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A delightful time in Louisville

July 28, 2009

I had a great time in Louisville two weekends ago at the second annual Jane Austen Festival at historic Locust Grove. The lovely Janeites of JASNA’s Louisville Region made me feel so welcome and overwhelmed me with their hospitality!

Historic Locust Grove, Louisville, Kentucky
Historic Locust Grove – click for larger version

The event took place over two days, though the schedule was the same for both days so you could attend one day and see and do just about everything (though it would be a very jam-packed day and require very strict and lucky scheduling). I spoke about manners and society in the world of Jane Austen’s novels. There also was a fashion show with some incredible period costumes that looked like something out of a museum (in fact, many were copied from museum pieces) and “Dressing Mr. Darcy,” concentrating on gentleman’s costume.

A delicious tea was served by polite and attentive period-costumed young ladies; not only hot tea, of course, but sandwiches and scones and yummy desserts. I was introduced to the delights of Benedictine, a cream cheese concoction, invented in Louisville, that made delicious tea sandwiches.

There was a Regency Emporium with everything from books to bonnets, at which we did a little (cough) shopping; one of the vendors had some great period reproduction fabrics. It really was a joy for the costume geek; some attendees wore their period costumes all weekend, and others got tips for making new items. There were a lot of serious historical re-enactors and interpreters in the crowd, and the attention to detail in their costumes was magnificent.

On Saturday night, there was a ball, which was really fun. It was relaxed and friendly and welcoming to those of all skill levels, and made us think we really need to get involved in English country dancing on a local level.

I met so many great Janeites and they were just having so much darned fun. Just being there, communing with their fellow Janeites, talking about Jane, learning about life in her time, making jokes that only fellow Janeites would understand, dancing, shopping, and having fun; always with the having fun. “Are you having fun?” I would ask them, and their eyes would light up and they would smile and say, “Oh, yes, it’s wonderful!” And it was.

Locust Grove is a great old place, and the docents and caretakers and researchers and historical interpreters who look after her are dedicated to not only preserving the house and grounds but to teaching others about it.

And until now, the Cluebat of Janeite Righteousness has been metaphorical. Until now.
The Cluebat of Janeite Righteousness The Cluebat of Janeite Righteousness The Cluebat of Janeite Righteousness
(click on each photo for a larger version)

The Editrix is armed. Be very afraid, O Philistines.

Many thanks to the indefatigable Bonny Wise, Regional Coordinator and event planner extraordinaire, and to all the JASNA-Louisville members who worked so hard on this event and made me feel so welcome (and GAVE ME THE CLUEBAT!!!)! Particular thanks to Deb Sexton, who tirelessly drove us around (and put up with our squeeing in the Louisville Slugger Museum without complaint), and Cynthia Cooke, who hosted us at her beautiful home, Bashford Manor.*

The Louisville Courier-Journal had a report about the event, which has some great photos since we were too busy gawking at everything to take many, and the Editrix had a chat with the Louisville Eccentric Observer, or LEO. (We hasten to add that we were NOT the creator of the event…that was Bonny Wise.)

*For those following the Saga of the Mysterious Chest in our room at Bashford Manor…it actually had drawers that were turned against the wall. I peeked; they seemed to contain bedlinens. Naturally. ;-)

Leave a Comment
  1. Patty permalink
    July 28, 2009 3:27 am

    The cluebat is so cute (!)

  2. Deb permalink
    July 28, 2009 3:41 am

    The bat looks wonderful! So glad it arrived okay. I was more than happy to be your personal chauffer for the weekend. I am so glad you enjoyed your stay in Louisville and the festival. It was all so much fun that I want to do it all again – next year!

  3. Maria L. permalink
    July 28, 2009 8:32 am

    I love your cluebat–but be careful. Now that it is no longer metaphorical, you may be tempted to actually use it. And it seems to me that right now, there’s no shortage of potential targets!

  4. Brandi permalink
    July 28, 2009 8:39 am

    I was hoping that you would get a physical cluebat while in Louisville!

