Sunday, October 19, 2014

Our All Hallows and Christmas/JA's Birthday Meetings

On Saturday, November 1, at 2 pm, at RiverRead Books (5 Court St., Binghamton), we’ll be discussing Jo Baker’s recent novel Longbourn at our All Hallows meeting. Longbourn is a fascinating retelling of events in Pride and Prejudice from the Bennets’ servants’ point of view. Most of us, in reading P&P, never gave a second thought to the question of who had to serve Mr. Bennet his after-dinner port, wait on Mrs. Bennet when she took to her bed with her "poor nerves," or wash Elizabeth’s muddy petticoat--but someone had to! We'll use the novel as a basis for discussing Regency-era servants, their duties, and their pay.

And on Saturday, December 6, at 2 pm, in the Community Room of the Hamilton Public Library (13 Broad St., Hamilton--note the change in venue from the Colgate Bookstore), we'll join the JABC-CNY of Hamilton for a joint Christmas/Jane Austen's Birthday meeting. Last year's cookie potluck in Hamilton was such a success that we'll be repeating it this year: Each guest is asked to bring a dozen or so cookies (which needn't necessarily be homemade; Martha Stewart won't be attending!) to share. We'll also lift a glass of something pleasant and nonalcoholic (beverages will be provided) in a traditional birthday toast to Our Author, who will be turning 239 on December 16. And, instead of a formal presentation, let's have an informal discussion of "Jane Austen in the News": Come and "have your share of the conversation" on any of the many news stories in which JA has figured in the last couple of years. (The 10-pound bank note? The turquoise ring? The various possible portraits of Our Author? The list could go on and on!)

JASNA Membership Business

Here are a few reminders--and one piece of new news--about JASNA membership at the North American level. (Remember that our only requirement for regional membership is North American membership.)

  • First, if you haven't already joined JASNA, please consider doing so! Find out how on the membership page of the North American website.
  • If you're already a member of JASNA at the individual or student level, and you've already renewed your membership for 2014-15, we thank you. (Remember that the JASNA membership year runs from Sept. 1 to Aug. 31, except that if you joined between June 1 and Aug. 31 of this year, you are enrolled until Sept. 1, 2015.) 
  • If you have not yet renewed your membership, please do so very soon--as memberships are now considered "lapsed" if they are not renewed by October 31. There will be a short grace period after this, but only a short one: Reminder letters will go out from the North American organization in November.
  • Finally, if you have ever considered becoming a Life Member of JASNA, now is the time to act: It's just been announced that the Life Membership fee will be making a sharp jump from $350 to $600 in 2015-16. (Note that if you have already renewed at an individual or student level for 2014-15, you can apply that fee toward the Life Membership. For example, if you renewed at the individual level for $30, you can mention this and pay $320 for the Life Membership.)
Remember that the benefits of JASNA membership include three issues of the organization's newsletter, JASNA News; the annual issue of JASNA's hard-copy journal, Persuasions (which is also now available as an e-book); the opportunity to go on JASNA's annual tour of JA-related sites in England and to attend JASNA's Annual General Meeting; and the society of your fellow Janeites across North America!