2017 has been so busy we forgot to record our meetings here!
We had a three-track AustenFest in March at the San Mateo Public Library, a return to the lovely Alta Mira Club in June, and went nautical for a look at Persuasion in September. Plus our first Austen Extra: A Regency Styling Day in Pacifica in August.
9:30 AM – 4:00 PM
Jane Austen Birthday Gala with JASNA President Claire Bellanti:
‘You Can Get a Parasol at Whitby’s:’ Circulating Libraries in Jane Austen’s Time
An overview of the development of circulating libraries, how they differ from public libraries as we know them today, and how they affected Jane Austen’s life and publishing.
Circulating libraries were more than just books: they were an important center for social interaction and shopping as well as literacy. When new novels cost close to $100 in today’s prices, the cost to join was a bargain.
In that spirit, we shall have time for social interaction and perhaps some shopping. We’ll meet fellow members who live in our areas and share our interests, be they books, costuming, dance, or theater. Bring your cards to exchange contact info! Regency attire is appropriate but not mandatory. And don’t forget your parasol.
Registration opens at 9:30, breakfast at 10 in the adjacent cafeteria, welcome at 10:30.
Registration fee of $45 general, $35 JASNA members includes the breakfast, nuncheon, and cake.
Advance registration form here: dec-flyer2016
Seven Hills Conference Center, San Francisco State University
800 Font Boulevard, San Francisco CA 94132
Directions to Seven Hills and parking here
Please read if you are coming to Seven Hills for the first time.
If you have mobility issues, ask to be dropped off at 800 Font Ave. Walk through Mary Ward Hall and you will be at Seven Hills, all on one level.
If stairs are an issue, there is an accessible path from the parking structure at the end of State Drive to Seven Hills that’s on one level. This map may help.
Parking is available in the parking structure at the end of State Drive. Observe signage and fees for street and parking lots; regulations are enforced on weekend.
Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley
We are invited! The charming play that was read for us by TheatreWorks at last year’s meeting is now being staged in Mill Valley. We’ll have groups attending on Saturday Dec. 10 and Friday Dec. 16. Details & pricing on our dec-flyer2016.
Saturday, September 24, 2016
Emma-versary with Bernie Su
To commemorate the 200th anniversary of the publication of Austen’s match-making heroine, JASNA NorCal will be exploring the lasting legacy of “Emma.” Joining us will be the executive producer of the Emmy-winning “Emma Approved” webseries, Bernie Su. His involvement with Pemberley Digital has brought us modern interpretations of “Pride and Prejudice” (“The Lizzie Bennet Diaries”) and “Sanditon” (“Welcome to Sanditon”).
We will also be discussing the relationship between Emma and her father, and its implications for modern families. If you’re a fan of word-games, don’t miss out on our after-tea activity inspired by Emma.
Contributions to our Box Hill-inspired picnic buffet are most welcome.
1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Angus Hall, Trinity Church
330 Ravenswood Avenue, Menlo Park, CA 94025
Saturday, June 25, 2016
Over 50 people turned out for our June meeting on Austen-Inspired Travels, held at the lovely and historic Alta Mira Club in San Leandro. We armchair travelers enjoyed hearing the adventures of our friend who have ventured to Bath and beyond. David and Carol Ann Graves shared memories of Winchester 2003, and Virginia Solomon brought many of her costumed friends who toured Bath in style in 2014. Jane Xavier Dougherty demonstrated packing a regency wardrobe in a carry-on, should you not be traveling with your ladies maid. We also heard memorable moments from Louisville and Jane Austen Society tours.
From Jane Austen to Downton Abbey:
Historical, Cultural, and Social Links
Saturday, March 12, 2016
12:30pm – 3:30pm
San Mateo Main Library, Oak Room
55 West 3rd Street, San Mateo, CA 94402
Our program features DiAnn Ellis, Professor of Education for 34-years at SF State University and a JASNA member. DiAnn having lived in England, is now pursuing her keen interest in British History. Professor Ellis provided this description of her talk “Historical, Cultural, and Social Links from Jane Austen to Downton Abbey“:
In this illustrated lecture, Dr. DiAnn Ellis discusses the world of Downton Abbey within the sociohistorical and geopolitical context of the era. Learn about the amazing Regency, Edwardian, and 1920s eras. From the real Highclere Castle and Gardens where the series is filmed and where Dr. Ellis recently visited; to “The Buccaneers;” to the beautiful Worth gowns; to The Great War (1-2 year Anniversary); to the Suffragettes to the Spanish Flu; to Modern Spiritualism and Ouija Boards; as well as the daily lives of the landowners and the servants. Jane Austen’s extraordinary novels foreshadowed issues still present in Downton Abbey 100 years later!