    It was wonderful to meet you and hear you speak; I am the person who converted to Team Tilney due to your writing on the subject.

    The festival was absolutely lovely and my husband and I are looking forward to attending again with the addition of the ball in period dress next time; hopefully there will be a next time!

  5. Baja Janeite permalink
    July 28, 2009 8:43 am

    Everything sounded lovely!

  6. Allison T. permalink
    July 28, 2009 9:56 am

    OMG the cluebat is incredible. You should carry it with you everywhere–after all, you never know when you’ll need it!

  7. Dianna permalink
    July 28, 2009 11:53 am

    My husband’s family lives in Louisville and I’ve visited Locust Grove (for a book sale – very dangerous) but it really does sound to have been a lovely event! We’ll have to plan our visits home around it in the future.

  8. July 28, 2009 11:18 pm

    Hahahahaha! Cluebat of Janeite Righteousness is in the hands of our Edtrix – people of Earth beware!
    That bat is so cool! Sounds like you had a wonderful time. :)

  9. Reeba permalink
    July 29, 2009 12:44 pm

    >it actually had drawers that were turned against the wall. I peeked; they seemed to contain bedlinens. Naturally.

    A very Catherine like discovery, Mags!!! :-D
    But how did you manage that? Were you able to pull it away from the wall?? All by yourself??!!

    The cluebat is gorgeous!!

  10. James permalink
    July 29, 2009 1:41 pm

    batter Up!

  11. James permalink
    July 29, 2009 1:42 pm

    Wood or aluminum?

  12. Mags permalink
    July 29, 2009 2:30 pm

    Wood, of course. Do I look like some kind of barbarian? ;-)

    It was actually sort of a coffee table with closed sides. The drawers were like baskets. It was easy enough to pull it back a bit and investigate. Not nearly as much fun, though. ;-)

  13. July 29, 2009 4:48 pm

    NUTS! I was imprisoned at the Louiseville airport that very day on company business, not aware this event was taking place right under my very nose!

  14. James permalink
    July 30, 2009 11:31 am

    You look like a georgeous redhead!
    Don’t know what barbarians look like.
    On the other hand,Norman Knights defending Constantinople were called barbarians….

  15. Anne permalink
    July 30, 2009 5:56 pm

    Cool cluebat! Love the color.

  16. Cynthia permalink
    July 30, 2009 9:29 pm

    Hey, Maggie, is that Cluebat ash or one of those new maple travesties? I’ll know it’s the latter if I see the splinters fly by in Milwaukee!

  17. Mags permalink
    July 30, 2009 10:15 pm

    I’m not sure! They said “they can’t guarantee” it will be one or the other. Obviously the professionals get what they want, but for the personalized bats, they do one or the other. I guess they figure people won’t actually use a personalized bat to play (I already ordered a display rack for mine to hang it over my computer!). They only make the pink bats one day a year (on Mother’s Day, as they benefit breast cancer charities). They “burn” the logo into the ash bats but use transfers on the maple bats as they are more brittle, and the logos are definitely carved in, so I’m thinking this is ash.

  18. Karenlee permalink
    July 31, 2009 5:02 am

    Mags, I’ll bet that’s one of the most squee-inducing gifts you’ve ever gotten in your life!

  19. July 31, 2009 2:13 pm

    Ash or maple, that bat is made of awesome. What a great souvenir!

  20. Bonny Wise permalink
    July 31, 2009 4:00 pm

    I am pretty sure the bats are made of ash.

  21. August 2, 2009 7:55 pm


    We came to Locust Grove from the Detroit area and LOVED the Jane Austen Festival and your talk! Funny and fact-filled, we thoroughly enjoyed your presentation and took home a few books for chair-side reference. We wrote about our account in Barb’s TEA Shop Seminars Blog. For more details, check out:

    Barb Gulley

  22. Deb R. permalink
    August 3, 2009 10:51 am

    Barb – you have a lovely website and a charming command of Austen-era speak. Reading your report of the JA Festival was a joy!

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