We were treated to a talk on Regency fashion by longtime member Mary Herbst. She began with the Georgian Era and discussed the evolution of Regency period fashion, even touching on undergarments, men’s clothing, and the clothing of children and infants. Mary also shared a great many books on the subject to show examples of the things she talked about.
Box Hill Picnic
For our annual Box Hill Picnic, we had cheese boards, charcuterie, and desserts galore! Hosted at a local member’s home, this picnic is a break from the norm and takes on a more informal atmosphere. Members lounged on the patio and enjoyed lovely conversation – and cheese. Lots of cheese.
A Regency Education
One of our members, who also happens to be a teacher, led a meeting on education in the Regency period. There were stations set up around the room, each of them dedicated to one of the subjects that would have been taught at the time: embroidery, French, painting, etc. Attendees received a stamp upon completion of each station to mark accomplishments. The more stamps collected, the more accomplished you were and, therefore, the more eligible for marriage. We were all very accomplished.
Austenistan, with Laaleen Sukhera and Nida Elley
Laaleen Sukhera, who founded JASP (Jane Austen Society of Pakistan) and served as editor of Austenistan, and Nida Elley, a contributor of the book, joined us virtually to discuss the inspiration for and context of the collection, and their stories in particular. It was a lovely conversation with two inspiring women halfway around the globe whose shared love of Austen bridged the distance and brought us all together.
From Bloomsbury Press: “Inspired by Jane Austen and set in contemporary Pakistan, Austenistan is a collection of romantic, uplifting, witty and sometimes heart-breaking love stories which pay homage to the queen of wit and romance. The writers are professionals from the media, academics, law, and medicine, and are members of the Jane Austen Society of Pakistan.”
AGM Recap – “200 Years of Northanger Abbey: Real, Solemn History”
The AGM Recap has become one of our annual meetings, allowing those who attended to relive the festivities, and those who did not, the opportunity to hear all about them. This year, the AGM took place in Williamsburg, Virginia, a perfect setting for the Gothic theme, and members chose their favorite session or aspect of the event to present on. These topics included the following:
- College of William & Mary: Library & Rare Book Tour
- Cassandra Leigh Cooke’s Batteleridge (breakout session by Susan Allen Ford)
- Georgian Fashion: A Visit to the Williamsburg Millinery and the DeWitt Museum
- Chawton House Bench Campaign
Christmas in Gruene
For our December meeting, celebrating the holidays and Jane Austen’s birthday, members Susan & John Cotellesse hosted us at their lovely home in New Braunfels. We enjoyed a birthday tea and gift exchange, before setting off for the holiday market in downtown Gruene, Texas. In addition to shopping at the market, we also joined the audience for an impressive one-man stage production of “A Christmas Carol.”