Next JASNA-Atlanta Meeting

Saturday, January 17, 2015
2:00 - 4:00 pm
Toco Hills Library
1282 McConnell Drive
Decatur  GA  30033

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

The theme of the 2015 AGM in Louisville is "Living in Jane Austen's World."  Louisville AGM

The 2015 essay contest poses this question:

Examine a single Jane Austen novel or several and show different ways characters engage with their culture, views, mores, or living conditions.  How does participation in their world affect each character’s development?  You might look at how a character approaches material culture, physical or emotional space, interpersonal relations, social class, wealth, or gender.  You may consider elements of Jane Austen’s world that have inherently negative or positive influences on characters and events in the novels.


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.

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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.  
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Two events in May

- - - - -  May 17  Visit to Kennesaw State University   - - - - -  

We visited the Bentley Rare Books Gallery in the Sturgis Library to examine several 18th and 19th Century books.  Curator Adam Doskey had arranged a display of many books that Jane Austen is known to have read, including a 1754 edition copy of Sir Charles Grandison by Samuel Richardson.                                      
The library setting was perfect for us fans of the Regency.  From Wikipedia:  The gallery is designed to resemble a "domestic library in a middle-class household during the reign of King George III (1760-1820)." Other cited sources for the design were Agatha Christie's description of her ideal home in her autobiography, the Edwardian imagery of E. M. Forster, and Edith Wharton's "The Decoration of Houses."

After our meeting we had Kitty and Lydia's luncheon of cold meats.*  The weather was rainy, so we dined indoors instead of picnicing. (Mr. Knightley would have been pleased.)

*see P&P, chapter 39

- - - - -  Earlier in May  - - - - -  

Several of us saw the movie Belle at local theatres.  The movie was inspired by the real life Dido Elizabeth Belle, the bi-racial niece of Lord Mansfield.  The Mansfields lived next door to Jane Austen's brother Edward Knight in Chawton.  Jane Austen mentions visits to their family in her letters, so she was well aware of the story of Belle.  The writer/director adds dialog and back-story to the basic historical facts to make a lavish, entertaining, and thought-provoking movie.

Belle stars newcomer, British actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw, as well as veterans Emily Watson, Tom Wilkinson and Miranda Richardson.

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!