The program drew a standing-room only crowd, with costumers in lovely Regency and WWI era attire. And the Library has invited us back for more Jane Austen on March 25, 2017.
Jane Austen Birthday Gala
December 5, 2015
10 AM to 4 PM
OBSTINATE, HEADSTRONG GIRL
A conversation with Lisa Pliscou, author of Young Jane Austen: Becoming a Writer, and Holly Brady, former Director, Stanford Publishing Courses
a staged reading of a play by Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon
directed by Robert KelleySan Francisco State University
Seven Hills Conference Center
San Francisco, CA 94132
Walking in Austen’s novels and Her Social Moment
Saturday, September 26, 2015
1 PM to 4 PM
330 Ravenswood Avenue, Menlo Park, CA 94025
Key Speaker: Professor Kirsten Saxton
I am currently fascinated by and happy to talk about the topic of walking in Austen’s novels and her social moment; it is a super fascinating culturally coded topic (romantic walking for glorious thinking and nature etc was a decidedly male poetic sort of thing, and quite associated with the radical, walking for display vs walking for use–health, transport etc is very gendered and classes and so on). How and with whom Austen’s characters walk is pretty important.
“Why We Read Jane Austen”
Saturday, June 6, 2015
12 PM to 4 PM
The Taube Community Room
1110 Alameda De Las Pulgas, Belmont, CA 94002
Key Speaker: Professor Bruce A. Thompson
The great American literary critic Lionel Trilling wrote several essays about Jane Austen over the course of his distinguished career, including a final, unfinished essay entitled “Why We Read Jane Austen” (1975). At about the same time, an equally distinguished critic, Ian Watt, author of the classic study The Rise of the Novel, produced a brilliant essay entitled “Jane Austen and the Traditions of Comic Aggression.” Beginning with a summary of Trilling’s and Watt’s conclusions, this talk will offer additional reasons why Austen has continued to be the most popular English novelist for successive generations of readers. What were the distinctive features of Jane Austen’s art, and where did they come from?
The Heroine by E.S. Barrett
Saturday, March 21, 2015
12 PM to 4 PM
San Leandro Main Library
300 Estudillo Avenue, San Leandro, CA 94577
Key Speakers: Tony Dobro and Sheri Forbes
Tony Dobro will give a presentation on The Heroine by E. S. Barrett, a parody of Gothic romances in a similar vein as its contemporary, Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey. Many writers such as Sir Walter Scott, Edgar Allan Poe, and Jane Austen herself read and admired this novel for its “delightful burlesque on the Radcliffe style.” Share Austen’s delight, and discover the sparkling wit and satire of this classic.
Member Sheri Forbes will facilitate a “Pitch Your Favorite Heroine” group discussion. Please consider bringing a short passage from the novels or a brief testimonial about your Heroine.
A Jane Austen Valentine Day Celebration
February 16, 2014
4 PM to 6 PM
Capp Community Music Center
544 Capp Street, San Francisco CA
Between 20th and 21st Street & Mission St. and South Van Ness
Near Dolores Park
Whether you’ve read Pride & Prejudice a hundred times, or have recently come to love Jane Austen through film adaptations, get your Jane on and come join the Jane Austen Society of North America, Northern California Region ( JASNA NorCal) in celebrating Valentine’s Day on Sunday, February 16th from 4 to 6 p.m.
This event is taking place at the beautiful recital hall at the Capp Community Music Center. Doors will open at 3:30 pm, and refreshments (including faux champagne, syllabub, and regency baked goods such as macaroons, meringues, and rout cakes) will be served.
The afternoon’s entertainment includes an introduction to Jane Austen’s music, offered by pianist Cheryl Ziedrich (faculty, College of Marin), an expert on the music of Jane Austen’s world, who will perform some of the music Jane herself loved to play on the pianoforte and listen to. This will be interspersed with performances of scenes from Austen’s novels on the theme of love and marriage, acted by Bella Union Theatre Company under the direction of Christine U’Ren. This will be their third event for JASNA Norcal, having thrilled us with “Darcy’s Dilemma” (Gene Mocsy will again play Darcy) and with Christine’s witty adaptation of Lady Susan. Regency dress is delighted in, but not required.
