Sunday, June 23, 2013

Photos from the War of 1812 Bicentennial and Jane Austen Weekend

Your Regional Coordinator and her Regency Beau were present at the Genesee Country Village and Museum in Mumford for the first day of the War of 1812 Bicentennial and Jane Austen Weekend. Saturday's events proved most enjoyable, though the weather was uncomfortably warm. But if we were warm, this young man working the bellows in the village blacksmith shop was even warmer. (All photos in this post are by the Regency Beau, Edward R. Voytovich.)

However, this fine cockerel not only was undeterred by heat, but believed himself to be the equal of any uniformed human male in the village!

"What dreadful Hot weather we have! It keeps one in a continual state of Inelegance." (JA to Cassandra, 18 September 1796.) Nevertheless, the three JASNA readers in the attempted "mini-marathon" reading of Pride and Prejudice did their best to combat it. From left, A. Marie Sprayberry of the Syracuse Region, and Chris and Sharon Cassidy of the Rochester Region, practice the not-so-subtle art of the fan.

The three JASNA representatives were joined in the reading by one audience volunteer, Angela of Binghamton.

Believe it or not, this redcoated military band represented an American rather than a British regiment. (One can't help wondering whether this led to some confusion on the field of battle.)

Captain Eric Borresen and friend, however, were unambiguously American officers.

Syracuse/Rochester Co-RC Lisa Brown--who is also an enthusiastic English Country Dancer and caller, as we know--introduced the Country Dancers of Rochester demonstration team.

And the dancers delighted the audience with "The Duke of Kent's Waltz," "Shrewsbury Lasses," and other ECD favorites. ("Shrewsbury Lasses" is familiar to viewers of the 1995 BBC version of Pride and Prejudice as the dance where Elizabeth is forced to shout, "Other way, Mr. Collins!"--but there was no need for that here!)

Sunday, June 9, 2013

More June News and Announcements

First, it may have been a dreary day in Central New York yesterday, but those of us present at the Colgate Bookstore for Jack Wang's presentation on the Cozy Classics series of children's books had a delightful time! Jack gave us an engaging description of how the series came to be; how he and his twin brother, Holman, go about selecting the best twelve words for each book for very young readers; and how the brothers painstakingly construct the wonderful felted figures for illustrations. (Unfortunately for all those of us who are in love with the muddy Elizabeth Bennet on the cover of the Cozy Classics Pride and Prejudice, mass reproductions are simply not feasible!) Here, Jack gives us a sneak peek at one of the images from the Cozy Classics Emma, to be published late this year (following Jane Eyre and Oliver Twist). Click on the photo for a better view of Emma yanking Harriet Smith away (none too gently) from Robert Martin. If you're intrigued, go posthaste to the Cozy Classics website to learn more!

Second, Volume 34 of Persuasions--JASNA's annual peer-reviewed, hard-copy journal--has been sent out to members. This volume contains transcripts of Anna Quindlen's and Cornel West's plenary lectures at the 2012 AGM in Brooklyn; several papers based on Brooklyn breakout sessions; and a most interesting Miscellany section, including another paper on Pride and Prejudice by Rochester's Leo Rockas, plus a review by Deborah Kaplan of the controversy surrounding the portrait owned by Paula Byrne that may--or may not--depict JA. If you're a JASNA national member and have not yet received your copy, please contact A. Marie Sprayberry (see "Contact Us" at right).

Third, don't forget about the War of 1812 Bicentennial and Jane Austen Weekend, coming up on June 22-23 at the Genesee Country Village and Museum in Mumford (west of Rochester). See the May 26 post for details.

Last but by no means least, another exciting weekend event is in store: Our sister Region to the east, the New York Capital Region (serving Albany, Saratoga Springs, and environs), is hosting its Second Annual Retreat at the Wiawaka Holiday House in Lake George on Sunday-Monday, June 30-July 1. This year's topic will be Persuasion--and our own Co-RC Lisa Brown, Royal Navy expert extraordinaire, will be giving two of the three formal presentations! Also on the schedule are a viewing of the 1995 film version of Persuasion, as well as informal discussions and a concluding picnic tea. The registration fee is $15 for JASNA members and $25 for non-members; this does not include lodging and meals (go to the Wiawaka website for information about reservations and costs). For more information about the Retreat, please contact the Capital Region's RC, Pat Friesen, at mcfriesen2 at

P.S. And this just in: The JASNA Minnesota Region has just announced that electronic registration for this year's Annual General Meeting--"Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice...Timeless," to be held at the Hilton Minneapolis on September 27-29--will open on Wednesday, June 12, at noon CDT (1 pm EDT). Go to this link for details. Hard-copy registration materials have already been mailed to all JASNA members who have not waived receiving a printed brochure. AGMs always fill up quickly, so if you intend to go, do not dawdle on Wednesday (or whenever you receive the hard copy)!