Next Meeting - Saturday, February 21, 2015

 The Marriage Game:
Love, Money, Friendship, and Companionacy in Jane Austen's England
This Valentine's Day season program will take place at an historic home in Griffin.  Marriage in Jane Austen's time was in a state of transition.  Eighteenth-Century marriage was moving from a money- and land-based transaction to a companionate, choice-based relationship.  However, that transition was not smooth or simple for the woman who experienced it.  Neither marital choice based simply on emotional attachment nor conventional marriages compelled by filial duty could correct the gender-based imbalance of power that traditionally existed in marriage.  Women sought a new kind of spousal relationship in which Eighteenth-Century women used rhetoric to redefine marriage. 

Our speaker will be Dr. Laura E. Thomason, Associate Professor of English at Middle Georgia State College in Macon and author of --
"The Marriage Settlement" by William Hogarth ca 1743 

Location:   Historic Violet Bank House in Griffin, Georgia

Date:  Saturday, February 21, 2015

Time:    2:00 - 4:00 pm

Travel Arrangements:   Carpooling will be available - contact Erin at if you need a ride

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

About the speaker -- Professor Thomason

Laura Thomason was born in Columbia, Missouri. She received her B.A. in English Education from the College of Santa Fe (now Santa Fe University of Art and Design) in 1995, her M.A. in English from the University of North Texas in 2001, and her Ph.D. in English from the University of North Texas in 2005.

She is the author of The Matrimonial Trap: Eighteenth-Century Women Writers Redefine Marriage (Bucknell University Press, November 2013) and of several articles on gender issues in eighteenth-century literature. Her latest work examines the depiction of feminine friendship in Jane Austen’s Emma, a project developed at the NEH Summer Seminar “Jane Austen and her Contemporaries” at the University of Missouri.

Thomason is an Associate Professor of English at Middle Georgia State College (formerly Macon State College) in Macon, Georgia. Her teaching interests include book history and professional writing as well as gender and sexuality, eighteenth-century literature, and scholarly writing.

Outside of the classroom, Thomason is a ballroom dancer who competes at the silver/gold level in American Smooth and American Rhythm styles with her husband Daniel Boudreault.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Last JASNA-Atlanta Meeting

Saturday, January 17, 2015
2:00 - 4:00 pm
Toco Hills Library

Lecture:  Jane Austen and Her Times
                         followed by
Group Discussion:  Members were invited to bring a favorite
                               Austen-related book and provide a 5
                               minute profile of it.  The book could
                               fiction or non-fiction.

Our new Regional Coordinator for Georgia, Kristen Miller-Zohn welcomed us and gave a preview of our 2015 plans.  Our new Atlanta Reading Group leader, Erin Elwood, then treated us to a review of Jane Austen and her life and times.  For the second half of our meeting we took turns introducing our favorite or most recent Austen-related books by giving five minute mini-reviews and readings.  Several of us picked books in keeping with this year's theme, "Jane Austen and Her Times."  Among the books discussed were

Dinner with Mr Darcy           Pen Vogler 
Jane Austen's Country Life  Deirdre Le Faye
Jane Austen Cookbook        Maggie Black & Deirdre Le Faye
Jane Austen Fashion           Penelope Byrde
Jane Austen and Crime        Susannah Fullerton
These Three Remain            Pamela Aidan
Jane Austen's England         Roy and Leslie Adkins

Jane Austen 2014 Birthday Celebration

Saturday, December 13
Toco Hills Library

We celebrated Jane's Birthday with our traditional tea party in her honor.  Several of us read or offered remarks in praise of her genius and contributions to English Literature.  We also recognized our incoming officers for 2015 and previewed our tentative schedule for next year.  

Books we're reading

Tea party

Linda's presentation

Tea party

Tea party

Mary at the tea table

Nancy's toast

Rita's elgant ensemble

The tea things


October 18 Meeting - Highlights from the Montreal AGM

Where:  Toco Hills Library
                       1282 McConnell Drive, Decatur
When:      Saturday, October 18,  2:00-4:00 PM

Thanks to Renata who brought us pictures, notes, and first hand account of the recent JASNA AGM in Montreal.  Also thanks to Harvey and Leatrice for their observations as well. 

Montreal AGM -  The fall colors were beautiful!

From the Montreal AGM webpage:
 Our theme - Contexts, Conventions and Controversies - invites the widest range of commentary about Mansfield Park, arguably Austen's most complex novel.  Fanny lovers and Fanny haters alike will have ample opportunity to air their views in plenary and break out sessions that will explore the social and historical contexts, the literary conventions, and the many controversies of Mansfield Park, the first of Jane Austen's mature Chawton novels.



At Home with Jane Austen

Some of us attended the lecture and book signing by author Kim Wilson (JASNA-Wisconsin member) on Oct 2 at the Atlanta Decorative Arts Center in Buckhead.  The event was sponsored by the Royal Oak Foundation. 
There are many books that cover the most prominent of Austen's homes, but this one is more comprehensive than most.  It even includes photos and commentary on the seaside resorts that the Austen family was known to have visited for weeks at a time during the summers. For example, Wilson notes that Mrs. Austen and her daughters along with Edward Austen's family and family friend Martha Lloyd spent part of September 1805 in Worthing. After describing this resort, Wilson comments:

"It seems very probable that Worthing provided Jane with considerable inspiration for her own fictional seaside resort, Sanditon.  The parallels between Worthing and Sanditon  are striking, with many of the locations and amenities of Worthing having an equivalent in Sanditon, including a promoter, Edward Ogle, who strongly brings Jane's character Mr. Parker to mind.  The Austens stayed at Stanford's Cottage, which had beautiful views of the sea from its bow windows.  Set back from the south side of Warwick Street, the house still stands and is now occupied by a restaurant." The accompanying photos and paintings show scenes from Worthing including Wick's Baths which Cassandra Austen patronized. 

We'll have a copy of this book on display at our October 18 meeting.  Copies may be purchased from Barnes&Noble:  At Home with Jane Austen

August 16 Meeting - Continuing Our Study of Mansfield Park

Speaker:   Kristen Miller-Zohn
                Director of Collections and Exhibitions
                The Columbus Museum
Topic:       Fanny Price and the Family Profiles:
                The Reading of Character

In Mansfield Park by Jane Austen, Fanny Price's East room is decorated with various keepsakes, including portraits of family members in profile, a type of portraiture that was very fashionable at the time.  Profiles were linked to the study of physiognomy, a popular pseudo-science that contended a person's character could be ascertained through the study of their facial features.  Not only did the theory impact the visual arts, but physiognomic descriptions were included in novels, and Austen knew both visual and literary examples. Fanny's possession of the family profiles might reflect the fact that she is able to read the characters of those around her.

- - - - - - - - - - - - -

We had a great meeting with much intellectual fare as well as some of the comestible type!  
Thanks to all who helped make it a success.  
- - - - - - - - - - - -

Welcome to the Atlanta Region of JASNA!

Our members meet regularly throughout the year to enjoy lectures, attend events, and discuss the works, life, and times of Jane Austen (1775-1817). We meet on the weekends so that people living farther out from the city will be able to attend more easily. We hope you will join us!