covered with snow!  What is to become of us? – We were to have walked out early to near Shops, & had the Carriage for the more distant. – Mr. Richard Snow* is dreadfuly fond of us.  I dare say he has stretched himself out at Chawton too.

Ltr. 98, 5-8 March 1814, p. 259 [Le Faye]

*Le Faye notes Austen’s use of the mythical personifications of winter weather: Jack Frost and Dick Snow [perhaps another reason she does not like the name “Richard”?] 

The Brighton Mail, Sunday, December 25th 1836 (R. Havell)


Here’s my own take on the “Ground covered in snow! – What is to become of us?” indeed!”

Picnic anyone?


Image:  F. Gordon Roe, Sporting Prints of the Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries.  NY: Payson & Clarke, 1927.

Copyright @2011, Deb Barnum, of Jane Austen in Vermont

A Jane Austen Weekend in Vermont!

The Governor’s House in Hyde Park will be hosting another Jane Austen event this coming weekend August 13 -15, 2010  ~ topic is Sense and Sensibility.

 Jane Austen Weekend: Sense & Sensibility
The Governor’s House in Hyde Park
Friday to Sunday, August 13-15, 2010

802-888-6888, tollfree 866-800-6888 or info@OneHundredMain.com

 Reservations are required! 

A leisurely weekend of literary-inspired diversions has something for every Jane Austen devoteé. Slip quietly back into Regency England in a beautiful old mansion. Take afternoon tea. Listen to Mozart. Bring your needlework. Share your thoughts at a discussion of Sense & Sensibility and how the movies stand up to the book.  Attend the talk entitled ~ “Making Sense of Jane Austen’s World” * ~  Test your knowledge of Sense & Sensibility and the Regency period and possibly take home a prize. Take a carriage ride. For the gentleman there are riding and fly fishing as well as lots of more modern diversions if a whole weekend of Jane is not his cup of tea. Join every activity or simply indulge yourself quietly all weekend watching the movies. Dress in whichever century suits you. It’s not Bath, but it is Hyde Park and you’ll love Vermont circa 1800. 


* “Making Sense of Jane Austen’s World” – Inn owner Suzanne Boden will be talking on the architecture, furnishings and other decorative arts of the Regency Period; Deb Barnum of JASNA-Vermont [yours truly] will be talking about travel in the late 18th and early 19th century – the horse and carriage era – and how Austen’s characters travelled in Sense & Sensibility – [and there is a lot of moving about in this book!]

*Or come for just an afternoon or evening and choose from these activities:

  • Informal Talk with Coffee and Dessert, Friday, 8:00 p.m., $14.00
  • Afternoon Tea, Saturday, 3:00 p.m., $20.00
  •  Book Discussion and Dinner, Saturday, 7:00 p.m., $35.00
  •  Jane Austen Quiz and Sunday Brunch, Sunday, 11:30 a.m., $15.00
  • All four activities: $75.00

The Governor’s House in Hyde Park
100 Main St
Hyde Park, VT 05655
802-888-6888, tollfree 866-800-6888 or info@OneHundredMain.com

**If you cannot make this weekend, make a note on your calendars of the  following dates as well:

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

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


and for your 2011 calendar:

series 4: Persuasion
Friday evening talk: Captain Wentworth’s Royal Navy
Friday – Sunday, January, 28 – 30, 2011
[other dates TBA]

In “the company of well-informed people who have a great deal of conversation!”

This is the time of year for the many Austen Birthday Teas and events, so here is a round-up of happenings in a wide-sweep of the Northeast, starting with our very own Vermont.  


JASNA ~ Vermont

  • Annual Birthday Tea with the Burlington Country Dancers
  • Sunday, December 7, 2008 2-5 pm
  • Champlain College Burlington VT, Hauke Center
  • click here for the full post for information and to RSVP


Jane Austen Weekend at the Governor’s House in Hyde Park, VT

  • Friday – Sunday, December 12 – 14, 2008
  • Friday – Sunday, January 9 – 11, 2009

The Governor’s House in Hyde Park, Vermont is offering several “Persuasion” related Jane Austen Weekends.  Please click here for all the information.  You can sign up for the whole weekend or just take part in one or more of the activities: 

  •   Informal Talk with Coffee and Dessert, Friday, 8:00 p.m.,
  •   Afternoon Tea, Saturday, 3:00 p.m.
  •   Book Discussion and Dinner, Saturday, 7:00 p.m.
  •   Jane Austen Quiz and Sunday Brunch, Sunday, 11:30 a.m.



