Monday, July 21, 2014

Come "Have a Ball" at JASNA's Summer Program on August 17

Social historian, Amanda Vickery (l) and Mr. Darcy? (r) want you to "have a ball" on Aug. 17 with JASNA!

JASNA members and their guests are cordially invited to view the BBC2's documentary, Pride and Prejudice: Having a Ball,* at JASNA's summer meeting on August 17 from 2:00-4:00 PM at the home of Dede Clements 232 Cherokee Station Drive.  

Bring a small treat for the high tea and JASNA will provide the drinks and papergoods.

RSVP to Mildred Tilley at


*In Pride And Prejudice: Having A Ball, social historian Amanda Vickery leads the action as a team of experts recreate a Regency ball in honour of the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s popular novel.

Joined by Alastair Sooke and a coterie of professionals – a food historian, a costume expert, music history academics and a choreographer who trains a team of dance students to take to the floor– cameras will follow the recreation inspired by Austen’s Netherfield Ball. This intimate country house ball drives the plot of  Pride And Prejudice, and is a key turning point in the romance between Elizabeth Bennett and Mr Darcy.The first readers of Pride And Prejudice in 1813 would have understood the workings of a private ball, and BBC Two’s Pride And Prejudice: Having A Ball sets out to recapture this detail, enabling modern audiences to understand Austen’s novel fully by reimagining the time in which she lived.

This charming 90-minute film captures every element of a Regency ball, from the careful preparation of the food and clothes to the etiquette and manners expected of dancers in the ballroom. Amanda explores the male and female fashions of the day, and meets a make-up artist producing authentic products from scratch, including rouge worn by the women - and Red Coat officers. Amanda and Alastair observe the dancers in rehearsal, revealing just how energetic the routines were and, lured by the uplifting, traditional music, even attempt a few steps themselves. As the day of the ball dawns, Alastair dons his breeches, and attempts to channel Mr Darcy’s poise and avoid the clumsy moves of Mr Collins on the dance floor. 

Observing the splendour and spectacle from the side-lines, Amanda and literary expert John Mullan reflect on the importance of the ball and its role in society. As young men and women embarked on the pursuit of a partner, the Regency ball was an arena where your every move could make or break your chances in the highly competitive marriage market.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Jane Austen Center Features New Waxwork of Jane

New waxwork figure of Jane Austen at the Jane Austen Centre in Bath, England

Many of us who have loved reading and re-reading Jane Austen's novels have probably wondered what she actually looked like. I think most of us hope that she didn't resemble the portrait that Cassandra Austen rendered of her sister since it makes Jane look like a "sourpuss."  Now artists along with forensic specialists have created a wax figure of Jane Austen in which they have used modern forensic techniques as well as written descriptions of Austen given by her contemporaries to create a new 3-D wax figure.  Look at the photo above and see what you think! --Mildred Tilley

The Jane Austen Centre said its new waxwork had been "created by a specialist team using forensic techniques which draw on contemporary eye-witness accounts", and that it is the closest "anyone has come to the real Jane Austen for 200 years."  --Quote taken  from The Guardian Online