Over 600 “Janeites” attended the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the The Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA) October 13th through 16th, 2011 in Fort Worth, Texas. My husband and I were among them. We’ve attended two other AGM’s, one in Milwaukee, WI (2005) and the other in Vancouver, British Columbia (2007), but this is the first year I brought a video camera to record a few highlights of the event. My husband, Matthew Shane Bronson, went with me to my first AGM in Milwaukee. He was reluctant to go, but by the end of that conference he was so thrilled with the events and Regency Ball that he became a member of JASNA, too. This year he was so excited about the conference that our first stop on October 12th was in Southlake at a costume shop called “Over the Top.”
That evening about 7 PM we went by the Renaissance Worthington Hotel and picked up our registration packets. We each received an awesome bag filled with goodies.
At 8:30 the following morning (Thursday, Oct 13th), Shane and I attended a class taught by Ms. Beverly Francis on English Country Dancing. We learned four dances: “Sprigs of Laurel”, the “Duke of Kent Waltz”, “Midnight Ramble,” and “Mr. Beverage’s Maggot.”
Although I brought a nice dress to wear to the ball, it was not a period costume like my husband’s, so I did a little shopping Thursday afternoon for accessories (shoes).
2011 is the 200th anniversary of the publication of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, and by the time the official welcome took place at 1:30 PM on Friday (October 14th), several women were already sporting buttons to support their favorite leading man from the book. One could choose either “Team Willoughby” or “Team Brandon.” I chose “Team Brandon.”
Highlights from my dancing class and sessions as well as the the banquet and promenade around Sundance Square are in my video entitled, JASNA AGM 2011- Episode 1 (~ 7 minutes).
The Regency Ball that followed the promenade could not be summed up in one video, so I created three:
JASNA 2011 AGM- Episode 2 (~5 minutes)
JASNA 2011 AGM- Episode 3 (~8 minutes)
JASNA 2011 AGM- Episode 4 (~9 minutes)
Despite the fact that we didn’t return to our hotel until 1 AM on Saturday night, I was up at 6 o’clock to pack, check out and arrive at the Regency Emporium and Author Book Signing by 8:30 AM. A wedding breakfast followed:
Beginning at 10 AM a brunch celebrating the marriage of Miss Marianne Dashwood to Colonel Brandon took place. The newlyweds made an appearance but so did Willoughby. Thankfully, Colonel Brandon dealt with the scoundrel, and we were able to finish our Barton Cottage bacon and Delaford fresh fruit in peace.
In the end, my husband and I were both sorry to leave, but at least we can relive the experience through the many photos and videos I captured of this year’s event. Sadly I don’t know if we’ll be able to attend next year’s AGM in Brooklyn, New York, but we are definitely planning to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the publication of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice at the…