Admission: Open to all. $10 for JASNA Members, seniors, veterans, students; $15 for all others. If you RSVP to rc@jasnanorcal, your tickets will be held for you at the door.
Spring Gathering: “The World of Jane Austen: Art and Culture in 18th and 19th Century Britain”
Saturday, April 19, 2014
2pm to 5pm
Park Branch of the San Francisco Public Library
1833 Page St, east of Stanyan St and south of Oak St
“The World of Jane Austen: Art and Culture in 18th and 19th Century Britain”
Featuring: Kathryn Zupsic
“Much Ado about Pride and Prejudice”
Featuring: Anne Krause
Summer Gathering: All Roads Lead to Austen … & to a Picnic at Downton Abbey
Saturday, June 28th 2014
12 noon to 4 PM
330 Ravenswood Avenue, Menlo Park
(between El Camino Real & Middlefield Road)
Fall Gathering: “The Peerage and the Admiralty: Manners & Morals in Persuasion”
Saturday, September 13, 2014
12:00 noon – 3:30(ish) PM
The San Leandro Public Library
Featuring: Stephen Arkin
December Gathering: “The Importance of Being Frank: On the Secret Plot in Emma”
Jane Austen Birthday Gala
December 6th, 2014
10 am – 3 pm
Seven Hills Conference Center, San Francisco State University
Featuring: Wendy Chen
A Celebration of Jane Austen’s Birthday
“‘…in proportion to their family and income’: Houses in Jane Austen’s Life and Fiction”
All are warmly invited to join in a celebration of Jane Austen’s 238th Birthday with JASNA NorCal (The Jane Austen Society of North America Northern California Region)
JASNA President Iris Lutz will present an illustrated talk on houses in Jane Austen’s real and imagined worlds, shedding light on many of the homes and estates that figured in her life and novels. The visual tour will feature houses Austen lived in and visited while in Chawton, Bath, Winchester, and Kent, and Iris will share pictures and impressions from trips to Jane Austen Country. In addition, by pairing pictures of real houses with descriptions in the novels of cottages, manors, and estates, she will show what Austen may have had in mind when she created Barton Cottage, Longbourn, Mansfield Park, Pemberley, Sotherton, and other fictional houses.
The day’s many delights include a Sumptuous Brunch, Icebreaker, High Tea, a Toast & Birthday Cake, Quiz & Prizes, Mercantile, a short talk by Anne Krause, & a playing of “The Jane Game.”
About the speaker: Iris Lutz is in her second term as President of the Jane Austen Society of North America. She joined JASNA in 1996 when the Tucson-based Southern Arizona Region was being formed. Iris served as the group’s Regional Coordinator and organized JASNA’s 2006 Annual General Meeting on Mansfield Park. She has also served at the national level as Vice President for Regions and Vice President for Conferences. Iris enjoys “giving back” to the Society and doing her part to increase awareness of JASNA and promote the study and appreciation of Jane Austen’s works, life, and genius.
Registration deadline is December 4th, 2013. Address questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
$35 for JASNA Members, their guests, & students; $45 for non-members
Jane Austen in India
Our June event features a guided viewing of I Have Found It, the acclaimed Indian film adaptation of Jane Austen’s Sense & Sensibility.
Our tour guide, Ranjith Jayaram, grew up in southern India in a family that speaks Tamil, the original language of Kandukondein Kandukondein (I Have Found It). A Product Manager at Google, he is married to Deepali Lugani, a lifelong Janeite & our webmistress, who introduced him to the world of Jane Austen.
Ranjith will discuss I Have Found It and focus on how Austen’s story translates from Regency era England to modern day India. He will talk about how two societies separated by centuries and cultures nevertheless have fascinating parallels when it comes to the significance of marriage, sibling relationships, social customs and, of course, songs and dances and balls! He will also talk about the faithfulness of the adaptation and how and why it differs in a very Indian way.
It will be followed by our third Regency picnic, which will include the usual delights of regency cuisine, as well as dishes with a “Raj”ency twist — from kedgerees to chutneys, from a chai flummery to a trifle of tropical fruits.
This event is free and open to the general public, although donations to defray the cost of the food will be gratefully accepted. For more information, contact Anne Krause at email@example.com.
