I was scheduled to visit several elementary schools in Fort Worth next week, and when I realized the 2011 JASNA AGM is also in Fort Worth and coincides with my trip, I knew I had to attend. I was too late to obtain an author table for the member book signing, but I’m so excited about the sessions and the Regency Ball Saturday night. The only question is, what will I wear?
I’ve been a member of JASNA (The Jane Austen Society of North America) since 2004, and I’ve attended two other AGM’s (Annual General Meetings), one in Milwaukee, WI (2005) and the other in Vancouver, British Columbia (2007). This event is always a great inspiration for my novel(s), The Crossroads of Highbury (a work in progress since 2002). 2011 is the 200th anniversary of the publication of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility. Many of the sessions will focus primarily on that book, but I’m also attending sessions that cover broad topics for the Regency period. Here is a peek at my schedule next week:
Wednesday, October 12th
That evening, sometime between 4 and 8 pm, I’ll drop by the Renaissance Worthington Hotel and pick up my registration packet for the AGM.
Thursday, October 13th
8:30 am – 10 am English Country Dancing Instruction. This class will prepare me for the Regency Ball Saturday night.
1:30 PM – 2:15 PM “The Mysterious Death of Miss Austen”
From the Chawton Estate, the British crime writer Lindsay Ashford, whose novels have been published on both sides of the Atlantic, will tell a fictional story that follows the relationship of Jane Austen and Anne Sharp. Shocked by Jane’s death, Anne turns detective, determined to discover how Jane died and who may have wanted her dead. Attendees will learn that it is best not to take things at “face” value.
2:30 PM – 3:15 PM “Managing Muslins in the Modern Millennium”
During this engaging special session, Ms. Bradley will review the nuances of Regency clothing and accessories from head to toe, with particular attention to the class distinctions and the social aspects of dress. Included in her talk will be an explanation of likely wardrobe choices of various characters in Sense and Sensibility.
7:00 PM to 8:00 PM “A Look to Die For”
After dinner on my own, I will step back into the Regency period with special guest lecturer Jinger Heath, founder of BeautiControl skin care company. Ms. Heath will enlighten us on the perils of beauty with her presentation “A Look to Die For: Regency Cosmetics and Esthetics,” which examines the various methods and means that women used to enhance their looks in Jane Austen’s time. I’ll learn which poisons of the past were used for “enhancing” a woman’s looks and what social conventions dictated the sacrifice of health for beauty in Regency England.
9:15 – 10:30 pm Whist for Dummies
Friday, October 14th
In the morning I visit Redeemer Montessori School in Irving, and that afternoon I return to the JASNA AGM.
The official welcome to the 2011 JASNA AGM is at 1:30 pm.
1:55 pm to 2:55 pm: Dr. Joan Ray will discuss “Sense and Sensibility as Austen’s Problem Novel”.
Session A2 (3:15 PM) Liz Cooper, Wisconsin Region
Jane Austen, Publisher: Writing herself into money and longing for more
“I am never too busy to think of Sense and Sensibility. I can no more forget it, than a mother can forget her suckling child” – so wrote Jane Austen to her sister Cassandra. But Austen had to use her own funds to become published. Learn about the publishing world in Regency times and the royalties Austen received, drawn mostly from her own letters and from those of Austen family members.
Session B1 (4:15 PM) Jack Laney, Collector and Historian, Kent, WA
Gentlemanly Pursuits: A Brief Discourse on Snuff, Cravats, and Firearms
This interactive session explores snuff and snuff etiquette, the many styles of cravats popular during the period and the firearms of Regency gentlemen. Participants will have an opportunity to try their skills at tying cravats, handling snuff and observing the discharge of a flintlock tinder lighter. Fun, fun, fun!!!
Session C1 (5:15 PM) Bill Peirson, Attorney, Dallas, TX
Ports of the Period
The Prince Regent, a man of overindulgence in many ways, liked his punch “strong.” Join Bill Peirson as he reviews the various ports, sherries, brandies, and other alcoholic beverages that men of Regency England consumed with verve.
Whist Tournament 8:30 to 10 pm or perhaps the Sense and Sensibility Movie Marathon from 7pm to Midnight.
Saturday, October 15th
9:15 am to 10:15 am “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Sense and Sensibility” presented by Juliet McMaster, Elaine Bander, Peter Sabor
Session D1 (10:45 AM) Tom Kelly, Jane Austen Society, Scottish Branch, Edinburgh, Scotland
Dads, Cads, and Lads
This session’s primary question asks, what does Jane Austen’s portrayal of male characters say to contemporary male readers? How do these groups of characters—the “Dads” who head up families, the “Cads” who disrupt them and the “Lads” who heroically wed our heroines—impact the loves and relationships of the two sisters in Sense and Sensibility? A real Scotman’s perspective!
Session E1 (11:45 AM) Carrie Bebris, Author, Dayton, OH
Gunsmoke: Dueling in Jane Austen’s Time
Since the duel between Colonel Brandon and Mr. Willoughby takes place entirely off the page, modern readers might not realize that a duel occurred at all. The unwritten drama in which the gentlemen in question risked death and criminal prosecution is brought to life in a multimedia presentation showing how the duel might have unfolded.
2 – 3 pm “Mr. Darcy’s Wet Shirt & Other Embarassments – Some Pleasures and Pitfalls in Austen Adaptations” presented by Andrew Davies
Session F1 (3:30 PM) James Nagle, Attorney, Seattle, WA
Coaches, Barouches and Gigs, Oh My! Land Transportation in Jane Austen’s Time
From Jane’s donkey-cart, to Henry Crawford’s barouche, Regency travelers, like us, hoped for speed, comfort and safety. Unfortunately, Jane and her contemporaries had to sacrifice speed for safety or vice versa and endure the discomfort of long kidney-rattling journeys which made for extended stays with friends and relatives. In this session I’ll learn all about Regency travel, and how your mode of transportation illustrated your status in life.
6 – 7 pm Reception
7-8:30 pm Banquet and a Toast to Jane Austen.
9pm – 12am Regency Ball
Sunday, October 16th
8am – 10 pm Regency Emporium and Author Book Signing.
10am – 12 pm Brunch featuring video interview of Deirdre Le Faye, a British writer who has specialized in the life and times of Jane Austen for more than forty years.