Thursday, April 20, 2017


A Joint JASNA Meeting: 
Middle Tennessee Region and Mississippi Region

Join us for a special multi-region event on
Saturday, June 10, 2017, in Oxford, MS

Program from 10:00 am to 2:30 pm

Admission to this MS-MidTn gathering is free and 
guests are welcome, but please
reserve space by June 1

Additional activities are planned for June 9-10, so check back for more details! 

(Schedule continues below)

Friday, April 14, 2017

May Day

"Do you want me to answer truthfully, or like a lady's maid?"

Dede Clements will host our Sunday, May 7 meeting, from 2 to 4 pm. The afternoon will reveal secrets and wisdom found in The Duties of a Lady's Maid; with Directions for Conduct and Numerous Receipts for the Toilette, recently published in a facsimile edition by Chawton House Press after the 1825 original. 

This how-to is divided into two sections: the duties of Behavior (good temper, economy, diligence, correct speaking), and the duties of Knowledge and Art (dressing for success, hair-styling, cosmetics, figure-enhancing, use and abuse of soap).

Please bring a treat to share. For directions, contact

Meeting Notes

The chapter celebrated "A Regency Christmas" at the festive home of Judy Isaac. Andrea Hearn led an audience-participation afternoon of holiday customs concerning decorations, food, and amusements, followed by a spirited game of Christmas-themed "Who Am I?". The meeting culminated with a moving birthday toast by Pat McGraw, referencing an 1808 Austen poem: "Which one of us here today will ever forget Jane Austen, 'a friend and ornament of human kind'?" 

Ready for the sherry toast!

"Don't Try This at Home: Household Remedies from the Regency Era" was the eye-opening subject of Jo Ann Staples' presentation in February, given at Montgomery Bell Academy. Jo Ann, who debuted her work at the 2015 AGM, explained the herbs, spirits, comestibles, minerals, animals, and charms employed in medical treatments of the day, and cited diseases and disorders in Austen's novels, minor works and letters (potentially hazardous coughs and colds were the most cited ailment, far outpacing fever and bilious attacks).

Fran Hardie

We are deeply saddened at the passing of longtime JASNA member and chapter founder Dr. Frances Isley Hardie. Fran, who received her Ph.D. in Russian Literature from Vanderbilt, worked at Vanderbilt University Libraries from 1968-1991, retiring as head of collections and acquisitions. An intrepid traveller who visited many Austen sites, Fran will be remembered by us fondly not only for her chapter leadership but for her dazzling smile, which warmly greeted new guests and old friends at our gatherings. Chapter members Paula Covington and Susie Russenberger spoke eloquently at a memorial service of a dear friend, bibliophile, and adventurer.

“Happiness is not a's a by-product of a life well lived” (Eleanor Roosevelt).

Read more about this "woman of mystery" in Vanderbilt magazine.