The reports trickle in from Vancouver


Actually these are a couple of anticipatory articles that preceded the event. We hope to have our report posted soon!

Alert Janeites Laurel Ann and Lisa let us know that The Seattle Times had an article last week, in which so much interest in Jane Austen is attributed at least partially to Colin Firth and the many film adaptations of the novels over the past decade; while we agree that much of general interest can be laid at Mr. Firth’s door, we’re not so sure that’s the case for JASNA, which was going strong for 15 years before P&P95 was broadcast; however, the reporter goes on to say,

But if your only acquaintance with Austen is via the various feature films, TV adaptations and chick-lit spinoffs, you’re missing out.

How about a closer acquaintance with the six original novels? In addition to the best-known cinematically embellished trio (“Pride and Prejudice,” “Emma” and “Sense and Sensibility,” the last with Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet and Hugh Grant), there are three more novels to delight you. The youthful “Northanger Abbey” is romantic and full of satirical gothic undertones; “Mansfield Park” is an enthralling character study full of passionate misbehavior; and “Persuasion” β€” the author’s final completed work β€” is perhaps the most deeply moving of all in its reawakening of disappointed hopes.

Indeed! The reporter attended the AGM, we hear; we hope she makes a post-conference report as well.

The Vancouver Sun also has an article about the perennial appeal of Jane Austen.

Yet to me, Jane Austen is one of the wittiest, dearest and loveliest fiction writers of all time, and I am not the only one who thinks so.

Starting today, 550 delegates of the Jane Austen Society of North America will descend on Metro Vancouver in a celebration of all things Austen.

Even in the age of the Xbox, authors are still popular.

But few, even fewer of the female persuasion, have enjoyed multiple renaissances the way Austen has.

Her tales of high drama and big love set against the backdrops of little picturesque English villages were first published in the 1800s.

But. according to University of Victoria’s Robert Miles, who has written extensively on Jane, she was ostensibly re-launched decades later, by a nephew who put her work back into print.

From there, and for generations to come, it was kept alive by a coterie of devoted readers.

In the past decade or so, Austen has become a screenwriter’s delight. They, in turn, have broadened her reach to the great-unread masses.

The B.C. Catholic has an article about students who took part in JASNA’s Young Writers’ Workshop associated with the AGM, introducing Jane to another generation.

Like several of her classmates, Cheryl Jean Leo has gone on to read more Austen since studying Emma, and recently finished what is probably her most famous book, Pride and Prejudice.

“I think both are masterpieces,” Leo told The B.C. Catholic. “I love the way they reflect the timeless themes of love and struggle and life.”

You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile. πŸ˜‰