Friday, January 17, 2020

February 16: Health and Wellness, the Austen Way

We'll embrace a new year's opportunity for self-improvement with a discussion of Regency-era eating and exercise habits, guided by The Jane Austen Diet: Austen’s Secrets to Food, Health, and Incandescent Happiness (2019), by Jane Austen and Bryan Kozlowski.

Our first meeting of 2020 is set for Sunday, February 16, from 2 to 4 pm, at a private home in the Green Hills area of Nashville.

Contact to let us know you'll be attending, and we'll respond with location and parking information.  Please bring a tea-time treat to share; beverages will be provided.

Overview (Turner Publishing)
What can Jane Austen teach us about health?

With a multi-million fan base, Austen is already a “lifestyle” celebrity: imitating her ideas on love and romance lie at the heart of her fabulous fame. In his newest literary romp author, Brian Kozlowski offers a new twist on the Austen way of romancing life. The Jane Austen Diet is the first retrospective look at the healthiest characters in classic literature and what they can teach us today. Jane leaves a trail of solid clues throughout her novels, a framework for embracing health the way her elegant characters do so effortlessly. The Jane Austen Diet shares Jane’s approach to food, fitness, and total body “bloom.”

Although the characters in Austen’s books seem to stay effortlessly fit, the Austen Diet is very real, and science is beginning to prove its remarkable reality. Think of it as the Pemberley version of the Paleo lifestyle – a witty return to Regency food-and-fitness strategies, revealing Jane’s forgotten prescription for incandescent “health and happiness” in the 21st century.

About the author
Bryan Kozlowski is a passionate champion of “lit wit” – bringing the wisdom of classic literature into everyday life. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, he’s authored two literature-inspired cookbooks for children and a work on Charles Dickens. His literary insights have been featured in the New York Times, Slate, and Country Life magazine, among other publications.

Enjoying the felicities of rapid motion

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

"Rosings Revue" Set for December 15

(image from Abigail Reynolds'
The final meeting of the year is our annual Jane Austen birthday gathering. Please join us on Sunday, December 15, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. in the Overlook Room of Westminster Presbyterian Church here in Nashville.

For this celebratory occasion, we'll be presenting the "Rosings Revue," a salon-style programme of musical and theatrical entertainments featuring the talents of JASNA members and friends.

Our specialty is variety! We're asking Janeites if there's a talent you'd like to exhibit: Can you sing? Play a musical instrument? Recite poetry or dramatic pieces? We know you're out there, Mary Bennet.

We'll also be very glad of volunteers to serve as production assistants or help set up tables and decor.

As always, we'll begin with food and conversation. Please bring a sweet or savory treat to share; beverages will be provided.

To learn more about volunteer opportunities or to confirm your attendance (so we have enough tea and chairs), contact

Westminster Presbyterian Church is located at 3900 West End Avenue (37205), between Mayfair Road and Wilson Boulevard. Look for signs to the North Entrance of the building and the parking lot for this section of the church. The Overlook Room is on the second floor, and accessible via stairs and elevator. As in years past, we will be collecting donations of winter-weather clothing and accessories for Room in the Inn.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Special Community Event: "Playing Cards with Jane Austen" at Vanderbilt Central Library, October 24

Our book-loving friends at Vanderbilt are hosting "Playing Cards with Jane Austen: An Evening of Speculation," on Thursday, October 24, beginning at 5 pm in the Community Room of the Central Library -- and we're invited!

English Professor Robin Bates will speak about card playing in literature, specifically Mansfield Park and Speculation and, after his remarks and refreshments, guests will try their hands at the game.

Presented by the Friends of Vanderbilt's Libraries, this event is free but because seating is limited, the courtesy of a reply is requested by October 14: respond to or 615-343-1222.

Friday, September 6, 2019

September 22 meeting: "Creativity and Place" with Elizabeth Meadows

For our meeting on Sunday, September 22, from 2 to 4 pm, we'll gather in the rehearsal/performance space of Actors Bridge Ensemble, located in the lower-level chapel at the Darkhorse Theater (4610 Charlotte Pike) in West Nashville.

Professor Elizabeth Meadows, of Vanderbilt University, will lead an interactive place-based creative approach, with a discussion of how specific times/places are important in Austen’s work, and then leading to people creating their own Jane Austen story in their particular place/time. 
Attendees are encouraged to bring a notepad and pen.

Elizabeth Meadows is Associate Director of Vanderbilt’s Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities, which promotes interdisciplinary research and study in the humanities and social sciences. Meadows brings to the Warren Center considerable experience in community and student engagement; she spent six years at Vanderbilt’s Curb Center for Art, Enterprise, and Public Policy, where she developed and led programs offering faculty, staff, and students opportunities to engage in creative practice and fostered innovative projects and collaborations with our campus and local community. Meadows helped develop the Curb Center’s Public Scholars Program, worked with campus and local partners to organize the Mellon Summer Institute in Public and Digital Humanities, and collaborated with Nashville’s Metro Arts Commission in developing the Racial Equity in Arts Leadership program. A scholar of Victorian literature and culture, Elizabeth taught at Mount Holyoke College, before coming to Vanderbilt in 2013, and she has published in Dickens Studies Annual, The Oxford Companion to Victorian Literary Culture, and has collaboratively guest edited a special issue of Victorian Review. She is also Faculty Head of East House on the Martha Rivers Ingram Commons.