The Burlington English Country Dancers ~  Nov-Dec schedule:

Friday, November 21, 2008
7:30pm to 9:30pm
Music by Lar Duggan (piano) & Dominique Gagne (flute) of Impropriety
Teaching by Wendy Gilchrist, Martha Kent, Val Medve
Elley-Long Music Center
223 Ethan Allen Ave., Colchester, VT
(in Fort Ethan Allen complex, off Route 15)
$8 ($5 student)

Friday, December 5, 2008
8pm to 10pm
Music by Impropriety
(Lar Duggan on piano, Dominique Gagne on flute, Laura Markowitz on violin, Ana Ruesink on viola)
Teaching by Val Medve
Vermont International Festival
Champlain Valley Expo (Fairgrounds)
Route 15, Essex Junction, VT
Enjoy supper (extra charge), concerts, and great shopping at the festival from 5pm to 8pm.
Combo ticket is $12 ($9 student) & includes all-weekend festival pass PLUS this Friday night dance.
Combo ticket is $5 for our dance series subscribers & includes all-weekend festival pass PLUS this Friday night dance.
Otherwise, dance only is $8 ($5 student) and all-weekend festival pass is $6 — available at door.
Combo ticket is available in advance (at our Nov. 7 & 21 dances or from Val Medve) OR at door.

Friday, December 19, 2008
7:30pm to 9:30pm
Music by Impropriety
(Lar Duggan on piano, Dominique Gagne on flute, Laura Markowitz on violin, Ana Ruesink on viola)
Teaching by Wendy Gilchrist, Martha Kent, Val Medve
Elley-Long Music Center
223 Ethan Allen Ave., Colchester, VT
(in Fort Ethan Allen complex, off Route 15)
$8 ($5 student)



JASNA ~ Massachusetts:

  • Sunday, Nov. 16th, 2 p.m.                
    Marcia Folsom 
    Wheelock College, Brookline Campus, 43 Hawes St.
    Topic: The Privilege of My Profession


  • Sunday, Dec. 14th, 2 p.m.  Jane Austen’s Birthday Celebration
    With The Newton Country Players Wh
    eelock College, Brookline Campus, 43 Hawes Street.   


JASNA ~ Montreal-Quebec:

  • November 17:  regular meeting [Report on the Chicago AGM; discussion of Kipling’s short story “The Janeites”]
  • December 16 (Tuesday):  Annual Birthday Tea
  • Contact:  Elaine Bander ( ebander [at] dawson college [dot] qc [dot] ca )



                                                    JASNA ~ Metropolitan NY:regency-dress

 A Frivolous Distinction, Dress in the Regency Period 

BIRTHDAY MEETING – SUNDAY, DECEMBER 14 at 2:00 p.m.  General Society Library, 20 West 44th Street (between Fifth & Sixth)

The well known designer and fashion historian, Daniel Cole will present an illustrated talk on Regency clothing explaining many of the intriguing mysteries of both women’s and men’s clothing.  What, for example, are half-boots?  Were women’s dresses actually wetted down to make them cling?  Why were knee britches for formal attire and pantaloons for daytime?  These and many other fascinating facts about clothing in Jane Austen’s time will be explored.



JASNA ~ Central New Jersey:

A Jane Austen Christmas Event in Mahwah-12/10

Wednesday, Dec 10 7:00p to 8:30p at Mahwah Public Library, Mahwah, NJ

Join Carolyn Epstein (member of JASNA) for a discussion of how the characters in Jane Austen’s books amused themselves during their social gatherings, the importance of music, word games, and cards, and “an Emma Christmas Eve”
Price: Free, registration required
Phone: (201) 529-7323
Age Suitability: All Ages

Carolyn Epstein teaches at St. Thomas Aquinas College in the English/Writing Department. She is a member of the Jane Austen Society of North America.
Registration necessary beginning November 10th
Event Website



JASNA ~ Eastern Pennsylvania:

Winter Program to celebrate the 233rd anniversary of Jane Austen’s birth by making merry with fellow Janeites, good company and good cooks. What devilish and challenging game awaits us this year? Please join us to delight in each other’s company as we cavort merrily and behave in ways “most profligate and shocking.”

  • Location: Ellerslie at Crosslands, Kennett Square, PA 19348
  • Date: Sunday, December 7, 2008
  • Time: 1:30 PM to 4:00 PM
  • Directions: Follow Route 1, north or south depending upon one’s starting point, to Route 52 north. Turn onto Route 52 north, then follow Route 52 north, until turning onto Route 926 east. OR follow Route 3, east or west depending on one’s starting point, then turn onto Rout 926 west. Turn into Crosslands parking lot from Route 926.
  • Please bring a sweet or savory to share. Coffee and tea will be provided. Another Birthday Basket will be offered. Take a chance!


