Sunday, March 1, 2015

Reminder: JASNA Syracuse/JABC Ithaca Meeting, Sat., March 7

Here’s a reminder of our JASNA Syracuse/Jane Austen Book Club of Ithaca joint meeting this coming Saturday, March 7, at 2 pm, at the Crow’s Nest Cafe on the second floor of the Autumn Leaves Bookstore, 115 The Commons, Ithaca.

This will be our JASNA Syracuse Lady Day meeting, although it's a bit early for Regency-era Lady Day, March 25--an important day for hiring or dismissing servants and transacting other business during Jane Austen's time. (It was also the traditional start of the agricultural year, although here in Central New York, we can only dream as yet about planting our gardens!)

Our topic will be Emma--Jane Austen's fourth published novel, and widely considered her most perfectly crafted one, with a couple of "hiding in plain sight" romantic mysteries at its core. At the same time, the character of Emma herself has generated controversy ever since JA herself described her as "a heroine whom no one but myself will much like." And some of the supporting characters have become topics for debate themselves. Do you like Emma, or want to put her head through the wall? Does Miss Bates talk too much even for us? Is Mrs. Elton as insufferable as Emma thinks she is, or can a little sympathy be raised for her? And how soon can you claim to have guessed the secret of the overly reserved Jane Fairfax and her mysterious piano? Come prepared to discuss these and other issues!

Finally, we pass along two requests from our hosts for this meeting, the friendly “pirates” of the Crow’s Nest Cafe: Please don’t bring “outside” food or drink into the cafe, and we need to keep our voices to a conversational level, since the cafe shares open space with the rest of Autumn Leaves. We heartily encourage you to purchase food and beverages from the “pirates”--and if we refrain from emulating Miss Bates, we should be able to abide by the other request!

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