JASNA-Maine Meeting: May 12, 2018


It must have been about five years ago that I took the picture shown above. I presented a talk at JASNA-Maine in Brunswick on teaching Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park and staging Elizabeth Inchbald’s Lovers Vows. Then I published a paper on it!

Today I had the pleasure of returning to JASNA-Maine as presenter. This time the meeting was at the Merrill Memorial Library in Yarmouth. The subject of my talk: my 2017 adventures in England! I spoke about my time as the JASNA International Visitor (IV) last summer. I shared with the audience some information about the IV program, how to apply, my reasons for visiting England last summer, what I got out of it, and what I plan to do next.

See the picture below for an image of my first slide pre-talk. You will see that I included a picture of myself wearing a bonnet and simpler regency attire. I borrowed this garb from the Jane Austen House Museum. All visitors get the chance to try on some clothes in the “kitchen” part of the house/museum.


Here’s a view from the presenter perspective!


Here’s another picture of a later slide in my presentation. Below you will see a screen shot of yours truly sitting in the lower reading room of Chawton House in front of the “A-E” books (approx.). Not shown but near the top of the case behind me is (or should I say was?) Sandy Lerner’s donated copy of the 1894 Pride and Prejudice–which has the famous peacock cover. On the left side of the screen is a picture of a letter facsimile that Chawton House provided visitors in order to show them Austen’s handwriting and letter-writing skills.


After the presentation I had a blast talking to the JASNA-Maine members. Everyone was so kind and interested in the IV program. I was elated to learn that a couple of members are going to consider applying for next year’s program!


I also was fortunate enough to bring a special guest with me: my dad! He scheduled a trip to see me for my birthday (only a few days from now), and when I found out that I could give a talk during his visit I thought I’d surprise him with an invitation. 🙂

Funny story: he had every intention of wearing a button up shirt but totally forgot to bring anything other than Harley-Davidson clothing (cuz he rides a Harley). I said that it was fine to dress however he wanted to, and everyone welcomed him with open arms. Somehow, we also color coordinated, too. Like daughter like father? or the other way around?


I also wore my Jane Austen pendant. I had been looking for the right occasion to break out my Darcy confession! I also wore JA socks! I’m such a Janeite! I wrote a blog about this, too, on my other site: What Professors Wear. Check it out here.


I want to thank JASNA-Maine meeting organizers, Judith and Kathy, for setting up this wonderful event. Also, I am so pleased to have conversed with all of the wonderful members. We all love Jane Austen, and it warmed my heart to chat about our favorite author on such a lovely spring afternoon.

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