If there are more events out there in the east, please email me to let me know ~ and Kelly and I send wishes for all to have grand celebrations!

Jane Austen Weekend in Vermont ~ Persuasion

 The Governor’s House in Hyde Park, Vermont is offering several “Persuasion” related Jane Austen Weekends…you can sign up for the whole weekend or just take part in one or more of the activities.  Please see below for all the information.  This coming weekend September 5-7 is the next gathering!



Jane Austen Weekends

The Governor’s House in Hyde Park

100 Main Street

Hyde Park, Vermont

Friday – Sunday, September 5 – 7 [ December 12-14; January 9-11, 2009 ]

Reservations required:  call 802-888-6888


802 888-6888 info@OneHundredMain.com


A leisurely weekend of literary-inspired diversions has something for every Jane Austen devotee. Slip quietly back into Regency England in a beautiful old mansion where Jane herself would feel at home. Take afternoon tea. Listen to Mozart. Bring your needlework. Share your thoughts at a discussion of Persuasion and how the movie stands up to the book. Attend the talk entitled “The Time of Jane Austen”. Test your knowledge of Persuasion and the Regency period and possibly take home a prize. Take a carriage ride. For the gentleman there are riding and fly fishing as well as lots of more modern diversions if a whole weekend of Jane is not his cup of tea. Join every activity or simply indulge yourself quietly all weekend watching the movies. And imagine the interesting conversation with a whole houseful of Jane’s readers under one roof. Dress in whichever century suits you. It’s not Bath, but it is Hyde Park and you’ll love Vermont circa 1800.

Jane Austen Weekend rates start at $295 for singles and $260 per person for doubles and include two nights’ lodging, Friday evening’s talk over dessert and coffee, full breakfast on Saturday morning, Saturday afternoon tea, Saturday dinner and book discussion, early Sunday Continental breakfast, and the Jane Austen quiz with Sunday brunch. 9% Vermont tax is additional. The usual cancellation policy applies.

Or come for just a single event and choose from these activities this weekend: [reservations required 802-888-6888]


*Informal Talk with Coffee and Dessert, Friday, 8:00 p.m., $14.00:  “Jane Austen’s Royal Navy and its importance in the novel Persuasion


*Afternoon Tea, Saturday, 3:00 p.m., $20.00


*Book Discussion and Dinner, Saturday, 7:00 p.m., $35.00: Persuasion and how the Movies Stand up to the Book”


*Jane Austen Quiz and Sunday Brunch, Sunday, 11:30 a.m., $15.00  


[All four activities: $75.00]

100 Main Street • Hyde Park, VT 05655
phone: 802-888-6888 • toll free: 866-800-6888
email: info@onehundredmain.com



English Country Dance News


A series of 6 Tuesday night classes,
starting Tuesday July 22, 2008

Teaching by Wendy Gilchrist


TIME: 7 pm to 9 pm

DATES: July 22 & 29, August 5, 12, 19, 26

Langlois-Racine Dance Studio
34 Riley Avenue, Plattsburgh, NY

COST: $30/person for the series (6 classes)
Register at the door at your first class
(Registration form attached, more available at door)

Sharon Schenkel at lylfaceem@aol.com or 518-643-0310
Wendy Gilchrist at 518-563-1834

VERMONTERS: Contact Wendy Gilchrist if you’d like a ride to class from the ferry landing in Plattsburgh (that is, you’d go on the ferry as a foot passenger). You must be at the Plattsburgh ferry landing by 6:15pm. Contact Wendy at wgilchrist@cvph.org or leave a phone message a day ahead at 518-563-1834.

CLASSES IN VERMONT: Wednesday nights in August at the home of Tom and Val Medve. Drop in, no advance registration required. Suggested donation $3 per person per class. For more info, please contact Val at valandtom@verizon.net or 802-899-2378.

June 22, JASNA-Vermont meeting on “Northanger Abbey”


June 22: 2-4 pm

Northanger Abbey
~ Dramatic Readings and Discussion
& JASNA ~ A Short History (roundtable discussion)

Place:  Champlain College, Hauke Center, Maple St, Burlington, VT

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 our page on Northanger Abbey with links to the novel and articles; the Quiz is at the end.) 

This meeting will be very informal. Light refreshments, and lots of time to meet, greet and talk. Free and open to the public.  Please contact us if you have questions.