A talk by Linda Greenberg on The Vicar of Wakefield,
followed by a talk about Fitzwilliam Darcy
in honor of the 200th Anniversary of Pride & Prejudice
Saturday, March 16, 2013
1 pm to 4 pm
Presidio Public Library
3150 Sacramento Street, near Baker St.,
San Francisco, CA
Our spring meeting will feature a talk by our own Linda Greenberg, who will speak on her PhD thesis on Goldsmith’s Vicar of Wakefield, which, she argues, is a source of and inspiration for the clerical hero, and so was an influence on Jane Austen in the creation of her many clerics. A short overview of the novel will be presented at the meeting, but if you have a chance, give it a look before the meeting: it’s a quick and fun read.
Then, in honor of the 200th anniversary of Pride & Prejudice, the membership will be given an opportunity to discuss that most-fascinating of Austen heroes, Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy. Does Darcy deserve the adoration he has received from a besotted public? After all, he was amazingly nasty to poor Lizzy at the ball. And he doesn’t actually say much in the novel. The discussion will be introduced by a short overview of the critical literature on Darcy, designed to provoke a heated discussion! It has been said that we all deserve our own Jane Austen; similarly, we all have in mind our own Mr. Darcy. Come and share your Darcy with us!
This event is free of cost and all are welcome. Address questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A presentation & book-signing
Saturday, March 31, 2012
Noon to 4:00 PM
Temple United Methodist Church
65 Beverly Street, San Francisco, CA
near Junipero Serra Blvd & 19th Avenue within a half-mile of San Francisco State University
Our jane-ite year starts out with a bang! This meeting will be devoted to a most special presentation by a local-girl-makes-good, Sandy Lerner, aka Ava Farmer. Sandy, a graduate of Cal State-Fresno (BA, political science), Claremont Graduate School (MA, econometrics), and Stanford University (MS, statistics and computer science), went on, along with now ex-husband Len Bosack, to design the computer router upon which they co-founded Cisco Systems.
After leaving Cisco, Ms Lerner bought Chawton House, home of Jane Austen’s brother Edward, which, despite the fears of the local villagers, she lovingly restored. Sandy, most appropriately, devoted it to the housing of the Chawton House Library, a center devoted to early English women’s writing. Her wide-ranging interests also include the founding of Urban Decay Cosmetics (motto: “if pink makes you puke”); currently, she is running the 800 acre Ayrshire Farm in Virginia, promoting the benefits of locally produced, humanely-raised meats and organic produce. Ms. Lerner has received several honorary doctorates, from Washington and Jefferson College, Goucher College, University of Southhampton (England) and Shenandoah University.
Along with Anna Quindlen and Cornel West, she will be a keynote speaker at this year’s AGM in New York City, speaking on the importance of money in the novels — both wealth and poverty. Of greatest interest to our group, however, will be her remarks on her recently published novel Second Impressions (written under the nom de plume “Ava Farmer”). The result of twenty-six years of research, it promises to be the first historically-accurate sequel to Pride & Prejudice. Ms. Lerner will not only read from the novel and sign copies (some will be available for purchase), but will also discuss the process of researching and writing this lovingly-crafted sequel, and she will be open to questions about her other ventures.
This presentation is free and open to the public. The event will include tea and light refreshments.
From Byron to Box Hill — Pleasures Domestic & Continental
Our summer meeting will be held at Trinity Church in Menlo Park in the same delightful space where we held last summer’s meeting, where, like Fanny Price, we can “sit in the shade on a fine day, and look upon verdure, the most perfect refreshment.” This meeting will feature a too-long absent friend of JASNA Norcal, Steve Arkin, Professor Emeritus and former Chair of the English Department of San Francisco State University. After a few years in Minnesota, Steve is returning to the Bay Area, although currently he is spending a few months in London and Geneva. This will surely inform his presentation on “Jane Austen and the Radicals: Domestic Arrangements in the Time of Napoleon,” in which he will discuss the circle that gathered around Shelley in Geneva, contrasting the domesticity in Austen with its radical alternatives in the lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Claire Clairmont, and will consider some of the issues that were alive in Britain through the Napoleonic wars.
This will be followed by a Regency picnic, organized and presented by Anne Krause, who will offer a few words on “Culinary Novelties for Regency Foodies.”
Lady Bertram: Lover or Loafer?: An Exploration of Lady Bertam’s Ennui as Sexuality
by Professor Beard
“A Fall Day with Jane Austen”: Sitting on the sofa with Lady Bertram and reading a letter by Austen, with clues to the British Abolition Movement.