JASNA members are asked to bring a tea-time treat to share; beverages will be provided.
Guests are welcome, but please let us know you're attending, so we can plan for seating and refreshments:

Founded in 1995, Actors Bridge is a professional theater company and an actor's training program, specializing in the Meisner Technique. AB also produces Act Like a Grrrl (ALAG) an autobiographical writing and performance program that inspires girls (ages 12-18) to write about their lives and transform their thoughts into monologues, dances, and songs for public performance.

The Darkhorse building was originally a Presbyterian church, and in 1990 became a performance venue; AB moved into the chapel in 2015. It's a space that has been home to hundreds of productions set in all parts of the world and in all time periods -- perfect for our afternoon considering "creativity and place."

The Darkhorse is located at 4610 Charlotte Avenue / 37209, but the entrance to the chapel is along the 47th Avenue side street [McDonald's is next door]. Look for signage on the doors.

Free parking is available along 47th, in the SunTrust lot at the corner of 46th Avenue, and at the Richland Park library directly across the street from the theater.

"Netherfield Park is let at last!"

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Summer Outing to Franklin's Lotz House

Please join us on Saturday, August 17, for an excursion to the historic Lotz House (1858), near downtown Franklin.

We'll meet at the Civil War house museum at 11 am for a one-hour tour, then have lunch (Dutch-treat) nearby at the Bunganut Pig Pub.

For our JASNA group, Lotz (it's pronounced "Loats") House admission is $10 per person, and you may pay at the door.

There's plenty of room and guests are most welcome, but please let us know if you'll be attending by Tuesday, August 14, for planning purposes:

  • The Lotz House is located at 1111 Columbia Avenue, Franklin, TN 37064.
  • The Bunganut Pig is located at 1143 Columbia Avenue (across from the Carter House).

About the Lotz House
German immigrants Albert and Margaretha Lotz moved to Franklin in 1856 and two years later built this house, a product of Albert’s master carpentry and woodcarving skills. In 1858, Albert’s craftsmanship gained him a commission carving the mantels and other woodwork in Franklin’s courthouse. The Civil War changed life for the Lotzes, in ways they could not have imagined. When the Confederate charge came late in the day on November 30, 1864, this house found itself at the epicenter of the Battle of Franklin. The Lotz family raced across the street to take shelter with their friends the Carters, in their basement, and returned in the morning to find their planked house nearly destroyed. What remained of the building sheltered wounded Confederates after the battle.

Visitors will learn about lives disrupted by the “Bloodiest Five Hours” of the Civil War, while viewing magnificent period furniture and decorations. Artifacts from the Battle of Franklin, including weapons and bullets as well as soldiers’ personal items, are on display, as are bloodstains and cannonball scars.

For more information on Franklin, go to

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Tennessippi Biennale and Summer Soiree

You're invited to a Joint Meeting of the Middle Tennessee and Mississippi Regions

Friday, June 7 and Saturday, June 8, 2019

in Holly Springs, MS

Downtown Holly Springs, MS
Holly Springs is:
1 hour from Memphis, TN • 1 hour from Tupelo, MS • 1.5 hours from Jackson, TN
3 hours from Jackson, MS • 3.5 hours from Nashville, TN

April 14: Gothic Horror Buffet

We'll be meeting Sunday, April 14, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at a private home for a set of mini-book club discussions. 

In the spirit of this year's Annual General Meeting theme of Northanger Abbey (at which our own Roger Moore, Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Science and Principal Senior Lecturer in English at Vanderbiltwill be a plenary speaker), we're choosing the three most well-known titles among the ten mentioned in the book: Ann Radcliffe's The Italian and The Mysteries of Udolpho and Matthew Lewis's The Monk

Please choose one to read and be ready to discuss. If you'd like to read one of the other seven, feel free to do so--and be ready to give us all a little report. 

These three famous titles (The Italian, The Mysteries of Udolpho and The Monk) are all in print; they are also easily accessible as free electronic titles. In addition to your public library, try sites like Project Gutenberg (, Google Books (, and Hathi Trust (, and YouTube for audio versions.

Valancourt Books, a small press in Richmond, has reissued those other seven titles in their "Horrid Novels" series; they are available in paperback or electronic editions. (You can find all ten of the titles in many editions, both print and electronic, at online and brick-and-mortar retailers as well as the public library.)

Please contact for location details. Attendees are encouraged to bring a tea-time to share; beverages will be provided.