Monday, November 28, 2016

'Tis the Season

We'll be celebrating our dear writer's birth (December 16 -- she's a Sagittarius!) during our holiday gathering on Sunday, December 4, from 2 to 4 pm at the home of Judy Isaac. The program includes a presentation about Christmas customs, games and music of the Regency area, and of course treats and a toast.

Members are encouraged to bring savories or sweets to share. We're also accepting donations of winter clothing for Room in the Inn.

For more details and directions, email

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Fall Meeting: October 9 at MBA

At the next JASNA Middle Tennessee meeting, set for Sunday, October 9, our own Bridget McAdam will offer a presentation on disability in the Regency, addressing the "excluded and forgotten" members of the community (including the Austen family's second child, George). Bridget first shared her work on this overlooked subject during a session at the 2015 AGM, and you'll be impressed with her scholarship and passion.

We'll gather on the campus of Montgomery Bell Academy (MBA), in the Gibbs Room, from 2 to 4 p.m.

The Gibbs Room is located in the Davis Art Building (a long, colonnaded building on the south side of the main Sloane Quadrangle quad). It's close to the gym, which is on the Vine Street side of MBA. (The football stadium is on the Wilson Avenue side of campus). There is free parking alongside the gym and beside the Massey Junior School (again, on the side of Vine Street Christian Church).

Please reply at your earliest convenience to Guests are welcome; members should bring a tea-time treat to share.

And a friendly reminder: If you have not recently done so, please take a moment to renew--or begin!--your membership with the national JASNA organization. Check out JASNA's new online Member Portal to take care of business in a flash.

Monday, May 9, 2016

May Meeting: Special Guest Paige Johnson

Our May 15 meeting will be hosted by Judy Isaacs and feature a presentation by Paige Johnson on "Jane Austen in the Garden." Paige, who holds a degree in Garden History from the University of Bristol, is highly regarded for research which ranges from the Atomic Gardens of the 1950s to the Art Deco gardens of 1920s and 30s to the hydraulically engineered seventeenth-century gardens of Wilton House in Wiltshire, England. In addition to her monograph Gatsby’s Garden, she has published articles in Apollo and Garden History, among others, and maintains the Garden History Girl blog. She is currently at work on a book of literary garden history, which is expected to appear next year.  Paige is also a doyenne of playground design and the internationally cited author of the enormously popular blog and website Playscapes ( She lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where she is employed as a nanotechnology researcher. 

The Middle Tennessee Region is grateful to the JASNA grants committee for their support of Paige's visit.

The Sunday, May 15 meeting is from 2 to 4 p.m., and Region members are asked to confirm their attendance and bring a treat to share. If you need directions, please contact us at

Monday, February 15, 2016

Looking Good at 200!

Thanks to Betsy Fleetwood for hosting the first JASNA MidTn meeting of the year -- a delightful afternoon all around! A special treat was a photo report by Jo Ann and Phil Staples about their recent visit to Biltmore Estate to see the exhibit Fashionable Romance: Wedding Gowns in Films, featuring several worn by Austen characters. (There was much sighing over Colonel Brandon's glorious red coat.)

Then we turned to a spirited discussion all about Emma, steered by Anna Groom, covering the residents of Hartfield, Donwell Abbey, Randalls and Highbury. A round of "shu-rahds" capped the afternoon.
This was also the first meeting for the new regional coordinators, Caroline Davis and Andrea Hearn (whew!). Pictured are Andrea Hearn, Anna Groom, Caroline Davis and Betsy Fleetwood.

And make a note: The next meeting is now set for Sunday, May 15, 2 to 4 pm. It was originally announced for May 22, but May 15 is indeed the confirmed date. We hope you'll join us for a presentation by noted garden historian Paige Johnson, who's traveling from Oklahoma to share her expertise!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

"Pride and Prejudice and Zombies," Oh My!

JASNA Middle Tennessee members were recently invited to a special preview screening of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, coming to theaters nationwide on February 5. 

The film is based on the 2009 novel of the same name (authored by Seth Grahame-Smith and Jane Austen) in which England is overrun with the undead. Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet and her sisters -- skilled in martial arts and weaponry -- prove too much for the zombie apocalypse. Was there ever a doubt?

There are plenty of laughs and fabulous costumes, and this may be the most memorable Mr. Collins of all time. All things considered, it's a tasteful level of gore! 

Pictured following fearless zombie hunter Debbie Carroll (dead center) are Adam and Anna Groom, Betsy Fleetwood, Rachel Agee, Shellie Odin, Caroline Davis and JoAnn and Phil Staples.