Sunday, May 30, 2010

Jane in June

Two events of great interest to Janeites will be taking place in or near the Syracuse Region in June.

First, the Colgate Bookstore Jane Austen Book Club--several of whose members are also JASNA Syracuse members--will be having a "Box Hill" picnic on Saturday, June 12, at 1:00 p.m. The picnic will take place on the hill beside the Colgate University Chapel House in Hamilton (the rain location will be the third floor of the Colgate Bookstore, 3 Utica St., Hamilton). Club coordinator Heather Elia notes: "We're asking everyone to bring a luncheon item to share, their favorite Austen 'outdoor scene' to read aloud, and as many picnic blankets as they have available. Plates, cups, napkins, utensils (all of the disposable variety, to make for easy clean-up), lemonade, iced tea, spring water (and perhaps some Donwell Abbey strawberries) will be provided. Restrooms are available inside the Chapel House. Those interested in attending are asked to RSVP to Heather Elia by Monday, June 7 at (315) 228-6944 or with their name, email or phone #, and what they will be bringing (so we don't get all desserts, or all salads, etc.) and I will reply with detailed directions & info about parking."

Second, the Genesee Country Village and Museum in Mumford, west of Rochester, will be hosting its annual War of 1812 Weekend on Saturday and Sunday, June 26 and 27--with attention to Regency-era civilians in general and Jane Austen in particular as well. The tentative schedule for both days includes presentations on Regency women's fashions at 1:00 pm, military uniforms of the era at 1:30, and "Jane Austen's Military Men" at 2:00 pm (this last will be given by JASNA Rochester Regional Coordinator Celia Easton), all at the Village's Town Hall. On Saturday only, at 3:30, the Rochester Country Dancers will give a demonstration of English country dancing in the Village's Meeting Center. For more detailed information about the weekend's events, as well as directions and information about admission fees, etc., go to or call (585) 538-6822.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Persuasions #31 Is Here; or, In the Garden with Jane Austen (Literally)

As you can see, Persuasions #31 (the newest issue of the journal that is a major benefit of JASNA membership) is reaching the mailboxes of JASNA members everywhere. (If you're a JASNA member and it hasn't reached yours soon, let your Regional Coordinators know; see contact info in other posts or under "View My Complete Profile.") And as you can also see, Marie is taking the May 22 meeting theme of "In the Garden with Jane Austen" to heart! See the preceding post and the "Events" listing for meeting details.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Reminder: Meeting in Syracuse on May 22

A happy, if slightly snowy, Mother's Day to you all!

Just a reminder that our next JASNA Syracuse meeting will be at Books & Memories, 2600 James St., Syracuse, on Saturday, May 22, at 2 p.m. Please contact Regional Coordinator A. Marie Sprayberry ( or 315-446-7787) if you need directions. As we noted back in February, parking on James St. itself is limited and metered, so we recommend parking on Woodbine Ave. (Books & Memories is on the corner of James and Woodbine.)

Our topic for this meeting will be "In the Garden with Jane Austen." Using Kim Wilson's excellent book by that title as well as some photographs from the 2009 JASNA tour of England, Marie will talk a bit about JA's own garden at Chawton Cottage; we'll also hear a little from Co-Coordinator Lisa Brown about garden designers and design trends of the Regency period; and we'll then discuss garden-related passages from the novels (please bring your favorites to share!).

Finally, whether or not you can attend the May 22 meeting, let's all start thinking about possible meeting topics for the 2010-11 season. It's your Syracuse Region; what would you like to see and do at a meeting? Our tentative schedule is as follows (all meetings will be on Saturdays at 2 p.m.): September 25 (Syracuse); November 6 (Binghamton); December 18 (Syracuse); February 12 (joint meeting with the Colgate Bookstore JA Book Club in Hamilton); April 2 (Syracuse); May 7 (Binghamton); and June 25 (Syracuse). Syracuse meetings will be at Books & Memories unless otherwise noted; Binghamton meetings will be at RiverRead Books, 5 Court St., Binghamton.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Two Austen-Related Diversions

First, the Syracuse University Drama Department is presenting a musical titled I Love You Because at Syracuse Stage's Arthur Storch Theatre through May 15 (call 315-443-3275 or go to for details). This production is said to be based on Pride and Prejudice--although characters with the names of Austin and Jeff Bennet, Diana Bingley, and Marcy Fitzwilliams suggest that genders have been switched!

Second, Miss Joanna Manring and the Jane Austen Singing School for Young Ladies will be presenting a spring concert at the Morgan Opera House in Aurora on Sunday, May 23, at 2 pm. CNY Janeites in general, and those in the western part of our region in particular, are urged to attend!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

"The Shade of a Departed Ball"

" the morning afforded her an opportunity of talking over Thursday night with Mrs. Grant and Miss Crawford, in a very handsome style, with all the heightenings of imagination and all the laughs of playfulness which are so essential to the shade of a departed ball, [Fanny] could afterwards bring her mind without much effort into its everyday state..."--Mansfield Park

Well, it may take some time to get our minds into an "everyday state"--but the fourth annual Rochester Jane Austen Ball is now "departed." And here are a few photographic reflections of its "shade."

JASNA Rochester Coordinator Celia Easton (left) and JASNA Syracuse Co-Coordinator Lisa Brown.

Caller Judi Rivkin, with the band, "Persuasion."

Miss Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy seem to be having an important conversation.

And the elegance of both the setting and the costumes was beyond expression.