Our first talk will be by Professor Pauline Beard, chair of the English Department at Pacific University, Oregon, and JASNA Travelling Scholar. She will speak on, “Sex and Debility in Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park: Lady Bertram, Loafer or Lover?” The presentation examines the debility in the aristocratic Lady Bertram and her sexuality, in terms of cultural studies of Regency attitudes which suggest that “stimulation was a source of disorder” and that “stimulation led to debility.” The theory applied to the women in Mansfield Park and some of the other novels opens up whole new areas of discussion.
After our usual Regency tea, the second presentation will be by our own Joyes Burris, who will speak on “Was Jane Austen in Love with Mr. Clarkson, the Abolitionist?” In a letter of February 1813 Jane Austen wrote that she was “in love with the author [Charles Pasley] as I ever was with Clarkson or Buchanan, or even the two Mr. Smiths.” In her talk, Joyes Burris will discuss the persons and works identified in this letter, with emphasis on Thomas Clarkson, abolitionist. A close reading of this letter will shed light on the abolition movement in Britain.
This is offered gratis to the public, & all are invited, although contributions to the Regency Tea will be gratefully accepted. Address questions to Anne Krause, email@example.com
Litquake 2012: Austen à Go-Go: The Enduring Appeal of Jane Austen
D. A. Miller is a literary critic and film scholar. He is John F. Hotchkis Professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley, where he is also affiliated with the Department of Film and Media. Miller’s work has been enormously influential in a wide range of fields in literary and cultural studies. He is the author of several books including Jane Austen, or The Secret of Style (Princeton, 2005).
Sandy Lerner is author of Second Impressions, a sequel to Pride and Prejudice. Originally a Silicon Valley pioneer (the co-founder of Cisco Systems), she also founded Chawton House Library in England, and advocates for organic farming. This spring JASNA NorCal had the privilege of a reading by Ms Lerner from her superbly-researched sequel, and all those who attended agree that she is one of the most fascinating speakers we have ever had!
Karen Joy Fowler is the bestselling author of The Jane Austen Book Club, as well as science fiction, short stories, and historical fiction. Her latest collection is What I Didn’t See: Stories. She lives in Santa Cruz. Her talk at a JASNA Birthday Gala was a great hit.
Composer Kirke Mechem has written more than 250 works — including an opera of Pride and Prejudice. His first opera, Tartuffe, has had 400 performances. He has been called “the dean of American choral composers.” A couple of years ago a recital from his opera P&P was hosted by JASNA NorCal; the arias performed were exquisite and worthy of Austen. His talk on the process of composing P&P proved him to have the wit and charm needed by such an endeavor.
London-born Elizabeth Newark has written seven children’s books, poetry, essays on Jane Austen and Charles Dickens, and a sequel to Pride and Prejudice. She is a member of the Jane Austen Society. Elizabeth Newark is a treasure of JASNA NorCal, delighting us over the years with many beautifully crafted
Celebrate Jane Austen’s 237th Birthday
Seven Hills Conference Center
$35 for JASNA Members, their Guests, and Students
$45 for Non-members
Registration deadline is December 5th.
Our yearly Jane Austen Birthday Gala includes the usual pleasures of a sumptuous breakfast, high tea, cake and a special toast, icebreaker, quiz, prizes, drawings, and JA-themed mercantile. In addition there are three very special presentations:
- the first is a by the musicologist Dr. John Prescott, who gave a delightful presentation at our December gala several years ago and is a popular speaker at local classical music offerings; his presentation “The Role of Music in Film Adaptations of the Works of Jane Austen” is sure to please.
- The other two, Hannah Doherty and Becky Richardson, are two rising young scholars who come highly recommended by the Austen English faculty at Stanford University. Hannah Doherty’s illustrated presentation “I myself have read hundreds & hundreds”: Jane Austen & the Novels of the Minerva Press describes the “horrid novels” of the Minerva Press, popular with Isabella Thorpe and Catherine Morland.
- Becky Richardson’s presentation “Telling Secrets in Sense & Sensibility” describes how the confession scenes dramatize the interplay of voices — an interplay that characterizes Austen’s development of free indirect discourse.
The charge for the event is being kept at last year’s levels; also, to encourage attendance by young Jane-ites, the JASNA attendence rate of $35 is being extended to students. Address questions to 650-755-3062 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.