Friday, April 22, 2011

Reminder: May Day Meeting in Binghamton, Saturday, May 7

“From this period, the intimacy between the Families of Fitzroy, Drummond, and Falknor, daily encreased till at length it grew to such a pitch, that they did not scruple to kick one another out of the window on the slightest provocation.” --Jane Austen, “Frederic and Elfrida”

What? Jane Austen wrote about kicking people out of windows?? Yes, she wrote in her younger years about this and a great many other highly improper events! Come and find out more at our May Day JASNA Syracuse Region meeting, to be held at RiverRead Books, 5 Court St., Binghamton, on Saturday, May 7, at 2 pm.

When those attending the Binghamton All Hallows meeting in November were offered a choice of topics for this meeting, they chose the Juvenilia--the delightful short comic sketches that Jane Austen wrote as a teenager. We have made arrangements with our friends at RiverRead to stock the Oxford University Press paperback Catharine and Other Writings, which includes all the Juvenilia--and we encourage those of you who don’t already own the Juvenilia in some form to benefit both yourselves and our kind hosts at RiverRead by purchasing a copy there. However, no prior acquaintance with these stories is required, as we’ll spend much of the meeting just reading aloud from them. A sense of fun is the only prerequisite!

After a brief introduction to the Juvenilia and the circumstances under which JA wrote them, we’ll cover the short tales “Frederic and Elfrida” and “The Beautifull Cassandra,”
 as well as selections from the longer “The History of England” and one or two other works. If any of you have favorite Juvenilia that aren’t on this list, we heartily encourage you to mention them--and, in fact, to read them (or selections from them, if they’re longer pieces). In fact, to encourage audience participation, we’ll offer a couple of small door prizes to volunteer readers! So we hope to see and hear you at RiverRead on May 7.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Fifth Annual Jane Austen Ball in Rochester

On Sunday, May 1, the Country Dancers of Rochester and JASNA Rochester will co-host the Fifth Annual Jane Austen Ball at a country club in the Rochester area. (Although club regulations prohibit public advertisement of the venue, let's just say that it is famous for its acorn and oak decor.) Alas, it's too late by now for a novice to learn the
dances, but there are still some “spectator” tickets available. Your Regional Coordinator has attended as a spectator since the Balls began and has always enjoyed herself hugely--and, of course, your Co-Coordinator is always on the dance floor from start to finish! A lovely tea at intermission is included in the spectator ticket price, and lunch before the Ball can be obtained for an additional price. And this year for the first time, Morris dancing will be taking place outdoors before the Ball, weather permitting! Click here for more information about the Ball.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Can You Be in Three Places at Once on April 16?

If so, we heartily envy you--because there are not one but three events of interest to CNY Janeites taking place on that date, in widely separated locations:

First, your Regional Coordinators will be reprising their JASNA Syracuse Lady Day 2010 presentation, "In the Garden with Jane Austen," at the JASNA Rochester meeting on the 16th at the Pittsford Barnes and Noble, 1 pm. In addition to recommending Kim Wilson's excellent book by that title, A. Marie Sprayberry will describe and show photos of Jane Austen's garden at Chawton Cottage, and will link her discussion to last month's "Jane Austen and Food" Rochester program. Lisa Brown will give a brief guide to landscape gardening of JA's era--with emphasis on the "ha-ha," the feature that plays such an important role in Mansfield Park.

Second, the Colgate JA Book Club will be discussing Claire Harman's book Jane's Fame at its April 16 meeting at the Colgate Bookstore, 3 Utica St., Hamilton. Newly available in paperback (at a 10% discount at the Bookstore), this book raised some controversy when it was first published in 2009, and we know the discussion will be lively!

The third April 16 event is taking place somewhat farther afield. The JASNA Ohio North Coast Region is sponsoring a special event titled "Remembering Jane Austen" on this date in Cleveland. The emphasis here will be on obituaries and memorial observances of the Regency era. And the event includes a walking tour of Cleveland's oldest and loveliest cemetery; a lunch at Nighttown in Cleveland Heights, with presentations by Tim Bullamore (the publisher/editor of the Jane Austen's Regency World magazine) and Juliette Wells (who spoke at the JASNA Rochester lunch this past December); and the winning efforts in an essay contest where the challenge was to write an obituary for one of JA's characters (imagine what you could do with Lady Catherine de Bourgh or Sir Walter Elliot!)--so things shouldn't be at all morbid. Click here for further details and registration information.

Finally, lest we give the impression that all the upcoming JA-related excitement will be taking place on April 16, save the dates for two events in May: the Rochester Jane Austen Ball on May 1, co-sponsored by the Country Dancers of Rochester and JASNA Rochester; and JASNA Syracuse's May Day meeting at RiverRead Books in Binghamton on May 7, where the topic will be the Juvenilia. Details about both these events will be provided soon.