Victoria here, just back from the excellent Annual General Meeting of the Jane Austen Society of North America in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The days were packed with all sorts of events -- many presentations on Mansfield Park's characters, events, and background, plus workshops, dancing lessons, teas and banquets, tours, performances, and of course, shopping.
Elaine Bander, chair of the 2014 Steering Committee, opens the AGM
2014 is the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mansfield Park, Jane Austen's first novel begun and completed after she came to live at Chawton Cottage. Also published in 2014 was Frances Burney's fourth novel, The Wanderer.
Before the AGM began, Juliet McMaster addressed a joint tea for members of the Frances Burney Society and JASNA on "Female Difficulties: Austen's Fanny (of Mansfield Park) and Burney's Juliet (of The Wanderer)." (I apologize for the slightly blurry pics sometimes). I will report further on the meeting of the Burney Society in a future post.
Montreal's Autumn Tints
Montreal was sunny and ranged from chilly to warm most days. Since it was my first visit, I tried to see as much as I could, but found myself in almost every JASNA session I could manage.
The plenary speakers were all excellent, and I attended many outstanding Break-Out Sessions.
Chicago's Russell Clark on "Plays Passed Over in MP"
Sarah Parry of Chawton House Library spoke on the houses in MP
and what they tell us about their inhabitants.
Goucher College is planning to digitize a rare copy of the first American edition of Jane Austen's Emma printed in Philadephia in 1816.
Looking for contributions to the Emma Campaign
Tim Bullamore (r), publisher of Jane Austen's Regency World Magazine
Jane Austen Books doing a brisk business
Sarah Parry at the Chawton House Library table
Among the other speakers I enjoyed were Robert Clark on "Jane Austen and the Moral British Empire," Kathryn Davis on "Charles Pasley's Essays" (known to be favorites of Austen), Janine Barchas on "Reading Mansfield Park with Nabokov," and Jocelyn Harris on "Fanny Burney and Fanny Price." No pictures, even blurry ones, turned out. And of course there were dozens of talks I could not attend but which I long to hear in the future -- or read in Persuasions in print or on-line. I also failed to get pictures of the clever version of Lover's Vows, written and produced by Diana Birchall and Syrie James, entitled "A Dangerous Intimacy: Behind the Scenes at Mansfield Park."
Ladies at the Ball
Ken and Elaine Weeks of Seattle
More ball participants
Jerry Vetowich and Nili Olay
Kim Wilson and Sue Forgue
During the Ball, Kim and I provided the comic relief with our talk on "Gilpin, the Picturesque, and Dr. Syntax." I'll report more on our talk at a later date.
Kim Wilson, whose latest book is Jane Austen At Home, and Victoria Hinshaw
Authors and pals: Kim, Vicky and Carrie Bebris, who writes the Mr. and Mrs. Darcy Mystery Series
Sunday morning, the AGM closed with a wonderful brunch and a terrific speaker, Patrick Stokes, chair of the Jane Austen Society (UK) from 2004-2009. His topic, "Rears and Vices: The Georgian Royal Navy in Mansfield Park," was full of enlightening information and many laughs. He wore the uniform of a rear admiral in 1814.
Patrick Stokes, gggrandson of Admiral Charles Austen (1779-1852),
Jane Austen's youngest brother
Patrick Stokes and Victoria Hinshaw
After the brunch conclude Mr. Stokes was kind enough to pose for many pictures with audience members, as he exhibited the replica he made of Jane Austen's writing desk.
Replica of Jane Austen's writing desk
Presidents of JASNA: Joan Ray, Marsha Huff,
Iris Lutz, and incoming president Claire Bellanti
Joan Ray, Iris Lutz, Lorraine Hanaway, and Clair Bellanti
Thanks to Elaine Bander, the Steering Committee, and all the volunteers for a wonderful AGM.
Next year, JASNA will meet in Louisville, KY, October 9-11, 2015,
"Living in Jane Austen's World."